The Israel Institute of New Zealand is deeply concerned at the genocidal slogan chanted at anti-Israel rallies and repeated by a Green MP on social media.

“The chant ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ is, at its most generous, a call for the destruction of Israel. It is not-so-subtle code for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the area. That it was chanted by hundreds of people is disgusting; that it was written by a sitting MP is appalling”, said Dr David Cumin, IINZ co-director and spokesman.

The ‘river’ refers to the Jordan River and the ‘sea’ is the Meditteranean. Thus, the land between those two bodies of water includes all of modern-day Israel as well as Gaza and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank [of the Jordan River]). The fact that the chant only refers to ‘Palestine’, therefore, leaves no room for Israel.

“The Green Party has traditionally been in line with the New Zealand government in support of a two-state solution. This slogan is a direct undermining of that position and a call for genocide against the Jews living there – no Jew is allowed to live in ‘Palestine'”.

Gaza is controlled by Hamas and has been since Israel forcibly withdrew all Jews from the coastal strip in 2005; and there are areas in Judea and Samaria controlled by the Palestinian Authority. In both of those territories, it is illegal for Jews to buy land and dangerous for Jews to enter.

“The fact that the social media post has been up for two days now, and other MPs have tried to excuse the language is deeply concerning. The Green Party has a history of antisemitism and this is just the latest example, but it is one of the most egregious.”

The Institute is calling on all MPs to condemn the chant in the clearest possible terms.

“While our government cannot bring itself to clearly condemn terror from Hamas, all MPs should be able to clearly condemn genocidal slogans that incite disharmony from MPs and from the hundreds of protesters.”