As the gravity of Friday’s tragedy in Paris begins to sink in, it raises new questions about how to balance democracy and personal freedom in the face of international terrorism.
For perspective on modern life in a place where the threat of violence is very real, Weekend Afternoon Show host Shane Foxman spoke with Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Hudai.
Lesson for the world?
Hudai says while the Paris attacks are tragic, he hopes they are a wake up call for the West.
“I hope that the world, especially the Western world, feeling that they are far away from the problem have to understand that if they are not going to take action today, that they are going to suffer the consequences in the future. So it’s better to fight it when it’s a smaller threat.”
And he says the violence reflects the lesson learned in the 20th century’s world wars: that extremism left unchecked will flourish.
“If you are not going to take the measures against it, it could come to your door.”
Hudai says he hopes the tragic events offers some insight into what life can be like in Israel. He says the world often asks them to make compromises, but that it’s hard in the face of regular violence.
“If we are going to do what other people ask us to do, it means – at least in the eyes of a lot of Israelis, a suicidal act. If you take the Israelis and ask them, are you ready to make a compromises for a peace that is like between Canada and the United States, 70-80% will say yes. But if you ask them ‘how many of you think it can happen in 30 years?’ Maybe five percent will say yes. So this is that gap we have to overcome.”
But he says the problems are not insurmountable. Hudai says despite Israel’s troubles, Tel Aviv has been able to grow and prosper, and has seen recent booms in its youth population and real estate market.
Asked if he is optimistic for the future?
“I am realistic. I think you have to work for the goal you want to achieve. I don’t think that you have a solution, but you can improve the situation between your people.”