Friday, September 19, 2014

Dr. Reuven Berko: The Bigger Picture

by Dr. Reuven Berko

The various travel advisories issued recently by the Counterterrorism Bureau have puzzled many Israelis, who have been wondering just how seriously to take them. Some have chosen to ignore them completely, saying that they are merely a way for security officials to cover all bases; some have chosen to lower their profiles, traveling in groups, whispering in Hebrew and exercising caution while abroad; while others have chosen to follow them to the letter and avoid travel destinations deemed too dangerous.

The most recent travel advisory, warning that Islamic State mujahedeen who return to their countries of origin from the killing fields of Iraq and Syria are planning to target European sites frequented by Israelis, makes one wonder whether European countries facing the threat of terrorism can protect their citizens and visitors.

The advisory essentially predicts the collapse of the West's domestic security apparatuses when faced with the growing unrest among its Muslim communities and the radicals they harbor, meaning that Europe is facing a greater threat from its domestic populations than from Islamic State murderers.

More than a few European anti-Semites try to find comfort in the fact that Jewish sites across Europe -- synagogues, embassies and museums -- are likely to be the focus of any Islamic rampage, saying any such attack would likely stem from the "Palestinian issue" and therefore that Europeans have nothing to worry about.

If I were a European, however, I would consider the Israeli travel advisory as a call to rally to Europe's aid. 

The combined reality of the blow Israel has dealt Hamas, which is a Muslim Brotherhood "subsidiary," and the aerial campaign waged against Islamic State by the United States and its allies, has infuriated radical Islamists worldwide, prompting them to call on the leaders of terrorist organizations in our region to form a coalition against this common enemy, saying that the blows dealt to these radicals by the West and the Arab countries that have joined its fight are the product of "a conspiracy led by Jews and global Zionism."

This sentiment lends the Quran's decree of "do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other" (Sura 5:51) even greater importance, as terrorist leaders seem to be willing to put their differences aside in favor of seeing organizations like al-Qaida, Islamic State and the Nusra Front band together against the "crusaders."

An old Arab proverb says, "Me against my brother; me and my brother against our cousin; and me, my brother and my cousin against the stranger," that is, the "crusaders." This method is tried and true: While the Muslim Brotherhood believes that Islamic State is too brutal and Islamic State believes the Muslim Brotherhood is passive, they both aspire to vanquish the "crusaders" and their allies and establish a global Islamic caliphate.

The unrest, mass protests and terrorism, which currently seem as if they have a purely anti-Semitic aspect, will soon focus on the "crusaders" themselves. Europe has received an unequivocal travel advisory from Israel's Counterterrorism Bureau, and it would be wise to pay attention.

Reuven Berko


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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