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Civilization or Barbarism? This Time the Choice Is Clear.

Civilization or Barbarism? This Time the Choice Is Clear.

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.”

Meanwhile, for years, up until these past few days, Israel has helped the people in the Gaza Strip with aid like free electricity. Israel is not the oppressor of Palestinians. Hamas is.

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.

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Jeff Minick
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  • Avatar
    William A Bradnanan
    October 12, 2023, 4:53 pm

    Jeff Minick: I just need to tell you how much I like your articles. They're always right on the money! Wm. A. Bradnan, M.D.

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  • Avatar
    Lesego
    October 12, 2023, 5:23 pm

    It is heartbreaking what we are witnessing

    REPLY
  • Avatar
    Tionico
    October 12, 2023, 6:48 pm

    Jeff, I muss disagree. There is NO comparison between the Twin Towers and this attack. In tie airplane bombing the active aggressors directed their blows, were killed in the initial impace, and yes many died horrible deaths but that was the direct result of the action per se.
    Here we have many incidents of individual and small group actors delighting in inflicting brutality, torture, insult, and behaving far worse than any wild animal killing to eat. This was infinitely more hienous in that these Hamas beasts wilfully, deliberately, and specifically inflicted their unspeakable evil upin fellow human beings who had not done anything persinal nor directed at any of them. Such creatures deserve to be swept off the face of tthis earth, and quickly.
    Israel know all too well that it is either DEAL with this ongoing threat, or suffer similar attacks in the near and far future.

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  • Avatar
    Margaret Rouhani
    October 12, 2023, 6:56 pm

    Excellent article! Just excellent!

    It is true. We all have to decide. Are we with civilization or barbarism. And remember, Oriana Fallaci was vilified for her stance on Islamic extremism, but she was a visionary & totally correct. Islamic extremism harms everyone, including Muslims.

    Those Arab & Muslim nations, which want to stand for & be associated with advancement of humanity, must turn their backs on these extremists & say, “We will no longer turn a blind eye to or support such heinous crimes against our fellow human beings.” It is time for Islam to fully step into the modern world and completely reject such atrocities. That is the only moral response regardless of one’s religious beliefs.

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