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  • Henry Broadbent

Justice for Palestine: Hope in the Face of Horror

Words and Photos by HENRY BROADBENT (HE/HIM)




On Sunday the 7th of April thousands of Wellingtonians marched from Civic Square to Parliament, in solidarity with Gaza. Speeches called for the government to both increase diplomatic pressure on Israel, and to join South Africa’s genocide case against it in the International Court of Justice. The march fell on a series of grim milestones—six months of ethnic cleansing, mass bombardment, forced starvation, and escalating war crimes in the territory; at least 33,000 Palestinans killed, 14,500 of them children, and 9,500 women.


Speeches given to the crowd detailed, unflinchingly, the deliberate pattern of violence against civilians practised by the Israeli military. Serena, from Aotearoa Healthcare Workers for Palestine, described how at the destroyed Al-Shifa hospital, “clinical areas [are] turned into interrogation rooms, staff stripped naked … [there are] mass graves.”


Each day, the incomprehensible scale of devastation in the Gaza Strip grows. We are presented with report after report of inhumanity, horror, death and cruelty on an impossible scale, horribly contextualised by the desperate stories of individual Gazans and their families. In the face of this onslaught of information, far away in Aotearoa, it can be hard to avoid feeling helpless. 


The march on Sunday, however, showed a different response—an organised, purposeful expression of solidarity, humanity, and anger. Reflecting on the march, Samira Zaiton, co-convenor of Justice for Palestine, perceived “a growing realisation of the intersectionality of our struggles.” Palestine, she says, has become an ‘anchor’, “lifting the veil on the hypocrisies and wickedness of global imperialism”. She shared how, when Palestinian revolutionary Leila Khaled was asked if she saw a free Palestine in the future, she replied: “as long as we have our clear vision of the revolution, I can see that we will have victory in the end”. In the face of inhumanity, radical hope.


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