Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pandering to an apartheid state

Israel is an apartheid state which regularly bombs and invades both its neighbours and its occupied Palestinian population. Last year its settlement programme of stealing and colonising Palestinian land was rightly condemned by the United Nations as a violation of international law. As a small nation which supports international law, New Zealand co-sponsored that motion. But now, National has issued a grovelling apology to Israel for it:

New Zealand has restored diplomatic relations with Israel after Prime Minister Bill English wrote a letter which expressed regret for the fallout caused by a UN Security Council resolution.

Israel recalled its ambassador from New Zealand in December in response to New Zealand's co-sponsoring of the resolution, which condemned Israel's continued settlements.

The Jerusalem Post has reported that English wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu several days ago, saying he "regretted the damage done to Israel-New Zealand relations as a result of New Zealand proposing Resolution 2334 at the Security Council".

Which immediately raises serious doubts about whether New Zealand will be supporting international law in the Middle East in the future, or whether we'll be backing the US on its "except for Israel" exception.

National has form on this. Back in the 70's and 80's they were infamous for their support for South Africa's apartheid regime. Their support for Israel is just more of the same I guess. As for what we should be doing, the South Africa example is clear: boycott, divestment, and sanctions, until Israel obeys international law, ends its apartheid practices, and withdraws completely from occupied territory.