PSNA has written to Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta urging the government to withdraw from a webinar project with Israel’s agricultural sector.

Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department for Primary Industries, John Roche, is due to speak at the online event on February 15-16.

The webinar is designed to establish “strategic partnerships in agriculture” with Israel, with assistance from the Israeli Embassy and the Government of Aotearoa in New Zealand. It is an outrage!

“Israel’s agricultural sector is based on ethnic cleansing, war crimes and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people,” said PSNA national chairman John Minto.

“Our government and our farmers should demand that Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to their land instead of helping Israel profit from this stolen land”

The Israeli agricultural sector is based on:

  • Abuse of international law. (e.g. illegal Jewish-only settlements built on occupied Palestinian land)
  • War crimes (for example, the illegal construction of settlements on occupied Palestinian land is a war crime under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court)
  • Violation of UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. (e.g. UNGA 194, UNSC 242. UNSC 2334)
  • The ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their land and the blatant refusal to allow refugees to return to their land (UNGA 194)
  • Frequent racist attacks by Israeli settlers, supported by the Israel Defense Forces, against Palestinian farmers (e.g. here, here, here and here
  • Seizure of water supplies and flagrant theft of water from Palestinian farmers. (eg here and here)
  • Destruction of Palestinian crops and olive groves (e.g. here, here and here)
  • Examples of sewage drainage on Palestinian lands and crops (e.g. here and here)
  • Indiscriminate aerial spraying of Palestinian farmland along the border with Gaza. (e.g. here, here, here and here)

“This Agritech seminar is a celebration of ethnic cleansing, war crimes and human rights abuses.”

Withdrawal is the only moral and ethical course for the government.

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