Europe Should Seek to Emulate Jewish State, Says Israeli National Security Expert Following Paris Attacks
In the wake of Friday night’s multiple attacks in Paris, in which at least 129 people were killed and another 350 wounded, nearly 100 of them critically, questions have arisen about the lack of European preparedness for coordinated terrorism on such a large scale.
This is part of a greater European problem, however, says Dr. Dan Schueftan, director of the National Security Studies Center at the University of Haifa.
“All open societies are at a disadvantage when confronted by barbaric ones of the kind that exist across the Middle East,” Schueftan told The Algemeiner on Saturday night. “And Europe, like Israel, is no exception.” But, he added, “Because societies with barbaric political cultures harbor unlimited grievances against open societies, and it is in the nature of open societies not to forfeit the character that enables infiltration by undesirable elements, the kind of thing we saw in Paris on Friday night is not likely to let up any time soon.”
This, said Schueftan, does not mean that all is lost. On the contrary, he argued, the key for open societies is not to give a barbaric enemy power over their constructive imperative.”
Israel, he said, “has always stuck to its constructive imperative – its democracy, its education, health, etc. – while often having to take measures it doesn’t like to take. This is what the Jewish state is all about: facing the challenge of fighting off enemies, while not abandoning the commitment to a healthy, flourishing society. Look what Israel has done in the last 70 years. It has built itself up, while physically fighting off Arab states and terrorists bent on its destruction, and also fighting an ideological battle against delegitimization.”
Europe, said Schueftan, “has to ask itself whether it will allow barbarians to drive it off the course of building and strengthening its society.”
Schueftan said he is not optimistic on this score.
“Europe’s problem is that it has been denying the scope and magnitude of the kind of terrorism Paris witnessed Friday night, and instead of being effective in bringing it down to a tolerable level, it has taken counterproductive measures.”
These, according to Schueftan, include an “uncontrolled willingness to accept millions of immigrants from the Middle East, assuming they will adopt a European way of life, which they have not done.”
Like Israel, he said, “Europe has not forfeited its constructive imperative.” But, unlike Israel, “Europe has difficulty defending itself. Europeans are not learning from their own experience. Their forces of denial are so strong that they will likely continue to downplay the nature of the threat, because they wish to believe it’s something else. I fear that instead of doing what is necessary, more and more of them will turn to the radical Right, which will only exacerbate the problem.”