Stop terror, help others
July 1, 2002
Every time I hear about another suicide bombing in Israel or the Occupied Territories, a chill goes through me. Not only because of the senseless tragedy of what’s happening over there, but also because it’s what I fear could soon become the everyday reality here.
Clearly Israel’s military solution to terrorism isn’t working. It’s backfiring; day by day, Israelis feel less secure, not more. And it’s reasonable to suppose that if Israel keeps making life miserable and hopeless for the Palestinians then there will be a steady supply of suicide bombers.
Of course Israel is only emulating the United States’ “war on terrorism.” Our policy has been to devote nearly all our energy to rooting out terrorists and nearly none to addressing the root causes of terrorism. Having done that, we can’t exactly criticize Israel for doing the same.
Because there hasn’t been another terrorist attack in the United States since Sept. 11, it’s possible to be lulled into believing that our policy is working. I’m not so hopeful. I think we’ve only made more enemies in the world in these last nine months, and like Israel, our actions have only served as a recruitment drive for the terrorist organizations.
We, as a nation, need to spend a lot more time listening to the complaints of oppressed peoples and showing that we’re willing to do something to help. We need to demonstrate a willingness to cooperate with other countries through international treaties, rather than constantly going our own arrogant way.
We must be consistent in standing up for what’s right and fair, and stop our global political manipulations based on “strategic interests.” We must be seen to be supporting fair trade, rather than dictating “free” trade that makes the poor of the world poorer.
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If we want to be more secure, we need to help others to be happier and more hopeful. That’s the only way we’re going to stop terrorism.