As the furore over the American decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel grows, the United Nations Security Council has voted against the U.S. move 14-1. And the United Nations General Assembly voted 128 to 9 with Canada and Australia abstaining
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been very clear on the issue.
Contrary to the popular belief of Fox viewers, the international vote against the United States moving its capital to Jerusalem is not an expression of anti-Americanism. In the context of New Zealand, it is no more so than the 1985 resolution condemning France for the Rainbow Warrior bombing is anti-French. Both were the result of their respective Governments making poor choices on the international stage that the world saw as non compatible with it’s understanding of international law. Many French were horrified by what their country had done and so too are many Americans horrified at what it is doing in the Middle East today, and that has to be recognized.
Anti-Americanism in my view is an act openly contemptuous of America as nation or Americans as a people. It is stated in a way that is deliberately intended to degrade and have a strain of hatred in it. Anti-American rhetoric is what you hear from the Ayatollahs of Iran or the propaganda of such organizations as al-Qaida. I do not see such ugliness emanating from New Zealand or the United Nations General Assembly.
Nor is the vote anti-Israeli. The world has never recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Contrary to the belief of the Prime Minister of Israel, the world has long recognized that the issue of Jerusalem can only be resolved by negotiations in the broader two state context. Further contrary to his belief, this is not an anti-Israeli vote. The idea that it is, is insulting and inflammatory. Many Israeli’s are quite horrified by the Government of their country and the systematic way in which it is slowly but deliberately taking Palestinian lands and eradicating any evidence of Palestine. They know about the deliberate annexation by stealth using the establishment of new villages to stake a claim to Palestinian land. They know about the demolition of orchards depriving Palestinians of one of only a few sources of income. I assume then they also know that the street names in Palestinian territories are changing as they come under Israeli control. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows full well what his country is doing and even endorses it – he just will not admit it because it would be an own goal and a point blank admission that Palestinians are telling the truth.
I have stated before my position on Israel. What needs to be said is that this requires international co-operation. In return for Israel withdrawing from the lands seized in1967 and 1973, Russia must tell Iran to stop supporting Hezbollah, HAMAS and other militants. Palestine must give recognition to Israel’s 1967 borders and cease all militant activity, disarm them and disband the militant wings of these and other organizations.
Neither side is perfect and both have done things that they should not have. But there are other historic players who need to be acknowledged. Britain and France took over swathes of the Middle East in 1916-17. As part of the British mandate a Jewish state was established as a result of the Balfour Declaration. The Arab interpretation of the Declaration was that an Arab state would also be established. None was and when one looks at the causes of anti-Israeli sentiment today among Arab nation’s, this is is most likely a major reason for such ‘ll feeling.