“It is safe to say that the Muslims who have been spouting anti-Semitic hatred and propaganda on our streets in recent days were socialized in a culture whose values are irreconcilably at odds with ours—a parallel society that sees itself not as part of Western civilization but in opposition to it.”
ro-Palestine rallies in major Western cities celebrating Hamas terrorists’ barbaric attack on Israeli civilians once more show that we live side by side with people who fundamentally reject our most basic values. Multiculturalists in Europe and elsewhere have been blind to this dangerous reality.
Imagine hearing about the brutal murder of hundreds of innocents, including small children, and then taking to the streets to express solidarity not with the massacred victims and their families but with the murderers’ cause or even the murderers themselves. Such callousness can only be explained by culture.
It is safe to say that the Muslims who have been spouting anti-Semitic hatred and propaganda on our streets in recent days were socialized in a culture whose values are irreconcilably at odds with ours—a parallel society that sees itself not as part of Western civilization but in opposition to it.
Multiculturalists urge tolerance toward other cultures. But tolerance is a two-way street. How much tolerance can we realistically expect from a group whose vision for a free Palestine involves expelling the Jews? While free speech should apply to everyone regardless of creed, such bigotry must not go unopposed.
It is telling that self-proclaimed anti-fascists and progressives have been reluctant to challenge pro-Palestinian protesters on their often explicit anti-Semitism. After all, some of the demonstrations featured Nazi symbols and people chanting “gas the Jews.” Part of the reason might be that such scenes fly in the face of multiculturalism.
Then, there are those whose moral compass is so broken that they outright condone Hamas’s jihadist savagery. They justify the targeted slaughter of civilians as a legitimate insurrection against what they see as an illegitimate occupier regime. Some even celebrate the massacre as a “historic win” for the Palestinian resistance.
An X post by Black Lives Matter Chicago epitomizes this attitude. It depicts a parachutist with a Palestinian flag in reference to one of the ways the terrorists managed to enter Israel and carry out their atrocities. Others poured scorn on the Jewish state rather than condemn Hamas. For example, the president of the NYU Law Student Bar Association, Ryna Workman, issued the following statement:
“I will not condemn Palestinian resistance. Instead…I condemn the violence of apartheid. I condemn the violence of settler colonialism. I condemn the violence of military occupation…Palestine will be free.”
We do not have to get into the weeds of Israeli-Palestinian history to understand that Workman commits a fallacy of moral equivalence here. As the neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris explains in his latest podcast episode:
“At this moment in history, there are people and cultures that harbor very different attitudes about violence and the value of human life. There are people in cultures that rejoice, positively rejoice, dancing-in-the-streets rejoicing, over the massacre of innocent civilians. Conversely, there are people in cultures that seek to avoid killing innocent civilians and deeply regret it when they do.”
Harris then goes on to talk about the moral difference between using human shields and being deterred by them:
“If anywhere in this universe cynicism and nihilism can be found together in their most perfect forms, it is here: jihadists use their own people as human shields routinely. Hamas fires rockets from hospitals, and mosques, and schools, and other sites calculated to create carnage if the Israelis return fire…Conversely, the Israeli army routinely warns people to evacuate buildings before it bombs them…There is a difference between collateral damage, which is of course a euphemism for innocent people killed in war, and the intentional massacre of civilians for the purpose of maximizing horror.”
For Harris, it is crucial to “acknowledge that in this moment in human history, not every group has the same ethical norms governing its use of violence.” This is a message multiculturalists should heed. The idea of a peaceful society made up of cultures with vastly different and often conflicting values is unrealistic.
Europe is slowly learning its lesson. Berlin and Vienna, two places that know a great deal about anti-Semitism and where it leads, have banned demonstrations glorifying Hamas. The fact that pro-Palestine protesters gathered en masse anyway only highlights the seriousness of the situation. The German government has now made clear that supporters of Hamas have no place in Germany.
Even the far-left in Germany and Austria largely supports Israel. Slogans such as “Antifa means solidarity with Israel” reflect a particular sense of historical awareness and responsibility in these countries. However, these are often the same people who condemn any restrictions on immigration as racist. But the failure of multiculturalism in Europe has become glaringly obvious—not least in light of recent events.
Gerfried Ambrosch is an author and writer and holds a Ph.D. in literary and cultural studies. He can be found on Twitter @g_ambrosch