Ending the Myth of the Poor Terrorist
However, the latest research raises some new questions about the comprehensiveness of Bueno de Mesquita’s model. In 2015, a new Palestinian terrorist campaign erupted. The attacks were substantially different than previous waves of Palestinian violence as the assailants typically worked alone instead of within a greater terrorist group. Because of this individualistic terrorist threat, the campaign is often referred to as the “Lone Wolf” intifada. The violence subsided in 2017, and an ongoing study by Berrebi and Weissbrod is working to analyze the characteristics of the individuals involved. So far, the study has found that while there are many high school dropouts in this new kind of self-selected terrorism, there are also many who are highly educated and from affluent backgrounds. Overall, both the number of highly educated professionals and university graduates among the terrorists, and the number coming from wealthier backgrounds, are well above average. What the research suggests is that although terrorist organizations may eliminate the lowest quality terrorist candidates, as claimed by Bueno de Mesquita and others, separate factors beyond the screening process must play a part in forming the connection between higher education, wealth, and terrorism.From Zion to San Remo and Beyond
What is clear by now is that nearly all current research shows that terrorists tend to be wealthier and more educated but we still need to test new theories to find out why. If Bueno de Mesquita’s screening model isn’t the entire story, one alternative theory could be that the educational content could itself be radicalizing, thus the more schooling someone receives in a given society the more likely it becomes that they could engage in terrorist acts. Another possible theory is that terrorism is a modern, deadlier form of political protests and revolts that have, throughout history, often been started by the intellectual communities. A third alternative may be that individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds do not have the luxury of participating in revolt as they must worry about feeding their families and the struggles of everyday life.
There are many more unexplored theories that may help to further explain the roots of terrorism, yet one thing is certain: The conventional view is far too simple. Politicians like Jeremy Corbyn need to stop treating terrorist threat as though it is a unidimensional problem which is solvable by raising individual wealth and education. Corbyn’s paeans to the noble suffering of hopeless Hamas terrorists rests on a myth. The massacre against Christians in Sri Lanka was not committed by desperate volunteers drawn from the wretched of the earth. The terrorists who carried out that mass murder were well-educated members of their society’s upper middle class, a background that is not exceptional in the broader context of terrorism and, if anything, suggests that the perpetrators were representative of a common socio-economic class of terrorist.
As terrorism evolves further, we must treat this issue as one impacted not just by poverty, education or terrorist organizations, but other factors as well. This step will allow for greater research in order to fully understand the mechanisms of terrorism and begin to find real solutions that reach beyond political expediency.
Almost a century ago, the international San Remo Conference was held in Italy in April 1920. During this conference, the international community, led by the victorious allies of World War I, recognized the Jewish people’s national and historical rights in its ancestral homeland Israel. The importance of this largely forgotten conference cannot be overstated. Israel’s enemies frequently distort history by falsely presenting Israel as a “foreign imperialist implant” and a “compensation for the Holocaust.” In reality, the recognition of the Jewish people’s historical and national rights in Israel was part of a wider anti-imperialist new world order led by US President Woodrow Wilson after World War I.Document showing America’s official recognition of Israel in May 1948 up for sale
This new world order recognized the national and political rights of nations worldwide. The same Arab world, which has frequently been depicted as a “victim of imperialism”, ironically gained far more from the San Remo Conference than the Jewish people did. The same international community that recognized the Jewish people’s rights to its tiny historical homeland recognized Arab political independence over much of the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq. At the time, international and Arab leaders saw no conflict between the reestablishment of a tiny Jewish state in the land of Israel and the establishment of neighboring vast Arab states. Emir Faisal, the head of the Arab kingdom Hejaz, welcomed the Jewish people’s return to its ancestral homeland Israel:
“We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement…. We will wish the Jews a hearty welcome home…. We are working together for a reformed and revised Near East, and our two movements complement one another. The movement is national and not imperialistic. There is room in Syria for us both. Indeed, I think that neither can be a success without the other.”
Merely a century ago, the international community understood a fundamental truth that has largely been lost today: “Palestine” is the Roman imposed term for the Jewish people’s historical homeland Judea. At the time, there were no calls for establishing a “Palestinian” Arab state because neither Arabs nor anyone else was aware of such a “nation”. Local Arabs identified either as Syrians or as part of the wider Arab world.
The original exhibition copy of the United States’ recognition of Israel in 1948, signed by U.S. President Harry S. Truman, is up for sale for the first time.What Does it Mean to be Pro-Israel in 2019?
The document, valued at $300,000, is the only known signed copy of the final recognition of the Jewish state to exist.
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The Raab Collection, the nation’s leading dealer in important historical documents, announced on Tuesday that it has acquired the historical artifact ahead of Israel’s Independence Day in May.
Previously, the document was exhibited by the American and Israeli governments.
It reads: “This government has been informed that a Jewish state has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested the provisional government thereof. The United States recognizes the provision government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel.”
“This document speaks to the power of the Jewish hope of a homeland and its realization after World War II,” said Raab Collection president Nathan Raab. “It was signed by Truman for the New York World’s Fair and since then has been used by both the American and Israeli governments as the symbol of the great recognition of Israel by the United States.”