Zionism is a dirty word in New Zealand

May 16, 2014 by Michael Kuttner
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In what must be a world first for a Jewish Community in the democratic world, it seems that the Zionist Federation of New Zealand which had existed in one form or another since before the creation of the State of Israel has gone into voluntary liquidation.

David Zwartz - interviewed in the Ha'aretz article

David Zwartz – interviewed in the Ha’aretz article

From Michael Kuttner: A New Zealander who made aliyah.

According to a report in Ha’aretz, Zionism today is a dirty word in New Zealand and therefore the organized community has dropped the word altogether in fear that its tainted connotations may somehow reflect on Jews living there.

Once upon a time Zionist groups of all descriptions were strong, active and constituted a powerful force for galvanizing support for Israel not only amongst Jews but also the wider community. United Israel Appeals, Jewish National Fund and Youth Aliyah amongst other groups were major bodies of Zionist activity. Today they have either disappeared or become feeble remnants. Habonim and B’Nai Akiva continue to involve the youth but one has to ask how the graduates of these worthy groups who do not make aliyah will view Zionism in years to come in view of the almost invisible image it has now assumed.

The early pioneers and stalwarts of New Zealand Zionism must be revolving in their graves at the news. While Zionist groups in the rest of the world are proud to stand up for and openly advocate for the Zionist cause it is sad that in the farthest far flung outpost of the Diaspora, the tents have been folded and the word Zionist relegated to the closet.

Here is a link to the newspaper report:



2 Responses to “Zionism is a dirty word in New Zealand”
  1. evelyn Jaffe says:

    I am a grandmother of 2 a mother of 2 all my life my family, my parents and now children and grandchildren have been very involved in Zionism, and the love of the sate of Israel.
    I think the older generation have not open their eyes for a long time, (I have just visited my family In South America where I come from)they are very act community raising money for Israel however there are not so active as our community in Auckland which we include all N.Z., I think this article only reflects Wellington and no further, Shame???
    If you have children overseas, it does not mean you can not get involved with the activities of the youth, I am and I have so much to choose, from speakers, to Hanukah in the Park. Get involved before giving a Negative Opinion. If you fell that way get involved

  2. Jeff - Shuki says:

    Don’t let it worry you too much. It’s not worth it. The situation for Zionists
    in N.Z. was on its knees and troublesome in the eyes of others even when I was working there on a contract in 55-56 before making Alyah in 67.

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