Immigration is not a right
Regarding your article by Terry Coggan on page 12, "500 rally to defend immigrant rights." [Militant, May 13, 1996]
As a person also attending the rally, one needs to give another view of what happened during the speeches. One heard speaker after speaker of their rights to be in Aotearoa-New Zealand, but few acknowledged their responsibilities towards the Indigenous Peoples and those who shared the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. I heard a call for a vigilante group to deal with issues that were being addressed - that of violence! As a Maori in my own land, the opportunity was offered for anyone to speak and so I took this occasion to state the following points:
1. When one goes to another country, then they must respect the people of the land - it is courtesy and respectful and may I add incumbent in many Asian countries to do so.
2. If you wish to reside here, then firstly make oneself aware of the history, that one be informed e.g. Treaty of Waitangi and the obligations of all who wish to reside here under this agreement.
3. Residence in Aotearoa is not of right but a privilege here and in any country one may wish to immigrate to.
4. As Maori - the Indigenous peoples, and I'm of the opinion our Treaty Partner will not, and cannot, condone violence in any form. Peaceful dialogue must be the priority.
5. Resettlement of refugees is not the issue of the day.
6. Aotearoa is first a bi-cultural country. When we accept this, then we can move on to address the fabric of the multicultural mix and then respect for one another will grow.
Finally racism starts with attitudes - maybe the above areas be first addressed. Maybe Mr. Coggan could or should have made reference to the Tangata Whenua statement as well.
Pauline E. Tangiora
Aotearoa, New Zealand
Israeli terror not new
No one should be surprised by the May 8 United Nations report suggesting that Israel's attack on the United Nations refugee camp in southern Lebanon in April was no mistake. Not only is the evidence overwhelming - the pattern, type, and location of artillery shells dropped and videotape shot by a Norwegian soldier in the peacekeeping unit - but Israel's sordid past confirms it as well.
The Israeli state has since its founding worked to perfect the technique of terrorizing the mass populations of Palestinians through these kinds of bombing campaigns. On April 9, 1948, 254 Palestinians were murdered at the village of Deir Yassin by Zionist military units. This led to the mass exodus of some 200,000 Palestinians by the time of the founding of the Israeli state on May 15, 1948. Since then, thousands and thousands of Palestinians have been driven from their homes in successive campaigns, both inside Israel and to other refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and elsewhere.
One of the more horrific examples occurred on Sept. 15, 1982, in the refugee camps at Sabra and Shatila in Lebanon, where an estimated 3,000 Palestinians of a population of 20,000 were brutally tortured and massacred by the Israeli-backed Phalangists, under Israeli protection.
Despite the overwhelming evidence for these and other atrocities by the Israeli rulers, Washington continues its support. Only days after the May 8 revelation, the U.S. government moved to extradite a central Hamas leader from the United States to Israel for the conviction of supposed terrorist crimes in Israel.
Those in the U.S. and around the world who identify with the fight against the Israeli occupation of Lebanon and who are repulsed by Washington's support for the racist, murderous regime in Tel Aviv, need to demand Israel out of Lebanon, an end to all U.S. ties to Tel Aviv, and for the immediate establishment of a democratic, secular Palestine.
New York, New York
`Former Soviet Union?'
The editorial on Chernobyl in the May 13 Militant referred to the "former Soviet Union." Previous Militant articles appeared explaining why the term "former Yugoslavia," could not be used and that we should not give imperialism what it has not been able to take. It would be helpful if the Militant would explain the difference between the two countries and why the same reasoning would not apply to both.
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