Release: Govt must recognise Palestine now

Two months have passed since the National Government said it was a question of ”when, not if” New Zealand would recognise Palestine, in response to Labour’s call.

“In those two months, Ireland, Spain and Norway have recognised Palestine,” said Labour foreign affairs spokesperson David Parker.

“The war continues unabated, and thousands more have been killed or maimed by the Israeli army under the command of the Israeli government. The infrastructure of Palestine continues to be destroyed and yet more people made homeless. The humanitarian situation is dire.

“Calls by the United Nations for a ceasefire in Gaza have been ignored. The case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is being undermined by critics of that process.

“Sadly, for both Palestine and Israel, the prospects of a durable solution are diminishing.

“To now participate in RIMPAC operations with the Israeli Defence Force will be seen by New Zealand citizens and by non-western countries as further evidence of the lop-sided approach by this government to the tragedy that is happening in Palestine.

“The international rules-based order we rely upon is also being undermined. Experts at reputable institutions like Chatham House in the United Kingdom have cogently described the dangers arising from hypocrisy in the west. 

“New Zealand should use the influence we have to uphold the rules-based order which the Government says it supports.

“New Zealand is a member country of the International Court of Justice. Under the last Labour Government we participated in the case against Russia concerning the Ukraine, as we did in earlier years regarding Rwanda. New Zealand’s lack of action to date in this case stands in stark contrast.

“The National Government should be asked how they can defend their current inaction.

“It is high time for the National Government to do what it can with regards to Palestine, without further prevarication,” said David Parker.

Labour is renewing its call from a letter sent to Minister of Foreign Affairs on 12 April 2024 for the New Zealand government to immediately:

  • recognise Palestine (not Hamas), and
  • to intervene in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) process.

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