There is no neutrality when it comes to terror, said former Swiss president Samuel Schmid, when asked whether his famously neutral country can be part of the global war on terror.
By Amotz Asa-El
Now, as Britain prepares to bury the victims of Monday’s suicide attack in Manchester, some might get the impression that the war on terror is indeed universal and unequivocal, without ifs and buts. It isn’t.
The clear-minded Schmid’s insight was effectively disputed over the years by a collection of Europeans who denied the enemy’s motivation and implacability.
Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, for instance, when asked to respond to the attacks in Paris in fall 2015 absurdly used that entirely non-Israeli situation in order to say that “the Palestinians see that there isn’t a future,” and thus “must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.”
In the same spirit, Norwegian diplomat Svein Sevje said, following the terror attacks in summer 2011 in his country, „we Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel.“
And most embarrassingly, British Labor leader Jeremy Corbin said that Hamas, which mass-produced suicide bombers who targeted busses, restaurants, and shopping malls, is “part of the peace process.”
„A lot of other people in the world are desperate, yet they have not gone around strapping dynamite to themselves.“
The suicides, for their part, repeatedly offered reminders like Manchester’s, that what they seek are the most defenseless members of infidel society, in this case adolescents in a music hall, in order to make the world what it refuses to become: Muslim.
To Israel and its supporters, the conscious targeting of civilians in general, and the deployment of suicides in particular, cannot be excused whatever their context. As the New York Times’ Tom Friedman put it, in a column titled “Suicidal lies,” several months after the September 11 attacks: “A lot of other people in the world are desperate, yet they have not gone around strapping dynamite to themselves.“
Evidently, at play here is something entirely different.
ISLAMIST TERROR, even in Israel, is not about national aspirations. These people murder not because of what is happening between one country and its neighbors in one bilateral conflict. Rather, the terrorists fight for a timeless cause, and their battlefield is the entire world.
The denial of this simple causality was fueled by former president Barack Obama, who insisted the US was “fighting terror,” instead of saying the truth, which is that the enemy is the Islamist ideology that is out to impose one religion’s one interpretation on everyone else. Terror is not the enemy; it is its weapon.
This war’s arena is by now well mapped. Reaching even Kunming, China, where Islamists stabbed to death 29 passersby in 2014, and Volgograd, Russia, where 34 people were murdered in two suicide bombings in 2013 following the 2004 massacre of 334 people in Beslan, nearly half of them children – Islamist terror has struck pretty much everywhere; from India, Pakistan, Kenya, and Egypt to France, Belgium, Spain, and Argentina as well as Britain, Germany, Belgium, Australia and also, Canada, where Islamists were caught in 2006 plotting to seize parliament and behead the prime minister.
As noted by the world’s leading historian of Islam, Bernard Lewis, in a famous article titled “The Roots of Muslim Rage,” Islamism is fueled by a yearning for the medieval era when Islamic civilization dominated the world. Civilizations like the Chinese, Indian, Japanese or Jewish have no equivalent recollection or ambition, explained Lewis.
Now, faced with a world dominated by infidels’ inventions, from automobiles , airplanes and railways to computers, telephones, television, movies and fast food, Islamists feel a sense of historic defeat they cannot bear. Hence their resolve, to sail down the bloody river that leads from the future to the past.
„It is a war on civilization.“
This explains not only the spread of Islamism’s assault, but also its attacks’ preferred locations, namely, icons of modernity like the theatre, the nightclub, the skyscraper and the jet. It is a war on civilization. That is why Israel’s place in this clash is the same as the rest of its targets, only far more marginal.
Why, then, the effort to single out Islamist terror when aimed at Israel? Well, to serve the delusion that the Islamist beast can be appeased if only it be fed several chunks of the Jewish state. It is a veteran logic, the same one that was deployed when European leaders served Hitler the Sudetenland, really hoping that would satiate his appetite for global domination.
Totalitarian revolutionaries don’t compromise. They want world wars. They will not rest until they subdue humanity, conquer history, and rule the globe. Such were the fascists, such were the Bolsheviks, and such are the Islamists.
Back in 2002, the Bali bombings in which 202 people were murdered and 209 were injured caught me while visiting my mother in her old-age home.
A retired secretary and fulltime grandmother she had no academic pretensions, may she rest in peace. She was, however, a graduate of Auschwitz where she majored in world wars. Now, watching on TV the gruesome scenes from distant Indonesia, she ruled: „It’s a world war.“