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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

PSNA has written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters urging the government to abandon plans to sign a so-called “innovation agreement” with Israel which has been signed off by the New Zealand cabinet but has been waiting for the formation of a new Israeli government before being signed by the two countries.

However, with the new Israeli government hell-bent on annexation of vast swathes of occupied Palestinian land we are urging the government to suspend the agreement until the threat of annexation is lifted.

This is a simple, effective way for New Zealand to signal that there are profound human rights breaches associated with this latest racist Israeli policy which mirrors steps taken by the apartheid government of South Africa to strip black South Africans of land and liberty.

The letter sent is copied below.

John Minto
National Chair
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

Letter sent to Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters today.
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa
19 May 2020
Winston Peters
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Parliament Buildings
Wellington

Kia ora Mr Peters,

Possible innovation agreement between New Zealand and Israeli governments

In May last year we wrote to you about a proposed “innovation agreement” with Israel which had been signed off by cabinet and was waiting to be signed with Israel pending the outcome of the Israeli election.

In the last few days an Israeli government has finally been formed with Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister.

However, this government has been formed with the well-signalled intention to annex vast swathes of Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank of Palestine. This is an unambiguous threat by Israel to flagrantly breach international law and United Nations resolutions in numerous respects.

New Zealand requires of itself that in entering into bilateral agreements with any other country that there are no human rights implications arising from any agreement.  It is self-evident that in this proposed agreement, along with other recent agreements entered into with the State of Israel such as the Film Co-Production Agreement, that there are most profound human rights implications.

In these circumstances it would be morally reprehensible to consider signing any agreement with Israel. It would send the message that international law and UN resolutions are of little importance to New Zealand and can be flouted with impunity.

We therefore look forward to your assurance New Zealand will not proceed to sign this innovation agreement while the threat of annexation hangs over the Middle East.

We look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Na,

John Minto
National Chair
Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

MIL OSI