Letter on NZ Motion on Palestine
Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences University of Waikato
29 November 2012
Hon. Murray McCully Minister of Foreign Affairs Parliament Buildings Wellington
Dear Mr. McCully
I am writing to you to ask that New Zealand vote in the U.N General Assembly this week against the motion that Palestine's status at the UN be raised from an 'entity' to a 'non-member state'.
In making your decision I am asking you to take the following points into account:
1. A viable peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be achieved by direct negotiations between the parties.
2. The General Assembly resolution will only be a symbolic and procedural measure.
3. The Palestinian move at the UN will constitute a violation of the agreements which were signed between Israel and the PLO since 1993, according to which the final status issues must be settled between the parties. The Palestinian move at the UN contradicts Resolutions 242, 338 and 1850 as well as the Roadmap and Quartet Statements, which rejects unilateral actions and support resolving the conflict by direct negotiations.
4.The Palestinian Authority does not meet the test of basic control over the Gaza Strip, where 40% of the Palestinians live. That territory is under the control of Hamas, an islamist organisation which wants to establish a Caliphate, implying the destruction of Israel. The Hames leadership took control of the Gaza Strip by a 'coup d'etat'. Hamas is an irredentist group which has send several thousand missies against Israeli civilian citizens recently.
5. The Palestinian Authority is calling for recognition as a state, but on the other hand refuses to take responsibility for the aggressive acts that are emanating from the Palestinian population.
6. Recognizing Palestine now without direct negotiations for a a peace agreement with Israel will send the wrong message to other groups: terrorism will earn you the support of the UN General Assemblee. It will undermine the moral status of the UN.
7. The overwhelming majority of the Israeli people favour a two-state solution. The Israeli government has offered to begin negotiations with the Palestinian Authority without pre-conditions. The PA has rejected such negotiations time and again.
I trust you will take these points into consideration, when you make a decision on the vote.
Professor of Political Science and Public Policy University of Waikato