The ethical decision by the New Zealand Superannuation Fund to cancel investments in Israeli banks must be followed by our government according to local Palestinian supporters.
The NZ Super Fund has announced that it has thrown its investment in five Israeli banks as Israeli banks fund the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The NZ Super Fund analysis “concludes that the Bank made a material contribution (and is likely to continue to contribute) to settlement development in the OPT”.
Palestinian supporters here have frequently complained about these banks to the NZ Super Fund, especially after a 2018 report by Human Rights Watch that identified the active participation of these banks in settlement construction in violation of international law.
In 2012, the NZ Super Fund ended its investment with three Israeli companies on ethical grounds. These are companies that directly build illegal settlements on Palestinian land.
The NZ Super Fund has provided a number of reasons for divesting in Israeli banks, including New Zealand’s joint sponsorship of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 of 2016 condemning Israeli settlements, NGO and UN reports, New Zealand’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions, Israel. threats to annex large parts of the Occupied West Bank and a major increase in settlement building by 2020.
PSNA spokesperson Janfrie Wakim said the NZ Super Fund had finally carried out a thorough investigation and reached a firm conclusion that it was unethical to continue investing in these banks.
“There is a lot of reliable information and law that makes a sustainable NZ Super Fund investment with these banks untenable. No New Zealand institution may provide any support for the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians of their homeland and the brutal occupation of Israel. “
“The IMF still has investments in other Israeli companies, and the IMF said it will pay attention to an upcoming report from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights about the mistakes of other Israeli companies in building illegal settlements,”
Janfrie Wakim said the NZ Super Fund divestment decision and the evidence it used had emerged in what he described as a dire lag from the New Zealand government.
“The NZ Super Fund divested in arms maker Elbit Systems during the first round of Israeli disinvestment in 2012.”
“However, the New Zealand government has admitted to buying military equipment, field tested on Palestinians, from Elbit Systems, which is the same company that the NZ Super Fund removed from its portfolio in 2012.”
NZ Super Fund documents on Israeli banks can be found here.
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The Palestinian Solidarity Network Aotearoa said the Prime Minister should implement the ‘Middle East sniff test’ again. This time for the New Zealand government’s military dealings with Israel.
It follows that Air New Zealand is repairing equipment for the Saudi Arabian navy, while Saudi Arabia attacks civilians in Yemen, triggering a severe humanitarian crisis.
PSNA chairman John Minto said the Prime Minister should sniff out the purchase of New Zealand Defense Force military equipment from Israeli arms manufacturer Elbit Systems Limited.
“The Elbit system acts illegally under international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. ‘
“This is too much for the New Zealand Superfund, which withdrew investment from Elbit Systems in 2012.”
The Superfund found Elbit was helping build Israel’s so-called “security wall” inside the Israeli-occupied West Bank. In 2003, the International Court of Justice declared the wall illegal under international law.
John Minto said the Elbit System offers its weapons “battle tested” in Palestine.
“However, despite the stance taken by Superfund, and the ACC as well, the Ministry of Defense ignored the requirements of New Zealand and international law, not to say basic morality, and continued to purchase military equipment from the Elbit System.”
“Previous Defense Minister Ron Mark ignored international law and the brutal persecution of the Palestinian people.”
“The purchase continues,” said John Minto. There is blood on this apparatus.
“The PM must follow his nose and resolve this issue quickly – the office of the new Minister of Defense has not responded to four PSNA communications on the matter since last year’s election.”
“New Zealand’s defense and foreign policy must have an ethical and moral basis in line with international law, United Nations resolutions, and in particular New Zealand’s obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
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We often hear from Government and Media spokespersons about the need to support an “international rules-based order” (IRBO). The question that needs to be asked, however, is what are the ‘rules’ that underlie this order – which the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and other nations in Washington’s orbit are so incessantly promoting? New Zealand’s sustainability may depend on the successful rearrangement of the rules governing Global Politics, so such an objective should be a priority on our Government’s foreign affairs agenda in these terms.
The Dig recently featured a most timely article by Robert Patman on the foreign policy challenges facing the New Zealand Government. Patman recommends that New Zealand add its diplomatic voice to countries wishing to revise the status quo as exemplified by internationalrule-based rules (IRBO) where the spokesperson who governs the West, including New Zealand is very fond of claiming their allegiance.
The fairness of the ‘rules’ on which IRBO is based, and for that matter, how ‘orderly’ it is, is the subject of intense debate for many, especially those in the Global South and countries that are not on the side of the US. . The frank debate about – who writes, who benefits, and who prevents changes – these rules are long overdue.
Such dialogue can benefit our entire Civilization, and indeed our global biodiversity system. This could lead to greater peace-building, less inequality, and more collaboration to solve the biggest problems we face – Climate Change and Global War. Reorganizing this system may seek to build a more multilateral, undamaged, global system of government based on the free consent of all countries. This will likely be characterized by a more proportionate share of power and wealth, and a more equitable law enforcement agency. This will enable the exploitation of a large amount of potential and ingenuity in the underdeveloped world, and actually create for the first time, an International Community of nations founded on respect and equality.
International Rules-Based Orders
Rocket Lab’s personal launch site: Launch Complex 1 in Māhia, New Zealand. Source Rocket Lab.
“Our defense engagement with the United States strengthens NZ’s ability to contribute to an international rules-based order and international security and to protect and promote New Zealand’s interests.”
Ron Mark, then Minister of Defense of New Zealand,
The quote above is taken from a recent email from Ron Mark, NZ Defense Minister, in response to an NZ peace activist’s question about a military satellite launched from NZ territory by US-owned company Rocket Lab Ltd. His reasons for supporting ‘rules-based-international-order’ are regularly featured in the New Zealand Defense White Paper. In this September issue NZ International Reviews, The Secretary of Defense, Ron Mark, in an article looking back at his achievements in office, mentioned New Zealand’s support for this ‘rule-based-international-order’ no less than six times.
Hon. Ron Mark (Left) with Former Deputy PM, Hon. Winston Peters.
Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is what ‘rules’ are the basis of New Zealand’s defense policy and which the US, UK, Australia and other countries in Washington’s orbit are so aggressively promoting? As every follower of international relations since WWII will see, these rules suit states that have more power to regulate them than they do not. “Britain rules the waves and England rules the rules!”
To the detriment of all humanity, they have allowed the worst offenders to steal imagined short-term economic gains by unilaterally tearing up the Paris agreement on climate change. Likewise, the JCPOA, which was designed to ensure that Iran would not develop nuclear weapons and instead, that its population would avoid crippling economic sanctions, was unilaterally dumped by the ‘leaders’ of our rules-based order. Under the current set of rules, torture, murder, subversion of governments of other countries, incitement of enmity and reckless rebellion through deliberate false flags and misleading public opinion can, and have all been carried out with impunity.
These rules have allowed for the invasion of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Serbia, Libya, Israeli snipers covering the knees of hundreds of Palestinian protesters and the displacement of millions of refugees. This system allowed 7.5 million tonnes of bombs to be dropped on Laotian Vietnamese and Cambodians, and continued to allow the terrorization of countless long-range populations and the sudden death of unseen drones. They allow the manipulation of the global monetary system to impose economic sanctions that effectively damage the livelihoods, health and happiness of a large part of the global population.
Global disruption collapsed online by Ingram Pinn
This October, the US imposed new banking sanctions on Covid-19-hit Iran that would severely limit its ability to provide medical assistance to its population. Among many other things, rules-based systems accept the deliberate subversion and sabotage of human efforts to build effective multinational institutions such as the WHO, OPCW, and ICC.
Web search for ‘treaties not signed or not ratified by the United States’ provides a list of international treaties the leaders of our ‘natural allies’, have withdrawn from, refused to ratify, or have ratified and then withdrew unilaterally.
This agreement represents the ‘rules’ on which the global system is based and which NZ claims to maintain.
How can New Zealand keep a flat face? In order to preserve the ‘international rules-based order,’ which he claims to be his national security, at the same time, he trains, cooperates with, and provides comfort to publicly displayed consent to his agitators. numerous, repugnant (and by what means, is there a universal and enforceable criminal act of the rule of law)?
If New Zealand’s national security is truly reliant on participating in this appalling misbehavior, at least New Zealanders should avoid the hypocrisy of our government by calling it ‘rules by the rules.’ The shovel should be called a shovel. Let us admit the present, so-called ‘order based on the rules,’ for what it is: anarchist playground where the strongest and least afraid of using force, decide the rules that the less powerful nations must obey. Such a system bears a closer resemblance to rule in forests than to rule of international law.
The New Zealand government must stop pretending. They need to publicly acknowledge that New Zealand prefers to accept what may be true, or to take effective action to support the rule of international law. To do so would require refusing to participate in the current ‘rules by the rules’ with inherent aggressiveness, which is well exemplified by the obscene tonnage of bombs dropped on defenseless countries and the thousands of children who have experienced drone trauma in developing countries. .
Now, New Zealand is lining up to support this aggressive alliance in its conflict with China, one of NZ’s two main trading partners. Despite the deliberate distortion in mainstream Western (or more accurately ‘corporate’) media, China remains a staunch supporter of international law and institutions, and has not dropped bombs on anyone.
Robert Patman is fully justified in advocating for New Zealand to seriously consider joining the Non-Aligned Nation Movement, or such a solution. The NAM was no longer a force in its heyday, and doing so would involve leadership to make it a significant force in global politics that the world craved. There are other organizations, such as the G77, which can also be considered as possible vehicles for New Zealand diplomatic initiatives. In this new era of connectedness that Patman describes so well, such a move can only be in New Zealand’s best national interest.
NZ adopting such an autonomous neutrality or non-alignment policy would involve removing public engagement from much of Washington’s rule-based order. From such a position, rather than comforting Washington and its satellites by offering at least tacit approval of their hostility, New Zealand can then conclusively support two of the world’s greatest and most pressing ‘needs’. This is the first, peaceful reconciliation and coexistence between the ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ blocs and second, the empowerment of the United Nations to enable it to ensure that the international community functions under a fair and effective rules-based international order.
No convincing argument can be made that the US and its allies are not an aggressive force that can harm those who refuse to submit to selfish ‘rules’. It is much easier to find evidence that among those who accept Western aggression, China and Russia, despite claims of the Western media’s highly effective PR machines, will be willing to conform to an international rules-based system. Such a system must be governed through an undamaged multilateral institution where the rules are drawn up multilaterally and with a much greater degree of consensus than seems achievable under the current UN constitution where the winners of World War II are still unjustifiable. holds such disproportionate power.
Given that New Zealand’s survival may depend on the successful outcome of such an endeavor, such a goal would be commensurate with New Zealand’s full and enthusiastic support. The most recent issue of The New Zealand International Review contains an article on how Lichtenstein (population 38,000) was instrumental in ensuring that waging aggressive warfare is universally viewed as a crime against humanity.
With a will, even the smallest country can achieve great victories for mankind.
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