New Zealand Foreign Minister blames settlements for end of two-state solution

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs told the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney that Israel’s settlement activities are behind the disappearing of the viability of the two-state solution with the Palestinians.

In his Tuesday address, Murray McCully said: “The situation on the ground gets worse, violence has escalated, and the viability of the two-state solution is disappearing as a consequence of Israeli settlement activity.”

The minister was speaking at the Institute founded by Sydney’s Lowy family headed by Jewish Westfield shopping center magnate Frank Lowy.

Before migrating to Australia, the Slovak-born Holocaust survivor fought in the 1948 War of Independence in Israel.

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McCully added that the situation in the Middle East has deteriorated over the time that the development of settlements has continued.

He said that New Zealand’s Parliament “(W)ants to see the United Nations Security Council shoulder its responsibilities on the Middle East Peace Process. For the Council to do nothing, while the scope for a two state solution is completely undermined, would be a total abrogation of its responsibilities.”

“As an elected member of the Council, we have a responsibility to make contributions, McCully said, adding that New Zealand is circulating a draft resolution that would force the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

President of the Zionist Federation of Australia Dr. Danny Lamm told JTA: “The New Zealand  Foreign Minister is unfortunately misguided and in his attempt to promote peace has sheeted blame on Israel when in fact there is no peace for one reason only: Israel’s enemies don’t want peace.  (Former Palestinian Authority President Yasir) Arafat then (Mahmoud) Abbas have repeatedly rejected all peace offers.  The Foreign Minister would do better to call on Abbas to reject violence and seek negotiation for a fair two-state solution.”

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