New Zealand does not treat all terror equally

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Yesterday I was surprised to see the hubris my phone displayed by predicting rain today with 100% certainty. How could an algorithm designed to forecast something as notoriously fickle as weather [in Auckland, no less] be so confident?

However, some things that may seem to be wildly unpredictable can be reliably anticipated. Take, for example, our prediction that the New Zealand mainstream media would choose to report the Israeli terror designation of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)-affiliated NGOs (with strong evidence that has existed for a while) without reference to their violence or the outlier position that New Zealand has taken by not designating the group as a terror entity.

For all the talk of our government combating terror, stamping out radicalisation, and supporting international efforts, there are clear inconsistencies. It took our Prime Minister less than 18 months to designate the Christchurch terrorist as a ‘terror entity’, saying this shows New Zealand’s condemnation of terrorism and violent extremism “in all forms“. However, the PFLP, that has been murdering and attempting to murder Jews for decades is not designated in New Zealand.

This is out of step with Canada (listed as a terror entity since 2003), the United States (designated since 1997), and the European Union (designated since 2012). The reasons these traditional allies have designated the group is largely based on the stated goal of the PFLP to destroy Israel and the numerous terror attacks they carried out.

It is also noteworthy that, out of step with other democracies, New Zealand does not designate the terror groups Hamas or Hezbollah and there was no condemnation of open support for their violence at a government-organised counter-terror conference earlier this year.

So much for Prime Minister Ardern’s “in all forms” comment.

It would be a more academic exercise if there were no signs of any support for the terror groups in New Zealand. As well as the unchallenged endorsement of terror at the Christchurch Hui, there is a University of Auckland Professor who has publicly admitted the PFLP is “the tribe my family belongs to” and there is clear evidence and an open admission that Kiwis work with PFLP-linked groups to coordinate (and fund!) publicity stunts in aid of the terror groups.

With the benefit of hindsight, perhaps it should have been obvious that some Kiwis would feel comfortable enough to publicly affiliate with an organisation that pioneered armed aircraft-hijackings and have sent suicide bombers to murder Jews. Our leadership has created an environment where certain types of terror are acceptable. One can only hope that such an environment is not so fertile as to encourage any attacks on New Zealand soil; and that our international partners do not read too much into the political implications of New Zealand tacitly endorsing terror against Israel.

Then again, it rained today.