Brownlee moves to make amends for McCully’s backstabbing of Israel

This is a good start for Big Gerry. It is his first day on the job as Foreign Minister and he is moving to clean up the mess left by Murray McCully.

New Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee has revealed he has moved swiftly to try to restore diplomatic relations with Israel.

Soon after receiving his ministerial warrant on Tuesday, he wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holding out an olive branch.   

Israel withdrew its ambassador from New Zealand in December and belated travel rights of New Zealand’s ambassador to Israel, based in Turkey, after New Zealand co-sponsored a Security Council Resolution condemning its continued settlements in the West Bank.

“I’ve sent a letter to Mr Netanyahu yesterday firstly congratulating them on their national day but expressing a desire for the Israeli-New Zealand relationship to get back on track and to do that by recognising that we’ve got synergies and innovation and agriculture and various other things like that.”

Netanyahu was extremely angry at New Zealand’s involvement in the UN resolution which passed almost unanimously.

Netanyahu was angry because McCully pushed it and sponsored it. All without cabinet approval, or approval from the External Relations and Defence Committee.

Then he obfuscated and Bill English backed him.

If only Bill English could find the stones to say at least what Gerry has said.

Brownlee told the Herald this morning that he expected that the letter would enable the respective foreign ministries to start discussion with a view to re-establishing diplomatic connection.

Asked if he would like relations to be restored by October when commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba in Israel are due to take place he said “that would be most desirable.”

New Zealand took part in the World War I battle.

Sort it out Gerry. You know Farrar’s focus groups and replies to begging emails are telling you how angry National supporters are over this.

As regular readers know I don’t usually think too much about Gerry Brownlee, but credit where credit is due. On his first full day as Foreign Minister he has moved to lance a festering boil and get recovery happening. It all just goes to show that McCully went rogue, and there is a good chance that it contributed to John Key jacking it in.


– NZ Herald

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