You TubeFacebookTwitterflickrGoogle plus
Sunday, 24 February 2019 07:11 pm

Peace rallies for Israel and Palestine take to Wellington streets

Jul 22nd, 2014 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

ISRAEL RALLY: Stocy Lindon (center) and Robert Lsiana (right) stand in support for Israel.

AS Israel launched a ground offensive in Gaza, white doves and loudspeakers were used to support both sides of the conflict in inner city Wellington.

Both rallies, pro-Israeli in Midland Park, and pro-Palestine in Brandon St opposite the Israeli Embassy, were peaceful demonstrations.

Police were at the sidelines of both rallies, shutting down access to Brandon St for a short time when the pro-Palestine crowd filled the road.

At Midland Park on Lambton Quay, the rally in support of Israel was held with songs, speeches and white picket signs.

Church communities in Hawkes Bay, Hastings and Palmeston North brought a “busload of people” to the rally.

“I am not of Jewish descent, not of Israel, but I am a fair-minded New Zealander,” said Tony Martin, from Palmerston North.

Mr Martin says the view of Israel in the media and its state of war “is talking disproportionally”.

“First and foremost this is a peace rally. It is about Shalom.”

“If the missiles stopped this very hour, the war would stop this hour.”

“If I was to shoot you and you were to shoot back but I put my family in front of me to block it – what would you think?”

rallynigel150Among the group were a group from Flaxmere Christian Fellowship in Hastings, including Stocy Lindon.

GOD DEFEND: ‘Heartlanders’ bring doves to be released for Israel at Midland Park.

“We only heard about it last Saturday and decided to come down and show our support,” Mr Lindon says.

The group was led by pastor Nigel Woodley (left).

“Israel wants peace. Israel has the right to protect its people,” said Mr Woodley.

“Israel recognises the sovereignty of other nations and is willing to negotiate but Hamas refuses to listen.”

Mr Woodley says elimination of Hamas is the only way to ensure a lasting resolution.

“Israel is doing its best to negotiate but it is impossible when you have to lie down with a rattlesnake.”

Nearby about 200 people gathered in support of Palestine outside the Embassy of Israel.

SPEAKING OUT: Dougal McNeill addresses the crowd outside the Israeli Embassy as a family recently returned from Palestine look on.

Groups represented at the protest included Wellington Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), Fightback, Students for Justice in Palestine and International Socialist Organisation NZ.

Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement were there in support, with a MANA flag on display.

“Rallies like this are not a charity case,” says Dougal McNeill of Wellington BDS.

“We do not consider them victims but stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine.”

“Even before the murders [of three Israeli teenagers and a Palestinian] there were issues because Israel refuses to recognise Palestine land.”

“We are calling for Israel to stop firing their missiles, to acknowledge Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Palestine and allow the many Palestine refugees to return to their homeland.”

Mr McNeill said Hamas was democratically elected by Gaza.

rallyflag400“There are no excuses,” says Kat Goodman, from Wellington BDS.

“The New Zealand government needs to take a stand and put pressure on Israel with sanctions, both economic and political.”

“We want the New Zealand superannuation fund to stop investing in G4S [a multi-national security company] which profits from human rights abuses in Israel,” says Ms Goodman.

Students and children were at both rallies.

Mr McNeill says the children are often personally affected by the events.

“The kids have a very good grasp of the issue.”

“Many of them come from families who have been dispossessed from their homes as a result [of the conflict]. This is familiar to them.”

rallyinp650

SPLIT OPINION: Picket signs and cameras at the ready at both rallies.

 

israelrally650

STUDENT SUPPORT: From left – Hijra Fathimath from the Maldives, Masako Kawaguchi from Japan, Hadeel Salman of Iraqi-Egyptian descent and Thoraya Abdul-Rassol from Iraq.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

is a Whitireia Journalism student
Email this author | All posts by

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Radio News