Flotilla mission a media ‘stunt’ for deported Green MP Marama Davidson

October 9, 2016 by Keren Cook
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New Zealand Green MP Marama Davidson has arrived back in New Zealand after being deported from Israel.Her family, friends, supporters and Green Party members greeted Davidson early on Saturday morning at Auckland Airport.

Marama Davison

Marama Davidson

Israeli authorities detained the Green MP on Thursday (NZ time) after last month joining the Women’s Peace Flotilla.

The ship, called Zaytouna-Oliva, whose mission was to highlight the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Davidson confirms that her phone was confiscated from her after Israeli Authorities took her and a group of women onboard.

The Navy sent both female and male navy combat soldiers to escort the boat to Ashdod, according to an IDF spokesperson.

The IDF stated that they took over the boat once it was clear that the women would not willingly sail to Ashdod and the process was quick with no casualties.

Reports confirm the Navy cut off the boat’s communication before the take over, preventing the on board Al Jazeera correspondent from broadcasting live.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei confirmed last week that Davidson was safe and well and received no ill-treatment during her arrest and detention in Israel.

Davidson also reported on her arrival yesterday that the group was treated well, however, the women were detained in prison overnight.

Israeli reports stated that the 13 female activists were held at the port of Ashdod, and were questioned by police, and then deported shortly after.

Initially, Davidson had no idea where she was being sent or if anybody knew she was being deported.

She commended the “courageous” women who had been aboard the flotilla and said they were committed to a non-violent protest.

“There was no reason at all for the Israelis to intercept us,” she said.

The Green MP was “not surprised” to hear her trip had been criticized by Police Minister Judith Collins, who labeled Davidson’s mission as a “stunt”.

“When I saw her standing up, saying, ‘Ohhh and if you see this then we’ve been taken’, I thought, beam me up Scotty.

“For goodness sake, she’s paid to do the job here, and this is a stunt. Give her points for being able to get huge media attention and do a stunt, but that’s actually what it is.”

AUT history professor Paul Moon called the protest boat “a ship of fools”, saying Davidson did not seem to understand the political situation in the Middle East.

“The entire event has the appearance of a cheap media stunt. The protestors have deliberately breached the Oslo Accords, International maritime law, and domestic Israeli law, and have resorted to melodramatic language to dramatise what has been a mundane end to their protest,” says Moon.

According to Kia Ora Gaza, part of the NZ Palestine Solidarity Network, reports said an Israeli naval ship, operated by female combat troops and cadets, had illegally intercepted the boat in international waters, forcing it off course.

Sabine Haddad, spokeswoman for Israel’s Interior Ministry said the all-female crew was given the option to leave Israel before being detained but they refused.

Notably, the new Green Party MP did warn colleagues in her first parliamentary speech: “My name is Marama Davidson, and I come from a long line of stubbornness.”


2 Responses to “Flotilla mission a media ‘stunt’ for deported Green MP Marama Davidson”
  1. norman goldbereg says:


  2. Lynne Newington says:

    She wasn’t the only one.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-09/madeleine-habib-detained-during-gaza-protest-returns-home/7915228. And just as well this flag flying bishop has had his wings clipped.
    Remember him?

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