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Newsworthy 23 March 2005

Newsworthy 23 March 2005

The Jewish community and Israel

There is little doubt that even although the NZ Bill of Rights outlaws discrimination on ethnic and race grounds, that the present Government is anti-Jewish.

This is a community which is widely admired for the accomplishments of its scholars, artists and scientists. The reason for the prejudice is not clear but is manifested in a raft of ways including

- the voting pattern of the Government in the United Nations on resolutions relating to Palestine or the Middle East. In looking at resolutions since 1999 the Government has voted against the Israel interest
- the mean-spirited attitude to deny a visa application to Gabi Ashkenazi when it was made clear that his intention was to visit New Zealand in a private capacity to address a private function of the New Zealand Jewish community in Auckland on 13 March 2005.
- The decision to halt public funding for the circumcision of male infants.

Most of us still remember the surprising photograph of the New Zealand Foreign Minister walking hand in hand with former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in May 2003 in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Political correctness round 6

The Tertiary Education Commission is responsible for bringing strategic direction to the system. Some of its decisions are curious. It has decided to allocate funding from the Strategic Priorities Fund on courses:
- in homeopathy for pets
- called the art of health, which includes an “understanding of the effect of colour on the human soul”, and “metamorphosis and transition”, which “will be explored … through transition in colour and movement, as well as through Myth, Fairy Tale or poetry”
- called “Dynamic line drawing” as a “means of exploring the 4 elements… as a basis of all form”.

It shows a wholly wrong sense of priorities when the parents of autistic children who have waited five years for a better service for children with autism have received no help.

“We are all New Zealanders now”

That was the title of a speech which Trevor Mallard MP gave to Victoria University in July 2004. He said “Maori have no extra rights or privileges under the Treaty or in the policy of the New Zealand Government.”

In an exercise in hypocrisy it was no surprise to see that the National Interest Analysis released on the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement with Thailand includes the words “nothing in this agreement shall preclude the adoption by New Zealand of measures it deems necessary to accord more favourable treatment to Maori in respect of matters covered by this agreement, including the fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi”.

We need a Government which is committed to equality of treatment for all. The current Government is not that Government.

Policing is hard grind

We have one of the finest police forces in the world in terms of the integrity and commitment of our officers. It is difficult work. A night in a patrol car with a Police team is eloquent testimony of that.

Despite adverse media comment, some of which is high profile, the Police deserve our unstinting support.

Political Quote of the Week

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure", George W Bush.


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