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On Israel Institute of New Zealand's 'guide' for voters

On Israel Institute of New Zealand's 'guide' for voters

Leslie Bravery | 4 September 2014

The Israel Institute of New Zealand released on 4 September 2017 what it calls a “voters’ guide for the election”. According to Institute Co-Director David Cumin, the Government supported UN Resolution 2334, despite what it called “concerns about its consequences from the United States” and other countries. David Cumin seems not to have noticed that the US abstained from voting against the Resolution, thus ensuring that it passed.

The Israel Institute of New Zealand's voters' guide suggests that New Zealanders were “worried about the implications of this resolution [2334] on the safety and security of Israel.” The guide had nothing to say about the concern of many for the safety and security of the Palestinian people, living as they do under a brutal Israeli military Occupation.

The Israel Institute of New Zealand also asked: “Parliamentarians and Parties whether they have specifically condemned Palestinian terrorism or incitement to terror by the Palestinian Authority.” The Institute failed, however, to ask them whether they have specifically condemned Israeli terrorism or incitement to terror through illegal settlement and theft of Palestinian land. This is, after all, what Resolution 2334 was chiefly concerned with.

The Institute also asked our lawmakers whether their Party “supports a negotiated, rather than imposed, solution to the conflict.” That is a very important question. As recently as 28 August, in a speech delivered in the Occupied Palestinian West Bank to celebrate 50 years of violent Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people, Netanyahu proudly boasted: “We will deepen our roots, build, strengthen and settle” and, just to make it absolutely clear that he views agreements, international law, the Palestinian people and the world community with contempt,he uncompromisingly declared that “we are here to stay forever”. Given Israel's immense military power over the Palestinian people, it is clear which party intends to impose a 'solution'.

Finally, the Israel Institute asked Parliamentarians if “there is support for increased ties between New Zealand and Israel”. In view of Israel's adamant refusal to respect international law and the Provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention, it is time for Israel to be made to recognise that it it is purposefully isolating itself from the world community. Debbie Abbas, on behalf of thePalestine Solidarity Network (PSN), has asked the Labour Party if it would be willing todiscontinue National's discriminatory favouritism towards Israel in its granting of an automatic one-year working holiday visa to all and any Israeli while refusing to extend the same privilege to Palestinians. The Labour Party's Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs avoided anwering thisquestion.

During this run-up to the General Election we remind ourselves that, by focusing public attention on bringing justice to Israel/Palestine, ordinary people around the world can help to restore justice and respect for international law. The defenceless Palestinian people cannot liberate themselves. As sponsors of UNSC Resolution 2334, it is New Zealand's responsibility to encourage the UN to deal resolutely with Israel's defiance the world is watching. We expect and demand of our lawmakers that they unite, with determination, to fight for universal justiceand human rights and that must mean sanctions, not favouritism.


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