Editor’s note: Below are the video and transcript of remarks given by Shillman Fellow Daniel Greenfield at the Freedom Center’s 2023 Restoration Weekend – just held Oct. 26-29 at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for coming out here this weekend.
Unfortunately, I have some bad news. We have savages among us. Not in this room. This is a great room. And the time we spend together is a fortress of sanity in a world going mad.
Here we still believe in a right and a wrong. And we believe that under no circumstances do you start roaming the streets and burning down cities. And under no circumstances do you go to the homes of your neighbors who follow another religion, kill and kidnap their children, and rape their women while shouting, “Allahu Akbar”. Because we’re not savages.
But we can’t deny that there are savages roaming the world… and our country.
I don’t just mean the Hamas terrorists who killed, kidnapped, and tortured Israeli men, women, and children.
I also mean the over 1,700 sociology professors, including some from Yale and Columbia, who signed a letter arguing that the Hamas atrocities had to be “contextualized” as a response to “75 years of settler colonial occupation and European empire.”
And the over 200 faculty members at another university, including Ellen Dichner, the Chief Counsel to the Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board under the Obama administration, who defended the Hamas atrocities as a “military operation”.
The Secretary General of the UN argued that “It is important to also recognize the attacks by Hamas did not happen in a vacuum.”
You’ve seen the polls in which 57% of Muslims in America said that the Hamas horrors were justified. And the one in which half of 18-24-year-olds in America side with Hamas.
And just so you don’t think I’m picking on Muslims or Generation Z, you may not have seen the one in which 11.5% of American Jews said that Hamas was justified.
Yes, over 1 in 10 American Jews believe that an Islamic terrorist organization whose leaders have called for the extermination of the Jews is justified.
3.6% of American Jews “strongly” agree that the murder of Jewish babies is justified.
We have savages among us. In the most literal sense of the word. There are white savages, black savages, and Asian savages. There are male and female savages, and transgender savages and savages of all members of the 500 genders currently on the table.
What unites them is a hatred of civilization and a burning desire to destroy it, to tear it down, to wreck its most cherished values, and then dance on the flames.
There are savages among us at schools where the tuition is enough to buy a house in the country. There are savages with PhDs preaching that murder and torture are the righteous “decolonization” of the “settler colonial occupation”.
And by the way when they say “settler colonial occupation”, they don’t just mean Israelis, they mean Americans right here. We’re a “settler colony” too. First, come the “land acknowledgments” in which we admit we don’t belong here. And then once we admit that, we’re illegitimate settlers, we can be “decolonized” by being massacred too.
This isn’t some fringe movement. This is what’s being taught in universities across America.
You’ve all seen the videos of ordinary college students cheering Hamas, tearing down posters of kidnapped people, and sneering at anyone who dares to challenge them.
Who could have seen this coming? One man did.
There’s one more video that I hope you’ve seen even though it’s over ten years old.
We played it tonight but just in case you missed it, I’m going to set the scene.
This happened in the spring of 2010 at the University of California at San Diego. A few months earlier, Hamas terrorists had tried to penetrate the Gaza border fence to invade Israel. And Israeli soldiers had fought them.
We know now what the Hamas terrorists would have done if they had broken through.
David Horowitz had arrived to speak on campus which was always a scene because the Left hated him. It still does. Because he got them, he understood what they were, like no one else.
A member of the Islamist and anti-Semitic Muslim Students Association confronted Horowitz. Horowitz asked the MSA member, a campus association founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas, whose members and speakers have praised Hamas, whether she would condemn Hamas. She refused.
Then he asked her an even more pointed question:
“I am a Jew. The head of Hezbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For or Against it?”
She leaned in close to the microphone and spoke clearly. “For it.”
Back then the video was shocking. The student and her political allies on campus claimed that she misspoke. And that she didn’t really mean it. Now Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine campus chapters openly celebrate the Hamas butchery.
The national organization of Students for Justice in Palestine hailed the Hamas rape of girls, murder of babies, and kidnapping of children as a “historic win for the Palestinian resistance”.
The national organization which has 200 chapters on campuses across North America put out a ‘toolkit’ which explained that the Jewish victims were “not civilians” and were fair game.
In that one moment in the spring of 2010, David Horowitz had gotten one of them to take her mask off before they were ready. Those of us who were paying attention saw it. Those who didn’t went back to sleep. Now the masks are off and everyone is horrified. Except for those who are cheering it on.
The thing about masks is that we like them. We don’t want to see the ugliness underneath.
When the masks come off, we shudder in horror and then we forget. We go back to our everyday routines. It happened after 9/11. The response to what Hamas did doesn’t surprise me because I was there in Manhattan after the attacks. And what I saw inspired me to do what I do today.
As we were walking north with what used to be the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center behind us, there were college students from NYU in Union Square painting anti-war signs.
America had been attacked hours ago. People were fleeing to get away from what was in the air, but they were already chalking on the sidewalk and drawing up anti-American signs.
Now remember there was no war, but anti-war protests were being organized on the spot.
And then came the arguments that the people in the towers and on the planes had it coming. They were ‘Little Eichmans’, remember that one? An edgy avant-garde American director was sitting at dinner in a posh London restaurant with his British distributor who told him “I think September 11 was the best thing that ever happened to America. I thought the attack would make Americans understand why the rest of the world hates them.“
The director, who was in no way a conservative, a Republican, or some flag-waver, punched him in the face, broke his nose, and overturned the dinner table on him.
That is sometimes how you respond to savages.
Some of you may have had similar experiences after 9/11. For every international outpouring of sympathy, there were all the “America had it coming” responses. And there was plenty of it at home. Is it any wonder that the response to the Hamas crimes is more of the same?
Civilized people like to believe that there is some level of barbarism, some atrocity, that people on the other side who disagree with us won’t stomach. And individually there is. Collectively it’s another matter. There are always good Nazis who look at something and turn away, who maybe even try to save some Jews, but the stadiums were still packed with people cheering Hitler and Hamas will have plenty of supporters on campus.
So up the ante. Raped women, murdered babies, kids in cages. We think that at some point we’ll reach a red line where everyone will agree that is wrong. And nope. We never do.
Because we miss the point.
When savages look at atrocities, they don’t think, “Good Lord, that’s horrifying. What kind of monsters can do such things.” They think, “Yes, yes, yes!.”
When they put it into words, they talk about “decolonization” and “the resistance of the oppressed”, they quote Franz Fanon about the “wretched of the earth”, but underneath those abstractions that the Left constructed to normalize and rationalize mass murder, much as the Nazis did, is the true response, “Yes! Yes, yes, yes.”
The Left glamorizes the idea of the ‘Noble Savage’ because it loves savagery and wants to be savages. It wants to roll in the blood and the mud, it wants to burn and smash things, to wrap its hands around throats and squeeze. But it’s become too civilized, too urbanized. It needs others, the noble savages it looks down on, to lead the way and smash, burn, and kill.
We’ve seen this in our country. It’s the same around the world.
They’ve got Noam Chomsky out there right now covering for Hamas the way he once covered for Pol Pot who forced everyone in the countryside and killed anyone wearing glasses.
This is what savages do. And college students are being indoctrinated into this cult of savagery.
What do savages want? They want to tear down the world as it is to make their new better world. And they want it to be with so much horror, pain, and death that no one ever dares think about rebuilding civilization again.
Mass murder, the starvation of millions of people, and a culture of terror: are just some of the means that they used in the 20th century, in Communist China, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Cuba, and Iran.
The common denominator is fear.
Civilized people confronted with savagery freeze. They’re traumatized. They can’t cope with it.
That is what the savages want. It’s why they use terrorism. They want us terrorized.
And we can’t give in to fear.
That is why the David Horowitz Freedom Center is fighting back.
David Horowitz led the way in warning about what was to come. Now even some of the most outspoken liberals are admitting that he was right. They’re seeing the barbarism on campuses, the indoctrination, the hate and they’re asking where did this come from.
It didn’t just appear overnight. It was always here.
And the David Horowitz Freedom Center, from the very beginning, sounded a battle cry against it. When David Horowitz first talked about campus indoctrination, even most Republicans dismissed him. They didn’t want to hear about it. When he warned about Hamas on campus, he was denounced as an alarmist. And even when he demonstrated that college students were being groomed to support the mass murder of Jews, few would take it seriously.
Now it’s impossible to ignore.
And under the leadership of David Horowitz, we are fighting on.
We’ve been tracking and compiling lists of tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that came out with statements in support of Hamas and we are going to hold them accountable.
Supporting terrorists is a violation of the tax code.
Many of the loudest voices supporting Hamas, including Students for Justice in Palestine, which is behind many of the pro-terrorist campus protests, are tax-exempt groups. Stripping away their tax-exempt status will effectively defund them. Under Obama, the IRS targeted pro-Israel groups. Under a Republican administration, the IRS needs to target pro-terrorist organizations.
Congress also has the ability to close loopholes in the tax code that allow Islamic terrorist groups and their supporters to benefit from tax-exempt status.
We’ve also profiled tax-exempt Chinese Communist and North Korean front groups that advocate in support of Hamas and the Alliance for Global Justice, which originally started to support Marxist terrorists, which sponsors Samidoun, a terrorist front group that’s been banned in Israel and Germany, which sponsored the New York City rally calling for solidarity with Hamas during which NYPD officers were assaulted.
Loopholes allowing Islamic terrorist front groups to benefit from tax-exempt donations need to be closed.
Congress can do it.
And we’re not stopping there. From our investigative reporting to our Discover the Networks site, led by the incredibly knowledgeable John Perazzo, and with everyday coverage from our intrepid Mark Tapson, Front Page Magazine, where I have the honor to work with Mark and Jamie Glazov, also the editor of an important collection on Obama’s legacy, and Christine Williams, and the many talented writers and journalists who never stop fighting for the truth. And Sara Dogan who runs our campus operation and recently issued a pamphlet on the top campus hate groups. The indefatigable Robert Spencer and Jihad Watch alert us to the state of the enemy. And Michael Finch who keeps all the moving parts from flying off into space.
And so many others who work with us to make this a fight we can win.
We’re collecting information on the enemies within our country.
We’re following the money trails from radical donors and exposing extremists on campus.
And we’re fighting to hold them accountable because we won’t let the savages win.
We’re not doing it as a response to the Hamas attacks, but because it’s what we’ve been doing all along.
David Horowitz saw this battle coming. And he built an organization that, as he’s told you many times, is not a think tank, it’s a battle tank. And with your support, we’re doing battle.
We’re a small organization that always punches above our weight.
We took issues that were obscure, that were controversial, that were on the back burner, and we made them into issues for a movement, for a party, and for a country.
The people you see here, guests, speakers, and thinkers, come together, we share ideas, we learn from each other, and we come away stronger and more determined than ever to win.
There are some of you who came here feeling hurt and broken. I know some here may have family or friends in Israel. But I have to say that every single time I have had the honor to come here, and that includes the 2020 election, no matter what has happened, I have come away stronger, and so many people come back year after year because you feel that way too.
I don’t just come here to speak, I come here to learn, from the speakers and from all of you. When you ask me questions, I learn from you. Every time I’ve done a talk, talking to you has changed what I’m going to say. And this time is no different.
And I also come here like so many of you to feel the energy in the room, the fortress of sanity, from which we return strengthened, certain, and determined that we will win.
This is not just about politics. It’s not just about who’s in charge of earmarks or who gets to wield a gavel.
Moments like the Hamas atrocities bring home to us what this is really about.
This is a global and national struggle between savages and civilization. It’s about whether our children and grandchildren will live in peace and security. Or live in terror and fear.
We will not win this war if we refuse to name the enemy, the thousand-year-old Islamic Jihad against civilization, and the two-hundred-year-old leftist assault on mankind.
We will not win if we turn away from who our enemies are, but we must not fear them.
Civilization is superior to the savage in every way. All we have to do to win this war is wake up.
David Horowitz has spent the better part of a lifetime waking people up. Every few days I’m on the phone with him and he’s telling me to hit harder and to call our enemies what they are.
Every day we wake people up, and every year we come here for a giant wake-up call, to draw strength from each other and to be determined to fight for our country and our future.
We fight because civilization is too precious to give up.
We fight so that our children and grandchildren have the world they deserve.
We fight because the savages must not win.
And they will not win.
The only way the savages can win is if we let them, if we go to sleep, if we despair, if we give up. And we will not give up. The future must not belong to the savages. It must not belong to the beheaders of children, the rapists of women, and those who murder cartoonists.
It’s our future and we’re not giving it up to them.
The David Horowitz Freedom Center is fighting for the future. Thank you for standing with us.
Thank you for being part of our fight.