October 7, 2023 is a day that will live in infamy.
It is also a day that has caused a massive shift, everywhere – culturally, politically, militarily, strategically.
Even on the personal level, October 7 has dramatically re-ordered the lives and priorities of many who are far from the battlefields: when a Jew is afraid to wear an indication of their faith outside their home – when they are afraid of posting a representation of it on the doorframe of their home – you know that all is changed, per Yeats, changed utterly.
The news is not all bad. By war’s end, Israel will have mostly defeated Hamas, and inoculated itself against another such attack for a generation or more. Moderate Arab nations, who have been quietly applauding the demise of Hamas, will continue to forge trade and political ties with Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu – who had been told October 7 was coming, disbelieved it, and did nothing to prevent it – will be gone, consumed by serial corruption trials or Israeli fury, or both. Israel will likely be governed by Benny Gantz, who is what Israel needs, because he represents the desired mix of military experience and centrism.
The world’s civilized nations – already brought closer by Putin’s foul war on Ukraine – will embrace a further and superior alliance, one that is better equipped to defeat terrorist threats as well as military ones. Donald Trump will not be the one to lead it.
But one glaring, shocking problem will remain. And that is that the Beast is awake.
The aforementioned William Butler Yeats wrote of it in his Second Coming poem: “What rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”
Yeats’ Beast was the anti-Christ, probably, a monster that he believed would extinguish Christianity and the world. In the post-October 7, 2023 context, it is anti-Semitism – ironically reawakened in Bethlehem, which is located in Palestine. Not Israel.
The Beast of Jew hatred is everywhere – in Canada, a Jewish restaurant in Toronto vandalized, its windows smashed as in Kristallnacht, and a synagogue in Fredericton attacked on International Holocaust Remembrance Day. And that is just in the past two days. Two days.
Anti-Semitism, the oldest hatred, is everywhere we look, these days. It has shaken the historical alliance of Jews and blacks, forged in the civil rights years. It has riven academics and unionists in a way that will take a decade or more to repair. It has made the class wars far worse, because of the (provably false) perception that Jews are all rich and white.
But the Beast of anti-Semitism is seen most visibly in one place: among our youth.
This writer has seen the public opinion research, conducted in Canada, the United States, Europe and beyond. And what it reveals cannot be denied or dismissed: vast swaths of Generation Z ( who are 18 to 26) and Millennials (who are 27 to 42) are wildly, avowedly anti-Semitic. More, much more, than the university professors or public sector union bosses or anyone else you can think of.
The polling, by Leger and several other firms, is shocking. A third of young Canadians – Gen Z and Millennials – support targeting Jews. A quarter of them say they want Israel destroyed. Forty per cent of them do not want those who promote genocide – a criminal offence, in Canada – punished.
And on Hamas, that Satanic and malevolent force, they shrug. Forty per cent of them don’t care about Hamas’ butchery, and refuse to condemn it. A Harvard poll, conducted right after the carnage of October 7, found that more than half of American Gen Z support Hamas. That it was “justified.”
On the Holocaust, which was the mass-murder that Hamas was emulating, the numbers are just as depressing. Twenty per cent of young Americans call the Holocaust a myth. Thirty per cent of them “don’t know” if it is a myth. Thirty per cent of them think “Jews wield too much power.”
There’s more – too much more – but all of the pollsters have concluded the same thing: anti-Semitism is back, everywhere, and almost half of our young people have embraced it.
That, to this writer at least, represents a greater threat than Hamas, Hezbollah, and all the idiotic professors and union bosses put together. We are at risk of losing an entire generation to Jew hatred.
The Beast is awake, but it is not slouching towards Bethlehem to be born.
It has been birthed already, and it is everywhere.
And it is taking hold of our youth.