“Mrs Bennie, of Makarewa, a New Zealand citizen who has lived here for seven years including five years in Waikouaiti, said she was shocked when she and her sister, visiting from Israel, were told to leave the cafe.
“I felt the kind of racism people were exposed to in the 1940s and ’50s,” she said.
I didn’t catch on to this detail yesterday, but one of the sisters is a NZ citizen. So those who tried to excuse the action as not being racist because it was about nationality not ethnicity are wrong. Her nationality is New Zealand.She basically got refused because she was Jewish. Does anyone think an Israeli Arab would have been refused service?
Big kudos though to Javed Khan, President of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand who said:
“I can understand where they are coming from,” FIANZ president Javed Khan said.
“But if their action constitutes a breach of the Human Rights Act . . . then we shouldn’t breach the law of the country.
Dunedin Turkish cafe owners are not taking the same stance as Mr Tekinkaya.
Galata Turkish Cafe owner Ali Akman, himself a Turkish Muslim, said he believed what the Invercargill restaurateurs had done was wrong.
“He shouldn’t have. Any food premises is for eating and having fun. It is not for political discussions or arguments. This is wrong.”
He hoped the incident would not reflect badly on the Turkish community.
Ozan Turkish Cafe owner Murat Bay also feared the effect the incident would have on people’s view of the Turkish community.
He did not think the same would happen in any of Dunedin’s Turkish restaurants.
“We do not have such fanatics here.”
And here is the final irony:
“Obviously, he doesn’t like Israel, and I don’t blame him. I’m not a big supporter of Israel at the moment.
But he didn’t even bother finding out what my opinion was,” she said.
Mrs Bennie worked at Turkish restaurant Paasha while studying at the University of Otago. She missed Dunedin culture.
It was a “bit more tolerant” than Invercargill, she said.
So this cafe banned a NZ citizen who actually agrees with him, in relation to the Gaza conflict it seems. But hey she speaks Hebrew so she gets banned.