Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Is Jamaica a leader or follower?

Published:Monday | May 21, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Kamina Johnson Smith, Jamaica's foreign minister.


Your editorial about Jamaica trying to play Houdini (Friday, May 18, 2018) was diplomatic. The Palestinian issue has global importance. Because of mainly the United Kingdom and the United States, mishandling of this issue has caused countless deaths.

What Palestinian supporters are doing by engaging in international terrorism is wrong, but I cannot give them a viable option. The United States protects Israel no matter what it does. The way the United Nations is constituted gives the permanent members of the Security Council virtual dictatorship on international affairs.

Jamaica's statement about the disproportionate use of force against Palestinian protesters supports the status quo in the international order. The permanent members of the Security Council run the world with little regard for the interest of less-powerful states.

Jamaica's foreign policy supports the reforming of the UN to give more say to every member.




The way Israel and the US are handling Palestinian dissent is anathema to creating a more equitable world. Jamaica appears to be feverishly trying not to offend mainly the United States, probably because of its fragile economic state, including its relationship with the International Monetary Fund. But the greater good must not be sacrificed.

A true friend points out your errors and helps you improve. Jamaica must become a true friend to the US and Israel and help them to make wise decisions. Their recent moves will only make them less influential globally.

The recent UN General Assembly vote to condemn Trump's Jerusalem decision demonstrated that point. Even when countries were threatened, they voted overwhelmingly against the US. Subsequently, some of these nations have been sanctioned and blacklisted for unrelated issues.

Leaders create the world they want, while followers accept it. What is Jamaica, a leader or follower?