Thursday, November 29, 2012

Whose side are we on?

Palestine goes to the UN today in an effort to gain recognition as a "non-member observer state" - a step up from its current status, and one which will grant it greater rights under international law (including, potentially, the right to take Israel to the ICC for its war crimes). The move will of course increase pressure on Israel to end its unlawful occupation of the West Bank, and so it is likely to be hotly contested by Israel's proxies, including the US. But it will pass by a wide margin, as those proxies are outnumbered and the US can't (ab)use its veto.

So where does our government stand? Sadly, they won't tell us, and deny even having made a decision. The suspicion is that they will take their lead from the UK and abstain, but that's just a cop-out. This is a serious matter of justice and international law. As a supposed supporter of both, the only credible position we can take is to recognise Palestine. Failing to do so will be inconsistent with our values and undermine our standing in the world, as well as our mana-based foreign policy. But then, National has been doing a lot of that recently...