New Zealand sends a message to Israel’s ambassador

January 22, 2020 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Governor-General of New Zealand Dame Patsy Reddy has sent a message to Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand ahead of the 5th World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Governor-General Patsy Reddy in 2017
Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Dame Patsy Reddy wrote: “As your conference on “Remembering the Holocaust and Fighting Antisemitism convened, I am reminded of my visit to Yad Vashem in October 2017. My reactions were very much like those of the many thousands of others who have gone to Yad  Vashem. Although I knew the experience would be a harrowing one, nevertheless it was personally challenging to take in the Museum’s narrative of the events leading up to the Holocaust and then its horrifying implementation. Knowing that New Zealand had denied entry to some desperate Jewish refugees in the 1930s. I felt deeply saddened by my country’s own small part in these grim events. I was glad of the opportunity to pay me respects afterwards by laying a wreath in commemoration of the Holocaust victims. As Patron of the Holocaust Centre in New Zealand, this was a particularly important aspect of my visit to Israel.

She added that”The Holocaust is one of the greatest tragedies in modern history. The systematic execution of millions of innocent people is a terrible reminder of what can happen if extreme ideology and hatred is left unchecked.”

She added: “In our own day, it is for national leaders and their people around the world to stand firm against every form of intolerance wherever it may be found.”

Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand  Dr Itzhak Gerberg responded to the statement: “Israel has had the honour to host Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem in October 2019, and we are inspired by her touching message to the Holocaust Forum Conference 2020 at Yad Vashem”.


NZ Governor-General Patsy Reddy and President Reuven Rivlin    Photo: Mark Neiman/GPO

New Zealand did not send a representative to the forum.











3 Responses to “New Zealand sends a message to Israel’s ambassador”
  1. John McCormick says:

    Dame Patsy Reddy was in Israel 4 weeks after the 2017 general election and went to Yad Yashem on that visit, the main purpose of that visit was to commemorate the 100 years since the Battle of Beer Sheva.
    This Government sends mixed messages about Israel. This time in 2019 Defense Minister Ron Mark and National party MP Hon Tim Macindoe visited Israel in a visit focused on our Peace Keeping operations in the UNTSO Jerusalem based force and the went to The Golan heights. They also visited the Sinai MFO force. Back at the very beginning of that force. Ron Was one of 3 RNZA engineers sent to Israel to help set up the bases for the MFO. In May 2019 the Government announced it was buying Military hardware from Israel. The first purchase of substance in many years.

  2. michael kuttner says:

    Why did the NZ Government not send a representative to the Forum in Jerusalem? If the Governor General could not attend what about the PM, FM or even an MP? Words are cheap but it is actions which count. How about supporting Israel at the UN instead of voting against or abstaining? Writing to the Israeli Ambassador in NZ is a cop out when showing solidarity with Jews and Israel by joining Australia at the International Forum in Jerusalem would have been the right thing to do. What about the opposition parties – where are their voices?

    If NZ was really serious about combating Judeophobia they would follow other countries and make Holocaust studies a compulsory part of the high school history curriculum.

    Actions not words are needed in the face of rising hate. Unfortunately it seems NZ decision makers have yet to grasp that simple concept.

    • keith glentworth says:

      I agree , what is NZ doing to help an Allie , as far I can see NOTHING . the other day I read a news item from a high ranking Iranian military officer ( retired ) in which he stated that Iran is just waiting for an excuse to level Tel Aviv to the ground.

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