Media Release –29 March 2019
Media Statement from the Zionist Federation of New Zealand on the antisemitic comments made by Ahmed Bhamji, a leader of the Masjid e Umar mosque in Auckland, at last weekends Love Aotearoa Hate Racism Rally in Auckland.
At the recent Love Aotearoa Hate Racism (LAHR) rally held in solidarity with the Muslim community, following the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch, chair of Masjid e Umar in Mount Roskill, Mr Ahmed Bhamji, made unfounded and dangerous hate remarks, to the effect that “Mossad” and “Zionist businesses” funded the terrorist who carried out the attack on the two mosques.
This provocative and baseless claim is deeply distressing and of concern to the Jewish community and the Zionist Federation of New Zealand.
Not only do these accusations have no substance to them, but they are based on hatred and risk inciting physical harm to the New Zealand Israeli expat and Jewish community. The remarks use the same analogies and accusations as many antisemitic tropes and are therefore extremely worrying and offensive.
It is also disappointing that the leaders of the LAHR have so far refused to condemn and distance themselves from this hate speech. Hate speech has no place in New Zealand no matter who it is against.
We hope that Ahmed Bhamji will publicly apologise for the offence caused and retract his remarks and that LAHR publicly distances themselves from these inflammatory and baseless comments.
The Executive Committee of the Zionist Federation of New Zealand
The Zionist Federation of New Zealand
For more information contact Rob Berg, President of the Zionist Federation of New Zealand.
Contact details: e: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Zionist Federation of New Zealand has been working in New Zealand for over 70 years and works to bring a better understanding of Israel, Zionism and Jewish culture to New Zealand.
We are an independent and apolitical body with a membership that represents the full spectrum of political belief both in New Zealand and in Israel.
Zionism is the term used for the belief in Jewish self-determination in the historical and religious homeland of the Jewish people.