Andrew Castle is Leading Britain's Conversation.
20 December 2016, 10:43
As critics of Angela Merkel blame her refugee policy for the latest terror attack, James O'Brien shoots that down with a simple point: letting immigrants in was the very best way to prove ISIS were wrong.
12 people were killed and 48 injured when a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin. It's been reported already that a Pakistani migrant was behind the dreadful crash.
That's led some on the right to say it's proof Merkel was wrong to open her country's doors to migrants. Wrong, says James O'Brien.
"Although fraught with difficulties and far from perfect, it was by far the most effective kick in the face for ISIL.
"It was a more effective kick in the face for ISIL than any bomb that could have been dropped on their headquarters or any sniper that could have taken out their key personnel.
"What that did, very simply, was utterly undermine their rhetoric, their narrative, their propaganda.
"The propaganda of Islamic State is simple: the West hate us. The West hate you. Even if you were born there, even if you live there, they hate you, they hate you, they hate you.
"Go and blow them up, they hate you.
"Go and kill them, they hate you."
But what did Merkel's acceptance of hundreds of thousands of refugees do? Very simple, says James, "in fell swoop, [she] absolute punched the living daylights out of that position.
"How can you continue to preach that the West hates you when it's thrown open its doors?"