Published on May 23, 2017 via the FOXNews YouTube Channel – In the wake of the latest terror attack in Manchester, Great Britain, in which a suicide bomber detonated himself at the Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people, a look back at some of the recent acts of terrorism across Europe. The following article by Former Israeli Ambassador to the UN and current President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Dore Gold, covers the differences between the EU and Israel in dealing with the very real threat of radical Islamic terror:
Is the Terror against Europe Different from the Terror against Israel?
by Amb. Dore Gold
The war of the West against the rising tide of jihadist terrorism cannot be won without full coordination between the members of the coalition of threatened countries.
Since the terrorist attacks in the 1960s, terrorist organizations have geographically distributed their assets across a number of countries to recruit their manpower, engage in military training, park their financial assets, and provide safe passage across different states. Their goal was to create an international terrorist network, whose components would be beyond the reach of any Western military powers.
What has now become clear is that effective solidarity among states has become a prerequisite for ultimately succeeding in this conflict.
Yet, in the aftermath of the Islamic State’s brutal attacks in Paris during 2015 that left 129 dead, there began a discussion in the international media of whether the terrorist attacks against Israelis could be compared with the newest jihadist assault on European capitals.
A number of voices rejected any comparison.
Israel’s terror problems, it was argued, were “political,”1 and part of a Palestinian national struggle. Therefore they could be addressed through diplomacy. What Europe faced came from a completely different motivation that was not amenable to any compromise. Israel could cut a deal with the Palestinians, while Europe had no such options with ISIS or al-Qaeda. When in 2015, an ISIS executioner pointed his knife to the Mediterranean and declared, “We will conquer Rome,” before beheading Egyptian Copts on a Libyan beach, he presented goals which no European could even agree to negotiate. This set the stage in European capitals for the conclusion that there was little the Europeans could learn from Israel.
But was such a conclusion warranted? There are two dimensions to the classic European position. First, the Palestinian attacks on Israel are largely political, the thinking goes, that is, they are part of a territorial conflict over the future of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Many Europeans (and part of the Israeli political class) view the Palestinians as a people under occupation that employ violence as part of their “resistance.” The assault on Europe, they claim, comes from an ideologically-driven Islamist motivation and not from a territorial dispute.
Attacks on Israel Are Not Territorially-Motivated
Recent events have challenged this European distinction. In 2005, when Israel disengaged from the Gaza Strip, those who perceived the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as territorial were in for a surprise. It might have been expected that terrorist attacks by Hamas and other groups, like rocket launches from Gaza territory into Israel proper, should have been reduced in number, but the exact opposite occurred. Whereas in all of 2005, including the period after withdrawal, the number of attacks numbered 179, in 2006, the year after Israel’s military and civilian presence had been removed, the number of attacks actually shot up to 946, increasing by 500 percent.
Thus, even when its territorial demands in Gaza were largely addressed, Hamas could not give any hint that it was even partially satisfied. Those who persisted to argue that the rocket assaults from the Gaza Strip came about because of territorial considerations, may have pointed to Israel’s ongoing presence in the West Bank. But if that was true, then the Palestinian terror groups should have launched most of their violence from West Bank territory and left Gaza alone. Clearly, that did not happen either.
The fact of the matter was that Israel had been at war with Palestinian groups which had been driven by much wider motivations than the liberation of a given territory controlled by Israel. In the case of Hamas this is relatively easy to demonstrate. The 1988 Hamas Charter, which that organization refuses to alter, states unequivocally that it is a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood; it is committed to the destruction of the State of Israel, not an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But Hamas’ ambitions go much further.
Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood2 in Egypt in 1928, set forward as one of his goals the recovery of formerly Islamic territories, specifically mentioning “Andalusia (Spain), Sicily, the Balkans, the Italian coast…” and other areas. According to a report on the Muslim Brotherhood commissioned by former British Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014, the organization’s ideology, which also stressed jihad, was never disowned and inspired many terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda and its offshoots. Indeed, Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, who heads the most important think tank in the United Arab Emirates, has concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood “spawned” al-Qaeda’s most important leaders, from Abdullah Azzam to Osama bin Laden.3
Muslim Brotherhood leaders
Generations of Muslim Brotherhood leaders (top row right to left): Sayyid Qutb, the philosopher of militant Islam school of thought; Hassan al-Banna, the founder; (bottom row left to right): Ibrahim al-Hudaybi (of the movement’s younger generation), a blogger and grandson of the sixth “general guide;” Mohammed Badie, the current “general guide” [supreme leader].
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