Senor: European Countries Under Threat Should Learn From Israeli Experience

November 17, 2015

Foreign Policy Initiative co-founder Dan Senor said Tuesday that European countries under threat should learn from Israel’s security culture, but that the best way to deal with Islamic extremism would be to destroy the Islamic State’s sanctuary in the Middle East.

"The kind of terrorist attack that happened in Paris is almost impossible in Israel today," Senor said, pointing to Israel’s experience fighting a violent population within its borders.

"Israel has dealt with a population within its borders effectively," he said. "Some elements of which are at war with [it]."

As a result of the conditions, Israelis have become accustomed to extensive security measures and developed a culture of security.

"There's basic security in any facility that is hosting large numbers of people. You can't walk into […] any kind of public space, without them checking your bag, searching you down," he said.

Senor said that Israeli citizens understand the necessity of preventative measures, surveillance, and profiling.

"There is a high tolerance in Israeli society for doing things in terms of surveillance, in terms of infiltrating attacks before they happen by going after people that you are just suspecting," he said, adding that, "If you go in and out of an Israeli airport […] these people are trained to not rely on technology but to do real human profiling."

Senor said that European society "has to have a reckoning with itself" because its culture of tolerance prevents European leaders from taking necessary measures such as "surveilling mosques" and "preventative arrests."

"They have created a culture where they are so proud of this tolerance they have for these balkanized communities," he said. "These communities that are so un-integrated and so unassimilated with the rest of European society, and have been protected as such."

He said that the root of the problem, however, was the the Islamic State sanctuary in Syria and Iraq.

"There are tens of thousands of people being trained in these training camps in Syria and Iraq that can launch attacks," he said. "Unless you disrupt that sanctuary nothing else matters, and that doesn’t require a quarter of a million troops."