The Vandals Are Among Us

So Goes The State Of Israel, So Goes The West

Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images

When I replay the events of October 7 in my head, so many thoughts come to my mind. I am not even Jewish, nor do I have any familial connection with Israel other than it is the birthplace of my Christian faith.

But I AM a human being. That’s all that it should require to be thoroughly aroused by the terrors inflicted on that tiny nation that is an island of liberal democracy and freedom in a sea of dysfunction, backwardation, and under the spell of a death cult that is Islamism. I do not need to consider the “context” or “deeper history” of a region to know that tying children to their parents and burning the family alive is intrinsically evil.

So my thoughts as of late tend to be of the stream of consciousness kind. And here are some more. This is aimed at the “Free Palestine,” “Israel is an occupier,” “From the River to the sea” crowd in the West. And by those in the West, I don’t mean the transplanted radical jihadis living off the dole in London and undermining the very nation they have moved into like a virus, while the leftist governments look the other way for fear of the scarlet “I” of Islamophobia — a charge that has no more meaning now than “racist,” “Nazi,” “genocidal,” “white supremacist,” “Apartheid ”“transphobe” and other ludicrous monikers neutered by misuse.

I am talking to those who have a stake in the West, who claim to believe in its liberal traditions and values. What makes the West “The West.”

After watching the mass rallies across the globe — many of which were purposely scheduled for Remembrance Day in Great Britain and Veterans Day in the U.S., as a thumb in the eye to Western tradition and honor of the very nations so many of the immigrant activists call “home” — I have come to a simple conclusion. I do not want to hear the protestations that one can be both in favor of a “cease fire” and not be anti-Israeli. Because the essence of this entire issue goes well beyond this latest, horrifically medieval flair-up in Gaza and the never-ending cycle of violence.

This matter goes deeper than that bit of moral baby-splitting. This is not about the “children of Gaza.” The faux concerns for their well-being expressed by the dutifully woke is window-dressing. I have concluded that what it is covering is just the latest iteration of old-fashioned anti-Semitism, pure and simple. As well as something more, which I will discuss.

To the charge of anti-Semitism, some may shake their heads and reply “How can you say this? How dare you call me anti-Semitic! I just want them to stop bombing Gaza. I just care about the innocent children dying!”

My response to that falsehood starts with a couple of questions.


First, if you are so concerned for innocent children, if that is as deep as your emotional involvement in this goes, then why were you not on the streets by the hundreds of thousands when Bashar Al-Assad was murdering 500,000 Syrian Muslims, many of them children, all of them innocents? Where have you been as Pakistan forcibly moves two million Muslims across the border into neighboring Afghanistan? Where are your mass rallies in “solidarity” with the tens of thousands if not more Muslim children of Yemen currently being cluster-bombed by the House of Saud, and have been for the past ten years? Where are your bloody handprints on the White House, which provides the butchers of Riyadh with the weaponry to carry out a rain of death on the innocents that would make King Herod turn away in disgust? I thought you cared about children. Or is it just certain children?

To anyone who views this dispute through the prism of intellect rather than emotion, the answer presents itself in glaring obviousness: You only care about Muslim children — or any children for that matter in faraway conflict zones — when they die at the hands of Israelis. And why is that? What drives this selective outrage?

It might boil down to how one answers this simple question: Is the state of Israel a legitimate nation or not?

First, I will give my answer as one who believes Israel to be as legitimate as any nation currently occupying a seat on the UN. If you believe that Israel is a bona fide nation, then you must view the current tragic conflict thusly: Israel, which has not had a single soldier or settler in Gaza for eighteen years, was attacked by a vicious band of bloodthirsty raiders whose mission was to murder, rape, torture and kidnap as many Israeli civilians as they could. The dead civilians of Be’eri kibbutz, or the music festival were not collateral damage … unfortunates caught in the crossfire like the civilians of Stalingrad or Okinawa, or, yes, Gaza today.

They were the intended targets.

I think this bears repeating as much as possible. Murdering as many Israeli civilians as they could find was the mission. In carrying out this cowardly raid against babies swaddled in their cribs, children playing with their toys, twenty-something ravers, parents just going about their mornings, and elderly pensioners, Hamas inflicted losses on the tiny country that are in scale equivalent to 55,000 U.S. citizens murdered in one morning and some 10,000 stolen away as hostages.

The organization that launched these cowardly attacks is Hamas. In 2006, the people of Gaza elected Hamas to be their governing authority. Now, one can genuinely say that for many Gazans they had no choice as Hamas is indeed a terror outfit. Witness the fate of their Fatah fellow Gazans when they took power. But that is the case with all brutal regimes. Although, it must also be mentioned that right up until October 7, poll after poll showed Hamas enjoyed majority support of Gazans. Even as Hamas’ stated goal as written brazenly in their charter is the annihilation of Israel.

Given the stated intentions of those who attacked it, if Israel is a legitimate nation, then it has every right to defend itself. Not only that, but Israel also has the right to invade Gaza and wipe out every single member of Hamas to a man. They can also assassinate Hamas’ leaders living in Qatar off billions of stolen aid — which could have gone to make Gaza another Singapore if properly directed — and bedding their mistresses in five-star Doha hotels or private yachts the size of destroyers.

If, however, you do not believe Israel to be a legitimate nation, but a mere occupying power like the Nazis in France or Russia, then anything goes. If this is the case, then you likely feel Hamas’ attack was therefore not a cowardly act of mass murder against innocents, rather it was simply the latest chapter in an oppressed people’s attempt to throw off the yoke of a foreign occupation by any means necessary.

As an aside, in a recent debate at Cambridge University, a so-called climate activist questioned Ben Shapiro on the environment. At the end of the discussion, she walked away from the podium with the self-satisfaction of the arrogant ignorant, and says “Free Palestine.” Mr. Shapiro challenged the woman as she tried to sit down with the aroma of her loaded phrase hovering in the air by asking her “Which part?” Eventually, he got her to admit that what she meant by a “Free Palestine” — the entirety of the land currently known as Israel.

In short, like so many of her deluded Western peers — paradoxically the most ignorant generation to ever have so much access to knowledge — she does not see Israel as a legitimate nation. It is, to her, a Zionist-occupied territory that belongs to this relatively new nationality called Palestinians. Thus, Hamas could be considered “freedom fighters.” The babies they murdered were agents of colonialism first, human beings second. Those women they raped, well what are you going to do? They shouldn’t have been there as it’s “stolen land.”

Where does this complete lack of moral sense come from? How does one look at what occurred on October 7 and add a “but” qualifier to it? Is it just anti-Semitism? Certainly that is the petrol that fuels the pro-Palestine movement. But there is something else as well. That is what today’s woke students are taught, courtesy of Marxist tenured humanities professors, some of whom believe anyone to the right of Che Guevara is a “fascist.”


An entire generation has swallowed a narrative of world history that has cleaved the entire story of the human race into two subsets: victim and oppressor. We see it in their unimaginably shallow rhetoric on the quad all the time. Marriage is a patriarchy with oppressive husbands victimizing women. Indians and Pakistanis are not the beneficiaries of Western science, medicine, equality under the law, clean water, a burgeoning economy and the like, but rather victims of colonialist British oppression. Capitalism, the system that has brought more prosperity and higher quality of life to more people than any economic system yet devised, is nothing more than the management/ownership class oppressing and exploiting workers.

And so, the Left has decided that the Israelis are the oppressors and Palestinians “victims.” Once you divide the issue into such binaries, it is not a quantum leap to then extend carte blanche to the victim class. And as they are victims, one can excuse any behavior, no matter how barbaric and unjust, ironically, in the name of justice.

Courtesy of leftist indoctrination in our schools and universities, entire generations are entering society with a new rubric as their guiding light. They no longer contemplate the concepts of good and evil. Rather it is now the powerless (good) and the powerful (bad). Needless to say, in their minds this gives Palestinian militants much more leeway of action than it grants an IDF trying to protect its nation from the existential threat they pose.

Add to this mix the catalyst of anti-Semitism, and you have a potent movement indeed. One whose self-righteous hauteur is matched only by its foundation in ignorance. But no matter. Might is never right. Period. This morally perverted worldview has, over the past two decades, slowly but inexorably swallowed all of the sense-making institutions — academia down to elementary schools, media, entertainment, corporations, law, science even, and other core influences on American life.

Even more fanciful and simplistic (dangerously so) from this dualistic worldview, the quad activist sees all of the “oppressed” as part of one group whose victimhood binds them in the common struggle against the oppressor. This is why we see ludicrous signs such as “Queers for Palestine,” as if any queer would survive an hour in Gaza were he/she to actually wave the rainbow flag and shout out their sexual proclivities. The running gallows humor is that right now queers are for once actually safe in Gaza because there are at the moment no tall buildings left from which to hurl them to the ground, as is a common punishment for gays in other regions of the oppressed. These deluded people may as well be fish demonstrating on behalf of sushi chefs.

Still, where Israel is concerned, my journey through the dark forest of this insanity always leads in the end to the final clearing that is Jew-hatred. Anyone who tells you differently is either in denial, lying, or deluded. It starts with hunting down Jews, but it never ends there. Anti-Semitism is the canary in the coal mine. And if we’re not careful, if we do not take stock of the madness and self-destructive mindset whose lunacy is matched only by its appeal to those who so desire to see the world is the user and the used, this virus will spread throughout the world.

When you see a Manhattan DA spending her free time tearing down posters showing Hamas’ kidnap victims, or the editor of the Harvard Law Review physically intimidating Jewish students, we know we are beyond the realm of just academic debate. The barbarians are no longer at the gate, but rather amongst us.

It is time to draw a line in the sand and stand not just with Israel but Jews throughout the world who know a thing or two about persecution and listen to what they have to say. They understand what the wokesters chanting “abortion rights and free Palestine!” have yet to grasp — even though, if their overpriced degrees had educated them at all, they’d know Gazans must go to Israel for said abortion or risk being stoned to death. October 7 should serve as a grim reminder to the rest of us something the Israelis have long understood: When a group pledges to annihilate you, believe them.

Because they mean it.

I fear these degreed derelicts and deluded “anti-colonialists” never will comprehend the forces of evil and murderous intolerance and primeval hatred for whom they have been useful idiots all these years until the men with the AK-47s, masks, and green scarves screaming “Allahu Akbar!” toss their own babies into the furnace.

In a powerful speech, former New York Times reporter Bari Weiss, a proud liberal in the classic tradition, summed up the threats facing all of The West, not just tiny Israel. A threat whose true image has been revealed from the blood-soaked streets of Sderot to the avenues of the West’s major cities:

This is the ideology of Vandalism, in the true sense of the word. The Vandals sacked Rome. It is the ideology of nihilism. It knows nothing about how to build. It only knows how to tear down and destroy. And it has already torn down so very much. That civilization that feels as natural to us as oxygen, that takes thousands of years, thousands of nudges of progress, thousands of forgotten sacrifices and risks to build up to. But Vandals can make very quick work of that. Reagan used to say that ‘freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.’ And the same can be said of our civilization. If anything good can come out of the nightmare that began on October 7  it is this. We have been shaken awake. We know the gravity of the stakes. And the stakes are not theoretical. They are real.

The Vandals are here. How we choose to respond could be the difference between light and darkness in a brave new world to come.

Brad Schaeffer is a commodities trader, author, columnist and musician. His latest book LIFE IN THE PITS: My Time As A Trader On The Rough-And-Tumble Exchange Floors (Post Hill/Simon & Schuster) will be released December 5.

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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