A strategy for Israel: Operation French Example

Israel can turn the double standard on its head.

Att'y Stephen M. Flatow,

OpEds S. Flatow
S. Flatow

The French authorities this week shut down four mosques that they suspected of nurturing Islamic radicalism.

There's no point asking how the world would have reacted if it was Israel, not France, which closed four mosques--everybody knows the answer to that question. But beyond the double standard that we all know and resent, it's worth pausing to reflect on how Israel might learn from the current situation.

Bernard Cazeneuve, Minister of the Interior in the very leftwing, pro-Palestinian administration of President Francois Hollande, said that the mosques were run by "preachers of hatred." That accurately describes a significant number of mosques in Israel, too.

The Interior Minister announced that at the same time they were shutting down the mosques, the French police raided the homes of the mosques' leaders. In the home of one imam, in the city of Lagny-Sur-Marne (not far from Paris), the police discovered "a 9-mm revolver, documents about jihad, and an encrypted hard drive."

How many guns, jihad documents, and encrypted hard drives might one find in the homes of radical Israeli Arab imams?  More than a few, I imagine.

As part of the anti-terror sweep, Minister Cazeneuve also banned twenty-two people from leaving France and ordered nine more confined to their homes. These were the latest moves in a series of anti-terror actions by the French authorities in recent days that have included more than 2,200 raids on businesses and private homes, the detention of 232 suspects, and the discovery of more than 300 weapon

With each step, announce that Israel is simply learning from the French example.
Israel should raid whichever homes and businesses it needs to raid, arrest whomever it needs to arrest, and shut down whichever mosques need to be shut down. But the reality is that international pressure --especially pressure from the Obama administration-- figures into the calculations of Israel's leaders. The relentless condemnations take their toll. The Israeli authorities have become more and more nervous about taking actions that are necessary for security but likely to provoke international criticism.

So here's one modest suggestion for Israel: Just echo the French.

Launch "Operation French Example," and with each step, announce that Israel is simply learning from the French example.

Shut down the four Israeli Arab mosques that are the worst of the inciters. And explain the shutdown by quoting the words of France's Interior Minister: "We will be totally firm against all those who preach hate."

Raid the homes of the Israeli Arab Imams of Hatred. And announce that the raids were inspired by France.

Restrict the movements of Israeli Arab inciters and agitators. And issue a statement explaining that France has shown Israel the way.

Then cap it all off by having Israel's ambassador the United Nations introduce a resolution praising France for its anti-terror actions.  Let's see who votes for it, and who votes against it.

Stephen M. Flatow, an attorney in New Jersey, is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995.