Ramallah (QNN) – Under pressures from the Israeli government, New Zealand has apologised to the former after a map outlining New Zealand’s work to resettle Palestinian refugees referred to the area of historical Palestine as “Palestine” and not Israel.
New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston apologised for what he described as “a rather careless and shoddy mistake”, and said the Government would apologise at a ministerial level if it was deemed necessary.
Earlier, the Israel Institute of New Zealand raised concerns about the Immigration NZ document, saying it “totally erases Israel from the map” and presented a one-sided narrative of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
The fact sheet, which outlined New Zealand’s work with the United Nations to resettle Palestinian refugees, spoke about “vulnerability and protracted instability in the State of Palestine” with the Israel-Palestine conflict “still far from a politically-agreed and sustainable solution”.
“This is incredibly offensive and the equivalent of New Zealand Immigration displaying a map of the UK which removed Scotland and Wales and referred to the entirety of the British Isles as England,” Church said.
“It is alarming and embarrassing that information provided by a New Zealand government department can be both wildly inaccurate and so heavily politicized, he said.”
Immigration NZ refugee division manager Andrew Lockhart said the department had taken down the fact sheet from its website after it was contacted by a member of the public.