If you only read the articles from the McCully Koolaid drinkers then you’d think that sponsoring UN Security Council Resolution 2334 against Israel was a triumph for New Zealand.
Audrey Young is positively fizzing at the whitewash coming from McCully and his staff in MFaT, most notably Gerard van Bohemen our man at the UN.
He said he believes New Zealand demonstrated during its two-year term as one of 10 elected members that it was competent, well-informed, willing to rock the boat and worth listening to.
The campaign to win an elected seat on the council and the two-year term itself had lifted New Zealand’s engagement with a big range of countries.
Arab countries respected what New Zealand did on Syria as well as co-sponsoring a Middle East resolution on the two-state solution in December, which has led to the recall of the Israeli ambassador from Wellington.
Egypt tabled the resolution and it attracted co-sponsorship from New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela. Egypt then succumbed to pressure from then US President-elect Donald Trump to drop the resolution but the other countries maintained their sponsorship and it passed by 14 votes to one abstention, by the US.
“After it was all over we certainly got lots of congratulations that we were brave enough to stand our ground,” van Bohemen said.
I’m not sure congratulations from people with worse human rights records than Pol Pot mean anything.
Richard Harman has been drinking the Koolaid too, anything to maintain invites on the Wellington cocktail circuit:
In the first detailed, authoritative account of the events leading up to the dramatic vote last December, the Permanent Representative to the UN, Gerard van Bohemen, outlined the way the decision to move the resolution unfolded.
The decision has been attacked by pro-Israeli right wing blogs in New Zealand and was the subject of questions in Parliament this week from NZ First leader Winston Peters.
But what the blogs – and Peters – have failed to acknowledge is not only that the resolution contained no new policy on New Zealand’s behalf but that we won widespread international support for the move.
That is an outright misrepresentation of the truth, which I have already outlined in depth in the past few months, but it shows again how much media and McCully will spin to hide the truth.
And Harman inadvertently reveals the truth of the deception against Israel in his ra-ra piece to help McCully:
Speaking after meeting in November in Wellington with US Secretary of State John Kerry McCully said he agreed with Ban Ki Moon saying that it was clear that the two-state solution was under serious threat.
“Some form of reassertion of that principle is called for,” he said.
After meeting Kerry, McCully went to Jordan, Israel, and the occupied Palestinian territories and to attend the Sir Bani Yas Forum in Abu Dhabi.
Hosted annually by the United Arab Emirates, the Forum is a leading venue for discussing peace and security issues in the Middle East.
McCully said that that his trip coincided with a revival of interest in New Zealand’s Security Council initiative to try and get a resolution acknowledging the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine.
That led to Van Bohemen telling the monthly UN Security Council breakfast –at the beginning of December that New Zealand would be circulating a resolution on the Middle East.
He gave the resolution to the US, to Israel, to the Palestinian representative and then to all the other Council members.
“We got a lot of enthusiasm for the fact that we were trying.
“The Palestinian Ambassador got very excited, but his excitement went in two different directions.
“He was really pleased that someone was doing something, but he just didn’t want that resolution.
“He wanted a different resolution focussing on settlements.”
So we were working closely with the Palestinians…and acceding to their demands. No wonder they were excited, they were going to get a resolution that declared Jerusalem to be Palestinian land where Jews have no right to exist.
The New Zealand resolution maintained support for the so-called two-state solution for Israel and Palestine but avoided strong language on Israel’s illegal building of settlements on the occupied West Bank.
“Now what happened over the next two weeks, I still don’t know the details of,” said Van Bohemen.
“We were proceeding openly with meetings with the other members of the Council on our resolution.
“We made some adjustments, and we signalled a willingness to keep the conversation going.
“But we continued to feel a sense that there wasn’t full engagement going on.
“In fact, people started saying to us ‘what about that other resolution’.
“And we knew that the Palestinians had prepared a resolution and they had given it to the Egyptians.
“But there was no overt action on that front; it was just our resolution going forward.
“By the beginning of the third week, which was New Zealand’s second to last week on the Council, I had to tell the Minister that the chances of our resolution getting up were basically not there.
“There wasn’t enough support for the approach in our resolution.
“Some wanted to make it more ambitious; others said it should be about settlements, others wanted it more focussed, more narrow.”
Then suddenly, two days after he had called McCully, Van Bohemen got tipped off that the Egyptians were about to table a resolution at the Security Council and the Council would vote on it the following day.
“So I called the Minister again and said we are going to get a Middle East resolution.
“It just isn’t actually our one, but it’s not a bad resolution.
“In fact, on language it was entirely consistent with New Zealand policy.
Except it isn’t. I will explain that in the next post.
“On settlements it was strong but it used strong language from previous Security Council resolutions and the International Court of Justice.
“It used strong but previously authorised language.
“There was no basis not to support it and I received an instruction overnight that I could support it and indeed, if it is available to us, you can co-sponsor it.
“So the first thing we did that morning was let the Egyptians know that we were co-sponsors.”
But as the morning moved on, the New Zealand mission got the word that Egypt was not going to proceed with the resolution.
“It has come out since that Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu and President-elect Trump had called Egyptian President Sisi.
At two Security Council social functions, Van Bohemen found himself under pressure to take up where Egypt had left off.
So he once again rang McCully and also sent him a written brief.
“We said, we don’t know the reactions, but we can assume that the reactions from Israel and the incoming US administration may be strong.”
Nevertheless, overnight Wellington sent approval to Van Bohemen to move the resolution.
The criticism that has been levelled at McCully has been that he did not have Cabinet approval to do this.
But it is clear from Van Bohemen’s account that events unfolded rapidly — in less than 48 hours on the Thursday and Friday before Christmas after Parliament had risen. Even if the Prime Minister had wanted to call a special Cabinet, it would have been all but impossible in the time available.
He didn’t need to call a special cabinet meeting, he could have used a conference call. It is now obvious that communications between Wellington and New York were operating just fine, with Van Bohemen easily communicating with McCully. All McCully needed to do was advise the Cabinet Secretary and provide English and the External Relations and Defence Committee of the briefings from Van Bohemen, which he did not do in contravention of the Cabinet Manual.
As the Prime Minister has made clear in an interview with POLITIK he saw no need seen to call a special Cabinet meeting because the resolution contained only proposals that New Zealand had previously supported in other resolutions at the UN or which were part of our long-standing policy on the Middle East.
Except it wasn’t anywhere remotely close to the previous positions.
After Van Bohemen had moved it, the resolution not only got the support of 14 members of the Security Council but for the first time the US, abstained rather than casting its veto on a resolution which was considered to be critical of Israel.
This has led to speculation (again, on the right wing blogs) that Kerry and McCully cooked the whole thing up at their November meeting in Wellington.
But Van Bohemen said he never asked Kerry what the US position would be.
“I had a pretty good hunch that they would not oppose it if this was going ahead, but I didn;’t know for sure.
“It went through; it was a very momentous vote, there hadn’t been a resolution on settlements for 20 years.
That doesn’t mean it wasn’t cooked up between Kerry and McCully.
With two articles, one in the NZ Herald and one at Politik it is clear that McCully is shoring up support ahead of being forced to admit he never briefed Cabinet, the Prime Minister or the ERD. There is a PR campaign being waged here and the useful idiots are cuddling up to McCully and making it sound like he is New Zealand’s Neville Chamberlain.
The cheek of these diplomats and politicians, aided by a complicit media to clap themselves on the back for a job well done is ironic. They have no idea what they have done, but it is obvious to all now that the National party prefers to side with terrorists, despots, dictators and Islamists against a Western liberal democracy.
Murray McCully and Bill English gambled, wrongly, that this would all blow over during the summer break, if only they said and did nothing. It is now mid-March and the issue is still rolling along and it has gotten so bad they are now having to counter the negative narrative with soft pieces from Koolaid drinking journalists.
Next post: What really went on as NZ betrayed Israel
-Politik, NZ Herald