Israel, in good faith, has had an embassy in our country for many years and it is time for New Zealand to reciprocate the goodwill. At a time when the misguided are shouting “free Palestine” and “close the Israeli Embassy in Wellington”, we can be involved in pushing that dangerous and negative rhetoric and narrative to the back by calling for the proper diplomatic representation of New Zealand within Israel itself.
Jerusalem has been deliberately kept out of the petition. It would have been attempting a bridge too far. I did get professional advice on this. I do agree that Jerusalem is the undisputed capital of the State of Israel, but to have asked for an embassy in Jerusalem at this stage would have been premature. It will be best to leave the placement of such an embassy to the diplomats on both sides to negotiate at the right time.
However, we have a big enough challenge before us convincing our Ministry of Foreign Affairs to establish an embassy anywhere in Israel. Israel is the most democratic state (most akin to our values) in the Middle East.
Added to the above, I will say this on behalf of people of Faith like me:
We have no doubt that this venture is pleasing to God. I believe that if we as a nation were to establish a proper Embassy in Israel, then the God of Israel who is the God of the Holy Bible we believe in, would show favor to our nation in response. Part of that favor would probably look like innovation, technology and trade. Thank you for standing with us for such an embassy – Nigel Woodley
Timeline of the Petition:
Short videos for online promotion – September 2021
Full-page advertisements in major dailies – Sep. ’21 to Jan. ’22
Presentation of Petition to Parliament – 10 August 2022
Submission to the Select Committee – September 2022
Parliamentary procedure means that as the principle petitioner I was invited to make a submission of between two and ten pages to explain the reasons why an embassy in Israel is necessary. The submission has been submitted. It has passed the first hurdle – the Parliamentary Petitions Committee who have referred it to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. The final role in the petition will be the Select Committee reporting back on their conclusions after having read and discussed the submission. Below is the submission:
Final Report from the Select Committee – December 2022
The Select Committee for Foreign Affairs reported back after considering the petition. They recommended that we make a direct approach to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, something that was done at the beginning of 2021. The petition was a seed that has planted, reiterated, and enforced within the minds of those in Foreign Affairs of the need for such an embassy. I am encouraged by the fact that two of the members on that Select Committee could possibly be in government this time next year and may even serve as heads of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Please continue to pray for a New Zealand embassy in Israel. The Committee’s Report follows: