Civilization and its Enemies

We must align against radical leftists who threaten both Israel and America

Israel has divided the New Right in recent years. Having rejected the neo-conservative case for Israel—that it deserves support because it conforms to global democratic norms—Americans on the right have debated everything from its influence over American foreign policy to its place in Christian eschatology. But in the context of major contemporary conflicts, we propose a simple frame: civilization versus radical ideologues who hate civilization.  

Since October 7, pockets of American society have been roiled by debates over Israel. In some circles—especially on college campuses—radicals have openly defended and even praised the Palestinian terrorists. The refusal to condemn calls for genocide against Jews contributed to the resignation of Harvard’s president.

In more moderate circles, we see a wide range of reasonable discussions involving Israel. Some focus on the proportionality or necessity of Israel’s actions in Gaza, and on concerns these may drive waves of refugees to the West. Many are debating American foreign policy toward Israel and the scope of our support. In Christian circles, we’ve seen discussion of dispensationalism and the proper place of contemporary Israel in Christian theology. A few note that Israel has supported Azerbaijan in its war with Christian Armenia. These topics deserve consideration.

But we must not lose sight of the fundamental fact that Israel’s primary enemies are driven by the same ideology as the enemies of American and Christian civilization.

Leftism comes in many flavors. French Revolutionary Jacobinism, Soviet Leninism, Maoism, Christian liberation theology, national liberation movements such as the Palestinian cause, and American campus radicalism are distinct yet recognizably left. They share a consistent theme: resentment, the demand to purify tainted history, and a desire to tear down any civilized society.

The underlying ideology must be opposed wherever it is found.

Make no mistake: the same sort of leftists who stormed into Israel on October 7 and shot more than 1,000 civilians want to destroy stable, well-functioning American communities—especially those inhabited by whites and Christians they identify as enemies of their cause. Such revolution can be advanced extrajudicially, as it was in Israel on October 7 and in American cities during the BLM riots, and it can be done under the color of law, as the arbitrary legal actions against pro-lifers and the secret dispersion of “refugees” across the country show. The academy has always been explicit about the unity of anti-American and anti-Israeli revolutionary projects: Columbia’s pro-Palestinian critical theorist Edward Said referred to James Baldwin and Malcom X as his soulmates.

To be sure, Christians and Jews have significant theological disagreements. There are vigorous philosophical discussions within Christianity, and between Christians and Jews, about the ideal regime. There are debates about the prudence of labels like “Christian nationalism” and their relevance to the American way of life. There are practical political debates. Questions about tactics are always live and lively. Good men can disagree on many questions involving Israel—as they may disagree about questions regarding America.

But no good person can support or tolerate revolutionary leftism.

In all these fights, the radicals are clear about their goals. But others fixate—in both the Israel-Palestine conflict and in contemporary America—on procedural complaints or alleged historical wrongs, and thus undermine any stand against this civilization-level enemy. These critics range from individual “concern trolls” to US/EU/UN officials demanding conformity to globalist liberal norms, and while they may not explicitly endorse the agenda of the Left, they direct their firepower at those fighting the real threats. They play the same historical role of the Mensheviks in the Russian Civil War, “useful idiots,” in the words of Lenin, more concerned with observing legalisms than in confronting the obviously nefarious goals of the Bolsheviks. We have seen what happened in Russia as a result. The same could happen in Israel, and it could happen here.

Ultimately, politics is about practical cooperation toward shared aims—especially protection against common threats. The highest questions of prudence center on recognizing the greatest threats, and forging alliances against them in order to preserve one’s core aims. Such alliances need not be ideological. They are practical, and specific to particular circumstances and shared objectives. 

The greatest threat to Western civilization is revolutionary leftism. Palestinian leftists seek to delegitimize and destroy Israel, an outpost of Western civilization. Their ideological cousins seek to do the same in America, by undermining our borders, our family norms, our legal traditions, our churches, and more. The factions are openly allied and celebrate their joint cause.

The Left’s defining hatred of Western civilization is illustrated by its repeated alliances with another enemy of the West, radical Islam. Despite Islam’s seemingly regressive values, the Left has granted it protected-class status both at home and abroad. Democrats widely defended a sitting congresswoman who publicly voiced pro-Islamic, anti-American sentiments, and elite lawyers lined up to offer pro bono support for detainees involved in the 9/11 attacks. It is no coincidence that the Left likewise stands up for the most violent factions in Gaza, as it has for other Islamic liberation fronts. This pattern of leftist-Islamic collaboration highlights how both treat Western civilization as their true enemy. 

American Christians should recognize the Israeli state as a co-belligerent in these fights. With the revolutionary Left committed to the destruction of any civilized society, we should appreciate the threat posed by this shared enemy and should support—or at least, not sabotage—actions taken against that enemy.

The moral debate is a central front in this fight. Co-belligerence does not require agreement on every policy or philosophical ideal. But moral delegitimization plays a key role in leftist attacks, something evident in leftist rhetoric about both America and Israel. It is thus prudent, when possible, to align key public moral arguments that effectively challenge these efforts—especially the fundamental good of protecting a civilized society from anti-civilizational forces that would destroy it.

The reaction to the Hamas invasion has awakened many Americans, Christian and Jewish alike, to the extent to which the same ideology driving radical Palestinian violence also pervades American institutions. An alliance to reform our universities is developing. Good. That alliance can be extended to a defense of the fundamental necessity—if America or Israel is to survive—of sound borders, and the need to protect culture, norms, and institutions within those borders against pervasive leftist attacks. We must defeat an ideology that poses an existential threat to both our society and Israel’s. 

Image Credit: Unsplash

Print article

Share This

Nate Fischer

Nate Fischer is the Chairman of American Reformer. He is also the founder and CEO of New Founding, a venture firm focused on the American right. He lives in Dallas with his wife and four children.

Scott Yenor

Scott Yenor is Director of State Coalition at the Claremont Institute’s Center for the American Way of Life and a professor of political science at Boise State University. His Recovery of Family Life (Baylor, 2020) is now out in paperback.

7 thoughts on “Civilization and its Enemies

  1. What Fischer and Yenor have intended to do in their article is to try to discredit BLM by portraying it as an American version of Hamas. This was done by labeling the George Floyd demonstrations as BLM riots and then making them comparable to the Hamas attack of Oct 7.

    The problem is that such a comparison does not fit the facts. Data collected and reported by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), which is an international organization, supplies statistics that show that 93% of the BLM demonstrations in protesting the George Floyd murder were peaceful demonstrations. Where there was violence, it was contained to small areas of the protests and was sometimes initiated by provocateurs. In addition, the government response to the demonstrations were inconsistent but grew confrontational as time went on. And the confrontational approach also contributed to violence occurring during the protests. In addition, Voice of America(VOA) reported that other groups were involved in demonstrations that turned violent. The groups that VOA listed were white supremacists, the Boogaloo Boys, Antifa, and anarchists. I myself saw some media attempts to link BLM with Antifa. Such an association is not merited by the facts and by my own experiences, conversations with, and observations of BLM and Antifa.

    I have been involved in protests since 2005 and I can testify to the point that acts of violence in a protest do not necessarily reflect the intentions of the organizers of the protests. When you are in a protest involving anywhere from thousands to hundreds of thousands of protesters, some of the groups that attend a given protest have their own agenda. And I have seen the result of a provocateur in an OWS protest. One of our own people was maced by security while the provocateur bragged the next day on the internet about having interfered with the protest.

    I was involved in one protest at West Point where a few counterprotestors physically interfered with our protest by standing in front of us and keeping us from walking. Eventually the police ordered them to move out of our way as we just stood there without reacting to them. However, sometimes there are good experiences with counterprotestors. That occurs when they want to rationally discuss the issues involved in a given protest. I loved those experiences.

    My reading of BLM material as well as my conversations and experiences with BLM supports the findings in the above ACLED report. They are generally nonviolent. They empathize with the Palestinian cause but, as far as I have seen, do not support Hamas terrorism perhaps except for some individual members. Here we should note that BLM is horizontally organized rather than vertically organized which means that statements from individuals on issues do not necessarily reflect on the whole organization.

    Certainly BLM is not perfect. Some individual BLM members have engaged in violence and BLM has alternative views on families and couples that are not Biblical. But BLM does not desire to impose those views on others and thus pose no threat to Christian views of marriage and family. unless ones considers nonconformity to be hostility. And having seen their website on multiple occasions, I see no intention on BLM’s part to upend American society. The subjects on their website indicate that they want to provide relief from the systemic racism experienced by many blacks and to strengthen our democracy. If you don’t believe me, visit their website.

    I find it odd though that a website that posts articles that oppose pluralism, that desire to make part of the 1st Table of the 10 Commandments into law, and promote the idea that Christian Magistrates should replace what we have left of a democracy posts an article that complains that BLM is trying to totally change the American way of life.

  2. This kind of sidesteps the major question: why do we care in the first place?

    Can we ask the authors who they think we should be arming in the Ethiopian civil war? Of course, they most likely have no knowledge of the civil war, and quite frankly, nor should they be expected to. It’s a conflict on the other side of the planet between two sides that have very little to do with the US. Why does Israel and its enemies get such a different treatment? Israel plays no special role in our defense or economy. Why do they get so much more attention than the Ethiopians? Why are we expected to “take a side” when it seems fairly clear that Hamas and Israel both are committing atrocities? Why do we arm Israel, and why do we anchor our foreign policy so strongly to their security?

    I haven’t seen any great justification for our involvement from either side. To me, the proper response is an emphatic “who cares…”

    1. Another thought on this: are you really trying to say that Islamic Palestinian nationalists are in the same ideological vein as western marxists? That seems false on its very face.

  3. You’re views on BLM and the riots they incited are completely delusional. These riots and those behind them were violent and aggressive. Most of the people involved belong in prison. Seek help.

    1. Aristides,
      Statistically speaking, at least 93% of the BLM demonstrations involved no violence either against property or persons. Where there was violence, some of it was started by provocateurs, some was started by police or other gov’t employees, some was started by Antifa or anarchists, and some was started by BLM members. Those who started who were violent belong in jail. But over 93% of BLM demonstrations involved no violence.

  4. The dissident right will remain distrustful of conservative leadership as long as it stubbornly avoids issues raised by the likes of Nick Fuentes. These are very serious charges being laid against organized Jewry as a political force in the West — not against the state of Israel per se — and they are not being answered or acknowledged except with dismissal.

    How, for example, can we expect leaders to unite the right around issues like Israel and “sound borders”, when there is a large and growing faction that believes “unsound borders” is a Jewish policy position to begin with? Is anyone going to address such grievances in good faith, steelman them, refute them, and finally put them to bed?

    Unless and until this happens there will remain a lack of moral unity between the leadership and laity, and the erstwhile generals of the right — with all their intellect, organizational acumen and financial resources — will have no army to lead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *