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Oz senator unleashes on NZ over Israel

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/01/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

An Australian senator is calling for sanctions on New Zealand because of its actions in the United Nations resolution condemning Israeli settlements.

Queensland's Malcolm Roberts, a former coal miner who denies the science behind climate change, has suggested Australia should "review immigration relaxations" for New Zealanders entering the country.

"At the very least we should look at further cutting benefits for New Zealanders living in Australia," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

He was angered by New Zealand co-sponsoring a UN Security Council Resolution last month, which said Israel's continuing establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory constituted a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution.

Israel recalled its New Zealand ambassador in response.

Israel was a close ally and the only Middle Eastern democracy where Christians, Muslims, atheists and Jews could all be elected to the same parliament, Senator Roberts said.

"Perhaps a tougher immigration policy aimed towards New Zealand would stop Kiwis from establishing settlements in Australia," Senator Roberts said.

It has since emerged Australia would not have done the same thing if it had been on the council.

Senator Roberts said his government could have applied pressure on New Zealand and "the new [Bill] English government would have thought twice before stabbing our ally in the front".

The anti-Islam One Nation, which holds four of 76 seats in the Australian senate, has said Australia should never again support New Zealand gaining anything like a Security Council seat.

"This is why New Zealanders can't have nice things," Senator Roberts said.

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