30 December 2016


  • December 28 2016  Sydney Morning Herald

Israel warned New Zealand that UN resolution was 'declaration of war': report

·         Henry Cooke
Wellington: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally phoned New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully to warn him a UN resolution co-sponsored by the country was a "declaration of war",  according to a leading Israeli newspaper.
The UN Security Council resolution called for Israel to stop building settlements on occupied Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem, declaring the settlements "illegal".

Netanyahu labels UN vote 'shameful'


Kerry pleas for two-state solution in ...


Kerry warns Middle East peace in jeopardy

Less than a month before leaving office, Secretary of State John Kerry issues a warning to Israel over the waning chances at peace with Palestine.
It was picked up and sponsored by New Zealand and three other countries after US President-elect Donald Trump reportedly pressured Egypt into dropping it.
It was passed on Saturday after the US abstained instead of vetoing, as they historically have done on votes concerning Israel.
In the aftermath, Israel has withdrawn its ambassador to New Zealand and barred New Zealand's ambassador to Israel.
Netanyahu lashed out at other Security Council countries by curbing diplomatic contacts, recalling envoys, cutting off aid and summoning the US ambassador for a scolding. Netanyahu has publicly called it a "shameful anti-Israel resolution".
The Israeli daily Haaretzciting unnamed Western diplomats, reported that a "harsh" phone call took place between Netanyahu and McCully on the day of the vote.
"This is a scandalous decision. I'm asking that you not support it and not promote it," Netanyahu reportedly told McCully.

Lashed out: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: AP
"If you continue to promote this resolution from our point of view it will be a declaration of war. It will rupture the relations and there will be consequences."
McCully reportedly refused to back down, according to Haaretz, telling Netanyahu the resolution was consistent with New Zealand policy on the dispute.
Stood firm: NZ Foreign Minister Murray McCully. Photo: Getty Images
McCully's office have confirmed to Fairfax Media that a phone call between the minister and Netanyahu took place just before the vote. They refused to publicly comment on the content of the conversation.
Israel's ambassador to New Zealand Itzhak Gerberg will meet with Netanyahu on Thursday to discuss whether further sanctions against New Zealand are appropriate. Israel's embassy said that "until further notice" no more sanctions would be imposed.
US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, centre, raises her hand to abstain during the UN Security Council vote on Friday. Photo: AP
Earlier this week McCully publicly said that Israel shouldn't be surprised by New Zealand's position.
"We have been very open about our view that the [Security Council] should be doing more to support the Middle East peace process and the position we adopted today is totally in line with our long established policy on the Palestinian question," he said.
New Zealand has used its time on the Security Council to consistently call for a halt to settlements.
Its two-year term as a non-permanent member ends this month.
New Zealand was the only Western nation to co-sponsor the resolution, joining Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela.
The Security Council passed the resolution 14-0, with the United States abstaining.

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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm