The IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya’alon, and senior members of the IDF General Staff, met this morning (31 Dec.) with international experts on terror. The meeting, sponsored by the Research Center for National Defense of the University of Haifa, dealt with terror, with emphasis on suicide bombers, and the challenge which terror presents to democratic states. A number of comparisons and examples from all over the world were presented, in the hopes of learning of ways to deal with terror.

The subject of legitimacy as a vital and central component in combating terror was emphasized: terror feeds on the legitimacy given to it by the population in which it operates, and the legitimacy given by the local authority which enables it to operate. At the same time, the legitimacy – both internal and international – affords the democratic states, such as Israel, the necessary working space in which to operate against terror.

The meeting between members of the Academia (from the United States, Scotland, Madrid, Britain and more) and senior IDF officers, also dealt with the question of how the State of Israel has been dealing with the Palestinian terror in the past few years.

It was emphasized that a combined effort is necessary in the war against terror: a military response, a political response, both normative and cognitive. Only the combination of all these factors, as well as a minimization of international legitimacy of terror, will enable Israel to confront this difficult and dangerous phenomenon. For this purpose international intelligence and operational cooperation is necessary.