The wisdom of the Kiwi foreign minister

New Zealand was one of the four countries which sponsored the biased and unhelpful Resolution 2334 at the UN Security Council last week. The main proponent of the Kiwi initiative was Murray McCully, the Foreign Minister.

Thanks to the excellent online publication Shalom.Kiwi we can be privy to Mr McCully’s insights into the geopolitics of the Middle East, offered at a meeting on 18 May 2016 in an address to the Auckland Jewish Community.

When asked about the role of Palestinian terror in the current stalemate, McCully declined to distinguish between Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians and the Israeli response to such attacks. When pushed, he refused to call the current wave of stabbings, shootings, car-rammings and suicide bombings “terrorism”, snapping: You can call it what you like ….. you choose your words, I’ll choose mine.”

In relation to the terrorist group Hamas, McCully conceded that it had “stopped short of formally accepting the Quartet Principles” – an observation that ‘provoked astonished laughter from a shocked audience’.

‘The Quartet Principles include recognising Israel, abiding by diplomatic agreements and renouncing violence. As one audience member responded, this was rather a generous comment to make about an organisation whose statements, charter and purposes are the annihilation of Israel, not in order to make a Palestinian state, but because of a religious objection to Jewish sovereignty in any part of that land’.

McCully was asked: “Why would you think that New Zealand might succeed where President Clinton failed, where the generous offer made in 2000 by Israel with the backing of the Americans and the more generous offers in 2008 failed? It would seem to us that the fault lies not so much with Israel but with Palestinian rejectionism and we don’t hear you condemn it.”

McCully’s answer was: “I would try and find a way of sitting down with people who live an hour’s car journey away to hammer out a solution”.

McCully’s parting words were an appeal to New Zealand’s Jewish community to call their Israeli friends and family and ask them to put pressure on their government.

You can see a video of the entire meeting here.

If you want to know why Resolution 2334 puts 95% of the blame on the settlements and only 5% on Palestinian violence and rejectionism, the naivety and blinkered views of New Zealand’s foreign minister provide much of the answer.


About the Author
Jonathan Hoffman is a blogger who has written for United With Israel, CiFWatch (now UK Media Watch), Harrys Place and Z-Word.