Today we learn that the Israeli military have bombed a United Nations-run school in Gaza, killing at least 30 men, women and children. Dozens more have been injured.
Israel is conducting a savage military campaign in a densely-populated region: it is nothing more than calculated brutality.
Despite this brutality there still is no condemnation from the National-led government and, in particular, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully.
This is political and moral cowardice on a grand scale.
The Bush administration has given its unconditional support to the Israeli assault and McCully and his government are toeing the Bush line.
McCully's claim that he is not going to take sides on the issue is mere sophistry - by refusing to condemn Israel's brutality he has taken sides.
Israeli interests in New Zealand regard McCuLly as being 'friendly' toward Israel.
NZ-Israel Trade Association Chief Executive Officer Mike Nathan recently said that he expected the National-led government to be 'less interested in the deploring of Israeli acts of self-defence.'
He also went on to say that he thought it 'less likely to see National snuggle up to non-aligned countries, as Clark’s government did, and I think a National government will not necessarily follow the pattern of voting against Israel on United Nations resolutions'
If McCully wasn't so intent on playing footsy with the Bush administration and cuddling up to Israel, he might of given the issue some more thought.
A more enlightened and perceptive Minister of Foreign Affairs would of pointed out by now that waging a war in a territory with a long history of resistance to outsiders is unlikely to lead to greater moderation from those afflicted.
A more enlightened and perceptive Minister of Foreign Affairs would have said by now that Israel's assault is unlikely to lead a more compromising position from Hamas - in fact it more likely to simply stiffen Palestinian resistance.
A more enlightened and perceptive Minister of Foreign affairs would have backed by now Amnesty International's condemnation of Israel's brutal military campaign as a 'reckless disregard for civilian life'.
A more enlightened and perceptive Minister of Foreign Affairs may have also quoted the Amnesty International Report, which notes how the attacks by Palestinians against civilian-populated areas in Israel, (which the report also condemns), "does not make it legitimate for the Israeli authorities to launch reckless air and artillery strikes which wreak such death and destruction among Palestinian civilians."
But we don't have a enlightened and perceptive Minister of Foreign Affairs - we've got Murray McCully.
Note: Why hasn't the Maori Party condemned Israel? Are the rights of the Palestinian people of no concern to it or is it being selective about what 'indigenous struggles' it will support?