The Genome of Islamic Terrorism: Seeking Israel's Destruction

Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah and the other Islamic terrorist organizations, like Al-Qaida and Nusra Front, all carry the gene that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.

Moshe Arens
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Islamic State militants pass a checkpoint bearing the group's trademark black flag in the village of Maryam Begg in Kirkuk, 290 kilometers north of Baghdad. Sept. 29, 2014. Credit: AP
Moshe Arens

It took the grisly, televised beheadings of two journalists by an Islamic State executioner to arouse the western world to the dangers of Islamic terrorism. In short order, U.S. President Barack Obama assembled a coalition to fight the Islamic State group and within days the bombing of IS targets by coalition aircraft began. They evidently did not take the kind of precautions taken by the Israeli Air Force during the recent campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip – prior warnings, “knocks on the roof,” a call for civilians to evacuate the area – in order to minimize casualties among innocent civilians, and there was the inevitable collateral damage.

President Obama and the countries that have joined the coalition to fight IS have been well aware that Israel has been contending with Islamic terrorism for many years, alone. Against Hezbollah, funded, armed and directed by Iran, a terrorist state which is in the process of attaining the ultimate terror weapon, nuclear bombs; and against Hamas, an ideological affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, also armed by Iran. Although both Hezbollah and Hamas are considered by the United States and the European Union as terrorist organizations, Israel has received little sympathy when battling these organizations, and on occasion has even come in for severe criticism for causing collateral damage.

Is there really a significant difference between IS, Hamas and Hezbollah which could explain the difference in attitude of the U.S. and the EU to these organizations? That so far no coalition has been organized to fight Hezbollah and Hamas, and that that job has been left to Israel?

Actually, IS, Hamas, and Hezbollah are similar versions of Islamic terrorism. The first two are Sunni while Hezbollah is Shi'ite. But they have a common denominator - they see the West as their enemy and they seek the destruction of the State of Israel.

We don’t need a geneticist to analyze the genome of IS, Hamas, Hezbollah and the other Islamic terrorist organizations, like Al-Qaida and the Nusra Front. They all carry the gene that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. IS as well, even though the word Israel is not part of its acronym. But don’t be fooled by that, because as far as they are concerned the letter S, standing for Syria, includes Palestine which they consider to be southern Syria. That gene is also carried by the Iranian genome. They make no bones about the fact that it is their intention to bring about the destruction of the State of Israel. This is the reason for their support for Hezbollah and even Hamas which is a Sunni organization. And just in case Hezbollah and Hamas do not succeed they are preparing a nuclear weapon.

Why is it that President Obama does not recognize the common genetic make-up of all these terrorist organizations, and that there is objection in Washington to Binyamin Netanyahu equating IS and Hamas? Is it the geographic deployment of these organizations that accounts for this? Islamic State has so far concentrated its activity in Iraq and Syria, while Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and is making inroads into Judea and Samaria. Maybe there is the mistaken view that Hamas’ objectives are limited to the establishment of a Palestinian State, while IS claims that it wishes to establish an Islamic caliphate that will include Iraq, Syria, and Palestine. But make no mistake, Hamas openly declares that its aim is the destruction of Israel. They will have no problem with joining the IS caliphate.

As for Hezbollah it too was once seen as an organization with a limited objective – expelling the IDF from Lebanese territory. But once the IDF withdrew from the southern Lebanon security zone in 2000 Hezbollah continued its campaign aimed at the destruction of Israel. Its presumable limited objective was no more than a figment of the imagination of uninformed observers.

It is a myopic view to see IS as the only terrorist threat to the world. Unfortunately that threat is far wider, and includes Al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Nusra Front, and above all, Iran.

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