ECR Party

Fighting together for our values: an Israeli perspective on Europe’s terror summer

Eli Hazan is the Likud Party’s Director of International Relations. The content of his opinion piece does not reflect the official opinion of the AECR. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the opinion piece lies entirely with the author.

We feel great sorrow when we witness terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and around the world, especially in Europe.

For us Israelis, these scenes are all too familiar. From our early days on, just after our establishment by the U.N., Israel has been subjected to terrorist attacks, whose purpose has been to kill innocent civilians, no matter if they are men, women, or children. One goal of them, though, was certain: to attack Jews, and especially those who view human life as precious and significant. Even today, we still have to deal with threats from those who view life as insignificant. This is a war of light against darkness.

For us, waves of terror have appeared every few years, and the one we are currently faced with has been raging on since October 2015. Despite these threats, Israel has continually been able to rise up against terror to become a successful economic power, and we have also been able to keep our morals. The combination of a Jewish and Democratic state is the right formula to confront challenges that may seem impossible to others.

Terrorism greatly harms countries both morally and economically, but these damages can be repaired quickly. The greater threat is the mental harm from terrorism: losing a brother, friend, father, mother, child, or grandmother.

This situation has required us to develop security doctrines that have become unique to Israel. The Israeli model of security is now seen as a model that combines deep awareness of the ongoing situation, granting broad powers to the Israeli Defense Forces and the Israeli police, and the reinforcement of forces alongside extensive public areas, such as at the Ben Gurion Airport.

However, it is important to note that this policy is carried out under the same constant criticism from the Israeli media, Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Supreme Court. In other words, we have a system of checks and balances that results in a sensible formula to deal with our situation.

Is this situation perfect? Of course not. When you are faced with terrorism, which celebrates a culture of death, yet you wish to preserve life, these conditions simply make the situation much more “ideal” for horrible terrorism than it would otherwise be. This, precisely, is democracy in action: democracy must protect itself.

The attacks all around the world, from Jerusalem to Nice, Brussels, Paris, Tel Aviv, Orlando, Baghdad, and so many other places all have one thing in common: their goal was to kill as many civilians as possible. They all aimed to strike the same victims.

Europe now faces new threats, and it is time for them to think outside the box and change their direction with respect to dealing with this growing problem. Just like Churchill’s Trial on Democracy, the Israeli model is the worst security model, except for all other models that have been tried from time to time.

Europe’s fight against terrorism is a struggle for all of us who want to preserve our shared values that keep us free. Israel and many western countries have a lot of values in common: mainly the belief in nation-states, one destiny, and a future of shared democratic values.