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Global Terrorism: If This is World War II, How Do We Win?

by Gad Nahshon

Waldorf Astoria, the New York City prestigious hotel never hosted such a unique international conference. The conference was a response to the current challenge to world democracy, to our Western way of life.

The conference was a call for international defense, for global counter terrorism. The evidence is that this terrorism also has targeted Arab or Muslim countries as well. The idea behind this conference is to prevent us from defining our time as the "Age of Terrorism." This conference was the brainchild of a new Center which was established at the Netanya College located at Netanya, Israel, a college of 3,500 students (President is Dr. Tsvi Arad). The Center is The International Center for Strategic Dialogue.

The ceremony itself will be in June in Netanya with the participation of celebrities such as Mikhail Gorbachev, Crown Prince Hassan (Jordan), and the former Egyptian Prime Minister Mustafa Khalil, and many other dignitaries.

The new Center's managing committee is Israel's ex-Mossad Chief Gen. (Res) Danny Yatom. Dr. Moshe Amirav is the Center's new executive director. Ex-Police Chief Commissioner Assaf Heffetz is a chairman and director in this Center. The following leaders serve in the Center's directorate: John Major (Britain), Karl Bildt (Sweden), Abdurrahman Wahid (Indonesia), F. DeKlerk (South Africa), Ehud Barak (Israel), Dan Meridor (Israel), James Woolsey (The UA), and Leonid Stepashin (Russia).

The Center launched its first act at the Waldorf Astoria. It was not just an educational awareness kind of conference. The idea was to develop concepts of counter-terrorism to draw up recommendations for the leaders of the free world. Also to provide this country with new tools and ideas in order to improve the struggle against the "axis of evil," counter-terrorism as well as expressing solidarity with the USA in its efforts to bring freedom to the Iraqi people. By the way, the war, the leadership of President Bush exposed, among many things, the linkages between Saddam Hussein's regime and the Muslim terrorists. As Bibi Netanyahu used to say: "There is not terrorism without terrorist states." Many participants attended the conference at the Waldorf: "We also wish to mobilize support for this new Center and, of course, we need financial support in order to accomplish our mission," said Assaf Heffetz, one of the organizers of this illuminating event.

There were the following sessions: 1. Is This World War III? With Ehud Barak, Carl Bildt, Abdurrahman Wahid and Mikhail Gorbachev who sent his address (via video); 2. How Do We Win? With Dan Meridor, Assaf Heffetz, Bernard Schmidtbauer (former German Minister of Intelligence), Louis Freeh (ex-FBI Director), James Woolsey (ex-CIA head), Gen. (Res) Danny Yatom, and Gen (Ret) Mansur Abu Rashid (former Director for International Relations of the Jordan Army); 3. Keynote speaker at the lunch session: Miriam Fierberg, Mayor of Netanya, City Under Terror; 4. What Global Mechanism Do We Need: with Trevor Spiro (Spiro Group, London), Dr. Steve Emerson, Dr. Matt Levitt, Jules Kroll, Dr. Bruce Hoffman, Mark Juergensmeyer.

These participants are experts on various aspects of counter-terrorism. It should be noted that Dr. Emerson is one of America's distinguished pioneers. For many years, almost alone, he has developed as a scholar, speaker and writer, awareness as to the danger of terrorism, Muslim terrorism, inside America. He did cry out: "The terrorists are among us." He has been a whistleblower calling for counter-terrorism when American slept before 9-11. Gorbachev sent his address to the conference. He expressed his belief in the U.N. as the way to challenge the global problems of the 21st century. As to terrorism, he said: "It is certainly true that terrorism is a terrible threat, a vile and ruthless force. The battle against it should be uncompromising. It should be targeted at the terrorists themselves and at their bases, sources of financing and support networks. This is where we should focus the work of intelligence and special services and the use of the most sophisticated technical means. We need to coordinate this work on the international scale and cooperate in good faith at all levels of this fight, the states that nurture terrorist, keep them and use them for their purposes would be subjected to uncompromising political pressure and severe sanctions. There must be no double standard here, no distinction between "our thug" and "theirs."

Other participants discussed various issues James Woolsey believes is needed to destabilize pro-terrorism regimes. Danny Yatom explained that in Islam, there is not separation between religion and state. That's the reasons that Muslim heads of state support jihads. A jihad, in their eyes, is not an act of terror. Dr. Emerson discussed the past apathy, indifference to the growing threat of terrorism. The change happened only after 9-11. Only today does the FBI arrest the activities of the Muslim jihad or the Hamas in America. Many cells were located inside campuses. He also pointed out that the Saudis still provide financial support to terrorism under the umbrella of Muslim charity. He also said that other countries are not doing enough to counter-terrorism. By the way, a shocking documentary film was aired at the conference. It exposes the rise of Muslim extremism inside the campuses even in New York City. Indeed there is a rise of militancy inside the Arab-American communities.

The Jordanian General Mansur Abu Rashid was a special attraction. He described his country's (Jordan) struggle against terrorism. He pointed out that Jordan was also a target of terrorism as well. "Jordan suffered from terrorism," said Abu Rashid. He also condemned Bin Laden, described Jordan's new anti-terrorism laws and called for an American solution to the Israeli-Palestinian War.

The following is the mission statement of the Strategic Dialogue Center: The 21st Century harbors global changes that entail both hopes and threats to world peace. More than thirty armed conflicts still exist today. Religious fundamentalism and international terrorism are on the rise. The global situation is dangerous and unstable. Stabilizing these conflicts is the most pressing challenge of our time.

More than ever before, national policy makers sorely require practical dialogue with experienced, time-tested heads of state and experts. Today's world leadership is challenged to find a way to transform theoretical research into solution-oriented policies and actions. Responding to this challenge, former heads of state, heads of security services, academic specialists, and members of the international business community have joined forces to establish an Intern Center of Strategic Dialogue.

Practical Approaches to International Conflicts The goal of the Center is to bring the practical application of accumulated knowledge and the experience of world leaders to conflict-ridden areas of the globe through the adoption of realizable conflict management as compared to outmoded conflict resolution strategies.

The objectives of the Center are:

Providing the background for this conference, College President Prof. Tsvi Arad noted: "The free world, led by the United States, now finds itself at the height of a third world war being fought against international terror and its sponsors. We witnessed the attack on Afghanistan after 11 September. Now we are witnessing the campaign in Iraq, which will be followed by a stepped up fight against terror in all its forms. We feel, therefore, that this meeting is of great importance. It brings together the world's leading experts, enabling them to work out a doctrine for the continuation of this struggle. It therefore came as no surprise when our invitations to this on conference were accepted by the many prominent figures here present."

He also explained that... "the establishment of the Center combines the joint efforts of former heads of .states, security experts, academicians and businessmen. Its aim is to convert the theoretical knowledge and information available at research centers into practical tools for the use of the world's policy."

The college has: School of Computer Science and Mathematics (Dean Prof. Azania Paz), School of Communications and Media (Dean Prof. Gad Yatziv), School of Behavioral Sciences (Dean Prof. Ben-Zion Zilberfarb), and School of Law (Dean Prof. Sinai Deutch), and among its leaders are also Prof. Bernard Pinchuk, David Altman, Prof. Jacob Hart and Prof. Ephraim Katziv. (011-972-9-869-7777).


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