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Friday, July 20, 2012

The terror attack in Bulgaria and Israel's exclusion from the counterterrorism forum

Yes, of course there's a connection between Wednesday's terror attack in Bulgaria and Israel's exclusion from the international counterterrorism forum when the Obama administration kowtowed to Turkey. Benny Weinthal explains.
The U.S.’s counterterrorism strategy is badly adrift. Earlier this month, U.S. Under Secretary of State Maria Otero delivered a speech at the Global Counterterrorism Forum in Madrid, in which she failed even to mention Israel as a country that has experienced terrorism.

“Last September at the official launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, I had the privilege to introduce the premier of a film ‘Hear their Voices,’ which tells the stories of eleven survivors of terrorist attacks from Pakistan, Jordan, Northern Ireland, Uganda, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Spain, Colombia, and the United States,” she said.

When Associated Press reporter Matthew Lee asked Otero why she hadn’t mentioned the Israelis as people who have suffered from terrorism, State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell momentarily tripped over his words, before responding that “I don’t have the details of the undersecretary’s speech.”

As Lee told Ventrell, Otero’s speech is posted on the State Department website. At the Global Counterterrorism Forum’s first formal meeting in Istanbul last month, the U.S. also excluded Israel and hosted countries with a history of sponsoring radical Islamic groups.

Will the Bulgarian murders within Europe force the Obama administration and its allies to take the Iranian threat more seriously?
It's very simple. Israelis are the world's leading victims of terrorism. A counterterrorism forum that excludes Israel cheapens Israeli lives and castrates the war on terrorism (yes, despite the Obama administration's protestations there still is and has to be a war on terrorism). A refusal to include Israelis as terror victims makes the problem even bigger. The only people who benefit from that are the ones who promote terrorism: Iran, Syria, Turkey, Hamas, Hezbullah and al-Qaeda, and other supporters of terror (yes, I intentionally included Turkey - what is the government-connected IHH if not a terror organization?). A weak fight against terrorism will result in more terrorism and more innocent lives being lost. Four more years of this will strengthen the terror groups immeasurably. It's time to stop them now.

Read the whole thing.

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