After some years of some frosty relations, things seem back on track for Israel and New Zealand, which have been negotiating an innovation agreement that would see technology firms from both countries fast-tracked to receive funding from their respective government grants agencies.
There are those who do not support such an agreement, such as BDS-holes, as well as the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
And a recent Fairfax report seems to suggest that the reason for the latter’s objection could be BDS-related – specifically this photo and caption accompanying the story.
The only problem is this is an outright fabrication, and Jordan Williams, the New Zealand Taxpayer’s Union executive director, has angrily called them out on it.
The Union wishes to clarify that it is the nature of the agreement – that Callaghan Innovation’s corporate welfare R&D grants will favour companies working with a particular country – not that the agreement is with a particular country.
Our staff just issued a media release where I clarify:
“When asked by the journalist who called, I specifically said that as an organisation the country is irrelevant and tied my comments back to our long-held position against corporate welfare.”
“The journalist then asked whether some taxpayers would have an objection to it being Israel, and I agreed but said that personally, and as an organisation, we didn’t.”
I’m very annoyed that the caption below my picture on the Stuff website suggests that I objected to the agreement because of being “a deal with Israel whose military is in violent conflict with Palestine“. Those words are Fairfax’s, not mine. Similarly, where the article states: “Williams said many taxpayers would have an issue with New Zealand signing an agreement with a Middle Eastern country whose military continued to engage in violent conflict” – again not my words.
And in case you think this was an innocent mistake, the article is still up in its original form, 9 days after this objection was raised. No edit, no apology or retraction, no nothing.
Clearly, “journalist” Madison Reidy has an anti-Israel bias – besides the fabricated quote, note how she mentions Israel being in violent conflict with “Palestine,” not Gaza or the PA-controlled territories. And for Fairfax media to allow someone like this to write for them and then allow the lies to stand, even after the dishonesty has been pointed out, is an absolute disgrace.