Terrorism must always be confronted, and this does not depend on the identity of the victims, but rather on the nature of the act, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday.
Netanyahu’s comments at the opening of a luncheon in Jerusalem with ambassadors from NATO countries comes amid frustration by some in government that in certain quarters around the world there is a distinction made between terrorist attacks in Israel and those elsewhere.
“Terror, the indiscriminate systematic attack on innocent people, must always be confronted, must always be fought,” Netanyahu said.
“And that doesn’t change in any case. It does not depend on the identity of the victims , it depends on the nature of the act. The act is evil and is perpetrated by people with evil designs.
And we, the people of the civilized world, must band together to defeat it.”
Two days ago, Netanyahu said, a terrorist walked into an Orlando nightclub and murdered nearly 50 people who “were doing nothing wrong, they were dancing with friends and they were enjoying music with loved ones.
The terrorist murdered them because he was driven by intolerance to the LGBT community, and driven by hatred of freedom and diversity.”
Just days earlier, he continued, “a terrorist walked into a cafe in Tel Aviv and murdered four civilians. They, too, did nothing wrong.
They were drinking coffee and enjoying the celebration of birthdays.”
Netanyahu listed numerous cities struck by terrorism around the world, and said: “Terrorism knows no bounds, and that is why our cooperation in the battle against terrorism must know no bounds, as well.”
The prime minister said Israel stands ready to help NATO in this collective struggle.
“We are prepared to share our intelligence and experience to help this common effort,” he said, mentioning that, in three weeks, the NATO countries will hold a summit in Warsaw where this issue will be a central part of the agenda.
“Know that Israel stands ready to advance that agenda, and I have no doubt that, if we work together, we can roll back this terror, and I have no doubt that we can defeat ISIS,” he said. “I think it can be defeated. I think with the right amount of international cooperation across the widest spectrum, this goal can be achieved, and I think that if we work together we’ll achieve it faster and we’ll defeat ISIS and terrorism faster.”
Jesper Vahr, the ambassador from Denmark, which is the Nato contact embassy in Israel, stressed that “there is no justification for terrorism, period. And that is true whether it happens in Paris, which again last night was the scene of a despicable act of terror, in Tel Aviv or in Orlando.”
He then read out a message from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
“Israel is a very important partner for NATO,” the message read. “Like the nations of the alliance, Israel is an open, democratic society.
Today, our nations face greater, more complex threats, than for many years.”
Stoltenberg said: “It is right that those countries that share common values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law work together for the good of all.”
Just last month, NATO invited Israel to open a permanent office at its Brussels headquarters, a move Turkey had blocked five years earlier, and a step representing a significant upgrade for Israel’s ties to the 28-nation alliance.