Complaints on the Iranian diplomat and imam’s call for the destruction of Israel

October 30, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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The New Zealand Jewish Council have informed the Human Right Commissioner of the address delivered by an Iranian diplomat calling for the destruction of Israel.

The president of the NZJC Stephen Goodman told J-Wire: “We, at this stage, have not lodged a formal complaint but have passed the matter over to Dame Susan Devoy as the Human Rights Commisoner.  If this does not produce a satisfactory outcome we may reconsider our position and go through the due process of a complaint.”

Rob Berg said the Zionist Federation of New Zealand have logged a formal complaint with the Foreign Minister and the Human Rights Council.

The Israel Institute of New Zealand has also written to the Human Rights Commission and to the New Zealand Foreign Minister over statements made at a Pakuranga Mosque in Auckland.

Institute member Perry Trotter told J-Wire: “I sent the complaint to Foreign Minister Winston Peters today.”

In a video posted online by the Islamic Ahlulbayt Foundation of New Zealand, Hormoz Ghahremani, first secretary of the Iranian Embassy appeared alongside speakers who denied the Holocaust and called for the “surgical removal” of Israel. The diplomat said: “Today, we are facing the sinister phenomena of terrorism and extremism in the [Middle East], which are fueled and fanned by the enemies of Islam and the Zionist circles,”

Israel Institute of New Zealand director, Prof Paul Moon, said such conspiracy theories needed to be countered by New Zealand ministers. “We cannot allow such unbridled hatred and lies to go unchallenged. The comments are made more absurd by the fact that Iran is considered the foremost state sponsor of terror in the world.” He said the Institute had written to Foreign Minister Peters seeking a formal censure of the Iranian official.

The Israel Institute of New Zealand also submitted a complaint to the Human Rights Commission over other comments made in the video by Iranian cleric, Sheik Shafie, and a New Zealand Muslim leader, Sayed Taghi Derhami, who denied the Holocaust and called for the destruction of Israel.

Shafie said “…the Holocaust is that phenomenon that in itself is not allowed to be investigated and found out what it is… if this Holocaust took place in the second world war in Europe then why not distribute the documents concerning this and let people see for themselves…. It all shows that there is a big scheme and conspiracy to establish the bigger scheme of occupying from the Nile to the Euphrates, which is their final objective.” Derhami said that that Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that had to be “surgically removed”.

Prof Moon says the Israel Institute expects there to be formal censure for the racist speech. “We cannot let Holocaust denial and calls for another to go unchallenged in 2017 New Zealand.”

Pastor Nigel Woodley said: “The Flaxmere Christian Fellowship Church in Hastings condemns the statements made by the first secretary of the Iranian Embassy—Hormoz Ghahremani—when he spoke to a group in an Auckland mosque as reported in the Sunday Star Times today. His comments called for the “surgical removal” of Israel. There should be no place in New Zealand for this type of racist and antisemitic and anti-Israel speech. We call for the removal of Hormoz Ghahremani from New Zealand altogether as his comments are not welcome here.”

Asked by Fairfax Media if such inflammatory speeches could fuel radicalism in the Muslim community, Ghahremani said: “If it’s spoken in public places yeah, you’re right. But it was a small, private gathering that happens once a year. This year they make a mistake to shoot a film, to put it on YouTube.”

The offending address was delivered in June.

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