Last Sunday, throughout the Western world, supporters of Hamas – and, presumably, of its Iranian masters – gathered by the hundreds and thousands to celebrate Saturday’s genocidal attacks on citizens of Israel. In Salt Lake City, members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation danced. In Montreal, protestors shouted “Down, down, Israel! Free, free Palestine!” In New York, the Democratic Socialists of America (whose members include Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib) chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” and a bearded preacher screamed “This is the correct religion….We will not stop until it enters every home!”
In Washington, D.C., a crowd intoned “Fight for liberation, bring the whole thing down!” In Brighton, England, a speaker called the attacks “beautiful and inspiring.” In Sydney, the cry was “Gas the Jews!” In Rotterdam, in Atlanta, in the Swedish city of Malmö, in San Francisco, in one city after another, the brutal murder of women and children was cheered as the Palestinian flags waved in the autumn breeze.
Of course, Hamas’s actions on Saturday were far from the first example we’ve seen of Islamic hatred manifested on a massive scale. On 9/11, and on a number of other dark days since – at the Atocha railway station in Madrid in 2004, on the London underground in 2005, at the Boston Marathon in 2013, at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris in 2015, at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice in 2016, at the Manchester Arena in 2017, and on many, many other occasions – naive Westerners were given the opportunity to wise up about the Religion of Peace.
Alas, millions still didn’t get it. The media saw to that. Duplicitous teachers and professors saw to that.
But Donald Trump got it. He wanted to put a brake on immigration from the countries most responsible for jihadist terror. He wanted to build a wall in order to prevent the entry of undesirables into the U.S. In return for setting forth these eminently reasonable objectives, he was branded a racist and xenophobe by the mainstream media, and his plans were stymied at every turn by his left-wing enemies in the D.C. swamp and the federal judiciary.
Trump did more. Where his predecessors had poured tons of cash into the Palestinian territories, thereby helping to fund terrorism, he cut off the flow – and was described as heartless. He canceled Obama’s Iran deal. Plus, making the most of America’s leverage, and ignoring the absurd logic of previous administrations (which had insisted on putting Palestinians at the center of every attempt to make peace in the Middle East and normalize Israel’s status among its Islamic neighbors), Trump engineered the Abraham Accords between Israel, on the one hand, and the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Bahrain, on the other – a historic achievement that the media, and all of his enemies, almost immediately dropped down the memory hole.
Trump put America first – and everything he did, or wanted to do, in relation to the Middle East was intended, above all, to make America safer. But when his enemies managed to install Joe Biden in the Oval Office, the first thing that the new President’s puppeteers did was to reverse Trump’s policies – thereby making an assault on Israel far more likely.
And if what happened in Israel on Saturday was horrible, what happened around the world on Sunday was deeply sobering. Because those demonstrations showed us just how many people living within the borders of free Western societies are, in fact, enemies of freedom and champions of jihad. Some of them are foreign-born. Some are Muslims. Some are ardent Communists, rabid anti-Semites, ignorant bien pensant types who think that being fellow travelers of Islam makes them virtuous. Some, like the “Queers for Palestine,” are outright fools who don’t seem to grasp that they are cheering for people who would draw and quarter them at the first opportunity.
Despite all the pro-Hamas demos on Sunday, there have been several developments that have made me feel as if something positive is happening. I can only hope I’m right.
First, this. In Britain, where shamelessly praising and placating Muslims has been official policy for years – and where critics of Islam have been thrown in prison – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, speaking at a synagogue on Monday night, called Hamas “terrorists,” said that “there are not two sides to these events,” and praised Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East. These remarks felt…different. Very different.
I don’t know Charlotte Corbett of South Africa, but on Monday she wrote on Facebook that on Zulu, Xhosa, and Swati media (with “a combined listenership of over 40 million”) support for Israel, thanks largely to “the sharing of videos on social media,” has been well-nigh unanimous, with some listeners saying that they’ve “chang[ed] their opinion completely” about the situation in the Middle East.
Then there’s this. A few weeks ago, I dropped CNN and BBC from my cable TV package out of disgust with their relentless pro-left, anti-Trump propaganda. But I re-subscribed on Sunday so that I could see for myself how they were reporting on the war in Israel. On Monday, I was surprised by the degree to which the reporters and anchors on those networks were willing to call a spade a spade.
Early in the day, a CNN anchorwoman choked back tears as she introduced a report about the massacre at the Nova Music Festival in the southern Israeli desert. Later, the usually execrable Christiane Amanpour ended an interview with a young survivor of the music festival by saying: “Thank God you had a guardian angel.” Still later, Anderson Cooper actually called Hamas a “terror group” (not “fighters” or “militants”); after Becky Anderson interviewed a tearful young Israeli woman whose family was missing, Cooper was so palpably moved that he couldn’t speak for several very long seconds. Even later, Jake Tapper used the words “depravity” and “barbarism” and “inhumanity” and told an Israeli woman who runs an emergency medical services organization: “God bless you.”
These are people who, in reporting on jihadist terror over the years, could be counted on to downplay any mention of Islam, to ascribe reasonable-sounding motives to the evildoers, to practice moral equivalence, and to express concern about anti-Muslim “backlash.” I wondered: could it really be that this time around, the monstrousness of Hamas’s actions had finally awakened at least a few of Islam’s longtime media apologists and enablers? Or were they already preparing to pivot on a dime? Was this, in short, just a passing phase that would end when Israel started taking Gaza apart?
Alas, by Tuesday afternoon at least some of the CNN talking heads already seemed to be on the verge of returning to their old ways. As the Israeli journalist Caroline Glick pointed out on Tuesday evening, people in the West are quick to sympathize with Jews when they’re victimized, but they hate “courageous Jews…who stand up for themselves and their rights and fight for their country.”
Here’s a question: now that it’s clearer than ever that rabid fans of jihadist butchery proliferate in pretty much every major city in the Western world, will Western governments do anything at all about it? In the U.S., devout Catholics, parents who don’t want their kids taught transgender ideology and Critical Race Theory, January 6 “insurrectionists,” and Trump voters generally have been treated by the FBI as threats to American freedom and security. What are these noble G-men going to do about the armies of jihad enthusiasts who showed their true faces on Sunday and who truly are threats to American freedom and security?
On Tuesday, in the Dutch House of Representatives, Geert Wilders noted the pro-Hamas rallies that took place in several Dutch cities last weekend and asked Prime Minister Mark Rutte what he plans to do about these enemies within. That is precisely the question that should be posed to every Western leader: what are you going to do about this? What are you going to do to protect our country from experiencing an atrocity, sooner or later, like the one Hamas perpetrated on Saturday?
A couple more questions. If Donald Trump isn’t returned to the White House, is there any hope at all for an America containing heaven knows how many Hamas aficionados? If he is returned to the White House, will he be able to deport enough of these people to make a difference?
Finally, is it possible that the sheer savagery of Saturday’s attacks will awaken long-dormant citizens around the Western world to the reality of Islam and persuade them, at long last, to save their own countries before it’s too late? Or will this moment pass, just as the post-9/11 feeling of unity, rage, and patriotism did, and give way to yet more whitewashing, pusillanimity, self-censorship, and appeasement?