The Green Party has called on the Israeli Government to re-evaluate its negative response to the latest UN Security Council resolution on the Middle East and to respect its provisions, providing an opportunity for the peace process to bear fruit.
The Green call is in response to the Council’s resolution 2234 which reaffirms that Israeli settlements in Palestinian occupied territory have no legal validity, and are an obstacle to the two-state vision of Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security. The resolution was adopted by a 14-vote majority with one abstention (USA).
“Resolution 2234 is an historic step which, if handled with mature leadership by all sides to the Middle East conflict, could facilitate a breakthrough in the stalemate that has thwarted progress in the peace process for decades”, says Green spokesperson for Global Affairs, Kennedy Graham.
“The sponsors, including the NZ Government, are to be congratulated for their vision and perseverance in getting this through, as is the US for not casting a veto”, says Dr Graham.
The US position recalls its policy that a freeze on settlements as a precondition to a solution dates from the Reagan Administration in the 1980s.
“It is important for Israel to respect the ‘common aspiration of the international community’, as China put it, which is not a repudiation of Israel’s right to exist within secure borders but simply a criticism of a policy that blocks the peace process.”
“As the UK put it, those supporting the resolution did so ‘as friends of Israel’ since it was in the best interests of both sides to the conflict.”
The Israeli Government has recalled its ambassadors to New Zealand and Senegal, and is reviewing its relations with the UN, including funding programmes.
“The resolution is an historic one with potential for major steps forward in the peace process. It is critical for Israel not to succumb to a knee-jerk reaction and repudiate the juridical opinion of the World Court and now the political judgement of the Security Council”, says Dr Graham.
“The situation may come as an unpleasant jolt to Israel, but that is a natural necessity in breaking a long-standing deadlock in a regional crisis”.
“It may also be necessary to remind President-elect Trump, who has broken convention with unsolicited comment on the matter, of a few things”, says Dr Graham.
“Global leadership requires personal restraint, positive vision and a sobered judgement. The United Nations dos not begin and end with a few member states, and such leadership naturally falls to others if those qualities are found to be missing”.
For more information:
Dr Kennedy Graham, Spokesperson for Global Affairs
Joss Debreceny, Political Director, 021 1906 022
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