It is now a month since Hamas terrorists broke through Israel’s southern border and rampaged through its towns, villages, and kibbutzim. The death toll for Israel stands at 1,400, with over 5,000 wounded, and 240 still held hostage. Meanwhile, more than 9,000 people in Gaza have been killed in the Israeli response by air and land, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. The bloodshed is set to continue, given the conflict’s existential nature and the barbarism that initiated it on Oct. 7.
Yet, as ever in our increasingly interconnected world, the joys of digital communication and immigration-induced diversity mean that carnage taking place thousands of miles away reverberate across our societies, in Britain and across Europe. If you import the world’s people you import their conflicts, and the war has come home to Britain. And it is not simply a neocon fantasy that the Islamists and jihadists see this as a war, with Israel first, us second. They tell us this is the case. Calls for “decolonization” mean Britain and America as much as Israel.
In Britain, there were celebratory protests outside the Israeli embassy in the immediate aftermath of the massacre. There was celebration of what happened in the streets and across social media. We have had three Saturdays in a row of 100,000 people marching through the center of London. The most recent demonstration in Trafalgar on Saturday, Nov. 4 involving tens of thousands eventually devolved into violence. Reports from those there say the marches seem to comprise around 15 percent leftist useful idiots, 15 percent normal British Muslims, and 70 percent Islamists/diaspora agitators. Many of the march organizers have links to Hamas. The Cenotaph, a memorial to Britain’s war dead, has been desecrated by pro-Hamas protestors and subsequently turned into a stage for “anti-Zionist” demagoguery. There is a “million man march” set for Armistice Day on Saturday, Nov. 11.
There has been a 1,35o percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents across London in the weeks since the Hamas attack. And, should it need to be said, this increase has not been driven by the ever in-demand but insufficiently numerous British far-right. One example of this increase: posters of the kidnapped and killed Israeli children put up around the capital have been repeatedly torn down by those, mostly young women for some reason, seething with resentment that Jewish children dared to be victims.
What does it sound like? It sounds like mass chants of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free,” which used to have a façade of respectable radicalism to the uninformed until we saw what that would actually mean in the livestreamed murder of 10/7. It sounds like the chant “Khaybar Khaybar, ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad, sa yahud,” translated as “Jews, remember the battle of Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning,” referring to a massacre of Jews by Mohammed’s armies. It sounds like a crowd in central London calling “From London to Gaza, globalize the Intifada,” along with “From al Quds to Ramallah victory to the Intifada,” and “Smash the Zionist settler state.” It also sounds like Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir calling for jihad while holding banners proclaiming the need for Muslim armies to advance.
Some statistics put these scenes in context. Levels of anti-Jew and anti-Israel hatred are two to four times higher among British Muslims than among the British population at large. The same survey shows that the only group with similar levels of Jew hatred are those on the extreme, white supremacist right. Footage from mosques up and down the country, collected by two Twitter accounts, attest to this state of affairs.
Further, while the vast majority of British Muslims condemn terrorism and would report someone suspected of extremism to the authorities, it is still the fact that out of a British Muslim population of just under 4 million, 4 percent sympathize with people who take part in suicide bombings, and 4 percent sympathize with people who commit terrorist actions as a form of political protest. 380,000 British Muslims apparently sympathize in some way with terrorism. Meanwhile 90 percent, or 39,000, of the 43,000 extremists the British security services know of, are Islamists. Whenever there’s a jihadist terrorist attack, it is often the case that the perpetrator “was known to the security services.” Indeed, the bomber of the Manchester Arena Ariana Grande concert was himself the jihadist son of a Libyan jihadist given asylum in the 1990s.
And don’t think that this is a one-off. It turns out we have been hosting on the public dime an ex-member of the Hamas military command, Mohammed Sawalha. Sawalha was able to settle here, gain British citizenship, and access public housing in the London borough of Barnet that he later bought with a government discount. Sawalha had led an undisturbed life for 20 years, advocating for “Palestinian resistance,” i.e. Hamas terrorism, on a British-regulated TV channel. Witness also the former Iranian deputy Prime Minister Ata’ollah Mohajerani. Mohajerani published a book while in office justifying Ayatollah Khomeni’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie. He has lived in Harrow since 2004. These are only two examples of Britain funding the lives of those who would wish to destroy it. Many of the other terrorists who have attacked us have also been the beneficiaries of British social housing and welfare.
What does all this tell us? It reminds us, yet again, that just as we in the secularized West cannot conceive that ethno-religious conflicts are a perennial part of the human condition throughout history, they continue to be so in large parts of the world today. Israel and Palestine just dial these tensions up to 11, but Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Armenians, Pakistan’s ejection of a million Afghans, and much else, testifies to this permanent feature of our tribal human condition.
We in the West cannot comprehend that letting in hundreds of thousands of people from these parts of the world year after year might bring such resentments and hatreds to our streets. We expect those in other parts of the world to resolve their differences through dialogue, and we assume those who come here will dissolve their previous ties of allegiance to tribe and faith into the soup of liquifying late modernity. Instead, we are shocked when it doesn’t happen that newcomers are easily Westernized. Liberalism in the broadest socio-political sense, and the civilization that gave rise to it, are not as universal or communicable as we’d thought. Now, we see that James Burnham was right when he wrote that liberalism was the legitimator of Western suicide.
What we have been seeing is the sharp edge of the problems with multiculturalism that the British ruling class has decided to experiment with, ignoring their citizens, in whose interests they supposedly govern. Instead of the immigration levels we had pre-1997, when it was in the several tens of thousands a year, allowing for gradual acculturation and assimilation to the whole, we have had hundreds of thousands of people entering every year for almost two decades. We had more immigration to Britain 25 years following 1997 than we had in the previous 900. The highest numbers have been under the Conservative-run government. Britain’s foreign-born population stands at 16 percent. This proportion is higher than America’s highest before the pause of 1924, and again today, at 14 percent.
Last year, Britain admitted 1.1 million migrants on the gross (total) rather than net (incomers minus outgoers) measure. At the same time as this massive influx, Britain no longer has the will or energy to assert itself as a cohesive cultural entity built on mutual loyalty in the present, gratitude and reverence for what we have inherited, and a sense of duty to leave a worthy legacy to the future. Instead, those in the clerisy at the commanding heights of the culture act as the legitimator and rhetorical enforcer for the administrative state and its push for an atomized, divided and isolated population unable to conceptualize a sense of what Roger Scruton called the “first person plural.”
Meanwhile, those incoming communities which do retain such a sense of a “we” engage in communal sectarianism against other groups, as when Muslim and Hindu young men clashed in the city of Leicester last year. The grievance industry may attempt to manufacture the consent of the majority in their own racial guilt, but in reality, much of the worst ethno-religious tensions don’t involve the white majority population at all.
In his 2010 book Reflections on the Revolution in Europe, Christopher Caldwell asked, “can Europe be the same with different people in it?” In Britain before 1997, we had managed to mostly stay the same, while adjusting around the edges as needed to the different people who arrived, as they nonetheless came from Commonwealth countries shaped by the influence of British norms and mores. Since 1997, and especially with the levels allowed by a supposedly conservative government, staying the same with such huge numbers of incomers from very different cultures is an open question, to say the least, all at a time when the culture of the British mainstream is itself atomized, morally degraded, materially declining, and politically supine.
Footage of British police removing posters of kidnapped and killed Israelis to “reduce community tension” and “manage community relations”; arresting critics of these protests; along with the admission that they treat counter-protestors more harshly than pro-Hamas marchers because “there’s more of them than us,” is an expression of pure dhimmitude. A photo of Royal British Legion poppy-sellers for Remembrance Day surrounded by pro-Palestine protestors in Charing Cross station represents the reality of a value change twinned with demographic transformation.
It used to be said that “there will always be an England.” Unless something changes for the better, the kind of England that will be in the next few decades is one that will be increasingly less recognizable. It already is.