A quarter of Americans believe the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7 were justified. You may want to check that you read that sentence correctly—but please sit down before you do.
That’s right. By pre-planned design, Hamas death squads entered Israel on a Jewish holy day to butcher 1,400 Israelis, most of them civilians. Women were raped, children and infants were burned alive and beheaded, the dead were mutilated and paraded through the streets. And all of this grotesque barbarism was effectively Israel’s fault, according to one quarter of living Americans.
This was the finding of a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll of over 2,100 voters taken in October, its most shocking statistics masked by mainstream reporting that preferred highlighting the milquetoast fact that most Americans take Israel’s side in the war.
“Do you think the Hamas killing of 1200 Israeli civilians on Israel can be justified by the grievances of Palestinians or is it not justified?” the survey pointedly asked.
In a frightful omen for the future of the West, not only did a quarter of Americans agree, but over 50 percent of respondents aged 18 to 24 years affirmed that Hamas’ pre-civilisational brutality was excusable.
Australian journalist Claire Lehmann captured how many sensible-minded people would react to the data, posting on X (formerly Twitter):
I’ve been covering the toxic ideology in universities for years. But if you had told me a month ago that this ideology would lead more than half of Americans under the age of 25 to justify and excuse the torture and mass-murder of a minority group, I would not have believed you.
Believing the poll’s findings is hard enough. What about finding an explanation?
As the war rages on and pro-Hamas protests persist in the West’s biggest cities, a number of commentators have offered their suggestions.
Conservative filmmaker Christopher Rufo has been circling this topic for the last several weeks, observing the alarming ideological overlap among elite academics, Black Lives Matter activists, the Democratic Socialists of America, and supporters of Hamas.