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It’s not every day that you find the center-left leaders of Germany and top American Republicans in agreement. But, in the wake of the Oct. 7 massacre, they are on one issue: Foreign nationals who support groups like Hamas should be deported.
“If we are able to deport Hamas supporters, we must do this,” Germany’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said last month. Her remarks were endorsed by Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, of the migrant-friendly Green Party, in an important speech last Thursday: “Those who are not German citizens will also risk their residency status. Anyone who does not yet have a residence permit will have provided a reason to be deported.”
On this side of the pond, leading Republican senators have called for similar measures. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton urged Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to “immediately deport any foreign national—including and especially any alien on a student visa—that has expressed support for Hamas and its murderous attacks on Israel.”
The impulse is one of survival. Deporting people who celebrate death—our death—and especially those with provable ties to terrorist organizations, is simply one commonsense step if our society is not to go the violent way of the Third World. It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that the pro-Hamas mass rally in Washington, D.C., took part in the set ritual of vandalizing and desecrating statues of American historical figures—including Benjamin Franklin.
This isn’t a call for any new law—only the actual enforcement of the one already on our books. Title 8 of the U.S. Code, section 1182 deems inadmissible any alien who “endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization.”
Cotton’s colleague, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, sent another letter with four other Republican senators to Mayorkas regarding recent demonstrations supporting Hamas on American soil, and asking “to ensure that aliens who support terrorism are quickly removed from our country.”
It’s useful to note something here. Whereas in Germany it’s the governing coalition calling for this move, in the U.S. this is only coming from the party out of power. Opposing them is the White House and the secretary of homeland security, who have been implementing an open border policy. Why? Well, the universities that these foreign students attend are not only bastions of Democratic Party support, but are also factories that churn out the pseudo-intellectual jargon used to verbalize social and economic agendas which eventually become legislation. The pro-Hamas rallies exhibit characteristic third-worldist aesthetics of the street action of other groups in the Democratic Party’s orbit, especially since the participants are “intersectional.”
This helps explain why the White House had to declare “Islamophobia” on par with antisemitism, because that is the umbrella of protection being extended to the pro-Hamas mob, including noncitizens. In commenting on the prospect of large-scale deportation of foreign nationals who support Hamas or the ideology behind Hamas, Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee, described it as “Islamophobic.” Communal grievance, of the kind you encounter in places like my native Beirut, is now the official modality—the fruit of the great leveling.
The opposite of the project of leveling is the affirmation of the American covenantal ethos and American exceptionalism. That requires underscoring the boundaries that safeguard what has made us different and unique. Shipping out foreign nationals who insist on declaring their allegiance to rape, kidnapping, torture, and murder under the banners of their own failed societies seems like an obvious place to start. Highlighting that difference is also a first step toward restoring a sense of what immigrants should be assimilating into.
To abandon the covenant of our fathers for the ways of sick nations is to condemn ourselves to ruin.
Tony Badran is Tablet’s news editor and Levant analyst.