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NZ must make position clear on Israel-Gaza conflict

18 November 2012
 
NZ must make position clear on Israel-Gaza conflict

The Government needs to urgently and clearly state New Zealand’s views on the violence in Israel and Gaza, the Green Party said today.
 
The Green Party’s call comes after the latest round of Israeli air attacks on Gaza, which levelled the headquarters of Hamas and killed 15, including civilians.  The death toll following Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air strikes on Gaza stands at 40 Gazans and 3 Israelis.
 
“Foreign Minister Murray McCully needs to convey New Zealand’s concern over the disproportionate military response Israel has mounted
in response to provocation from Gaza,” said Green Party global affairs spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.
 
“In our view such excessive force breaches international law and cannot be condoned.
 
“New Zealand should call upon Israel to act as a responsible and law-abiding global citizen, which would be a major step forward in the path to peace in the Middle East.
 
“New Zealand should urge a change in approach by the US, which has simply stressed Israel’s right to self-defence while leaving Israel to determine its tactics to that end.  It is time that the US acknowledged the imperative of applying an international law strategy for peace.
 
“New Zealand should also call upon Hamas to refrain from rocket attacks on Israel. Such actions comprise a senseless provocation, which Israel uses to devastate Gaza’s infrastructure, and for which Palestinians pay dearly through their lives.
 
“It is time for Fatah and Hamas to make a renewed effort at a consensus over the future of Palestine.
 
“Their continuing divisions are blocking progress towards full statehood and an official role for Palestine in the Middle East,” said Dr Graham.

ENDS

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Gordon Campbell:
On First Time Voting (Centre Right)

For the next two days, I’m turning my column over to two guest columnists who are first time voters. I’ve asked them to explain why they were voting, for whom and what role they thought their parental upbringing had played in shaping their political beliefs ; and at the end, to choose a piece of music.

One guest columnist will be from the centre right, one from the centre left. Today’s column is from the centre right – by James Penn:

As someone who likes to consider himself, in admittedly vainglorious fashion, a considered and rational actor, the act of voting for the first time is a somewhat confusing one. I know that my vote has a close to zero chance of actually influencing the outcome of Parliament. The chance I will cast the marginal vote that adds to National or Act’s number of seats in Parliament is miniscule. The chance, even if I did, that doing so would affect the government makes voting on a strictly practical level even more spurious as a worthwhile exercise.

But somehow I have spent a large amount of time (perhaps detrimentally so, depending on the outcome of my upcoming exams) agonising over how to cast my first vote in a national election. More>>

 

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