The barbaric terrorist attacks on Thursday morning in London made us all feel like Englishmen.
Sitting in Jerusalem and watching the scenes on the television screen of emergency workers evacuating wounded from the burned out bus and of survivors, faces blackened from the underground blasts, describing the frightful events, bend one's heart toward Britain in its hour of pain.
As we Israelis think of England, it is hard to help from wondering if perhaps, in the hearts of some of the British, the sentiment arose that on July 7, 2005 they became Israelis.
It will take a long time to sort out how the attacks were organized and perpetrated. But one thing is clear enough. Britain was attacked by jihad. In attacking London's financial center, as in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the object of the terrorists was not merely to kill people, but to harm a way of life, built on freedom and free trade – the way of life of Western civilization.
The reason that it is hard not to wonder if, at their moment of shock, the British people felt a kinship with the Israeli people is because for the past five years, since the Palestinians began their jihad against Israel, Britain has been playing a lead role in distinguishing between jihad directed against Israel and jihad directed against the rest of the world.
In Britain itself, which for the past two decades has hosted some of the ideological leaders of global jihad, the jihadists have made no attempt to hide that their goals are not limited to the Jewish state, or as the common parlance has it, "the occupation," but rather span the globe.
In the weeks ahead of the British elections tis past May, Muslim activists stormed mosque meetings and denounced democracy demanding that British Muslims boycott the elections. Even as radically anti-Israel politicians like George Galloway and Oona King tried to outdo one another with their anti-Israel diatribes to win a seat in Parliament, both were attacked by Muslims on campaign stops.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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