'Israel is fighting terror the right way'

Ex-National Security Council deputy head compares terror wave with Second Intifada, says world is coming to understand Israel.

Nitsan Keidar,

Border police in Jerusalem (file)
Border police in Jerusalem (file)
Hadas Parush/Flash90

Dr. Eran Lerman, who up until two months ago served as deputy head of the National Security Council, told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that Israel has responded well to the rising wave of Arab terror, despite the fact that the lethal attacks continue unabated.

Lerman previously worked closely with Yossi Cohen, the new head of the Mossad, and currently lectures at Shalem College in Jerusalem.

"Israel needs to eliminate the deeper aim (of the terror), which is to get us off balance and to press us to make unwise decisions under the pressure of terror," said Lerman. "No decision in any direction needs to be taken under pressure."

He said he holds the Palestinian Authority (PA) partially responsible for the terror wave, saying it is choosing not to cut down the incitement to terror - indeed, it has been actively promoting terror and inciting against Israel.

However, Lerman opined that the PA's role is far from where it was in the 2000 Second Intifada, as the five-year terror war initiated by arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat who sent PA Security Forces to conduct terror attacks came to be known.

"It isn't the same situation as in 2001 when Arafat released the subordinate mechanisms into direct action," he said, adding however that the PA "certainly could do more" to stop the terror. "And they aren't."

Lerman said the incitement plays on "despair" among Palestinian Arabs who are made to feel the world doesn't care about their situation.

"It's a feeling that I remember being relevant also when the first and only intifada until now broke out, because everything since has been in the framework of organized terror waves."

Growing understanding worldwide

As for what Israel can do to respond, he said: "the security system is doing more or less what it can. The policy of punishment is also overall correct."

He also supported the demolition of terrorists' homes. "When you in the end cause a situation in which in the minutes before the decision with a knife in hand, or with a finger on the trigger, (the terrorist is made) to think what will happen to their dear ones - that in any case serves a restraining role. Not completely - but over time it's a cumulative effect."

Dr. Lerman said that the Muslim terror attacks in Europe are leading to a greater understanding in the world that the security measures Israel is taking also need to be adopted "for the future of the Western states."

As a result, leading positions in the West are being taken by those who understand Israel's situation better and have greater sympathy.

The world situation for Israel is not bad according to the expert, who noted on strengthening ties with Cyprus and Greece on the Mediterranean Sea.

"The moment you go outside of Europe and look at the relations Israel has with the world powers in Asia, it's a different world. The Palestinian question interests them very little, and much more interesting to them are the relations with Israel in the fields of technology, economy."

"Israel is a cyber power of the first degree, and everyone understands that that's a key to international economy for the coming generations," he said, concluding that "we are in an international situation that isn't bad at all."




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