New Zealand Jews: UN resolution distances peace

Jews in New Zealand condemned their government's support of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 against “Israeli settlements”.

Ben Ariel ,

Flag of New Zealand
Flag of New Zealand

Jews in New Zealand condemned the local government's support of last week’s United Nations Resolution 2334 against “Israeli settlements”, Haaretz reports.

New Zealand was one of the four co-sponsors of the resolution adopted last Friday by the UN Security Council. The resolution passed with a majority of 14-0, with the United States abstaining and thus allowing it to be adopted.

In a letter to Prime Minister Bill English on Thursday, reported Haaretz, the New Zealand Jewish Council, along with 26 other groups and hundreds of individuals, called on him to make a public statement on the resolution and its implications.

The resolution, they noted, "violated the right of Jewish self-determination" and required that land where there had been a continual Jewish presence for thousands of years "become Jew-free."

The support of Foreign Minister Murray McCully for the resolution had made the prospect of peace ever more distant and "brought ignominy on New Zealand," the letter added.

"It is extremely disturbing and devastating that it makes it illegal for Jews to attend Hebrew University or to pray at their most holy site, the Western Wall, the heart of Judaism, to which Jews have physically and spiritually directed their prayers for thousands of years," the letter said.

Reports have suggested that New Zealand promoted the resolution and voted in favor of it due to pressure from the British government.

McCully says the UN resolution is "consistent with long-held New Zealand policy positions."

Before the vote, a senior official in the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem reportedly called New Zealand’s ambassador to Israel, Jonathan Curr, and warned that if the resolution came to a vote, Israel might close its embassy in Wellington in protest.

New Zealand's Jewish community has since requested the Israeli Embassy stay open.