After UNSC Resolution 2334 passed, with the sponsorship of New Zealand among others, large protests against the government’s sponsorship of Resolution 2334 and in support of Israel took place outside the New Zealand parliament.
A New Zealand reader of mine, John McCormick, wrote to me telling me more about the protests which he helped organize, and the letter-writing campaign in which he took part, which involved very long drives as well as other expenses. (See also the write-up at Jews Down Under). And this protest was not the only one he has organized:
I am one of the organizers of the recent protest rally held out side parliament buildings in the gardens. It is a four hour drive with out stops from Hastings to down town Wellington with out stops. We had one stop each way at a village called Shannon. It was a 14 hour round trip which we have done before. Did you read anything about it?
The first time was to support a protest at the 2014 NZ arts festival where the Be ‘er Sheva dance company was the opening act and the far left under the name of BDS tried to stop the event we sang Hatikvah at them for 2 hours. The cops said we put on a great show. The BDS mob walked a way in the end. our trip on Dec 30 was organized quickly and we only gave people in wellington 48 hours notice to support us for security reasons. The leader is Pastor Nigel Woodley of the Flaxmere Christian fellowship church Hastings. He funds these events, This time the cost was the buses. I am chairman of the Hawkes Bay Provincial Friends of Israel Assn. a basically secular organization. I have in the past amongst other things organized visits to Hawkes Bay for Israel Ambassadors. Most of these are 3 day events with 10 or more appointments each time. Ambassador Gerberg now back in Jerusalem and his deputy Avital Mimran Rosenberg were here on December 7 for day and evening events
Pastor Nigel Woodley whom John mentioned in his letter compiled this video of the protests:
Christians from the Flaxmere Christian Fellowship in Hastings NZ, as well as from other Hawkes Bay Churches travel to Wellington to protest on the grounds of Parliament against the anti-Israel UN Resolution 2334 which outlaws Israeli settlement in the West Bank…
Over two dozen pro-Israel groups and hundreds of individuals in New Zealand have penned a letter to Prime Minister Bill English strongly criticizing his government’s support for last week’s United Nations Security Council resolution targeting Israel.
“We are ashamed of the role of New Zealand in this travesty and feel betrayed by our government,” the joint letter states. “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.”
The letter to English — signed by 27 organizations, including the New Zealand Jewish Council, Zionist Federation of New Zealand, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem New Zealand and B’nai B’rith New Zealand, in addition to 900 Jewish and non-Jewish private individuals — said the country’s actions in the Security Council have brought “ignominy” on New Zealand.
“It [the resolution] 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,” the letter stated.
“As Prime Minister, we believe it is incumbent upon you to make a public statement on the Resolution and its implications,” the letter said, before calling on English to meet with the undersigned.
A letter-writing campaign was also organized and sent to the Hawkes Bay newspaper. Some of the letters at the link are against Israel, but many are in support, including from Pastor Woodley and John McCormick himself.
John McCormick also wrote an op-ed in yesterday’s Hawkes Bay newspaper (associated with the NZ Herald) in which he correctly asserts that direct negotiations are the only way to bring peace:. He brings up the outrageous UNESCO resolution denying any connection of Jews to Jerusalem as well as Resolution 2334:
I wonder just how well thought out UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (UNSC2334) was.
Its implications are far reaching. The immediate coverage and comment by Murray McCully and US Secretary of State John Kerry was all about settlements, but that’s not the most important part of the resolution.
New Zealand policy since 1947 has been based on that year’s UN General Assembly Partition Resolution 181, which allowed for the establishment of a Jewish State and an Arab State (those actual names). The Jews declared the State of Israel; the Arabs spurned the opportunity for their state and invaded Israel.
UNGA181 said Jerusalem and environs, including Bethlehem, should be an international city. Reality was different, with the city divided by war after the Arab invasion in 1948. The ceasefire agreement with Jordan allowed for Jewish access to their Holy sites in the Old City. Not once did Jordan honour the agreement to allow Jews to visit the Temple Mount and Western Wall in the 19 years of its control from 1948 to 1967.
This failure to honour the agreement by Jordan has been part of the reason New Zealand has always supported the internationalisation of Jerusalem, but even this is not achieved with UNSC2334 – half of it is handed to the Palestinians and Jerusalem once more becomes a divided city.
Unesco actions in denying historical fact over Jerusalem just adds to the problem. The October 2016 Unesco Executive Board resolution defines Jerusalem as exclusively Muslim. This applies to all parts of the city including Christian sites and churches, not just the Temple Mount and the Old City.
The New Zealand Government has not condemned Unesco for its denial of historical fact. This along with its vote for UNSC2334, which denies Jewish residential status in the city Jews have been associated with for 3000 years, has turned NZ’s long standing policy on its ear.
He goes on to list all the historical facts: the Palestinian incitement and terror campaign against Israel; Israeli withdrawals and concessions; and reproaches the UN for its multiple one-sided anti-Israel resolutions.
He draws the entirely correct conclusion:
So where to now? On January 3 on Palestinian TV Palestine Liberation Organisation executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi, said: “We have refused and still refuse to say that Israel is a Jewish state.” The PLO was formed in 1964 when there was no Israeli occupied territory.
So until there is a Palestinian leadership that accepts Israel as the Jewish State nothing much will happen.
Murray McCully and Prime Minister Bill English need to justify their new policy:
1. Towards the Temple Mount and Holy sites;
2. To Jerusalem city and its status;
3. Future final borders in any peace deal.
Direct negotiation, not resolutions by the UN or Paris conference, is the best way forward.
One has to wonder why something that is so clear to the ordinary layman is so difficult to understand for politicians like McCully and John Kerry.
Huge kudos and thanks go to John McCormick, Pastor Nigel Woodley and all the hundreds of supporters around New Zealand, Christians, Jews, Muslims and of no religion, who go to such efforts to defend Israel, to give support where and when it’s needed, and who generally express their love for our country so warmly. Kol hakavod to all of them.