by Dr. Haim Shine
Western democracies have yet to come to terms with the fact that the war against terrorism must be conducted without hesitation.
The murderous terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday night sent out a major shock wave across Europe and most of the world. Before we even had time to internalize the meaning of the downing of a Russian passenger plane by the Islamic State group over the Sinai Peninsula two weeks ago, the Paris attacks shook us again.
The famed lights of Paris have suddenly gone out. The Eiffel Tower is closed to visitors, as is Disneyland Paris. A curfew was put in place in Paris and three days of mourning were declared. Many French undoubtedly view the attacks as their country's 9/11. These attacks were not targeted at cartoonists or Jews -- rather, they were aimed at the core of Parisian life.
Just two days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Islamic State was on the ropes, the terrorist group showed that it was in fact alive and well and ready to carry on its war against Western civilization. This murder cartel, founded by Islamic fanatics, does not plan to surrender. The West must not delude itself -- a relentless fight against terrorism and all of its perpetrators is the mission of our time. Anyone who supports Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah in Lebanon or the inciters in Judea and Samaria must understand that these are all branches of the same poisonous tree.
Let us hope that the nations of Europe -- particularly France, Britain and Germany -- have come to realize that Islamic terrorism is not fuelled by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For many years, European policymakers have endlessly regurgitated the fallacy that the "suffering" of Palestinians motivates terrorists across the globe. This baseless and hypocritical claim stems from a desire to appease Arab countries and promote European business interests.
Yet many in the world have bought this false claim. These people believe that if only Israel withdrew from Judea and Samaria and acceded to all Palestinian demands, the sword of Islam would be returned to its sheath. I doubt that even the Paris attacks will change their minds.
The clearest evidence disproving a connection between Islamic terrorism and the Israel-Palestinian conflicts is provided by Islamic State spokesmen. They refer to France and Germany as "Crusader states" deserving of being attacked. Their great hero is Saladin, the Muslim leader who fought against the Crusaders in the 12th century. (By the way, Saladin was also the hero of the Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat and his proteges.) In their eyes, the Crusades have not ended -- Islam is the same Islam and the Crusaders of past times are now represented by modern-day European nations.
Israel stands at the forefront of the war against terrorism. In the wake of the Oslo Accords, Israelis know the danger of making deals with terrorists in suits. Western democracies have yet to come to terms with the fact that the war on terrorism must be conducted without hesitation. It cannot be managed from afar in slow motion. One cannot coexist with a poisonous snake. As more time passes without a decisive victory over terrorism, the number of innocent victims will only increase.
Over the past two months, Israel has faced a deadly wave of Palestinian terrorism. Israel has been fighting terrorism in a determined, stubborn and uncompromising effort. The wave of terrorism has convinced a majority of Israelis that we must not give up even a single inch of Judea and Samaria or the Golan Heights. Any ceded land would turn into a forward base of radical Islam. After all, war is war, as the French say.
Dr. Haim Shine
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.