Immigration New Zealand, an official government website, is reported to have published a fact sheet with a map of the Middle East that showed Palestine and East Jerusalem, but not Israel, according to The Times of Israel. A torrent of complaints on social media resulted in the web page being removed, with only screenshots remaining.
Official New Zealand government website wipes Israel off the map: Immigration New Zealand, an official government website, publishes map showing 'Palestine' but no Israel. https://t.co/1D5qhRbjkI ArutzSheva pic.twitter.com/k19qo5olq1— Jewish Community (@JComm_NewsFeeds) June 17, 2019
Incensed, the Israel Institute of New Zealand called for a retraction of the map.
“The most immediately obvious of the errors was a map labelling the whole of modern-day Israel as ‘Palestine,’” said the institute’s director, Ashley Church.
“This is incredibly offensive and the equivalent of New Zealand Immigration displaying a map of the UK which removed Scotland and Wales and referred to the entirety of the British Isles as England.”
Offering information about Palestinian immigrants to New Zealand, the fact sheet allegedly identified East Jerusalem as “the designated capital of the State of Palestine.”
Reportedly, there was also no mention of Palestinian terrorism, but the page referenced Israel as causing “massive repression of Palestinians” during the second intifada.
The page, that has since been removed, is believed to have mentioned Israel’s “economic sanctions and a blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza”.
“Our immigration minister needs to immediately apologise for the offending image and confirm that it does not reflect government policy; Immigration New Zealand needs to issue a statement confirming that the website does not represent the views of the Ministry; and an investigation needs to be undertaken to find out who was responsible and to put in place measures to ensure that this does not happen again,” Church said.