Addressing The Role Of Government Agencies And The NZ Media
FIANZ, the national umbrella Muslim organisation, have released their Advisory entitled ‘Unfolding Genocide in Gaza- A Call for Action’. Copies of this have been sent to every Parliamentarian.
The Advisory seeks information and clarification from government agencies like the DPMC, NZSIS, Defence, MBIE and the NZ Police, on the applicability of existing legislation and NZ’s obligation under international treaties and conventions on nine issues. Some of these include,
- Designating the IDF as a terrorist organisation under our Terrorism Suppression Act ,
- Supporting South Africa’s genocide prosecution at the International Court of Justice,
- Banning visas for extremist Israeli settlers like the USA and the UK have done,
- Stop Ministry of Defence and NZ Police from buying Israeli security equipment as well as our armed services having joint military war game exercise with Israeli forces
and other issues.
Many of the issues raised have yet to be addressed by government agencies. With mis- and disinformation evident in social media, it is important that our taxpayer-funded agencies provide clarity and specificity of information. This is in keeping with our new National Security Strategy which stresses the importance of communities, civil society organisations and politicians being better informed.
The Advisory has provided evidence that the Israeli government’s propaganda machine, including their NZ- mouthpieces have a dual strategy to deflect criticism. Firstly, to deliberately confuse anti-Semitism with anti- Zionism, so that statements such as ‘from the river to the sea’ are viewed as anti-Semitic. Detailed evidence from Israeli sources have been provided that the Israeli government uses exactly such statements to forward their policy of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians. This type of hypocrisy has been well honed by the Zionist mouthpieces in NZ. The second strategy is to deem any criticism of Israel and as anti-Semitic. Yet the overwhelming evidence, again from Israeli and Jewish sources, is that there are large and growing Jewish community voices both here in NZ and in Israel, who are completely against the current genocide by Israel. The advisory has clarified that the one or two Zionist spokespersons for the Israeli government’s propaganda machine in NZ, do not represent the vast majority of Jews both here and overseas, who have taken a balanced humanitarian and peaceful stand against Zionism and Israel’s current genocidal policies.
The Advisory also addresses some of the concerns raised after a formal evaluation of the role of the NZ media. Whilst there is no evidence of any deliberate bias in editorial policy in the NZ formal media, there is however significant evidence of a lack of balance and objectivity. Examples have been cited, that some NZ media simply copies and pastes overseas media sources without fact-checking or critical analysis. This has the potential to devalue the high esteem we hold of NZ journalism. What is however most alarming, the Advisory highlights is that the NZ media either ignores or avoids significant news and events which are pivotal for civil society, politicians, and policy makers for their informed decision-making.
The final section of Advisory is reserved for a brief history lesson for the Israeli Ambassador and his warning to NZ to “recalculate our path”. Using false identity of a NZ tetraplegic to gain NZ passports by Israeli Mossad agents to ‘declaring war’ on NZ for our humanitarian stance at the UN, is hardly the history that Israel can be proud of.