“This is not Israel’s 9/11. It is not even Israel’s Pearl Harbor. It is worse by an order of magnitude. The closest parallel is the Rape of Nanking.”
t has been two days now since war came to southern Israel, and the picture is coming into focus. What we have seen has clearly been a strike by Hamas and associates from Gaza into Israel, most likely at the instigation of Iran. According to Israeli sources, around 1,000 Hamas terrorists infiltrated Israel through 80 pre-existing gaps in the supposedly secure and militarized border defenses. The terrorists then ran rampage for over a day, killing, raping, and mutilating with abandon. It was a frenzy born of blood-lust-infused savagery.
At the time of writing my previous piece, the Israeli casualties stood at between 150 and 200. This was appalling enough. But now the toll is truly catastrophic: over 700 confirmed dead, 260 of those at the Nova music festival for peace between Israel and Palestine near the Israel/Gaza border. That is the equivalent of almost three Bataclan theatres. There are 2,100 wounded. Over 150 Israelis, civilian and military, have been taken hostage inside Gaza. These casualties were the result of in-person, up-close killing, not impersonal airstrikes from planes or drones.
Hamas launched a combined arms operation from land, sea, and air. The air assault saw engine-powered hang gliders fly into Israel. These were used to assault the festival, with Hamas fighters flying in from different points to surround the event, from which they proceeded to mow down, hunt, rape, and murder hundreds of young people. The sounds of joy that drifted over the desert expanse turned to the shrieks of rockets and gunfire, followed by screams of terror and anguish.
The full horror of what has happened must be faced. Let us again adjust the figures for scale to the United States’ population size. Israel’s population is 9 million total, 7 million Jewish. The death toll in Israel, taking the population as a whole, would be the equivalent of 25,200 Americans dead. In one day. If one were to focus on Israel’s Jewish population alone, the number would be 32,900. In the same way, 2,100 wounded would be 75,600, or 98,700. Finally, 150 hostages would equal 5,400, or 7,050 Americans. This is not Israel’s 9/11. It is not even Israel’s Pearl Harbor. It is worse by an order of magnitude. The closest parallel is the Rape of Nanking.
Mobilization is under way in response, with 100,000 Israel Defense Forces soldiers already set to launch a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip in order to root out and destroy Hamas as an organization and terror-supporting infrastructure. Hundreds of Gazans, used as human shields by their supposed freedom-fighting saviors, have already been killed in Israeli counter airstrikes. Hamas have been telling those they claim to protect and serve not to follow Israeli communications to evacuate specific areas, leaving them within the blast zones. There are reports that Iran gave the go-ahead for the weekend’s assault, though the Islamic Republic, of course, denies this. Never mind Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s celebratory tweets, gloating at the deaths of the denizens of the “Little Satan.”
Meanwhile, across the West, we are seeing demonstrations in support of the terrorist murderers. Their actions are excused or even acclaimed by sympathizers. These demonstrations have taken place across the United Kingdom, in Canada, Germany, Australia, the United States, and elsewhere. Meanwhile, those leaders so keen to criticize those they deem of falling short of their bloodless humanitarianism refuse to condemn bloodshed when Israeli Jews are involved.
At the ground level, having imported migrants from the region, some of whose loyalties are to a blood-thirsty interpretation of extremist Islamism, we, in the West, now have these hatreds playing out on our streets, targeting some of our most vulnerable communities. Resistance to terror and oppression by any means necessary is justified, don’t you know? Jews are a tiny minority wherever they are in the West. Yet these rallies and hate-fests are directed to them as the oppressors and murderers. Jews are the hated tyrant, whether they are dying or living, so really they kind of have what is coming to them. We consistently fail to punish those who enact this hatred, whether on our streets or in our media.
We, therefore, give implicit permission to chants like “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” These are an explicit expression of the genocidal underpinnings of all the “decolonization” rhetoric directed against the Europe and the wider Anglosphere since 2020. Do not for one moment make the mistake of imagining that those crowing over the rape, murder and mutilation of Israeli Jews as the means of “liberation from colonial oppression” would not enable, excuse, celebrate, or participate in the same if they were given the opportunity here. Should such people gain power, they would likely take the same path as other psychopathic revolutionary movements of the past, driven by self-glorifying ressentiment.
The moral bankruptcy of our managerial overclass that funded and enabled the slaughters of Israelis, and its Clerical cultural class in the academy, the media, and the entertainment world is on display for all to see. As several have noted, the coverage of the attack on Israel has been riven with euphemism and deflection: Palestine is reactive, Israel the aggressor. This is moral inversion. Moral clarity for Ukraine, moral nihilism for Israel.
This is not surprising. The ranks of the media and commentariat are filled with those steeped in a worldview that sees Israel as a white supremacist, settler-colonial state that ethnically cleansed the indigenous Palestinians from its homeland as recompense for the European slaughter of its Jews. Never mind the delusional nature of this worldview: It provides part of the “political formula” for our overclass, soaked in the moral depravity of the woke New Moral Order. The rulers of this regime partied while Israelis were being massacred.
Concerning the other side of the aisle, one does not need to adopt the “invade the world, invite the world” position to see clearly what Israel is facing, and what we face here in the wider West, is part of the same war. Hamas does not hate the Jews for having a state; it hates Israel because it is a state for Jews. Similarly, Islamist and other anti-Western forces do not hate us because of our freedoms and values. They hate us because we are still strong but no longer dominant. Still rich but no longer out of reach. Neither the realm of Christendom nor subservient to their peoples and cultures. As commentator Konstantin Kisin put it, the “Rest” outside of the West are simply more honest about their positions.
Israel needs our support to see this through to the end, no matter the morally degraded verbal flatulence from leftist figures. Our solidarity in spirit is essential as the rockets continue to fly, as is our support with weapons should they need it. We must prioritize the material and moral capacity of our own societies, rebuilding the norms and mores that undergird the physical strength of our civilization against the barbarism that seeks to use those who push the culture of repudiation to further our degeneration and destruction.
Henry George is a columnist at Merion West, focusing on politics, political philosophy, and culture.