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August 9, 2017 2:52 pm

Poll Shows Strong Support for Israel Among New Zealanders, Despite Their Government’s Policies

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

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Government buildings in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Nick-D via Wikimedia Commons.

A new poll of close to 1000 New Zealanders has found surprisingly strong support for Israel.

According to local news outlet J-Wire, the Israel Institute of New Zealand found that respondents supported the Jewish state by a margin on 55 to 13 percent.

The institute’s co-director David Cumin commented, “The support for Israel is most encouraging at a time when Israel is demonized in the media and blamed, by some, for putting obstacles in the way of peace.”

“It’s also important to know that there is support when Jews are once again under threat around the world and need to know that they have a safe haven in their ancestral homeland,” he added.

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The poll showed other positive results for Israel. It found that on the question of whether Israel should be a Jewish-majority state, 60 percent of men and 51 percent of women said yes. Fifty-eight percent of those under age 30 and over age 60 responded affirmatively.

These numbers are particularly striking because of recent tensions between the governments of New Zealand and Israel.

New Zealand was partially responsible for bringing UN Security Council Resolution 2334 to a vote despite strong Israeli opposition. After Egypt withdrew the resolution under pressure from the US, New Zealand stepped in to sponsor it.

Resolution 2334 declared East Jerusalem and the West Bank to be occupied Palestinian territory and denounced Israel’s settlements there. Israel saw this as a denial of Jewish rights to its capital city and holy sites like the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. It led to a serious rupture in Israel’s diplomatic relations with New Zealand.

The institute’s survey, however, found that ordinary New Zealanders strongly disapprove of their government’s sponsorship of the resolution, with only 27 percent expressing support for it.

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  • Lia

    Thank you, Kiwis!

  • Reb_Yaakov

    Whether popular support for Israel is strong or not, Israel does not want to be doing anything that would create a roadblock for peace. The settlement enterprise is the first thing that comes to mind in this respect.

    The tenor of this whole article and, I imagine, the survey, is that Jews are some sort of ethnic group that is somehow distinct from the Jewish faith and way of life. The problem is that such a portrayal adds fuel to the “Zionism is racism” charge. In fact, Judaism has always been part and parcel of Jewish communities in the past, including those that had some non-Jewish residents. It meant that the society had shared values, in this case, Jewish values, which are mostly universal in nature. Thus, they posed no problems for resident non-Jews, just the opposite, in fact.

    Israel today lacks those shared values. It was founded by many individuals of Jewish ancestry who were not only irreligious but anti-religious. They clashed with the deeply observant element, and this sort of divisive dichotomy persists to this day. Israel needs a Jessie Sampter-sort of person to bring what is called the secular population back into the fold of Jewish spirituality, not necessarily in an Orthodox sense but at least acknowledging Judaism as a way of life for themselves. The more extreme chareidim who take over local governments, don’t pay taxes, and harass others both physically and verbally must also be brought to task and not allowed to persist in this behavior because of their political power.

    All this must be accompanied by a spirit of inclusiveness for all Jews, as well a sense of inclusiveness for the non-Jewish citizens. Only then will Israel be a Jewish state. When that happens, Israel will reap untold benefits from within and achieve a much higher level of respect from without.

  • Efram Paul

    Can we hope, then, that come next election they will boot out the antisemites?

  • Samuel Fistel

    White New Zealand Jew-haters are your typical hypocritical liberal atheists: White New Zealanders pride themselves on being “enlightened ultra-liberals”. They march in lockstep with their fellow western liberal Jew-haters, in that they accuse Jewish Israel of being “white europeans who invaded and colonized “palestine”, ethnically cleansing the indigenous “palestinian peoples” in the process, and who are now illegally occupying the state of palestine”. In reality, the white New Zealanders are projecting their own guilt, over how they treated the true indigenous people of New Zealand, the Maoris, onto Jewish Israel. The white christian european (british) New Zealanders invaded and colonized New Zealand, and came close to exterminating the native Maoris in the process. We see this same obsessive hatred of Jewish Israel among today’s european christians (the “grandchildren of Hittler”), who project their own guilt over the european christian genocide of 6 million Jews by now claiming that “Israeli Jews are the real natzis, and that what Israeli Jews have done to the “palestinian people” is far worse than what the european christians did to the Jews, especially since the Jews had provoked the european christians to a point beyond endurance, so that the european christians were acting, in killing six million Jews, in a type of self-defense!”