Last week, a New Zealand government fund divested from three Israeli companies because of their involvement in the construction of Judea and Samaria settlements. Elbit, Lev Leviev’s Africa Israel and its construction subsidiary Danya Cebus, and Shikun & Binui were excluded from the $23.5 billion New Zealand Superannuation Fund, the New Zealand Herald reported last week.
In a statement, Anne-Maree O’Connor, the fund’s manager for responsible investment, said, “Findings by the United Nations that the separation barrier and settlement activities were illegal under international law were central to the fund’s decision to exclude the companies. The fund also factored in votes by New Zealand for UN Security Council resolutions demanding the cessation and dismantling of the separation barrier, and the cessation of Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”
As a Christian living in New Zealand I would like to apologize for the actions of the New Zealand government. In 1948 we stood by the Jewish people but now, for the sake of oil and meat sales, things have changed.
Much has been said about the dividing wall that Israel has built between the Jewish People and the Arab People, but very little has been asked about why it is there.
In 1992, a Policeman was kidnapped in Israel by a terrorist organization. They negotiated his freedom for the release of some of their own people. However, it was discovered that while the negotiations were going on he was already dead. Following this there were many kidnappings and killings of young soldiers as they hitchhiked across the country. Schoolgirls were attack in the schools and an older man waiting for a bus was murdered. Each time these attacks occurred the border between Israel and the “West Bank” was closed but when the situation cleared it was reopened. Finally in March 1993 Israel had had enough and with the coming of the Oslo Accords, which called for a separation of the two people, they closed the border. A month later, two terrorists trying to kidnap a busload of people, murdered two ladies. This confirmed to the Israel Government the closure should remain.
About this time, the Bus bombs started and many Israelis died, men, women and children all going about their general business. The bombs occurred in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and at bus stops throughout the country. The closure stayed in place. Then there was the bombing of the restaurant where the young lady who was to marry the next day, died with her father.
The problem with this closure was that it was like a sieve, the closure was only on the main roads and these check points were very easy to bypass. Once I traveled north to Jenin from Bethlehem, to take one of our boys home for the holidays. As the taxi was coming from Ramalah to Jerusalem, there was a large queue of vehicles waiting to pass through the checkpoint. The driver turned right and went up through the housing area, out onto a dry wadi and across several hundred meters of open ground, then turned back onto the main road and continued into Jerusalem, bypassing the checkpoint. This is how easy it was for bombers to enter into the cities of Israel.
Hundreds of Israelis have been killed or maimed for life since the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords. There have been more than 70 Palestinian bomb attacks aimed at Israelis since September 2000. On February 25, 2005, four people were killed and at least 30 injured in a bomb blast outside a night club in Tel Aviv, weeks after Israeli and Palestinian leaders declared a truce. We’ve lost count of the bombings that occurred when we were living there. A friend of ours survived a bombing but died from thyroid cancer, caused by the blast, 5 years later.
Since the building of the separation barrier, there have been about three attacks on Israelis, and all because the bombers cannot reach their planned targets. Of course this barrier is frustrating to the local people, but it is even more frustrating to the people carrying bombs; that is why they want it removed. It is difficult to pass through the checkpoint of the wall at times but it stops people from both sides being killed. The last time I passed through the wall it took about an hour, but this is a small price to pay when you think of the alternative. Nobody wants the wall, not Israel as it has caused them much bad publicity, not the Arabs because of the problems it can cause them just getting to work. The Orthodox Jews do not want it as it gives legitimacy to the West Bank, – Samaria and Judea the Biblical heart land of Israel – being given away to the very people who are trying to destroy the State of Israel. The Palestine Liberation Organization Charter written in 1964 three years before Israel took over the West Bank and still in force today, calls for the destruction of Israel. The left wing Israelis don’t want it because they say it is an obstacle to peace.Dennis McLeod