Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Israeli Veteran Addresses Terror

The global community needs to develop stronger defenses against terrorist attacks and put pressure on countries sponsoring radical ideologies, Israeli anti-terrorism activist Avi Dicter said yesterday in McShain Lounge.

Dicter, an Israeli war veteran, focused the speech, entitled Fighting Terrorism: Lessons Learned from Israeli Mistakes and Successes, on the growing threat of terrorism, especially suicide bombings in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. He noted the importance of designating terrorist organizations and the countries in which they operate.

Because terrorists do not care about who they kill but rather the number of people they kill, countries like the United States must do everything they can to deter terrorist activity, Dicter said.

“There is no fair fight against terrorism,” he said, stressing the importance of using as much force as necessary, including the use of advanced artillery and aerial weaponry.

Dicter also outlined two steps that countries need to take to deter terrorist activity, including greater focus on deterrence and more transparency and openness with citizens about counterterrorist actions.

He also stressed greater citizen involvement in political action.

Dicter said that in the fight against terror, countries often make the common mistakes of being overly confident or acting unilaterally without the consent of their people.

“Thinking, let alone doing, whatever [a single country] wants to do is a huge mistake,” Dicter said.

Though he admitted that it is important to distinguish between countries and terrorists, Dicter said that special attention should be given to nations such as Iran, Syria and Lebanon, where the roots of terrorist activity are especially prevalent today. He specified an “army of terrorists” in Lebanon and the preeminent threat of Iran whose terrorist activity has increased since the late 1990s.

Dicter called for more security personnel and stronger responses of force from individual governments to dismay terror. He noted a need to “create deterrence and develop a very sophisticated means of warfare.”

Dicter said that suicide bombings are a destructive tactic employed by terrorists and account for less than fifty percent of terrorist action but over sixty percent of Israeli casualties. He blamed this on the inadequate supply of security information in Israel.

“We in Israel are not aware enough of suicide bombers,” he said.

Gathering intelligence from interrogations is the most important tool for fighting terrorism, Dicter said.

“The difference between a vision and a dream is very broad,” he said. “During these . years we have turned a blind eye to many things.”

The speech was sponsored by the School of Foreign Service’s Center for Peace and Security Studies and the Center for Jewish Civilization.

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