New Zealand voted for a historic United States-led resolution against Hamas terror at the United Nations, along with 87 other countries. There were 36 abstentions and 57 nations voted against the resolution.
Despite a majority in favour of the resolution, it was not adopted because the general assembly voted to require a two-thirds majority. Nikki Haley pointed out that the demand for a two-thirds majority was a double-standard since no such demand was made on anti-Israel resolutions, including the six passed in a “planned attack” on Israel last week.
Shamefully, New Zealand’s representative at the UN abstained, unlike most other democratic countries, on whether the double-standard be allowed. The motion passed with 75 countries in favour and 72 against. Hillel Neuer, director of UN Watch, tweeted that, in abstaining, New Zealand had “aided terror”.
The United States tabled the resolution to condemn Hamas – the terror group that rules Gaza – for “repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence”. The text condemned “the use of resources by Hamas to construct military infrastructure, including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas, when such resources could be used to address the critical needs of the civilian population”.
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, spoke before the vote, saying
Ahead of the vote on the first ever resolution to name Hamas at the United Nations, the US Mission to the UN tweeted a similar sentiment
The UN did fail to condemn terror and the credibility of the world body has taken another blow. However, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, found a silver lining, saying after the vote
“Today we achieved a plurality. That plurality would have been a majority if the vote had not been hijacked by a political move of procedure.”
It is shameful that New Zealand was part of the political hijack, rather than taking a principled stand against the double-standard. It is not clear if it was a unilateral decision by the New Zealand representative at the UN, if it was advised by MFAT officials, or if it was a directive given by Foreign Minister Winston Peters.
Earlier this year, the US proposed an amendment to an anti-Israel resolution that also named Hamas and condemned terror. New Zealand voted for that amendment but it also did not gain the necessary two-thirds majority to be included in the resolution text. New Zealand voted for the unamended anti-Israel resolution.
While New Zealand voted for the historic resolution, there was no comment from New Zealand representatives at the UN to explain their votes. Similarly, no New Zealand MP or Minister has made any comment on the recent rocket attacks from Hamas or any violence from the terror group in recent years.
The last statement from a New Zealand Minister clearly condemning Arab Palestinian terror was in 2006 from Prime Minister Helen Clark, when she said
“The message to Hamas and Hezbollah must be that confrontation and violence are destroying the prospects for a peace settlement in the Middle East.”
Written by Dr David Cumin – The Israel Institute of New Zealand is an independent think tank dedicated to providing New Zealanders with a better understanding of the State of Israel through accurate analysis, insightful commentary, and effective advocacy.