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Israeli Consul must convey NZ concerns to Tel Aviv

Israeli Consul must convey NZ concerns to Tel Aviv

The Wellington Palestine Group says the Israel consul David Zwartz should be relaying the concerns New Zealanders have about Israeli violence back to his government in Tel Aviv.

Group spokesperson Omar Khamoun says David Zwartz's rejection of a letter of concern from the Green Party simply indicates Israel arrogance and hypocrisy – rather than any desire for long-term peace.

The Israeli government must get a clear message from the consul, and our own government, that the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon and Gaza is disproportionate, inappropriate and illegal as a war crime of mass punishment under the Geneva Conventions,Khamoun says.

Khamoun says the argument raised by David Zwartz, that the Hamas Charter does not recognise Israel is no argument for not offering to enter meaningful peace talks to end Israeli occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territory.

Does David Zwartz support Israeli political parties in the Israeli parliament, such as Ichud Leumi and Yisrael Beitenu, that not only vow never to allow a Palestinian state to come into existence, but advocate further mass expulsion of Palestinians?

Actions speak louder than words. Israel is building yet more illegal settlements in the West Bank and still building its illegal separation wall to further expand its boundaries. Israel still occupies the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights and part of south Lebanon. David Zwartz is silent on these matters.

Omar Khamoun pointed out that David Zwartz's pointing to Iranian threats against Israel were also contrary to military facts.

It is Israel, not Iran, which has the nuclear, chemical and biological arsenal. Though unreported in New Zealand, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres said in May that Iran too can be wiped off the mapand unlike Iran he has the ability to deliver on this threat.

Khamoun also says that news coverage in New Zealand gives support to the Israeli position, since especially television fails to report casualty numbers, but dwells only on Israeli fears of attack.

Israel has killed 66 people in Lebanon in just three days. Its daily kill rate in Gaza has been just as high in the past few weeks. Yet until a couple of days ago, as the attacks on Lebanon intensified, there had been no Israeli civilian fatalities at all.Khamoun concluded.

Ends

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