Progressive organisation, ActionStation, is deeply concerned about yesterday’s Government announcement to deploy a six-member Defence Force team to the Middle East in response to Houthi actions in the Red Sea.
Director, Kassie Hartendorp says that the undemocratic decision is concerning for many reasons.
“There is absolutely no question that current events in the Red Sea are directly linked to the Israeli Government’s ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people. The Houthis have made this clear. It is dishonest for our Coalition Government to deny this link, and drag our country into the Israeli Government’s warmongering efforts without a Parliamentary debate on whether this is the right thing to do.
“Many regional governments have been careful to not escalate tensions, because they know it will affect civilians first and foremost – as has been the case for decades in the Middle East when Western governments get involved. The decision by the Coalition Government to unquestioningly take the side of the US and UK is at best, thoughtless, and at worst, dangerous to innocent people who will bear the costs.”
Hartendorp says that now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions without considering the bigger picture.
“When questioned by journalists on the matter of Palestine being recognised as a state, Luxon, Peters and Collins all looked unprepared and out of their depth to respond. If they cannot answer these basic questions about the region, they are ill-equipped to send people from our Defence Force to get involved.”
ActionStation supports the global call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza with over 25,490 Palestinians murdered by the Israeli Government and 570,000 people facing ‘catastrophic’ hunger. Polling in November last year showed 60% of New Zealanders supported an immediate ceasefire.