Israel minister urges Europe to focus less on rights, more on security

Moshe Yaalon also urged passport controls in Europe and tighter access to public places

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Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Sunday that European nations must reduce their focus on human rights in favor of more security to avoid a repeat of the Paris attacks that killed 129 people.

“In Europe, the balance between security and human rights has until now leaned in favor of human rights, but there is no longer any choice,” Yaalon told army radio.

“The balance must now be tipped toward security to defend democracy.”

He urged laws to allow for a “more effective fight against terrorism.”

“Europeans understood that there was a danger, but the measures that should have been taken were not, such as changes in legislation allowing surveillance of potential terrorists, for example,” the minister said.

Yaalon, an ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also urged passport controls in Europe and tighter access to public places.

He said action should be taken in Turkey to “bridge the gap” -- meaning to stop the flow of European jihadists travelling via the country to train with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group and Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front in Syria and Iraq before returning home.

“In the anti-terrorism fight, we are all in the same boat when it comes to defending Western civilization,” he said.

Netanyahu on Saturday said he had instructed his country’s security and intelligence agencies to assist France and other European nations as they investigate Friday night’s attacks.

ISIS said it was responsible for the attacks that left a trail of destruction at the packed Bataclan concert hall, restaurants and bars, and outside the Stade de France national stadium.