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Get Over It

Ha’aretz reports on the latest manifestation of childish behavior from the New Zealand government.

New Zealand has denied the entry of one of Israel’s highest-ranking reserve officers, citing an ongoing diplomatic dispute between the two countries, the New Zealand Herald reported Tuesday. 
 

Former Israel Defense Forces deputy chief of staff Major General Gabi Ashkenazi was slated to address Jewish leaders from the United Israel Appeal, a major fundraising group, but his visa was denied, the newspaper reported.

 

Relations between Israel and New Zealand have been chilly ever since two Israelis, suspected of being Mossad agents, were convicted of trying to obtain a passport by assuming the identity of a disabled New Zealander.

 

The report quoted a New Zealand Foreign Ministry official as saying Ashkenazi’s visit “fell well outside the relevant guidelines” defined by the ministry last July. The guidelines include restrictions regarding high-level visits by Israeli officials.

Message to New Zealand: Get over it! Quite frankly, we have more pressing problems here than the prospect of being barred from entering your country.

 

In fact, it is precisely these more pressing problems that motivated us to have spies operating within your territory in the first place. Obviously, we are not interested in attacking or otherwise undermining your country – don’t flatter yourself, there is a greater chance of you being attacked by Hobbits – but rather acting against terrorists and countries out to destroy us. So an apology should be enough. And just because the apology did not involve our Prime Minister on his hands and knees before Helen Clark, begging for forgiveness, should not result in the above example of pettiness.

 

At least there is some sanity in your opposition party.

New Zealand’s liberal ACT party was angry with the decision. A spokesman for the party told the New Zealand Herald that denying a visa for “a non-official visit to a private organization is a gross incursion into basic freedoms that we expect in this country.”

 

The spokesman, Ken Shirley, accused the government of “unnecesarily making a political issue” of Ashkenazi’s visit.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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