Dame Susan Devoy speaks out about Anti-Semitic Hate Speech from Iranian Embassy in New Zealand

November 1, 2017 by Keren Cook
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Race Relations Commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy says racism in New Zealand should be ignored “at our peril”.

Iranian diplomat Hormoz Gharemani. Photo credit: YouTube

Dame Susan was referring to a report from the weekend that an Iranian diplomat gave a heated, anti-Israeli speech this year, at an Auckland mosque in June, and news of this has only just surfaced.

Jewish community leaders are moving to remove Hormoz Ghahremani, first secretary of the Iranian Embassy, after he spoke alongside Holocaust-deniers at the mosque.

Complaints were laid after the ‘hate speech’ and calling Israel ‘cancer’, as well as denying the Holocaust.

Israel Institute of New Zealand director Professor Paul Moon says New Zealand cannot allow the incident to go unchallenged.

Mr Moon said at the event diplomats from Iran used “very strong language” and were “talking about Jewish conspiracies, describing Israel as a cancer that needs to be removed, denying the holocaust”.

During Mr Ghahremani’s speech he said that Israel was trying to “deceive the world” and was fuelling terrorism and extremism in the Middle East to divert attention from the Palestine issue.

Susan Devoy

A rally was held in Wellington on Saturday, where Green MP Golriz Ghahraman gave a passionate anti-racism speech.

On Tuesday, Dame Susan said “people who deny the Holocaust took place are many things, but most of all, they are liars”.

Dame Susan says that Holocaust survivors living in New Zealand were some of the bravest people she had 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.”

Dame Susan said discrimination against Jews was very much present in New Zealand, and cited the example of a pre-schooler who had his yarmulke (skull cap) ripped from his head in Auckland a few years ago.  Dame Susan also shared that Jewish cemeteries are regularly vandalized throughout New Zealand.

“That this happens here makes me incredibly sad, angry and ashamed.

“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,” says Dame Susan.


One Response to “Dame Susan Devoy speaks out about Anti-Semitic Hate Speech from Iranian Embassy in New Zealand”
  1. Ian Katz says:

    Platitudes criticising these Islamist hate mongers are all well and good , but the only reasonable response is deportation. That will require courage and fortitude on the part of the authorities. Let’s not hold our breath.

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