New Zealand joins bullies at UN again and supports online incitement

United Nations

The United Nations just passed eight resolutions against Israel and zero against any other country. New Zealand participated in this bullying again, voting for seven and abstaining on one.

In contrast, traditional allies Australia voted for only one of the eight, Canada did not vote for any, and the United States voted against all eight.

UN Watch executive director, Hillel Neuer said

“The UN’s assault on Israel with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal. Days after the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group assaulted Israeli civilians with a barrage of 200 rockets — while the UN’s General Assembly and Human Rights Council stayed silent — the world body now adds insult to injury by adopting eight lopsided condemnations, whose only purpose is to demonize the Jewish state.”Hillel Neuer

While, for the first time since 2006, New Zealand condemned the terror against Israel, it is disappointing that New Zealand remained silent at the UN and voted for two resolutions that praised the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The Israel Institute of New Zealand has detailed some of the issues with UNRWA and the fact that New Zealand ministers had not been briefed on corruption within the organisation, incitement to violence in UNRWA-run schools, and the unique definition of a refugee that UNRWA uses to perpetuate the conflict.

A 2018 internal review found “credible and corroborated” allegations of “sexual misconduct, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination and other abuses of authority, for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent, and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives” by senior UNRWA staff.

There is an investigation into the allegations currently underway by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), and Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl stood down a few weeks ago.

In response to questions from the Israel Institute of New Zealand, officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said

“the Ministry will review the findings of the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) report once the investigation is complete and provide advice to the New Zealand Government. New Zealand will not make any further payments to UNRWA until we have reviewed the report’s findings and assessed UNRWA’s response to any recommendations.”MFAT staff

And Foreign Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters, said “We are aware of recent media reports of allegations of ethical issues and mismanagement within UNRWA. We expect UNRWA to cooperate fully with any investigation and to report back on the investigation’s findings and recommendations.”

The Minister and officials are also waiting for the report findings before deciding if they will comment (let alone act) on examples of UNRWA staff inciting violence online, as exposed in a September 2019 report by UN Watch.

These recent examples are similar to previous incitement by UNRWA staff. In 2017 Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter told the federal parliament that the Swiss government “condemns in the strongest terms” the propagation by UNRWA employees of “racist and anti-Semitic messages over social networks,”

However, despite the strong rhetoric of New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and the intense work to push ahead with the Christchurch Call “to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online”, Minister Peters will not condemn extremist content posted online by staff New Zealand fund.


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