20 November '15..
Old habits are hard to break, and in Europe, it would seem, almost impossible. First, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said that "to counteract the radicalization, we must go back to the situation such as the one in the Middle East, of which not least the Palestinians see that there is no future: We must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence."
Then Dutch Socialist Party Chairman Jan Marijnissen did not hesitate to link the Islamic State terror attacks on Paris to the Palestinian issue: "Their behavior eventually is connected also to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The guys -- I assume they were guys -- who carried out the attacks probably come from a group of outraged people from the French suburbs." The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, he added, "is the growth medium for such an attack."
Le Monde, a leading French newspaper, echoed this sentiment in its analysis, saying that it was necessary that France demand that the international community immediately establish a Palestinian state and that Israel return to the pre-1967 borders.
This is classic European scapegoating. While that strategy may have worked for Europe one way or another in the past, this time it will not. Islamic State is targeting the very heart of European cities -- their transportation systems, bars, restaurants, concert halls, and sports stadiums -- and the Europeans can try all they want to run away from the reality of this, but the truth is that there is nowhere to hide. Europe has pandered to the Arab world and tried to appease it for decades and all that it has brought Europeans is carnage, bloodbaths and hell on earth. This hell did not begin on Friday, Nov. 13. It began, on a truly large scale, with Madrid in 2004, when 191 people were murdered and 2,000 wounded in terrorist attacks. Still, even now, Europeans are talking of meeting the seething hatred and determination of Islamic State with love and understanding and -- of course -- a state for the Palestinians.
It is time Europe faced the facts: Islamic State, just like al-Qaida, does not care for "Palestine." Even assuming that Europe got its way and managed to force the creation of a Palestinian state, Islamic State would not leave Europe alone.
Contrary to what the above-mentioned politicians and their ilk believe, Islamic State is not about "frustration" and "outrage." If terrorist attacks were about frustration and outrage, the world would have experienced a spate of terror attacks from all corners of the world -- occupied Tibet, Western Sahara, Northern Cyprus and so forth. Instead, practically all terrorism originates almost exclusively in the Muslim world.
What Europe refuses to acknowledge, since it happens to be an politically inconvenient truth, is that radical Islamic terrorism is a means to accomplish religious and political domination and to bring about the worldwide Sunni caliphate, which the terrorist leader of Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed in June 2014 with himself as the caliph. The last Sunni caliphate was ruled by Ottoman sultans for 500 years.
The caliphate simply means a single, global Islamic state. It is for the establishment of this state that Islamic State is waging jihad in Europe. Under the jihadist interpretation of Islam, there will be constant conflict until those countries that do not adhere to Islam begin to do so. There is nothing new about this. Muslims have dreamed of the re-establishment of the caliphate for decades. The Muslim Brotherhood was established in 1928 with the goal of re-establishing the traditional caliphate.
Islamic State is very explicit about all this, which begs the question of why this piece of information is so hard to digest for Europeans and why they keep rambling on about "Palestine."
A small part of the answer lies in the European self-obsession, which makes it impossible for the European establishment to change its inflexible and stale view on this world, according to which everything and everyone is divided into the powerful and the powerless. It is a reductionist and primitive outlook, yet extremely convenient because it saves people from spending time on facts, as everything is neatly boxed into a fixed ideology, which almost always features "Palestine" prominently.
The European view also reveals a staggering ignorance about Islamic State. Islamic State is a multibillion dollar enterprise, which gets huge amounts of revenue from the oil fields that it has managed to get its hands on, as well as the sale of looted ancient artifacts. It is a well-oiled and organized war machine, complete with a professional recruitment and propaganda machinery and led by officers in Saddam Hussein's former Baathist Iraqi army. How these people can be described as "frustrated" victims in anything but a parallel universe is beyond any sane person's imagination.
Someone should ask members of the European establishment whether they think that "frustration" is also a legitimizing factor behind the mass rapes and killings of Yazidi and Christian women and children wherever Islamic State has occupied territory. Europe was completely silent when reports of the gruesome activities of the group first hit the news. It is only now, as the mainly male and Muslim migrants are flooding the continent that Europeans with bleeding hearts speak of the necessity of taking in refugees. Why?
Blaming Israel for the terrorism happening on European soil is a mistake that has already backfired greatly on Europe, as its myopic view on world affairs blinds it to the realities of Islamic State. Scapegoating Israel is certainly serving a purpose of temporary relief for a clueless European establishment, which has never known war and does not know how to face it other than with vacuous statements of peace, love and harmony. However, the burning ideology and hatred that fuels Islamic State will sooner or later have to force a reality check on the Europeans. So far, however, it seems that will not be forthcoming anytime soon.
Judith Bergman is a writer and political analyst living in Israel.
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