[The Guardian] – A suspected hate crime against a four-year-old Jewish boy has prompted quick condemnation from New Zealand’s race relations commissioner.
The boy was walking home from preschool when he was approached by a man who slapped him hard on the top of his head in front of his mother, brother and a friend in Mt Eden, Auckland, last week, the Herald on Sunday reported.
New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman said the man in his 20s laughed as he left in a car with four other men.
Race relations commissioner Dame Susan Devoy issued a statement on Sunday urging New Zealanders to stand up for each other.
“Cowards and thugs taking part in hate attacks on Kiwi kids need to know their behaviour has no place in New Zealand,” she said.
“This weekend Jewish New Zealanders went public after an attack on a preschooler. Recently Muslim Kiwis also appealed for calm after women and children reported attacks walking home from school.
“When our Kiwi kids are scared to wear a yarmulke or a headscarf because some adult may abuse and attack them, we have failed.”