In Wake of ‘Jihadist’ Orlando Massacre, US Pundits Urge America to Learn From Israel
The United States needs to learn from Israel where facing jihadist activity is concerned, said two pundits in the US media on Wednesday — three days after the slaughter of 49 Americans at an Orlando nightclub.
National Review staff writer David French and National Interest resident junior fellow Kevin Reagan each used the Jewish state as the example of how a liberal democracy – and all being one entails – is capable of confronting the Islamist threat without compromising its societal ideals.
“We’re slowly moving into Israel’s security reality — the dilemma where external power projection leads to domestic discord and international condemnation, while a purely defensive strategy allows terrorists to recruit, re-arm, and inspire a new wave of jihadists,” wrote French, author, most recently, of Rise of ISIS: A Threat We Can’t Ignore.
In “Orlando Aftermath: Welcome to Israel’s Reality,” his blog post in National Review Online‘s “The Corner,” French claimed that “Israel’s answer is a permanent defensive struggle punctuated by periodic bursts of offensive activity – all of which help keep life in Israel livable and peaceful for the vast majority of its citizens, but at great cost.”
It is this cost, asserted French — a lawyer and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom — that Americans have a problem with.
They “hate the notion that there are no good answers to jihad,” he said. “Something has to work, and if that something helps demonize our political opponents, then all the better. But reality is a harsh teacher, and reality is showing us what a permanent struggle looks like.”
“This is nothing new,” he went on. “[W]estern powers have been fighting jihad for more than 1,300 years — but for the American trained in cultural relativism and silly university ideals of diversity, reality can be so shocking that it’s simply easier and more satisfying to deny its existence.”
But, he concluded, “[H]ere’s the bottom line — in the absence of an effective offense, our defensive challenge will grow more difficult. But because there is no way to eradicate jihadist theology from Islam, defense will always be necessary. Welcome to the permanent war. Israel’s been here for a while.”
Reagan, meanwhile, referred in his article (“After Orlando: What America can learn from Israel’s Culture of Preparedness”) to a 2009 Homeland Security Institute report that contrasted US and Israeli approaches to educating their respective populaces about terrorism.
“Its assessment of the United States in this area was sobering,” he wrote, quoting the report: “Ordinary citizens, perhaps the true first responders, often find themselves on the periphery of a homeland security paradigm that seems not quite prepared for the need to foster a culture of citizen preparedness.”
According to the report, Reagan wrote, terrorism preparedness in Israel is “a joint responsibility whereby government provides proper education to inform its citizens about the threat and survival tactics while the citizens assume responsibility to operationalize a national culture of preparedness as an able and willing partner in emergencies.”
Reagan continued: “In fostering a sense of civic responsibility and a culture of preparedness for terrorism from an early age, Israeli society is more accepting and proactive in preparing for attacks and thereby more resilient in recovering from them. In contrast to the Israeli approach, the report notes, public education on terrorism in the United States suffers from a deleterious combination of apathy and political reticence.”