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the November 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48,
Israel: The Beginning of the End of Terror
Yael Paz Melamed, Maariv (centrist), Tel Aviv, Sept.
Western worldwhich is already globalis currently living
the trauma and attempting to digest it somehow. The same is true
in Israel. And as irrelevant as it may sound at the moment, the
tragedy that occurred several days ago in the United States may
have far-reaching implications for what will happen here in the
war between ourselves and the Palestinians.
There are two possible scenarios. The first is that the Americans
will want to detach themselves from us, blaming Israel for dragging
them into a conflict that is not theirs but for which they paid
a heavy price. The second and more probable scenario is the exact
opposite of the first. The enlightened world will understand what
we understood following a year of war that started as a national
uprising and very rapidly took on a fundamentalist tone.
Throughout history, religionin whatever formhas been
a driving force behind war and the deaths of millions of human beings.
At the start of the third millennium, Islamist extremism, from which
suicide missionaries are born, is the worlds number-one threat.
This is the reality that we have faced for many months, and only
now will the Western world understand its implications. One can
assume that in France suicide bombers will no longer be referred
to as freedom fighters and that Belgium, Denmark, and the rest of
Europe will not lend legitimacy to the struggles terrible
character, which dictates killing people, women, and so on, simply
as a means to [the reward of] 100 virgins in heaven.
What transpired a few days ago symbolizes the beginning of the end
of Islamic terror, even if the road is still long and vast. The
first to understand this was Yasser Arafat, who scrambled to condemn
the attack. There is a war on between two world cultures that have
no common groundthe culture of the Western world against the
culture and codes of fundamentalist Islam. The free worlds
culture must prevail, and in the long run, it will be the victor.
This all-inclusive war against a common, strategic threat will also
absorb into it organizations such as the Hezbollah, Jihad, and Hamas.
They will never again be able to draw free-flowing funds from organizations
somehow justifying anti-American spending with full knowledge that
their generosity funds terrorist activity. Their people will no
longer be free to roam the world, and it is likely that joint intelligence
cooperation between Israel and the United States will severely restrict
and close in upon them. Several days ago marked the Islamic terrorist
organizations Black Day.
Insofar as Israel is concerned, the possible implication is that
the Intifada will return to its original state: a national, armed
uprising mostly secular in nature. The army can more easily deal
with that type of situation. Some sort of shift within the Palestinian
sector is also a possibility, particularly among the secular and
enlightened who understand that the path of terrorism that became
characteristic of their struggle is destructive for all involved.
Perhaps pressure may even be placed on Arafat to fight against Hamas
and Jihad. Perhaps out of the ash and dust and thousands of bodies
in Washington and New York will be born a new history for the conflict
between ourselves and the Palestinians.