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Public opinion and domestic terrorism: What we can learn from Israel

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TheHill.com

Public opinion and domestic terrorism: What we can learn from Israel

By Eugene Finkel and Yonatan Lupu, opinion contributors  - The Hill

The U.S. government is starting to pay more serious attention to domestic extremism. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan acknowledged recently that domestic terrorism was becoming a priority “for the first time.”   

This is a much-needed change. Domestic terrorism — such as the mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton, Pittsburgh and Orlando — bears similarities to international terrorism and to more conventional criminal matters. Domestic extremists are as resilient and adaptive as al Qaeda. Many law enforcement tactics used against criminals can be effective against domestic terrorists.

Domestic terrorism nonetheless presents unique challenges. Specifically, confronting domestic terrorism creates challenges related to popular perceptions and public opinion. Israel also faces both domestic and external terrorist threats. We hear a lot about Israel’s conflict with certain Arab groups, but Israel also has confronted violent Jewish extremists. In the 1990s, a Jewish extremist assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and another massacred 29 Muslims. More recently, Jewish extremists have burned a family in the West Bank and committed scores of other attacks.

Read more: https://thehill.com/opinion/criminal-justice/464149-public-opinion-and-domestic-terrorism-what-we-can-learn-from-israel