Israeli ambassador recalled from NZ

After New Zealand helped get a resolution passed in the United Nations Securioty Council condemning Israeli settlements on disputed land Israel recalled their ambassador from New Zealand.

NZ Herald: Israeli ambassador recalled from New Zealand after UN resolution

The Israeli Government has recalled its ambassador from New Zealand after the UN Security Council passed a resolution condemning Israel’s continued settlements.

New Zealand co-sponsored the resolution, which said the settlements violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel’s conflict with Palestine.

The resolution was passed 14-0 at the last council meeting of the year, and New Zealand’s last meeting in its two-year term as an elected member of the Security Council.

Loud applause was heard in the packed chamber when the US ambassador, Samantha Power, abstained.

All remaining members of the security council, including Egypt, which had drafted the resolution and had been briefly persuaded by Israel to postpone the vote, voted in support.

Malaysia, Senegal and Venzuela also sponsored the resolution and are likely to face diplomatic reprisals too.

The US abstained but the outgoing and incoming Presidents are split on this.

Egypt was pressured by US President-elect Donald Trump and Israel to delay the resolution. It eventually dropped it but the co-sponsors ploughed ahead with it.

Donald Trump tweeted yesterday that the outgoing Obama Administration should veto the resolution – but it abstained, allowing it to pass.

The US decision to abstain was immediately condemned by Netanyahu’s office as “shameful”, which pointedly referred to Israel’s expectation of working more closely with Trump.

Following the vote Trump, tweeted: “As to the UN, things will be different after Jan 20.”

He would support breaches of international law?

Is he going to drain the United Nations too?

The United Nations maintains that settlements are illegal, but UN officials have reported a surge in construction over the past months.

About 430,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and a further 200,000 Israelis live in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians see as the capital of their future state.

Murray McCully was involved in this:

Foreign Minister Murray McCully told the Herald Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told him before the vote ambassador Itzhak Gerberg would be recalled if the resolution passed.

McCully said he had been informed the ambassador had been recalled “for consultations”.

“It underscores the fact that Israel is strongly opposed to the council position on the issue. That is not a great surprise to us.

“But we hope that the friendship that has existed between the two countries will be able to endure regardless of different view on this issue.”

Asked if it was a victory, McCully said: “It is a victory for those who are keen to see the Security Council take some action on the Middle East peace process after eight years of complete inaction.”

It would have been inappropriate to take the Foreign Affairs portfolio off him just as this was going through the Security Council.