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VICTOR JOECKS: The barbarians are in the streets

Ancient Rome may have fallen, but at least its citizens recognized they were under attack. Today, many ignore the enemies of Western civilization who march openly in the streets.

On Friday, thousands of people gathered in New York City to protest Israel defending itself from Hamas’s horrific Oct. 7 terror attack. The crowd chanted, “It is right to rebel. Israel, go to hell!” and, “We don’t want a Jewish state. We want ’48!” That’s a call for eliminating the modern state of Israel, which was established in May 1948.

Protesters tore down signs showing kidnapped Israelis. One called a reporter a “Zionist pig” in between hurling obscenities. Another burned an Israeli flag. Presumably, not every protester is antisemitic. But few there seem concerned with the antisemitism that surrounded them.

Similar scenes have been repeated throughout major cities, such as Washington, D.C., Boston and San Francisco. A huge banner at a Chicago march read, “Palestine will be free from the river to the sea.” That’s a call to wipe out Israel, which would inevitably result in the murder of millions of Jews.

These protests aren’t just filled with antisemitic slogans. They also include attacks on America. At that New York rally Friday, a man climbed a pole and tore down American flags. Vandals with the protest placed stickers on the door of a Dior store. One read, “From the U.S. to Palestine, abolish the settler state.”

Earlier this month, anti-Israel protesters vandalized a gate outside the White House with red paint. Others tried to climb the gates. Protesters covered a nearby statue of General Marquis de Lafayette with Palestinian flags and graffiti.

There’s something noticeable missing in pictures of these anti-Israel marches, which are often massive. It’s very rare to see an American flag, excluding those being torn down.

In contrast, pro-Israel marches often include many American flags.

Protests such as these aren’t just happening in America. Around the world, antisemites have rallied against Israel and Western civilization more broadly. On Saturday, a crowd of 300,000 gathered in London. They chanted antisemitic slogans and held antisemitic signs.

Former British Home Secretary Suella Braverman wrote last week that the marches are “an assertion of primacy by certain groups — particularly Islamists.” She noted reports linked march organizers to terror groups, such as Hamas.

For noting facts inconvenient to the left’s critical race theory worldview, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fired her.

Hatred for Israel, the United States and Western civilization comes naturally to CRT proponents and those on college campuses who’ve been indoctrinated in it. This Marxist worldview arbitrarily divides people into groups. The supposedly powerful are successful only because they’ve oppressed the supposedly powerless. To achieve justice, the powerless must overthrow the powerful and tear down their institutions.

Last month, Georgetown students had a vigil for Hamas terrorists. One sign said, “Do you support decolonization as an abstract academic theory? Or as a tangible event?”

That’s not a rhetorical question. Western civilization won’t last if its leaders and citizens aren’t willing to defend it from those who openly seek its destruction.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on X.

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