By Amer Sabaileh
When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s attended the march against terrorism in Paris last week in the wake of terrorist attack against French satirist newspaper Charlie Hebdo, he was in reality marching for his own agendas, not against terrorism.
His Paris appearance was critically designed to position himself as a direct partner of the global campaign fighting terrorism. Netanyahu’s true motives, however, were to offset the snub he is feeling from US and Europe given his government’s behavior over the past few years, including derailing Kerry’s peace process and refusing to expand settlements in the West Bank. The Paris attacks have taken a distinct anti-Semitic edge and the Jews of Europe have become the main target of these attacks. The Israeli Prime Minister’s first response was for the Jewish community in France to leave their country and immigrate to Israel, for safety as he alleges.
This response can be interpreted in two ways. First; the failure of achieving a stable Jewish state in the midst of a region divided on religious and ethnic origins. In this case, the demographic battle is essential and more Jews are needed in Israel to counter the exponential growth of Arabs in the countries surrounding it. Second; it could be seen as a result of Netanyahu’s politics and policies and the perceptions that any chance of peace in the near future has been extinguished. This has harmed the Jewish communities in their own countries and has created a fear amongst them of even visiting Israel.
These communities also vote in Israel and are increasingly supporting Netanyahu’s opposition. His response in this situation could be interpreted as expanding his ongoing security doctrine. The attacks in Paris represent an important new maneuver in the current phase of combating terrorism. In fact, while different, in some ways it is no less important than September 11 and the first phase of combating global terrorism. In order for success to be achieved. this battle should not be a tool for political exploitation or for leaders and governments to attempt to rebuild their image. The world has some difficult challenges ahead and some critical moments that could be extremely difficult to prevent. We must ensure that combating terrorism is taken seriously and not used as a political tool.
Dr. Sabaileh is a University professor and a leading political analyst on Jordan and the region. he can be reached at: email@example.com