Anti-Israel speech in Auckland mosque

Stuff reports:  Calls to expel Iran diplomat from NZ after fiery anti-Israel speech ‘fuels radicalism’

An Iranian diplomat has been accused of fuelling radicalism with a fiery, anti-Israel speech at an Auckland mosque.

Jewish community leaders want Hormoz Ghahremani, first secretary of the Iranian Embassy, to be expelled after he appeared alongside speakers who denied the Holocaust and called for the “surgical removal” of Israel.

In his speech, Ghahremani said Israel was trying to “deceive the world” by pretending to be an advocate of peace when in fact it was fuelling terrorism and extremism in the Middle East to divert attention from the Palestine issue.

Muslim nations needed to unite against “the anti-human regime of Israel and discern their common enemy with profound insight”, he said.

He said Quds Day was established “to deal a powerful punch to the mouth of the cancerous tumour known as evil Israel,” and cited Imam Khomeini as saying that “if every Muslim were to spit in the face of Israel, Israel would drown”.

The annihilation of the “Zionist regime” had begun, he said, and Israel would not last for another 25 years.

Community elder Sayed Taghi Derhami, a Mt Albert accountant, told attendees at the event that Israel was a “cancerous gland” that had to be “surgically removed”.

It’s good to see this exposed, but sad to see this sort of divisive rhetoric in New Zealand.

Members of the Jewish community say it’s outrageous that the representative of a foreign Government should make such comments. The speech was in June but has only just come to light.

Ghahremani told Stuff he agreed the speech could be seen as inflammatory, but it had to be taken in the context of the event at which it was given. He spoke at a gathering to mark the annual Quds Day, initiated by Iran in the 1970s to support Palestinians and oppose Zionism.

Contacted at the Iranian Embassy in Wellington, Ghahremani said his speech was supposed to be private and he was upset it had been put on the internet. “It was something private, a small gathering. I was there to reflect the position of the Iranian Government.

“We do not recognise the Israeli Government, that’s not a secret. But we are not against their existence.”

A small private gathering – but it is still inflammatory and divisive language. Someone saw a need to make it public – good on them.

But it needs to be remembered that that is just a small minority. Coincidentally:

News this weekend of the aggressively-worded speeches comes after rallies against racism. New Green MP Golriz Ghahraman denounced racism at a rally in front of Parliament on Saturday.

Extreme rhetoric comes from different minority groups.

Ghahraman, who came to NZ from Iran as a refugee as a child, said on Saturday night that she was concerned that racist rhetoric was becoming more common place in mainstream New Zealand politics. ​”We are seeing this insidious racism creep into the mainstream,” she warned. “It’s important to note the Holocaust was the most harrowing of crimes against humanity.”

Unsurprisingly Israelis are unhappy with the speeches.

Juliet Moses, a spokeswoman for the Jewish Council, said the fact an Iran Government representative was making such inflammatory statements was concerning. “It’s not a great surprise in one sense, because statements like this come from Iranian leaders all the time, but when those words are being spoken in New Zealand it’s a very different matter,” she explained.

“What audience is being spoken to here and what are they believing and what messages are they taking from that? Clearly Islamist terrorism is becoming more frequent in Western countries, and Jews are essentially at the coalface.”

Moses said she hoped the Government would investigate and take action against Ghahremani. “Expulsion might be an option.”

Expulsion is always an option, but I don’t know if it is justified in this case.

Leave a comment

67 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  October 31, 2017

    What was a Jew doing at a Mosque?

    Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  October 31, 2017

    ‘An Iranian diplomat has been accused of fuelling radicalism with a fiery, anti-Israel speech at an Auckland mosque.’…Hardly a public place.Storm in a teacup.

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  October 31, 2017

      Calling for genocide is all fine and dandy when in a Mosque is it?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 31, 2017

        about as fine as in your own living room among friends in Tel Aviv.

        Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  October 31, 2017

          Is a diplomat giving a speech that sort of equivalent to you?

          Reply
    • Corky

       /  October 31, 2017

      Yeah, it is a public place. Frequented by impressionable young minds. Minds that if radicalised, could lead to you and your loved ones being blown up. Or maybe run down.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  October 31, 2017

        Expulsion is always an option, but I don’t know if it is justified in this case.
        I agree with Corky here – even though most the time he’s just talking utter bollocks & full of it.
        Anybody who follows Islam & supports Hamas is hardly in any position to take moral high ground over Israel’s occupation & oppression of Palestinian Arabs in Palestine.
        This diplomat should be either expelled or summoned to our Foreign Minister’s office asap for a damn good stoating !

        Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  October 31, 2017

      Remember “Kill a white” was said on a university marae so was in a private space and therefore o.k?

      Reply
    • David

       /  October 31, 2017

      Blazer are you for real on this, it goes against everything you have ever said on here. I get you maybe dont like Jews/Israel but the vitriolic hate speech if it had come from say a white supremecist talking about Maori in a private setting you would be all over it.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  October 31, 2017

      Blazer shoots himself in both feet. Declares storm in teacup. Removed to psychiatric care.

      Reply
    • Trevors_elbow

       /  October 31, 2017

      What is with you left wing people that you hate Jews some much Blazer? Please set out you case with out resort to caricature or abuse….

      Genuine question… look foward to your multi paragraph, well reasoned response… that doesnt just respond with questions for me…. can you do that?

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 31, 2017

        I have no hatred for Jews at all.I believe they should forget the eternal victim status used by Zionists mainly,to justify their behaviour.They are no better than anyone else and deserve equal treatment,not special treatment.They have been condemned by the U.N so many times for their behaviour and rely on the protection of the ‘big dog’,the U.S to snub their nose at world opinion.I could go on ,but you get the gist,I’m sure.

        Reply
  3. Corky

     /  October 31, 2017

    Personally I have no problem with anti -Jewish sentiments. As tragic as it was, I think too many Jews are living off holocaust angst. We must NEVER forget; but we also need to move on.

    My problem with this situation is simple: Why do we let Muslims into the country? We don’t need them. Give me anyone else( provided they are law abiding).

    Reply
    • As an aside, had my grandparents been subject to systemic genocide with another 6 million of my ethnicity I’d be dwelling on the propensity of the world to be anti-Jewish too.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 31, 2017

        The Jews are Gods chosen people ,they are eternal victims.We know this because we get told it,every chance ,they get.

        Reply
      • Corky

         /  October 31, 2017

        The world is already anti Jewish. We have it under control in New Zealand. Why stuff that up? Jews must accept no matter how model a citizen they are, people will hate them. Therefore the country where they reside should make sure they come to no harm. Europe has failed them. We are on the way to failing them.

        We don’t need ‘Man In The Middle’ vacillation when it comes to anti semitism.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  October 31, 2017

          Absolutely agree – anti-semitism, irrational, implaccable hatred of the Jews is abominable. It should be condemned wherever it shows its ugly face!

          It should never been confused with holding Zionist oppressors & Israeli illegal Settler thugs in Palestine to account for their crimes.

          Reply
    • barryglik

       /  October 31, 2017

      As far as i know Muslims in NZ are law abiding at least on par with every one else.

      Reply
  4. I’ve never been a proponent of banning hate speech, but this sort of thing could change my mind. It disgusts me we even have diplomatic ties with this regime, let alone the fact they’re out there disseminating hatred like this.

    Reply
    • David

       /  October 31, 2017

      Its because we want to sell them sheep meat now the sanctions are lifted. NZers like to think they are holier than thou on the world stage after Lange accidently banned nukes but we are more than happy to trade with all sorts of dodgy regimes…not that I mind as business is business so we wont hear Devoy or Ardern saying much.

      Reply
  5. Gerrit

     /  October 31, 2017

    Susan Devoe’s silence on this matter is not just deafening but ear drum popping. Had that been a white extremist, all the bells and whistles would have gone off in her office and the church bells ordered rung as a warning not to listen to such hate speech..

    But saintly Susan Devoe cant get her head around that hate speech can come from any corner and must be dealt with, under the legislation she is paid to uphold, without fear or favour.

    Reply
  6. barryglik

     /  October 31, 2017

    Middle aged men ranting over different political, historical philosophical points of view. That’s unusual..

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  October 31, 2017

      Your comment is unusual? Humans have always engaged in discussions over important social and political events.

      Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  October 31, 2017

      Are middle aged men excluded from having a discussion? Cant quite work out what you are saying but the word “ranting” would suggest middle aged men’s view point does not account for much in your estimation?

      At what age may men engage in “rantings”? Do 3 score years plus 10 some qualify?

      Or should men have gender reassignment surgery or a frontal lobotomy before they can have their view point discussed on the merit of the argument not age or gender?

      Reply
      • MAM hating on Israel might be your idea of discourse but it’s not mine.

        I abhor religious based ignorance and claims to superiority and exclusivity. I reserve special opprobrium for religionists who murder and maim innocents in the name of their faith.

        Israel is going nowhere

        Reply
      • barryglik

         /  October 31, 2017

        @Gerrit “Are middle aged men excluded from having a discussion”? Absolutely not.
        You ask “Or should men have gender reassignment surgery or a frontal lobotomy before they can have their view point discussed on the merit of the argument not age or gender”?
        We could perhaps put that idea in the box where members bills are drawn 🙂

        Reply
  7. sorethumb

     /  October 31, 2017

    I think it is legitimate to question the holocaust in so far as it could become sacralised and untouchable. The danger is when a preconception pre-determines an enquiry.

    Reply
    • David

       /  October 31, 2017

      OMG !

      Reply
    • barryglik

       /  October 31, 2017

      Preconceptions determine all comments on this blog.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  October 31, 2017

        Except mine. .naturellment. .I give measured,objective thought to all points of view before I post.

        Reply
        • barryglik

           /  October 31, 2017

          Totally 🙂

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  October 31, 2017

            Yeah, right – but he puts all his bullet points in a straight line! And there’s a lot of them. And they’re not bullet points!!
            (Still luv him like an Irish brother tho. Makes some good points occasionally)

            Reply
            • barryglik

               /  October 31, 2017

              An “Irish brother”? What’s wrong with a kiwi brother then 🙂 I am terribly offended and may send a complaint somewhere 🙂

            • Gezza

               /  October 31, 2017

              Nothing with being a kiwi brother barry. It’s just that us Irish brothers enjoy that special closeness of being able to duke it out on the front lawn when we have a disagreement because the other one’s an arrogant idiot, & still all pile in together & beat the living daylights out of anyone outside the family who bloody insults one of us.

              If you still wish to make a complaint, just fill this out & send it to PG:

        • @lazer 😉

          Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  October 31, 2017

        Including naturally yours? Or you above the fray?:

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  October 31, 2017

          I don’t appreciate impertinence from. .senior management.

          Reply
          • Gerrit

             /  October 31, 2017

            Sorry Blazer, my comment was directed at barryglik. Senior management does not do impertinence, we know better than that. 😉

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  October 31, 2017

              A few of them in the Public Service do thick as pigshit, though, in my previous experience, Gerrit.

      • sorethumb

         /  October 31, 2017

        I was thinking if you start with a strongly held preconception of a Jewish conspiracy before considering the Holocaust (some people think that way). However what if the true figure was 4.5 million Jews (and others) but 6 million becomes sacrosanct?

        Reply
  8. As an aside how many of are primarily Irish in ethnicity?

    Me,me

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  October 31, 2017

      Irish jokes. .are fine.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  October 31, 2017

      👍🏼
      ☘☘ ☘☘ ☘☘ ☘🇳🇴

      Reply
    • barryglik

       /  October 31, 2017

      @traveller “If you are shouting the Guinness
      we are all Irish…and it will be Irish day every day
      on this blog through till Saint Paddys day 2021:)

      Low lie the fields of Athenrye
      where once we watched the small free birds fly
      Our love was on the wing
      We had dreams and songs to sing,
      Its so lonely round the Fields of Athenry
      …………
      Get the drinks in Trav singing and blogging is thirsty work:)

      Reply

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