Unite Calls for Ceasefire in Gaza Now! Justice for Palestine!
Unite union stands with our Palestinian brothers and sisters and demands an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, as well as the immediate withdrawal of Israeli Defence Forces from all Palestinian territories in accordance with international law.
More than 4100 Palestinian children have been killed by the Israeli invasion so far, and New Zealand must be prepared to stand up against what can only be described as a genocide taking place against Palestinians in Gaza. In response, New Zealanders have been taking to the streets in record numbers to show our support for an immediate ceasefire, our abhorrence of genocidal wars and Apartheid, and our demands for justice for the Palestinian people. Unite union is actively involved in organising and supporting these demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinian people, and urge our members to take part.
We call for all New Zealand political parties to publicly denounce the invasion of Gaza and ethnic cleansing directed against Palestinian civilians, rather than selectively choosing who should be allowed to use “Self Defence” and who are to be labelled “Terrorists”.
Both Labour and National continue to publicly support Israel despite its flagrant breaches of international law that have continued unabated, with the direct support of western nations such as the US and their allies in NZ, since the mass-expulsions of Palestinians from their homes during the Nakba of 1948, the illegal occupations of East Jerusalem, the West Bank since 1967, and the siege of Gaza from 2007 to the present day. Hipkins and Luxon were quick to condemn Hamas, but their calls for “proportional” responses and failure to denounce this latest invasion speaks volumes.
To pretend that acts of violence such as the attacks by Hamas have occurred in a vacuum is to turn a willing blind eye to history, and leads to the kind of pathetic false-equivalency whereby an illegal occupying army actively engaged in a protracted war of colonialism, displacement and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous civilians of Palestine can be claimed to be acting in “Self Defence”.
Unite condemns all acts of violence against civilians, including the attacks by Hamas on 7th October 2023, but we are also clear that when a people are forcibly blockaded into the world’s largest open air prison, when their attempts at peaceful protest are met with assassinations, snipers, bombs and mass imprisonment, when their children are killed with impunity by an occupying military force and when they are slowly denied access to food, water, medicine, shelter and livelihood, they will in desperation turn to a violent uprising against their oppressors.
A real willingness to protect the lives of Israeli civilians must honestly reckon with the causes that have led to this current crisis, and a serious commitment to peace and the sanctity of civilian life must therefore lead to strenuous efforts to undo and mend the root causes of the conflict. There will be no peace without justice. There will be no peace without the emancipation of Palestinians.
With this in mind, Unite union calls for:
An immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and the withdrawal of the Israel Defence Forces from all Palestinian territories.
An immediate end to the siege of Gaza, and the admission of all necessary humanitarian aid, including water, food, medical equipment and fuel.
A solution to the conflict that recognises and enables the Palestinian people’s inalienable rights to self-determination and sovereignty.
The NZ government to significantly increase the humanitarian assistance it is providing for Gaza.
In addition, Unite union actively supports the Council of Trade Unions resolutions on Palestine, in particular the calls for New Zealanders to actively take part in a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) against the Israeli state. We pride ourselves as a nation for our moral stand against South African Apartheid, and need to begin taking actions within our unions and communities to implement BDS measures in order to oppose the Apartheid that the Israeli state continues to impose on Palestinians.
From the River to the Sea - Palestine will be Free
For reliable information from a trusted, international news source, see Al Jazeera News
For non-moderated Palestinian voices from Gaza and the West Bank, Unite suggests these people on Instagram: @wizard_bisan1 @motaz_azaiza @eid_yara @gazangirl @letstalkpalestine @eye.on.palestine @palestineonaplate @khaledbeydoun @byplestia @wael_eldahdouh
For further reading Unite suggests:
Generation Palestine: Voices from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement edited by Rich Wiles
The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi
Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis
The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah
Rifqa by Mohammed El-Kurd
I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti
Salt Houses by Hala Alyan
Rana Barakat. “Criminals or Martyrs? Let the Courts Decide!-British Colonial Legacy in Palestine and the Criminalization of Resistance.” AlMuntaqa, vol. 1, no. 1, 2018, pp. 84–97. JSTOR, https://doi.org/10.31430/almuntaqa.1.1.0084. Accessed 6 Nov. 2023.
Patrick Wolfe, “Settler Colonialism and the Elimination of the Native,” Journal of Genocide Research, 2006 “Invasion is a structure not an event”