New Zealand has yet again supported a one-sided, biased United Nations General Assembly resolution that censured Israel, while ignoring the role of terrorist organisation Hamas.
Another emergency session against Israel was held to condemn Israel (while systematically turning a blind eye to the world’s worst perpetrators of gross and systematic violations of human rights) – this time the emergency session was over the Gaza riots. A resolution tabled by Algeria, Turkey, and the State of Palestine charging Israel with “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate force” while failing to mention Hamas or Islamic Jihad at all.
It is hard to fathom how Israel’s use of force can fairly be described as indiscriminate, considering that it has been revealed that over 80% of those killed in the Gaza border clashes were Hamas or Islamic Jihad operatives. As the Executive Council of Australian Jewry stated:
By condemning Israel for its response to a violent, armed and coordinated attempt to infiltrate its territory and abduct and murder its citizens, the General Assembly has disgraced itself by siding with terrorists who cynically use ordinary Palestinians as human shields, and compromised the right of all States to exercise their inherent right of self-defence to protect their people and their territory.ECAJ
One-sided and disproportionate resolutions against Israel are nothing new at the United Nations. However, the United States introduced an amendment to the resolution to try and provide some balance. The amendment reads
[The UN] Condemns Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel and for inciting violence along the boundary fence, thereby putting civilians at risk, demands that Hamas cease all violent activity and provocative actions, further condemns the diversion of resources in Gaza to construct military infrastructure, including tunnels to infiltrate Israel and equipment to launch rockets into civilian areas, when such resources could have addressed the critical needs of the civilian population, and expresses grave concern about the destruction of the Kerem Shalom crossing by actors in Gaza, which has severely hindered deliveries of food and fuel for the people of Gaza;
When the member states of the United Nations were asked to vote on whether or not they supported text condemning a terror organisation for specific, evidenced incidents and demand the group stop such violence, only a slim majority of nations voted in favour – 62 nations voted ‘Yes’, 58 were against, and 42 countries abstained.
In order for the amendment to be added to the Algerian-Turkish-Palestinian draft, it needed a two-thirds majority so the amendment was not included in the text that was next to be voted on. The unamended one-sided resolution was adopted; 120 votes in favor, eight against and 45 abstentions. Once again, the ‘automatic majority’ was able to unfairly malign Israel at the United Nations.
Following the vote, Haley released a statement that read, in part, “It is no wonder that no one takes the U.N. seriously as a force for Middle East peace.” In the wake of the voting, Hamas threatened to send 5,000 fire kites and balloons into Israeli territory.
Although New Zealand was among the slim majority to vote for the US text condemning Hamas, Kiwi officials then voted for the anti-Israel resolution without the amendment anyway. The Israel Institute of New Zealand has asked for an explanation for this but has not had a response at the time of publication. IINZ co-director, Dr David Cumin, says the voting pattern exposes another layer of hypocrisy at the United Nations.
“New Zealand voted for the US amendment condemning Hamas despite officials only condemning Israel previously. It is good to see signs of balance. However, voting for the unamended resolution sends a signal that one-sided and biased UN proclamations are actually acceptable and terrorists will get a free pass at the UN. How can this promote peace?”Dr David Cumin
Instead of joining traditional allies like Australia and the United States in voting against the one-sided resolution, or abstaining like Canada, Czech, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore and UK, New Zealand once again joined non-Democratic states like Senegal and Malaysia to pass a resolution that censured Israel, while giving terrorist organisation Hamas a free pass.
Many supporters of Israel hoped that Winston Peters would reverse McCully’s anti-Israel trajectory, after his vocal criticism of NZ’s sponsorship of UN Res 2334. The fact that NZ continues under Peters’ leadership to back biased, one-sided condemnation of Israel – in contrast to NZ’s traditional allies – will no doubt disappoint many who had welcomed Peters as Foreign Minister.