In the race to the bottom, I nominate the government of Prime Minister Helen Clark as the most anti-Israeli in the Western world. Yes, there's plenty of competition (Belgium, Canada, and Greece come to mind) but Clark's peeved response to the passport fracas in mid-2004 set off a sequence of unpleasantries that still continue.
Exhibit A, detailed by Patrick Goodenough in today's New Zealand Herald is the government's last-minute action to block a private one-day visit by Israel's deputy chief of staff, Major-General Gabi Ashkenazi. Ashkenazi, Israel's second-most senior military officer, was planning to address the United Israel Appeal, a non-political fundraising organization, in Auckland on March 13.
A spokesman for the foreign minister, Phil Goff, confirmed that the proposed visit "fell well outside the relevant guidelines" for Israelis, so the visa was refused. A spokesman for the prime minister added that the refusal "would be in keeping with the official position on contacts with Israel at present."
One observer noted the Jewish community's disappointment; why should Ashkenazi be denied access "when representatives of undemocratic states are here all the time?" Goodenough notes that "Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi - whose Government's stated goals include the destruction of Israel - visited New Zealand in August for talks with the Government." And The Liberal Party's spokesman for foreign affairs, Ken Shirley, called refusing a visa to an Israeli planning a non-official visit to a private organization "a gross incursion into basic freedoms that we expect in this country." (March 15, 2005)