Tag: New Zealand
When talking to community representatives, the continuing importance of Israel to Jewish New Zealanders is inescapable. They cite deep-rooted religious and historic links, family connections, and growing business and academic interests as evidence of this. But they also see Israel as being an intrinsic part of the community's Jewish identity...
After announcing that she would be performing a concert in Israel as part of her upcoming world tour, Lorde ran smack bang into a BDS-driven backlash. She immediately attracted harsh criticism and protest, largely driven by the New Zealand Palestine Solidarity Network.
Ardern's views on Israel are simply unknown. While she spent time in Israel as president of the International Union of Socialist Youth, she hasn't yet made any public comment about Israel-related issues.
Balancing out these uncertainties is Peters who will become both Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister. Peters publicly opposed 2334 and has long been a vocal supporter of Israel.
New Zealand elections have never hinged around foreign policy, and this one is no exception.
This leaves Jewish Kiwis who are keen to get a handle on where prospective parties might sit with regard to Israel, rising antisemitism, and the controversy over New Zealand's co-sponsorship of one-sided and vehemently anti-settlement UN Resolution 2334 in January struggling to find answers.
In reality, there is a high degree of misunderstanding about what freedom of speech means. All too often, people seem to think the principle only applies if they agree with what is being said - with anything else being re-defined as "hate speech".
This tendency has been further complicated by the growth of the internet and social media and all that they entail. While they provide more people with platforms to express their views, they have also led to an increased aversion to hearing differing points of view.
United Nations Resolution 2334 came screaming out of the blue, just before Christmas. The "anti-settlement" resolution itself, which passed after the US broke with convention and abstained, was disturbing enough. But for Jewish New Zealanders it was particularly shocking.
It's rare for a sitting prime minister to resign in New Zealand. It is unheard of for a sitting prime minister who is at the top of his game and riding high in the leader polls to do so. But, one fine day in November, that is just what New Zealand's now former Prime Minister John Key did...
The former Prime Minister's surprise resignation is particularly worthy of comment in this column because of his Jewish background.