Israel Institute of New Zealand director, Dr David Cumin, is demanding to know who was responsible for a ‘bizarre’ decision by New Zealand to abstain on an important procedural vote at the UN which helped pave the way for ‘a small degree of balance to the international bias against Israel’.

Dr Cumin was commenting on New Zealand’s response to a move by the US to put forward a resolution condemning the terror group, Hamas, for continued attacks on Israel. In July at least 17 missiles were indiscriminately fired into Israel, from Gaza, and an earlier attack in May saw more than 50 rockets and mortars fired into Southern Israel. Only last month, some 400 rockets were fired into Israel in 24 hours, and Hamas has continued to incite violence at border riots, send incendiary kites over the border, and build terror tunnels under it.

“Despite these incidents, there have been more than 500 UN resolutions against Israel in recent years but not one condemning Hamas. The effect of the US-led resolution would have been to call Hamas to account and send a small, but important, message to the proponents of terrorism.”Dr David Cumin

Normally, UN resolutions require a simple 50% majority to pass. However, Bolivia and Kuwait pushed for the condemnation of Hamas terror to require a two-thirds majority.

“This was an obvious ploy to thwart the vote on Hamas, as many of the despots and dictators in the UN support any violence directed at the Jewish state. New Zealand should have recognised the political hijack as such and rejected it.”Dr David Cumin

Instead, New Zealand abstained on the procedural motion vote – which then passed 75 to 73 – formalising the unusual requirement for a two-thirds majority.

“New Zealand then went on to vote in favour of the vote to condemn Hamas, thankfully. The resolution was supported by 87 votes to 57 – which would normally have been enough to pass comfortably, but was insufficient to meet the higher threshold New Zealand helped establish.”Dr David Cumin

According to Dr Cumin, serious questions now need to be answered by the Government.

“Who made the decision to abstain on a clearly mischievous procedural motion, especially as almost all other liberal democracies saw it for what it was and voted against it? Why has no New Zealand official raised concerns that the many UN resolutions against Israel don’t require the same higher threshold? And won’t any New Zealand official acknowledge the clear mockery that the UN has turned into in its approach to Israel?”Dr David Cumin

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