At the end of April we posted here an email sent by John Hobbs, one of our members, to Jacinda Ardern expressing concern about Israel’s plans to annex Palestinian territory. Winston Peters eventually replied and we replicate the response below.
It is to be welcomed that the government “is concerned by reports of possible moves towards annexation” and that “Successive New Zealand Governments have condemned Israeli settlements”.
At a time when the world is wakening to the cause that Black Lives Matter it is outrageous that Israel, in connivance with the USA and Trump’s Deal of the Century, is threatening to make seizures of Palestinian land in breach of international law. The possible consequences of this existential threat to the Palestinian people is so serious that peace-loving Israeli citizens have taken to the street to recognise that Palestinian Lives Matter. During the protest in Rabin Square, Tel Aviv, Senator Bernie Sanders made the video presentation below.
For seven decades the Palestinian people have struggled for their freedom and steadfastly resisted occupation. Now is the time to stand in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters. Now is the time to get Netanyahu’s knee off of their necks. Now is the time to say no to annexation! No to occupation! Yes to peace, justice and democracy for all!
Dear John Hobbs,
Thank you for your email and letter of 30 April 2020 to the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern, copied to me, as well as other Government Ministers and Members of Parliament. We apologise for the delay in response, as you will be aware, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has absorbed a large portion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ capacity.
I am responding on behalf of the Prime Minister, as the issue you raise falls within my portfolio responsibilities. We also acknowledge your previous interactions on related issues with the Government, your local MP and other Members of Parliament.
The New Zealand Government is concerned by reports of possible moves towards annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, Jordan Valley, and North of the Dead Sea by Israel. Further annexation would undermine the two-state solution, and would be in breach of international law.
Successive New Zealand Governments have condemned Israeli settlements. They are a violation of Israel’s international obligations and have negative implications for the peace process. The New Zealand Government will continue to follow developments closely and continue to express its views on the issues you raise, including directly with the parties, as appropriate.
There are no plans to change New Zealand’s position on key Middle East issues including our long-standing support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Rt Hon Winston Peters l Deputy Prime Minister | Leader New Zealand First | Minister of Foreign Affairs l Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control | Minister for State Owned Enterprises | Minister for Racing | 7.4 Executive Wing, Parliament Buildings, Wellington | www.beehive.govt.nz
Image credit: Avaaz