Counter-Terrorism: Dealing With The Wild Beast

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May 5, 2009: Last month, Israeli police arrested nine Arab men, aged 18-22, and accused them of terrorist activities. For the last four months, the nine Arabs have been attacking motorists driving near their village of Shfaram in northern Israel. The suspects were inspired by a desire to gain revenge for the January war with Hamas in Gaza. Their terrorism consisted of chopping down power line polls across roads, and throwing rocks at vehicles. The teenage terrorists also made an attempt at arson, and were, in general, working their way up to some real mayhem. Their home village, Shfaram, is home to Druze, Christian and Moslem Arabs. The suspects themselves were Bedouin.

Arab media, for most of the 20th century, has preached hatred of Jews. Since Israel was created in 1947, that propaganda was expanded to call for the destruction of the Jewish state. The hate filled media campaign has largely gone unnoticed in the non-Arab world. The Arabs eventually figured out that such strident anti-Semitism did not go over well in the West, so either play it down, or deny it, when dealing with foreign media. But the campaign has had a poisonous effect on Arabs, especially young Arabs. This is especially true now that Islamic terrorism is so popular. Well, it was popular. In the last few decades, Islamic terrorism has been redirected towards Arab governments, which means that, officially at least, Islamic terrorism is officially frowned on in Arab nations. But not if it is being directed against Jews or Israel.

Non-Moslem Arabs have decidedly mixed feelings about all this hate propaganda. The Druze (an Islamic sect that is generally considered heretical by most Moslems) have long been persecuted by other Moslems. Christian Arabs have long suffered a lower, but persistent, degree of oppression and discrimination. Until the 1960s, most Arabs migrating from the Middle East were Christian. They left because of the discrimination, and in search of a better life. Until recently, most Arab-Americans were Christian, some of whose ancestors came to America over a century ago.

Arab anti-Semitism is ancient, but the current version has become something of an out-of-control monster that has turned on its creator. More and more Arabs are suggesting that the hate campaign be turned off. It hasn't worked, and has inflamed a growing number of young Moslems. The resulting terrorism has killed more Arabs than Israelis, and there's no end in sight. Stopping the hate has to being within the Arab world, and that's a conundrum Arabs are not happy with, or eager to cope with.

 


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