The story of the use of terror by a handful to inspire fear in the majority is as old as the story of civilization itself. However, with
the rise of international terrorism and terror outfits, it is now more threatening and dangerous to the world community than ever before.
What are the origins of terrorism, what contributes to its rise and how can it be defeated? These are the questions Benjamin Netanyahu tries to answer in Fighting Terrorism. As an Israeli citizen, soldier and diplomat, the former prime minister of Israel has seen and fought terrorism on various fronts. He has also been involved in the initiation and organization of research on terrorism and counter-terrorism at the Jonathan Institute, a private foundation established in the memory of his brother who fell to terrorists’ bullets. It is not surprising, therefore, that he should write a clear and concise account of the rise and growth of terror organizations and how their networking can spell disaster worldwide.
Netanyahu traces the genesis of the terrorist outfits to the time of the
Cold War, when the erstwhile Soviet Union aided the formation of terrorist camps in Libya, North Korea, Lebanon and Syria. With the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the United States too started secretly funding the Afghan rebels. Several Middle-East and Africa nations with dictatorial regimes soon provided a good breeding ground and safe haven to train and shelter terrorist armies which they could use to fight proxy wars with other states. These
"enemy states," in the jargon of the Islamic terrorists, happen to be the Western nations and their allies.
No book on terrorism can be complete without discussing the Israel-Palestine problem. And Netanyahu does not disappoint
his readers. Having drawn a lot of flak for taking a stand against the Oslo peace accord between the two nations, he explains here why no peace plan will ever work if the terror outfits of the PLO continue to operate and hijack power from the common Palestinians.
The steps advocated by the author to stamp out this menace are things that the international community has been doing post 9/11
-- that is, to fight terrorism with military, intelligence and diplomatic might, and as a long term goal actively pursue the establishment of vibrant democracies in all nations. In the present times however, this is easier said than done.
© 2002 by Shampa Chatterjee for Curled Up With a Good Book