The Similarities between Bird Flu and Urban Terror

At the outbreak of bird flu, the World Health Organization warned that, if not dealt with in a serious way, the flu could pose a danger to world peace. Authorities took great measures against this epidemic, including the extermination of one million chickens to prevent the spread of this disease, even at such a heavy cost. The world understood that if the breeding places of such lethal viruses were not destroyed, the world would face great danger.

However, the approach towards the terror epidemic is different. Following the horrid attack at the Boston Marathon, experts on terrorism ask, “Did the terrorists suffer from alienation and exclusion from society?”, and, “Are they victims of a specifically difficult environment and upbringing?” Such questions show that the world does not view the terror as an epidemic to be fought, but as a phenomenon to be understood.

There are breeding grounds for cultivating the terror virus all around the world – not only in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Chechnya, but also among the campuses in Britain and America, and among the teachers associations of Ireland. Such campuses and educational forums invite Holocaust-deniers and rabid anti-Semites as honored guests. Demagoguery which de-legitimizes Israel and the Jewish people, words that have no connection with the truth, are the true breeding grounds of the next wave of terror.

Educational frameworks that legitimize accusations of Israel as an apartheid state are breeding grounds for terror. Indeed, there is no connection between Israel and Apartheid, a state that, though not beyond criticism, has gone great strides to overcome racial challenges by reaching out to its brothers in Africa, bringing them home, as equals, as brothers. Rather, it was historically the Palestinian leadership, who took affinity to Nazi ideology and even cooperated with the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s.

In summary, the environment in which terror is developed is not due to social conditions, but due to hatred. The terrorist does not commit his crimes due to his difficult social and economic circumstances, but because he was promised a grand prize if the act was committed, and was brainwashed through a system of hatred. Terror is grown within a breeding ground, festering with lies and hatred, just as the viruses of bird flu are grown.

However, “terror flu” is an act of man, not of a phenomenon of nature. Therefore, anyone who sees clearly must know that the war must not only be conducted against terrorists, but against those who provide an environment supportive of their activities through the spread of lies and hatred. The world must unite against the forces of hatred which lead to such horrid attacks as we witnessed at the Boston Marathon.

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