In Nice, a familiar form of terror (but ignored when Israelis were victims)

July 15, 2016

Bodies are strewn on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais last night



[Note by Tom Gross]

Not to in any way draw attention away from the horrific terror attack on the French Riviera city of Nice late last night in which at least 80 people were killed when a truck driver ploughed into a large crowd on France’s national holiday – but it is worth drawing attention (yet again) to how each form of terrorism, when practiced on Jews and Israelis (the canaries in the coalmine, so to speak) has so often been ignored or belittled, or dismissed as not being terrorism, and therefore proper counter-terrorism measures were not taken elsewhere.

From airline terrorism to suicide bombing to vehicular terrorism, when practiced against Israelis, many in the Western government and media refused to recognize it as terrorism. Yes, Israel has a conflict involving the West Bank, but France continues to bomb Iraq, Syria and be militarily active in Mali and elsewhere, as it was in Libya.

Among many world leaders to condemn the Nice attack was U.S. President Barack Obama who called it a “horrific terrorist attack” and directed the U.S. government to offer French officials “any assistance that they may need to investigate this attack and bring those responsible to justice.”

There have been many vehicular attacks on Israelis, resulting in death and injuries, including the attack on Holocaust Memorial Day last year when a 26-year-old Israeli was killed and his girlfriend seriously injured as they were about to attend a the Holocaust memorial ceremony when a terrorist sped into a crowd in Jerusalem.

In several of the vehicular attacks on Israelis the drivers have shouted “Allah Akbar” as they ploughed into civilians. We shall discover in due course whether radical Islam was also a motivating factor in the Nice attack, as we now know from the terrorist’s transcripts that it was in the recent Orlando attack on a gay nightclub. (The Nice terrorist is reported to be Tunisian and Tunisia has been, per capita, one of the highest suppliers of recruits of “fighters” to the Islamic State.)

I attach an article below by Jonathan Tobin, who is a subscriber to this list.

-- Tom Gross


You can also find other items that are not in these dispatches if you “like” this page on Facebook


A Familiar Form of Terror
By Jonathan S. Tobin
Commentary magazine
July14, 2016

At the moment we don’t know the identity or the motive of the person responsible for the Bastille Day terror attack in Nice, France. Speculation about whether this killer, who took the lives of scores of persons gathered to watch holiday fireworks, was a lone wolf terrorist inspired by ISIS is natural but premature. So, too, are any other theories. But while we mourn with the people of France and wait for more details to be released, it’s worthwhile pondering the terrorist’s choice of tactic: using a vehicle as a lethal weapon.
Viewing the horrifying videos being posted online or broadcast on television of the attack, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that the Nice killer was using a truck to murder people and that his actions are obviously an act of terror. But what that brings to mind is the fact that when Palestinians do the same thing, many in the international community and the media treat Israeli efforts to take out the potential killer as unjustified and often dispute whether the attack was a form of terrorism.

After the erection of Israel’s security fence in the West Bank, the wave of suicide bombings in which Palestinians affiliated with both the mainstream Fatah movement and Hamas killed hundreds of Jews inside Israel during the second intifada came to a halt. Faced with a more formidable challenge to their ability to inflict mass casualties on Israelis, terrorists resorted to new tactics. One of their more popular choices was vehicular homicide. In incidents in Jerusalem and at security checkpoints in the West Bank, Israelis have been subjected to numerous attempted hit and run attacks. At least three were killed in such incidents last year at the start of what is now known as the “stabbing intifada.”

But such attacks are rarely referred to as terrorism in the international media. Outside of Israel, the press has often either ignored them or treated the nature of the incident as questionable even referring to them as accidents rather than terror. They also denounce Israeli defensive measures that aim, as authorities in France did in Nice, to shoot or otherwise disable the terrorist as an unjustified attempt to execute a possibly innocent person.

Part of the reason for this reluctance to label murder as murder is the inclination of many in the international community to treat Palestinian terrorism against Jews as being distinct from terror against non-Jews elsewhere. Those who think Israel has no right to exist assume Palestinian terror is in some way justified. Israelis and Jews are assumed to have somehow asked for it by insisting on their right to live in their ancient homeland.

But as the people of France and the United States have learned in Paris, San Bernardino and Orlando the last two years, terror is terror. Those inspired by Islamist groups make no distinction between Jews and non-Jews when they unleash their hate. Whether they use knives, guns, explosives or a vehicle, terrorism is just as awful.

It would be better if we didn’t have to get used to living in a world where terrorists sought to kill Westerners or Israelis. But just as more people are starting to understand that the war being waged against Israel shouldn’t be viewed as a different category of crime from the terror being visited upon he West, so, too, should we understand that when vehicles are used as weapons against Jews, it is just as much an act of terror as the atrocity that we have just witnessed in Nice.

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.