Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Netanyahu calls for unity after Brussels attacks

Political leaders around the globe, including United States presidential candidates from both major parties and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, all had words to say as to what they perceived as the best response to the suicide bombings carried out by Islamic State operatives at a metro station and airport that killed at least 34 people in Brussels, Belgium, on March 22.

Netanyahu’s remarks were delivered for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s 2016 Policy Conference on March 22. After “sending his condolences” to the victims’ families and all those affected, he then connected the attacks in Brussels, the November attacks in Paris, the recent Islamic State inspired shootings in California, and other recent terrorist atrocities elsewhere to the “daily attacks” faced by Israel, which have been continuing in the latest wave since October 2015.

Netanyahu stated that the global terror threat is “one continuous assault on all of us.” He then proceeded to relate his experience-based understanding as to what is the best mode of attack to stop the ever increasing terror threat, zeroing in on one thing—unity, as the concluding point if, indeed, the terrorism is one assault on “all of us,” then unity is required to stop such attacks.

As Netanyahu related, “The terrorists have no resolvable grievances. We can not offer them anything. What they seek is our utter destruction and their total domination, and that is not going to happen. The only way to defeat these terrorists is to join together and fight them together with political unity and moral clarity. I think we have that in abundance.”

Such a theme of unity has been expressed before and elsewhere, including in the aftermath of the November 2015 Islamic State attacks in Paris by the United States Republican presidential candidates, although it is worth noting that two out of three, and the strongest at that, of the candidates to express such sentiments are no longer in the race, namely Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, and Dr. Ben Carson. The other strongest candidate to express unifying-style sentiments regarding the U.S./Israel relationship was Ohio Governor John Kasich, currently third in the race for the Republican nomination.

Kasich’s comments after the Paris attacks regarding the United States relationship with Israel were extremely populist in nature—they were basically personal stories about why he wanted to come across as loving Israel and Jews so very much. Netanyahu’s comments on March 22 were, seemingly, on the opposite end of the spectrum, with him explicitly referencing “political unity” as needed between Israel and the West to face the terror threat. Populism cannot, however, be had without political will reflecting it, so Kasich and Netanyahu were simply referencing two sides of the same coin.

As for going forward, a real, systematic unity in counterterrorism is severely necessary to effectively counteract the psychological warfare of terrorism. The populations of the world are certainly on edge because of the ever growing in geography threat of extreme terrorism.

Caleb R. Newton is a populist activist living in Central Florida and the founder of Global News Breakdown. Find him at Global News Breakdown, Dissecting Society, and the Times of Israel, among various other places around Florida. Contact him at calebrnewton@globalnewsbreakdown.com.


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