August 24, 2017
The same terrorist methods developed and used by the Palestinians against Israeli civilians for years are now being employed by ISIS against Europeans: car-rammings, stabbings, and suicide bombings in public spaces. They are the one “export” from the West Bank and Gaza Strip that Europeans have yet to label.
On the day that 14 people were killed and hundreds injured in Barcelona, the city of Tel Aviv dressed itself in red and yellow as a sign of solidarity with the victims, because Israelis love Spain and know firsthand the suffering caused by terrorism. Unfortunately, the feeling is not always reciprocated.
For decades, important sectors of Spanish and European public opinion have overlooked or even rationalized the attacks on Israeli civilians, viewing them as products of an alleged "cycle of violence." For decades, many a media outlet avoided using the word "terrorists" whenever the victims were Israeli. “Militants” was the preferred word to describe the murderers, suited to the prevailing narrative. But no one today would hesitate to call the attackers of Barcelona and Cambrils terrorists, and it would be appalling to suggest that the car-ramming of men, women, and children can be justified by this or that policy implemented by Spain or the European Union. Yet this double standard is barely even noticed—a result of successful anti-Israeli propaganda.
This past April, Layla Khaled, a former member of a Palestinian terrorist organization that hijacked planes and perpetrated many attacks against civilians, was invited to speak at a literary fair sponsored by, among others, Barcelona’s city council. The protests of the Spanish Jewish community were ignored, and Khaled was received with honors. She defended and even idealized her participation in the “armed struggle,” and the city thus took part in a reprehensible banalization of terrorism. Last week, the same actions that Khaled glorified sowed terror in the city that offered her an honorable platform. Would they still invite her to speak today? Would they place signs on the main streets announcing her presence, as they did in April?
Israel has been in the trenches, fighting the various expressions of Sunni and Shiite terrorism since its founding almost 70 years ago. By virtue of its accumulated experience, the Jewish state is the ally that Europe needs to prevent the threat of a proto-Intifada from becoming a reality.
In fact, contacts between Israeli security forces and those of most European countries have increased over the last three years, and cooperation takes place at all levels, from top government officials to patrol agents. But even as this collaboration deepens among those responsible for security, a lack of mutual understanding remains in the broader society.
To truly honor the innocent victims of Barcelona and to prevent terrorism from exploiting the situation, democratic societies must unite and confront the evil that threatens us all.
Patricio Abramzon is AJC’s Assistant Director for Latino and Latin American Communications.
This article was originally posted on Infobae.
Photo credit: By jikatu