After hearing from a reliable source that New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, was considering recognition of “Palestine” in May at the same time the subject had come up for debate with the Wellington City Council, I set about emailing every member of Parliament. I explained to them why the idea of Palestinian statehood is premature and unacceptable. There were some I wrote to on a more personal level, having battled with them on the Parliament forecourt on 16 May at the presentation of a petition to support this. One of them was Phil Twyford and my email to him is below:
Sent: Wednesday, 24 May 2023 12:14 PM
To: Hon Phil Twyford <Philip.Twyford@parliament.govt.nz>
Subject: MOST URGENT
Dear Mr Twyford,
I stood on the grounds of Parliament last week countering a petition calling for New Zealand recognition of Palestinian statehood. I was appalled that members of your party including yourself were supporting such a thing. Therefore I offer good reasons why this move is premature:
New Zealand cannot recognise a terrorist state. Here are good reasons why recognition of “Palestine” plays into the hands of their terrorist leaders in Hamas, and the corrupt leaders with the Palestinian Authority who incite their people to murder innocent Israelis:
- They fire rockets indiscriminately into Israeli population centres
- They call for the destruction of Israel – it is in the Hamas charter and the Palestinian Authority speak of the future liberation of all Palestine (State of Israel)
- They refuse to negotiate with the Israelis, although this was a condition of statehood as outlined in the Oslo Accords of 1993
- They refuse to acknowledge Israel as the Jewish State
- They incite their people to murder Jews and compare Jews to pigs in their education system
- They refuse to renounce terrorism
- They reward terrorist murderers with “pay for slay” where those murdering innocent Israelis are given rich financial rewards which also become incentives to carry out such attacks
- They make erroneous and false claims against the people and land of Israel, completely denying the historical connection of the Jewish people to the land
A New Zealand acknowledgement of such statehood will be an affirmation of all these things and will make us culpable for what follows. Recognition under these circumstances plays into the hands of the terrorist leaders who will be empowered by such support from New Zealand. It will not bring about peace but will end in a full scale war. The Palestinians need to be pressured to go back to the negotiating table to make a peace deal with Israel, and not to be rewarded with recognition for their terrorism and intransigence. The Palestinians are deliberately bypassing direct talks with the Israelis as they had agreed to do and are finding a way forward through nations who do not appreciate what is actually at stake.
I am asking you please to use whatever influence you may have to ensure New Zealand refuses recognition of Palestinian statehood. The message should be conveyed to the Palestinian leaders that they must work it out with the Israelis. I also want to make the following plain, as the Palestinian propaganda has been effective in deceiving the naive: Israel is not an apartheid state – it is a liberal democracy where Jews, Christians and Muslims are treated better in Israel than anywhere else in the Middle East.
I pray New Zealand will not empower nor reward the terrorists who are hell-bent on the destruction of Israel, but will rather encourage a true dialogue between the two parties that will procure a genuine peace.
Thank you for your time.
Part of this Campaign
In addition to writing to every member of Parliament, full page advertorials were placed in two of Wellington’s papers: The Post and the Independent Herald, in order to add pressure to our lobby. It was a battle to get Stuff Media to agree to publish my full page in the The Post, but after several compromises in my writing and headings, their legal team finally gave the go-ahead and they were published on June 23 and 24. The approved draft of the Independent Herald follows: