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Open Letter to Hon. Murray McCully

Open Letter to Hon. Murray McCully,Minister of Foreign Affairs

13 August 2012.

Dear Mr McCully,

Your email to us of 01 August 2012 failed to adequately address questions we had put to you regarding your claim that it was better to accommodate Israel in order to promote what you called 'dialogue'. We again ask you what change for the better in Israel's behaviour has resulted from your support for Israel's application for OECD membership.

The question raises itself yet again in the light of fresh diplomatic concern over recent developments in which the 1500 residents of eight Palestinian villages in the Hebron Hills are to be forcibly removed and their homes demolished. The Israeli Army wants the belligerently-occupied land for use as a live-firing zone. An EU mission has issued a statement saying that “the designation of the area as a live-firing zone would thus reduce further the opportunities for Palestinian communities to live and work in Area C.” The statement also referred to the negative effect the militarisation of the area would have on “any potential for economic and social development in the area.”

What sort of civilised democracy would evict, for such a purpose, defenceless communities and destroy their homes in flagrant violation of international law? Mr McCully, in your email you told us that “OECD membership brings with it required commitments by the member state to OECD standards and instruments.” Do you believe the appalling treatment being meted out to the people of the South Hebron Hills is in line with the required commitments by Israel to OECD standards and instruments? It would appear that, far from being reformed, Israel has been emboldened by the favourable treatment it has been receiving from Western nations such as New Zealand.

It must be perfectly clear by now that dialogue, reasoning and valuable rewards have utterly failed to deter Israel from its illegal and implacable abuse of the people under its domination. The only non-violent alternative is obvious and New Zealand should now give a lead in calling for sanctions against Israel at the UN. Are you now willing to support such a move? If you are not so prepared, could you please explain to the world why you are not? In the absence of sanctions, what initiatives do you propose to introduce to replace those that have thus far totally failed to protect Palestinian human rights?

Yours sincerely,

Leslie Bravery,

Palestine Human Rights Campaign www.palestine.org.nz


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