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Concerns About Social Cohesion

Monday 20th November 2023

“There is no place in New Zealand for the threats, assaults, school bullying, graffiti, property damage, and the open anti-Jewish antagonism in social media and inflammatory public rhetoric which are threatening to our community and harmful to the country’s social cohesion,” said Juliet Moses, President of the New Zealand Jewish Council (NZJC).

“As representatives of a small faith and ethnic minority community present in Aotearoa New Zealand for over 180 years, the NZJC calls on this country’s leaders in all fields to make strong statements against the total unacceptability of antisemitism within our motu.

“As proud Kiwis, we have always worked hard to contribute to our country, build social cohesion and support other communities, including the Muslim community after the Christchurch mosques massacre in 2019", Ms Moses said.

We strongly support the principle of free speech but emphasise that it has to be used lawfully and responsibly. The cry “Globalise the intifada” heard at a recent Auckland rally threatens our community. The painting of a swastika on the statue of Jewish former mayor of Auckland Sir Dove-Myer Robinson, and the failure of civic and political leaders to speak out against it, add to our community’s feeling of isolation and vulnerability.

We would welcome open support from faith leaders like the statement signed by 15 leading Muslim figures in Britain, published by The Muslim News, [which] addressed the war between Israel and Hamas and "utterly condemned" the numerous instances of antisemitism and Islamophobia witnessed in Britain since October 7, according to a report in the London Jewish Chronicle.

We thank all those who have offered their support to the Jewish community and have stated their concern about increased “othering” and potential divisiveness in New Zealand society,” Juliet Moses concluded.

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