Israel Institute of New Zealand director, Dr David Cumin, has condemned a speech given at the recent Vodafone Music Awards by the lead of New Zealand hip-hop music group Upper Hutt Posse calling it ‘blatant incitement to violence’.

During an acceptance speech, for a Legacy Award at last nights event, Hapeta launched into a prolonged tirade in which he attacked various targets before focusing his closing remarks on the State of Israel and challenging Prime Minster Ardern by saying “…What you need to be doing is going to Palestine to fight against the racist terrorism of the Israeli state. That is where all of our fighting energy needs to be…”

However, Cumin says that such claims need to be challenged in the strongest possible terms.

“Advocating for NZ to go to war with Israel – especially days after more than 400 rockets were indiscriminately fired from Gaza, shows a complete lack of understanding of the conflict and of history and a gross disregard for civilian lives.

We should not sit silently by when people, no matter how famous, preach hate and war”.

Cumin acknowledges that Hapeta is not the first musician to use the platform provided by an award ceremony to promote a political agenda but he says that few have been as radical as Mr Hapeta.

“His social media posts endorse the extremist views of US Minister Louse Farrakhan, who has called Jews “termites” and quote Hapeta as saying “…you fail to realise simple truths such as Jewish control of Hollywood…”, “Jewish people do own much/most of the media in the USA…”

“We need to see Mr Hapetas comments for what they are – blatant antisemitism – and call him out for it”

This was originally posted on the Israel Institute of New Zealand.

Watch the video on TVNZ here.