+61 3 9272 5644

Zionist Federation of New Zealand responds to UNSC settlement resolution


As we end 2016 and celebrate the festival Chanukah, our very own Foreign Minister Murray McCully at the final meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) of the year, of the very last UNSC meeting which New Zealand would be a non-permanent member of, finally got the opportunity to achieve what he has been trying to do since New Zealand was elected to a 2-year term at the UNSC. To get a resolution condemning Israel and trying to force a UN imposed settlement upon her.

New Zealand and Foreign Minister McCully should hang their heads in shame. They have bought into a false narrative, an anti-Semitic one, that tries to delegitimise the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

McCully has taken the opportunity of lame-duck President Obama, who has used New Zealand and McCully to score a personal vendetta against Prime Minister Netanyahu. In doing so, McCully has helped Obama to seek his vengeance not just against PM Netanyahu, but against the whole of Israel and the Jewish people.

This resolution (full text with commentary available here) is without doubt a biased resolution. It not only rewards the Arab Palestinians with their strategy of continued violence, with continual refusal of all offers of Statehood and peace as long as Israel remains in the equation, but it also adds to the recent UNICEF resolution of ignoring historical Jewish ties to Jerusalem and the Old City. It makes any Jew living in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City an illegal settler. It makes any Jew living and studying at the Hebrew University an illegal settler. It makes all Jewish citizens living in areas that have long been internationally accepted as becoming part of Israel in any peace accord an illegal settler. Illegal that is in the eyes on the United Nations and the anti-Israel lobby!

Let’s be clear. McCully has been obsessed with the settlements for some time. He has time and again stated that the settlements are the main obstacle to peace, yet he refuses to see the facts, and his hypocrisy and double standards make him refuse to acknowledge Arab Palestinian acts of violence aimed at terrorising and killing Israeli Jews as terrorism. This he made clear when speaking to the Jewish and pro-Israel community in Auckland in May 2016.

With respect to the settlements, the 1967 green line was an armistice line never a border. It is a guide to begin negotiations with not a definitive conclusion. Every time the Palestinian leadership has been offered the opportunity for a State they have said no. Why? Because they know that if they say no, they will be rewarded through one of the most anti-Semitic institutions of them all, the modern-day UN with resolutions such as these. Resolutions which try to delegitimise Jewish historical rights to the land of Israel and to Jerusalem.

Regardless of your views of the settlements, they have never been an obstacle to peace. They add to the complexity, but Israel has time and again shown it is willing to dismantle settlements. McCully has bought into the narrative of settlement expansion, despite settlement activity being it lowest under Prime Minister Netanyahu than any other Prime Minister of Israel since 1967.

And yet one has to wonder why the focus on Israel when across Israel’s northern border we have one the bloodiest civil wars seen in a generation? Another example of where the world has previously said “never again” and then just talks and debates in public arenas such as the UNSC when another genocide, massacre or murderous regime rears its ugly head. Why would the world act together to fulfil the UN’s mandate “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war”, when you can disproportionally focus on Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, the only Jewish State in the world?

McCully’s parting act has allowed himself to become pawn. A pawn to the Obama-Kerry administration that has had nothing more than animosity to Israel and particularly Prime Minister Netanyahu. He has allowed New Zealand to become a puppet in lame duck Obama’s parting blow to Netanyahu, and the Jewish people.

This week the Jewish people in Israel, NZ and around the world celebrate Chanukah, a festival celebrating the Jewish people’s resolve and fight approximately 2000 years ago for Jerusalem. 2000 years on and we still seem to be fighting for our recognised legitimacy. For 19 years (between 1948 and 1967) Jews were forbidden to pray in Jerusalem at the Kotel (Western Wall). Is this the situation that McCully and the Obama administration want to happen again?

To Jews and the pro-Israel community across the world, we apologise for what our Foreign Minister and the government here has done. We are appalled.

Finally, chug Chanukah sameach/ happy Chanukah and merry Christmas to our Christian friends in NZ and around the world.

Am Yisrael Chai.

Rob Berg
President, Zionist Federation of New Zealand