Dozens of New Zealand Pro-Israel Groups Slam Government for Role in Pushing Anti-Israel UN Resolution
JNS.org – Over two dozen pro-Israel groups and hundreds of individuals in New Zealand have penned a letter to Prime Minister Bill English strongly criticizing his government’s support for last week’s United Nations Security Council resolution targeting Israel.
“We are ashamed of the role of New Zealand in this travesty and feel betrayed by our government,” the joint letter states. “New Zealand partnered with Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela to sponsor the resolution, countries which do not share our liberal Western values. The resolution has been praised by Islamic Jihad and Hamas. This is nothing to be proud of.”
The resolution — which condemns settlement building and calls the Israeli presence in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem illegal — was first introduced by Egypt, but the country backed down after calls by Israeli officials and intervention from US President-elect Donald Trump. Britain then worked with the Palestinian Authority to pressure New Zealand to take up the vote on Dec. 23, Haaretz reported.
The letter to English — signed by 27 organizations, including the New Zealand Jewish Council, Zionist Federation of New Zealand, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem New Zealand and B’nai B’rith New Zealand, in addition to 900 Jewish and non-Jewish private individuals — said the country’s actions in the Security Council have brought “ignominy” on New Zealand.
“It [the resolution] has caused opprobrium among international commentators, calls for boycotts of our goods by supporters of Israel around the world, and demands for an end to our burgeoning relationship with Israel, from which New Zealand has more to gain economically,” the letter stated.
“As Prime Minister, we believe it is incumbent upon you to make a public statement on the Resolution and its implications,” the letter said, before calling on English to meet with the undersigned.
New Zealand’s hand in passing the anti-settlement UN resolution also brought the criticism of Jewish news website Tablet Magazine, which noted New Zealand’s history as “a Colonialist state founded on the theft of [indigenous] Maori land.”