In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, politicians, the media – old and news – and the chatterati are alive questions on How Did This Happen and What Can Be Done? Here is a short guide:
How not to fight terrorism:
Do not wail that “It was France’s fault for attacking ISIS in Syria and/or not integrating their Muslim minority” (never mind that the Muslim minority don’t want to be integrated),
Will McCants, an expert on extremism and author of the recent book “The ISIS Apocalypse,” told Business Insider on Saturday that the attack could have been a pointed warning to France to cease strikes in Syria.
It could be “to say to France, ‘If you continue to bomb our positions, there’s going to be more of the same and you had better leave off or more of your civilians will die,'” McCants said.
Tensions surrounding France’s Muslim community have long been simmering, as George Packer, a foreign correspondent for The New Yorker who covered the Iraq war, chronicled in an August article. The article, titled “The Other France,” wondered whether Paris suburbs are an “incubator for terrorism.”
Do not assert that “we need a new Enlightenment“:
We may have to retrieve the Enlightenment, as much as religion, from its fundamentalists. … The advocacy of more violence and wars in the face of recurrent failure meets the definition of fanaticism rather than reason. The task for those who cherish freedom is to reimagine it – through an ethos of criticism combined with compassion and ceaseless self-awareness – in our own irreversibly mixed and highly unequal societies and the larger interdependent world. Only then can we capably defend freedom from its true enemies.
Do not underestimate ISIS, as Barack Obama famously once did when comparing it to Al Qaeda calling it “a Jayvee team” (a junior football team):
“I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.”
Certainly do not say “It was Israel’s fault“!
Friday’s terror attacks in Paris that killed 129 people were rooted in the frustration of Muslims in the Middle East, including that of Palestinians, Sweden’s foreign minister said this week in a television interview.
“To counteract the radicalization we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East of which not the least the Palestinians see that there is no future: we must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence,” Margot Wallström told Swedish television network SVT2T (link in Swedish) a short while after the November 13 attacks, which were claimed by the Islamic State terrorist organization.
Jerusalem reacted angrily to Wallström’s statement. “It would seem that the Swedish foreign minister is afflicted with total political blindness,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel on Monday. “This blindness may lead to tragedy.”
The spokesman is speaking in the wrong tense. This blindness has already lead to tragedy, Paris being a prime example.
Doubly so, do not claim, as our “peace partner” the Palestinian Authority did, that “it was the Joos wot dun it“. Seriously.
The Fatah movement posted the above image with the headline “Terror is terror.” Fatah implied that Israel is the equivalent of Islamic State by showing the Palestinian flag next to the flags of Russia, Lebanon and France.
… Fatah’s post exploited these terror attacks to demonize Israel, falsely claiming that Israel is perpetrating the same acts of terror against Palestinians:
“Terror is terror and we condemn all terror. Be it destroying houses in Nablus and killing our children by Israel or hitting a Russian plane over Egypt. The Paris attacks are criminal acts done by coward terrorists.” [Official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement, Nov. 14, 2015]
An op-ed in the official PA daily announced that the Israeli secret intelligence service, the Mossad, is behind the attacks in Paris. The writer stated that it is not a coincidence that “blood is spilled in Paris” at the same time as Europe has decided to label Israeli products made in “settlements.” He stated that Israel is the one benefiting from these attacks and that they serve the “goals” of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, who “hides in his soul enough evil to burn the world.
Do not think that turning the other cheek, as many Europeans still want to do, will make Islamic terrorism go away either.
“You cannot defeat terrorism by coming to resemble to it,” columnist Jakob Augstein opined on Spiegel Online, the largest news portal in Europe. “That’s the problem with the ‘war on terror’: whoever wages it has already lost it. The only weapon against hate is reconciliation.”…
The best way to face down Islamic terrorism is by welcoming Muslim refugees in Europe, Augstein explained. “Never has the West caused a greater loss to Islamism than when it offered protection to Muslims suffering from war and terror. One can imagine how the IS henchmen were shocked by this disarming act of altruism.”
Many Israelis — nay, every Israeli — imagined quite a different response when they saw the growing stream of Muslim refugees making its way toward Europe. Living in close proximity to IS and facing the group’s bloodthirsty associates on a near-daily basis, Israelis likely imagined the terrorists laughing out loud as they realized that well-intended Europe had opened its borders and its hearts to the refugees without much concern about rotten apples among refugees.
… But since Friday it can no longer be denied that Europe has a problem with Islamist terrorism, homegrown and imported. Compassion for those in need is warranted. But believing that benevolence to those seeking your annihilation will somehow melt away their resolve, is a deadly mistake.
How Europe can fight terrorism:
First recognize the problem:
Having read the above items, it becomes clear that the first step in combatting this imported enemy which has taken root in Europe’s heartland, is to simply recognize it for what it is: an implacable enemy which has no compunctions in taking the most violent and sadistic means to achieve its goal. The second step is to understand this enemy’s goal – that is the utter destruction not only of Europe, not only of the Jews, but of Western civilization altogether, and replacing it with a medieval caliphate – or die in the process.
In one simple Facebook post, Iraqi-born public speaker and human rights activist, Faisal Al Mutar sums up the entire problem – inherent in which is the solution too. (If the entire post doesn’t show, click “see more” at the end of the post). His comment is almost Monty Pythonesque, but all the more true for its biting satire:
I was quite astonished to read an article by Paul Mason in the Guardian (!!) who came to a similar conclusion to Al Mutar’s:
To the terrorists, this virtue-signalling is utterly irrelevant. They don’t care about anyone’s profile picture. They demonstrated on Friday that they are happy to kill dozens of ordinary people, regardless of race, religion or political persuasion, then calmly reload their assault rifles and kill dozens more.
This is the message of terror in its purest form: nobody is safe. It could be you. […] . Those who had limited sympathy for the Charlie Hebdo victims on the grounds that they had to some extent provoked violent retribution must now realise that no provocation is necessary, unless communal joy counts as a provocation.
This reasoning should be extended to the Jewish victims of the Hyper Cacher supermarket too. It should also be extended to the Israeli victims of terror at all times, but it never is because somehow, terror against Israelis, never mind Jews, is acceptable, understandable, and is anyway “different” to “our” terror.
2. Take practical steps
What practical steps can the West take to fight terror? Will they adopt Israel’s strategies? David Horovitz has his doubts:
As bombers and gunmen targeted our buses and our shopping malls and our hotels and our colleges and our restaurants, we did two things that France, the US and the rest of the free world will have to do if they want to defeat this latest, particularly despicable Islamist terror iteration: We learned how to reduce our vulnerability to terrorism, and we tackled the killers in their centers of operation. Short-sightedly, hypocritically, and abidingly, the international community, including most of the Western world, barely understood the need for the former strategy, and castigated us for the latter.
We made it harder for terrorists to kill us by doing what those CNN experts are saying is impossible: yes, protecting all our cafes, and restaurants, and shopping malls, and hotel entrances, and buses, and every other public place where our citizens gather, with barriers and metal detectors and security guards; all these years later, suicide bombers still can’t just walk into our theaters and concert halls. We bolstered our intelligence-gathering in the viciously hostile Palestinian territories, notably including the West Bank cities from which we had withdrawn years before in the vain quest for peaceful coexistence. And to the ongoing fury of misguided critics everywhere, we built a security barrier — a mix of fences and sections of wall — so that Palestinian suicide bombers could not just drive into Israel and blow us up. We became a nation of domestic security analysts, gauging where to shop and whether or not to take the bus as we sought to minimize our exposure to the killers. And we toughed it out.
We also took the offensive, notably after that black March 2002, when we launched a major West Bank military operation to destroy the “infrastructure” of terrorism in the West Bank.
Horovitz certainly hit the nail on the head when he noted how we are castigated for our defensive, counter-terror actions. Just this week, as it does with mind-numbing regularity, once again the UN accused Israel of using excessive force in fighting terror:
Israeli security forces have used “excessive force” and “may have carried out summary executions against Palestinians,” UN experts claimed Monday, blaming the terror war against Israelis and Jews on the victims.
“Cases of excessive use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinians, including some which appear to amount to summary executions, continue to be reported,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian Territories, Makarim Wibisono, and the expert on summary executions, Christof Heyns.
They called for an “end to the violence by all and strict compliance with international law,” AFP reports.
The UN condemnation follows damning statistics published earlier Monday proving October to be the worst month for terror in Israel since 2006.
According to the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet), Palestinian terrorists have launched 602 attacks in 30 days – more than during Operation Protective Edge (2014), Operation Pillar of Defense (2012), or Operation Cast Lead (2009).
Nevertheless, despite the utter stupidity and malice of the UN, France can learn from Israel how to combat terror:
First, it’s time to sacrifice some freedoms of convenience. Most Israelis don’t know what it’s like to walk into a mid-size concert venue of the kind targeted in France without passing through a metal detector and their government intends to keep it that way. They may gripe about it, but they would feel less free if their government wasn’t inconveniencing them on a daily basis.
Second, go ahead and profile. […]
Third, recognize that deterrence isn’t fair. Since it’s impossible to dissuade suicide bombers with the threat of certain death or bodily harm, you have to threaten things they care about. Israel’s policy of demolishing the family homes of Palestinian terrorists may not be altogether “just,” but it’s necessary to counter the overwhelmingly positive social approval and financial benefits these families receive for contributing “martyrs” to the cause.
Read the rest, or better yet, send the article to any French politicians that you can contact. Maybe they will begin to take back control of their country.
Referring to the last paragraph above concerning deterrence, I have expressed my own doubts about the effective of house demolitions of terrorists’ homes. However this week we were able to see exactly how this threat really is effective, at least sometimes: A Palestinian father turned in his terrorist son because of his fear of his house being demolished: (h/t Brian Goldfarb):
The father and brother of a Palestinian terrorist who shot dead two Israelis in the West Bank on Friday were the ones to inform the Israeli authorities of his involvement, in a bid to prevent the family home being demolished.
Hebron resident Shadi Ahmad Matua, aged 28 and married with two children, was arrested by the Israel Defense Forces on Saturday night, and is said by Israel to be a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist group.
Following an extensive search, security forces located the gun that killed Rabbi Yaakov Litman, 40, and his 18-year-old son Netanel, as well as a car used in the attack near the settlement of Otniel.
According to a report from the Hebrew-language Ynet website, Shadi Matua told his brother Majidi that he had carried out the shooting. His brother then told their father and the two decided to turn the shooter in, to avoid a possible razing of their home.
One more important point to note: the French have a lot more leeway than Israel in its scope of action precisely because they don’t have the UN on its neck, examining its actions with a distorted microscope, and without a complicit media distorting its methods of self-defence. Therefore there are many things that the French can do that Israelis cannot, as the Elder of Ziyon notes:
On Friday night, French President Francois Hollande said, “To all those who have seen these awful things, I want to say we are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.”
An Israeli leader could never say that against Islamic terrorists. Such language would be used as evidence that Israel desires genocide. “Pitiless,” after all, implies that some innocent will be killed along with the terrorists.
Police took into custody Saturday Mostefai’s father and brother and were searching their homes, a source close to the probe told AFP.
Isn’t that administrative detention, which we are told by human rights groups is a huge crime?
Isn’t that collective punishment, which we are told by human rights groups is a huge crime?
Oh, sorry. Those are only crimes when Israel does it to relatives of Arab terrorists. When it isn’t done by Israel, these moves are a strong signal to the terrorists that we are taking the threat seriously.
The Elder enumerates all the other methods which are acceptable for the French but not for Israel. He goes on to mercilessly lash Roger Cohen of the New York Times who hypocritically condemns Israel when it acts against Hamas in Gaza, but supports France in its fight against ISIS:
But when Western French are slaughtered – now we must fight back. Those victims were innocent human beings! We must have a ground war! We must be pitiless!
Crushing ISIS in Syria and Iraq will not eliminate the jihadi terrorist threat. But the perfect cannot be the enemy of the good. Passivity is a recipe for certain failure. It is time, in the name of humanity, to act with conviction and power against the scourge of the Islamic State.
Except when the victims are just Jews and the perpetrators can be given a “narrative” of victimhood.
Given this leeway that is available to France, and the West in general, maybe we will now finally see some progress in defeating ISIS and its murderous, barbaric medieval ideology.