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


Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news