Colombia’s president Gustavo Petro has terminated diplomatic relations with Israel and described the country’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as ‘genocidal’. Thankfully, not all Colombians share Petro’s view of the Jewish State.

Many of the ten million or so evangelical Christians in Colombia are outraged at the message Petro’s outburst sends to the 4,000-strong Jewish Colombian community. Prominent Colombians have also expressed dismay at Petro’s self indulgent proclamation. When I visited Colombia for ten days as a guest of the Israeli ambassador Gali Dagan last month, I met many Colombians who apologised for Petro’s comments. ‘He doesn’t represent us,’ they said.

Colombia is turning its back on Israel in its hour of need. But this isn’t only a phenomenon isolated to south America. In the United States, seven months after the lethal genocidal Hamas attacks on the Jewish people, protesters at more than 30 campuses across the country are siding with Palestine. Some faculty and students openly display explicitly Islamist, pro-Hamas ideology.

In the United States, the religious freedom of Jews is at stake. America’s Jews wear symbols of their religion fearfully. They worship in their communities knowing that many of their fellow Americans promote rabidly antisemitic speech that is permitted as free speech.  

Joe Biden isn’t helping matters: by threatening to withhold weapons from Israel, the US president is effectively helping Hamas. The Jewish State is on the verge of a defining operation in Rafah, where Hamas fighters continue to shelter among civilians and still fire at Israel. Biden’s refusal to back Israel unequivocally sends a dangerous message – and could even hand Hamas a lifeline.

In Europe, there are also signs of what may be to come for the continent’s Jews. Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor, has expressed deep concern at the demonstrations of self-declared Islamists. More than 1,000 people participated in one such protest in Hamburg. Some of the marchers held up posters with slogans like ‘Caliphate is the solution’; others called for the introduction of Sharia law. 

Such events should not be quickly dismissed, says Dr. Jan Kizilhan, an expert on radicalisation and extremism at the University of Duhok in Iraq. He told me that the events in Germany mirror what is happening around the world in Western democracies wherever Hamas supporters and Islamists are agitating.

‘They have no respect for democracy and tolerance. Their strategy is to spread trouble and fear, to weaken the system of democracy,’ he explained. ‘It is not and never has been about Palestine. The conflict in Palestine is only being used as an opportunity to organise even more.’

But does Germany – or indeed other European countries – have the stomach to properly crack down on Islamist organisations? The Muslim Brotherhood operates freely in Germany as it does in other European countries. Austria outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood in 2021, but no other country on the continent has followed suit. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt have all cracked down on this organisation. These Muslim-majority nations see the danger posed by harbouring expansionist enclaves of Islamism in the fabric of any society. Why doesn’t the West do the same?

In Europe, North America and in South America those who detest Israel and espouse Islamist views are feeling emboldened. In response to the Israel-Hamas conflict, on three continents – worlds away from the Israel Gaza front – the themes are unifying and formidable. Islamism is directly threatening democracy.

The Gaza conflict will come to an end – hopefully very soon – but it does not mean that the Islamists who support Hamas will pipe down and reintegrate. This war has afforded them the opportunity to reveal just how strengthened their influence over democracies in North America, South America and Europe has become – and how weak political leaders can be.