The attack launched by Hamas on Israel—the brutal slaughter of men, women, and children, and the degradations which followed some of those murders—sickened many of us who watched the videos and read the reports about the horrors committed by these savages.
Not everyone shared our revulsion.
In Tehran, mobs and politicians celebrated the atrocities with cries of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” Given that all evidence points to heavy Iranian involvement in the massacres that took place, this street party was no surprise.
Around the world, many others joined the Iranians in this victory dance. In Sydney, Barcelona, Berlin, New York, and Washington, D.C., radicals (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) turned out to wave their flags, cheer on the butchers, and warn the West to turn away from a people, the Jews, they consider to be less than insects.
Nations too showed their colors. Both Russia and China have failed to condemn Hamas, with some Russian propagandists mocking the Israelis. Even the reaction of the U.S. government to this wholesale butchery was initially muted, with the United States’ Office for Palestinian Affairs recommending in a now-deleted Tweet that Israelis refrain from “retaliatory attacks.”
As for those Americans who go on supporting Hamas, did you know that in March 2023 Iraq’s Islamic Fatwa Council condemned the repression of Palestinians by Hamas and called on these terrorists to make peace with Israel? This council pointed to “the suffering of the Palestinian people of Gaza under the rule of Hamas, and the brutality and abuse to which Hamas subjects them.”
However, the American mainstream news media is already tempering events. Here, for example, is an October 9 CBS News headline: “Israel-Hamas war death toll tops 1,500 as Gaza Strip is bombed and gun battles rage for a third day.” This is akin to describing the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, as “German-Allied battle deaths peak as beaches are bombed and gun battles rage.”
The result of such reporting? The barbarities that began on October 7 will soon be forgotten. Instead, we’ll see more and more reports of Israeli brutality and overreaction. We’ll hear cries of protest against Israel’s “apartheid” society. We’ll see more rallies and mobs in places like New York and D.C.
In an important podcast with Bari Weiss, Michael Oren gives an excellent analysis of this horror show. At one point, when Weiss mentions Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations, Oren interrupts to say that this is no clash of civilizations. Rather, what we are seeing is a war between barbarians and civilization itself.
And if we have any interest at all in trying to salvage that civilization, we might consider the firebrand Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci. Twenty years ago, when she was dying of cancer, Fallaci wrote prodigiously of the wreckage being caused in Europe by Islamic extremist immigrants, politicians, and others undermining Western culture. Her warning then and now can be summed up in these few words: “The moment you give up your principles and your values, you are dead, your culture is dead, your civilization is dead. Period.”
So, what can we do right now to begin defending that civilization against Hamas?
First, we can remember the heroes of this abattoir, parents like Itai and Hadar Berdichevsky, both 30, who hid their 10-month-old twins in a bomb shelter and died battling their attackers. Their babies survived. Take a moment and look at this family. As the Jewish statement of condolence has it, “May their memory be for a blessing.”
Next, let’s take a lesson from the French. Some commentators have compared the stomach-turning atrocities of Hamas in Israel to America’s 9/11 moment. On September 13, two days after the Twin Towers crashed to the ground, the French newspaper Le Monde carried an editorial stating “We are all Americans.”
Those of us opposed to savagery, barbarism, and lies should likewise simply and immediately proclaim of ourselves, “Today we are all Israelis.” While we are not literally Israeli, we do together support civilization, justice, and freedom.
Let’s show our enemies where we stand.
Image credit: “The remains of the Sderot city police” by Yoav Keren on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0. Image cropped.4 comments