This morning the NZ Herald published an article by Rachel Smalley titled:
I had a comment to give but only half would fit into the 1200 character space allowable… By the time it had been cut, sliced and diced down to the acceptable length the ‘debate had been closed.’ So instead the ‘full version’ of my 2 cents worth will find its outlet below.
(When I started writing there were only 6 comments and the discussion closed at 57 comments – I really need to speed up and pare down! There were some good comments included. Read the article and ensuing comments here.)
Hi Rachel, freedom of speech is fast becoming a thing of the past it seems. Consequences for opinions made public can lead to incarceration and death in many parts of the world. Job loss or public outcry (also a freedom of speech) in our western neck of the woods due to ones opinions made public – though not pleasant – is more preferable than the above.
Naz Shah, as you say, was foolish to share that post not because it cost her a suspension from her Party but because it was in itself foolish and revealed her ignorance concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict past and present.
It is a shame you received personal abuse for voicing what you saw as deeply wrong. We are all responsible for the way we present our opinions – our freedom of speech. It should however never be to the express hurt of another. You recieved a lot of opposition in 2014’s criticism of Israel’s IDF? It was right of you to put it out there, many mistakes are made in war, things could have been done better in hindsight – this applies right throughout our collective history concerning bloody conflict. War is always an ugly thing. But I am glad there was an outcry to your criticism, as what is portrayed as truth concerning the conflict with Israel and the Palestinians in the world media reveals an incredible bias which is not truth at all. You site the UN as an authority to condemn Israel in this instance but the UN itself has a documented history of bias against them out of all proportion compared to other world conflicts/abuses occurring even as of now. The UN criticisms of Israel are a laughable farce in light of their silence concerning human rights abuses suffered within many Muslim nations (including the self governing areas of the West Bank and Gaza). Where are the public articles in NZ condemning the incarceration/disappearance of journalists in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey… or are Muslim nations themselves – to use your words of Israel – above criticism? Lets face it, there is far more personal and national risk in being openly critical of Islamic nations and their leaders. Israel is by default a far more preferable target. Israel is not perfect nor is it above criticism as is the same concerning New Zealand, China, Yemen, Russia, Myanmar, Italy, Fiji, US, Brazil, Jordan, Zimbabwe…et cetera, et cetera. A fair balance across the board is essential.