16 June 2021

We are deeply concerned at the response by audience members to statements made by Juliet Moses on behalf of the Jewish Council at the Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in New Zealand. We are also disappointed by the distortion of facts by mainstream media.

It is imperative that terrorism is discussed openly and truthfully at a hui explicitly called for the purpose of countering terrorism and violent extremism in all New Zealand communities. Terrorist entities must be able to be named, whether they be far-right, Islamic, or any other groups.

Ms Moses referred to a rally in support of Hezbollah on Auckland’s Queen Street in 2018. The rally should be of concern to all New Zealanders. New Zealand has labelled the military wings of Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist groups. However, New Zealand’s position on Hezbollah is out of step with most of our allies who recognise that there is no distinction between the military and political wings of the organisation. In fact, in 2017, The Arab League, comprised of 22 Arabic-speaking countries, designated Hezbollah a terrorist organization for destabilizing the region and posing “a threat to Arab national security by raising sectarian … and ethnic tensions”.

We affirm the call made by Ms Moses:

“We need to hear leaders condemn all support for terrorism and all terrorism equally, whatever the source, target and circumstance – and even when it is not politically expedient to do so”.

On behalf of the thousands of constituents we represent, we support Juliet Moses’ effort to bring this matter to public attention and agree that this concern must be acknowledged in order to achieve social cohesion in New Zealand. We call on our leaders to speak out clearly and unequivocally to condemn all forms of terrorism. We also call on the government to take measures to ensure that those who openly support terrorists and terrorism are censured.

Ashley Church, Israel Institute of New Zealand
Rob Berg, Zionist Federation of New Zealand
Bryce Turner, Christians For Israel
Nigel Woodley, The Protection of Zion Trust, Flaxmere Christian Fellowship, Ebenezer Operation Exodus
Derek McDowell, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
Tony Kan, New Zealand Friends of Israel
Patrick Tupoto Manawakaiaia Ruka, Ngapuhi Kaumatua
Dr Sheree Trotter, Holocaust and Antisemitism Foundation, Aotearoa New Zealand
Simon Lawry, Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry
Stephanie Harawira, Pacific Pearls, Kia Ora Israel, Hikoi Aotearoa, Ezekiel 33 Trust, Kotahi Tatou Trust
Beth Mayer, Bridges For Peace