Palestine solidarity group condemns ‘colonial violence’ in Rafah, Kanaky

Decolonisation solidarity for both Palestine and Kanaky
Decolonisation solidarity for both Palestine and Kanaky . . . a sea of Kanak flags at the protests in Nouméa this month - but there have also been many Palestinian banners raised high. Image: FB @Tishphotographer

Asia Pacific Report

A New Zealand solidarity group for Palestine with a focus on settler colonialism has condemned the latest atrocities by the Israeli military in its attack on Rafah — in defiance of the International Court of Justice order last Friday to halt the assault — and also French brutality in Kanaky New Caledonia.

In its statement, Justice for Palestine (J4Pal) said that Monday had been “a day of unconscionable and unforgivable violence” against the people of Rafah.

As global condemnation over the attack on displaced Palestinians in a tent camp and the UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting on the ground invasion, a new atrocity was reported yesterday.

Israeli forces shelled a tent camp in a designated “safe zone” west of Rafah and killed at least 21 people, including 13 women and girls, in the latest mass killing of Palestinian civilians.

“Gaza deserves better. Kanaky deserves better. Aotearoa deserves better. All our babies deserve better,” said the group.

“It is not our role to articulate what indigenous Kanak people are fighting for. Kanak people are the experts in their own lives and struggle, and they must be listened to on their own terms at this critical moment,” the statement said.

“Our work for Palestinian rights is, however, part of a larger struggle against settler-colonialism. It is our duty, honour and joy to make connections in this common struggle.

‘Dangerous ideologies’
“These connections begin right here in Aotearoa, where Māori never ceded sovereignty. As New Zealand’s current government, France and Israel all demonstrate, the dangerous ideologies of colonialism are not yet the footnotes in history we strive to make them.

“We recognise common injustices:

• The failure of media to place the current uprising in the context of 150 years of history of French violence in Kanak,
• The characterisation of Kanak activists as ‘terrorists’ all while a militarised foreign force represses them on their own land,
• The deliberate transfer of a settler population to disenfranchise indigenous people and their control over their own territory,
• A refusal to engage with the righteous aspirations of the Kanak people, and
•The lack of support from Western governments around these aspirations.”

Justice for Palestine said in its statement that it was its sincere belief that a world without colonialism was not only necessary, it was near.

“With thanks to the steadfastness of not only Kanak, Māori and Palestinian people, and indigenous people everywhere.

“The struggle of the Kanak people is an inspiration and reminder that while we may face the brute power of empire, we are many, and we are not going anywhere.”

Justice for Palestine is a human rights organisation working in Aotearoa to promote justice, peace and freedom for the Palestinian people.

It added: “Now is the hour for Te Tiriti justice, and liberation for both the Kanak and Palestinian people.”

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