I have argued before that New Zealand and Australia might combine their defence forces, providing New Zealand pulled its weight and did not lean on Australia as it does at present (and spent more than the present 1 per cent of GDP on defence). However, New Zealand’s betrayal of Israel at the UN Security Council tells against this: it suggests that, at least at present, Australia and New Zealand do not have basic common values, not even, in New Zealand’s case, a commitment to democracy and to the one democratic country in the Middle East.
New Zealand, along with those pillars of freedom and democracy Senegal, Venezuela and Malaysia (who wouldn’t be proud to be in such company?), sponsored a resolution of the Security Council condemning Israel’s settlements in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem (!). In November, Obama’s Secretary of State, John Kerry, had long, closed-door talks on the subject with the NZ Foreign Minister Murray McNulty. McNulty was presumably given orders, which were duly and obediently carried out, to sponsor the resolution, leaving the US with ‘wriggle room’ to deny its role. Shamefully, none of the permanent members of the Security Council exercised a veto, and the Obama administration as its dying act tried to lock its successor into the resolution by abstaining. The anti-democratic nature of this is obvious: it is an established convention of Western democracies that outgoing governments in their last days do not lock their successors into radical policy shifts.
An associate of Palestinian President Abbas hinted the resolution would be regarded as a green light to boycott Israel, and also to use violence against it with more stabbings, stonings and car-ramming attacks against Israelis. It also encourages the bizarre myth that Jews have no historic attachment to Jerusalem – or to Israel. There has already been an increase in stoning and other attacks on Jews in the territories since the resolution was passed, probably a direct result of it.
With Obama having done a great deal to alienate Egypt, which wished to be a friend of the US but which committed the ‘offence’ of getting rid of an extremist Muslim Brotherhood-dominated regime, Obama and New Zealand have now betrayed the West’s staunchest ally in the region. Britain, under a Conservative government, has been as bad. It could have vetoed the resolution but instead supported it, while Prime Minister Theresa May was giving a sickeningly hypocritical pro-Israel speech.
One is left wondering at the stupendous perfidy of America and the jackal-like cowardice and treachery of New Zealand and Britain. Of course, New Zealand seems without much national self-respect anyway: its two-ship navy, non-existent combat air force and army just about able to put down a Maori uprising shows that.
The areas concerned were captured by Israel during the Six-Day War of 1967, when Israel was attacked by an alliance of Arab states bent on its annihilation. The territories Israel retained (it gave Sinai back to Egypt) have given it more defensible borders and a little more Defence in Depth than the previous ‘frontiers of Auschwitz’. They are Jewish territories and have been since pre-Roman, let alone pre-Muslim, times.
In 1967 Israel was the victim, not the aggressor, and it had every right to annex such territories. The disputed area includes east Jerusalem, with the Wailing Wall, the one holy site in Judaism, as well as the holiest site for Christians – the Holy Sepulchre. Israel alone has protected Christianity in the Middle East.
The US action seems motivated by, apart from Obama’s evident hatred of the West in general, his jealous spite against Israel and its Prime Minister, the hatred of a universally failed leader for a successful one. Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said, ‘There is one president at a time, [and] President Obama is the president of the United States until Jan. 20 and we are taking this action, of course, as US policy.’ No pretence that it is anything but an attempt to lock the Trump Adminstration into an anti-Israel stance.
Israel is the one country in the Middle East where Christian communities are flourishing, rather than being already exterminated or facing final extinction. Thousands of Christians in Israel marched recently to demonstrate their gratitude. However, there is a religious aspect beyond this. The resolution follows closely, and is the logical outcome of, a basically similar resolution pushed through UNESCO by an Arab-led coalition that rebrands the Temple Mount as a Muslim shrine, denying (to a resounding silence from the Pope as well as other Western religious leaders) the historical basis of Christianity as well as Judaism. If Judaism is some sort of fiction, so is Christianity, which sprang from it.
Benjamin Netanyahu said: ‘To say that Israel has no connection to the Temple and the Western Wall is like saying that China is not connected to the Great Wall of China or that Egypt has no connection to the pyramids. I believe that historical truth is more powerful and this truth will prevail.’ The sponsors of the UNESCO resolution were as noisome a gang as those sponsoring the Security Council Resolution – Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. Not a democracy among them.
The UNESCO resolution denounced Israel as an ‘occupying power’, condemning it for a number of ‘aggressions and illegal measures’ at the holy site. It also, quite falsely, blamed Israel for inciting violence on the Temple Mount, which it exclusively refers to as the Al-Haram Al-Sharif, a Muslim term that means in Arabic ‘The Noble Sanctuary’. In fact, Israel has made considerable efforts to prevent violence on the site. The UNESCO and Security Council resolutions appear to be co-ordinated steps towards an end-goal of denying Israel’s right to exist at all.
Is New Zealand unable to see, or is it indifferent to, the fact that it is taking a key role in a deliberate and strategic campaign to destroy Israel and its people, and to destroy with it the only stronghold of democracy and of the Western Enlightenment in the Middle East? Some rather silly stories on the Internet have accused New Zealand of hypocrisy over demanding rights for the territories because its own people dispossessed the Maoris.
This is nonsense. Maori society undoubtedly bred gallant warriors and created an impressive military machine but it depended on war, slavery and cannibalism. Destroying its political power was a civilised and enlightened action. One does not need to look to centuries-old historical events to find New Zealand’s present behaviour disgusting.