Are Ben and Jerry’s doing the right thing – will Nanaia Mahuta accept the UN appeal?
US ice cream maker Ben and Jerry’s has announced it will no longer sell ice cream in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
This is a welcome development as Israel continues to flout international law with its new government approving the construction of 31 more illegal settlements reserved for Jews in the occupied West Bank, alongside the destruction of Palestinian homes and ethnic cleansing in courts of Palestinian families in the occupied territories. East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers.
It appears the move may be linked to last week’s request by UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk that countries recognize Israel’s sponsorship of Israeli settlers on Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank as “a crime of war under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Code Search. “
The Special Rapporteur calls these settlers (680,000 in nearly 300 illegal settlements) “the engine of the 54-year-old Israeli occupation, the longest in the modern world”.
This UN report gives the government the opportunity to publicize New Zealand’s aversion to these ongoing racist policies against the Palestinians.
New Zealand has been silent since 2016, when the last National-led government co-sponsored United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which declared Israel’s illegal settlements to have “no legal validity” and constituted a “flagrant violation of international law”.
The next step – as requested by the United Nations last week, is for New Zealand to declare this policy of the Israeli settlers as a “war crime”.
Five years of silence is complicity with Israel’s war crimes. It’s not acceptable.
The ANSP wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on this matter yesterday. We expect the government to speak up.
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