NZ must show moral leadership in flotilla blockade

New Zealand must condemn Israel’s attempt to stop the humanitarian flotilla reaching Gaza and the prolonged, illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel, the Green Party said today.

New Zealand must condemn Israel’s attempt to stop the humanitarian flotilla reaching Gaza and the prolonged, illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel, the Green Party said today.

It has emerged that two New Zealanders are aboard the flotilla that had been attempting to reach Gaza to deliver solar panels and medical aid. Israel blocked the flotilla and has towed it back to Israeli shores.

“The Prime Minister has made noise about jump-starting peace between Israel and Palestine. He must, in order to show impartiality, condemn the actions of Israel in stopping humanitarian aid reaching the people of Gaza,” said Green Party global affairs spokesperson Kennedy Graham.

“If John Key does not condemn the attempts to stop aid reaching Gaza, his words about wanting to lead peace in that region will be widely seen as hollow.

“It is time for New Zealand to show leadership.

“Being on the Security Council gives New Zealand the opportunity to show moral leadership, and this a crucial issue in which New Zealand needs to step up.

“If we want to be a genuine peace mediator, the Prime Minister needs to be strong in his condemnation of Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has been deemed illegal by United Nations experts and condemned by the Secretary-General.

“Too many innocent people have suffered in Gaza already because of this blockade.

“New Zealand has a good opportunity to lead on peace in Gaza; but we need to be politically courageous enough to call out immoral behaviour when it occurs,” said Dr Graham.

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