The American political landscape often resembles a circus. The public is inundated with news headlines concerning the latest showdown in the House of Representatives, what school district sanctioned a bizarre drag show performance for second graders, or what utterly crackpotted thing Lindsey Graham said on Fox News this week.
Every so often, however, there comes a moment of clarity—a test, if you will. In those moments, clear examples of good and evil will present themselves, and sane and rational people will be distinguished from those who do away with basic human decency in the name of shortsighted pseudo-intellectual exercises.
Hamas’ surprise terrorist attack on Israel last weekend has been one of those moments. In both videos and pictures circulating on social media, people all over the world saw the unfettered barbarism carried out against innocent Israeli civilians. Hamas terrorists attacked Israel with the sole intention of killing as many civilians as they could. They slaughtered parents while their children watched, paraded the dead bodies of Israelis in the streets, and kidnapped children.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has persisted for more than a century, and one would like to think that regardless of where one stands in the end—whether they support Israel or Palestine—we can all at least agree that the intentional targeting of civilians is objectively wrong.
Apparently, we can’t even come to that agreement. To the horror of many, left-wing groups—most notably pro-Palestinian student organizations on college campuses—have attempted to rationalize the terrorism of Hamas, dubbing it “Palestinian resistance” elicited by the “colonization” of land that ultimately belongs to Palestinians by Israeli “settlers.”
A group of student pro-Palestinian organizations at Harvard recently signed a joint-statement holding the “Israeli regime entirely responsible for all unfolding violence,” the Harvard Crimson reported. In another more blatant expression pro-Hamas sentiment was from Cornell Professor Russell Rickford, who, while speaking at a pro-Palestinian protest, called the terrorist attacks “exhilarating” and “energizing,” praising Hamas for its “challenge to the monopoly of violence.” More than 1,500 dead Israelis later, it is hard to see what “monopoly” Rickford is speaking of.
The Left-Wing Project of Decolonization Contextualized
The terms “decolonization” and “Western imperialism,” which are thrown around by the left rather loosely, are instructive here. Justifying the largest butchery of Jews since the Holocaust, is, of course, abhorrent to those who aren’t completely morally bankrupt. But to those who spend a large portion of their adult lives in the modern Ivory Tower, reducing clear-cut instances of abject barbarism and human misery to left-wing ideological gobbledegook in an attempt to “further the cause” is standard practice.
To those familiar with far-left political theory, the prevailing sentiment from America’s current academic elite may be horrifying, but perhaps also unsurprising. A key flaw in left-wing thinking that conservatives have tirelessly warned people about (often to no avail) is the leftist’s obsession with power. Because nearly everything in left-wing thought is intent upon reducing all the world’s problems to a narrow “the oppressors versus the oppressed” matrix, justifications for the crimes of Hamas are practically a given. Leftists will always move to support those who they deem to have less power than those who they deem to be the oppressors. Therefore, any attack on Israel by Palestinian terrorists is justified under the pretense of “decolonization,” while any effort from Israel to defend itself is condemned as a “disproportionate” use of force by “settlers.”
The word “settler,” another term typically used by leftists to refer to Israelis, is also instructive. The word has also been used to refer to Westerners, most notably Americans, in an effort to condemn their very existence on the “stolen land” of native peoples. To acknowledge the left-wing condemnation of Westerners more generally as “settlers” in addition to Israelis speaks volumes to the broader “decolonization” project. One does not need to be an adamant supporter of the Jewish state to at least recognize the current atrocities levied against it are part of a broader civilizational struggle: A fight between those who wish to preserve and defend the West, and those who wish to destroy it in pursuit of some utopian endgame, even if that means siding with Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organizations that would most certainly murder them too, if given the chance.
The effort to “decolonize” the West by left-wing activists was also present during the nationwide resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the death of George Floyd in 2020. Floyd’s death was martyrized by activists in an effort to justify the nationwide cycle of violence that set ablaze several American cities, all in the name of “social justice.” The same “liberation of the oppressed” narrative was present then just as it is now, which is why several Black Lives Matter chapters across the country have endorsed the Hamas terror attacks, praising it as Palestine’s path to liberation from their so-called Israeli oppressors.
Such a series of events is bittersweet for conservatives. The bitter side, of course, is the increasing number of atrocities repeatedly justified by those on the left in the name of liberation. The sweet side, though, is the consistent vindication of the conservative’s warnings against demagogues posing as liberators or “advocates of social justice.”
In 2020, those warnings were ignored, and conservatives were subsequently vilified as bigoted knuckle draggers defending systemic racism. Now, however, it is becoming increasingly clear that the pseudo-intellectuals have been caught with their pants down. Explicitly justifying the slaughter, torture, and rape of innocent Israeli civilians by a terrorist organization—whose mission, by the way, seeks the destruction of Israel and the eradication of all Jews and Christians—shows that the logical conclusion of the leftist project termed “decolonization” is actually just senseless violence and ethnic cleansing.
It is time Westerners everywhere come to terms with the truth. This is not just a “fringe academic theory” only taught in law schools, nor is it just a snarky meme on Twitter. It is, in fact, the de-facto temperament of the vast majority of those currently heading this country’s preeminent intellectual, social, and cultural institutions. The refusal of Harvard and other Ivy League institutions to condemn multiple pro-Palestine student groups’ support of Hamas proves that much.
Just recently, the president of Harvard said in a video statement that the university, while denouncing any form of violence, nevertheless believes in all students’ right to free speech. Free speech is of course desirable, but the sudden 180-degree deviation from the usual stance that certain people cannot speak due to the egregious crime of committing a microaggression speaks for itself. Those on the left are only committed to certain principles insofar as it helps them fulfill their ideological goals. Free speech absolutism is good now, actually, so long as Palestinian protests praising Hamas are allowed to take place.
A Fractured Right-Wing Response
Just like in many other instances, the right has issued a fractured response to the recent attacks on Israel. On one end are conservative figures like Ben Shapiro, who rightfully condemn Hamas’ brutality and defend Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation. Shapiro and others properly understand that Israel’s fight to secure its place among the sovereign powers of the earth against an otherwise Muslim Middle East is a civilizational fight.
Those such as Shapiro also understand that accusations against Israel, such as the notion that it is an “apartheid state” crumble quickly when met with the reality that Arab Muslims comprise just over 20% of the country’s citizenry. It is hard to accuse a nation of subjecting Arabs to apartheid when it allows for Arabic political parties and a Muslim sitting on the nation’s supreme court. Opportunities for full citizenship and participation in society aren’t exactly the markers of an apartheid regime.
On the other side seems to be a sect of right-wingers who have always been openly against Israel, and have pledged their support to Palestine almost solely on that basis. Popular anti-semitic political commentators such as Nick Fuentes, and their respective fan bases, have become emboldened as anti-Israeli and anti-semitic sentiment grows among young people and as pro-Palestinian protests dwarf pro-Israeli ones in major urban centers and American college campuses.
What the anti-Israel right has evidently forgotten, however, is that beyond their mutual hatred for the Jewish state, followers of Fuentes and other Twitter microcelebrities share practically nothing in common with the anti-Israel left otherwise. Right-wingers who indiscriminately oppose Israel do so because they believe the United States should stop providing financial aid to the Jewish state. Most notably, though, they believe that every position in favor of Israel is somehow automatically an endorsement of sending American soldiers into yet another Middle Eastern war.
Make no mistake: The United States should not interfere militarily with Israel’s ongoing fight against Hamas, as there is every indication that the Jewish state is capable of handling itself. However, one can also believe this while understanding that Israel is at the forefront of a broader civilizational struggle against those who wish to use it as the latest guinea pig in the left-wing project of decolonization, which falsely portrays Israelis as hostile colonizers and justifies unprovoked, senseless violence against them.