Friday, January 25, 2013

25-Jan-13: Defeating the terrorists requires a network

We mentioned Israel's ambassador to the UN in an earlier post this week ["24-Jan-13: If Mali is on France’s doorstep, Gaza is in Israel’s living room"]. He has an op ed ["Disrupting the ecosystem of extremism "] in the Jerusalem Post based on the same speech that we quoted, which was an address to the UN Security Council [full text here] on the subject of fighting terrorism.

Some highlights of Prosor's op ed:
  • Terrorism is rooted in hate, watered with instability and state support, and then planted in the next generation. 
  • Every roadside bombing, every suicide attack, and every act of terrorism begins with words and thoughts of hate. It begins with al-Qaida websites that turn suicide bombers into jihadi celebrities. It begins with Hezbollah summer camps that use arts and crafts to glorify martyrdom and teach bombmaking skills to children. 
  • It begins with statements by Hamas leaders like Atallah Abu al-Subh, who recently said on public Palestinian television (and I quote) “The Jews are the most despicable and contemptible nation to crawl upon the face of the Earth.” This is the poison that is being fed to people across the Middle East, day after day.
  • True counterterrorism must also begin by disrupting the ecosystem of extremism in which terror thrives. It means advancing education that teaches peace, not hate, and mutual understanding, not martyrdom. It means speaking out against incitement and all forms of terrorism, even when it is politically inconvenient. We are far from that reality
  • Israel is working closely with many states and regional organizations to advance counterterrorism cooperation in areas from aviation security to border protection to terrorist financing. These activities reflect our fundamental belief that terrorism can only effectively be confronted through international cooperation. No state should stand alone. It takes a network to beat a network.
  • Many states – including some in this hall – work hand-in-hand with [the terrorists] as well. Iran stands chief among these nations.
  • In Gaza, Iran is funding, training and arming Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists, giving them the capabilities to strike Israel’s largest cities. Iran’s politicians and military commanders boast about providing terrorists with this assistance. The head of Islamic Jihad in Gaza said last November (and I quote) “The entire world knows that Iran is the main source of our weapons.”
  • We face the frightening possibility that Hezbollah could soon get its hands on Assad’s vast stockpiles of chemical weapons. This council must act today, not tomorrow. We have a responsibility to prevent the world’s most dangerous weapons from falling into the hands of the world’s most dangerous actors. This council cannot turn a blind eye to those states that sponsor, support and arm terrorists. The international community must hold them accountable for the violence that they spread – and the lives that they have taken.
  • We have passed many resolutions in these halls in the global fight against terror. Our collective efforts cannot end there. The voices of the victims of terrorism call to us. They demand our united action.
Sad to say, straight-talking common sense about what needs to be done to stop the terrorists (wherever they are), expressed in public places, is rarer than you might think. And so are the actions that such common sense calls for. This is not for lack of superstructure, or infrastructure or other structures: no fewer than 31 organizations go to make up the UN's Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force alone, that was set up in 2005 to deal with the counter-terrorism issue across the UN system. 

So we must be winning against the terrorists, right?

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