More government support for Israel needed – New Conservatives

July 25, 2019 by Miriam Bell
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The New Conservative party is calling on the New Zealand government to boost its support for Israel and the Jewish community.

Leighton Baker Photo: Facebook

New Conservative leader Leighton Baker says the relationship between New Zealand and Israel is being damaged by the current government.

“We call upon the government to urgently rectify the damage that they have caused to our nation’s relationship not only with the State of Israel but to the Jewish community of New Zealand.”

To this end, the New Conservatives released a statement of position on New Zealand – Israel relations on Wednesday.

In it, the party commits to a range of policies including supporting a negotiated solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict; recognising Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights; and encouraging Israel’s surrounding countries to accept and grant full citizenship to refugees.

It also commits to upholding the right for Israel to defend itself against any international threats and to protect its border.

Other policies include moving the New Zealand Embassy to Jerusalem; strengthening trade ties with Israel; apologising to Israel for New Zealand’s sponsoring of Resolution 2334 and ceasing funding for UNRWA.

And it commits to harsh penalties for those participating in any anti-Semitic violence; adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism; and supporting the New Zealand-Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group.

Baker says they released their statement of position because “it is unacceptable for any political party to continue to sit quietly by and allow this relationship to further breakdown”.

It is reasonable to expect governments to put aside differences and demonstrate respect and unity, he says. “New Conservative will make this a priority.”

Jewish community groups were pleased by the New Conservatives’ statement of position.

NZ Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses says they welcome the comprehensive statement from the New Conservative Party, its recognition of the benefits of a strong relationship with Israel, and its support for the New Zealand Jewish community.

Zionist Federation of NZ president Rob Berg says they appreciate the comments calling out the government’s negative approach and attitude to Israel.

“This lukewarm attitude, along with the recent siding with and co-sponsoring of anti-Israel UN resolutions is not only extremely disappointing, but is no way to treat an ally and the only democracy in the Middle East. It is good to see this current attitude being challenged.”

Israel Institute of NZ co-director David Cumin also welcomes the New Conservatives’ statement on New Zealand’s relationship with Israel.

He commends the various commitments which “promote positive engagement between our nations and progress toward peace”.

“The historic ties and the huge potential for future cooperation should be acknowledged by all political parties. The New Conservative position in support of Israel will appeal to most Kiwis, as IINZ polling has shown most New Zealanders hold similar views.”

The New Conservative party was founded in 2011 and has contested three elections. It advocates lower taxation and reduced government spending and supports socially conservative issues.

In the most recent polls, the New Conservatives were sitting on one percent. Under New Zealand’s electoral system, parties need to gain five percent of the vote, or an electoral seat, to make it into Parliament.

Comments

2 Responses to “More government support for Israel needed – New Conservatives”
  1. michael kuttner says:

    Fantastic news. The first and only NZ political party to recognize the reality Israel faces.

    Unfortunately their ability to enter Parliament and implement these policies are zero.

    Nice try.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    New Zealand and Australia’s sphere of influence is the South Pacific area from Indonesia to Fiji not a region on the other side of the planet.

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