Saturday, September 11, 2004

Not a natural disaster
An excerpt from Uri Elitzur’s column in the weekend edition of Yediot Aharonot (my translation):

No. The occupation is not the cause of terrorism, and the end of the occupation is not the goal of terrorism. This is all in our heads, but the mindset of terrorism is completely different. Palestinian terrorism isn’t interested in winning so as to create a state. It wants to create a state so as to win. Ehud Barak offered them a state without winning, and they turned it down in panic. They don’t want to create a state; they want to destroy a state. If a Palestinian state is necessary in order to destroy the State of Israel, so be it. But don’t confuse the means with the end. It is the same with Chechen terrorism, and of course the Muslim terrorism in America. Its purpose is not to end any occupation, or to create any state. Its purpose is to destroy and terrorize so as to destroy and terrorize.

This goal is so arousing and exciting, and seems so attainable, that young educated people are prepared to die for it. Fanatic Islam is not a new invention. It is a dormant volcano that has erupted in the past, but has been sleeping now for hundreds of years, till something in this time, in this decade, caused it to awaken and again spurt fire and smoke. What is it?

This question brings us back to Russia. The fall of the Soviet Union left a void that someone is going to fill. At the moment, temporarily, the United States is the sole world power. The slot of the second world power is empty, and this is an unnatural situation. Someone has to fill the part, and Islam is contending for it. This is an arousing and exciting goal, one worth dying for: the growth of the Islamic World Power, as an equal adversary of the American World Power. Not every youth that puts on a bomb belt is aware of this definition of his goal, but even subconsciously he senses that something huge is happening, and he is its servant. This is a deep, primitive gut feeling, rolling like the echo of tam-tam drums between the countries of Islam and the various focal points of terrorism. You have to be a bit primitive to pick this up and understand what is happening. This is why George Bush and Vladimir Putin understand. This is why most of the decision makers in Israel do not grasp it at all.