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AIR New Zealand: Turning Green?

Following the success of the Greens in the recent Australian federal election, it seems timely to review the experience with New Zealand's Green Party over recent years and especially its stance towards Israel and the Jewish community.

AIR New Zealand: A Tzur Thing

When Israel reopened an embassy in Wellington in April this year, it seemed obvious that the new Ambassador, Shemi Tzur, and his staff had a big job in front of them. Almost a decade without on-the-ground representation, as well as some years of troubled diplomatic relations between Israel and New Zealand, meant that Kiwi perceptions of Israel had, in many ways, been quite badly damaged.

AIR New Zealand: Kiwis in Turtle Bay

In several columns last year I wrote that the diplomatic relationship between New Zealand and Israel appeared to be improving - due to the new more Israel-friendly National-led government and the imminent reopening of an Israeli Embassy in Wellington.

AIR New Zealand: UN-Focused

When the report on the United Nations inquiry into the most recent Israel-Gaza conflict was released, I immediately thought that it would be interesting to observe what type of comment it generated in New Zealand. Although Kiwis often have little time for the United Nations, the conflict itself had generated a lot of attention and heat.

AIR New Zealand: Durban Dissent

Ever since I heard that a "Durban II" conference on racism was going to be held, I've watched with interest to see whether New Zealand would be involved and what sort of public dialogue might occur about our stance.

AIR New Zealand: The battlelines of summer

In the public sphere, regular anti-Israel protests and demonstrations took place around the country. At one such protest in Wellington, Catholic priest Gerard Burn sprinkled red paint mixed with a drop of his own blood, on a memorial monument to Yitzhak Rabin.

AIR New Zealand: Keyed Up In Wellington

Given the consistency of the pre-election polls, the results of the New Zealand election on Nov. 8 would have come as a shock to few Kiwis - John Key's National party handily defeated the Labour party, led by Helen Clark, the prime minister for the past (almost) 9 years.

AIR New Zealand: Key and the Kiwi Election

The members of New Zealand's small Jewish community have differing views on the domestic issues which have dominated the campaign, but nonethless have a particular interest in following the fortunes of National party leader John Key. Key would become New Zealand's third Jewish prime minister if the National party wins government.

AIR New Zealand: Columns and Calumny

Happily searching for a good merlot at the local supermarket, I sensed rather than heard the commotion in a distant part of the store. On listening more closely, I could hear a familiar voice saying something about Israel. Curiosity piqued, and clasping my bottle of wine, I headed towards the checkouts - where I found my partner engaged in a heated ?discussion? with a local political columnist.

AIR New Zealand: Grave Matters

In October, a Jewish cemetery in Wellington was desecrated. Again. Like many Jewish New Zealanders, when I heard about the latest attack I had a sad sense of deja vu. This sort of thing should not, and is not meant to, happen in our "fair go for all", egalitarian country. But it does.

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