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PM Using Double Standards says Prebble

Double Standards says Prebble

Prime Minister Helen Clark is again using double standards in demanding a "triple-A" apology from the Israeli government for the attempt by Israeli agents to obtain New Zealand passports, ACT MP Richard Prebble said today.

"Governments do not give or ask for "triple A" apologies. The last time one was demanded was by the Austrian government from Serbia, the result being World War I.

"When Helen Clark was reported around the world saying that Al Gore would have handled the Iraqi crisis better than President Bush, Helen Clark did not apologise. She merely expressed regret that the US administration was upset. The Israelis have offered a far better apology than Helen Clark has ever given anyone.

"When the French government committed an act of terrorism that blew up the Rainbow Warrior and killed a crew member, the New Zealand government's reaction was more measured. Trade and diplomatic relations never stopped. A few weeks after the explosion the French firm Thompson won a multi-million dollar contract to supply avionics to the SOE Airways. In contrast, Israeli firms are being told they will not win any tender for any government contract until Clark has her "triple A" apology.

"It is not as if it is news that New Zealand passports are the document of choice of world's spies. The Russian spy Blake who penetrated British security used a New Zealand passport. The Russians have never apologised.

"One is left with the impression that Helen Clark's attitude is the result of her personal hostility to Israel that saw Foreign Minister Goff embracing Yasser Arafat and snubbing Israel. New Zealand is in danger of being caught out by events. The election of a democratic leader of the Palestinians has seen rapid progress to peace while Helen Clark is still issuing shrill threats."

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