The announcement yesterday that the US will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem has widely been seen as a provocation to the Palestinian people, and wider Arab World. It has received widespread condemnation.

Janfrie Wakim of the NZ Palestine Solidarity Network notes:

“Donald Trump’s announcement to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem is a catastrophic provocation which will have worldwide ramifications. Jerusalem as a shared capital of both Palestine and Israel has been a cornerstone of all negotiations. Israel took Jerusalem by force in 1967 and its continued military occupation of East Jerusalem is both illegal and illegitimate.  Trump’s actions defy UN resolutions (deeply ironic because Israel was created by the UN) and destroy chances of peace and security in the entire region while provoking violence, encouraging extremists around the world, and inflaming religious and spiritual sentiments. Fortunately his announcement has found no support from US allies and we hope the New Zealand government will condemn it too.”

The NZ government has not yet condemned the move, nor does it seem likely that it will do so. In the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement, NZ First insisted on a clause noting ‘displeasure’ with NZ’s sponsorship of the 2016 UN resolution that condemned illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories. On Morning Report today, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said the US move was “unhelpful”. When asked about the coalition demand, he said that it was the process that he took issue with. When pressed further about the actual content of the resolution, he said that it was in the past so there was no point in having an opinion about it. This points to New Zealand’s own “unhelpful” position on Palestine, and the need for a clear message that New Zealanders support Palestinian aspirations not just for immediate action to end illegal settlements, but for an end to the occupation of all Palestinian lands.

We encourage people to join the protest on Saturday, 9 December @ 2pm @ Aotea Square & stand in solidarity with Palestine.

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