Genocide in Gaza

It’s hard to believe that we are here again. Watching helplessly as Israeli planes drop American-funded bombs on civilians in the crowded Gaza Strip. Home to 2.3 million Palestinians subject to a brutal blockade by Israel for 16 years and now victims of a total siege starving the population of food, water and medical supplies. In just twelve days, the death toll exceeded that of the horrifying 90-day 2014 war on Gaza . Unless we stop it, what is unfolding is nothing short of a genocide.

Anyone who watches Al Jazeera News can see with their own eyes the daily demolitions of family homes, apartment blocks, refugee camps, schools and hospitals. Of course, as social workers, we condemn all acts of violence against civilians and the taking of civilian hostages, but we also understand the root causes of violence that lie in 75 years of violent displacement, 56 years of military occupation, a cruel system of apartheid fences, walls and checkpoints and the endless humiliation of armed Israeli settlers evicting Palestinians from their homes and murdering their whānau (under the watchful and complicit eyes of the occupation forces).

Across Aotearoa and the world, people are protesting, rallying and marching in solidarity with Palestinian people. Don’t let anyone tell you that this is too complicated or that this is a religious war. There are many progressive Jewish people overseas, and here in Aotearoa who refuse to be complicit in Israel’s war crimes, they call for a ceasefire now, and an end to the occupation.

The Reimagining Social Work collective stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and with our brothers and sisters in the Palestinian Union of Social Workers and Psychologists. We also support the call issued by the Palestine-Global Mental Health Network.

Green Party MPs outside the US Embassy with activists from Justice for Palestine

In the coming days and weeks, please take time to look beyond mainstream media and take what action you can to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

5 replies on “Genocide in Gaza”

Kia ora Neil
I have written to my MP.
I’m devastated by what’s happening to the people of Gaza and the potential for these horrors to spread.
I want to add my voice to support calls for an immediate ceasefire and for all forms of medical and humanitarian aid to be allowed in.
It is a war crime to bomb hospitals and target fleeing civilians.
I hope our professional association will take a strong stand. We must stand with our colleagues in Palestine as they do their work with bombs falling and their families facing homelessness and terrror.
Ngā mihi maioha for your mahi

Many thanks for taking that action Liz. We are about to witness, on live TV, one of the most appalling acts of genocide in living memory and most of our political leaders (with the exception of the Green Party and Te Pāti Māori) have been struck dumb. This isn’t a party political issue, and it isn’t about the idiotic mantra of “Israel’s right to defend itself”, it’s about human rights and humanitarian law. Israel has no right to murder Palestinian men, women and children in an act of collective punishment, that’s a war crime. Or to hold to ransom the lives of Palestinian babies on incubators till the power runs out. We must call for a ceasefire now, before it’s too late.

Kia ora Neil, thank you for reminding us that despite the sometimes overwhelming horror and rage at that horror there are things we can still do. Nga mihi nui e hoa. Liz Mahoney

I only hope this horrible genocide perpetrated by Israel with the help of USA will end before it becomes something common.

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