July 10, 2020

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Kia Ora Gaza & The Z Word


By Daphne Anson


Kia Ora Gaza Mission is an anti-Israel group in New Zealand led, for want of a better word,  by veteran leftwing activist Roger Fowler, an Auckland resident and ‘Freedom Flotilla’ alumnus. 

Last year, Dr David Cumin, director of the Israel Institute of New Zealand, reportedly criticised Mr Fowler thus:

‘In April an article about Roger Fowler sought volunteers to violate international law by joining a “flotilla… to break the siege and blockade of Gaza”.

The article failed to mention the United Nations report authored by Sir Geoffrey Palmer that determined the Israeli and Egyptian blockades on Gaza are a “legitimate security measure” due to security threats Israel faces from Gaza and recommended “All humanitarian missions… should do so through established procedures and the designated land crossings”.

Aid is easily distributed to Gaza — there are thousands of truckloads of goods that move from Israel to Gaza each week. Yet a “veteran human rights campaigner” is actively encouraging the exact activity Palmer recommended against.

Hamas has ruled Gaza since just after Israel unilaterally withdrew and forcibly removed all Jews in 2005.

Hamas executes homosexuals and political dissidents, doesn’t allow a free press, and misuses aid for terror.

Yet in a Māori TV interview, Mr Fowler compared Israel — where women and minorities have equal rights and political representation, there is a free press, and world-leading innovation — to Islamic State. He has not condemned Hamas.

The recent riots on the border included attempts to destroy the security fence in order to kill Israelis. Combined with the terror tunnels and missiles that are indiscriminately fired into Israel from Gaza, it is clear that there is still a serious security threat.

We all want the blockade to end. It will end when Hamas stops trying to enact its Charter calling for the murder of all Jews and for Israel to become an Islamic state.

Any true human rights activist wanting to help the people in Gaza must focus on ending the genocidal violence of Hamas, not the Israeli response to terror. Unfortunately, some “human rights” activists are much more focussed on perceived Israeli wrongs.’  [Emphasis added]

Following the terrible Christchurch atrocity, the Kia Ora Gaza website drew attention to a vigil in Auckland, addressed by, among others, New Zealand Greens MP Marama Davidson, who as the foregoing link shows is a “Freedom Flotilla’ alumna.

Here’s a screenshot of the original version.  Note that penultimate paragraph, the one that includes “zionism”among the forms of “bigotry and racism” that Kia Ora Gaza deplores.

And here’s a revised version, with “zionism” removed and the adjective “white” now qualifying “supremacism”. 

The omission of the Z word is an intriguing one, and the reason why it was dropped would be interesting to know.  Did some persons planning to address, or attend, the vigil protest the slur on Zionism and insist on the removal of the word as their condition for going to the event?

Or did Mr Fowler have, independently, his own (as it were) “Road to Damascus” moment, and realise that the national aspirations of the Jewish People are justified, and that hate speech against the State of Israel is not warranted after all? 

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