For ten years now I have lived in Israel. I have endured numerous bus bombings, restaurant explosions and the kidnapping of several Israeli soldiers. And the worst… in 2006, on the eve of Passover a Palestinian strolled into a Falafel restaurant—one that had already been bombed twice. He had food in his mouth, so when he spoke to the security guard, the guard was unable to detect his non-Israeli accent.
The shomer (security guard) asked to see what was in his backpack—a question I have been asked more times than I can remember. He picked up his bag and detonated a bomb. Shrapnel went flying and so did people. More than a dozen people were killed. One man lay on the ground with a broken leg and a few other cuts and bruises. In front of him, he looked at his son who had shielded him from the blast.
Daniel Cantor Wultz looked at his dad, not realizing that the bomb had gone through his back and decimated his insides. They had a brief conversation and then he told his father, “I love you”… his last words. Amazingly my sixteen-year-old cousin survived for nearly three weeks, unconscious, before he succumbed to his wounds.
This is terror!
The goal of terror is to enslave you with fear. It is to make you afraid to ride a bus, eat at a restaurant or participate in a marathon. Terror is the ultimate weapon of the few over the many. Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan has no fear of an Israeli or an American blowing himself up in order to commit mass murder on their soil. But it only takes a small terror cell of Islamic fanatics to cause mass hysteria.
In the late 90s and the first few years after the turn of the century, it seemed that there was a terror attack every week. Israelis stopped eating out… stopped going out. My friends Eddie and Jackie Santoro recall hearing more than one explosion from their balcony.
It was inevitable
The miracle of America is that she went 12 years without a major attack. Do you understand how easy it would be for 12 terrorists to walk into 12 different locations (like a McDonalds at lunch) on any given day and cause mayhem? While the security forces and investigative forces in the US are impressive, the actual security at events is scarily weak.
When events like the Boston Marathon are held in Israel, before you could get to the area surrounding the finish line—or any other area where there is a mass congregation of people—you would have to pass through security. Your bag would be briefly searched. We would have five or six lines and people would pass through very quickly. Other security guards would be watching those in the line. Yes, they would be profiling! They would be looking for dark skinned males (which are about 25% of Israelis as well) who look out of place.
In America it would be even easier to profile because by and large Americans don’t look like they came from Saudi Arabia. Do you have a problem with this? Does it violate the civil liberties of certain citizens? Maybe, but friend we’ve got to wake up. These people are murderous lunatics and the only way to stop them is more security. My guess is that your objections to profiling would melt away if it were your eight-year-old son who was killed in Boston last week.
In Israel, we built a security fence. It was quite unpopular around the world. Left-wing activists from all over the world cried foul. I had more than one outraged tourist read me the riot act over my support of the fence. They tell me it is unfair to the Palestinians, and I quickly respond, then tell the Palestinian Authority to put an end to terror.
We didn’t want to build a fence. We don’t want to inconvenience Palestinians. We don’t want checkpoints. Israelis don’t inherently hate Arabs (as the majority of the Arab world hates us). But if you want to kill us we will do whatever it takes to protect our people.
By the way, the world media outlets would have you believe the security fence is a massive 24-foot cement wall. In truth, 97 percent is a mesh fence and the few areas where it is a wall, was necessitated by the fact that Palestinians were shooting at Israeli drivers.
Since its construction the decrease in terror attacks is dramatic. In fact, there have been more terror attacks in the US this year (1) than in Israel (0).
The fact remains – if the US is going to protect herself against Islamic terror it will take a lot of patience and beefed up security. Just the other day (I am presently in the United States) I walked into a mall with a backpack and it took my by surprise that there was not someone to search my bag. Oh yeah, I’m in America, I remembered. You might wonder, will it really stop terror? The answer is yes and no. We are at war and sadly there will be defeats, as we saw recently in Boston. But here is what I can guarantee you: With every layer of security, no matter how insignificant it may seem, it will serve to deter terrorists at least some level. Every level of security has some positive affect.
That is what I came to understand in Israel. Obviously, one could hide a bomb in their car when entering a parking garage that a security guard would not find, but again, every layer of security has some affect and you must embrace it.
›› Security guard at every entrance to a restaurant or Mall
›› Security guards checking trunks at every parking garage
›› Every bag and backpack checked at every sporting event, concert or mass gathering.
›› More cameras in public areas.
›› And yes, training in the fine art of profiling.