Israel Institute of New Zealand director, Dr David Cumin, has condemned a speech given at the recent Vodafone Music Awards by the lead of New Zealand hip-hop music group Upper Hutt Posse, calling it ‘blatant incitement to violence’.
During an acceptance speech for a Legacy Award at last nights event, Mr Hapeta launched into a rant in which he focused his closing remarks on the State of Israel and challenging Prime Minster Ardern by saying “…What you need to be doing is going to Palestine to fight against the racist terrorism of the Israeli state. That is where all of our fighting energy needs to be… Death to all oppressors.”
However, Dr Cumin says that such claims need to be challenged in the strongest possible terms.
“Advocating for NZ to go to war with Israel – especially days after more than 400 rockets were indiscriminately fired from Gaza – shows a complete lack of understanding of the conflict and of history and a gross disregard for civilian lives.
We should not sit silently by when people, no matter how famous, preach hate and war. And even more so when that hate is founded on lies.”
Dr Cumin acknowledges that Mr Hapeta is not the first musician to use the platform provided by an award ceremony to promote a political agenda but he says that few have been as radical as Mr Hapeta.
“His social media posts endorse the extremist views of US Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has called Jews “termites” and quote Mr Hapeta as saying “…you fail to realise simple truths such as Jewish control of Hollywood…”, “Jewish people do own much/most of the media in the USA…”
We need to see Mr Hapeta’s comments for what they are – blatant antisemitism – and call him out for it”
Selected social media posts by Mr Hapeta: