Although the writing has been on the wall for a long while, that terror would hit European cities and villages, it is still astonishing to see that Aftenposten now concedes what has been known for a long while. You either fight terror, or succumb to terror. Dialogue is of no value. I sincerely hope that Europeans do not have to suffer their weddings, religious holidays, public transportation, school trips, student dorms, private homes or anything else bombed to smithereens but I do hope that the automatic narrative of evil Israel now gets a serious revision.
lifted from aftenposten.no, google translate
Essay: We are all Israelis | Klaus Wivel
UPDATED: 10:23 22.JUL.2016 ISSUED: 20.JUL.2016 9:15 p.m.
Whether we like it or not, the Islamic terrorism creates a kind of fraternization between Israel and Europe.
About the Author: journalist and foreign correspondent in the Danish Weekend newspaper. Wivel is the author of the book “The last Supper – A journey among the persecuted Christians in the Arab world.”
How would Europe respond? I thought so often, when I as a journalist in the years 2000 to 2005 covered the so-called Al Aqsa Intifada. Terror against Israeli civilians was virtually everyday occurrences.
In those years nearly a thousand Israeli civilians lost their lives, and over 5,000 were wounded in terrorist attacks – in a small country the size of Jutland, with slightly more inhabitants than Denmark.
Almost all Israelis know someone who was affected.
How would Europe respond if their cafes, buses, restaurants, universities, pedestrian streets, clubs and private companies were blown up? How would we deal with that random people on the street, yes, even in their own homes, were under constant threat of extinction, from one moment to another?
Would we responded with the soberly and restraint as Western media and politicians constantly accused the Israelis of not doing?
I doubted at the time, and I doubt still, after two more terrorist attacks over the past week has hit France and Germany. We have more in common with the Israelis than we like to admit.
Our own future
This is unlikely to please many of the Europeans who have always regarded Israel as a villain state with urge to commit cruelty. But during the last couple of decades have been able to read our own future from the small state created in 1948, . Both in terms of the despair we experience after a few years of terrorist attacks, and the elemental, raw feelings of vindictiveness we perceive and which is reflected in increasingly hard-hitting political proposals from the European right wing.
It’s omnipotence and impotence at once. When we look in the mirror, we discover that we are all Israelis.
Just look at the reaction after the massacre in Nice. The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said it bluntly: “times have changed, and France is going to get used to living with terrorism.”
Many were outraged by this declaration of bankruptcy by the prime minister, and the National Front inflated its ego once more, but Valls has course right. Both in France and the rest of Western Europe, we will get used to terrorism.
But the real point is that we are already starting to get used to the images of mutilated, killed civilians. The featured last week’s mass murder more than anything else, was that the reaction was less affected by shock and more of frustration.
Normality has changed, the grotesque has become less grotesque, while groping for solutions. Nobody has got a clue how to respond. And whatever the decisions that our politicians can adopt, they will be either hopelessly deficient or destructive for our civilization.
The buses with schoolchildren was blown up by terrorists
We might as well, sooner than later, try to envision how the Israelis had it only 15 years ago, in a situation that was significantly worse.
Former chief editor of Jerusalem Report and The Jerusalem Post, David Horovitz, described the mood in his unvarnished book from 2004 with the sinister title Still Life With Bombers .
It is written in the midts of the horrors, while the paralysis had set into everyday life.
“Because of the killings furious intensity, the inconceivable became everyday events, the cruel attacks fused and led to few could remember the names, much less the faces of the victims,” he explains.
The Editor in Chief lived in Jerusalem during the entire intifada.
Every day he sent his children to school with a sense of panic, would he ever see them again? At that time the buses in Jerusalem, which was often full of Israeli schoolchildren, were blown up by young suicide terrorists. That evening would their Palestinian parents praise their martyred offspring’s actions and rejoice that they had earned a place in heaven.
Insanity became institutionalized, and behind the attacks were both Hamas and President Yasir Arafat’s Fatah party. The PA rewarded suicide terrorists’ families and imprisoned terrorists with a substantial fee every month.
Horovitz tells how he, as the conflict escalated, woke up before the alarm clock every morning, confused “and with a heavy feeling in the stomach. Then I remembered: I live with my family in Israel, and several of my all-too-close neighbors hope that just today they will get us killed. I can say this with certainty. ”
But everyday life and self-preservation puts a curb on the nerve fibers. After a few days the attacks forgotten.
While newscasts and other programs in the beginning were canceled after every terrorist attack, after a few years they stopped to mention them if other events happened simultaneously.
Horovitz writes about a dilemma that an Israeli TV channel faced a Saturday night, when 11 Israelis were killed by a suicide bomber while they celebrated a bar mitzvah in Jerusalem. At the same time, an important football match was on.
The channel’s producers decided to split the screen in two so that viewers could both watch football and be updated on the horrors.
Commentators across the country were scandalized by what they called a nation steeped in cynicism, but I can not help but see something life-affirming in the incident. The Israelis refused to be veiled in constant sorrow.It will be a good idea to learn from this relentlessness.
It was a completely different optimism 20 years ago, while I lived and studied in Israel. But when Hamas began its suicide attacks fall of 1995, it was mainly the young who suffered.
Cafes in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were hit, where the idealists who supported the peace process and the establishment of a Palestinian state hung out.
This is another depressing point in this war of terror: that the forces that could have helped the Palestinians to establish a state, received a mortal wound. It was exacerbated by the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, by a radical religious Zionist.
It was only a few years before the Israeli left wing disintegrated, having borne the peace process toward what felt like a sure victory. People like editor in chief David Horovitz and many others who supported the Oslo Accords, became embittered and hardened.
They put safety ahead of peace, and lost all illusions.
Europe’s liberal heart affected
In Europe and America the same thing is happening these very days. Precisely institutions, where one would expect that many would reject an end to immigration and demonization of Muslims, has been hit: a nightclub for gays in Florida, a rock concert and cafes in Paris.
Also secular society’s most prominent exponents have been goals: freedom of speech and the cradle of religion criticism, Charlie Hebdo, and even the Bastille Day, the symbol of the French Revolution and the Enlightenment, was drowned in blood in Nice other day.
And then of course the Jews, attacked and murdered in Copenhagen, Paris, Brussels and many other places; scandalously unprotected on a continent where only a few decades ago they almost became extinct.
The murderous anti-Semitism, the very reason why a Jewish state even became conceivable, has returned to this continent.
Freedom and rights of victims
There is no doubt that also left wing in Europe will suffer irremediable damage these days, and that the freedom and rights will be sacrificed in favor of more security and stronger intelligence services.
We have seen in France, who increasingly find themselves in a state of emergency in which the rule of law is put out of force, and where French Muslims find themselves under considerable surveillance.
We will learn how to protect ourselves, even if large groups are affected by collective suspicion. Also in this regard, we will look to the Israelis.
A reasonable degree of discomfort
The discomfort of reflecting ourselves in Israel is therefore not unfounded. Many more Palestinians than Israelis died during the intifada and terror attacks subsided only when Israel besieged Palestinian cities, choked the nation’s infrastructure, chased Hamas underground – supported by the self-government authorities own police and security forces – and built the infamous wall, which barred the Palestinians inside the West Bank.
Today is also being built if not walls, so fences through European countries to keep immigrants out. This way, the Israeli wall has just been extended.
It is obvious that many Europeans perceive the occupation of the West Bank and the settlements there as the cause of the terrorist attacks in Israel. The attitude is that the Israelis lie as they will make their bed. The point is that regardless of which side one stands in this hundred year conflict; the reflections Horovitz and others have made are the same as those we are in the course of making here.
And unless one goes through life blindfolded on eyes and ears, it is clear that Hamas does not just want Israel to remove itself from the West Bank, but that the Jewish state completely ceases to exist.
This is why Hamas perpetrates terror attacks in Tel Aviv, far from the West Bank. Israelis know that there is nothing to negotiate.
A common enemy
Moreover, many Europeans always an explanation for the terror such as France are experiencing in these times: its airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria and Iraq, the former colonial brutality in Algeria, Charlie Hebdo alleged Islamophobic drawings, the mistreatment of immigrants in the suburbs – continue the list yourself.
There is always someone ready to relieve the killers’ responsibility for their misdeeds.
Just as with the Israeli struggle against Palestinian Islamism, the European fight against IS in Europe will not end with a compromise. The idea of a caliphate has no foundation here.
Islamic terrorism has therefore created a kind of fraternisation between Israel and Europe, whether we like it or not. We stand united by a common enemy.