Horrible attacks like those we saw in Belgium last month are likely to multiply, not just in Belgium, but throughout Europe.
ISIS is a determined monstrosity. The more they lose territory in Iraq and Syria, the more likely are they going to try to commit terrorist acts in Europe in order to inflict more pain and recruit more jihadists.
ISIS’ terrorists are not soldiers or conventional fighters in uniform. Nor are they terrorists that need to cross borders illegally in order to target their victims. Terrorists are mainly European citizens or residents moving in open borders, with easy access to their targets.
Furthermore, most terrorists hide among mass Muslim populations concentrated in specific neighborhoods. Muslim mass concentrations serve as shields and as convenient incubators for terrorist activities.
To a certain extent, this situation is similar to the one Israel has been facing for a long time. The Palestinian territories are where the terrorists come from and they find refuge among the population in order to have proximity to their target.
Most importantly in Europe, as in Israel, these are not freedom fighters seeking a specific objective, but nihilistic Islamist ideologues whose ultimate end goal is pain, destruction —and ideally, genocide.
In Europe there is no occupation and no ethnic conflict, but the continent is still trapped in a similar situation; Europe has been “Israelized.”
Now, Europe will have to take the bitter step of having to ask the Israelis how to establish a system of surveillance and a network of informers in order to prevent and dismantle the terrorist acts in the early planning stages.
Worse, they will have to admit that they were wrong when they judged Israel’s treatment of terrorism or exaggerated the responsibility of Israeli policies for such terrorism.
Europeans have never been able to understand the fanatic and irrational magnitude of Palestinian or Islamic terrorism.
Even in light of multiple and generous Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, including a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, many European leaders have tried to show some understanding of the terrorist phenomenon.
As the peace process began to unravel and the second intifada threatened Israel’s citizens, Europeans did not fully understand Israel’s need to defend itself.
During Operation Defensive Shield in 2002, which aimed at destroying the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure that was burning Israeli citizens in buses and cafes, and murdering hundreds, the European parliament passed a non-binding resolution calling for economic sanctions on Israel and an arms embargo on both parties.
Years later, the European parliament embraced the Goldstone Report, an infamous U.N. report that accused Israel of war crimes during Israel’s military operation in Gaza (December 2008-January 2009) aimed at eliminating Hamas’s missile and terrorist attacks against the Israeli population from Gaza.
The malicious report was even disavowed by its own author, the South African jurist Richard Goldstone.
Most recently, the European Union has decided to label Israeli products made in any territory taken by Israel in 1967 as “Made in the Settlements,” and therefore joining in a partial boycott of Israel.
The European measure was aimed at sending the message that the settlements constitute a major obstacle to the peace process, ignoring the Palestinian rejectionist approach and the ominous existence of Hamas — an organization whose charter openly seeks the destruction of Israel and makes the killing of Jews a command.
This European position has also failed to distinguish between Jewish neighborhoods and towns built decades ago on state lands and illegal outposts. Likewise, the Europeans included the Golan Heights at a time when the Syrian state is at the verge of collapse.
Thus, an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights could even be a gift to ISIS itself.
Furthermore, France intends to recognize a Palestinian state if negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians don’t make progress.
This position is based on the assumption that the conflict itself is the source of Islamic terrorism, and it is aimed at creating diplomatic pressure on Israel.
However, it will not solve the Palestinian Authority's inability to exercise control over Hamas, prevent the stabbing and burning of Israelis; and less so stop ISIS’ assault on Europe.
The deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have shown that selling out Israel has not paid off, but in fact has portrayed Europe as a weak bloc willing to sacrifice allies in exchange for an illusory appeasement.
Such weakness has made Europe even more vulnerable to terrorism.
Without a change of a basic attitude, Europe will not be able to defeat terror.
Luis Fleischman has worked as adviser for the Menges Hemispheric Security Project at the Center for Security Policy on issues related to Latin America. He is the author of "Latin America in the Post-Chavez Era: The Threat to U.S. Security." Fleischman is an adjunct professor of sociology and political science at Florida Atlantic University Honors College and FAU Lifelong Learning Society. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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