Israel Institute of New Zealand co-director, Dr David Cumin, has reacted to remarks by Foreign Affairs Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, in which she appears to blame Israel for the current escalating violence in the Middle Eastern state.
Responding to more violence in Israel and Gaza, overnight, Ms Mahuta is quoted as saying that she is “deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem and Gaza” and calls for ‘rapid de-escalation from Israel and Palestine”. She goes on to only specifically condemn Israel, calling the Jewish state to “cease demolitions and evictions and for both sides to halt steps which undermine prospects for a two state solution”.
However, Dr Cumin calls the statement ‘unacceptable’ and says that it ‘continues to promote the mythology that Israel is the instigator of the violence”.
“It’s time New Zealand abandoned its gutless practice of pretending that there are two parties equally responsible for the violence; and singling out the democratic side for specific condemnation.
Israel tolerated dozens of indiscriminate rocket attacks before targeting militants in Gaza to defend women and children. It is unconscionable that Hon Ms Mahuta would blame Israel for this”.
Dr Cumin says the last time a New Zealand Minister clearly condemned terror against Israel was 2006.
“Helen Clark was the last New Zealand Minister to clearly call out the indiscriminate rocket attacks and terror against Israel – at a time when Mahmoud Abbas was recently installed as President of the Palestinian Authority”
“It is disgraceful that New Zealand has not joined allied democracies in condemning acts of violence from terror groups avowed to destroying Israel and murdering Jews over the past 14 years”