If there could ever be a positive that comes out of the horrific terrorist attacks in Israel in October, it’s this — the battle lines have never been clearer. That may seem obvious in the context of Israel versus Hamas, but for Americans, watching the drawing of the fault lines has been extremely clarifying.
In the hours that followed the atrocities, the people who reject any sort of nuance in politics wanted to “put into context” the murders of 1,400 Jews — including elderly Holocaust survivors, women and children. The Manhattan chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, of which Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez remains a member, tweeted support of Palestine and its intention of holding a rally in Times Square.
Black Lives Matter Twitter accounts posted memes featuring silhouettes of paragliders like the ones Hamas used to invade Israel. Rally speakers laughed and cheered on the Hamas terrorists. One Cornell professor, speaking at a protest on campus, said of the attacks, “it was exhilarating. It was exhilarating, it was energizing!” and further told the crowd, “you would not be human” if you felt otherwise.
Jewish students at Cooper Union in Manhattan were forced to hide in a library and escape through tunnels as a pro-Hamas mob banged on the doors when they heard there were Jews afraid to walk campus. Posters of the kidnapped children around New York and on college campuses have repeatedly been violently torn down by Hamas sympathizers. Chants of “from the river to the sea,” a call to wipe Israel off the map, are common at virtually every pro-Palestine rally. The flagrant antisemitism on display would make the most ardent neo-Nazi blush.
On college campuses and cities across America, the events that have followed the October 7 attack have laid bare what the “social justice” movement really stands for. Leftists have shown us what’s under their masks, revealing their true selves and what’s meant by “decolonization.”
They won’t stop at Israel.
These people want their version of the world — now, and by any means necessary. Their perfect vision of the world will be implemented, no matter how many Jews need to be taken out. If children are the collateral damage, then so be it — you need to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. And these people love omelets.
In response, we may be witnessing a political realignment. Progressives who once took to the streets for the BLM protests find their former allies now calling for Jewish blood. When their old comrades called for “decolonization,” they meant them, too. Of course, this could have been expected — the hallmark of any good socialist movement is that it eventually comes for its own.
The conflict between liberal and left echoes through the halls of Congress and into the White House, and even more for anyone who has politically liberal-minded people in their social media feeds. Where once they posted black squares or performative cries in solidarity, now it’s incredulity that their friends and neighbors could wish harm on them or their families.
If Republicans were better positioned, they might be in a better spot to capture some of the disaffected liberals gravitating towards the center. As it stands now, the leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives is a fundamentalist Christian who believes Earth is only 6,000 years old and that man walked alongside dinosaurs — popular views among some Americans, but not those in the uncertain middle. For someone looking for a political home, choice between a party that offers safe harbor to AOC and the Squad and one led by a man who believes school shootings are the result of no-fault divorce laws is not much of a choice.
And while a realignment may be happening with liberal adults, there’s another problem with teens — America’s TikTok generation has been inundated with pro-Hamas propaganda. In one survey conducted by Harvard (don’t worry, Ashley Rindsberg gets to Harvard), 51 percent of Americans aged 18-24 say they believe the Hamas attacks were justified.
One viral video on Twitter/X showed high school students in California chanting “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” while marching down the school hallways. What’s the cause? An attempt to reverse-engineer the TikTok algorithm to see what’s inundating teens, developed by and published on Twitter/X, showed floods of antiIsrael bots in his feed. If you thought Russia could manipulate an election with $100,000 in Facebook ads, you should be terrified of what China can do with ownership of the most addictive social media app on a teen’s phone, a direct channel into their brains.
Will America’s political leaders be up to the task of tackling the disinformation campaigns and rampant antisemitism plaguing the country? We head into a new year with a divided Congress, a fading president and a Republican primary whose frontrunner currently looks likelier to see house arrest than the White House. It’s hard to envision a bleaker midwinter. Happy 2024.
This article was originally published in The Spectator’s December 2023 World edition.