Liberman slams Europe’s 'PC' behavior for impeding war on terror

Following the Manchester Arena attack, Israel's defense minister says too much talk, not enough action on coping with clash of values among European Muslim youth.

May 24, 2017 21:05
2 minute read.
Armed police officers stand near the Manchester Arena, where US singer Ariana Grande had been perfor

Armed police officers stand near the Manchester Arena, where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England, Britain May 23, 2017. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Wednesday he is skeptical about seeing any major policy changes toward terrorism across Europe despite Tuesday’s carnage in Manchester, where a suicide bombing killed at least 22 people, including many teenagers, at a pop music concert.

“This is not the first time that this has happened,” Liberman said on Army Radio, extending his condolences to the victims of the worst bombing in Britain since attacks in London in 2005 killed 52 people. “We have seen terror attacks in France, in Germany and now unfortunately in Britain.” After every bombing, he said, while there is much discussion about what to do, it is followed by little action.

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“Nothing is translated into concrete steps because of the character of Europe, everything is politically correct,” Liberman said. “What we are seeing in the last attack maybe symbolizes one of the difficult problems that are disturbing the world and the Middle East.”

According to Liberman, the problem in Europe is that many Muslim youth born on the continent are not integrated into society and are turning to extremism instead. Nothing will change until these youths are “ready to adopt European, universal values,” he said.

Liberman said Israel, which enjoys “close intelligence cooperation” with the UK, has offered to help Britain after Monday evening’s attack at an Ariana Grande concert perpetrated by British-born Salman Abedi, with the Islamic State group claiming responsibility.

Abedi, born in Manchester to Libyan refugees, is thought to have returned from Libya as recently as this week. Authorities have confirmed that Abedi was known “up to a point” to the British intelligence services and police.

At least four men have been arrested by Greater Manchester Police in the south of the city in connection with the attack.

The terror threat level in Britain has since been raised to its highest point (a first since 2013) by Prime Minister Theresa May who said that a “wider group of individuals” may have been involved in the attack.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Tuesday US President Donald Trump called those responsible for the Manchester attack “losers” and spoke of an “evil ideology [which] must be completely obliterated” while meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem shortly before.
Trump says perpetrators of Manchester attack are 'evil losers' (credit: REUTERS)

Netanyahu also condemned the attack and added that “enlightened countries must work together to defeat [terrorism] everywhere.”

Senior Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq also condemned the attack saying the Gaza-based terrorist group “condemn[s] the bloody onslaught against the innocent in Manchester and expresses solidarity with the families of the victims and the wounded in the wake of their tragedy.”

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