Palestinian Flag over Hastings, New Plymouth and Whangarei – 29 November

THIS-IS-WRONG
A very tiny group convince the Hastings District Council to fly the Palestinian flag

The Palestinian lobby in New Zealand have requested from local body authorities to fly the Palestinian flag over their municipal buildings commemorating the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. November 29 marks the day of the original vote of the United Nations in 1947 to give international sanction to the creation of a Jewish state. Flags were flown from the municipalities of Hastings, New Plymouth and Whangarei. THIS IS WRONG AND PREMATURE!

At the moment the Palestinian flag represents a refusal to negotiate with their “peace partners” the Israelis. The Palestinians agreed to make no unilateral moves for independence until bilateral talks between them had produced a just and negotiated settlement. Moves like this are trying to circumvent such agreements. The flag also currently represents the stubbornness and obstinacy of the Palestinians to compromise with the Israelis at all – theirs is a policy of ‘give us all we want or you’ll get no peace’, whereas the Israelis on at least two prior occasions in 2000 and 2008 have made generous and unparalleled offers to give the Palestinians nearly everything they wanted, and on both occasions their offers were not accepted.

Being from Hastings I wrote to the Hastings District Council mayor – Sandra Hazlehurst. That email follows, and it is rather cordial in tone as we are known to each other:

30 November 2022

Dear Mayor Sandra,

I hope you are well and prospering.

I was a bit shocked to see yesterday a Palestinian flag flying from the Council flagpole. I guess Council is wanting to be inclusive and all-embracing but please let me point a couple of things out:

  1. The flying of the Palestinian flag is premature as the Palestinians agreed in the Oslo Accords that a state would eventuate only with open negotiations with their peace partner Israel, and land disputes would be settled for what is called a final status agreement. The reason no state has eventuated as yet is because the Palestinians quit negotiating over a decade ago and are now trying to circumvent negotiations by going for a unilateral declaration of statehood at the United Nations. This breaks the forementioned agreement in Oslo and will not lead to peace but to more conflict.
  1. By flying the Palestinian flag from Council Buildings the HDC is basically recognising the legitimacy of a Palestinian state without the agreed negotiations. It plays into the hands of terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah who are emboldened by such moves to continue their campaign of hate and destruction against innocent Israelis.
  1. I have found the Palestinian movement in New Zealand to be very inaccurate in their reporting and assessment of the situation in Israel, and they have set themselves up in this nation to denigrate and criticise Israel unfairly. I believe that the move to allow them to fly their flag is playing into their politics and their campaign against Israel in this nation will continue.
  1. What would Council’s response be if I were to ask for the flying of the Israeli flag on the 14th May next year in recognition of Israel’s 75 birthday?

I would love the opportunity to speak to you further about these things and if you would like that to take place then please let me know.

Despite this Sandra, I still believe you are a great mayor.

Blessings,

Nigel Woodley                   

I received a very short but polite reply to that email, and so I sent another :

30 November 2022

Dear Mayor Sandra,

Thank you for your rather short reply.

Had Council sought any advice regarding the wisdom of flying the Palestinian flag?

All-embracing and inclusive should not mean empowering terrorists surely, as I explained in my previous email. I have no doubt that pressure was applied on Council and I can guess from whom the pressure came. I raise the concern that now every year on November 29 the same pressure will be applied to Council.

I am concerned that Council would do such a thing without hearing from both sides of this controversy. I stated before that I am willing to offer some light on the subject as I appreciate that most people do not have the time to be involved. That offer still stands.

On 14 May 2023 Israel commemorates its 75th anniversary as a state having survived against all odds: first from the Nazi Holocaust, then Middle East aggression against it by Arab armies, and now state funded terror organisations seeking to destroy her. Would the Council be willing to allow the Israeli flag to be flown on that day?

Sincere blessings to you Mayor Sandra,

Nigel Woodley

I am still waiting for a reply!

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