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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.