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New Zealand folds and apologises to Israel

Written By: - Date published: 10:34 am, June 14th, 2017 - 81 comments
Categories: bill english, Gerry Brownlee, International, national, Politics, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

National has surrendered its former principled position concerning the illegality of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.  It has now apologised to Israel for causing offence for sponsoring a UN resolution condemning the continued Israeli illegal occupation of Palestinian land.  Israel has in response resumed diplomatic relations.

From Radio New Zealand:

New Zealand and Israel have reportedly agreed to restore diplomatic ties, ending a six month political crisis between the two countries.

Israel recalled its ambassador in December after New Zealand co-sponsored a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s continued settlements. Israel condemned the resolution as a “victory for terror”.

The Jerusalem Post has reported Prime Minister Bill English wrote a letter saying that he regretted “the damage done to Israel-New Zealand relations as a result of New Zealand proposing Resolution 2334 at the Security Council”.

The language is all important.  For New Zealand to be the one apologising is significant and also a travesty of its former principled position.

And it is not as if New Zealand was out on its own.  Pretty well the rest of the world not to mention almost all of the Security Council supported the resolution.  And the United States under Barack Obama’s direction abstained allowing the resolution to proceed.

The initial Israeli response was barking mad.  Benjamin Netanyahu accused New Zealand of committing a declaration of war.  Funny that.  Declarations of war normally involve doing things like illegally occupying the land of another nation.  Getting a resolution passed by the Security is in my experience not normally considered to be a declaration of war.

The Jerusalem Post’s chief political correspondent Gil Hoffman was interviewed.  My tourettes kicked in as I listened to him.  He could see no wrong with how Israel was treating Palestine and thought the peace process had to respect Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.  If only the rest of the world accepted that Israel’s unilateral annexation of Palestinian land and the dispossession of Palestinian families from their homes was a reasonable thing to do …

Gerry Brownlee was interviewed and asked if an apology had been offered.  He did not answer.  He was asked if the resolution was still supported.  More obfuscation occurred.  Clearly the apology is a back down even though Brownlee refused to acknowledge this.

The part of the interview that really rankled was when he was asked if he thought the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land was illegal he said this:

What we said is that the settlement issue is one that the parties that are in dispute need to sort out among themselves and we will do what we can to assist in that process.  In the end it is something for them to determine.

How weak.  What a cop out.  Clearly in Brownlee’s view there is no need for the United Nations.  All that has to happen is for Israel and Palestine to sort it out themselves.  Given the power imbalance and Israel’s belligerence how this would end up is predictable.

The apology makes a mockery of National’s and Murray McCully’s previously principled position which resulted in something quite unusual, praise from the Standard for McCully’s stance.

And the reversal was noted in this recent post although I thought this was evidence of messiness rather than an abject surrender.

It appears that New Zealand has surrendered to American and Australian pressure and retreated from its previous principled stance.  How predictable.

For a brief moment of time there was hope that New Zealand would have a proud independent foreign policy stance that would shine like a beacon in this world of cynical undermining of the rule of law and the United Nations all in the name of power.  Looks like the moment is up.

81 comments on “New Zealand folds and apologises to Israel ”

  1. red-blooded 1

    I was cringing as I listened to this stuff this morning. Clearly what we hoped was a principled position from NZ when co-sponsoring the resolution was actually just puppy-dog behaviour, trying to please Obama and based on the then-dominant predictions that Clinton would be taking his place, so the US position wouldn’t be changing significantly. Now that Trump and his pro-Israel cheerleaders are in the White House, we’ve got a different master to please and have turned around and started wagging out tail and making puppy-dog eyes in a different direction. Pathetic!

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      +111

    • esoteric pineapples 1.2

      I was told by someone with close ties to the diplomatic core that it was a rogue action by Murray McCully who was personally fed up with Israel’s intransigence. So good on Murray for that one.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1

        Intransigence

        The Israelis wouldn’t obey Murray, and that hurt his feelings.That makes far more sense than the notion that this odious man has principles.

        Edit: far more likely that he wanted a bribe and they wouldn’t pay it.

    • North 1.3

      It’s that dirty little Zionist bastard Mute Jared who’s the worry.

  2. Stunned Mullet 2

    Good job.

    Nice to be back to normal relations with Israel.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      You think having a good relationship with a bunch of psychopathic oppressors is good?

      Yeah, it’s that sort of attitude that results in things like The Holocaust.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        Really?

        This is the quality of your debate?

        Horrible

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          So, I take it you think that having a good relationship with psychopathic oppressors is also good?

          • marty mars 2.1.1.1.1

            One thing a post like this does is sand blast the thin veneer and expose the dirty underbelly.

            And no I don’t agree with stunned or your extremist language.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1.1

              In what way was my language extreme?

              • Psychopathic oppressors and invoking the Holocaust seemed extreme to me and unnecessary.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You’re wrong.

                  Oppressing people is inherently psychopathic especially when violence is used to do it. These are things that Israel does so calling them psychopathic is not only reasonable but necessary so that we know that their actions are unacceptable.

                  And it really was acceptance of those same psychopathic actions that allowed Hitler to perpetrate the Holocaust.

                  So, no, not extreme.

                  The only thing that’s extreme and unnecessary in this thread so far is you and your attempts to paint such actions as normal and acceptable.

                  • I’m not painting at all. As usual you go for hyperbole and abuse – my first comment to you in this thread stands.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, it really doesn’t. If it did you’d be able to argue for it rather than simply going full ad hominem.

                    • Assuming Draco is limiting his criticism to the Israeli government and its cheerleaders, it’s not exactly unwarranted language, Marty.

                      There is open talk of racial apartheid or even full-blown elimination against arabs in Israel- and that includes arabic Israeli citizens, and the government is acting in a way that fans the flames, by oppressing a disempowered majority ethnic group that would, under a democratic one-state solution, effectively control the area out of some odd self-fulfilling paranoia that if they treat Palestinians with dignity while still ensuring their own security with legal and moral measures, they will lose control of the region. I fail to see how those people do not deserve Draco’s harsh criticism.

                      Making people hate you is what loses you control of your new country.

                    • Whatever – i made the point I wanted to make.

      • joe90 2.1.2

        An interview with a psychopathic oppressor who wants to abort Palestinian hope. He’s a popular MK, too.

        “No. I build another five big cities, bring in another half a million or a million Jews, but first of all I make a decision. The gist of my plan is based on making a determination. After a hundred years of conflict management, we make a decisive move vis-a-vis the conflict: I abort their hopes of establishing a state.”

        http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:k9SJ8qM7D-4J:www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.756382+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=nz&client=firefox-b

      • Stunned Mullet 2.1.3

        I think having a good relationship with Israel is good.

          • Stunned Mullet 2.1.3.1.1

            You asked the question DTB.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3.1.1.1

              Your answer was a logical fallacy.

            • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.3.1.1.2

              And you answered with “because I think a relationship with Israel is good, we should continue having one.”

              That’s not an argument, it’s an opinion, which is in fact what begging the question actually means- justifying your position with your opinion instead of justifying your opinion with a rational position why you hold it. (it’s not to be confused with “raising the question,” which it sounds like you have done)

        • left_forward 2.1.3.2

          Yes you said this – but you gave no reason. Did you give any consideration to the rights of Palestinians when declaring this ‘goodness’?

          • Stunned Mullet 2.1.3.2.1

            NZs relationship with Israel be it good or bad is unlikely to have much if any effect on the rights of palestinians either here or elsewhere.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3.2.1.1

              But being on ‘good terms’ with them will affect us – negatively.

              • Stunned mullet

                How will being on ‘good terms’ with tham affect us negatively.

                • Stunned, you say it’s “nice” to have negated McCully’s work – had you thought it “horrible” before Brownlee and English turned their coats?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We’ll lose our reputation as honest brokers in many countries around the world.
                  And then there’s the psychological damage done by being in such a toxic relationship.

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.3.3

          You think it is. Why would anyone else?

    • Keith 2.2

      Why, Stunned Mullet?

      • Stunned Mullet 2.2.1

        Having a bad relationship with Israel serves no purpose for the people of NZ or the people of Israel.

        A good relationship allows better opportunity for ongoing dialogue around many issues.

        • left_forward 2.2.1.1

          And how is it an opportunity for good dialogue with Israel about human rights for example, when we are too cowered to mention it?

        • Pete 2.2.1.2

          And a good relation with Palestinians is bad?

        • Robert Guyton 2.2.1.3

          Stunned – you’ve created a polarity – good relationship, bad relationship, which is not realistic. It would be better, perhaps, to say “honest” or perhaps, “ethical”. I’m guessing though, that such a view will sit ill with you, as it does with right wingers in general, from my experience.

    • dukeofurl 2.3

      “Nice to be back to normal with local donors who support Israel”

      There I fixed it for you

    • saveNZ 2.4

      Yes, come and commit fraud with our passports, all is forgiven… Bill English doesn’t mind a bit of double dipping himself.

      from wiki

      The 2004 Israel–New Zealand passport scandal was an incident of passport fraud in July 2004 that led New Zealand to take diplomatic sanctions against Israel. High-level contacts between the two countries were suspended after two Israeli citizens suspected of being Mossad agents, Uriel Kelman and Eli Cara, were caught trying to fraudulently acquire a New Zealand passport using the identity of a man with cerebral palsy. Prime Minister Helen Clark declared that New Zealand government viewed the acts carried out by Kelman and Cara as “not only utterly unacceptable but also a breach of New Zealand sovereignty and international law.”

      • dukeofurl 2.4.1

        And then there was the |Christchurch earthquake monkey business reagrding Israeli agents.

        It was supposed to be settled after they were declared to ‘not be Mossad’- a red herring as you wouldnt use fully fleged agents just to harvest passports from all the international travellors coming through NZ

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katsa

        “.. the sayanim, volunteer Jews who provide logistical support around the world. -for Mossad.”
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamal-dajani/mossads-little-helpers_b_487173.html
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodlim
        A bodel (plural bodlim) is usually a young Israeli, often a student, engaged as a gofer by the Mossad

        • North 2.4.1.1

          And then there were the fucking Israeli crooks who charmed old ladies out of hundreds of dollars with $5 ‘pots of nonsense’ (*) cosmetics in Westfield shopping centres all over NZ and Oz. They’re bastards !

          (*) so defined by a long time old friend of mine (now deceased) who held high place in Revlon.

    • Ryan 2.5

      Yeah ‘cos having a good relationship with a country that says we’re committing an act of war against them on a idealistic stance we should be maintaining is perfectly fine.
      Screw Israel man, they’re the problem, UN needs to lean HARD.

    • North 2.6

      Back to applauding Natziyahoo’s ‘kindness’ to Palestinians what ? Choice ! Strange how these Nazis are mostly East European what ? You like that mullet ?

  3. Philj 3

    Which way is the wind blowing? I might just change my policy. It is Israel after all. Very powerful and influential.

  4. adam 4

    Trust the Tories to have no spine or ethics.

  5. Brownlee’s, “Mind your own f****ing business!” to the public of New Zealand is instructive.

  6. gsays 6

    i am confused, who are the politicians in wellington meant to represent?

    is it the poulace, that pay their wages, or are they there to further the interests of unknown forces?

    spineless and lacking in guts.

    • garibaldi 6.1

      English and Brownlee kowtowing to the Zionists. Pathetic.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      is it the poulace, that pay their wages, or are they there to further the interests of unknown forces?

      From what I can make out in our present system it’s the latter and the rest of us are just there to be serfs.

  7. aom 7

    Wellington – Israeli occupied territory!

  8. saveNZ 8

    Shocking. But we all know National’s foreign policy is away from the UN and the rest of the world and have zero principals. What an embarrassment they are.

    A far cry from our independent foreign policy like Nuclear Free. I get sick of the National party grovelling around for attention and magic beans. With this and their fake carbon credits and deregulation it looks like NZ foreign policy is pro Trump and Netanyahu.

    Even his own people and security forces are concerned about Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist views.

    Some of the Jewish settlers are the Klu Klux Klan version of the USA !

    Lets all hope the arseholes leading these Power hungry right wingers are eventually voted out, without blowing up the world in one of their temper tantrums so we can strive for peace, fairness and acceptance around the world.

  9. Ad 9

    So if National don’t want the influential and donor-wealthy Jewish vote, how would Labour like to get them back?

    • North 9.1

      What ? Smartarse Iconoclast supreme you, Ad. It’s not a fun game if you’re a Gaza baby man. Three years of age they blast the shit outa ya. Five years of age they do it again. Seven……

  10. bwaghorn 10

    my man Al Gillespie just said on te news that while english was sorry for the upset it hasn’t changed our stance at the un , so maybe this time the nats should get a walk

    • saveNZ 10.1

      @bwaghorn – ok Bill English is against his own man in the security council?

      “The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement on Tuesday saying that following discreet diplomatic contacts, Netanyahu and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Bill English spoke by phone a few days ago.

      As a result of that conversation, according to the PMO, English wrote a letter saying that he regretted “the damage done to Israel-New Zealand relations as a result of New Zealand proposing Resolution 2334 at the Security Council.”

      https://www.pjtn.org/israel-new-zealand-patch-ties/

  11. AB 11

    English most likely got his orders on this when Tillerson was here recently.
    I wonder what was threatened or offered?

  12. I wonder if Kiwiblog will have something to say about this…?

    *Infuriation warning
    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2017/06/spurning_peace.html

  13. The Lone Haranguer 14

    So, arguably, what was seen at the time as a principled approach – knifing Israel at the UN, – was nothing short of a suck up by the Nats to Obama/Clinton politics.

    Maybe it was a reflection of the golfmate relationship between Obama and Key.

    To the surprise of many, Trump romped home (the popular vote is totally irrelevant to the outcome), so the Nats have again sided with the incumbent US President.

    I guess we should give the Nats credit for having been totally consistent with that.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      Admittedly, National are always totally consistent when kissing arse – they only kiss arse of those they think are more powerful than they are. The arse may change but the kissing continues.

  14. mary_a 15

    Very weak and cowardly. Giving in to Zionist aggression and it’s closely connected powerful money lords, pulling the financial strings of the western world. Gutless to say the least!

    Thanks NZ government for nothing!

    • dukeofurl 15.1

      No surprise this happened soon after Tillersons visit.

      Im sure he told English to change the policy and make it snappy. the big man is NOT happy.

  15. Gabby 16

    If Nuttyahoo has a secret letter from Bingles, it will say whatever he wants it to say.

  16. Eddie W 17

    Gerry bloody Brownnose most emphatically does not speak for me. I was so proud of my country when it stood tall and proud against the Israeli bully machine.
    Intimidation is their stock in trade and we stood against it for truth and humanity.
    Now we have rolled over wagging our puppy tail. The shame I feel is sickening.
    All my life, fromquite a young age I have defended the week against bullying, it enrages me and the odds haven’t mattered.
    Now,my beloved country has caved in to intimidation, siding with the strong against the week.
    Shame, shame, shame, shame.
    I feel your betrayal Palestine.

  17. Draco T Bastard 18

    Asked by Morning Report about New Zealand’s view on the legality of settlements on Palestinaian land, Brownlee replied: “What we’ve said is that the settlement issue is one that the parties that are in dispute need to sort out among themselves. And we will do what we can to assist in that process. But in the end, it’s something for them to determine.”

    Brownlee is in effect renouncing the position of his predecessor, Murray McCully, who wrote in defence of the resolution in January that “continuing settlement growth at anything like the current rate will render the two state solution a purely academic concept. There will be nothing left to negotiate.”

    The co-sponsored resolution was the climax and highlight of New Zealand’s two-year term on the Security Council. It was the best evidence available that New Zealand clings to the idea of an independent foreign policy. It addressed an important point of principle. It was done in the name of international law and in the cause of preserving hopes of a two-state solution, something clearly endangered by ongoing settlement building in Palestinian territory. It was an even-handed and firm, but hardly an extreme, resolution.

    And now it’s been given, in effect, the heave-ho.

    • North 18.1

      Brownlee’s spiel is wordier than the Orange Buffoon’s……”I support whatever both sides want…..” but it’s no less bullshitty. Really means they support those oppressed by Nazis morphing into Nazis. No pearl clutching ‘Godwin’ bleats please. They’re Nazis. I’m happy to sit with Mandela’s assessment of them.

  18. Whispering Kate 19

    Why is anybody surprised with this Government. The only times this country feels strong and proud of itself is when Labour stands up to powerful countries and steps up to the plate to be counted. I am with the other commentators here, this government is just a craven appeasing government and gets no brownie points from me. I have no time for McCully but even he must feel it was a waste of time telling Israel they are out of line.

    The sooner they are voted out the better. They put the country to shame and insult all those who did step up to the plate and were counted in the past.

  19. Ross 20

    Bill English may as well have said: “These are my principles and if you don’t like them…well, I have others”. 🙂

  20. Dave Balck 21

    In clarification, NZ Premier says his country was only voicing regret at diplomatic schism their support for the resolution caused, *not for supporting the resolution http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.795609

  21. lloyd 22

    Israel as a Jewish nation will eventually be destroyed by the settlements,
    The Zionist expansion into Palestine destroys the 2 nations concept.
    If one nation only exists combining Israel and Palestine, and assuming it is a democratic nation, then the fact that the Palestinian population is growing far faster than the Jewish population should eventually mean that the single nation will eventually be Muslim.
    Netanyahu should be organising the creation of a Palestinian state as fast as he can to save Israel for the Jews or he is an idiot and potentially a traitor to the Jewish nation. New Zealand was being a good friend to Israel in sponsoring the UN resolution. New Zealand was like a good mate telling his alcoholic friend to ease off on the beersies. Like an aggressive drunk, Netanyahu couldn’t see the resolution was in his nation’s best interest, and struck out at his New Zealand mates who really had his interests at heart.
    I have seen similar responses by drunks at parties when a responsible friend tries to put the booze out of sight.

  22. Tanz 23

    About time, good on him. Lots of haters on here.

  23. Muttonbird 24

    I laugh when people say, “Israel is an island of democracy in a sea of instability and despotism.”

    There are 4.5 million people within its borders who aren’t citizens, can’t vote, yet have the land they live on appropriated for western jews to settle on whenever they feel like it.

    Israel is a cancer but there’s no cure for cancer, yet.

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  • Sanctions on more of the Russian political elite
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  • Language provides hope for Tuvalu
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  • United Nations General Assembly National Statement
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