A few weeks after I wrote to the New Zealand Minister of Foreign affairs about the Durban III conference, New Zealand decided to boycott the conference.
In the coming days it looks like the Palestinians are going to go ahead with the bid for statehood at the UN. A while ago I blogged about my thoughts on a Palestinian State. My opinion hasn’t changed, although if i get a chance I may follow up with additional thoughts.
In the mean time, here is a letter that I just sent to the New Zealand Minister of Foreign affairs:
Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs
As the minister is aware, the Palestinian Authority has threatened to renege on its obligations under the Oslo Accords and attempt to bypass peace negotiations with Israel by asking the United Nations General assembly to recognize an independent Palestinian State.
A growing number of Western Democracies including Australia, Canada, and the United States have publically opposed this move in the firm belief that the only way to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians is through direct negotiations, not unilateral actions.
Recent history has shown us that when one side takes unilateral actions or refuses to negotiate, the result has been an increase in violence. This was the case in 2001 when Yasser Arafat cut off negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Barak which was followed by a violent wave of terrorism that lasted years and costs thousands of lives. Similarly, when Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip without a negotiated agreement, the result was an influx of thousands of missiles fired at Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip.
As a New Zealander currently living in Israel, I sincerely hope that New Zealand will join Australia and other democracies and take a stand for negotiated peace and oppose the resolution on Palestinian statehood at the United Nations.
We all dream and pray for the day when Israelis and Palestinians can live side-by-side in peace, however if the Western Democracies are unable to stand up against one-sided actions that jeopardize any chance of negotiations, I fear that the dream of Palestinians and Israelis living peacefully together will remain a distant dream.