For the second time in three months, terrorists drove a vehicle into a group of civilians in London and launched a stabbing spree—two types of attacks that are all too familiar to Israel. But despite the common grief they share with the British, the Israeli condolence message was not just one of sympathy. It was one of resolute and united defiance in the face of terror.
“These terrorists worship death. They murder indiscriminately, but they will not frighten us,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday in comments released by his office during a visit to Africa.
“They will not terrorize us. They will only harden our resolve to defeat them. And together, together here in Africa, in the Middle East, in Europe, everywhere—together, we will defeat them faster.” The Israeli message in response to terrorism has long been to take a hard line against extremism, a sentiment that was also coming from British Prime Minister Theresa May after the last attack.
“While we have made significant progress in recent years, there is—to be frank—far too much tolerance of extremism in our country,” said May in comments posted to the British government website.
“…It is time to say enough is enough. Everybody needs to go about their lives as they normally would. Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change.”
That change isn’t just needed in the United Kingdom. Israel has long been pointing out that the Palestinians continue to honor terrorists in their own society, including by making payments to terrorists and their families. This includes actions by the Palestinian government led by supposed moderate President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israeli Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman reminded of this reality in a post to Twitter on Sunday. “Abbas condemns #LondonAttacks but if the terrorists were Palestinian & victims Israeli he would have paid the terrorists & called them heroes.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, the leader of a city that has itself seen multiple vehicular attacks, expressed his condolences to London Mayor Sadiq Khan via letter. The comments, published by Barkat’s office, also took a united and confrontational approach.
Wrote Barkat, “Terror is terror—anywhere in the world—and the free world must come together to fight evil. An attack in London is an attack against the values of freedom and democracy around the world.”
Netanyahu also noted the universal threat of terror and the global effort needed to fight it. Said the Israeli leader, “We condemn it. We send our condolences to the British people and we pledge our commitment to fight this scourge—this scourge that knows no bounds.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, June 4, 2017)