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EDITORIAL: The BFD picked up an interesting article today. It was written by Dr David Cumin, Senior Lecturer in Anaesthesiology at the University of Auckland, and published by the Israel Institute of New Zealand (IINZ).
Dr Cumin criticises the New Zealand government, claiming that they “have once again failed to proscribe Hamas or Hezbollah” as terrorist organisations.
As Dr Cumin is clearly a strong supporter of the Israeli government, I can understand that he would be disappointed by this policy. I imagine that he sees any policy that does not support what Israel views as in its national interest, as apposed to Israel’s national interest. And in that, he may well be right.
However, I would point out that it is the role of the New Zealand government to create policy in the national interest of New Zealand, not Israel. And it is worth remembering that Israel has certainly not shown itself to be a friend of this country over the years.
In 2004, two “Israeli citizens suspected of being Mossad agents, Uriel Kelman and Eli Cara, were caught trying to fraudulently acquire a New Zealand passport using the identity of a man with cerebral palsy.”
The New Zealand Prime Minister at the time, Helen Clark said that “an official inquiry that began after the arrests revealed that an Israeli passport factory had been issuing New Zealand passports.”
Prime Minister Clark also revealed, “Three months ago we asked for an apology and an explanation. That has not been forthcoming.”Wikipedia
But instead, Dr. Alon Liel, former Director-General of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, is quoted as saying that Israel must protest the diplomatic sanctions, “for if not, it’s a silent admission that the two men worked for the Mossad.”
Dr Cumin doesn’t mention Israel’s unfriendly history towards New Zealand and its people in his article. But I guess that is understandable, it wouldn’t do his argument much good.
Rather, Dr Cumin who is co-director of the (IINZ), claims that, “The Israel Institute of New Zealand (IINZ) is concerned that politics is trumping national security and jeopardizing free trade with allied countries.” By which he specifically means New Zealand’s Five Eyes intelligence partners, The UK, The US, Canada and Australia.
He goes on to say, “The failure to properly designate Hamas and Hezbollah demonstrates that one of the Five Eyes is wilfully blind. And this wilful blindness is increasingly recognised for what it in fact is, an explicit insult to Washington.”
I hope Dr Cumin is mistaken in his assessment that New Zealand’s policy is an explicit insult to Washington. Mainly because it would be far more appropriate for it to be an explicit insult to Tel Aviv.
What is more, disguising his argument as concern for New Zealand’s wellbeing and good standing in the world is … let’s just say, not very credible.
Perhaps Dr Cumin would be better off by simply stating what, in my opinion, he really means; that everyone should just do what Israel wants, because, you know, it’s Israel.
Well, this country certainly doesn’t owe Israel any favours.
Dr Cumin claims that New Zealand’s failure to dub Hamas and Hizbollah as terrorist organisations, “is a blatant loophole that allows support for terror from New Zealand.”
Again, I think he is straining credibility to suggest that New Zealanders are enabling Hamas and Hizbollah to take pot-shots at Israel. But more likely, one of the reasons Israel has problems with its neighbours, is because Israel makes a thoroughly shitty neighbour of itself.
People generally, the world over, tend to get along better with neighbours who stick to their own back yard. Who don’t dump their garbage over the fence. And who don’t blow-up each other’s houses or kill each other’s families.
And just perhaps, that’s something that Dr Cumin, Hamas, Hezbollah and Israel, would all benefit from considering.
Published: 09 September 2022
From The BFD