(JTA) – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned the recent UN Security Council Resolution criticizing Israeli settlements, calling it “one-sided” and “deeply unsettling” for his country’s Jewish community. Turnbull made the remarks during a speech Friday, Dec. 30 at Central Synagogue in Sydney where he attended a Chanukah event. “Australia stands with Israel. We support Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. Above all, we stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel in the fight against terrorists,” Turnbull said.
Separately, dozens of Christian supporters of Israel protested outside New Zealand’s parliament their country’s sponsorship of that resolution. Prior to the demonstration, the Flaxmere Christian Fellowship Church in Hastings and 11,685 supporters had signed a petition to parliament titled “For the Protection of Zion,” caling on the New Zealand 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.” Pastor Nigel Woodley said the New Zealand government “has bloodied its hands in regarding this Judas operation” and “shamefully betrayed 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.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully last week defended the resolution, which Israel condemned and prompted the Jewish state to recall its ambassadors from New Zealand and from Dakar, Senegal, one of three countries that cosponsored the resolution with New Zealand. “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 Dec. 23.