Terror at your request

One of the fundamentals of dealing with any critical illness is early recognition of the disease. Generally, when an illness is detected early, it can be identified and defeated. This same principle applies to social sciences. Indeed, we can understand malignant phenomena in society based on our understanding of the natural sciences. Terrorism has many similarities to cancer. Like cancer, terror often has an incubation phase and secondary growths. Like cancer, its early detection and treatment is the key to recovery.

Unfortunately, this principle has not been accepted by the leadership of the West. The West takes the hypocritical approach of dividing between different types of terrorism. This hypocrisy reached its peak when the terror leaders of Iran and Hezbollah as well as the leaders of the Palestinian Liberation Organization sent their condolences to the government of Belgium following the recent terror attack. The Assad terror regime in Syria, which has slaughtered its own people, also hurried to send its condolences to Belgium.

Hundreds of citizens have been murdered by Islamic terrorists in Algeria. As the bloodshed continues, the world has continued to ignore it. The horrid images of prisoners of members of various religions and ethnicities who are caught by ISIS, only to be tortured, enslaved, or publicly executed, did not succeed in waking Europe up from its slumber. The Syrian regime has massacred its own people in the city of Homs since the days of Haffetz Al-Assad, and today continues with such horrid acts as the drowning of children in rivers and mass-starvation of various populations. The knife and scissors terrorism led by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority in the streets of Israel has been explained as the natural result of frustrated youth taking having no other options. Only when terrorism reaching the soft underbelly of Europe do their eyes open to the danger and horror of terrorism.

We cannot divide terror into just and unjust terror, appropriate and inappropriate terror, legitimate and illegitimate terror. Only when the global leadership understands this principle will it be possible to deal with the phenomenon, just as medicine deals with malignant tumors immediately following their detection.

The global terror infrastructure easily creates new generations of terrorists by educating youth to believe in both religious and financial awards and prizes for acts of suicidal terrorism. Indeed, children around the world are instructed to commit murder and spread like malignant cancer cells which divide and conquer the body. The West is only ready to take battle with each malignant cell in a particular way, without developing a strategy to defeat the entire global phenomenon, which threatens our way of life everywhere. There can be no compromise with terror and its patrons, there can be no rationalization or justification of terror, they cannot be granted forgiveness or immunity. In war, as in war, there no possibility for showing pity to cruelty.

The world must unify for the sake of a comprehensive and total war on terror, against those who educate towards terrorism, against those who believe that terror advances a specific political cause, against those who commit acts of terror due to feelings of frustration, religious belief, or due to a desire to alter the global agenda. The war on terror must be a war of no compromise; we can only be victorious if such a battle is fought with no differentiation between different types of terror.

About the Author
Dr David Altman is senior vice-president at the Netanya Academic College and vice-chair of the college's Strategic Dialogue Center
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