Gently, But Firmly, Ministers and MKs Say, ‘We Told You So’

YERUSHALAYIM -
Emergency services evacuate a victim by stretcher after a explosion in a main metro station in Brussels on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Explosions rocked the Brussels airport and the subway system Tuesday, killing at least 13 people and injuring many others just days after the main suspect in the November Paris attacks was arrested in the city, police said. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
Emergency services evacuate a victim by stretcher after an explosion in a main metro station in Brussels on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

With the situation in Brussels still fluid, what has become clear, according to reports from Belgium, is that the bombings of the Brussels airport and a subway station in the city were apparently carried out by Islamist terrorists. In their initial reactions, Israeli ministers and MKs restrained themselves and offered condolences – and assistance – to the Belgians, but there was a clear undercurrent in statements and comments of “we told you so.”

Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis said that he sent his condolences to the families of victims – but that the attacks should have been expected, due to Europe’s “coddling” of radical Islam. “I will repeat what I have said in the past,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “The Europeans prefer to spend their time on the evil representation of Israel as an ‘occupier,’ labeling and boycotting Israeli products, and condemning Israel for everything they can think of,” he wrote.

“We warned them that something like this might happen,” Akunis wrote. “Some made fun of us, some condemned us for ‘scare tactics.’ Unfortunately, reality has caught up with them in a deadly way, with the result that dozens of innocent people are dead.”

According to MK Nava Boker, the terror attacks were the result “of a pacifistic policy on the part of the Belgian government. Instead of realizing that radical Islam is the number one cause of terror worldwide, the Belgians and their European Union representatives prefer to adopt policies that will help young Muslims feel more ‘at home.’ Belgium must close its borders immediately, throw out the inciters, and end Muslim immigration to the country.”

Taking a somewhat different tack, Transport Minister Yisrael Katz – who is also Israel’s Minister of Intelligence – said that the problem of Islamist terror was not unique to Israel or Belgium, but was a worldwide problem. “These attacks show that terror does not distinguish between countries or borders. It is a blind hate that seeks to destroy Western culture and implant Islam in its place. In Israel, like in Europe, there is a need to increase the penalties and punishments against terrorists in order to prevent further attacks,” he told Army Radio.