Juliet Moses, spokesperson for the New Zealand Jewish Council, has tried to distance the Jewish Council from the views expressed in the Washington Post advertisement that attacked singer Lorde. But her own words betray her and suggest that Moses is only trying to minimise the public relations damage.

GIVEN THE LOCAL backlash against the attack on singer Lorde, it comes as no surprise that the New Zealand Jewish Council has sought to distance itself from the full page advertisement in the Washington Post.

The Jewish Council likes to present itself as the epitome of reasonableness and moderation. But behind the public face, it loyally supports the agenda of the Israeli government.  It came out in support of Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, for example.

So according to Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses,  the Washington Post  advertisement does not promote education or understanding. She also said that while she was disappointed Lorde had cancelled her Tel Aviv show, the singer shouldn't be bullied for doing so.

Most casual readers would probably think that Moses is being entirely reasonable. But that was Juliet Moses reported in the NZ Herald on January 2. On December 26, just four days before the Washington Post advertisement was published, she had an entirely different view of Lorde's decision to cancel her concert in Israel.

In an article for Shalom Kiwi and which also appeared on the Stuff website, Moses accuses Lorde of joining a "boycott that is imposed by a fanatical fringe who try to bully everyone else to think and do as they say, accusing them of complicity with Israel if they do not." This is the kind of inflammatory language that is evident in the newspaper advertisement.

She also repeats the well-worn accusation of the Israeli lobby that the BDS movement wants to destroy Israel:

"BDS advocates aren't interested in peace, or rather, they are interested in the sort of peace that the late leader of the Palestinians Yasser Arafat was referring to when he said: "Peace for us means Israel's destruction and nothing else".

This is an implicit attack on Lorde's political motivations, mirroring, once again, the views expressed in the Washington Post advertisement. This is also a convenient smear designed to deflect attention from the Israeli government's continuing oppression of the of the Palestinian people.

In fact, the BDS movement has three straightforward demands of Israel:

1. End its occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands and dismantle the Wall;
2. Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respect, protect, and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties, as stipulated in UN resolution 194.1

Perhaps its these demands that Moses really finds unacceptable. She has a long history of defending the Israeli government. In March last year, for example, she complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority that a Te Karere portrayal of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza was "false and misleading". Her complaint was not upheld by the BSA.

Earlier in 2017, in January, she attacked the New Zealand government's co-sponsorship of a United Nation's resolution that condemned Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 as a "flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace."

Moses claimed that the vote was "an affront to all New Zealanders".

The BDS movement was originally launched and led by Palestinians across the political spectrum as an expression of the self-determination of the Palestinians. The BDS movement has since gone global and apologists for the Israeli government and its polices, people like Juliet Moses, find that threatening.

While she preaches conciliation, her views are little better than Schmuley Boteach - the man behind the Washington Post advertisement.


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