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Western leaders ignore ‘apocalyptic Islam’ at their peril

Best-selling author says failure to understand messianic ideologies driving ISIS and Iran dooms the West to be repeatedly blindsided.

By Ari Soffer

Despite years of warnings by intelligence agencies that radicalized Muslims would eventually emerge from the battlefields of Syria and Iraq to launch bloody attacks in the West, Europe has been blindsided by one of the most brutal terrorist atrocities in recent memory.

The coordinated attacks by three teams of ISIS terrorists in Paris on Friday sent shockwaves far beyond France, with the massacre of at least 129 people reigniting the debate around immigration after it was revealed that at least two of the attackers entered Europe posing as “refugees.”

The attacks also fueled debate over how to end the Syrian civil war, as well as over ongoing efforts to defeat ISIS on the battlefields of Syria and Iraq, the latter of which has seen several successes over the past few weeks.

But glaringly absent from the discussions are any serious attempts to understand the ideological motivations of the Muslim extremists, several of them French citizens, who carried out the worse terror attacks in France in a generation – including the first-ever suicide bombings on French soil.

That, says best-selling author Joel Rosenberg, is the reason such acts of terror are bound to repeat themselves.

Joel spoke to me prior to the attacks at the recent Jerusalem Leaders Policy Summit, and voiced concern that by failing to grapple with the apocalyptic ideology behind actors such as ISIS, Western states would never be able to decisively defeat them.

Watch: Author Joel Rosenberg speaks in Jerusalem:

A jovial, somewhat self-deprecating character, Rosenberg – who worked for Binyamin Netanyahu during his failed prime ministerial bid in 1999, as well as Natan Sharansky – describes himself as “a failed political consultant,” but boasts a rather more successful career as writer, selling millions of novels highlighting the threat of radical Islam.

Today he lives in Netanya in northern Israel with his family, having made aliyah from the US last August at the height of Operation Protective Edge (though a practicing Christian his father was Jewish, making him eligible for aliyah under the Right of Return). From there, he has continued his efforts to explain “the threats we mutually face as Israelis and Americans from radical Islam” – a threat he says he only fully appreciated after working with Netanyahu.

“Misunderstanding the nature of the threat… of evil, is to risk being blindsided by it,” he said, citing Peal Harbor and 9/11 as examples. “And we’re going to be blindsided by a nuclear Iran, just like we’re being blindsided by ISIS.”

“At the core of it, American leaders are refusing to deal with the theology and eschatology of our enemy,” he


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