Hundreds of Kiwis protest NZ’s anti-Israel UNSC vote outside Parliament

The absence of government representatives in Parliament over this holiday period didn’t stop busloads of Kiwis from travelling to Wellington in order to send them a message.

Flaxmere Christian Fellowship Church Pastor, Nigel Woodley, led a two-busload delegation of Kiwis from Hastings to Wellington on Friday supported by Hawkes Bay Friends of Israel chairman, John McCormick, to protest New Zealand’s involvement in the anti-Israel resolution passed at the United Nations Security Council this week.

We are protesting the outrageous resolution put forward by our Government and passed at the UN last week outlawing the rights of the Jewish People to live on their own historical homeland in the Land of Israel. We are ashamed of this evil decree (Resolution 2334)  and will publicly condemn it with all who gather with us.”

Nigel Woodley

Others joined the Hastings group to fill out the approximately 200-strong crowd in the capital. In addition to this protest, more than 1,000 people have signed a letter to Prime Minister Bill English calling on him to condemn the actions of McCully. There have also been at least two other petitions against the resolution – “Keep the Israeli Embassy in New Zealand” and “Israel has my vote!”, each of which have over 1,000 signatures.

Pastor Woodley has organised previous rallies in support of Israel’s right to exist, and has been outspoken about the UN bias against Israel. In December 2015, two days after submitting a 11,865 signature strong petition to government on Israel, Woodley was struck on the head by a man uttering “utu” (revenge).

On Friday, Woodley stood under the Richard Seddon statue to speak to those gathered, flanked by two signs, one saying “Israel please forgive us” and the other saying “UN Resolution 2334 condemned”.

“The answer is not resolution, it’s negotiation.”

Nigel Woodley

A former Honorary Consul of Israel in New Zealand, David Zwartz, pointed out that Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had broken a long-standing NZ policy of “even-handedness” in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, by co-sponsoring an anti-Israel resolution with two states (Venezuela and Malaysia) that did not even have diplomatic relations with Israel.

There has been no comment from the Prime Minister or McCully since the vote was cast, but other MPs have made their views known. Green Party Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Dr Kennedy Graham, has fully supported McCully’s stance against Israel. Labour leader, Andrew Little, and Act Party leader, David Seymour, have also commented but neither would commit to supporting or condemning the affirmative vote. Little said that it would be a weird friendship if one of its conditions was to accept uncritically everything that the other did while adding that he respects Israel’s right to defend itself against hostile neighbours. Seymour made the following statement:

“I am pro Israel because I believe that democracy and individual freedom are more important than the will of the mob. As goes Israel, so goes freedom for us all. On the current topic you have to look at the resolution itself and the U.S. Ambassador’s speech to the Security Council. It is possible to be pro Israel and yet question the settlements. What is dumbfounding is why New Zealand chose to take a leading role. With the Saudi Sheep schmossle and now this, McCully can’t go fast enough.”

David Seymour

These leaders may be unaware that the resolution does not simply “question the settlements”. The reality is that the resolution denies Israel legal claims to the landincluding Jewish holy sites such as the Western Wall. It also reversed the United States’ 50-year strong land-for-peace formula. In the world of Resolution 2334, the land is no longer Israel’s to trade for peace.

Furthermore, Mr. Kerry called East Jerusalem “occupied Palestinian territory”, which contradicts Administration claims in the 2015 Supreme Court case, Zivotofsky v. Kerry, that the U.S. does not recognize any sovereignty over Jerusalem.

The resolution is blatantly biased and already has had the effect of emboldening the Arab Palestinians to promote more terror. There are many reasons to suggest resolution 2334 was morally wrong and strategically damaging for peace.

The biased nature of the resolution has not been lost on many others, including the 27 organisations and 858 individuals who signed a letter to Bill English and the large number of people who have signed the online petition.

Despite voting for the resolution, the UK government has now rebuked Mr Kerry for focusing on the single issue of Israeli settlements and not the whole conflict in his latest speech. Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, has also spoken out against the bias, saying Australia would have opposed resolution 2334 because “in voting at the UN, the [Australian] Coalition government has consistently not supported one-sided resolutions targeting Israel”.

In a show of solidarity with Sydney’s Jewish community, on Friday evening Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, attended the Shabbat Hanukkah service and spoke in support of Israel while wishing the community a Happy Hanukkah. Turnbull called resolution 2334 “one-sided” and “deeply unsettling”. Jews in New Zealand await comment from Prime Minister Bill English.

Originally published in Shalom.Kiwi.

New Zealanders Fight Back Over Their PM’s Support for Resolution 2334

In the wake of New Zealand taking a leading role in pushing through United Nations Security Council resolution 2334, which effectively makes it illegal for Jews to pray at their holiest site and blames only Israel for a lack of peace, 858 Jewish and non-Jewish New Zealanders and 27 kiwi organisations have signed the following letter to Rt. Hon. Bill English, Prime Minister of New Zealand.


29 December 2016

The Rt Hon Bill English
New Zealand Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings

Dear Prime Minister,

Re New Zealand’s vote on UNSC resolution 2334

  1. We, the undersigned are New Zealand citizens and residents, Jewish and non- Jewish, with a spectrum of political views, who write to express our condemnation of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 (“Resolution”), and particularly the New Zealand Government’s involvement in it.
  1. We note at the outset that our dismay at the Resolution does not express a view on the matter of all such Jewish settlements outside of the 1949 armistice lines.
  1. Our concern is that the Resolution is one-sided and continues the UN’s woeful record of rewriting history and delegitimising the Jewish state. It is also counter-productive; undermining, rather than enhancing, the chances of peace in this complex and long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It widens the chasm between both sides, instead of building a bridge.
  1. The UN is a deeply flawed institution whose inherent bias against Israel has been acknowledged by Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, and indeed Minister McCully. The UN has no credibility as regards the question of Israel and the Palestinians. The UN has excoriated Israel at every opportunity, while ignoring the failings of the Palestinians. The Security Council, riven with incompetence and political agendas and has failed to address the greatest atrocity of our time in Syria. It is not the forum to resolve or provide a mechanism for resolution of a long-standing dispute between two parties, especially when one is Israel. Only those parties themselves can arrive at a resolution, through direct negotiations.
  1. However, there is now no incentive for the Palestinians to negotiate, because the outcome of any negotiations has been pre-determined. The Resolution has granted the Palestinians more than they have themselves sought, so that they cannot now accept less through negotiations without losing face. The Resolution has declared what is “occupied Palestinian territory”, being all land beyond the arbitrary 1949 armistice lines that resulted from a war initiated by the Arab states to eliminate the nascent Jewish state. This is land that Palestinians have never had sovereignty over, and that between 1949 and 1967 was occupied by Jordan. The Security Council has apparently enshrined a new principle of international law, that land acquired in a defensive war from an occupying power belongs to a third party who at the time of the war claimed no sovereignty over that land nor sought autonomy. It declares Jewish presence in these lands, a continual presence of thousands of years (except for the ethnic cleansing that occurred under Jordanian occupation) a ”flagrant violation of international law”. It therefore requires that these lands become Jew-free, while Arab Palestinians constitute 20% of Israel’s population and enjoy the full benefits of citizenship.
  1. The Resolution does not differentiate between the “blocs” and other settlements, although all previous negotiations and the Palestinians themselves have done so. It has decreed that East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, is under “occupation” and consequently that some 200,000 Jewish East Jerusalem residents are illegal settlers. It is extremely disturbing and devastating that it makes it illegal for Jews to attend Hebrew University or to pray at their most holy site, the Western Wall, the heart of Judaism, to which Jews have physically and spiritually directed their prayers for thousands of years. By doing so, the Resolution imperils the shared and very special foundation of Judaism and Christianity. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is now also in “occupied Palestinian territory”.
  1. The Resolution rewards Palestinian intransigence, and incitement and glorification of terrorism. It does not hold the Palestinians to account for their corruption, human rights abuses and failures in developing the machinery of a democratic state and civic society. It ignores Israel’s previous settlement offers. It empowers boycott, divestment and sanction against Israel, a country that contributes so much to the world in terms of science, innovation, medicine, technology, humanitarianism, the arts, and counter-terrorism. It does not acknowledge the right of Jewish self- determination—indeed, its very premise violates that right. Settlements are blamed as the root cause of the failure to achieve a lasting resolution, rather than the continued Palestinian denial of sovereignty of the Jewish people over their indigenous homeland.
  1. We are ashamed of the role of New Zealand in this travesty and feel betrayed by our Government. New Zealand partnered with Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela to sponsor the Resolution, countries which do not share our liberal Western values. The Resolution has been praised by Islamic Jihad and Hamas. This is nothing to be proud of. We believe Minister McCully has acted with questionable mandate and has for some time listened only to, and indeed gone so far as advocating for, one side. He has overturned long-standing New Zealand policy and ignored expert advice. He has yet again brought mockery and scorn upon this country and the Government. He has desperately, under urgency (on the eve of Christmas and Chanukah) and without transparency, sought to secure a legacy on the last day of the Security Council’s meeting during New Zealand’s term.
  1. He has indeed secured a legacy. However, it is one that has made the prospect of peace ever more distant for the reasons discussed above, and brought ignominy on New Zealand. It has caused opprobrium among international commentators, calls for boycotts of our goods by supporters of Israel around the world, and demands for an end to our burgeoning relationship with Israel, from which New Zealand has more to gain economically. This is even more distressing given the impending commemoration next year of 100 years since the ANZAC campaign in Beersheva, in which New Zealand played such a proud part in turning the tide of the war against the Ottoman Empire, and therefore a pivotal role in the establishment of Israel.
  1. Minister McCully has also disenfranchised many—until now—loyal National party supporters.
  1. As Prime Minister, we believe it is incumbent upon you to make a public statement on the Resolution and its implications.
 We also request that you meet urgently with representatives of this group.

Yours sincerely,
A group of 858 Jewish and non-Jewish New Zealanders, names withheld from this version. The following organisations also signed the letter:

  • New Zealand Jewish Council
  • International Christian Embassy Jerusalem New Zealand
  • Auckland Hebrew Congregation
  • Australasian Union of Jewish Students
  • B’nai B’rith New Zealand
  • Beth Shalom Synagogue Auckland
  • Bridges for Peace
  • Calvary Chapel New Zealand
  • Celebrate Messiah New Zealand
  • ChangePoint Church Tauranga
  • Christian Friends of Israel New Zealand
  • Christians 4 Israel
  • City Glory Church
  • Ebenezer Emergency Fund Trust New Zealand
  • Ezekiel 33 Trust New Zealand
  • Faithpointe Church – Auckland
  • Hawkes Bay Friends Of Israel Association
  • Jesus First Church
  • Jewish Federation of New Zealand
  • Pacific Pearls
  • Praying for Israel Groups Tauranga
  • South Wind Fellowship
  • Te Hau Wairua
  • The Church of the Rock International
  • The Oasis Church – Napier
  • Trumpet of Salvation to Israel
  • Zionist Federation of New Zealand

To add your name to the letter, sign the petition here.

Originally posted on Shalom.Kiwi