It is unfortunate and grossly disturbing that the current Mayor of London cannot describe the attackers of London Bridge as “Islamic terrorists”. The still continuing state of denial of many European leaders about the link between Islamism and terrorism is at the root of a strategy to combat jihadism that falls short of what is required to preserve the safety of their citizens and the security of our societies.
This is a basic contrast with Israel where authorities and citizens have learnt the hard way who their enemies are, an essential requisite for their survival.
The second wrong assumption that we must discard as soon as possible is the idea that terrorism is like a natural phenomenon, statistically marginal, unsolvable, that essentially demands of us to find a way to live with it. But terrorism cannot be equated with the casualties from bath drownings, lightning strikes or bee stings, as some of those seeking to minimise it do.
Terror is humanly motivated, politically and religiously oriented, has goals and means. Terrorism should and can never be, in the infamous deplorable words of London Mayor Sadiq Khan “part and parcel of living in a great city”. Preparations to respond to attacks in a quick and effective manner are essential, but actions to prevent terrorism are even more significant.