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The Battle of the 21st Century

Democracy Fighting Terror

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  • Cover Type: Softcover | Hebrew
  • Number Of Pages: 513 Pages
  • Price: 85 NIS

This book is an outgrowth of an IDI forum that conducted research during 2004–2005 on issues such as targeted killings, detention, and the strategy of dealing with terror threats. It gives the reader a behind the scenes view of discussions that confronted the most difficult challenge facing the democratic world in the 21st century:  the war on terror.

This book is an outgrowth of an IDI forum that conducted research during 2004–2005 on issues such as targeted killings, detention, and the strategy of dealing with terror threats. It gives the reader a behind the scenes view of discussions that confronted the most difficult challenge facing the democratic world in the 21st century: the war on terror.

The Israel Democracy Institute created a forum made up of leading experts in the fields of law, security and society. This forum met during 2004-2005, for a series of meetings. The forum focused on issues such as targeted killings, detention, legal dealings with cases of terrorism, and the strategic concept concerning terror threats. This book includes the meeting protocols, discussion conclusions, and also three articles written by members of the forum. The reader is invited to glimpse behind the scenes of these discussions which confront the most difficult challenge facing the 21st century democratic world: the war on terror.

Since the turn of the new millennium, the democratic world has witnessed an ongoing attack on its basic values. This continuous attack reached unprecedented levels of horror in the coordinated terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Since then, the democratic world has witnessed more vicious attacks in different parts of the globe. This type of threat calls for a new, innovative response. Following September 11, 2001, it has become crystal clear that borders of sovereign countries are no longer a meaningful barrier to terrorism, from the transfer of scientific and technical know-how to the funding. The most dangerous enemies of freedom and the democratic way of life are neither nation-states nor regular armies.

Individuals and groups scattered all over the world have acquired unprecedented power and opportunities to cause unprecedented damage. Regular armies are trained to fight armies and conduct their combat on the battlefield; they have never been trained to combat "civilian" terrorists. Among the variety of emerging threatening terrorist phenomena, the suicide terrorists pose a clear example of a relatively new and unique challenge in and of themselves. Unfortunately, Israel – being the prime victim of this method – has acquired abundant experience in this arena. Over the last years, Israel has become a real-time laboratory for analytically inspecting and innovatively developing modes of grappling with the complexities of this issue. These modes include innovative rulings by the Supreme Court, lively debate, and new ideas about the role of the media in combating terror, dilemmas in the responsibilities of legislators and decision-makers, and the appropriation of funds.

Israel Democracy Institute's project on Democracy Fighting Terror has emerged from the existential need to assess and reassess legal strategies, methods, and means currently used by western democracies to fight terrorism in order to develop new innovative and practical mechanisms to deal with the threat, while developing the means to protect the democratic way of life, as well as principles of human rights.