INDEPENDENT NEWS

Winston Peters On Wrong Side in the Middle East

Published: Wed 2 Nov 2005 08:56 AM
Winston Peters On the Wrong Side in the Middle East
GPJA is deeply disappointed that the New Zealand government is rushing to re-open diplomatic relations with Israel and allowing it to again establish an Embassy in Wellington while the Palestinian people continue to be brutally oppressed under Israeli military occupation of their country.
We believe the government should continue the suspension of diplomatic relations with Israel until it can also recognise a viable, sovereign Palestinian state.
We say this for several self evident reasons –
Israel continues to be in blatant violation of international law through its on-going brutal military occupation of Palestine
Israel’s refusal to allow the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes in what is now Israel after Israeli terror and violence forced them to abandon their homes and their homeland
Israel’s construction of the Apartheid Wall which cuts through the West Bank.
Israel’s seizure of 78% of Palestinian land – with more taken every day as the Apartheid Wall is constructed through Palestinian land.
Israel’s continuing to expand settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank and in Jerusalem.
Israel’s policy of assassination of Palestinian leaders who fight back against Israeli occupation of their country.
Israel is working not for a viable, sovereign Palestinian state but for a weak, geographically (and economically) strangled Palestine. This is a recipe for on-going disaster in the Middle East and around the world.
New Zealand claims its position on Israel/Palestine is even-handed. This is not true.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters has welcomed Israel’s announcement that it intends to reopen its Embassy but New Zealand has refused to develop diplomatic links with the Palestinian National Authority as a government in waiting.
New Zealand has also refused to back Palestinian calls for an international peace-keeping force to be sent to Palestine to oversee a peaceful transition to a viable Palestinian state.
New Zealanders have a tradition of standing alongside the underdog and against thugs and brutal bullies. It’s time our Foreign Minister brought new respect for this tradition and rejected an Israeli Embassy in Wellington.

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