An open letter to the Prime Minister of New Zealand Bill English

Dear Mr English,

Firstly I congratulate you on your recent appointment to the position of Prime Minister of New Zealand. The past few weeks must have been quite extraordinary and you have clearly been under significant pressure since your predecessor John Key, a good man by all accounts, ?resigned?.

My uncle was an important member of New Zealand?s national security and intelligence service before his retirement. He told me fond stories of Russian Diplomats and car chases through Wellington. More than you know. More than you should know. These were mere anecdotes but there was a very serious side to Mr Leonard Willmott. One of the most memorable descriptions he spoke of was when he entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on the 12th April 1945 in his British uniform. His mission was to enter the camp as soon as the British forces arrived on the 14th April and to immediately examine the records for any SAS, SOE who might have been interned there, then to radio London with his findings before moving on to his next duty in the liberation of Europe.

When he heard that the British forces had been held up by a Hitler Youth Unit, and seeing truckloads of corpses being taken from the camp to the forest and dumped there, he decided to go in alone. He entered the camp, demanded the commandant surrender to him, placed him and his staff under arrest and spent the next three days examining the books before the British Forces finally arrived and took control of the camp. ?

His description of the emaciated bodies of mostly Jews, the stench of death and disease, the pitiful sight of those who had been cruelly tortured and mistreated and the hopelessness of a people driven out of every country in Europe still haunts me to this day. Len was a very tough man but I saw a look of profound sadness on that day when he told me a mere scrap of what he had seen of mans inhumanity to man.

You are too young to either know or understand this and I am certain that the history of the Jews is not a subject that had a sympathetic airing in the English family home, but because of this and his many other acts of character and moral courage, your government appointed him to one of the most important roles in New Zealand.

On a recent visit to New Zealand I took the opportunity to visit the Te Papa Tongarewa where stories of the rights of the Maori and their connection with the land were beautifully told. I also attended the Anzac Day dawn service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park where I was greatly moved by the singing of your national anthem ? in Maori ? by everyone. That, on the very land stolen from the Maori in 1863 by our forebears. That, in contradiction of treaties signed by the said forebears, drafted to prevent such criminal acts.

From what you exhibit and what you sing, it seems that New Zealand has at some recent point in time recognised its Polynesian aboriginals, embraced their language and their culture and recognised the connection between the aboriginal and their land. New Zealand clearly understands that a people who have an historical, spiritual and cultural link to the land and who?s culture was the first in that land are the true aboriginals and must be recognised as such.

Why is he writing this to me? I can hear you asking. Well this is the setting in which New Zealand decided to sponsor United Nations Resolution 2334. A resolution that seeks to disingenuously deny an aboriginal people its right to its lands ? and I want to know why you did that.

The Nation of Israel and their people ? the Jews, have an unbroken and undeniable link to the area called Judea and Samaria through its ancient texts, its monuments, its temples, its spirituality, its folk law and its people.

Through wars, occupation, banishment and siege the land of Judea and the city of Jerusalem have never left the hearts and minds of its aboriginals and no amount of slaughter, debasement and persecution can, nor will, prevent these people from having their land and their faith.

It is not difficult to picture the desperate phone calls from the US administration to those members of the security council who they can still talk to and push around, demanding that you sponsor 2334 and your predecessor telling your cabinet, ?Over my dead body?.

It is not difficult to picture a young and ambitious Mr English thinking that this was his chance to grab the top job in a small island state and alongside the equally small and luckless state of Senegal, get a leg up by kicking the Jews down a peg or two. For most it would be unthinkable but New Zealand ? now there?s a country with a track record.

So when Egypt ? a past enemy and now a peace partner of Israel, a country with debts and financial troubles that could have been improved greatly with the robust offers made by the US administration to them, if they would ?stick to the plan? ? decided to stand the motion down it was you, Mr English, who kneeled to the American?s pressure, took up the cudgels and did a ?stab-in-the-back? to one of America?s closest allies. A favour to a president who has done nothing for you, and who will disappear into obscurity in a mater of weeks.

So you chose to sponsor a resolution that its designers would not prosecute. You sponsored a resolution that sought to separate the Western Wall from its believers, the temple from its builders, the City of Jerusalem from its original and enduring owners, the body from the soul. This in spite of the San Remo Conference, the Treaty of Sevres, and a League of Nations Mandate assuring Israel that it?s lands are its lands. These words have an echo. The echo of New Zealand?s own track record.

You may choose to add your own name when you sully further the already tarnished name of New Zealand by joining with other infamous stars of Jewish hatred ? people like Joseph Kramer and Irma Grese ? people whom my uncle spent his entire youth behind enemy lines in occupied Europe fighting to destroy, so that you and your family could enjoy the freedom that you have.

You have turned against the very people your enemy?s were trying to destroy and wipe off the face of the earth and that reflects very badly on New Zealand and its new prime minister, under whose government you voted to disavow a people from its land for the second time.

Perhaps, Mr English, you might take a moment to reflect on this act of treachery and explain why you Mr. Prime Minister, made that decision.

I wish you and your family a peaceful and productive year. I am starting mine with a lump in my throat and a sad heart. Not for me but for you. How will you be remembered? How do you want to be remembered?


Graham D. Wines