Government joining IHRA is a weak, cowardly decision


The government decision to take on observer status at the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance is a step backwards in the fight against anti-semitism and the struggle for Palestinian human rights.

The IHRA is a partisan, political organisation working hard to deflect criticism of Israel’s racist policies towards Palestinians with false smears of anti-semitism. 

For example the IHRA has adopted its own definition of anti-semitism which claims calling Israel an apartheid state (as every major international human rights group such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch does) or calling for sanctions against Israel is anti-semitic. 

The New Zealand Jewish Council and the Holocaust Centre of New Zealand have already adopted this bogus IHRA definition which they used in a so-called “survey of anti-semitism” earlier this year to make the absurd claims that describing Israel as an apartheid state or calling for sanctions against Israel were anti-semitic.

Palestinian civil society organisations called for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) in 2005 to build international pressure to require Israel to abide by international law and United Nations resolutions. BDS was an important part of the fight against apartheid in South Africa and is also an important strategy in the fight against apartheid in Israel. 

The three aims of BDS are to end Israel’s military occupation, end its apartheid policies towards Palestinians and allow Palestinian refugees to return to the land and homes from which they were ethnically cleansed by Israel in 1948.

This legitimate and successful BDS strategy is fiercely opposed by Israel which is weaponizing the Holocaust against Palestinian demands for human rights. 

Needless to say, Palestinians had no role in the Holocaust whose cause was European anti-semitism. 

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By joining the IHRA Aotearoa New Zealand is undermining the fight against anti-semitism and racism of all kinds.

The government has caved in to relentless bullying and threats of false smears of anti-semitism from the pro-Israel lobby.

Joining the IHRA is a weak, cowardly decision. 

Aotearoa New Zealand should adopt the Jerusalem Declaration on Anti-Semitism and insist on Holocaust education in every school in the country as part of a comprehensive anti-racism education programme.


  1. Why don’t you write an ‘open letter’ to the govt Mr Minto, then post it on here…..isn’t that what you enjoy doing?
    (Then another follow up post ‘outgraged’ that no one replied, or if they did reply, ‘outraged’ they didn’t reverse their position to meet your demands….rinse and repeat, it’s your normal MO)

    • It’s also the definition of insanity. The MFAT decision is neither weak nor cowardly. It is strongly moral and aligns us with 44 other countries.

  2. Very true John.

    At Israeli celebrations like the Jerusalem ‘Flag March’, they regularly celebrate their previous victories, like the Duma arson attack, where they successfully burnt three native Palestinians, including a toddler, to death.

    I can think of a number of descriptions I could give to this common Israeli feeling, none of them nice. But if I called the Israelis, who love to celebrate burning a toddler to death, ‘Nazis’, that would make me an ‘anti-semite’, according to this zionist lobby group that our cowardly government has just joined.

    • And the culprit was punished by the law, not lauded as a ‘martyr’ and paid to slay. However, in the murder of the Fogel family, 5 people including a 3 month old baby, were murdered in their beds by Palestinian terrorists. Another one who thinks only Arab lives matter.

      • Come on Gaby, I’m sure that with both crimes being equal you can manage to
        spit out the words ” Jewish terrorist” or is that verboten? What is equal for one must surely be equal for another? Can’t do it can you…

    • Tell me how the firebombing of a house by Israeli settlers which resulted in the deaths of 3 Palestinians is different from the firebombing of a Israeli restaurant which killed, amongst others, 8 Israeli children. Both were atrocities, both should be condemned, but only one gets released and becomes a celebrity host of a TV show. Guess which one.

  3. Actually, my impression is that the most informed, articulate, committed opponents of Zionism are Jews..including Israeli human rights NGO B’tselem and American human rights group NGO Jewish Voice for Peace.

    My impression is that MPs are afraid of getting the ‘Jeremy Corbyn’ treatment. In effect, our government’s so-called ‘foreign policy’ is to look the other way. They even remain silent about the assassination of journalist Shireen abu Akleh. There is no bottom line. Shame!!!

    • The Jewish groups might not call it opposition to Zionism.

      Our government is currently in multilateral solidarity mode with UK/EU/NATO/US/OZ on the collective security of nations (Eurasia and Eastasia), so there is both a commonality and a nuance in being an associate on IHRA while seeking co-operation on social media regulation of extremist content – Christchurch Call to Action Summit. Our position on the death of the journalist is to seek an independent and transparent investigation, as per the UN.

        • Are you suggesting John that Ms Ardern, proud alumna of the World Economic Forum, ardent president of the International Union of Socialist Youth and staunch adherent of multi-lateral institutions, is under the influence of “evil” globalists?

    • All that proves is that Jews have a strong tradition of robust freedom of speech….whereas the corrupt tyrants you support do not.

  4. Discriminatory policies based on race have been called apartheid – but can also apply based on ethnicity and religion. Such as having a head of state office reserved for someone of a certain religion or church or nationality (our imperial colonial inheritance).

    Exempted has been affirmative action (sex or race or indigenous rights/ethnic peoples homeland).

    There is a difference between Israel being an apartheid state and a state practicising apartheid (as it does in annexed East Jerusalem and the occupied territories). The difference increased with the presence of an Arab party in the outgoing Israel government coalition (and the growing diversity of those in the IDF – for good non Jewish and for bad/settlers).

  5. And the Germans killed the Jews
    And the Jews killed the Arabs
    And the Arabs killed the hostages
    and that is the news
    Is it any wonder the Monkey’s confused.

    Roger Waters: Perfect sense.

  6. The Palestinian refugee crisis was created when 5 Arab armies invaded Israeli in 1948 in an attempt to extinguish the Jewish State. Israel gained control of the West Back in a defensive war against 3 Arab nations that sought to drive the Jews into the sea. It owes no apologies to anyone for its victories in those wars. It is surrounded by enemies that still say, very clearly, that they wish to “annihilate“ the Jewish state. There is a raging civil war to Israel’s north in Syria that has led to 500,000 deaths and 4 million refugees, but this paper barely mentions it. Why? Because your real goal is to end the Jewish state, not to protect Muslim lives.

    • Hey, weird, you fail to mention that ‘israel’ is providing weapons and hospital care to the terrorists trying to destroy Syria.

      Why is that, zionist?

      • I have heard of the hospital treatment given to those who arrive in Israel/Golan Heights from Syria or the occupied “Palestinian” territories, but who (and with what) have Israel armed in Syria?

        • They admitted in 2019 to supplying weapons to Al Nusra (Al-Qaeda in Syria) and other ‘moderate rebel’ groups, as well as hospital care to send them back into battle against the Syrian people.

          • Apparently is was a southern Syrian border policy. 2013-2016 food and medical and 2016-2018 expanded to weapons supply. It was replaced by a deal with Russia whereby Iranian forces were kept from the area. A few of the local commanders were given refuge in Israel, but most felt abandoned when the Syrian government forces finally prevailed.

  7. Some disinformation is creeping into your narrative John. You may need to brush up on your history. One of the most prominent Palestinians was closely involved in attempts to extend the Holocaust from Europe to the Middle East and due to time spent in Turkey had intimate knowledge of the genocide which preceded that of the Nazis and which emboldened them.
    Note in the letter from Hitler to the Grand Mufti (at the time Rommel’s army was in Egypt) the express support to join in the battle “for the destruction of the Jewish National Home in Palestine.”

        • All you need to do is stop raping and killing the sole indigenous Palestinian population of Palestine, Gaby. It’s very simple.

          • Raping and killing? You’re not only a liar, you’re totally delusional. The Israeli army is the most moral in the world. All you have to do is stop supporting and encouraging fascist islamist racist jihadist terrorists.

            • You’re a parody of a zionist, Gaby. As if we don’t know you people threw toddlers into ovens at Deir Yassin.

                • …. and black is white in you racist apartheid little world. Learn to separate political doctrine from religion and stop debasing the term anti-semitism by sprinkling it around where it doesn’t apply. Sanctimonious prat!

              • Citation please John. The Jordanian newspaper Al Urdun published a survivor’s account in 1955, claiming the Palestinians deliberately exaggerated stories about atrocities in Deir Yassin to encourage others to fight, stories that had caused them to flee instead. A narrative which many villagers confirmed at the post (civil) war investigations.

  8. I found it rather sickening that Jewish groups in NZ came out with statements celebrating NZ’s joining of the IHRA, following it up with how we much we must all call out and fight racism where-ever we see it…yet NONE of the Jewish groups ever say anything about Israels own racist behaviour which is well documented and ongoing.

    Worse still no one in the MSM or in the NZ Government even challenges these NZ Jewish groups over their alleged stance of being against racism whilst they still openly support the state sanctioned racism carried out by Israel.

    Right now Israel and all these partisan Jewish Groups need to be called out for what they are

  9. Man these Israeli bots pop up every time just like that. All spouting the same tired, old arguments. I guess thats how they fill in their jewish supremacist days

    • Clearly you don’t understand was BDS means. It would only be BDS if the Israeli company that only supplies Israel, to save the embarrassment of Unilever, were able to sell outside of Israel. This is not a reality as Unilever would have anti-competitive conditions in place to protect their market share. So, what is the reality – a deal was done so that Israelis who can’t survive without Jerry and Ben’s will have locally made stuff that carries a name to keep them quiet.
      Wish someone would find a way to keep Gaby quiet. Perhaps he/she could be sent to Israel and force fed their B & J ice cream.


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