Press Release – Global Peace And Justice Auckland
Global Peace and Justice Auckland will formally protest to Auckland University about former New Zealand Herald Editor Gavin Ellis being used to speak at a human rights forum this evening.
Ellis is singularly unsuited for this role. As editor of the Herald he presided over a paper which resolutely published Israeli-friendly propaganda while stifling the voices of Palestinian solidarity.
The most compelling example was his sacking of Herald cartoonist Malcolm Evans in 2003. Ellis firstly tried to stop Evans from drawing cartoons exposing Israeli hypocrisy – see example copied below where Ellis has scrawled a threat to Malcolm’s job on a cartoon before faxing it back.
Click for big version.
When the treat failed Malcolm lost his job saying “my dismissal was a consequence of my refusal to accept the Editor’s claim that he had the right to direct my work.”
Ellis is therefore especially unsuitable to host a discussion on –
“how the media interact with psychological and cultural forces to impact perceptions, fears, peer-pressure, “groupthink,” and the creation of heroes and villains”
“how the media were used to spread a contagion of hate in three deadly conflicts: Rwanda, Nazi Germany, and the former Yugoslavia…”
Ellis used his position as editor to reinforce Israeli propaganda of “Israel as hero – Palestinians as villains”.
Had the Herald taken a more balanced view in reporting the Middle East under Ellis we would not have the same depth of misunderstanding in New Zealand about the conflict there as we had in the 1970s about the situation in South Africa.
Ellis is entitled to his opinion even if it is indefensible. He is part of the media problem and should not be used by the university as some supposedly independent commentator on solutions.