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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

140 Whales Die on New Zealand Beach

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

198 whales got stranded on a remote New Zealand beach on Friday.

140 of them died, while volunteers managed to get 60 of the beached whales back into the water.

New Zealand Anti-Semite Attacks Jewish Toddler

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Anti-Semitism has reached a new low in New Zealand, where attackers are now targeting little Jewish children. Jewish adults are considering whether to teach their young to hide their identity.

Last week a small child wearing a yarmulka was attacked by a grown man in the Auckland suburb of Mt. Eden.

The little boy, age 4, was walking home from preschool with his mother, a brother and another friend – also wearing yarmulkas — when a man walked up and slapped him hard on his head. The attacker reportedly laughed and then fled in a car with four other men. He was described as being of “Middle Eastern appearance,” and in his 20s, according to a report published in the New Zealand Herald.

Jewish Council President Stephen Goodman was quoted as saying he believed that news of the attack would come as a shock to residents of the country.

“A small Jewish community has lived here, well integrated, contributing to the wider society and in exceptional peace since the earliest days of New Zealand’s settlement,” Goodman told the newspaper.

But that peace seems to have evaporated in recent months – and the attackers are targeting children dressed in traditional Jewish clothing.

Young Middle Eastern men yelled insults in Arabic at a young Jewish girl who was walking through the Britomart train station recently.

Last month men riding in a car yelled a curse at a little Jewish boy walking in Remuera.

In October 2012, a 19-year-old was part of a group of three who were charged with painting swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols on historic tombstones in the city’s Symonds Street cemetery.

In May 2005, the Right Wing Resistance movement, an openly White Pride skinhead organization, began activities in all major cities in the country and has since introduced black uniforms along the lines of Fascist Italy.

“It’s really very worrying that [this] seems to have elevated things one level higher. This behavior is so totally unacceptable and intolerable in New Zealand,” Goodman said.

But only a bare six thousand Jews were willing to identify themselves during a 2006 census, although the New Zealand Herald reported “the number of people who are Jewish is more likely to be around 20,000.”

Given the rising anti-Semitism, perhaps it is no surprise that Jews in New Zealand are now discussing ways to protect their children – among them, advising their young not to dress as Jews when they go out in public.

“If an adult is verbally abused, they will know how to handle it. When these sort of things happen against children, it is quite a different story,” Goodman explained. “The mother was very emotionally upset by the incident,” he added. “We just hope there [are] no lasting effects on the child.”

Some 14 percent of Australia and New Zealand’s population is considered to be actively anti-Semitic, according to the most recent survey by the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which said the region was one of the “least anti-Semitic” in the world.

One Chabad House exists in the country, headed by Israeli Chabad-Lubavitch emissary Rabbi Shmuel Koppel, located in the city of Christchurch.

New Zealand’s current Prime Minister John Key is, as a matter of fact, the son of an Austrian-Jewish immigrant mother who narrowly escaped from the Holocaust. The prime minister considers himself Anglican but his government has been sympathetic towards Israel. The Key administration narrowly won its third term this past September with 61 out of 121 seats in the nation’s parliament.

Judeophobic Protests Hit New Zealand

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

New Zealand, home to fewer than 5,000 Jews, has become the latest target of non-anti-Semitic protests against Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza.

Hundreds of protesters crowded Auckland’s downtown business district for a “Free Palestine” march this week, according to a report by the Whale Oil blog.

Although the protest, sponsored by the socialist Mana Party, lacked the violence and looting of recent non-anti-Semitic protests in Paris, the march did feature standard pro-Palestinian fare, including an Israeli flag with a swastika instead of a Star of David, as well as speeches by non-anti-Semitic public figures who simply don’t seem to like Jews.

Choice quotes form the speeches include:

Every three days a Palestinian child is murdered by the Israeli regime. (John Minto, head of the Mana Party).

What we must celebrate the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people.(John Minto)

We must do more to make sure we are part of the international movement to bring down Israel and the global Zionist — [obscured by cheering] (Robert Reid, General Secretary, First Union)

Internet Tycoon under Fire for Rare Hitler-Signed Mein Kampf

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

A German-born Internet tycoon who is fighting extradition from New Zealand to the United States for racketeering is under fire for admitting he owns a rare signed copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Kim Dotcom, whose actual name is Kim Schmitz, is the founder of MegaUpload, a file-transfer website that U.S. authorities shut down in 2012.

He has just launched the Internet Party to contest New Zealand’s election in September, but denies being a Nazi sympathizer, saying the book was an investment because it will increase in value.

“I’m being told by some people in a disgusting smear campaign that I am somehow embracing a Nazi ideology,” he told local media earlier this week. “That is completely false; it’s a smear campaign to try and derail what we are trying to achieve today with the launch of the Internet Party.”

But Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, told JTA, “People will be offended by this action and stating it with such pride from such a high-profile position shows great disrespect to those who suffered under the Nazi regime as well as the New Zealand soldiers who fought and died to rid the world of this tyranny. While this ownership is legal in New Zealand, it is morally unacceptable.”

Dotcom is fighting extradition to the United States, where he faces several racketeering charges for facilitating illegal downloading of songs and movies via his MegaUpload website.

Conservative leader John Key, the son of a Jewish refugee from Europe, is seeking his third term in office in September’s election.

Swastika Painted on New Zealand Jewish Center

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

A swastika was painted on the Wellington Jewish center, which houses the city’s only Orthodox congregation and is the focus of Jewish life in New Zealand’s harbor city capital,”  according to its website.

Jewish officials said the swastika was painted on the back wall, and they reported the incident to police.

“It was fairly minor and nowhere near as serious as the attack on the Symonds Street cemetery in Auckland last year,” a Jewish official said, referring to the defacing of more than a dozen historic Jewish graves in Auckland. “That tagging had other features [like the ’88’ tag signifying ‘Heil Hitler’] which clearly identified the perpetrators as neo-Nazi, but this tagging doesn’t appear so sinister.”

Only Jewish Day School in New Zealand Capital Closes

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The only Jewish day school in New Zealand’s capital city closed after 25 years.

The Moriah School in Wellington, which held a highly publicized project in 2008 to remember children murdered in the Holocaust, cited a lack of resources for shutting down. The school held its last graduation on Friday.

In August, the board said it had “no option” but to close the school, which had fewer than 20 pupils aged 5 to 13. A Hebrew school will still operate, as will the kindergarten, the board said.

Moriah was founded in 1985 and at its peak had nearly 60 students.

Its 2008 project amassed 1.5 million buttons — each one representing a child murdered during the Holocaust — and took more than two years to complete. It attracted the attention of Prime Minister John Key, the son of a Jewish refugee who escaped Austria on the eve of the Holocaust. The collection has been given to the Wellington Holocaust Research and Education Center.

Wellington is the second largest Jewish community after Auckland, which is home to the majority of the country’s estimated 7,000 Jews as well as its last Jewish school, Kadimah College.

From New Zealand to Israel

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts from Caliber 3 range, a firearms training facility outside of Efrat. Hillel Ma’or, one of the instructors and assistants at the range, joins him. Together, they discuss Ma’or’s background and how he managed to come to both Judaism and Israel. Do not miss this inspiring and interesting segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/jewish-press-radio-with-yishai-fleisher-from-new-zealand-to-israel/2012/07/11/

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