Durban: “nothing to discuss”

September 6, 2021 by Sheree Trotter
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Less than a month out from the infamous Durban conference, former National Party MP, Alfred Ngaro has spoken out on the government’s equivocation over whether NZ will attend the 20th anniversary of a conference that purported to address racism and tolerance but quickly descended into an antisemitic hate-fest.

Alfred Ngaro

“There’s nothing to discuss. Durban has become associated with racism, intolerance, antisemitism and Holocaust denial. Previous governments have been clear that NZ does not support this kind of racism and have stayed away. Most of our traditional al- lies have likewise chosen to boycott this conference because of its toxic atmosphere”, said Ngaro.

Former cabinet minister Ngaro, along with academic Dr Sheree Trotter have this week launched the Indigenous Coalition for Israel, an international initiative partnering with the European Coalition For Israel. Since 2003 the European Coalition For Israel has been active at the EU and since 2011 at the UN. It has initiated events such as the first Holocaust Remembrance Day at the European Parliament in 2005 and in 2011 it established the Forum for Cultural Diplomacy at the UN.

According to Trotter, the Indigenous Coalition For Israel will provide a platform for indigenous voices to speak up for Israel. It will provide research-based educational resources and stage cultural events. ICFI will seek to raise awareness and understanding of some of the complex issues Israel faces, to cultivate collaboration and foster relationships with between the respective communities.

“We are greatly concerned by rising levels of antisemitism, often connected to misinformation about Israel and fear-based propagation of conspiracy theories. The eve of Rosh HaShana (Jewish New Year) is a great time to launch this initiative. It’s a festival that has been celebrated in Jewish communities for around 2,000 years and one which signals new beginnings.”

Yesterday, the Indigenous Coalition for Israel participated in a six-hour online event organised by the European Coalition for Israel.


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