**Editor’s Note: This article was written in the spring semester of last year, and is being republished here following the recent terror attack in Israel.
Today, I’m writing on an issue that has weighed heavily on me for quite some time. A few months ago, the international community mourned the loss of 129 lives after the ISIS attack in Paris. Radical jihadism, more specifically the Islamic State, has grown its threat throughout Europe. The threat of unpredictable terror attacks leaves society paralyzed in fear, but what is even more troubling is the growing hypocrisy of reactive methods for terrorism shared among most Western democracies. After these attacks, with an overwhelming majority, the international community praised French President Hollande for his militant plans against ISIS. “We will intensify our strikes and we will chose targets that will yield maximum destruction to that terrorist army…” said Hollande. However, the same amount of international praise would never be bestowed upon Israel, who faces terrorist threat on a daily basis.
The Middle East certainly does have its share of unfriendly neighbors, where ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other terrorist organizations thrive and multiply. Israel, the only liberal and legitimate democracy in this region of the world, has seen incredible amounts of terrorist activity, nearly since its existence. Although a full-fledged war against Hamas in Gaza ceased last summer, escalations of random stabbings have regularized the past few months. In what just world is it normal to just allow random acts of terror to ensue? It isn’t normal, and it shouldn’t go unvoiced.
As of November 21, 86 Palestinians, 15 Israelis, 1 American, and 1 Eritrean have been killed from these attacks. In the time since, there have been several accounts of innocent civilians been murdered in similar reckless acts of terror. It’s saddening that the vast majority of the causalities from these escalations are Palestinians and that the vicious acts of a few in the Palestinian territories have consequential results for so many Palestinian citizens. However, what reaction should Israel have? Many internationalists time after time tell the Israelis to pursue diplomatic means with the Palestinian Authority to end this conflict.
An 18-year old American from Boston spending a few months to volunteer in Israel, spent his day passing out food to soldiers, killed. An elderly woman waiting for her bus to come, murdered. Throughout the Palestinian territories, these killings have been celebrated and more are promised to ensue. How can Israel negotiate an end to this when there is no condemnation or at this rate, minimal international coverage of these attacks? Foreign leaders have called on the democratic state to loosen its security restrictions and open up negotiations to appease the terrorists. But when has this worked?
As France mourns their loss, they are praised for their continual raids against ISIS in Syria. While ISIS has its differences from Hamas and Hezbollah, they all three share the commonality of destruction to the West and Western ideals. So what is Israel, America’s reliant ally and only beacon of democracy in a volatile region of the world, to do? They can’t allow these attacks to continue on urban street corners on a daily basis but the moment they strike back, they’re scrutinized.
While I do not have a foreseeable end to Israel’s internal struggle, I want to provoke some thought on this hypocrisy of security measures for democracies abroad. Terror is terror and a nation that is subjected to it, has the right to defend itself. Israel should not have to ask for forgiveness for its unwavering liberty to defend itself after continual random acts of terror on its citizens. France didn’t have to apologize, why should Israel?