OPINION: Over the last decade or so there has been a noticeable increase in bias of the New Zealand government against Israel.
This despite New Zealand voting in favour of the 1947 UN Partition Plan. Whilst the slide in government opinion can arguably be traced back to the Clark government, it reached its peak on the world stage under the Bill English Government when spearheaded by then Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s desire to be the lap dog of Senator John Kerry and assist in the personal vendetta of President Barack Obama against Benjamin Netanyahu.
This led to New Zealand co-sponsoring the one-sided anti-Israel UN Security Council Resolution 2334 in December 2016.
Israelis stand by a house damaged by a missile fired from Gaza Strip, in a kibbutz near the Israel and Gaza border, early in August. (Image from article which appeared in the Dominion Post)
Since that day when New Zealand stood shoulder to shoulder with the anti-democratic and human rights-breaking countries of Venezuela, Senegal and Malaysia, the co-sponsors of the resolution, there does not seem to have been an improvement.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters, despite his initial statements on behalf of Israel, has become noticeably quiet on the subject, yet this is despite Israel, an ally of New Zealand, coming under a barrage of rocket attacks and attempted terrorist infiltrations across the border from Gaza. Anyone who takes a serious look at the recent Gaza border incidents would easily see that Hamas intended to use its population on the border to send in its militia and “tear out their hearts from their bodies”. ‘”Their” being Israeli Jews.
There was nothing peaceful or even hidden in Hamas’ intent. Out of the number of Palestinian casualties during this period, Hamas and Islamic Jihad even admitted that 85 per cent were their own operatives. The percentage could potentially be more.
Despite this clear evidence, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed unease that no Israeli Jews had also been killed when she said during an interview on national TV that she was concerned by the “devastating one-sided loss of life”. Prime minister, we make no apologies, nor ever will, for the lack of Jewish deaths!
During and following this period of the anything but “peaceful” protest, we have seen Hamas sending in incendiary kites to Israel, causing thousands of hectares of damage to crops, nature reserves, and the burning to death of wildlife, insects and bees.
The so-called Green Party has been conspicuously quiet in the condemnation of this; instead it (MPs Marama Davidson and Golriz Ghahraman at least) chooses to stand alongside those in New Zealand advocating the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state and resurfacing modern-day blood libels accusing Israel of genocide.
New Zealand is also out of step with almost all of its major Western allies, and even more astonishingly now the UN. Over recent days and weeks, Israel has faced a barrage of rockets into its border towns near the Gaza border.
In more recent days, Beer Sheva has also been targeted. Over August 8-9, more than 180 missiles were fired into Israel, causing injury and destruction to property, with families being given 15 seconds to get into bomb shelters, day and night, when the sirens go off.
Yet despite condemnation coming from countries and organisations such as the UN, the EU, the US, European countries, and Canada, we hear absolutely nothing from our Government. Why is it that New Zealand is so out of step with other Western democratic countries when it comes to Israel?
All this has left to me to wonder which way the New Zealand government would vote if the UN Partition plan took place in 2018 instead of 1947? Maybe our elected leaders can give us an answer?
The above Opinion piece originally featured in the Dominion Post on 16 August 2018