Inappropriate Comparison of Islamic State and "Radical Jewish Terrorism"

  • by:
    • Neil Oberfeld, Chair of the Anti-Defamation League's Mountain States Region
  • December 2, 2015

Re: "Look to roots of violence, not just deeds," Nov. 29 guest commentary.

Richard Forer purports to explore the genesis of the terrorism promulgated by the Islamic State and others. Forer contends Islamic State terrorists have been provoked by Western policies and compares "radical Islamic terrorism" to a small group of fringe Israelis, or what he calls "radical Jewish terrorism."

There is no justification for the murderous activities of any terrorists. Asserting that such horrific actions are an understandable expression of revenge against the West is patently wrong. One only need consider that the vast majority of people brutalized by the Islamic State are fellow Muslims and others from the Middle East.

Furthermore, comparing the actions of the Islamic State to "radical Jewish terrorism" is a false analogy. The radical fringe in Israel, unlike the Islamic State, is minuscule in numbers. Moreover, they are roundly denounced by senior political and religious leaders across Israel and throughout the world. In those instances when they do commit atrocities, rather than be glorified, as often happens with members of the Islamic State, they are tracked down, investigated and prosecuted by the Israeli government to the full extent of the law.

Looking to the roots of violence is a worthwhile venture, but no honest assessment would so blatantly ignore the "deeds" in the way Forer has. Had Forer been an honest observer, he would have reflected on the differences between the West's system of democratic values and rule of law and the Islamic State's fanatical and murderous ideology.

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