Today, Auckland Peace Action helped to organise a “Wall of Noise” protest at the 70th anniversary celebration of the founding of the state of Israel. We did so because we believe that the foundations of that state are a racist ideology that seeks to deny the rights of Palestinians in their own lands and homes, and to systematically remove them through terror and relentless violence. We also support the three aims of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Campaign (BDS): the right of return for all Palestinians, equal rights for Palestinians, and the removal of the apartheid wall dividing the West Bank and the prison blockade of Gaza. We support the right to peace, justice and self-determination of the Palestinian people.

We are also aware that anti-Semitic holocaust deniers are often drawn to the Palestinian cause. That was the case today in Auckland. Two men carrying holocaust denial signs attached themselves to our demonstration. They carried visible signs of their hate. When we realised who they were & what messages they were communicating, we asked them to leave. Eventually they did so.

It is immeasurably sad and repellent that the progressive left continues to associate with and harbour anti-Semites within our ranks. In this case, there was nothing hidden about who they were, and yet some people on our demonstration were very slow to see anything wrong with their messages. This is unacceptable. If we are to expect Zionists to make right their oppression of the Palestinian people (which would  entail the end of Israel as a specifically Jewish state), Jews must feel safe, happy and welcome within the diaspora. As anti-Semitism undermines these goals, we must be as clear and strident in our rejection of anti-Semitism as in our rejection of Zionism.

There is no room for racism of any sort within the peace movement.

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