The Herald editorial:
New Zealand campaigned long and hard for a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Now that our turn has come to chair the council for a month, Foreign Minister Murray McCully says we will put at the top of our agenda an attempt to revive peace talks between Israel and Palestine. Nobody can accuse him of picking the easy ones.
Indeed. It will be amazing if we can make a breakthrough – but worth trying.
But our diplomats will be under no illusions of how difficult it will be to interest Israel in a UN initiative. The UN is regarded with resentment and contempt among conservative Israelis who seem to be the majority these days.
Not just conservative Israelis. The UN is incredibly biased against Israel.
As things stand in the Middle East, Israel has the upper hand and is enjoying relative calm while Islamist terror wracks the surrounding states. Attention is off the West Bank settlements and conditions in Gaza. Israelis who now believe permanent siege is their only possible security are content with the status quo. It will be hard to convince them to try yet again for genuine peace.
It’s not the Israelis you need to convince of peace. They’d like nothing more. It is the Palestinians that have rejected pretty much every peace proposal over 40 years. They’ve been offered territory equal to the 1967 boundaries, and even part of Jerusalem. They’ve been offered their own state. But they insist on a “right of return” to Israel which would mean the effective destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.