Not just our readers have noticed Bill English hiding behind Murray McCully’s skirt

Shalom Kiwi writes

In the last days of 2016, an open letter was sent to Prime Minister Bill English, signed by 28 organisations and 858 Jewish and non-Jewish Kiwis, condemning New Zealand’s decision to co-sponsor and vote for the biased anti-Israel United Nations Security Council resolution 2334. The same letter also attracted over 2,500 online signatures.

After nearly a month, the Prime Minister’s office responded to the letter and, in an email, a correspondence manager wrote:

I am writing on behalf of the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Bill English, to acknowledge your email of 29 December 2016 concerning your letter from 28 representative Jewish and non-Jewish organisations with over 800 supporting individual signatures on the UNSC resolution on Israel. Please be assured your comments have been noted.

We are forwarding a copy of your correspondence to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Murray McCully, for his consideration.

Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister.”Office of the Prime Minister of New Zealand

So don’t feel too bad readers.  Clearly, your single email hardly stood out if the Government isn’t even going to deal with 28 organisations and 858 Jewish and non-Jewish Kiwis approaching it as one.  

While New Zealand has, arguably, had a history of anti-Israel bias, Shalom.Kiwi has highlighted that the singular focus on Israeli settlements and the refusal to mention Palestinian terrorism is a relatively new approach. There is so far little indication that McCully has taken the concerns over his actions at the Security Council seriously.

The Prime Minister himself has only made a brief comment on resolution 2334, saying:

…we have got a realistic understanding of the pressures in the Middle East. That’s why in our time on the Security Council we wanted to see some advancement on the Middle East peace process. And the resolution in that sense is pretty balanced.

Prime Minister English then said that “New Zealand has been a long time friend of Israel”. The historical evidence for this statement is not compelling. Certainly, co-sponsoring a one-sided resolution, along with undemocratic states Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela, two of which have no diplomatic relations with Israel, is a strange way to show friendship. The fact remains that Israel is a tiny democracy in the Middle East, which, unlike any of its neighbours, shares liberal values with New Zealand.

The government’s response so far, to all those New Zealanders who have written letters to MPs, signed petitions, marched on Parliament and written to newspapers has been wholly inadequate. Israel’s genuine friends want to hear from the government as to how and why New Zealand co-sponsored an unbalanced, one-sided resolution that went well beyond any signalled New Zealand policy or position and undermines the peace process. At the same time, it would be good to understand how the government plans to repair its relationship with Israel. It’s not enough for the Prime Minister to simply wish for a “positive relationship with Israel with the potential for further positive development of it.” Active steps need to be taken.

Our readers said the same thing.   No point wondering if Israel will still answer the phone.  Hop on a plane and go have some face time.

Unless, of course, New Zealand’s Middle Eastern economic overlords wouldn’t approve.  It seems clear that National’s principles of democracy, fairness and self-determination come second to the almighty Muslim export dollar.

 

– Shalom Kiwi

 


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