Open Letter to Ross Robertson, MP Labour
14 January 2009
Mr H V Ross Robertson MP, Parliament
Dear Mr Robertson
People have gathered at Parliament today under the slogan “Israel says – Palestinians Yes, Hamas No” because they want to make it clear that they support Israel’s aim of removing the Hamas regime in Gaza.
They see this as a key step in bringing peace to, and improving the quality of life for, both Israelis and Gazans, and they bear no ill-will towards Palestinian civilians.
On the contrary, this rally expresses sorrow for the destruction of Gaza which accompanies Israel’s military operation, and regrets the need for Israel to have taken such action, but understands the logic of it as an act of self-defence.
This view appears to be shared by the Ramallah-based Palestine Authority, members of which have criticized Hamas for causing the Israeli action.
Since Hamas’s illegitimate seizure of power in Gaza in June 2007, it has brought and continues to bring much harm and misery to the people of Gaza, not least by firing rockets and mortars indiscriminately into civilian areas of Israel.
This rally supports Israel’s aim - which is to carry out a successful military campaign against Hamas fighters, weapons and war establishments.
Regrettably, these also include homes, schools and mosques which Hamas has used for weapons storage, rocket firing sites and other war purposes. We have great sympathy for the Palestinian civilians hurt by the military actions.
The Hamas Covenant declares Hamas’s intention of obliterating the State of Israel and killing Jews everywhere in the world.
UN Security Council Resolution 1860 calling for a ceasefire has been rejected by both Hamas and Israel. It does nothing for a long-term solution to the aggression which brought about the present situation.
The Israeli government, Israeli people, the Palestinian Authority and most of the world want a two-state solution – though this is rejected by Hamas.
Those at the rally are well aware of the privilege we all share, of living in a New Zealand which is free of the threats from Nazi Germany and militarist Japan that caused World War 2. It was only determined military action by the Allies, including New Zealand, that removed the threat. That war also caused huge and disproportionate destruction to the civilian populations of Germany and Japan.
The situation facing Israel is very similar and so is the outcome of Israel’s response. We fervently hope that the result will also be greater peace for the region.
Please convey the views in this letter to the other members of the New Zealand – Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group.