After the smoke has cleared, the dust
has settled down and the initial fury blown over, humankind will wake up
and realize a new fact: there is no safe place on earth.
A handful of suicide-bombers has brought
the United States to a standstill, caused the President to hide in a
bunker under a far-away mountain, dealt a terrible blow to the economy,
grounded all aircraft, and emptied government offices throughout the
country. This can happen in every country. The Twin Towers are
Not only Israel, but the whole world is now
full of gibberish about "fighting terrorism". Politicians, "experts on
terrorism" and their likes propose to hit, destroy, annihilate etc., as
well as to allocate more billions to the "intelligence community". They
make brilliant suggestions. But nothing of this kind will help the
threatened nations, much as nothing of this kind has helped Israel.
There is no patent remedy for terrorism.
The only remedy is to remove its causes. One can kill a million
mosquitoes, and millions more will take their place. In order to get rid
of them, one has to dry the swamp that breeds them. And the swamp is
A person does not wake up one morning and
tell himself: Today I shall hijack a plane and kill myself. Nor does a
person wake up one morning and tell himself: Today I shall blow myself
up in a Tel-Aviv discotheque. Such a decision grows in a person’s mind
through a slow process, taking years. The background to the decision is
either national or religious, social and spiritual.
No fighting underground can operate without
popular roots and a supportive environment that is ready to supply new
recruits, assistance, hiding places, money and means of propaganda. An
underground organization wants to gain popularity, not lose it.
Therefore it commits attacks when it thinks that this is what the
surrounding public wants. Terror attacks always testify to the public
That is true in this case, too. The
initiators of the attacks decided to implement their plan after America
has provoked immense hatred throughout the world. Not because of its
might, but because of the way it uses its might. It is hated by the
enemies of globalization, who blame it for the terrible gap between rich
and poor in the world. It is hated by millions of Arabs, because of its
support for the Israeli occupation and the suffering of the Palestinian
people. It is hated by multitudes of Muslims, because of what looks like
its support for the Jewish domination of the Islamic holy shrines in
Jerusalem. And there are many more angry peoples who believe that
America supports their tormentors.
Until September 11, 2001 – a date to
remember - Americans could entertain the illusion that all this concerns
only others, in far-away places beyond the seas, that it does not touch
their sheltered lives at home. No more.
That is the other side of globalization:
all the world’s problems concern everyone in the world. Every case of
injustice, every case of oppression. Terrorism, the weapon of the weak,
can easily reach every spot on earth. Every society can easily be
targeted, and the more developed a society is, the more it is in danger.
Fewer and fewer people are needed to inflict pain on more and more
people. Soon one single person will be enough to carry a suitcase with a
tiny atomic bomb and destroy a megalopolis of tens of millions.
This is the reality of the 21st
century that started this week in earnest. It must lead to the
globalization of all problems and the globalization of their solutions.
Not in the abstract, by fatuous declarations in the UN, but by a global
endeavor to resolve conflicts and establish peace, with the
participation of all nations, with the US playing a central role.
Since the US has become a world power, it
has deviated from the path outlined by its founders. It was Thomas
Jefferson who said: No nation can behave without a decent respect for
the opinion of mankind. (I quote from memory). When the US delegation
left the world conference in Durban, in order to abort the debate about
the evils of slavery and in order to court the Israeli right, Jefferson
must have turned over in his grave.
If it is confirmed that the attack on New
York and Washington was perpetrated by Arabs – and even if not! – the
world must at long last treat the festering wound of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is poisoning the whole body of
humanity. One of the wise guys in the Bush administration said only a
few weeks ago: "Let them bleed!" – meaning the Palestinians and the
Israelis. Now America is bleeding. He who runs away from the conflict is
followed by it, even into his home. Americans, and Europeans too, should
learn this lesson.
The distance from Jerusalem to New York is
small, and so is the distance from New York to Paris, London and Berlin.
Not only multi-national corporations embrace the globe, but terror
organizations do so, too. In the same way, the instruments for the
solution of conflicts must be global.
Instead of the destroyed New York edifices,
the twin towers of Peace and Justice must be built.