Mar. 31, 2016
- Israel and Europe after Brussels – Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman
If Europe is to win the war on terror, it will have no alternative but to abandon its persistent post-Cold-War mindset and recognize that there is, in fact, a war to fight. The terror campaign it faces is the work not of criminals but of an enemy. This enemy is not Islam or the Arabs per se. It is a modern revolutionary version (or perversion) of the religion of Islam.
Israel, which unfortunately has had a great deal of experience with terrorist violence, has much to offer Europe in its own confrontation with Islamist terror. Once Europe has internalized the reality that it is fighting a war, Israel can advise it regarding strategies like effective intelligence collection, disruption of enemy money supply, and interference with enemy access to the Internet.
It is true that to a certain degree, some of this involves the carefully monitored and legally sanctioned infringement of individual rights. But we should recognize that all basic human rights – including the right to come home in one piece; to walk unafraid in your own town; and to fly safely to your destinations – need to be respected.
Israel contains a significantly larger proportion of Muslims than does Belgium or France, but Israel’s security measures have kept the incidence of terror attacks by Israeli Muslims rather low.
On another front of the battle, like-minded nations should work together to curb the ability of the terror organizations to utilize the Internet. It is patently absurd for IS and al-Qaeda to be able to publish “webzines” (Dabbiq and Inspire), and the efforts that have been made to eradicate online child pornography can surely be applied here as well.
Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, a former deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at Israel’s National Security Council, served for two decades in Israeli military intelligence. (Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies-Bar-Ilan University)