On Saturday in Brooklyn, a few hundred supporters of the Palestinian cause held a rally that demonstrated how overheated the Left’s rhetoric has become: Demonstrators weren’t even trying to hide their bloodlust and thirst for violence. And they went away, no doubt, nevertheless believing themselves to be on the side of righteousness.
The demonstration, which was organized by a group that calls itself “Within Our Lifetime – United for Palestine,” featured banners proclaiming: “Zionism is terrorism,” “We will free Palestine within our lifetime,” and “Globalize the intifada.”
“Intifada” means “shaking off” or “rebellion,” and refers to armed struggle against Israel, including Israeli civilians. The Jerusalem Post notes that “during the Second Intifada from 2000-2005, Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and some affiliated with Fatah, carried out hundreds of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and security personnel, killing more than 1,000.”
What would it mean to globalize an intifada? It is hard to escape the conclusion that it would mean violence against Jews the world over, as we have seen recently. Around the time of the recent conflict between Hamas and Israel, Palestinian Muslims and their supporters committed acts of violence against Jews and supporters of Israel all over the United States. In New York City, a Muslim mob screaming “Allahu akbar” attacked a Jewish man in midtown Manhattan. Also in Manhattan, Palestinians threatened violence and screamed anti-Semitic slurs at Jews. One threw a mini-firebomb. Pro-jihad protesters stormed a restaurant and spat on Jewish patrons; one of the thugs threw a bottle. A Muslim, Waseem Awawdeh, was arrested for viciously beating a Jew in Times Square.
In Los Angeles, Palestinian protesters asked people dining at the Sushi Fumi restaurant if they were Jewish, and proceeded to attack them with knives. Elsewhere in Los Angeles, two cars festooned with Palestinian flags chased a Jewish man down a street as he was leaving his synagogue. In Florida, a van also bearing a Palestinian flag and emblazoned with the slogan “Hitler was Right” drove past a pro-Israel demonstration. In Skokie, Illinois, a pro-jihad vandal wearing an Arab headdress smashed a synagogue window and left a Palestine flag and a pro-jihad sign inside. And in Boston, an anti-Semitic Muslim migrant named Khaled Awad approached a rabbi outside a Jewish day school and stabbed him eight times.
From the looks of all this, the intifada is already well on the way to being globalized. Meanwhile, when the protesters declared their intention to “free Palestine within our lifetime,” they made it very clear that they were not referring to the establishment of a Palestinian state that would live in peace with Israel, as so many presidents have fondly hoped for. Rather, they had in mind the total destruction of Israel, which would necessarily involve the violent deaths of millions of Jews. The demonstrators made this clear when they screamed, “We don’t want no two states, we want all of it.”
They also declared their readiness to do violence to get what they wanted, screaming: “If we don’t get no justice, then they don’t get no peace,” “Intifada, intifada,” “There is only one solution, intifada revolution,” “Mobilize the intifada,” and another slogan that would require Israel’s total destruction: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
Whatever else the global Left may be, it isn’t coy. The demonstration in Brooklyn comes amid an increasing normalization of violence among Leftists. First, mainstream Leftists asserted that it was altogether fitting and proper to “Punch a Nazi,” and then we discovered that in their eyes, we’re all Nazis. Kathy Griffin parading around with Trump’s severed head, and affecting victim status when called out for it, was just another signpost on the way to our present plight.
Every step of the way, instead of meeting with indignation and rejection, those who normalized violence were excused, and their anger declared righteous. The forces that espouse violence saw that no one seemed to have the will to stand up to them. And so now demonstrators in Brooklyn can call openly for what amounts to a new genocide of the Jews, and they know they will suffer no personal or professional consequences as a result. All the political currents are moving in a favorable direction for them. But their victory is not yet assured: It may yet happen that the forces of freedom will reassert themselves and reestablish the acceptable parameters of a free society. It couldn’t come a moment too soon.