Investigation decision this week – Palestine Solidarity Network

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Appeal for Select Committee to investigate government policy on Palestine/Israel to be decided this Thursday 13 June

This Thursday 13 June the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will discuss a request from the Palestine Solidarity Network for the committee to investigate New Zealand government policy towards Palestine/Israel.

We have made this request because our policy towards Palestine/Israel has taken a dramatic stride to the right under Winston Peters as Foreign Minister and Ron Mark as Defence Minister.

Government policy has always been pro-Israeli and never pro-Palestinian but Peters and Mark have made it significantly worse.

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For example, earlier this year Minister of Defence Ron Mark visited the Middle East and made a point of meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. Did Ron Mark raise issues of human rights for Palestinians? Did he ask why Israel continues stealing Palestinian land for Jewish-only settlements? Did he ask why Israeli snipers can murder unarmed Palestinian children with impunity?

No. This is the video of their meeting.

It’s a grovelling, sycophantic display by Ron Mark towards an avowed racist who openly proclaims:

“The way to deal with Palestinians is to beat them up. Not once but repeatedly, beat them up so it hurts so badly, until its unbearable” Benjamin Netanyahu 2001.

Ron Mark shows how thrilled he is to meet someone who gives the fingers to the United Nations, thumbs his nose at international law and directs daily murder and mayhem at Palestinians: cold-blooded killings, bulldozing homes and livelihoods and theft of land.

Ron Mark’s obsequious behaviour towards Netanyahu in our name is nauseating.

Meanwhile Ron Mark made no effort whatever to meet with any Palestinian leaders.

Winston Peters claim that the government has a “balanced and even-handed approach” towards the Middle East is untrue. New Zealand has extensive, close ties with Israel compared to a pretend policy of engagement with Palestinians.

Ron Mark’s recent decision for New Zealand to purchase military equipment from Israel confirms the government’s insensitivity to Palestinians while giving a nod and a wink to apartheid Israel.

We look forward to the select committee agreeing to an investigation.