Analysis • Commentary • Advocacy

Kiwi views on Israel may affect election outcome

The Israel Institute of New Zealand has today released a voters’ guide for the election, based on recent analysis of MPs’ positions on the country’s relations with Israel.

New Zealand’s backing of UN Resolution 2334 in late December last year triggered an avalanche of letters and emails to MPs from all parties by New Zealanders worried about the implications of this resolution on the safety and security of Israel.

According to Institute Co-Director David Cumin, the Government supported the resolution despite concerns about its consequences from the United States, Russia, and other countries.

“New Zealand backed the position of Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela over traditional allies and the resulting damage to NZ-Israel relations was severe”.Dr David Cumin

Dr Cumin says that action may now have an effect on what looks to be a tightening election race.

“A recent survey conducted by Curia Research, on behalf of the Institute, showed strong support for Israel amongst kiwis and demonstrated that many New Zealanders are uncomfortable with the actions which were taken by the Government”.Dr David Cumin

He says the Voters’ guide evaluates party positions on resolution 2334.

“We asked Parliamentarians and Parties whether they have specifically condemned Palestinian terrorism or incitement to terror by the Palestinian Authority; whether the Party supports a negotiated, rather than imposed, solution to the conflict; and if there is support for increased ties between New Zealand and Israel”.Dr David Cumin

He says summary data and quotes are presented for political party leaders, members of the New Zealand Israel Parliamentary Friendship group, and notable MPs.

“The voters’ guide will be a useful tool as the country goes to the polls. Voters can now see where individual candidates or parties stand on this important issue relating to the sort of values New Zealand projects internationally. Especially at a time of growing international extremism, I think New Zealanders will be keener than ever that we support nations like Israel, that are modern, open, liberal democracies such as our own.”Dr David Cumin

For access to the voters’ guide, go to https://israelinstitute.nz/voters-guide/