Wellington City Council – Sister city relationship with Ramallah

We are pleased that the first two motions – to recognise the “State of Palestine” and light up the Michael Fowler Centre in Palestinian colours on 15 May were withdrawn.

As regards the motion to pursue a sister city relationship with Ramallah, we are very disturbed by the message that this gives Wellington residents and, as the capital city, the country as a whole.  Ramallah is the de facto capital of an authoritarian regime under which selling land to Jews is punishable by death and gay people are persecuted and not protected against discrimination under the law.  

Wellington is a city that prides itself on its diversity and inclusivity.  Establishing a relationship with Ramallah does not align with this image and risks alienating minorities, including the Jewish community, who would not be welcome or safe there. It is a needlessly divisive decision.