Israeli tourists were killed today in a bomb attack on a bus in Burgas, Bulgaria. We don’t know how many were killed yet – at least three, but there are reports of up to seven fatalities with 20 wounded. We don’t know for sure how the bombing was carried out, though initial reports suggest that either a suicide bomber carrying a backpack boarded the bus and exploded, or there was a bomb placed in the luggage compartment.
And, of course, we don’t know who was responsible. It could be far-Rightists, though they don’t usually use suicide bombers. It could be an al Qaeda-linked bomber or a home-grown Salafi-Jihadi.
But the biggest suspicion has to be on Hezbollah and Iran. Iran has, in recent weeks, launched or almost launched terrorist attacks against Israelis in India, Thailand, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Kenya. A Hezbollah operative was stopped planning an attack in Cyprus earlier this week. Today is the 18th anniversary of the AMIA bombing, a Hezbollah operation jointly organised by Iran.
The thing is, Hezbollah is a member of the Government of Lebanon. Iran is a sovereign state. These aren’t guys hiding in caves in Afghanistan. We know where they are and who they are.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union. An attack on tourists – teenagers – like this is an Act of War. It’s not 1994 any more. All countries, and especially EU countries, will have to take real steps against Iran, Hezbollah and possibly even Lebanon if there is good evidence that they’re behind it. Can Bulgarian athletes just compete against Iranians in the Olympics a couple of weeks after they bombed their country? Can EU Governments sit in international forums like it’s business as usual? Can they allow Iranian and Lebanese embassies to remain anywhere in the Western world?
Enough. No country can ignore this anymore. Yes, this was an attack on Jews and Israelis and Jews and Israelis should respond to it. I’m sure the Israeli Government will find ways of responding, whether we find out about them or not. But we shouldn’t forget that it was also an attack on Bulgaria, Europe and the West as a whole. We shouldn’t give anyone a free pass for an act of war just because they were aiming for Jews.