Golriz Ghahraman: Our stand for the statehood rights of Palestinians

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NZ protest for Palestine
Multicultural protesters in a massive New Zealand demonstration in solidarity with Palestine in Auckland at the weekend. Image: David Robie/APR

COMMENTARY: By Golriz Ghahraman

Tomorrow I will move a motion calling on the New Zealand Parliament to join the Green Party in recognising the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and statehood.

This is about acknowledging the humanity and dignity of Palestinians at a time when they are facing extreme violence and degradation, once again, at the hands of Israeli occupying forces.

The harrowing violence we are witnessing in Gaza and East Jerusalem are part of an ongoing atrocity against the Palestinian people.

MP Golriz Ghahraman
Green MP Golriz Ghahraman speaking at the Auckland Nakba rally on Saturday … “we should have responded strongly at the very start of what was very violent systemic attacks on the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem”. Image: David Robie/APR

Violence against civilians, whether committed by Hamas or the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) must be condemned in the strongest terms, but the massively disproportionate death toll — more than 200 Palestinian deaths, 50 of them children, and 10 Israelis, including two children — speaks to the context of a powerful military force indiscriminately attacking a trapped community.

The path forward from the latest bout of violence must be lasting peace, supported by the international community.

Statehood as part of a two-state solution would uphold and celebrate the inherent rights and dignity of Palestinians.

It would allow that strong and resilient community to move forward to a future where Palestinian children can look forward to building their lives free from violence, with hopes and dreams that they so richly deserve.

This is a longstanding Green Party kaupapa that we hope the House will unanimously support.

Golriz Ghahraman is a Green Party list MP and spokesperson on foreign affairs and social justice issues. She is an Iranian-Kiwi refugee and made history as the first ever refugee to be sworn in as an MP in New Zealand.

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