Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike at ‘dangerous stage’

Kia Ora Gaza

PressTV video report, 10 May 2017

A Palestinian institution has warned that the open-ended mass hunger strike launched by 1600 Palestinian inmates in Israeli jails over 24 days ago, has entered a ‘dangerous stage’ as health conditions deteriorate.

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Brownlee’s approach ‘betrays UNSC resolution 2334’

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Gerry Brownlee visited NZ troops in Iraq last year (Photo: NZDF)

By Leslie Bravery, PHRC Press Release,, 4 May 2017

New NZ Foreign Affairs Minister’s approach to Israel betrays UNSC Resolution 2334.

According to the Jerusalem Post of 3 May 2017 the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee has written a letter to Mr Netanyahu with congratulations on the Zionist state’s National Day, expressing a desire for the “Israeli-New Zealand relationship to get back on track.” Brownlee failed to ask Netanyahu to explain his threat to interpret New Zealand’s sponsorship of UNSC 2334 as a “declaration of war” and the hostile postponement of travel rights for New Zealand’s ambassador to Israel.

Instead of reminding Netanyahu of Israel’s duty under international law to stop illegal settlement development in the Palestinian West Bank, Brownlee obsequiously begged to restore the relationship as if it were New Zealand that was somehow at fault. Our…

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The Real Reasons behind the Palestinian Hunger Strike

Kia Ora Gaza

Palestinians demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails in Bethlehem. (Photo: MEMO, file)

By Ramzy Baroud, The Palestine Chronicle, 4 May 2017

The Prisoners’ Revolt: The Real Reasons behind the Palestinian Hunger Strike

Gaza is the world’s largest open air prison. The West Bank is a prison, too, segmented into various wards, known as areas A, B and C.  In fact, all Palestinians are subjected to varied degrees of military restrictions. At some level, they are all prisoners.

East Jerusalem is cut off from the West Bank, and those in the West Bank are separated from one another.

Palestinians in Israel are treated slightly better than their brethren in the Occupied Territories, but subsist in degrading conditions compared to the first-class status given to Israeli Jews, as per the virtue of their ethnicity alone.

Palestinians ‘lucky’ enough to escape the handcuffs and shackles are still…

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The Zookeeper’s Wife: Reflections on Past and Present

Global Justice in the 21st Century


I found “The Zookeeper’s Wife,” the 2017 film version of Diane Ackerman’s 2007 non-fiction construction of a tale of heroic resistance to Nazi brutality in Warsaw, deeply moving for several reasons. Although familiar from other films, this renewed exposure to the mentality that informed the Nazi Holocaust powerfully and sensitively rendered, especially through the medium of concrete details (e.g. smuggling Jews from the Warsaw ghetto by hiding them beneath garbage collected to feed pigs, so as elude inspecting guards; or the non-Jewish pediatrician who insisted on accompanying his Jewish students on the train carrying them to the Treblinka death camp; or the contrast between the eco-humanist tenderness toward all kinds of animals and a variety of vulnerable people of the zookeeper and his wife—the real life Żabińskis, Antonina and Jan—and the violent loutishness of the Nazi soldiers and ghetto guards).


The originality of the film arises from…

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‘Ghosts Of Deir Yassin’ by Phil Monsour with Rafeef Ziadah

Kia Ora Gaza

By Phil Monsour, Auckland, 10 April 2017

9 April marks the anniversary of the massacre in Deir Yassin, Palestine 1948 and the infamous terror that expelled 750,000 people from their homes.

Last night in Auckland, as distant from Palestine as you can get, I performed this song with Rafeef Ziadah to 350 people.

Although history will mark the day when justice is served and the refugees have their right to return to a free Palestine. The struggle along the way will be recorded by our determination to remember, the celebrations of our shared humanity and the spirit of our resistance, that filled the theatre in Auckland on 9 April 2017.

Phil Monsour

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Rafeef Ziadah ‘deeply moved’ packed Christchurch audience

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Palestinian poet Rafeef Ziadah with guitarist Phil Monsour performing in Christchurch last night.

Palestinian poet Rafeef Ziadah and musician Phil Monsour performed to a packed auditorium in Christchurch last night – the first show of their New Zealand tour.

Event organiser John Minto described the event as a “fantastic evening” with a “full house and incredible performances.” He said the “audience was deeply moved and everyone was thrilled to have been there.”

Well-known NZ poet, Mohamed Hassan, who also performed, later reported “a really good turn-out tonight and a beautiful show” and “Rafeef and Phil were stunning” presenting a “hearty” performance.

Rafeef and Phil join Mohamed and other local poets at their Wellington event tonight at the Old St Pauls venue, 34 Mulgrave St, Thordon from 7pm. Tickets at the door: $20 waged, $15 unwaged.

Their Auckland show will include a whakatau welcome and the world premiere performance by the…

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