McCully secures shameful legacy for New Zealand at UNSC.

McCully UNSC ShamefulAs New Zealand prepares to finish its time on the UN Security Council, Foreign Minister Murray McCully will be remembered for his complicity in making it illegal for Jews to pray at their holiest site, the Western Wall.

In the last United Nations Security Council meeting of the year and the very last meeting in New Zealand’s two year term as a member, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Murray McCully achieved the goal he has so doggedly pursued.  Resolution 2334, regarding the “Middle East Peace Process”, was adopted with 14 votes in favour and an abstention from USA.

New Zealand co-sponsored the text, which was prepared by Egypt in co-operation with the Palestinians.  While Egypt was persuaded to withdraw the text, New Zealand snuck it in opaquely and under urgency the next day in the final meeting of the year, on the eve of both Christmas and Hanukkah.  The resolution was co-sponsored by Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal and has been welcomed by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.  That is the company New Zealand apparently now keeps in geopolitical matters.

Among other things, the resolution condemns the construction and expansion of all settlements, calls for significant steps to “reverse negative trends on the ground”, states that the establishment of settlements in “the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem” is illegal, underlines that it will not recognise any changes to the 1967 lines including regarding Jerusalem except as negotiated by the parties, and calls upon states to distinguish between Israel and the occupied territories in their relevant dealings.  It also calls for an end to terror and incitement.

As renowned constitutional and criminal lawyer and Harvard scholar Alan Dershowitz notes,

“It is now illegal for Jews to pray at the Western Wall, live in certain Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem or attend Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus.”

It is a further denial of the Jewish connection to its holiest site. It also entrenches BDS – the isolation and boycott of Israel. And it apparently enshrines a brand new principle of international law – that the victor in a defensive war (in this case against Jordan) has no right or claim to the land it acquires and must hand it back – but to someone else entirely (the Palestinians who at the time of the war had no governing body nor sought autonomy).

It is now illegal for Jews to pray at the Western Wall”….  Alan Dershowitz

Make no mistake, this resolution may be dressed up in new clothes, but it is a further insidious delegitimisation of the Jewish state by the UN.

It was no surprise that Obama would use the final days of his presidency to depart from the regular practice of the USA vetoing anti-Israel resolutions.  The relationship between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu had been fraught from the beginning.  This was Obama giving Netanyahu the finger as he walked out the door.  The hypocrisy of Obama’s position was underlined by the impassioned speech of his ambassador, decrying UN bias against Israel, while at the same time awarding that bias yet another victory.

Dershowitz highlights Obama’s use of the UNSC for his personal vendetta, saying:

“President Obama’s lame duck attempt to tie the hands of his successor is both counterproductive to peace and undemocratic in nature. The lame duck period of an outgoing president is a time when our system of checks and balances is effectively suspended. The outgoing president does not have to listen to Congress or the people. He can selfishly try to burnish his personal legacy at the expense of our national and international interests. He can try to even personal scores and act on pique. That is what seems to be happening here. Congress does not support this resolution; the American people do not support this resolution.”…Alan Dershowitz

McCully is also on his way out, both as Chair of the UNSC and as Foreign Minister and, like Obama, is hell-bent on leaving a legacy, consequences be damned.  McCully has been like a rabid dog with a bone on this issue.  He has consistently excoriated settlements as the major obstacle to peace across the Middle East (while the greatest atrocity of our time unfolds on Israel’s northern border and the UNSC sits on its hands), and has refused to label as terrorism the many murderous attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians.  He has chosen to listen to and advocate for only one side in this conflict, and refused the advice of experts in the field.  As Dr Einat Wilf stated:

If New Zealand’s Foreign Minister wants to make an effective contribution, he should address the root cause of the conflict: the persistent Arab-Palestinian denial of the universal right of the Jewish people to self determination in their historic homeland.  Sadly, instead, New Zealand’s Foreign Minister repeated the unfounded claim that, ‘the viability of the two-state solution is disappearing as a consequence of Israeli settlement activity.’” …Dr Einat Wilf

There are many unresolved questions about McCully, who came into the UNSC vote with a string of diplomatic blunders under his belt – the penultimate of which was immoral and misled Parliament, cabinet, the public, and the media according to Labour MP David Parker.

Shalom.Kiwi was told that McCully did not seek cabinet approval for the recent UNSC vote – why not?  Did New Zealand’s new Prime Minister, less than 2 weeks in the job, know what was going on?  Was McCully acting as a lone wolf in (Saudi) sheep’s clothing?  Does McCully fully understand the implications (for Israel and the Palestinian people, as well as how he will be recorded in history books), of what he pushed for?  Was this vote in any way linked to deals that helped McCully get the UNSC seat or to any possible trade deals?

Whatever one thinks of the settlements, the UN, with its entrenched bias against Israel just last week acknowledged by Ban-Ki Moon, its incompetence, hypocrisy and corruption, is not the forum to solve this intractable conflict.  It will not be resolved by outside bodies imposing obligations on Israel, and even more so without requiring reciprocal obligations from the Palestinians.  This is a resolution which is not aligned with New Zealand’s values or in our long-term interests and is not in the interests of peace.

Israel has consistently shown a willingness to compromise and make peace when there is a committed partner with which to negotiate.  She disbanded settlements and withdrew from Gaza, only to be met with increased violence and a barrage of continuing rockets, and has expressed a readiness to deal directly and negotiate with Palestinians.  This resolution perpetuates the the relatively limited building of housing settlements in the West Bank is at the root of  Palestinian grievances.

Quite how the tactic of censuring one side and bolstering the other with false hope is supposed to encourage both parties to the negotiating table is puzzling.  What incentive is there now for the Palestinians to negotiate when the outcome of those negotiations has been predetermined?  How can they accept less than what this resolution says is already theirs? Why should they give up the terrorism that has been so richly rewarded? All McCully has achieved is further entrenching both sides in irreconcilable positions. Well played McCully, you can be proud of your scorched-earth legacy.

Shalom.Kiwi’s contributors are a mix of Māori, Pakeha, Jewish and non-Jewish New Zealanders, who have all spent considerable time in Israel.

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  1. Judaism’s holiest site is not the Western Wall. It is the Temple Mount.

    Amazingly, under international law, Judaism’s three holiest sites now belong to the Muslims.

    • I know it doesn’t bear thinking about.

    • Actually not under international law, only a UN resolution – though people may “feel that way”.
      I believe that the article 6 method they used has no legal enforcement, even if that should matter at a despicable organization like the UN.

  2. What has been Australia’s response to the vote? I could be wrong but reading Bolt/Blair/Catallaxy/Quadrant et al you get the sense Bishop & Turnbull are content to play the international diplomacy bum-touching game, replete with all the usual nonsense that can entail. It’d be interesting to know where the inhabitants of the RG Casey Building sat with this as well. I suspect their response will be as muddled as their masters’ decision to sign the Paris Agreement the day after Trump released his energy policy.

  3. Want a quick plan for peace?

    Here it is and after today’s vote, there is little reason to wait any longer. Time for Israel to pull off the gloves.
    Hopefully, POTUS Trump will see it this way as well. It’s a far better “deal” than any Jews were offered by any Muslim nation who expelled them and took their property without any compensation whatsoever.

    1) Israel to immediately annex Judea and Samaria (The West Bank)

    2) All non citizen Arabs in ISRAEL sign a “one strike” agreement. NO violent acts. If they violate, they go to jail, their property is confiscated and used for compensation to any victims including the State of Israel. After they serve their time, they are moved to Gaza.

    3) IF they refuse to sign such an agreement, purchase their businesses and properties at 3 times value (yes that can be determined and the money can be found). Then, off to Gaza or any other nation in the world they can emigrate to and never be allowed back in the country, not even for a visit.


    4) ALL people who remain are permanent residents will full rights except the right to vote. That will be given in 30 years time.

    NON VOTING representatives will be included in the Knesset. After 30 years, they can vote.

    5) The schools and police will be supervised. By the Israeli’ Dept. of Education and the Israeli military. NO more hate indoctrination and real history gets taught.

    6) UNRWA is dissolved. Funds in proportion to the regular UN Refugees program are increased to accommodate the “Palestinians” in all nations in which they reside to really get them citizenship in their host countries.

    The “Palestinians” (a completely make believe people) are nothing more than the First Jihadist movement of the 20th Century after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. There is NO DIFFERENCE between FATAH, HAMAS and ISIS or AL QAEDA. NONE!

    The “Palestinian Militants” do not want peace, have never wanted peace and will never want peace.

    The “Two State Delusion” is just that.

    In 10 years, the people who remain will be prosperous beyond their imaginations.

    If the world really wants peace, the USA and the Israeli’s are going to have to get very real and separate the two parties (more appropriately, separate the people with the violent Jihadist mindset) apart from Israel.

    Name given, but withheld here.

    Currently, I’m in Sydney!

  4. Sent to the New Zealand Ambassador to Israel at:
    Dear Ambassador:
    I just read of the nation of New Zealand’s sanctimonious resolution and vote at the UN yesterday regarding Israeli’s who build homes versus “Palestinian” terrorists who murder innocents.
    The gall is palpable. If I recall, history says that the Maori people were violently suppressed by your forefathers and their lands taken.
    When will you be sponsoring a resolution to give back the lands to the Maori people? Auckland will be sacred Maori lands I assume and the world will let you know where you can and cannot build in “your country”.
    The Israeli’s too had they’re lands taken and were violently suppressed by other colonial powers including the Europeans, the Romans and the Muslim Caliphates.
    So I guess if you’re going to be hypocrites at least you’re consistent hypocrites. From the other fools who signed on to your resolution, not much more need be said as to their bias, but New Zealand?
    I also suggest if you’re so fond of the make believe Palestinian people, you follow your European allies lead and admit say 100,000 of the non assimilating Islamists into your nation.
    Since your nation is the size of my native California which hold some 36 million people, perhaps you can take in all of them? After all, what harm could it do and think of all the wonderful accolades you’d receive from your European allies. Funny however that NO ARAB nation will take in even a single one of them nor have they in nearly 70 years. Wonder why?
    Your motion and vote are a stain upon your nation and mine I might add – as President Obama, who doesn’t even understand the history and the issues has proven time and again.
    I’ll be asking him when he plans on giving most of the USA back to the indiginious inhabitants as well. How about his native Hawaii? I seem to recall that the USA more or less kicked out the native Polynesians from ruling their islands as well? Oh, but that takes us back to the Maori’s of the Cook Islands. Why should we remember that small detail?
    America nor New Zealand will easily live it down. History will not treat President Obama well and your appeasement will be seen in a similar light.
    With regrets, as an American who has been sailing around the world for the last 9 years including a visit to your fair land, I will now be suggesting to my future voyaging friends that they think about a visit to Australia instead of the weather risk they take to enter and depart New Zealand.
    Good luck to you and I remind you of one last thing.
    Winston Churchill said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last”.
    At least you’ve a very large moat, be very happy about that. I wish the Israeli’s could say the same.
    Respectfully, but regretfully yours,
    Name given but withheld here.