On September 12, 2001, Netanyahu was asked how the previous day’s terror attacks in New York and Washington would affect relations between Israel and the United States. “It’s very good,” he said. “Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy.” The attack, Netanyahu argued, would “strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive haemorrhaging of terror.”
The convenient comparison between Israel and America may suit the political mood of the day, but it’s a specious one. A man who kills Israelis in Tel Aviv is not driven by the same ideology as an individual who commits terror attacks in London. Labelling them all as “terrorists” absolves governments of any responsibility whatsoever for the acts themselves.