Israel Katz says that Belgians enjoy life too much, refuse to decide that they’re in a war with Islamic terrorism.
There have been a number of original explanations for why Islamic State militants struck Brussels, killing at least 34 people on Tuesday.
Turkish media blamed Belgium’s embrace of the Kurds, a Ukrainian blogger expounded on the blasts being a joint Putin-ISIS conspiracy to distract media attention from the trial of a Ukranian pilot, and an Israeli minister chided Belgians for talking too much about Israel and not enough about their own radicalization problems.
But the best of the bunch has to be another Israeli cabinet member, Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister Israel Katz, for whom enemy number one is chocolate. And enjoying life. Definitely the enjoying life bit.
Katz made the remarks in a Wednesday morning interview with Army Radio. Here it is in full:
If Belgians continue to eat chocolate and enjoy life, they won’t be able to fight. Europe and the United States would not define that the war is against Islamic terrorism. When your definition is wrong and doesn’t exist, you can’t lead a global war.
If Belgians keep eating chocolate and enjoy life and look like great democrats and liberals, and not decide [sic] that some of the Muslims there organize terrorism, they won’t be able to find them.
Look at how we are able to bring the moderates closer and drive the extremists, like the Islamic Movement, outside of the law. We are also going about our lives but we are preparing without illusions and this comes from our ability to define who the enemy is. The Europeans and even the United States haven’t defined who their opponent is.
Katz is perhaps the most senior Likud member who has managed to survive at Netanyahu’s side the longest, even as more astute peers were pushed out and marginalized by the rivalry averse prime minister. One theory of his success is that he is perceived too daft to be disloyal. If this is the case, today’s comments will have earned him a few more years at the top.