Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Open Letter To Helen Clark On Palestine

5 April 2002

Rt Hon. Helen Clark
The Prime Minister,
Parliament Buildings,

Dear Ms Clark,

We, the undersigned community leaders, creative artists, and senior academics are writing to express our deep dismay at the rapid escalation of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and at the heavy loss of life which it has entailed. Whilst we unreservedly condemn bombing attacks on Israeli civilians, we believe that a major responsibility for the current crisis lies with the government of Prime Minister Sharon whose apparent commitment to a military solution is inflicting intolerable suffering upon the Palestinian people. This, in turn, is inviting further attacks on its own citizens, and endangering the entire world community. Accordingly we urge the New Zealand Government to do everything in its power to help bring the fighting to an end, and to return the parties to the negotiating table. While we welcome the statement from the Foreign Minister in this morning’s New Zealand Herald, we would urge Government to take a more active position on this issue. Specifically we recommend:

(1) That the Government express its condemnation of all violent actions against the civilian populations of Israel and Palestine.

(2) That the Prime Minister summon the Israeli Ambassador and make plain to her the unacceptability both of the excesses being committed by the Israeli army in Palestinian territory, and of the larger policies that enable such brutality; and that she express repugnance at the army’s treatment of the international press. and its refusal, in contravention of internationally accepted rules, to allow the Red Cross and Red Crescent to assist the wounded.

(3) That the Government seek to persuade the Government of the United States to restrain its Israeli allies in order to rebuild the peace process.

(4) That the Government seek to work with New Zealand’s friends and allies in the Commonwealth, Western Europe and elsewhere to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East.

(5) That the Government instruct New Zealand’s representative at the United Nations to support all efforts to secure an immediate Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territory.

(6) That the Government publicly endorse the Saudi peace proposal with its guarantees for the secure future of Israel, and commit itself to ensuring the rapid implementation of all United Nations resolutions on Palestine.

(7) That the Government express New Zealand’s support for those peace groups inside both Israel and Palestine that have struggled for decades to achieve a just solution to this protracted conflict.

(8) That, failing an early cessation of hostilities and an unconditional return to the negotiating table, New Zealand should consider sanctions against those responsible.

In view of the urgency of this situation, we ask you to act as immediately and as publicly as possible.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Neill

Rev Keith Taylor
Methodist Mission Northern

Barry Reay

Ross Wilson
President, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions

Jan Kemp

Rosalind Hursthouse

Sukhi Turner
Mayor of Dunedin City

Jocelyn Harris

Elspeth Sandys

Robert Nola

Judith Binney

Albert Wendt

Annie Goldson

Roger Horrocks

Greer Twiss

Rod Brodie

Jane Kelsey

Witi Ihimaera

Dr Murray Edmond

Gil Hanly

Nigel Haworth

The Rt Rev Richard Randerson
Dean of Auckland (Anglican).

Michele Leggott

Jonathan Boston

Susan St John

Nicholas Tarling

Joce Jesson

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election