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Not in a Vacuum

The following comments by a New Zealand citizen (taken from a Jewish issues forum) suggest that the recent events in New Zealand have not occurred in a vacuum.

1. Last night (Friday) Rodney Hyde, MP , Leader of the ACT Party, said on television news that the New Zealand government had gone on to a new foreign policy without consulting Parliament; that the country was now openly taking a pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel position; that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Phil Goff’s meeting with Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and the special trade mission to Syria and Iran–but excluding Israel–showed this position. New Zealand was now very much in the anti-American group of nations.

2. The desecration of the historic, mid-nineteenth-century Jewish graves in Wellington was a national disgrace, but hardly the first such attack. It is nonsense to say that New Zealand is free of anti-Semitism. One should recall the car-burning attack in Hamilton two years ago, with the swastika and SS flashes cut into the footpath of the home of the local president of the Waikato Jewish Association. There have also been incidents at the home of Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence in Auckland. There had been a knife threatening incident outside the Jewish Day School, Kadima, in Auckland as well.

3. As Barb and others on EEJH have reminded members many times, New Zealand is the only country in the so-called Western world to institutionalize Holocaust Denial at its universities. There remain unresolved issues of anti Semitism at Waikato, Canterbury and Massey Universities.

4. The smear campaign against the Israelis who were involved in passport fraud is led by the New Zealand Herald, the paper which only a few months ago was forced to let go Malcolm Evans, its political cartoonist, for anti-Semitic material.

5. One good reason why the current President of Israel should not come to visit is because the last time a President came, Hertzog, he was not properly met at the airport, while the New Zealand government pointedly was having a meeting with Ali Kazak, the PLO representative from Australia.

6. A Cabinet decision was taken on Independence Day for the New Zealand government to not attend formal celebrations at the Israeli Embassy. That was two years ago when there was a New Zealand Ambassador in New Zealand.

Update: At least not all New Zealand cartoonists are as irresponsible as Malcolm Evans.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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