An open letter to the Prime Minister of New Zealand Bill English

January 2, 2017 by  
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Open letter to the prime minister of New Zealand, Edward English
The Prime Minister of New Zealand
Mr. Bill English
Department of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet
Executive Wing
Parliament Buildings
Wellington, New Zealand

1st January 2017

Dear Mr English,
Firstly I congratulate you on your recent appointment to the position of Prime Minister of New Zealand. The past few weeks must have been quite extraordinary and you have clearly been under significant pressure since your predecessor John Key, a good man by all accounts, “resigned”.

My uncle was an important member of New Zealand’s national security and intelligence service before his retirement. He told me fond stories of Russian Diplomats and car chases through Wellington. More than you know. More than you should know. These were mere anecdotes but there was a very serious side to Mr Leonard Willmott. One of the most memorable descriptions he spoke of was when he entered Bergen-Belsen concentration camp on the 12th April 1945 in his British uniform. His mission was to enter the camp as soon as the British forces arrived on the 14th April and to immediately examine the records for any SAS, SOE who might have been interned there, then to radio London with his findings before moving on to his next duty in the liberation of Europe.

When he heard that the British forces had been held up by a Hitler Youth Unit, and seeing truckloads of corpses being taken from the camp to the forest and dumped there, he decided to go in alone. He entered the camp, demanded the commandant surrender to him, placed him and his staff under arrest and spent the next three days examining the books before the British Forces finally arrived and took control of the camp.

His description of the emaciated bodies of mostly Jews, the stench of death and disease, the pitiful sight of those who had been cruelly tortured and mistreated and the hopelessness of a people driven out of every country in Europe still haunts me to this day. Len was a very tough man but I saw a look of profound sadness on that day when he told me a mere scrap of what he had seen of mans inhumanity to man.

You are too young to either know or understand this and I am certain that the history of the Jews is not a subject that had a sympathetic airing in the English family home, but because of this and his many other acts of character and moral courage, your government appointed him to one of the most important roles in New Zealand.

On a recent visit to New Zealand I took the opportunity to visit the Te Papa Tongarewa where stories of the rights of the Maori and their connection with the land were beautifully told. I also attended the Anzac Day dawn service at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park where I was greatly moved by the singing of your national anthem – in Maori – by everyone. That, on the very land stolen from the Maori in 1863 by our forebears. That, in contradiction of treaties signed by the said forebears, drafted to prevent such criminal acts.

From what you exhibit and what you sing, it seems that New Zealand has at some recent point in time recognised its Polynesian aboriginals, embraced their language and their culture and recognised the connection between the aboriginal and their land. New Zealand clearly understands that a people who have an historical, spiritual and cultural link to the land and who’s culture was the first in that land are the true aboriginals and must be recognised as such.

Why is he writing this to me? I can hear you asking. Well this is the setting in which New Zealand decided to sponsor United Nations Resolution 2334. A resolution that seeks to disingenuously deny an aboriginal people its right to its lands – and I want to know why you did that.

The Nation of Israel and their people – the Jews, have an unbroken and undeniable link to the area called Judea and Samaria through its ancient texts, its monuments, its temples, its spirituality, its folk law and its people.

Through wars, occupation, banishment and siege the land of Judea and the city of Jerusalem have never left the hearts and minds of its aboriginals and no amount of slaughter, debasement and persecution can, nor will, prevent these people from having their land and their faith.

It is not difficult to picture the desperate phone calls from the US administration to those members of the security council who they can still talk to and push around, demanding that you sponsor 2334 and your predecessor telling your cabinet, “Over my dead body”.

It is not difficult to picture a young and ambitious Mr English thinking that this was his chance to grab the top job in a small island state and alongside the equally small and luckless state of Senegal, get a leg up by kicking the Jews down a peg or two. For most it would be unthinkable but New Zealand – now there’s a country with a track record.

So when Egypt – a past enemy and now a peace partner of Israel, a country with debts and financial troubles that could have been improved greatly with the robust offers made by the US administration to them, if they would “stick to the plan” – decided to stand the motion down it was you, Mr English, who kneeled to the American’s pressure, took up the cudgels and did a “stab-in-the-back” to one of America’s closest allies. A favour to a president who has done nothing for you, and who will disappear into obscurity in a mater of weeks.

So you chose to sponsor a resolution that its designers would not prosecute. You sponsored a resolution that sought to separate the Western Wall from its believers, the temple from its builders, the City of Jerusalem from its original and enduring owners, the body from the soul. This in spite of the San Remo Conference, the Treaty of Sevres, and a League of Nations Mandate assuring Israel that it’s lands are its lands. These words have an echo. The echo of New Zealand’s own track record.

You may choose to add your own name when you sully further the already tarnished name of New Zealand by joining with other infamous stars of Jewish hatred – people like Joseph Kramer and Irma Grese – people whom my uncle spent his entire youth behind enemy lines in occupied Europe fighting to destroy, so that you and your family could enjoy the freedom that you have.

You have turned against the very people your enemy’s were trying to destroy and wipe off the face of the earth and that reflects very badly on New Zealand and its new prime minister, under whose government you voted to disavow a people from its land for the second time.

Perhaps, Mr English, you might take a moment to reflect on this act of treachery and explain why you Mr. Prime Minister, made that decision.

I wish you and your family a peaceful and productive year. I am starting mine with a lump in my throat and a sad heart. Not for me but for you. How will you be remembered? How do you want to be remembered?


Graham D. Wines


12 Responses to “An open letter to the Prime Minister of New Zealand Bill English”
  1. ari katz says:

    An outstanding letter – New Zealand Government should hang its head in shame! Do they have any shame?

  2. Noel Hilliam says:

    You must be praised for the letter you sent to our Prime minister unfortunately as you will see in the future you will see this person has no guts he is a wimp and will not be prime minister after the next election.
    You comment about our maori is totally wrong they are not the original people of this country they were brought here by the chinese portuguese spanish and french from all around the pacific basin they are about the 4th or 5th race of people to be brought here –on coming to this country they annihilated most of these previous peoples by using them as food –this can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt
    New Zealand is an apartheid racist country now set up by the Labour government of the day in recent times and continued on by the National Government for political gain for their support to keep them in power one race of people having privilege over the 150 race of people living in this country get your facts right
    signed Noel Hilliam 2-1-2017

  3. Sam Goldman says:

    Great Letter. But almost the same letter can be sent to the Leaders of the following hypocritical, cowardly countries that voted for the resolution.
    China that occupies Tibet, claims Taiwan, Bhutan East, plus many Islands in seas surrounding China.
    England that occupies Falklan Islands & Gibraltar.
    France that claims New Caledonia & Tahiti from the indigenous peoples.
    Spain claims Ceuta, Islas Chafarinas, Melilla, Penon De Alhucemas
    Russia, Crimean Peninsula, Russia Ukraine border, Tuzla Island, Sea of Azov, Ukatnyy, Zhesty Island
    Venezuela claims Isla Aves, Ankoko Island, Gulf of Venezuela.
    Plus many more disputed territories amongst all those that supported the UN Resolution against Israel.

  4. Danuta Glendenning says:

    I live in New Zealand. I can tell the readers that many of us are deeply ashamed over the action of Mr.Murray McCully, the foreign minister to the U.N. We, the people, certainly knew nothing about the UNSC resolution; and protestors have gone to Wellington; and a petition has been organized. We wonder if this was the reason Mr. Key resigned so abruptly. Mr. English, the newly elected P.M., certainly doesn’t have the statesmanship to deal with such a difficult matter. I am certainly grateful that Mr. Graham Wines has taken the time to write such an sufficiently adequate letter to Mr. English and feel confident that he will read it trying to come to grips with the broken diplomatic relationship between N.Z. and Israel.

  5. William James Millward says:

    A sober, polite letter expressing genuine disappointment. The linking of N.Z’s. history to Israel’s is a powerful and very relevant point. The letter deserves a brief relevant response from Mr. English on behalf of the Government. Was the very troubling Resolution agreed to by the National Caucus, I wonder. Please include the answer in your reply Mr. English. As a Christian Sir, you aught to know very clearly that the Jewish people were the “tangata Whenua” for the past approximately 4,000 years.
    Bill Millward

  6. Adrian Jackson says:

    An excellent first hand account about the authors uncles experience in German concentration camps in 1945 (71 years ago) but what has this got to do with the now unanimously passes resolution, with one nation abstaining, about Palestine?

    The murder of 14 million people (6 million Hebrews and a further 8 million mostly other Europeans) was a world disgrace but has been followed by other dreadful mass murders in Cambodia, Balkans and Rwandan in recent decades too.

    • David Singer says:


      What has the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis to do with Resolution 2334?

      Perhaps Resolution 2334 is laying the groundwork to justify a “legal” military offensive against 6.5 million Jews living in Israel by denying the legal rights vested in the Jewish people to reconstitute their National Home in East Jerusalem and Area C in Judea and Samaria as prescribed by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter.

      That the United Nations should have sunk so low and become a party to this racially-inspired murderous intent publicly enunciated by the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic State is a disgrace and itself a flagrant violation of international law.

      The UN has sold its soul to the devil.

      • Leon Poddebsky says:


        It’s not just the UN; it’s the UN’s constituent governments.
        They seem to be deluding themselves that the model for Israel’s reactions will be the Jews of Europe in 1933-45 rather than the barely half million Jews of the Yishuv who overcame the combined power of the “Palestinian” Arabs and all the Arab states in the war of Arab aggression, 1947-49.

  7. Janette Kay says:

    Great letter. Unfortunately there is a dwindling Jewish population in NZ.
    As you said, the current PM is probably too young and may not sufficiently be informed or well read to comprehend the full impact of his decision to back the resolution!

  8. Yael Shudnow says:

    Thank you honourable writer for setting a context to the Jewish side of the narrative, a side not often told, a and so poignantly and through a touching personal connection. Let us hope the light you shed on the inalienable connection between an indigenous people to their land

  9. David Wilson says:

    Congratulations Graham .
    A most affective message to a new PM.
    Will he have the courage to respond ?

    David Wilson

  10. Liat Kirby-Nagar says:

    What an extraordinarily eloquent and moving letter. It touches places that aggression and anger would leave untouched. And its candour rings true and strong.

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