Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman has been accused of antisemitism by the New Zealand Jewish Council.
The MP has come under fire after responding to a tweet on Thursday which suggested Mary and Joseph, the mother and father of Jesus according to the New Testament, were refugees.
“They were literally Palestinian refugees. And she (Mary) normally had her hair covered because that’s what modesty looked like in her culture…
This level of bigotry and ignorance is stunning, especially in an MP.
Claiming Mary and Joseph (and hence Jesus) were “literally” Palestinian refugees (and hence not Jewish) is twisted.
Both the Bible and the Quran describe Mary as Jewish.
“Ms Ghahraman, by refusing to acknowledge that Jesus was Jewish, including when many people pointed out her error, is continuing to erase that connection, a favourite tactic of those who aim to delegitimise the modern day Jewish presence in the land,” she said.
“This is an ongoing pattern of disrespect to and marginalisation of the Jewish community by Ms Ghahraman, which at this point must be assumed to be deliberate and antisemitic.”
Ghahraman said she understood her comments had caused offence to some in the Jewish community in New Zealand.
“That was not my intention and I unreservedly apologise.
Good to have an apology, but one has to ask what was the point she was trying to make? Does she really believe Jesus was a Palestinian refugee? If not, why did she say so?
Moses said it was “ahistorical” to claim Jesus wasn’t Jewish.
“Jesus and his family were Jewish. They lived in Judea, they went to synagogue, they followed the Jewish law. The Romans called him “King of the Jews”. Judea was renamed Palestine by the Roman Empire, long after Jesus’ death, in order to erase any Jewish connection to the land,” she said.
“It is well past time the Green Party leaders addressed this behaviour.”
A spokesperson for Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson said Ghahraman was going to work with Jewish communities to improve dialogue.
You have to feel sorry for James Shaw sometimes.