Thursday, May 6, 2021
Times of Georgia
HomePoliticalTrading Military Equipment With Israel Is A Human Rights Outrage

Trading Military Equipment With Israel Is A Human Rights Outrage


Revelations that foreign affairs officials have approved
the sale of military equipment to a host of
human-rights-abusing countries, including Israel, is an
outrage.

In recent years foreign affairs has been
dominated by trade priorities with concerns for human rights
sidelined. Senior foreign affairs staff at all levels have
advised successive ministers of foreign affairs to
prioritise trade above everything else.

The tragic
outcome was seen in last night’s television one
story.

In Israel’s case the situation is even more
galling because New Zealand has also been importing military
equipment from Israel which has been “battle-tested” on
the civilian Palestinian population.

In 2012 the New
Zealand Superfund withdrew investments from Israel’s
largest weapons manufacturer, Elbit Systems Limited, because
it was involved in grave breaches of international law
through building Israel’s “apartheid wall” which the
International Court of Justice declared in serious breach of
international law.

Despite this the New Zealand
Defence Force continues to purchase military equipment from
Elbit Systems.

Meanwhile Minister of Foreign Affairs
Nanaia Mahuta is advised by these same officials not to
speak out about Israeli human rights abuses against
Palestinians; Indonesian human rights abuses against the
people of West Papua or stop the importation of “blood
phosphate” from Western Sahara. Ironically these three
cases all involve struggles for self-determination by
indigenous people against colonisation – something Nanaia
Mahuta said would be a priority for her.

The only
human rights abuses the government has spoken out about are
in China, Hong King and Myanmar because these are what our
five eyes “allies”, led by the US, want us to talk about
rather than the human rights crimes of America’s
friends.

The government needs to wrench control of
official advice from the trade junkies and
US-first-at-all-costs officials in the Minister Foreign
Affairs.

We should speak clearly against human rights
abuses wherever they
occur.

© Scoop Media

 



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