Dozens of Christian supporters of Israel protested outside the New Zealand parliament over the country’s sponsorship of a UN resolution criticizing Israeli settlements.
The 71 protesters traveled 13 hours to the capital Wellington from the city of Hastings in reaction to New Zealand sponsoring UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which passed last Friday.
Prior to the demonstration, the Flaxmere Christian Fellowship Church Hastings and 11,685 supporters signed a petition to parliament entitled “For the Protection of Zion.”
The petition called on New Zealand’s government to cease pressuring Israel to give up its “rightful and God-given land and to recognize Israel’s right to sovereignty over the entire Land of Israel.”
The Jewish state “should pay no attention to this anti- Semitic, anti-Israel, unjust and evil resolution,” Pastor Nigel Woodley said. Neither New Zealand nor the international community, he added, has the right “to impose on Israel restrictions as to where they can and cannot live within their historical homeland.”
In a scathing attack, he accused the New Zealand government of having “bloodied its hands regarding this Judas operation” and of “shamefully [betraying] a traditional ally and friend for the spotlight on the world stage.”
Some 240 local people from the Wellington Jewish Community and other friends of Israel groups and individuals joined the rally. Parliament is not in session in New Zealand, however, due to the country’s summer holidays.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully last week defended the resolution, which Israel condemned and which prompted the Jewish state to recall its ambassadors from New Zealand and from Senegal, another of the countries that co-sponsored the resolution.
“We have been very open about our view that the (Security Council) should be doing more to support the Middle East peace process and the position we adopted today is totally in line with our long established policy on the Palestinian question,” McCully said in a statement on Friday, after the resolution passed.
“The vote today should not come as a surprise to anyone and we look forward to continuing to engage constructively with all parties on this issue.”