Dita De Boni writes:
If New Zealand becomes a member of the UN Security Council early tomorrow, hoping to get a pay-off for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in schmoozing we’ve done to get there, let us see how much of an independent voice we will retain. …
Nevertheless, if we get there, the true test of New Zealand’s independence of thought may come sooner than we think. A movement is gaining pace for countries around the world to recognise the independent state of Palestine, with the British Government’s House of Commons having just voted to do exactly that. The vote is largely symbolic – Prime Minister David Cameron and many of his ministers abstained. But it comes in a week in which Sweden became the first major European country to recognise the Palestinian state, and also within a week in which many of the world’s largest countries voted to give Palestine $5 billion to rebuild itself after the devastating 50-day war earlier this year.
The world is largely aghast and impatient with the continuing blockade of Gaza, the repression of its citizens, and settlements that continue to encroach on their land. Yet America continues to stymie efforts to grant Palestine any kind of legitimacy.
Currently, all Five Eyes countries, led by the US and including New Zealand, refuse to recognise an independent Palestine. Will we be able to take a contrary view, even if we wanted to, if we are sitting at the top table after tomorrow?
Before you lambast NZ as being a vassal of other countries, purely because we have an intelligence sharing agreement, it would be useful to check history.
In November 2012 Stuff reported:
New Zealand has voted in favour of a United Nations resolution recognising a state of Palestine.
The UN General Assembly today overwhelmingly voted to grant Palestinians “non-member state” UN observer status.
Now to be fair to Dita, I doubt many people recall a story from a couple of years ago about NZ voting to recognise Palestine. But it would be useful to check, before asserting that New Zealand refuses to recognise Palestine.