Sunday, May 13, 2012

New Zealand month in Israel

Following on Bill Shorten's visit to Israel last week, heralding closer econmic ties between Israel and Australia, now its New Zealand's turn.

As well as Murray McCully's meeting with Netanyahu, Bob Parker attended the International Conference of Mayors.  He gave this interview to Haaretz.

Later this month the Prime Minister's chief scientist Sir Peter Gluckman is lecturing at the University of Tel Aviv and Pharmac's acting chief executive Steffan Crausaz is speaking at an international conference on bio-medicine in Israel.
The New Zealand-Israel Parliamentary friendship group will next week leave for a four-day visit of Israel.
Chaired by National MP Paul Hutchison, the cross-party group also features Labour MP Phil Goff, Greens MP Kennedy Graham and National MPs Jackie Dean and John Hayes.

What is most interesting to me is the Parliamentary "Friends of Israel".  Phil Goff's inclusion is puzzling.  he attended Yom Haatzmut celebrations, yet he also visited Arafat, and has made many strange comments in the (recent) past.

And how about Kennedy Graham?  One one hand, it is interesting and heartening to see that he views himself as a friend of Israel.  However, many in his party have stated such extremist views such that Israel should not exist, and that Netanyahu is a monster.  It really isn't clear where Dr Graham stands, but at least publicly he is involving himself in this junket fact finding mission of friendship.
One thing that we can be sure of is that at least Dr. Graham will write a report on Frogblog.  I look forward to that.

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