It is a real pleasure to host you on the ICT's 16th International Conference. Many among the guests are familiar faces, others are newcomers.
Each year we gather here, in order to remember the date of September 11, 2001, as the new calendar in the annals of mankind, when radical & global Muslim Jihad initiated its "holy war" against the rest of the world- the world of the "infidels".
We also use this annual gathering in order to sum-up another year of terrorism around the world, to pinpoint the new insights about this phenomenon, to underline its strengths and weaknesses and bring up new ideas as how to address this threat.
On a personal note, may I confront ourselves with a rather difficult question? Personally I have lived in a terrorist environment since I was born back in 1939. I have experienced terrorism as a kid, I have experienced it as a soldier, I have studied it at the university and I have fought it during all my adult life.
Often I find myself contemplating the dilemma, are we going to be judged by our successors as winners or as losers?
Defeating terrorism is the ultimate and only answer to the threat. We will be judged based only on this parameter.
Ameliorating terrorism, containing terrorism and any other blurred definition, will not be accepted by history. So, why is it that we do not succeed in defeating terrorism?
Sharing intelligence does not suffice! Cutting edge technologies cannot do, operational cooperation is not enough! Defensive and legal measures cannot cope with a nihilistic and suicidal culture.
Global jihad brought about the so called "Spring Revolutions". The latter brought about change of regimes in the Middle East and the emergence of Sharia states, which have put an end to the semblance of peace and gave birth to the migrant phenomena that threatens stability in a big
part of the world.
One cannot rule out the eventuality that in a proliferated world, nuclear and other non-conventional weapons fall in the hands of fanatic terrorists (chemical weapons have already fallen into their hands and have been used, without hesitation).
We must assume that such an eventuality if materialized might take the world to the brink of abyss!
So now is the time for a multi-polar world, to put aside all their differences, for an interim period, and to concentrate on the one threat- global jihad, in order to put an end to it once and for all. A coalition of countries - like China, Russia, Europe and the USA, to name a few, may cause difficulties when it entails reaching a common denominator on legal or value issues.
I allow myself to recommend that when facing a threat of this magnitude, where the most extreme terrorists in recent history have their fingers on the nuclear button, common wisdom must prevail.
I wish the participants in this great conference, to use these days ahead of us, to learn, to teach and to enjoy.
Good evening and thank you