It's not the same Barcelona

Barcelona is the latest city to suffer the horror of Islamic terror. Time to silence the bleeding hearts, let police do their job. Opinion.

Uzi Baruch ,

Barcelona after the attack
Barcelona after the attack

Go back in time 13 years. March 11th, 2004 at about 8:00 a.m. in Madrid, Spain. Ten bombs go off almost at simultaneously on four different passenger trains across the city.

The results were horrifying: 191 people killed, more than 2,000 injured. The Spanish capital was filled with blood, fire, and smoke.

The massacre on Thursday in Barcelona, Spain’s most popular tourist hotspot, sent shockwaves around the world.

‘Jihad returns’, newspapers across Europe declared after a terrorist ran down almost 100 pedestrians outside of a shopping center in Barcelona, killing 13 and injuring more than 80.

Spain is bleeding again. Once again, the world is feeling the pain, and crying out.

And not for nothing.

Barcelona isn’t just another European city or another tourist attraction. Israelis think of Barcelona as the quiet, pastoral sanctuary of calm from the unending pressures of life here in Israel.

The La Rambla pedestrian mall isn’t just another street in Europe. It brings together dozens of cafes, a huge fruit market, clothing stores without end, and even has kosher restaurants – something that is never easy to find in Barcelona.

So many Israeli visitors to Barcelona head to La Rambla to visit the two kosher restaurants in the area; to get some chicken at Maccabi or stop off at Maoz Falafel for a bite to eat.

But yesterday Barcelona changed. It’s not the same city anymore.

I’m not at all surprised by the fact that local security forces had difficulty getting a hold on the situation in the first few moments after the attack began. They’re not used to these kinds of murderous terror attacks.

More than a few times in the past I found myself tensing up in Barcelona at the sound of police sirens and passing security vehicles, which reminded me of the painful moments after every terror attack in Israel.

Usually, the police cars raced to the scene of a traffic accident involving a scooter, or a scuffle, or to chase down a thief picking tourists’ pockets.

Here in Barcelona, there was hope that the sting of Muslim terror would leave out of this deadly game.

I will admit that with the rise in Islamic terror across Europe, I started to question my own hopes for this oasis of quiet. The thousands of tourists enjoying themselves in La Rambla drew out the Muslim extremists.

The world is now mourning the murder of innocents, but it’s really time for the West to wake up.

Just like in Israel, it is difficult to stop this kind of terrorism. Rhetoric won’t stop the bloodthirsty terrorists from striking in Germany, the UK, Spain, or Israel.

It’s time for Europe’s leaders to stop babbling and to come together and make a united effort against those who want to violently impose Islam on the world.

Weakness and rhetoric, the kind we still see emanating from European capitals, will only bring the free world to catastrophe.

To win this war, security forces must ignore the background noise, ignore the bleeding hearts, and to stop citing ‘violations of personal rights’ when the safety of innocent people is at stake, and to ignore those who scream bloody murder every time a Muslim is given a security check at an airport.

Time to let the security establishment secure us.