Race Relations Commissioner Devoy on anti-Semitism

The Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy has responded to the reported anti-Semitic speech in an Auckland mosque.


People who deny the Holocaust took place are many things, but most of all, they are liars.

Whether they are a representative of the Iranian Government like Hormoz Gharemani or whether they are members of a “White Pride” group – they are all liars.

Holocaust survivors are some of the bravest New Zealanders I have ever met. They’ve seen the very worst of humanity, they’ve looked evil in the eye and survived anyway. They embody the very best of humanity; they are true Kiwi battlers.

The Islamic Ahlulbyt Foundation Centre which hosted the event at which Mr Gharemani and others spoke need to let the rest of us know whether they will continue to tolerate this kind of hateful korero at their events. They need to make a stand and let New Zealand know that they won’t help spread hate and lies.

But they are not the only ones. The hatred directed at Jewish New Zealanders did not begin with this Youtube clip. A few years ago an Auckland pre-schooler was attacked by strangers who ripped his yarmulke off his head because he was a Jew. Israeli flags have been burned on our streets and Jews blamed for the actions of a government thousands of miles away from Queen Street in Auckland. For many years our synagogues and Jewish cemeteries have been consistently vandalised and attacked by cowards who come in the dead of the night to destroy headstones and spraypaint hate. That this happens here in Aotearoa makes me incredible sad, angry and ashamed.

Few Kiwis know that on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the war memorial in a New Zealand city was tagged with racist hate speech. In the early hours of that morning city officials, community leaders, us at the Human Rights Commission, police and others mobilised. Those words of hate were removed by daylight. Why? Because leaving them there was exactly what those people wanted: they wanted to be famous, they wanted their hate to go viral. But leaving them there was not an option. We are the first country in the world to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day and we weren’t going to let their racist words of hate dominate our ceremonies. We wanted that day to focus on celebrating New Zealanders who’d survived the Holocaust, to give thanks for their lives and to make sure the rest of us never, ever forgot the horrors they survived. Throughout that day we thought about those few, hateful individuals who would’ve been constantly refreshing their browsers hoping to see their handiwork trending. But they never did.

If we are to learn anything from the Holocaust it is that racism and hatred starts small. But we ignore it at our peril. All of us are responsible to ensure we live in a country where hate is never normalised. We can never let our country become one where racism goes unquestioned. And if we have to use glitter bombs to make our point – as some did at parliament over the weekend – so be it. It’s up to all of us to decide what kind of country we live in. While there are formal complaint processes that can and have been taken, just because something isn’t illegal does not make it OK.

Our religious leaders should be using their considerable powerful platforms to promote tolerance and peace across our communities. Whether it’s a mosque giving Holocaust deniers a platform or whether it’s an evangelical church spewing hatred about gay New Zealanders: this is not how we roll here. This is not who we are. This is who we do not want to ever become.

From The Spinoff:  ‘This is who we do not want to ever become’: Dame Susan Devoy on anti-Semitism in New Zealand

15 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  October 31, 2017

    anyone for…squash!

  2. Corky

     /  October 31, 2017

    Bloody pathetic. She is trying to deflect by using individual cases of anti Semitism, against Islam’s collective drive to destroy Jews. Two very different scenarios. One is encouraged, the other treated with odious contempt.

    So what’s wrong with Devoy? She used to be an average Kiwi Shelia with a sharp edge on occasions. Then she was indoctrinated by Maori advisors and now is as wishy washy as Gezza.

    This says it all:

    ”Continue to tolerate this kind of hateful korero at their events.” Please Dame Susan. Please!

    • Gezza

       /  October 31, 2017

      and now is as wishy washy as Gezza.
      PMSL. Says the non-voter who reckons that’ll make the government ban muslims.
      Or otherwise that ranting about it on YNZ will somehow achieve the same thing.

      Don’t confuse my thinking about the best way to handle this sort of issue instead of just adopting your impotent mindless ranting aporoach means I’m wishy washy on it. Back to your nuts, General.

      • Gezza

         /  October 31, 2017

        PS: Be good if you could follow up with your action plan, Corks?
        Text of your emails to Foreign Affairs Minister & PM demanding a ban on muslims
        Details of the anti-Iranian Embassy protest you’re arranging or attending
        Your letters to editors setting out your demands & inviting others not to vote until they are achieved

        Anything else notable you’ve done or are doing about this problem?

        Note: Ranting pointlessly on YNZ doesn’t need to be mentioned. That’s a known given.
        K?

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 31, 2017

    She didn’t start well. People who don’t believe the holocaust happened are not liars. They are deluded, misinformed or ignorant. Those who believed it happened and deny it are the liars. I’m not sure that survival makes your brave either. There are a lot of brave dead people. Logic is not her strong point.

    Both religions and politics that foster personal hatred or persecution are contemptible and dangerous. We can do without advocates for either.

    • Blazer

       /  October 31, 2017

      Holocaust is hardly an accurate definition.I found the academy award winning Spielberg film the Final Days quite enlightening.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  November 1, 2017

        Spielberg is so much more credible than the overwhelming research of actual historians.

        • Blazer

           /  November 1, 2017

          you can’t have seen the movie..pure fantasy,with a gallery of fantasists.

          • PDB

             /  November 1, 2017

            Just pizza ovens weren’t they?

            • Blazer

               /  November 1, 2017

              de lousing chambers,no ovens at Auschwitz,built after the war..for tourists.

            • PDB

               /  November 1, 2017

              Apparently the 5-6 million Jews missing after WW2 were all on extended holiday?

            • PDB

               /  November 1, 2017

              “In 1941 Auschwitz had two double muffle coke fired furnaces built by the German firm of Topf and Sons. An additional double muffle oven was added in the Spring of 1942. Each muffle can be considered an oven, so that there were six ovens in the camp during this time. The six ovens were in the main camp known as the Stammlager or Auschwitz 1.These six ovens were housed in a crematorium known as Krema I in much of the literature. In the summer of 1942 the Auschwitz Construction Agency, known as the Bauleitung, started to build four new crematoria in the Birkenau area of the camp, also known as Auschwitz II. These four crematoria housed an additional 46 ovens. Kremas II and III each had five triple muffle furnaces (15 ovens in each) while Kremas IV and V each had a single eight muffle furnace (eight ovens in each). Like the six ovens in the Auschwitz main camp, the 46 new ovens were built by the firm of Topf and Sons and used coke as fuel. [14] None of these facts are disputed by deniers or their critics.”

              http://www.phdn.org/archives/holocaust-history.org/auschwitz/body-disposal/

            • Blazer

               /  November 1, 2017

              no millions of Jews died and about 35 million other people who were not..Jews.

  4. One of a kind

     /  October 31, 2017

    So, somehow dear Susan has managed to spend 1 sentence on the anti Israel rhetoric from the dear muslims and at least two on groups who have nothing to do with this situation – White supremacists and Christians.

    She just can’t say – this muslim nutter shoud nto be in NZ spewing this sort of vitriol.

    No she has to qualify his abuse of Jews by saying look at all these other groups too.

    Maybe she should change her name to Susan Chamberlin.

  1. Race Relations Commissioner Devoy on anti-Semitism — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition