If you’re over 50 you might remember an old arcade game called ‘whack-a-mole’ in which players used a mallet to hit toy moles which appeared at random. It occurs to me that this is also a pretty good metaphor to describe advocating for the modern state of Israel – because just as one issue seems to disappear another pops up to take its place. Except, unlike whack-a-mole, where there was only one mole to deal with at a time – attacks on Israel are endless and often happening at the same time on multiple fronts and emanating from multiple parties.
This past month has been no different.
Take the news, a couple of weeks ago, that Immigration New Zealand had published a ‘fact sheet’ on its website which contained politicised distortions of the truth and totally erased Israel from the map. This ‘fact sheet’ (which has now been removed following outrage on social media) claimed that its purpose was to inform people about Palestinian refugees coming to New Zealand. However it contained significant errors of fact including a map which labelled the whole of modern-day Israel as “Palestine”; a totally fictitious description of East Jerusalem as ‘the designated capital of the State of Palestine’; and an emotive description of Israel’s “economic sanctions and a blockade on Hamas-controlled Gaza” which failed to mention that Hamas is a terror group and that the blockade was put in place to prevent rocket attacks. It also failed to mention that the Egyptians also have a blockade on Gaza – or that Israel facilitates the transport of thousands of trucks carrying aid and provisions into Gaza each week. We’ve written to the Government and the Ministry seeking an explanation of this document – but we’re yet to receive a response.
There was also the news that the New Zealand Government had supported a recent UN World Health Organisation (WHO) resolution which singled out Israel for the “health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories, East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan”. The resolution points the finger at Israel for increased health and mental health issues for Palestinians stemming from “trauma injuries and exposure to violence during the ‘Great March of Return’ – but completely ignores the leading role of Hamas and other terrorist groups in orchestrating that march and encouraging violent acts, by demonstrators, as they approached the Gaza-Israel border. The Resolution also failed to mention that health conditions in the Palestinian territories are the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority – which receives substantial international support to provide these, and other services. Again, we’ve written to the Government seeking an explanation of their support of this resolution – but we’re yet to receive a response.
Meanwhile, on the international stage, Hassan Rahimpour Azghadi, a member of Iran’s Supreme Council for Cultural Revolution, recently declared on Iranian TV that the Islamic Republic will destroy Israel and “liberate Palestine” within the next two to three decades. If any other state made such an audacious claim about its intentions toward another State our Government would express outrage – but apparently there is no such moral compass when it comes to threats against Israel.
This, of course, is just a tiny representation of the huge number of attacks on Israel, Israelis and the Jewish people taking place at any point in time and – like whack-a-mole – the only way to win is to be constantly vigilant until the game stops.