Only with “Enormous Political and Cultural Change” Can Europe Start Fighting Terror Effectively

Sept. 6 2017

The past few weeks have seen terrorist attacks from Finland to Spain, and such attacks are becoming increasingly common across the Continent. Drawing on the Israeli experience, Yaakov Amidror argues that European countries must fundamentally change their approach in order to confront the threat properly.

There are three areas that must be addressed to see major gains in the ability to battle terrorism. First, how the legal system views terrorism—particularly that it treats terrorism [as a kind of] crime, which plays into terrorists’ hands—must change. This is an enormous political and cultural change. . . . Implementing [it] is conditional on the political echelon telling itself and its citizens the truth, even [if this change] gives up a small part of citizens’ personal freedom.

The second effort needed is to focus intelligence work on the relevant communities. It appears that a lot has already been done in this field in recent years, but international cooperation must be improved and more aggressive interrogations must be permitted based on intelligence, before an [attack] is carried out. . . .

The third effort is more complicated and centers on [encouraging] ordinary citizens to respond quickly and aggressively when any terrorist action takes place. Israel has a clear advantage when it comes to this, because there are many citizens who are licensed to carry firearms and who can take action even before the police and the security forces arrive. Civilians carrying firearms are extremely unusual in many countries, so it will be difficult for these civilians to respond quickly, thus containing the damage of a terrorist act under way, whether it is a stabbing or drivers who use their vehicles as weapons of mass murder.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Europe, Israeli Security, Politics & Current Affairs, Terrorism


Israel’s Economy Thrives While the Middle East Disintegrates

Jan. 19 2018

Now that the data have come in from 2017, it is clear that the Israeli economy had another successful year, expanding at a rate higher than that of any other advanced country. Israel’s per-capita GDP also grew, placing it above those of France and Japan. Daniel Kryger notes some of the implications regarding the Jewish state’s place in the Middle East:

The contrast between first-world Israel and the surrounding third-world Arab states is larger today than ever before. Israel’s GDP per capita is almost twenty times the GDP per capita of impoverished Egypt and five times larger than semi-developed Lebanon.

Like any human project, Israel is a never-ending work in progress and much work remains to integrate ḥaredi Jews and Israeli Arabs into Israel’s knowledge economy. Properly addressing Israel’s high costs of living requires more economic and legislative reforms and breaking up inefficient oligopolies that keep the prices artificially high. However, by any standard, the reborn Jewish state is a remarkable success story. . . .

Much has changed since OPEC launched its oil embargo against the West after the failed Arab aggression against Israel in October 1973. Before the collapse of the pro-Arab Soviet empire, China and India had no official ties with Israel and many Western and Japanese companies avoided doing business with Israel. Collapsing oil prices have dramatically eroded the power of oil-producing countries. It has become obvious that the future belongs to those who innovate, not those who happen to sit on oil. Israel has today strong commercial ties with China and a thriving partnership with India. Business delegations from Jamaica to Japan are eager to do business with Israel and benefit from Israel’s expertise. . . .

[For its part], the boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement may bully Jewish and pro-Israel students on Western campuses. However, in real life, BDS stands no chance of succeeding against Israel. The reason is simple: reborn Israel has . . . become too valuable a player in the global economy.

Read more at Mida

More about: BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli economy, Middle East, OPEC