Brownlee’s approach ‘betrays UNSC resolution 2334’

5 May

Gerry Brownlee visited NZ troops in Iraq last year (Photo: NZDF)

By Leslie Bravery, PHRC Press Release,, 4 May 2017

New NZ Foreign Affairs Minister’s approach to Israel betrays UNSC Resolution 2334.

According to the Jerusalem Post of 3 May 2017 the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee has written a letter to Mr Netanyahu with congratulations on the Zionist state’s National Day, expressing a desire for the “Israeli-New Zealand relationship to get back on track.” Brownlee failed to ask Netanyahu to explain his threat to interpret New Zealand’s sponsorship of UNSC 2334 as a “declaration of war” and the hostile postponement of travel rights for New Zealand’s ambassador to Israel.

Instead of reminding Netanyahu of Israel’s duty under international law to stop illegal settlement development in the Palestinian West Bank, Brownlee obsequiously begged to restore the relationship as if it were New Zealand that was somehow at fault. Our new Foreign Affairs Minister then went on to spinelessly express a desire for “the Israeli-New Zealand relationship to get back on track and to do that by recognising that we’ve got synergies and innovation and agriculture and various other things like that.”

Respect for human rights and the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention are the most essential elements in international relations. Granting Israel eternal impunity from its violations of these principles can only condemn the Zionist state’s victims to endless misery and injustice. Brownlee must be reminded that his duty is to promote respect and compliance with UNSC Resolution 2334.


Janfrie Wakim, Palestine Solidarity Network spokesperson, penned this letter, published in the NZ Herald today (Fri 5 May 2017):

Brownlee – rash and reckless

For Brownlee to describe NZ’s position on UNSC 2334 as ‘premature’ is another example of  his rash behaviour and ignorance.  He contradicted his predecessor McCully who said “the position we adopted today is totally in line with our long established policy on the Palestinian question” . With the vote 14:0 it was a notable success at the UN Security Council and not one a newly appointed Foreign Affairs minister should be wading into to reverse NZ position.  Supporting Israel in its relentless construction of settlement colonies on Palestinian land is in contravention to serial UN resolutions and agreed international law. Brownlee’s behaviour is deeply worrying for anyone seeking justice for Palestinians and ending the occupation and blockade of their lands.

Recent Media reports:

Brownlee: NZ should not intervene on Israel/Palestine conflict

By Jane Patterson, Radio NZ, 4 May 2017

Within 48 hours of becoming Foreign Minister, Gerry Brownlee has called the New Zealand co-sponsored UN resolution on Israel “premature” and lacking the support it needed to succeed.

Mr Brownlee has extended the olive branch to Israel after it recalled its ambassador late last year.

This was a protest against New Zealand’s part in a resolution calling for a halt to Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories and an end to violence.

He said one of his immediate priorities was to restore the relationship as Israel was in a part of the world challenged by rogue states and terrorists, and has written to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Browlee said New Zealand should not “pronounce” how either party involved in Middle Eastern policy should behave, beyond condemning terrorism.

When asked whether his view contradicted the substance of the resolution, Mr Brownlee said in the end the solution to conflict in the Middle East would be achieved by the people who live there – “that’s my view”.

“The value of any resolution is in how much support it gets and the willingness of the parties who are having the resolution imposed upon them to accept what’s in it.

“I think it’s just premature.”

When questioned further about that statement, Mr Brownlee said when a country was looking at a resolution that was “demanding an outcome”, it was important to know an outcome was possible.

“So I’m not going to make a statement about whether we were right or wrong … what we have got is a relationship with Israel which is an important country in that part of the world for stability in that part of the world.”

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has been critical of the process under which the resolution was passed in the first place, and said Mr Brownlee’s comments threw up further questions.

“What Mr Brownlee’s doing now is gainsaying and rebutting everything that the government has hitherto said on this matter.”

Green Party co-leader James Shaw said he was surprised by the comments.

“I find it rather unusual that the new Minister of Foreign Affairs would be essentially undermining the position of the immediate past minister … a bit extraordinary actually.”

Prime Minister Bill English said the government had no regrets about co-sponsoring the resolution, but did want to have a positive relationship with Israel.

“Understand that they were concerned about the resolution and have made some moves to see what we can do about getting the relationship back on a positive track.”


Brownlee statements about UN’s Israel resolution at odds with Prime Minister’s

By  Audrey Young the New Zealand Herald’s political editor. Thursday 4 May, 2017

One Response to “Brownlee’s approach ‘betrays UNSC resolution 2334’”

  1. Kieran Kelly May 5, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

    Reblogged this on .

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