Does our government support Israel’s fight against terror?

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I believe in judging people for their actions, which is why I am so appalled that our government would fund an organisation that teaches children to glorify terror and employs staff who incite violence and praise Hitler on social media.

It is also instructive, when considering the intent and bona fides of individuals or groups, to look at what they say, especially when there is little or no tangible actions to use as evidence.

In the first six months of 2023 there were more than 3,600 terror attacks against Israel. Arab Palestinians have killed more than 28 Israelis and wounded 362 more

Leaders and representatives from democratic countries have condemned some of these attacks. The Australian Foreign Minister, for example, wrote after one attack that “Australia condemns the indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza and respects Israel’s right to defend itself.” And the UK embassy in Jerusalem wrote after another that they were “Appalled by the terror attack near the Israeli settlement of Eli in the West Bank today. There can be no justification for such acts of violence against civilians.” And the EU representative wrote, after yet another attack, “The EU strongly and unequivocally condemns terrorism.”

New Zealand’s representatives have not clearly condemned terror against Israel, like their counterparts in other liberal democracies.

Our Foreign Minister has ‘both-sided’ (that is, equated terror with the response of the IDF) on two occasions. In one, she wrote “Aotearoa New Zealand is alarmed at escalating tensions and violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. We repeat calls for de-escalation and the upholding of international humanitarian law.”

And in the most recent statement, on 04 July, she wrote “🇳🇿 is deeply concerned about the escalation in #Jenin in the occupied West Bank. We urge all parties to exercise restraint, prioritize protection of civilians & to uphold international humanitarian law. Dialogue, not violence, is the path to sustainable peace. #kiatauterangimarie”

The IDF operation in Jenin was extraordinary. It was the most intensive military action in Judea and Samaria since 2002: two full days of troops on the ground. What is remarkable is that all 12 of the Arab Palestinians killed in the operation were terrorists, claimed by Palestinian Islamic Jihad – a group designated as a terror entity in New Zealand. 

This record of zero civilian casualties is spectacular, especially when compared with other high-intensity operations in urban areas conducted by Western armies who adhere strictly to the laws of war, where the ratio of civilians to fighters killed is  sometimes 3 or 5 to one. Colonel Richard Kemp explains that “this is of course not deliberate but an unavoidable consequence of fighting an enemy among the population who themselves dress as civilians, occupy civilian buildings such as mosques, schools and hospitals as bases of attack, and use innocent civilians as human shields…”

One might think that our Foreign Minister would at least follow up her “deep concerns” with something that praised the IDF for such an achievement. Maybe she would condemn the NZ-designated terror group for their violence, mourn the death of Sgt. First Class David Yehuda YItzhak who was killed in the counter-terror operation. Yet none of that occurred.

If you read that public record of our Foreign Minister and officials, you would see no support for Israel fighting terror. You would think – if you didn’t know any better – that the conflict could be resolved over a cup of tea and some KFC, if only Israel and the Palestinians would ‘dialogue’. You would never know that a NZ-designated terror group was being targeted by a military that managed to spare all civilian lives.

So the next time our government tells us they are against terror, I will be reminded that they are against it in apparently the same manner they are against ‘hate speech’ – they aren’t really against it when it’s against Jews.

I wish the evidence were different.

Dr David Cumin