The Israel Institute of New Zealand, in an article entitled Post Election outlook for New Zealand’s relationship with Israel, noted with pleasure that Winston Peters was now in the position of ‘king maker’. The article considered it was likely that a number of long-time National supporters had voted for Peters in this election because of his support for Israel. The Israel Institute hoped to see what it called clearer leadership on Israel if Bill English were to be in a position to form a government with support from Winston Peters. The Institute’s New Zealand co-director Paul Moon was quoted as follows: Whichever party is put into power, the almost inevitable alliance with New Zealand First presents an opportunity for New Zealand to recalibrate its relations with Israel. Effectively, the government could draw a line under its disastrous sponsorship of UN Resolution 2334, and look to strengthen its ties with Israel.
The Israel Institute shows no shame in the fact that Resolution 2334, incontrovertibly, brands Israel’s actions as being in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions. Even Israel’s most ardent ally, the United States of America, felt unable to vote against the Resolution, which confirms the fact that Israel’s behaviour has no legal validity. The imposition of Israeli settlements on belligerently-Occupied Palestinian land constitutes a war crime under the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Israel’s settlement programme violates international law and a number of conventions, including United Nations Security Resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), and, most recently, 2334 (2016). Israel is intent upon using its extremist settlers to superimpose its Zionist rule over the whole of historic Palestine. Statements and actions by Israel’s leaders demonstrate clearly that they are bent on both the annexation of the whole of Jerusalem and irreversible destruction of Palestine’sterritorial contiguity.
Questions for Winston Peters and the NZ Government
On 3 July this year, we sent New Zealand MPs an email that drew attention to Israel’s criminal behaviour towards Palestinian children. Does Winston Peters accept that these gross violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by New Zealand on 13 March 1993, are a matter for world community concern?
On Wednesday morning, 28 June, the Israeli Occupation Army raided Jubbet al-Dhib,plundering the village of 96 solar panels anddestroying items that wereless easy to remove. They had all been donated by the Netherlands. The New York Timesreported thatthe Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry was furious. But there was nothing extraordinary about Israel’s conduct. Israel had similarly plundered the village of a solar-powered public lighting system in 2009. The purpose of the Zionist state’s military Occupation of the West Bank is not for the benefit of the Palestinian people, quite the reverse – Israel’s presence there is plainly malevolent and self-serving. Does Winston Peters believe that collaborating with Israel, even as it continues to behave thus, would in any way help to modify its behaviour?
Jubbet al-Dhib lies in the shadow of two illegal Israeli settlement colonies, El David and Noqedim. The Noqedim settlement is home to Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. On top of these oppressive settlements, Palestinian villagers have to cope with the fanatical presence of a number of additional Israeli colonial outposts that exist in violation of both Israeli and international law.
Nevertheless, the outposts still enjoy connection to the Israeli power grid and access to other Occupation infrastructure. Israel demolished more than 300 Palestinian buildings and infrastructure facilities in 2016. According to The Jerusalem Post, all of them had been installed with the support of international organisations or with the financial help of the European Union. The Israeli Government’s decision to prevent the use of solar energy technology in Jubbet al-Dhib can have only one purpose, and that is to increase the villagers’ suffering so that they will give up and leave their homes, thus making it easier to expand settlements.
We ask Mr Peters to please explain whether he approves or disapproves of Israel’s conduct. UNSC Resolution 2334 passed without a single vote against, yet the Israel Institute would have New Zealand soften the pressure the Resolution brought upon Israel. AreLabour and the Greens willing to tolerate any attempt by Winston Petersto bring that about?