Two events this week have highlighted, from very different places, an identical problem. In Bulgaria on Wednesday a bomb was detonated on a tour bus carrying Israelis. Six people were killed and many more badly injured.
On Friday a couple from Oldham, Mohammed Sadiq Khan and Shasta Khan, were sent to prison for attempting to put together an explosive device and planning to attack Jewish targets in Manchester.
What links these two events across a continent? The answer is ideology. It is an ideology which deliberately targets Jews as Jews. In the West many people continue to try to pretend that it is not about Jews at all, but about Israel, or about houses in East Jerusalem or the presence of Jewish communities in the West Bank or any other excuse that people can come up with. But it is no such thing. It is an anti-Semitic language and ideology which has found many forms over the centuries, but is most recognisable today as the language and ideology of Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Al-Qaeda, the revolutionary government of Iran and many other groups and movements worldwide. It is an ideology with clear and distinct lineage which predates the creation of the Jewish state by many centuries and which extols hatred of Jews for being Jews.
Every day, across the globe, there are such reminders of a real problem and a real hatred. But far from being eager to join the dots in this case, when it comes from an Islamist direction many people become terrified of doing so. Yet anti-Semitism is both a constant and a constantly morphing phenomenon. Sometimes it looks like the Khans in Oldham. Sometimes it comes in the guise of the BNP. At other times it arrives on a bus full of holiday makers in a place where the local authorities had never considered such a horror could happen. But the causes are the same and the results are too.
Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.