I do not regard Israel as the "pre-eminent nation on earth, above all others...in accordance with biblical scripture" as one subscriber's accusation was.
If Israel was just treated fairly and equally by the other nations I would be happy. But there is an overwhelming bias against the State of Israel in the United Nations—New Zealand among them.
The Organisation for Islamic Cooperation—57 nations—gives an unjust disadvantage against Israel. When the only true democracy in the Middle East annually has more resolutions and condemnations against it by the UN than all the other nations put together (including Syria, Russia, Iran, North Korea and other rogue states) then there is a huge bias. In 2016 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted this just prior to his tenure finishing.
As for Israel's "persecution" of the Arab population — nonsense! Of course Palestinian terrorists and troublemakers are going to find it tough, but deservedly so—they should stop trying to destroy the State of Israel.
If Palestinian hostility and their refusal to come to the negotiating table would cease then they may begin to make progress. The Palestinians have become experts in knowing how to manipulate the media.
They know how to set up the perfect shot for the BBC, CNN etc. Yes there are problems and injustices (on both sides) which are supposed to be worked out by peace talks, something made impossible by the Palestinian Authority's refusal to come to the table.
The PA plays on the huge bias against Israel in the UN and resorts to resolutions instead of negotiations.
One Arab journalist said, "If I were given the choice, I would rather live in Israel as a second class citizen than as a first class citizen in Cairo, Gaza, Amman or Ramallah". The State of Israel is humane, democratic and treats its Arab citizens better than the Arab nations themselves. There are difficulties, but I hope the Palestinians come to realise that for every finger they point toward Israel there are three others on the same hand pointing back toward them.
I am not ashamed to admit that my support for the State of Israel is rooted though in the integrity and infallibility of the Bible. For me it is the word of Almighty God. Some may scoff at that but there are around two billion people on this planet who take the book seriously.
I am careful in my defence of Israel not to say too much about this in the secular argument. Israel's case for justice, for its right to the land of Israel, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, can be won simply on the grounds of International Law.
All 51 member states of the League of Nations (including NZ) in 1922 endorsed the Mandate for Palestine, which set aside the aforesaid land as a national home for the Jewish people (everything west of the Jordan River).
Local Arab independence was guaranteed immediately prior to this when the larger part of Palestine (everything east of the Jordan River — 77 per cent) was set aside for the Arabs—the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan today. The United Nations has conveniently forgotten about this former commitment, which was set in international Law and has never been rescinded. One prominent politician said to me recently, "the Palestinians already have their state—the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan".
This is actually historically correct. So yes, I do believe the Bible is the word of God. But no, I am not ignorant of the secular historical narrative either. And I do believe in a fair negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians to bring about a just and acceptable settlement for both sides. But the solution must be sought through negotiation and not UN resolution!
I must point out that the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and Israel far exceeds that of either the Muslims or the Christians—by over 1500 years.
Jerusalem was the capital of Israel 3000 years ago at the time of King David; also at the time of Christ. It was the centre of Jewish life and culture and has remained the same throughout the centuries despite the fact that the Jews were ruthlessly forced from their land as slaves to the far reaches of the Roman Empire.
This made room for others to come in and occupy the land of Israel. Now that the Jews are back in their Land as the original "indigenous" people we must respect their historical rights also.
Pastor Nigel Woodley is the spokesman for Flaxmere Christian Fellowship in Hastings. All opinions are his and not those of Hawke's Bay Today.