by Colonel Richard Kemp for the Gatestone Institute
Prime Minister Golda Meir — who had been a signatory to Israel's declaration of independence in 1948 — refused to bargain with [the terrorists], branding it blackmail. She later said: "We have learnt the bitter lesson. One may save a life immediately only to endanger more lives. Terrorism has to be wiped out."
Meanwhile Berlin offered safe passage and unlimited cash to the terrorists....
Libyan president Muammar Gadaffi had funded the attack at the behest of PLO leader Yasser Arafat, who subsequently denied any involvement and two years later was feted in a standing ovation at the United Nations General Assembly.
"We were not engaged in vengeance. What we did was to concretely prevent in the future. We acted against those who thought that they would continue to perpetrate acts of terror". — Mossad Chief Zvi Zamir, in an interview with Yossi Melman, (17 February 2006), Haaretz.
Too often Western nations, despite earlier rejection, condemnation and sometimes hostility, have eventually been obliged to follow the lead Israel was first forced to take to protect its people. American and European responses to jihadist attacks on their own territory, especially after 9/11, is an example of that.
We are at present living through another example: the Iranian nuclear threat. Israeli leaders have repeatedly warned that Tehran's nuclear programme not only represents grave danger to their own country but to the entire region and to the world.
As in its response to Munich, Israel is conducting a covert campaign to stop it, including by targeted assassinations. Meanwhile the US and European countries are appeasing the mullahs in Tehran, just as they did with Palestinian terrorists in the 1970s, and are on the verge of striking a deal that will pave the path to an Iranian nuclear capability. This time, ignoring Israeli warnings will have even more dire and far-reaching consequences.
In memory of: David Berger, Anton Fliegerbauer, Ze'ev Friedman, Yosef Gutfreund, Eliezer Halfin, Yosef Romano, Amitzur Shapira, Kehat Shorr, Mark Slavin, Andre Spitzer, Yakov Springer, Moshe Weinberg.
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Colonel Richard Kemp is a former British Army Commander. He was also head of the international terrorism team in the U.K. Cabinet Office and is now a writer and speaker on international and military affairs. He is a Jack Roth Charitable Foundation Fellow at Gatestone Institute.
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Pictured: A burned-out German Army helicopter photographed on September 7, 1972 at Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base, after Palestinian terrorists blew it up with hand grenades the day before, murdering nine Israeli Olympic athletes whom they held hostage. (Photo by EPU/AFP via Getty Images)