On the night of June 2 2022, four men attacked my home with antisemitic and homophobic graffiti while I slept inside. A burned rainbow flag was left staked out the front.
I live in a deconsecrated church that I have turned into an art project. It is commonly known that I am a member of the LGBTQI+ and Jewish communities.
The four men planned the attack on my home for weeks, including, getaway driver and change of clothes.
The attack left me feeling shaken and vulnerable. But the community response was immense and loving and I quickly recovered.
The men were arrested shortly after. I expressed to police that I was unconcerned about any damage to property but that rather I was concerned about the nature of the attack – a hate crime.
I attended an effective Restorative Justice session with two of the men. I made it clear at that time and during subsequent communications with police and the court that I was not primarily or solely interested in pursuing punishment as in my opinion that would only cause more resentment and harm. However, this never meant I believed there should be no consequences at all.
On October 12 2022, three of the men appeared in court and all were discharged without conviction. Through the media I learned that one of the men said he had made a $500 donation to a charity of my choice. This is untrue. I also learned that the men had all written letters of apology to me. At that time, I had not received, read or been made aware of the existence of any letters of apology. Following the Discharge Without Conviction I was emailed said letters.
It is deeply concerning to me that hate crime can be dismissed by the court in such a blase manner and I worry what message it sends to individuals and groups who hold hateful views.
The history of violence against Jewish people and Queer people is long and rotten. When it rears its ugly head, it must be taken seriously and dealt with accordingly, with the weight and care it requires. Dismissal only clears the path for more violence to occur.
This statement is to make it clear I am distressed and dismayed by the court’s decision.
with support from,
Juliet Moses spokesperson, New Zealand Jewish Council