The painful lesson of the Orlando massacre is that no place in the world is immune to fanatical religious extremists willing to kill themselves to achieve heavenly salvation.
The Western world is floundering in its pathetic efforts to confront the demonic global forces threatening to plunge it back into the Dark Ages.
Its failure is largely due to the inability of democratic countries to face reality and devise a united strategy to vanquish these Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.
Instead, Western leaders bury their heads in the sand and cravenly resort to policies of appeasement, even though there is not a single recorded historical instance in which a millennial terrorist force has modified its behavior in response to such approaches.
Europe, where major cities are suffering suicidal attacks from crazed imported and home-grown Muslim terrorists, is now perversely absorbing millions of additional migrants from the Middle East killing fields – ironically rejected by Islamic countries as security risks. The demography of Europe is being permanently altered but any rational discussion of the subject is immediately condemned as Islamophobic.
Contrary to all evidence, most West European governments continue to blame the Israeli-Palestinian impasse as the principle factor inflaming Islamic terror. Currently, the French government– whose Muslim population is estimated to be over 15% and expanding dramatically – chooses to ignore the ongoing mayhem in the region and instead seeks to force Israel to retreat territorially to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines.
Much of the current breakdown can be attributed to the influence of U.S. President Barack Obama and the policies he initiated. His overriding objective was to build a bridge between the U.S. and global Islam, and to this end, he has fawned on leaders of rogue Islamic states and humiliated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a low-level adversary rather than treating him as an ally.
Obama groveled toward the leaders of Iran, the world’s most intransigent terrorist entity, while they continued baying for the downfall of the U.S., the “Great Satan” – and succeeded in transforming Iran into a threshold nuclear state, which further emboldened the ayatollahs and outraged America’s traditional moderate supporters.
Obama’s indecisiveness is much to blame for the ongoing horrendous civil war in Syria, and enabled Russia to assume a position of critical leverage in the region. He displayed hostility to the Egyptian government which, backed by popular support, replaced the Muslim Brotherhood regime and is fiercely engaged in battling Islamic fundamentalists.
In his obsession to appease Muslims, Obama rejects all criticism of Islamic fundamentalism as Islamophobia. Even more bizarre, despite the fact that the vast majority of terrorist incidents throughout the globe were either orchestrated or inspired by Islamic fanatics, any reference to the link of terrorism to radical Islam is banned from the White House and State Department lexicon.
The perpetrator of the Orlando massacre was claimed by ISIS as “one of our soldiers in America.” During the course of the killings, he shouted “Allahu akbar” and even proclaimed his allegiance to the Islamic State. Yet Obama remained in denial, adamantly refusing to label the massacre as Islamic terror and misleadingly defining it as a “homegrown” anti-gay “hate crime” influenced by “extremist information disseminated over the internet.”
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of what policy Obama’s successor will adopt.
If elected, Donald Trump could make changes, but his raucous zigzagging statements and his call to ban entry to all Muslims – as distinct from limiting and enforcing tougher security entry screening – are populist demagoguery and hardly reassuring. Trump supporters claim that he would surround himself with good advisers and come down to earth. But many, including prominent conservatives, regard him as an unguided missile and remain deeply skeptical as to his presidential ability.
Hillary Clinton is also a fearful prospect. Setting aside the hostility to Israel that she displayed when she served as secretary of state, the influence of the Bernie Sanders elements on the ongoing radicalization of the Democratic Party is deeply troublesome.
It is significant that even in the wake of the Orlando massacre, Clinton still played down Islamic extremism and blamed the failure on a lack of gun control. Whereas there is every reason to prohibit the sale of automatic weapons to the public, blaming “gun violence” obscures the real source of the problem, which is global jihad. Indeed, in Israel, since the wave of “spontaneous lone wolf killings,” Israeli citizens licensed to use weapons have actually been encouraged to carry them and have succeeded in foiling many attacks.
How can governments confront global terror when they refuse to objectively assess and identify the source of the threat?
It is an indisputable fact that the bulk of global terror emanates from Muslims. Thus, to protect lives, immigration and entry visas should be reviewed rationally. Let us assume that of the 1.6 billion Muslims throughout the world, 95% are law-abiding citizens. Yet all opinion polls indicate that the majority nevertheless harbor sympathy toward the terrorists and yearn for Muslim global domination. A worldwide Rand Corporation study three years ago estimated that 100,000 were potential terrorists but today the number would be far greater due to the substantial increase of jihadists in the wake of the ISIS caliphate.
Additional security procedures must be adopted. There is an urgent need to expand and share global intelligence.
Civil liberties should not be understated, but political correctness must be overridden by the duty to protect the life and limb of innocent civilians. Yet even after Orlando, the media was enjoined to understate the Islamic factor as it would “distress” the Muslim community.
Law-abiding Muslims cannot be permitted to stand aside or merely condemn terrorist acts. They must understand that it is their obligation to identify to law enforcement officials all clerics and mosques that engage in promoting radicalism and jihad, such as the mosque attended by the Orlando terrorist, Omer Mateen. If the authorities are serious in their efforts to curtail terrorist attacks, then there is no choice but to restore surveillance of Islamic societies, which was curtailed in the U.S. in recent months when the government was accused of discriminatory behavior and Islamophobia.
The ongoing threat of terror attacks is impacting on political attitudes. With the Islamic extremists boasting of sleepers embedded in Western society and poised to inflict further terrorist attacks, much of the population has lost confidence in its leaders. A genuine revolt against the established order is reflected in the radical disillusionment emerging across the entire spectrum. In Western Europe there is a dramatic rise in populist right-wing support, which is clearly a response to fears from Islamic terror, and in the U.S., populist appeal of Trump from the right and Sanders from the left signify a revolt against all establishments.
In this constellation, despite all the challenges facing it, Israel is in a remarkably strong position. The U.S., the Europeans and the U.N. will undoubtedly continue pressuring and passing discriminatory resolutions demanding further unilateral territorial concessions that would undermine our security.
Netanyahu noted that the strength of shared values and popular support outweighs the tensions, and that the U.S. remains our closest ally. But we have also made extraordinary progress extending relations with countries beyond North America and Western Europe, such as India and China. The warmth exuded toward Israel and the Jewish people by Russia has been remarkable. The Algemeiner newspaper even suggested that Putin may use Russia’s veto at the U.N. to protect Israel should the U.S. abandon it. I would not hold my breath on this.
Israel is better positioned today than at any time to resist those willing to sacrifice it in order to appease the jihadists. The reality is that in an increasingly tough world in which no city is immune from terrorism, Israel can provide an example of security that other countries could well emulate and may ultimately assume an important role in the effort to strategize and neutralize the global jihad.
This column was originally published in the Jerusalem Post and Israel Hayom