Anzac Day – a time to take a stand against hatred: Susan Devoy

Anzac Day – a time to take a stand against hatred: Susan Devoy

April 22, 2016

The Human Rights Commission says Anzac Day is a time for New Zealanders to remember those things our grandparents stood for and stand up against intolerance and prejudice.

“We think we’ve come a long way since our grandparent’s time but when Jewish Kiwis tell me of anti-semitic social media posts made just this week it reminds us we still have some way to go,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.

“People who spread vicious hatred about Jews dishonour brave New Zealanders who went to fight against hatred, genocide and totalitarianism. Labour leader Andrew Little visited Auckland’s Jewish Community centre this week and after he posted about it on his Facebook page several hateful, bigoted posts were made.

"The Jewish community had a positive and productive meeting with Andrew but the posts demonstrate the prejudice they continue to face,” said Dame Susan.

“Some of the bravest people I’ve ever had the honour of meeting are our own Kiwi Holocaust survivors. They tell me that hate starts small and they were right: we need to stand up and call hatred out whether it’s on Facebook or in front of us in the street.”

“This week New Zealanders will be the first in the world to mark the ancient Jewish Passover in homes and synagogues across the country,” said Dame Susan. “Passover marks the time when Jews were freed from slavery and is a great symbol of human rights and freedom, and encapsulates those things we remember each Anzac Day.”

Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.