NEW ZEALAND - 2006
There were 32 reported
incidents of antisemitism in New Zealand in 2006, an increase of 88 percent
over the previous year, including one serious act
the jewish community
The Jewish population in New Zealand is estimated at 9,000 out of a general population of about 4.2 million. The New
Zealand Jewish Council represents the communitys interests to the government. The
community works with the New Zealand police via the Community Security Group (CSG)
to facilitate the fast resolution of threats and protect the community. There
are two Jewish Day Schools (in Auckland and Wellington). In addition to various
community publications, the NZ Jewish Chronicle is distributed nationally.
The most openly
far right-wing group in New Zealand is the National Front. Although they were
less active than in 2005 (see ASW 2005),
it was assumed they were still monitoring Jewish websites and e-mail lists.
Left-wing groups such as Friends of Palestine promoting pro-Palestinian
and anti-Israel agendas were active in 2006. On 28 November a protest organized
by pro-Palestinian groups took place outside the synagogue and community center
in Auckland during a visit by former Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon; a smaller
protest took place in Wellington at a similar event earlier in the week.
Information advertised on Jewish websites about the occasions was re-posted in
numerous forums along with comments such as Is this a bring your own Qassam
and semtex [plastic explosive] event? Yaalon was referred to on http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2006/11/three-days-of-action-in-wellington-in.html
as the butcher of Qana. The police responded swiftly and in large numbers to
keep the protesters away from function attendees.
According to the 2005 Security Intelligence Service (SIS) report,
increased vigilance against terrorism, together with counter-terrorism
continues to be the biggest single component of the Services activities. It
also noted the complex symbiotic relationship between criminals and Islamic
extremists. As stated in 2005, the New Zealand Herald reported that a
small group of Maori Muslims were being recruited in prison and claimed to
support Usama bin Laden. The New Zealand Federation of Islamic Associations reportedly
funds this group (see ASW 2005).
New Zealand's traditional image as a safe, antisemitism-free country has changed somewhat in recent years. In 2006, there were 32 reported incidents of antisemitism, an
increase of 88 percent over the previous year (17 incidents; 2004, 25).
breakdown of incidents was similar to that of 2005: 54 percent consisted of assault
or attempted assault (6 percent); graffiti and vandalism (19 percent); verbal
abuse and intimidation (6 percent) and suspicious people and vehicles (23
percent). The remaining 46 percent comprised e-mails, letters and phone calls to Jewish institutions and individuals from
either right-wing inspired groups or mentally ill people (mainly phone calls).
On 27 August a community member was beaten in Hamilton when he
identified himself as being Israeli and Jewish. This was the first violent act perpetrated against a Jewish individual since 1991. The attacker was apprehended
and was awaiting trial. On 31 October an Israeli working in New Zealand was accosted in the city center near the synagogue by two males who harassed and
threatened him verbally. He ran away dropping his kippa, which
the two men recovered laughing.
and letters from ultra-right-wing groups such as the National Front and other
white supremacist organizations, as well as graffiti in public places, included
swastikas and references to Hitler.