Monday, July 19, 2004

Helen versus Israel

Helen's strong condemnation of Israel drawn unintended consequences. First there was the desecration of Jewish Graves and now Helen has been endorsed by Hamas. While allegations of official antisemitism are unwarranted, it's become clear that in trying to bash the Israelis as the French had been bashed in the 80s, Helen & co. have overplayed their hand. Helen's key demand for a formal and public apology - which the Israelis weren't giving because a) we aren't that important and b) Goff held hands with Yassir Arafat - now looks like it will be quietly put to sleep along with a marked reduction in rhetoric against Israel.
Speaking of which there's also some chatter in the local blogs and newsgroups that if Uri and Eli were Mossad Agents then they should have been tried for espionage. Since they weren't, they can't have been agents. However if Uri and Ali weren't Mossad agents, then Israel would have issued a strong denial and it has not done so. Moreover under New Zealand Law, espionage is strictly defined under section 78 of the Crimes Act 1961 (the legislation is here under statutes but because of the arsed nature of the pages, I can't make a direct link to it), which has two requirements - one that could be met and another that can't. The requirement that could be met is that the person pass on any information or object prejudicial to the security or defence of New Zealand to a foreign country or organization. Since passports are covered under the Passport Act 1991, one is going to have a hard time arguing that it is covered here. More importantly, the requirement that can't be met is that the person must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident, which Uri and Eli definitely aren't!