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June 15, 2016 5:41 pm

In Wake of ‘Jihadist’ Orlando Massacre, US Pundits Urge America to Learn From Israel

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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The Caracal Battalion of the IDF. Photo: Wikipedia.

The Caracal Battalion of the IDF. Photo: Wikipedia.

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.”

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  • Muhammad

    “They `hate the notion that there are no good answers to jihad,'”

    There is an answer, but we have been unwilling to advocate it: Pointing out that the jihadis are acting in possible contravention of the core dictates of Islam.

    There are three versions of jihadis, and each version egregiously violates a core belief of Islam:

    1. The Iranian Revolution is predicated on the belief that Iran can create enough chaos on a global scale that Allah will be forced to send the mahdi. This notion actually turns Islam on its head: Muslims submit to Allah’s will, they don’t expect Allah to submit to theirs. From a true Islamic perspective, the Iranian revolution is kufr.

    2. The Muslim Brotherhood and its maze of inter-connected organizations was established to overturn the collapse of the caliphate after World War I. They need to ask themselves: Could this have happened against Allah’s will? If so, then Allah isn’t all-powerful, which is contrary to basic beliefs. The only alternative is that Allah WANTED the caliphate to end. The Quran doesn’t set out a mechanism for selecting one, so it isn’t obvious that this institution was intended to continue beyond the lives of Muhammad’s companions. It also means that the Muslim Brotherhood is in open rebellion against Allah’s will, so they, too, are kufr.

    3. That leaves the salafis of al-Qaeda, Daesh, and similar orientations. These people insist that Islam requires that the world be returned to how it was in the days of the Prophet, PBUH. They run afoul of the most common phrase in the Quran, widely interpreted as “Allah can do all things!” If so, then Allah can change His mind. The salafis reject this, and since the Quran rises or falls as a unit, by rejecting the idea that Allah can change His mind, they are asserting that this phrase in the Quran is false, so the Quran is also false. If so, then what is the basis for Islam, and indeed for their actions?

    Islam needs an enlightenment when ijtihad is reactivated and Muslims can begin to think for themselves again. It was possible centuries ago; it needs to be that way again.

  • Isahiah62

    Sorry to say but Israel has nothing to show USA because they have gone down the same road..for same reasons: accusations of racism, war crimes, must build a bridge, bleatings and votes for pacifists, coexisters, and other lefties…

    learn what? how to allow infiltration to your highest offices by allowing hostiles to vote for traitors? by appeasing, mollifying, paying for schools and mosques? Allowing police to arrest JEWS that dare pray in the wrong place? telling people to be nice to XYZ b/c “not all xyz are bad”? how to give land away for peace that never comes? how to ethnic cleanse your own people for people who ethnic cleansed JEWS from all their places?and promise to again? who celebrate your deaths with candy on your own streets? How to accept daily rockets, stabbings, and terror attacks, and then say well “we’re not defeated” and accept it as normal? Allowing continuing destruction of holy sites b/c others claim them and then allow desecration? How to accept being accused of every crime, to accept being lied about and persecuted for same by a hostile UN? Allowing you so called ally to fund and support your enemies?

    Allowing NEVER AGAIN to be HERE AGAIN?

  • Yvonne Price

    Good article. Is there some reluctance in noting that the US government is working assiduously to take personal protection out of the hands of its citizens and concentrating it ineffectively into the hands of too-little-too-late policing organizations? As the saying goes, “When seconds count, the police are minutes away”.

    We can take additional note from the Israeli practice of a prepared and trained, armed citizenry; jihadists can expect less success and greater immediate cease of their attacks because any nearby person could take action to end it. Israel has in effect equalized the playing field in defense against murderous intents.

    And in my favorite area of consideration, the Bible actually has something to say about today’s kind of anti-Semitic, anti-humanity, murder-them-where-you-find-them, and murder-at-will mentality, and I estimate the present fascist progressive liberalism in the US will uniformly reject this wisdom from G-d: When king Ahasuerus couldn’t countermand his own edict, that he was deceived into declaring – the approval to murder Jews, he was nevertheless able to neutralize the edict by also permitting the Jews to defend themselves against any attacks.

    There seems to be a way for the US to recover from recent disastrous policies, if only we would renew our blessed Judeo-Christian founding. A recognition that a government that purports to be “of the people” must also allow these very people to be its own first line of defense.

  • I am not a security expert. The following thjoughts emanate from I hope is common sense.

    1. Police / security forces need to organise themselves in such a way that armed response (one two or more officers) are never more than a minimum time away from every part of an urban metropolis. The minimum time should be reduced from say 15 to 10 to 5 mins. In both Paris (two whole hours before the Police got their act together) and in Orlando (a whole hour I believe) response was far too long.

    In Israel it is inconceivable a terrorist would have more than a very few minutes of time to be on the rampage.

    2.A lone terrorist (and many are lone wolves) can be neutralised if he is ‘rushed’ by a group. All able-bodied people need to be trained for the horrible eventuality they might be in a hostage situation. In the ‘rush’ scenario, it is certain that one or two might be killed or seriously injured – but not the whole group. By ‘rushing’ a terrorist, many lives could be saved. This MIGHT have been an option in the Orlando situation.

  • Ani

    Yes, but the US seems divided between either those who think the answer is everyone should own their own AK 47’s, or those who think if we only love the Muslims enough we’ll all be hugging and singing Kumbaya together.

    Most of Israel has faced the reality of jihad and radical Islam. The US has been relatively protected. When it happens here, as in 9/11, San Bernadino, etc. we look to find someone else to blame. High on the list in the US is to blame our support for Israel; if we didn’t support them or provide money for defense, the Islamists would leave us alone, etc etc. Of course that’s not the case; they hate the West and it’s mores, but we are slow to learn here in the US.

  • nat cheiman

    The time has come now for USA to take pointers from the IDF.
    For Europe, its too late. They have made their beds and now they must sleep on them

  • Benjamin Gruder

    Israel is very good at security. But you conveniently left out that Israel also has very tight gun control. It is not at all easy for a civilian to get an automatic high capacity magazine rifle. Perhaps we can all walk and chew gum at the same time.

    • Like many Americans, I have never held a gun. I have no training. Even if I was trained, like many Americans who own guns, I would be hesitant to fire one. BUT what I would like is a Taser-like gun, with Mace, that can shoot at long distances. However, citizens are only allowed to own Tasers that cannot fire at a distance–one literally has to touch the terrorist before firing the stun gun. Only police are allowed to own the ones that work from a distance. Good luck playing touch with someone with a machine gun.

      • Tzvi Haver. Buy a can of “bear spray” at REI or any large hunting/camping store or catalog. The bear spray contains very strong “pepper” spray, like the small cans you can (and should) buy nearly anywhere, but the range of the bezr spray is at least 20 feet (when the can is relatively new and is well pressurized). The only problem with the bear spray can is that it is large (like a can of cooking spray oil). It can’t fit in your pocket, but it will in your backpack. A gun is smaller, easier to conceal and more effective than capsacin or tear gas.
        Even a Jew from NYC or Boston can learn to fire a gun and use it, if he practices, practices and practices. Alas, you won’t be able to carry the gun in the Soviet Republics of Taxachusetts and Democrat New York City. Of course, you could move to Texas. We still believe in the Bill of Rights. b’yididut, Dallas Doc

  • Good article but how can you teach Islamist Obama and his gang of Jihadists how to behave in any other manner than their barbarism. Obama is living in the 4th Century and wants the USA and the world to follow suit. Israel is in the 21st Century and never will the two mix!! One must go and hopefully for the future of mankind it will be the 21st Century.

  • Laurie Blumin

    Sooooo True. This is where political correctness and naivety combine to create the perfect storm.

    Unfortunately, it will have to get much worse before we acknolwedge the storm warnings.

  • Someone in the US is playing a double game and American citizens are the victims. The left/far left is not helping America situation.