I don’t think a single journalist believes Helen Clark’s claims that the timing of the announcement on the Israeli apology was a coincidence that it was on the same day as Don Brash’s conference speech. Yes, I am sure she did not even realise the conference was on. And one always makes foreign policy announcements on a Sunday.
The Herald reports the timing as deliberate, and points out it was agreed to in principle a couple of months ago. On National Radio the PM admitted it had all been agreed 1 – 2 weeks itself ago, and the Israeli letter was in fact post-dated, so I think it’s beyond debate.
Fran O’Sullivan points out that the PM all but lied outright in claiming the timing was at the request of Israel.
In terms of the apology, it is a good thing that Israel has apologised, and the issue is resolved. They were in the wrong. However Peter Metcalfe points out the apology is at the very low end of the scale, and is almost a clayton’s apology.
It is interesting that as Labour is losing the battle on domestic issues, they are turning to foreign ones. The timed apology, the sudden enthusiasm to do something about Zimbabwe etc. I predict more foreign issues in the next four weeks.