Home Home Home About Us Home About Us About Us About Us /links/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html About Us About Us /archives/index.html About Us /archives/index.html About Us /archives/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html /links/index.html
Home About Us About Us /links/index.html /advertising/index.html /advertising/index.html
About Us /archives/index.html /archives/index.html /subscribe/index.html /subscribe/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /survey/index.html /links/index.html










Camps & Sports


Children’s Corner

Collected Features


Cover Stories

Distance Learning


Famous Interviews


Medical Update

Metro Beat

Movies & Theater


Music, Art & Dance

Special Education

Spotlight On Schools

Teachers of the Month


















New York City

Book Review

Fighting Terrorism: The International Terrorist Network
By Merri Rosenberg

First published in 1995, this relatively slim volume was reissued this year in the aftermath of the events of September 11. While the only new material is a foreword comprising the remarks that Benjamin Netanyahu made to the US Congress on September 20, it’s still an important book for anyone interested in understanding how September 11 happened–and, how we can prevent such destruction in the future.

Netanyahu—a former Israeli prime minister and head of the Jonathan Institute, which was created in memory of his slain brother who perished during the raid at Entebbe to free hostages, to study and combat terrorism—has some definite biases that make some of his analyses and remedies slightly unsettling. The author views the conflict against terrorism primarily (and understandably) through the lens of an Israeli who has had to deal with the daily fall-out of terrorism for years.

Still, as Netanyahu writes, “September 11, 2001 was a day that future historians will call a hinge of history...On that day, a lethal blow was struck in the heart of freedom.” One of his most fervent arguments, which he reiterates throughout the narrative, is that terrorism and terrorists have to be fought by every civilized nation, that no one can be neutral in this critical battle. He is especially adamant that there be no apologists for terrorists, and has little patience for those who say that American policy is responsible for why the terrorists acted as they did. Far from it, says Netanyahu. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, he points out, many people—mistakenly, in his view— thought that “terrorism was the result of political and social oppression, the inescapable conclusion was that terror could not be eliminated without first bringing these conditions to an end.”

Hardly. Netanyahu argues that because these terrorists, unlike earlier generations of terrorists who were similarly motivated, have no qualms about losing their lives in the fight, they are especially dangerous and anti-terrorist tactics have to recognize that reality.

He also argues that Israel is not the reason that the militant Islamic groups hate the West and specifically seek the destruction of the United States and what it represents. One of the most fascinating contributions is his explanation of why so many Islamicists resent the West. According to Netanyahu, many in the Islamic world have long memories—and feel deeply the humiliation of the Arab world at the hands of the West.

Netanyahu explains that because Islam is, at its very conception, a “fighting religion,” whose followers believe that it is part of their faith to make the entire world Islamic, hostility to the West is ingrained. Had the original push to make the world follow Islam succeed, says Netanyahu, all of Europe—not just Spain—would have been under Arab dominion. The Islamic conquest of much of the world during the middle ages is remembered with triumph by many modern Muslims, who chafe at the memory of the Islamic empire effectively dismantled during World War I.

For Netanyahu, debates about civil liberties and rights in the face of this threat are mere indulgences that Americans can ill afford. He writes, “The United States Constitution, said Justice Robert Jackson, is not a suicide pact.” And, he points out the paradox that the freedoms which America affords everyone are precisely those freedoms that have allowed terrorists to operate in our midst, and grow strong against us in ways that would not have been tolerated in their home countries. There is a chilling challenge that Netanyahu hurls: “We have received a wake up call from hell. Do we rally to defeat this evil, while there is still time, or do we press a collective snooze button and go back to business as usual.”Let’s hope that the “new normal” recognizes the importance of continued vigilance and watchfulness, lest we be caught napping again.#

Merri Rosenberg is a freelance writer who specializes in educational issues


Education Update, Inc., P.O. Box 20005, New York, NY 10001. Tel: (212) 481-5519. Fax: (212) 481-3919. Email: ednews1@aol.com.
All material is copyrighted and may not be printed without express consent of the publisher. © 2001.