It’s no surprise that a group of Māori doctors have constructed and signed a letter showing their solidarity with Palestine. After all, they see both themselves and Palestinians as people of color who were brutally oppressed by white colonialists (Jews are seen as “white-adjacent”, analogous to New Zealand’s “settler-colonialists” from England, often call representatives of “The Crown”). And so, from the New Zealand Doctor, we have the following letter, sent via a physician who wants to remain anonymous (of course). The accompanying email said this:
This is medicine, not science, but I thought I should send this to you as an example of the elasticity of the local brand of critical social justice ideology.
And the letter:
AN OPEN LETTER
17th October 2023
MĀORI DOCTORS IN SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINE AN OPEN LETTER
We the undersigned, as Māori medical practitioners, medical students, academics, and as members of the global Indigenous health community, wish to convey our grave and urgent concern for the genocide the people of Palestine face on their ancestral lands. We offer solidarity with Palestine and condemn the violent dispossession and oppression of Palestinians at the hands of the nation-state of Israel, who are supported in their actions by the U.S, the U.K and even some of our own politicians. We write to say they do not speak for us. We condemn colonialism in all forms, we condemn racism, including anti-Muslim racism and we condemn hate.
Locating ourselves at the intersection of Indigenous solidarity and medicine requires us to always speak in solidarity with those who stand against colonialism and racism, to speak for those who cannot speak, and to always challenge those who refuse to speak. We refuse to be silent and complicit as we observe the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people. We cannot be silent while human rights and Indigenous rights are being violated. We understand the blocking of access to crucial emergency healthcare services as a facilitator of genocide. The denial of access to healthcare and medical supplies in the context of war is a further denial of Palestinian humanity.
We call for the widespread condemnation and immediate cessation of the military assault on the peoples of Palestine. As a collective of Indigenous doctors, student doctors and academics we stand in solidarity with a free Palestine. Again we say, Free Palestine.
In indigenous solidarity,
Note that there is not an iota of empathy for Israel or what they suffered during the violence of October 7, or the ongoing Hamas terrorism (they continue to fire rockets into Israel); no mention of Hamas, and no mention of the kidnappings (do they think kidnapping is okay?) There is condemnation of “anti-Muslim racism and hate”, but no condemnation of anti-Semitism. There has never been “ethnic cleansing” of Palestinians in Gaza, but that’s what the Palestinians and Hamas explicitly want for Israel (“from the river to the sea. . . . and so on; and read the Hamas charter). There is no mention of Palestinians being used as human shields, no mention of Palestinian hospitals used as institutional shields for terrorists who operate beneath them. The hospital issue is particularly odious, and surely a group of doctors would object to using doctors and patients as human shields, wouldn’t they?
I’m wondering if the statement, “Locating ourselves at the intersection of Indigenous solidarity and medicine requires us to always speak in solidarity with those who stand against colonialism and racism. . ” means that the signers would have supported Hamas before Israel started defending itself. After all, Hamas claims to stand against colonialism and anti-Muslim racism, so aren’t they required to be supported?
There is no moral compass here, just approbation for one side and condemnation for the side that was viciously attacked. It’s a good example about how one’s moral judgements can be warped by social-justice considerations and misguided identity politics.
Did I mention that Hamas is still firing rockets at Israel, targeting civilians? And that over 200 hostages from Israel and other places remain in Hamas’s hands? The Māori doctors, far away on an island, apparently don’t care; they sympathize with one side only.
There are a pile of signers whose names I’ve put below the fold for the record (access is restricted to the journal)
Click “continue reading” to see the signers:
Dr Jaclyn Aramoana-Arlidge – General Surgery Registrar (Waikato) Professor Papaarangi Reid – Public Health Physician, Academic (Te Rarawa) Prof David Tipene-Leach (Ngāti Kahungunu), Research Professor, Public Health Physician Dr Kasey Tawhara – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (Ngāti Raukawa ki te tonga, Ngāti Porou, Te Arawa, Ngāti Ruanui) Dr Arihia Waaka – Anaesthesiologist (Ngati Maahanga, Ngati Pikiao, Ngati Tuwharetoa, Ngati Whakaue) Dr Jessica Keepa – FRNZCGP (Ngāti Porou) Dr Erena Browne – Obstetrics and Gynaecology Registrar (Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai, Ngāti Awa) Dr Jesse-Ana Harris (Ngāti Kahu, Ngāti Kahu ki Whangaroa) Dr Makere Beale (Anaesthetic Registrar) Ngāti Porou, Te Whānau-ā-Apanui Dr Donna Cormack – Health researcher and teacher (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe) Dr Haylie Griffen – General Surgery Registrar (Ngāti Awa) Dr Amanda Gimblett (Waikato, Ngāti Maniapoto) Dr Nukumai Wallace – Urgent Care Senior Registrar (Ngāti Tūwharetoa) Dr Molly Anderson – GP Registrar (Ngāpuhi) Caleb Simpkins – (Ngati Rangiwewehi) Dr Mania Campbell-Seymour – GP Registrar (Te Whakatōhea, Te Aitanga a Mahaki, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Te Wairoa, Tūhoe) Dr Rachel Thomson GP – (Te Whanau a Apanui) Dr Ranginui Flavell – Psychiatric Registrar (Ngati Rangiwehehi, Taranaki iwi) Chloe Fergusson-Tibble – Trainee Intern (Te Hikutū, Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairoa) Dr Eden Florence (Kai Tahu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) Dr Rawiri McKree Jansen, (Ngati Hinerangi, Ngati Raukawa) Dr Matua Jansen, (Ngati Kahungunu, Te Atiawa, Ngati Raukawa) Dr Ben Jansen, (Ngati Hinerangi, Ngati Raukawa) Dr Jane Thomas, Paediatric Anaesthetist and Pain Medicine Specialist (Ngati Porou, Ngati Kahungungu) Dr Jade Tamatea – Endocrinologist and clinical academic (Ngāti Maniapoto, Te Aitanga ā Māhaki) Dr Clarence Kerrison – Gastroenterologist (Ngāti Mākino, Ngāti Awa, Tūwharetoa) Dr Casey Te Rangi (Ngati Tuwharetoa) Dr Tier-Jayde Baker – GP registrar (Ngati awa, te aitanga a hauiti, te whanau a apanui, ngapuhi) Tiana Low – Trainee Intern (Te Arawa, Ngāti Whakaue) Dr Tawera Wharetohunga (Ngati Te Ata, Te Waiohua, Te Waiariki) Dr Joshua Manukonga (Taranaki; Ngā Ruahine ) Tessa Shepherd (Trainee Intern) – Ngāpuhii; Ngāti Hine) Atawhai Stokes, (Ngati Porou, Ngai te rangi) Travis Glassie, (Te Rarawa) Denver Ruwhiu Dr Ashleigh Jensen, (Ngāti Pōrou) Dr Poriana Wall Rebekah Doherty (Training Intern) – Tūhoe, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Raukawa Cushla Moscrip – Trainee Intern (Ngāpuhi) Dr Winnie-Mae Read-Eden (Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu) Dr Courtney Sullivan – Ngāti Awa, Taranaki, Ngāti Maru Dr Selwyn Te Paa – Ngāti Whātua, Waikato-Tainui Dr Claire Manning – Kāi Tahu Stacy-Ria King – (Rongowhakaata, Tuhoe, Ngapuhi) Dr Asti Ormsby-Grard GP Registrar – Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāpuhi, Tainui, Ngāti Ranginui Sophia Stewart – Ngāti Kahungnunu ki Wairoa Tanira Kingi (medical student) -Ngāti Whakaue, Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Toa Rangatira, Ngāpuhi, Te Whakatohea Peter Te Para Parker – Ngāti Moko (Tapuika), Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Rangitihi, Tūhourangi- Ngāti Wahiao, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Rarawa Breana Jones – Trainee Intern – Ngāti Kahungunu, Te Aitanga a Hauiti, Ngā Rauru Dr Holly Shuja – Ngati Porou Māia Lockyer – Ngāti Kahungunu ki Heretaunga, Ngāti Porou, Rongomaiwahine Dr Liam Gray – Ngāpuhi Te Oranoa Matthews – Medical Student – Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri Logan Murray Dr Zarah Allport (Te Āti Awa) Dr Amanda Smith (Te Uri o Hau, Ngāti Whātua) Dr Te Rina Maze (Ngāti Whitikaupeka, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa) Dr Tayla Darrah (Ngāpuhi, Ngati Maru) Dr Yahaira Williams (Ngāti Kahungunu) Dr Emma Wehipeihana (Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāti Porou) Dr Georgia Richmond (Te Āti Awa) Dr Sam Jackson (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Kahu o Whangaroa) Dr Anna Poutu Fay (Ngāti Porou) Dr Kate Ruttley (Kāi Tahu) Merinda Latham Dr Arama Rata (Ngāruahine, Taranaki, Ngāti Maniapoto, Ngāti Apakura) Dr Sophie Stevenson (Ngāti Rangitihi) Chryssie Mikayla Williams (Ngā Puhi) Miss Tiana Maclean-Toro Te Rina Keogh (Ngaati Maniapoto, Hauraki, Ngapuhi) Mr Porourangi Templeton-Reedy – Ngāti Porou, Ngāi Tūhoe, Tainui Dr Nohoana Findlay – Ngāti Awa Dr Maia Melbourne-Wilcox – Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungungu Julian Laking – Te Whakatōhea Dr Dominique Vao – Ngati Ruanui Dr Jayden Ball – Te Ātiawa Tina Ngata – Ngati Porou Sina Brown-Davis – Te Roroa, Te Uriohau Dr Hinetamatea Mikaere GP registrar – Ngāti Pukenga, Ngāti Raukawa Dr Holly Wilson – Ngāpuhi Awhina Meikle – Trainee Intern – Ngāti Kuri, Te Aupōuri, Te Rarawa, Ngāpuhi Dr Saana Taylor – Whakatōhea Kerena Wano – Taranaki, Te Atiawa, Te Whānau a Apanui, Te Whakatōhea, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Porou Dr Tania Huria – Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mutunga ki Wharekauri Zoe Cotter Dr Mahum Afraz AProf Waikaremoana Waitoki (Ngāti Mahanga, Ngāti Hako) Te Ata – Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato, Ngāti Apakura, Rereahu, Ngāpuhi Kate Bryant – Waitaha, kāti māmoe, kāi tahu Dr Te Kotahitanga Piripi – Te Rarawa Dr Meg Beaumont – Ngāti Maniapoto Fran Kewene – Waikato, Maniapoto Jeannine Stairmand – Ngati Porou