Letter to Murray McCully re Israeli Apartheid
November 22, 2012 4 Comments
21 November 2012
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Kia ora Mr McCully,
We were very surprised to learn after the fact that the New Zealand Rugby Union had sent rugby coaches to Israel in early October at the behest of the Israeli Rugby Union and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
You should be aware that Israel is now subject to an international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign because of its unashamedly racist treatment of its Arab-Israeli citizens; its brutal military occupation of Palestinian territory; the construction of illegal Jewish-only settlements on Palestinian land and the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The BDS campaign was launched in 2005 by some 260 Palestinian civil society organisations as the best way for the international community to support the Palestinian struggle for justice and human rights. GPJA has taken action in support of the campaign such as the protests against Israeli women’s tennis player Shahar Peer participating in New Zealand tournaments.
Your government already has a blatantly one-sided policy towards the Middle East with an Israeli embassy in Wellington, a visa-free scheme for young Israelis wanting to come to New Zealand, and a Prime Minister who says the security of Israel is a key part of our foreign policy. No mention of Palestinian rights which apparently don’t exist on Planet Key.
We request an explanation of the role of your Ministry in this breach of the international boycott and we want an assurance that in future the government will refuse to engage in any such approaches from Israel.
It would be good to think your government would be on the right side of history with this issue, unlike where you stood in the case of apartheid South Africa. It’s worth mentioning here that Bishop Tutu is on record as saying the situation for the Palestinians today is much worse than it was for black South Africans under apartheid. We don’t want you to get it wrong again Mr McCully.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Global Peace and Justice Auckland