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Former Israeli PM: Three steps to deal with terror

Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu



Acts of terror
Benjamin Netanyahu
Lou Dobbs

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a former prime minister, was in London during Wednesday's terrorist attacks and narrowly avoided one of the deadly subway explosions.

Netanyahu joined CNN anchor Lou Dobbs from London Friday and discussed some methods of combating terror.

DOBBS: Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, has asked all of the Cabinet to say very little. He may have said it even somewhat more strongly for fear of offending Londoners, the British.

But the fact is, you have been straightforward in the days you and I talked after 9/11. You have been straightforward now in talking about the common bond as victims of terrorism. What do you think should be the response now?

NETANYAHU: Well, I don't think we have to give any advice to the British government, because Prime Minister [Tony] Blair and his government, my colleague Gordon Brown [British finance minister], they know what to do and are handling the situation well.

I think the larger issue is the challenge we all face. I don't mean just Britain; the United States; Spain before this in the Madrid bombings; Israel, obviously; Russia. We have all been in the gun sights of Islamic terrorism.

And, if fact, we have to understand that this is not a partial attack on America's allies in Iraq. After all, America was attacked before Iraq. In fact, America went to Iraq after it was attacked on September 11. The problem we face is a worldwide radical movement, a splinter movement that distorts many of the messages of Islam and seeks to roll back the clock of history 1,000 years. It's mad. It's a fantasy ideology. But nonetheless, it has a method.

The method is the application of terror to inspire fear among its victims, who are the West. The West they want to destroy, hobble, eventually get rid of our way of life, our free, liberal way of life. And the most important thing is to refuse. ...

DOBBS: You know, in the aftermath of 9/11 and the aftermath of what the British and we all now will call 7/7, a lot of talk about bringing people to justice, a lot of talk about carrying out life as if it were normal. It also causes one -- in the pain we all suffer when innocents are attacked in this cowardly, barbaric way -- to say: Let's go kill these people who would do us such harm and destroy our way of life.

The fact of the matter is the world is not having immense success in dealing with this radical Islamist terror. And there has to be a prescription, an approach that bright, intelligent leaders around the world can come up with to deal with this issue, this movement, splinter or otherwise.

NETANYAHU: Well, I agree. And I think there are three things you have to do.

The first is to refuse to surrender to fear and to muster the courage and the resolve to fight back. That's absolutely necessary.

The second thing is to understand that it's not what we do, but what we are that causes offense to these mad radicals: the fact that we breathe in our free society; the fact that women have rights; the fact that children can flip on a TV channel. That is something anathema to people who want to roll us back 1,000 years.

Understand: We are not guilty; they are guilty.

NETANYAHU: The third is to reverse the odds. It is not we who should cower in fear; it is they who should run for their lives. "They" means the organizations, the terror organizations, and also the regimes that give them sustenance. There are regimes left who are doing it, both actively supporting them and also ideologically and financially supporting them -- sometimes directly, sometimes passively. I think you have to circumscribe the locus of action.

Here is the reason why you have to do these three things -- if you don't do it, then what I have been saying to you and so many years before to you and to others, I have been saying now for over two decades for close to a quarter of a century -- the danger of international terrorism is you will have terrorists acquiring the weapons of mass destruction.

And when they do, these particular terrorists, especially radical Islamic terrorists, will use them. [Osama] bin Laden would have used them. And the studio that you are talking in, the city you are talking from would not exist. We have to stop them before they destroy us. The war is still on.

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