Reference is made to a recent report which stated that Prime Minister Andrew Holness is considering ways to “rectify” the Government’s failure to vote on Jordan’s resolution at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last month, which called for a humanitarian truce in the ongoing Hamas-Israel conflict in the Middle East.
This Administration has yet again embarrassed the nation before the international community. This does not bode well for Jamaica’s reputation. One would expect that after decades of having a seat at the UNGA the Government is well aware of the systems, procedures, and protocols in relation to casting its vote. It is unfathomable that the prime minister is serious when he states that “the Government is exploring whether it could belatedly get its position on record”. He knows full well that possibility does not exist.
The prime minister’s utterances are simply a boldfaced attempt to publicly rectify the Government’s blunder at the UN whilst at the same time appease the powers that be. It is a direct response to public pressure â€” pressure from a Jamaican public which, unlike its Government, cannot stomach the mass slaughtering of women and children, cannot stomach the oppression and system of apartheid imposed on a people in their own land.
As it relates to the Palestinian issue, this Administration, despite its protestations to the contrary, has seemingly abandoned the long-standing position of Jamaica in relation to human rights, apartheid, self-determination, and the oppression of people. Their voting record at the United Nations on the subject matter is clear evidence of that abandonment.
Jamaica had a proud and consistent history of standing against apartheid and oppression. All our former administrations were in the forefront of the fight against apartheid and seeking freedom for the oppressed people of South Africa in particular and the World in general. It is quite shameful that Jamaica, which emerged from the shadows of slavery and colonialism, could have either deliberately or through “a little miscommunication thing” missed the vote on one of the most critical and pressing human rights issues of our times.
‘Missing’ the vote is a total abdication of the country’s policy as expressed through all its administrations. Nothing it can now do or say will change that. It is marked in history.
From walking between the raindrops, this Administration now seems to be dancing between the rain drops. It is only a matter of time before it loses its balance and falls into the mud.
Prime Minister, under your watch Jamaica is already on the wrong side of history on this issue. You cannot rectify your Administration’s grave error in the manner you are attempting.
Genuine rectification and alignment with a moral position on the right side of history demands calling on the Israeli Government to immediately impose a ceasefire and comply with all United Nations resolutions by withdrawing from occupied Palestine, failing which Jamaica’s principled foreign policy, established by all previous governments, leaves your Government with no other alternative but to cease diplomatic relations until this is achieved.
This ‘missed’ vote episode will forever be a stain on Jamaica and will be part of your legacy!
Prime Minister, you shame wi!
Jalil S Dabdoub