This weekend, more than 700 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israeli civilian areas.

It is only because Israel has developed the iron dome and invested in warning systems and bomb shelters that only 4 Israelis were murdered by this barrage. And because of the Palestinian terror groups’ lack of respect for life, a Palestinian mother and child were killed by a rocket that fell short of the border. The IDF targeted terror leaders and over 280 targets belonging to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

To some, this is a “cycle of violence” that needs to end and “both sides” must “show restraint”. Such a moral equivalence – between designated terror groups firing into civilian areas from behind their civilians and the IDF that takes extraordinary measures to protect all civilian life – is morally devoid.

The media and politicians who focus on the loss of life and not the genocidal intent of Hamas or the acts of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other terror groups (funded by Iran) do not help peace; rather, it encourages the terror groups to hide among civilians to maximise collateral casualties should Israel attempt to defend herself.

It has been pleasing to see leaders and representatives of many democratic countries clearly condemn the terror from Gaza. And it is shameful that New Zealand Ministers and officials are silent, yet again. The last time a Minister clearly condemned terror against Israel was Helen Clark in 2006 – she said “The message to Hamas and Hezbollah must be that confrontation and violence are destroying the prospects for a peace settlement in the Middle East.”

The message to Hamas since then from the New Zealand government’s silence is “we don’t mind what you’re doing”.

That is as shameful as that lack of any comment about New Zealand funding UNRWA – which has been shown to promote terror – and the lack of ministerial comment on the Pittsburgh terror attack in 2018. It was opposition MP, Alfred Ngaro, who put forward a motion in the house about Pittsburgh and he is also the only MP to have posted concern over the terror attacks against Israel on his social media.

It is important to keep history in mind – and not only the history of the Holocaust and the importance of speaking up. Hamas took over the Gaza strip in 2006 elections and a bloody 2007 coup. This followed the complete (and unilateral) withdrawal of Israeli soldiers and all Jews in 2005. It was hoped that without Jews, the coastal area would flourish under Arab rule and become the Singapore of the Middle East. Instead, Hamas started attacking Israel and increased border security was required, including a naval blockade that Sir Geoffrey Palmer reported to the UN was “…a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea…”.

I’m sure the majority of Kiwis would clearly condemn terror against Israel – just as the majority of Kiwis support the Jewish state. It is just frustrating when the mainstream media and our elected ministers and officials don’t reflect that.

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