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Mitchell Wants Explanation Of Un Vote Decision

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PLP Chairman Fred Mitchell.

By MORGAN ADDERLEY

PROGRESSIVE Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell has called on the government to explain The Bahamas’ decision to abstain from a controversial United Nations (UN) resolution against the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The former minister of foreign affairs said the current government should have provided “an explanation of (the) vote” or a written statement elaborating “why we took the course we did”.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump overturned decades of US foreign policy when he recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s. He also vowed to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Last Thursday, an emergency vote at the UN General Assembly saw a huge majority reject this decision.

Thirty-five countries abstained from the vote, including Canada and The Bahamas. In his statement, Mr Mitchell said, “The government speaks for the country on foreign policy matters so there must be something within their peculiar knowledge that led them to vote as they did, that is to abstain in the vote on Jerusalem.

“The PLP tries to avoid division beyond our borders in foreign policy.

“Some observers argue that it is however difficult philosophically to reconcile our support for the principle of the two state solution and the larger UN peace process for the Middle East and our actual vote.

“Whatever the position is, however, the PLP believes that foreign policy requires the public to be properly briefed on our positions once taken. In this case, the government ought to have provided a written statement called ‘an explanation of vote’ to say why we took the course we did.”

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned the US would “take note” of countries that “disrespected” America by not supporting their action.

Foreign Affairs Minister Darren Henfield said last week The Bahamas’ decision to abstain was not a result of being “bullied” by the US, but due to a belief “every sovereign state can determine and declare where they will put their mission, an embassy.”

Mr Henfield continued: “We didn’t see the need to interfere with the Americans’ decision to put their embassy in Jerusalem. Abstention doesn’t mean agree or disagree, what we must do is contextualise that a resolution is just a resolution and you may not agree with all the contents of the resolution before you. And so you have to contextualise everything and determine what’s in the best interest of our country.”

Comments

CatIslandBoy 5 months, 3 weeks ago

It seems as though for this particular Vote, the Bahamas was caught between a Rock and a very Hard Place - damned if they do, and damned if they don't. Abstaining was probably the best move. Fred Mitchell, once again, with his "Superior Knowledge of world affairs, is simply trying to stir up trouble.

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Socrates 5 months, 3 weeks ago

if we vote in our national interest, there is only one vote we could have cast and that would have been to SUPPORT the USA position. anybody seen any tourists coming here in any significant numbers from anyplace else? what do we have to gain by abstaining? what ME interest are we protecting? i also suggest that as a 'christian' nation according to the constitution, we were bound to agree with recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

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Porcupine 5 months, 3 weeks ago

It is OK to chart your own path. However, any decent, thinking person can see that Israel is an apartheid state. No argument. The UN vote, despite the repulsive behaviour of the US, showed clearly what the rest of the world sees. Fundamentalist Christians, or non-thinking Christians as it were, are incapable of grasping the realities of how Israel treats its' Arab citizens. 700,000-800,000 Palestinians were forcibly removed from their homes, though terror and destruction. This happened in 1948 and is going on today. Because Britain decided to give Palestine to the Zionists. The Jews had been gone from historic Israel for more than 2000 years. The Jews of today are Russian and Polish. Do a DNA test? Judaism is a religion. Not an ethnicity. If a band of Arawak Indians are found to have survived in a remote forest in Cuba, having been displaced from the land now called The Bahamas, should they have the right to reclaim their land? Why not? Bahamians have only been here 500 years. Oh, I see. The Bible. The last refuge for a non-thinking person. The Bahamas is not standing still. We are going backwards. And, people like Fred Mitchell are taking us there.

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licks2 5 months, 3 weeks ago

I wonder how and where do you get your "selective" information. . .when so many sources are available out there? Child on't let anybody hear you with that dumb narrative you just post. . .only one thing you proved. . .YOU DON'T OR REFUSED TO EXPOUND ACCURATE HISTORY. I often wonder why some of yall Bahamians does be so quick to "shoot-off" yinna big mouths before ya go and check ya information for historical accuracy. For example, African slaves came to this part of the world in the 1600s. . .and came to thses Islands with their American loyalists masters after two wars in America between the Americans and British in 1770s and 1812! So pray tell me how can you get 500 years out of that. . .with Don Christobal Colon arriving to theses parts in 1492?

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Sickened 5 months, 3 weeks ago

We should have supported our big brother. To abstain was foolish!

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licks2 5 months, 3 weeks ago

The whole world is wondering what game the USA is playing "NOW" since she refused to recognized Jerusalem as the capital since their establishment as a state in 1947!! Also, the Jews had already have a capital presence in Jerusalem since its 1947-67 conflicts with its Arab neighbors. The Jews really don't want to just put their nation capital in Jerusalem. . .they want the temple mound where the Al Axia Mosque sites. . .the original mound where their temple sat during the Roman siege of 70 AD!!! Google the lyrics for the Jewish national anthem. . .they sing of ZION. . .THE JEWISH NAME OF THAT ANCIENT MOUND.

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