Jeremy Leibler writes in The Spectator:
Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel once famously wrote ‘what hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander.’
New Zealand’s actions at the UN General Assembly in December were those of a stand-for-nothing bystander, choosing to have a bet each way rather than follow the moral imperative to unequivocally condemn terrorism in all its forms.
Despite 87 countries, including Australia, supporting a US-backed resolution condemning the terrorist tactics waged by Hamas against Israel, the resolution was sabotaged by an earlier vote instigated by the Arab League that required a two-thirds majority for it to pass.
Although New Zealand voted to condemn Hamas for what it is – an extremist terrorist organisation committed to the destruction of the State of Israel and Western values – it abstained from the Kuwait-driven vote to impose the two-thirds majority hurdle.
New Zealand’s shameful abstention allowed the motion to pass with 75 countries in favour, 72 countries against and 26 countries abstaining. Had New Zealand exercised moral clarity like its other Western allies and voted against the motion, the result could have been very different.
So we tried to have it both ways – voting for the motion, but abstaining on the resolution that would have allowed the motion to pass.
Since its inception, the UN has passed over 500 resolutions that condemn Israel. Not one resolution has been passed to condemn Hamas, whose official covenant states that ‘Israel will exist and continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.’ Article 13 of the Hamas Covenant states that ‘[t]here is no solution for the Palestinian question except through jihad.’ Let’s be clear: this Covenant, or Charter, openly and explicitly advocates for a violent and bloody resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the UN has the audacity to ignore this.
Sadly no surprise.