Friday, August 12, 2005

Jerusalem Post | The mullahs' moment in the sun

Jerusalem Post | Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World: "Column One: The mullahs' moment in the sun

Over the past few weeks, we have been witness to a remarkable phenomenon. Suddenly, in the wake of last month's suicide bombings in London, we hear of news broadcasts from Paris to London to New York in which terrorism analysts announce vociferously that their countries must follow Israel's tracks in everything having to do with contending with suicide bombers.

There is a threefold irony in the fact that the West, and particular the Europeans, are now looking to Israel for assistance in defending against their homegrown jihadi networks. First, and perhaps it goes without saying, until suicide terror came to them, they were quick to condemn every single action – from the erection of roadblocks to administrative detentions to military sweeps of terror dens – that the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) have taken to preempt and prevent suicide bombers. Now, when they themselves are suffering from the same fate, they are quick to ignore their previous criticism and come to Israel for help.

And to top it all off, none of them – from the Bush administration to the European leadership – has drawn the obvious conclusion that the terrorists who attack Israel in the name of jihad are no different from the ones who attack them in the name of jihad and that therefore one of the best ways for them to defend themselves is to support Israel and end their support for the Palestinian Authority, which is infused from top to bottom with the ideology of terror and jihad.

The second bit of irony in the world's newfound admiration for visionary Israel is that it is, of course, arriving at the same time that the Sharon-Peres government is making Israel's most significant move ever to surrender and appease the same unappeasable terrorists by handing them Gaza with no strings attached. Perhaps if their appreciation had come a bit sooner, Israel wouldn't have adopted a policy that is antithetical to the policies that the Europeans and Americans now so admire.

The final bit of irony is that while in the wake of the London bombings the West is finally beginning to take the threat of suicide terrorism in its towns seriously, this newfound sobriety at home is occurring at the same time that the Bush administration is striking out on a policy of curtailing its war on terror abroad. This policy of curtailing US offensive actions against terrorism internationally is evident both in its handling of Iraq's rapid deterioration into a Shi'ite-ruled Islamist state along the lines of Iran and even more dangerously in the US's feckless handling of the rising Iranian nuclear threat.

The West's belated respect for Israel's counterterror tactics recalls the similarly belated gratitude we received for prime minister Menachem Begin's decision deploy the IAF to destroy the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1981. Israel's heroic operation was met at the time with wall-to-wall condemnation from Washington to Europe to the UN Security Council. In the aftermath of the strike, the Reagan administration placed military sanctions on Israel, drastically limiting US military exports to the Jewish state. It was only in the wake of Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 that the US finally expressed its gratitude to Israel for having the nerve and vision to act as it did, when it did."

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