Deeds Are Led By Words
February 27, 2023 | By Y. Carmon*
MEMRI Daily Brief No. 461
Yesterday, 30 years ago, February 26, 1993, was my last day in as advisor on
Countering Terrorism to two Israeli prime ministers, first Yitzhak Shamir
and then Yitzhak Rabin. It was a clear cold winter Friday with blue skies.
On that day, I gave a final briefing at the Pentagon to the office of
Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (SOLIC). At the time,
"Low-Intensity Conflict" was a moniker for what later became known as
I dedicated my briefing to the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. Employing
the methodology that would a few years later become the basis for the Middle
East Media Research Institute (MEMRI - which now celebrates its 25th
anniversary): I cited source after source of Muslim and Arab figures and
religious leaders in various countries urging their followers to attack the
United States. For example, One of the examples I cited was a publication
called Al-Khilafah ("The Caliphate") published by the UK-based Al-Muhajiroun
organization, which featured an article saying that capitalism is a crime
that should be fought against.
My American counterparts, with whom I had been liaising for five years,
looked at me with a kind of disbelief - they thought that my briefing was
far-fetched. Since when do we examine words as a cause for actions? As if
the history of World War II did not teach us anything.
One colleague, trying to be polite, said to me: "You may be more aware of it
because you are from Israel." What he meant was: "Do not confuse your
situation with ours - this does not apply here in the United States."
Two hours and 24 minutes later, as I was on my way to JFK to fly home to
Jerusalem, a truck bomb was detonated by radical Islamists just below the
North Tower of the World Trade Center, the most visible symbol of American
capitalism, in what would become known as the first World Trade Center
Since then, time and again history has taught us, by bloody attacks
motivated by ideological fanaticism, that deeds are not only led by words -
words can even serve as early warnings for attacks.
*Y. Carmon is President of MEMRI.