The terrorist attack in Barcelona last Thursday appears to be just another link in the radical Islamist chain of carnage being inflicted on the free world. There was nothing new about the attack, tactically or conceptually. Ever since Palestinian terrorists discovered that trucks, tractors and other vehicles could be turned into weapons of murder and used against the hated infidels, the method has been adopted by attackers in France, Britain and Germany, among other places.
In the hours following the Barcelona attack, Britain's Sky News compiled a list of ramming attacks that have taken place over the past year. The attack that killed four Israeli soldiers on Jerusalem's Armon Hanatziv promenade in January was nowhere to be seen on the list. A similar list, which also made no mention of the attack in Israel, appeared on the BBC. Although they are competitors, both of these networks were remarkably unified in their decision to conceal the facts. Like many in Europe, they try to avoid having to admit that Israelis and Europeans are in the same boat.
The attack on Catalonia's capital has further sharpened the distinction between those who recognize the growing threat and those who would like to obscure it in the hope that it will disappear from the public eye. Spain's conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy displayed admirable moral clarity when he said that radical Islam presents the greatest threat to the continent. But a fairly large camp in Spain and its neighboring countries is doing everything possible to sweep this fact under the rug.
Instead of facing this reality, members of the Spanish Left prefer to attack and denigrate Israel. Barcelona's city council called for a boycott of the Jewish state just a few months ago. Official representatives of the Catalonian government met with representatives from a number of radical groups, including Hamas. The BDS movement's Catalonia branch did not even wait for the blood of the Barcelona victims to dry before taking the classic propaganda step of turning facts on their head to announce that Europe itself was responsible for the attack. It is no coincidence that the same elements that incite against Israel also whitewash radical Islam. While one hand defends terrorism, the other hand demonizes Israel in an effort to push a confused public toward the false conclusion that stiff-necked Zionists are to blame for Europe's suffering.
The way to treat society's ills is similar to that of treating a human patient: First, the problem must be diagnosed. If the diagnosis is accurate, there can be hope. But if it is not, a gnawing threat to a once healthy body will only grow, and you might as well prepare the death certificate.
The only real threat to freedom and democracy today comes from jihadist Islam. The attempts by some in the West to extend a hand to Islam's radicals, to placate and even join them in inciting against the Jewish state, are doomed to fail. The battle over the identification of the threat is being waged right before our very eyes, and it will have a decisive impact on the fate of Europe.
Ariel Bolstein is the founder of the Israel advocacy organization Faces of Israel. This column was first pubished in Israel Hayom.