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Leading New Zealand businesses line up with racism and apartheid in the Middle East

By   /  May 30, 2016  /  8 Comments

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A delegation of New Zealand business leaders is leaving this week on an “innovation expedition” to Israel to build business links with the Middle East’s apartheid state.

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A delegation of New Zealand business leaders is leaving this week on an “innovation expedition” to Israel to build business links with the Middle East’s apartheid state.

Included in the delegation are people like the Prime Minister’s Science Advisor and well-known apologist for Israel Peter Gluckman. And never far from the ugliest sides of New Zealand business is the Herald’s business columnist Fran O’Sullivan who is tagging along for the free trip.

These were the kinds of people who defended apartheid South Africa and have joined together now to support another racist state. Here is the Palestine Solidarity Network media release on their trip:

28 May 2016

Media release:

Innovation expedition to Israel “politically naïve”

New Zealand’s so termed innovation expedition to Israel is ‘politically naïve and economically desperate’ according to Palestine Solidarity Network spokesperson John Minto.

A delegation of 50 New Zealand business leaders, headed by Spark CEO Simon Moutter, is heading to Israel this week.

But Minto says such large scale and high visibility tours are arranged primarily as part of Israel’s international public relations campaign to counter the bad publicity Israel gets when it builds more illegal settlements on the West Bank and its forces regularly attack Gaza.

“In particular Israel is getting worried that the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is starting to hurt Israel economically. In 2014 direct foreign investment in Israel fell to half the level of the year before. Economic commentators says this was due to BDS action and international concern following another bloody attack by Israel on Gaza that year,” John Minto says.

“It’s very similar to the declining days of the apartheid regime in South Africa in the 1980s. The government there tried to present itself to the world as running a normal country, whereas the truth was emerging of a deeply structured racial hierarchy which eventually collapsed.”

Minto says similar evidence is now before the public that Israel is run on very similar lines.

“For instance the nearly three million Palestinians of the West Bank and East Jerusalem don’t get a vote in Israeli elections, yet the 600,000 Jewish people who live there in illegal settlements are eligible to vote. There is discrimination at every turn in favour of just one ethnic group and that is increasingly clear as Israeli government policy.”

Minto says New Zealand companies should not be taken in by the lure of business prospects in Israel.

“The worldwide trend is to turn away from Israel, not just economically, as a means to put pressure on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law, but also because Israel is not a secure long term prospect to do business with.”

Just look at the New Zealand Superannuation Fund. In 2012, the Super Fund pulled its investments in four Israeli companies because of their complicity in building illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories. It still invests in Israeli banks which fund those same settlements, but the days of those immoral investments are numbered as well.”

Minto says the New Zealand BDS movement will target any business or science arrangements which might emerge out of the New Zealand delegation visit.

“Israel’s greatest technological specialty for export is in mass surveillance and military control of civilian populations. We certainly don’t want that sort of enterprise here. But nor do we want to have New Zealand ties of any sort with Israel cemented in when our international obligations are to force Israeli compliance with international law.”

John Minto
Janfrie Wakim
PSN Spokespeople

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  1. kelly says:

    I support any movement that will see Israel comply with minimum standards of International obligations but sadly with the help of its allies especially America it won’t stop its murderous rampage of innocent Palestinian civilians

  2. save nz says:

    Shocking, I can see that Fran would journey to hell for a free trip but Sir Peter Gluckman?????

  3. Andrew says:

    John, it must take great skill to be so consistently on the wrong side of history

    • Quick Thinking says:

      The wrong side? Have you not noticed what happened in South Africa? While it appears that their government has gone the way of all governments (think animal farm, “”more equal”) it is accepted that democracy has improved. While you might not agree with his state house activism i have no doubt that history will show he is right.
      The bigger question has to be why you are such a sucker for punishment? I cant think of a single post where you have managed to prove anything apart from your support for neo-lib actions despite the evidence against them.

  4. CLEANGREEN says:

    Andrew and John Key, it must take great skill to be so consistently on the wrong side of history

  5. Heather says:

    Isn’t dealing with Iran – a nation that hangs homosexuals and sponsors terrorism – or Saudi Arabia – where women are second class citizens and common theives lose hands – much more of a concern than learning from a country that has prospered with ingenuity rather than abundance of natural resources and created a democracy in a region of theocracies?

    This constant comparison with South Africa is ridiculous. The black South Africans were a part of the country and never vowed to destroy South Africa and kill all the whites. Arab citizens make up 20% of Israel and have equal rights. There are even Sharia courts in Israel. However, Jews are dhimmi in Arab lands.

    Perhaps when the Arabs accept that Jews have a right to autonomy in their ancient homeland (while also respecting the rights of all – something Islamic States do not!) then there will be peace. Polemic articles attacking Israel does not help the cause for true peace. It does further the cause of undermining democracy and supporting Islamic states. If Minto really wants a world of pure Sharia Law then why does he not just say so instead of hiding behind “international law” arguments that only condemn one country?

    • reason says:

      The Palestinians do not have a country any more Heather.

      They have mainly been forced into modern ghettos and what little decent land they have is still being stolen.

      They cheer when bombs are being dropped on civilians….. and dance in joy at weddings over photos of burnt to death Palestinian children killed in jewish terrorism.

      They have used white phosphorous, napalm and cluster bombs against civilians.

      They deserve to be boycotted until they stop acting like Nazis towards the Palestinians.

  6. Lois Griffiths says:


    Israel hasn’t ‘prospered with ingenuity’.
    It has prospered with billions of American dollars at least $3 billion a year in direct aid , with expropriating Palestinian resources, land and water, whole villages..but most of all by exporting to the world’s financial and military elite, its highly developed ‘population control’ expertise, including militarised policing, building barrier walls and weaponised drone.
    South Africans, for example Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and international lawyer John Dugard, are horrified with the way Palestinians are treated. As bad as apartheid was, the treatment of Palestinians is far far crueler.
    Desmond Tutu has said, “The abuses the Palestinians face are real and no person should be offended by principled, morally consistent, non-violent acts to oppose them. It is no more wrong to call out Israel in particular for its abuses than it was to call out the Apartheid regime in South Africa in particular for its abuses.”

    Anybody with a ounce of humanity would see that it is time to declare Israel a pariah state until it accepts and promotes the International Bill of Rights and Geneva Conventions.
    Some Jewish-American peace, anti-occupation activists have adopted the slogan , IF NOT NOW, WHEN

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