Unite Union


The New Zealand Jewish Council says it is appalled by the incitement to violence that was chanted by a union leader at an anti-Israel protest in Auckland on 22 May.

The Council has just seen a video that shows Unite Union organizer, Joe Carolan, with a union flag, chanting: “Intifada, Intifada, globalise the Intifada” through a megaphone, and the crowd repeating the chant.

“Intifada” is an Arabic term for an uprising. It is most commonly associated with violent uprisings by the Palestinian people against Israelis. In the second intifada in the early 2000s, over 1000 Israelis were killed – including by suicide bombs on a nightclub killing 21, a pizzeria killing 15, a Passover dinner killing 30, and numerous bus attacks killing and maiming hundreds.

Juliet Moses, spokesperson for the Council, says the Jewish community is upset at the behaviour of Carolan.

“It is despicable and deeply disturbing that we should hear chants on Queen Street unequivocally calling for violence to take place on New Zealand streets.  Whatever one’s views of the fighting between Hamas and Israel that occurred in May, all New Zealanders should reject in the strongest possible terms any suggestion that violence in the guise of a foreign cause should be imported here.  In the last month, we have seen Jews attacked on the streets of England and the United States for that reason, which has been condemned by both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Biden, among others.

“It is even more alarming that Carolan, the co-founder of “Love Aotearoa Hate Racism”, should be the person inciting such violence.

“We would like to see the members of the Unite Union hold Mr. Carolan to account for his unacceptable behavior, which does not appear to be advancing the interests of its members in any way.”

It is worth noting that it is less than two days before this country’s inaugural hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism.  The Jewish Council calls on all leaders who are committed to ensuring that Aotearoa New Zealand never again falls prey to terrorism or violent extremism to condemn this brazen incitement to violence, which particularly threatens the Jewish community.     

Juliet Moses      Spokesperson – New Zealand Jewish Council