World Jewish News
Europe must learn from Israel's response to terrorism
27.09.2017, Israel and the World
Since the vague of terrorist attacks struck in various capitals of Europe, European governments have been seeking the experience and advice from Israel on fighting against terrorism. Many countries around the world recognize Israel’s capabilities in fighting terrorism. In recent years, Israel has provided intelligence that has prevented dozens of major terrorist attacks around the world.
During an event in the European Parliament on Tuesday, hosted by the Parliament Delegation for Relations with Israel chaired by Italian MEP Fulvio Martusciello, several speakers expressed the need for Europe and Israel to be united in combating terrorism.
On this occasion, a study titled ‘’Lessons from Israel’s Response to Terrorism,’’ was presented, by its editor, Fiamma Nirenstein, a former journalist and member of the Italian parliament who is currently a senior fellow of the think tank Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs in charge of the European project.
The book is a project of the Jerusalem Center and consists of ten chapters written by prominent Israeli authors.
"The State of Israel has been facing since its creation a constant threat to its existence, not only in the form of war among armies, but also of asymmetrical warfare, with the continuous attack on its civilians. Over the decades, the authorities and the Israeli civil society have been developing detailed codes of ethics, legal and military strategies to cope with extremely complex situations,’’ explained Fiamma Nirenstein. ‘’Europe, facing nowadays similar threats, might draw on the Israeli experience, and strengthening the strategic alliance with the only democracy in the Middle East”.
Referring to the shooting attack in Har Hadar, near Jerusalem, where 3 Israelis were killed, MEP Anna Fotyga, a member of the European Parliament for the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, who hosted the event, stressed that it was always taught that the Israeli situation was different. ‘’In our perception, it is the same,’’ she said.
Speakers explained how Israel’s population has developed such a resilience and response in facing terrorism. ‘’30 % of terrorist attacks are thwarted by people in the street,’’ Nirenstein said.
For Yossi Kuperwasser, a former Director General of the Israeli ministry of strategic affairs, fighting terror ‘’is a matter of national security.’’Understanding the goals and strategy of the terrorists and the context in which they operate, and being agile enough to rapidly adopt adequate responses that build on former soluions, enabled Israel to become a world leader in the fight against terror.’’
He recognized that for Europe it’s more difficult to do the same as Israel because it is not one country.
‘’Huge intelligence efforts are needed. The basis of counter-terrorism is intelligence,’’ he added.
Saad Amrani, a senior commissioner from the Belgian federal police, deplored the ‘’loopholes and weaknesses’’ in Europe where different countries and different actors are not totally convinced and where there is a ‘’lack of coherence.’’
Speaking of his experience in Belgium, he said ‘’we are concerned about young people from age 12 to 18 angry towards the society, its values, and getting more radical.’’
Fiamma Nirenstein also insisted on the role of incitement. She told European Jewish Press: ‘’It took many years also for Israel to understand that incitement is a strategic weapon for terrorists. It is not just something that is connected to freedom of expression when you declare that Jews must be killed. That whoever doesn’t belong to Islam must be killed. This is not an opinion, it is incitement to kill.’’
She called on the European Parliament to promote a law to stop incitement.
The book ‘’Lessons from Israel’s response to terrorism’’ is available online at the following link: http://jcpa.org/lessons-israels-response-terrorism/.