The Wellington Palestine Group states that it was collectively responsible for the action which Gerard Burns undertook at the Yitzak Rabin Memorial in Wellington on Tuesday. Gerard Burns courageously carried out the symbolic act which was prepared and planned by the Group.
Wellington Palestine Group spokesperson Omar Khamoun says “we chose this memorial in Wellington as the object of our protest to highlight the long trajectory of Palestinian dispossession and suffering, which former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin was party to”.
Khamoun says “Israeli historians document Rabin’s war crimes including the key role he played in the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the districts of Lydda and Ramleh in 1948; his leading of Israeli forces in the 1967 occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan Heights. He is also infamous for his "broken bones policy" which openly encouraged breaking bones of peaceful Palestinian demonstrators during the first Intifada”
The memorial which was placed in Wellington in 2000 without public consultation is sponsored by the Jewish National Fund (JNF). Khamoun says “The Jewish National Fund (JNF) is a racist organisation that administers the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by managing land stolen from the Palestinians for the exclusive benefit of the Israeli Jewish population.”
The group also chose the memorial to illustrate the insidiousness of the international public relations campaign waged by Israel creating mythical stories of figures like Rabin as peacemakers. “Rabin was never a peacemaker. Even after the signing of Oslo, he declared in front of the Israeli parliament that Israel will get peace without conceding anything”. Khamoun says.
The Wellington Palestine Group supports a solution to the Palestine/Israel question based on UN resolutions 242 and 194, but it sees this becoming increasingly difficult because of Israeli settlements and ongoing military repression.
Vatican justice and peace minister Cardinal Renato Martino described Gaza yesterday as “increasingly resembl[ing] a big concentration camp.” The military history of Rabin and the present bombing of Gaza make “spilling blood” on Rabin’s plaque entirely appropriate.
If the newly founded ‘Kiwi Friends of Israel’ are so offended by a drop of blood mixed with water soluble paint, then they should be outraged by the rivers of blood flowing in the streets, mosques, schools and hospitals of Gaza. What is really being desecrated, a stone monument or the sacredness of real lives?