Friday, 30 January 2015

WFPSC letter in New Zealand Herald.

WFPSC members are heard all over the world. This letter from our vice chair John was published in New Zealand Herald:

"As of the 1st of January 2015 New Zealand has taken up a seat in the UN Security Council and it is at a highly significant time as Palestine itself  is at last seeking justice through the UN and its bodies. Already we have supported their recognition to have Observer Status. As a consequence they have had the option to approach the International Criminal Court. And on December 31st they took it. Their case which includes the invasion of Gaza last year will be heard in April. It is important to know that Hamas, one of the two main political parties in Palestine, and which has been governing in Gaza, has agreed to its actions also being examined by the court. Israel has responded by withholding all the taxes they collect at the borders of Israel. And the second move was that Jordan put a motion before the Security Council on December 30th 2014, which stated by the end of 2017 (ie in 3 years) the occupation of Palestine should cease and it be declared a sovereign state. The motion was defeated. It required 9 votes in favour. Only the US and Australia voted against it. On the day before this vote in December, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, telephoned Nigerian Premier Goodluck Jonathan, and Nigeria which was expected to vote in favour of the motion, and thereby ensuring the 9 votes, abstained. The method of voting used in the Security Council means that an abstention equals a “no” vote.
Sadly our [New Zealand] Government has already begun to vacillate on the issue. Murray McCulley in a statement said “had we been on the Council we would have either voted for the motion or abstained”. Perhaps he wanted to convey the impression that the government will support Palestinians. But the reality is that he is trying to have it both ways. Jordan has already indicated it will reintroduce the motion again “when new members are likely to be more sympathetic”. How will John Key respond to a call from Mr Netanyahu? We [New Zealand] have stood up to the US and Australia on nuclear matters, matters of principle. It is another opportunity where the principle of justice is concerned. Would that we again do the right thing."

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