“In Europe we have adopted a holistic approach to fighting terrorism. I think Israel could have an interest in studying our experience in holistic approaches,” Lars Faaborg-Anderson said.
“We have a lot to learn from Israel, and Israel has a lot to learn from us,” outgoing European Union (EU) Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen told reporters at a press conference Tuesday at Tel Aviv’s Dan Hotel.
According to the Danish diplomat who just completed a four-year term in the Jewish state, Israel provides Europe with valuable information on the Islamic State terror group.
However, “In Europe we have adopted a holistic approach to fighting terrorism. I think Israel could have an interest in studying our experience in holistic approaches.”
“There’s a significant security aspect to it, which you undoubtedly address,” he said, “but there are also other aspects to work with, including welfare and educational services and the like…. Israel can definitely learn from European experience.”
Radical Islamic terror attacks in major European cities have increased dramatically in recent years, the latest mass-casualty attack being the van-ramming in the heart of Barcelona last week that ended with 15 dead and 120 wounded. Asked by a reporter whether he believes the holistic approach has been effective, the EU envoy responded:
Israeli Intelligence of ‘the Highest Caliber’
“If there’s still terrorism it obviously hasn’t been a complete success, because a 100-percent hermetically sealed security against attacks is tough to achieve. But you can definitely reduce the number of attacks. I think our approach is successful, but not entirely so. It’s certainly better than not doing anything.”
Regarding cooperation with Israel, “We’re definitely learning from each other on de-radicalization, fighting terror financing, cyber terrorism and more,” he said. “And Israel absolutely supplies important information to the EU, including in matters regarding ISIS. The information Israel supplies is of the highest caliber and it flows freely between intelligence agencies. I don’t have the exact details of the information, but we’re feeling very good about it.”
Israel’s relationship with the EU during the ambassador’s tenure has often been tense. Last April, for example, Faaborg-Andersen conveyed what was reported as a diplomatic threat against the Jewish state in a meeting with the new director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. The EU was demanding that Israel cease demolishing EU-sponsored structures for Palestinians, which in fact were built illegally.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused the EU of attempting to create facts on the ground by building these structures.
By: Adina Katz, World Israel News