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OpinionIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

The late, great Hamas finally got its wish and … ?

Just this once, and for a while longer at least, no one is listening to the leftist, Islamist and antisemitic defense of the indefensible

A Palestinian walks past the rubble of houses destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the Jabalia area in the northern Gaza Strip, Oct. 11, 2023. Photo: Atia Mohammed/Flash90
A Palestinian walks past the rubble of houses destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in the Jabalia area in the northern Gaza Strip, Oct. 11, 2023. Photo: Atia Mohammed/Flash90
Victor Davis Hanson
Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services.

Ever since Hamas was “elected” to run Gaza and then followed the usual “one election/one time” Middle East formula, it has bragged nonstop that its agenda is to erase Israel off the face of the earth (cf. the wall map in the office of our Rep. Rashida Tlaib).

Its unabashed nihilist boasts resonated throughout the Palestinian “movement.” Its fiery threats delighted the Arab street.

Indeed, Hamas was soon celebrated as the most “authentic” of the radical Palestinian terrorist movements.

Which cadre of thugs could top its end-of-days rhetoric, its assured and steady supply of money and weapons from Iran, its satanic eagerness to mutilate and dismember, and the sanctuary and financial wherewithal offered to it by our “ally” Qatar?


Since Hamas was viewed as the most “volatile” and creepy of the Palestinian factions, and the most useful to Iran, the Obama and Biden administrations appeased the murderers. Was it not part of their hare-brained grand strategy of empowering theocratic Iran and its Syrian, Hezbollah and Hamas hirelings?

Their campaign (remember the “they literally know nothing” media and the Obama “echo chamber” created by a boastful Ben Rhodes?) was to forge these disparate Islamists into a crescent of resistance to Israel and any “moderate” Arab regime (recall the Obama-Biden transitory hatred of the Gulf sheikdoms).

The result would be “creative tension”—as well as payback for the Israeli election of Netanyahu.

Through this formula, Obama believed he could always pressure Israel to grant concessions to radical Palestinians thanks to the looming threat of an ever-menacing (and soon-to-be nuclear) Iran with help from Obama’s other friends—the then-Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt and Obama’s pal the neo-Ottomanist and antisemite Erdogan of Turkey, Obama’s self-described personal liaison to the Islamic world.

Yes, this was sheer madness—if perhaps characteristic of Obama’s well-known orneriness.

Perhaps someday soon, a few disinterested historians might even record that the current nightmare in Israel is the logical end result of what Barack Obama, John Kerry (remember his Trump-era Paris reconnaissance with the Iranians?), Ben Rhodes, Valerie Jarrett, Robert Malley, Joe Biden, Antony Blinken and a host of other incompetent but otherwise haughty and dangerous people once conjured up.

A defiant and empowered murderous Hamas was one of the many dividends of their appeasement and grand Middle East schemes—given the eagerness of the Obama and Biden administrations to send hundreds of millions of dollars to Gaza despite warnings from their own experts that such cash would enhance terrorism and abet the evil work of Hamas with an American financial stamp of legitimacy.

Hence, a soon-to-be nuclear Iran, freed from sanctions, had enough money (remember the nocturnal cash pallets on the Tehran tarmac?) to fund its surrogate global death squads.

Hamas has killed Jewish civilians for nearly two decades, always escaping the full wrath of Israel’s retaliation by appealing to the amoral consciousness of left-wing European and American governments. It counted on ample help from both Iran and Arab regimes, along with Turkey, which always screams “instability” at the first sign of Israeli retaliation.

The blustering Hamas has now murdered over 1,000 Jews in their homes, preferring especially to gun down children, reportedly behead babies, torture the doomed, rape the helpless, execute the elderly and brutalize women—topping the killing off in good SS fashion by gleeful dismemberment and desecration of Jewish corpses.

So, they finally got their wish for their own version of the Holocaust, for what they had always bragged would be the “final” Israel-ending war—as their cowardly elders announced last Saturday from their protected enclaves.

Yes, Hamas promised their mass killing of innocents would ignite the Muslim world, and incite simultaneous attacks on Israel from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and perhaps Egypt—all as their planned anniversary replay of the 1973 Yom Kippur War’s first 48 hours.

And it may—or may not.

The ebullient people of Gaza seemed initially enthralled at videos of mutilated Jews and showed their zeal by spitting on hostages carried back home for supposed Roman-like triumphs before their public sacrifices. Videos of the gruesome killings of Jews were hot downloads on Gaza mobile phones.

Now mutilating dead Israelis, now boasting how brave their sons were in slaying unarmed Jews inside Israel, Gazans assumed a shocked Israel would capitulate.

Would not its megaphones in the West characteristically protect them and restrain Israel?

Could not they themselves always ensure a few thousand of their own civilians be sacrificed as expendable human shields of their missile pads, and thus become necessary fuel for their boilerplate accusations of “war crimes” that usually curtail Israeli retribution?

But now the Israeli retaliation seems oblivious to all that.

It may not be like the past incursions into Gaza that were manipulated by a cowardly Hamas to gain media sympathy for “collateral damage” that they themselves engineered.

Predictably, as Israel ramps up the air attacks and prepares for the ground assault, the global media is showing a concern for civilian collateral damage in a way it never quite did for murdered Jewish innocents and beheaded infants.

Western governments are terrified of Middle Eastern killers who may return to their previous attacks on European citizens. After all, Western left-wing suicidal immigration policies have ensured large unassimilated Muslim populations. Millions have fled the self-created violence and tyranny of the Middle East only to cheer it on from a safe distance in their adopted Western homelands, whose welcoming of these “refugees” is now so often reciprocated with sheer contempt for the apologetic hosts.

Nonetheless, the Gaza crowds of 48 hours ago who were boasting of their sons murdering with impunity and spat on bound defenseless women, are now aggrieved. But they might as well be barking at the moon about the supposed “unfairness” of the Israeli air counterattack.

Among the rubble of Hamas high-rises, they are weeping for media cameras, calling on a corrupt and antisemitic United Nations for accustomed relief, threatening on spec the West with who knows what (is it now infant beheading or body dismemberment?) and in general suddenly quite unhappy about their “final” war they just recently boasted was all but won.

Will the heroic legions of Hamas who beheaded and raped now pour out in the streets to fight the IDF and push them into the sea as promised?

Perhaps not?

Some final thoughts: Why has Iran gone from bragging three days ago about its training and tutelage of the Hamas killers to suddenly pleading that while it is certainly delighted about the beheadings, rapes, executions and mutilations, it technically had no actionable role in ensuring them?

The truth is that Hamas right now is alternately threatening and begging Western governments, beseeching its suddenly mum Iranian suppliers, whining that Hezbollah and the Palestinian Authority have not yet sufficiently shared in the bloodletting of this war and generally railing for more jihad from a few of its increasingly so-so, nonplussed Middle Eastern sponsors.

Hamas fears it may have boxed itself in, with two American aircraft carriers between it and Iran, with private satisfaction from many Arab states that their nuisance Hamas might at last have committed suicide through its mass homicide, with even fanatic supporters hard-pressed to make their “moral” case for the beheading of babies and with a half-million IDF soldiers on their way to deliver divine justice upon them, perhaps in the Lincolnesque Second Inaugural sense of “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Translated, that means for the first time in its existence an unholy Hamas may not get out of its self-created rendezvous with what it has so duly earned, given there is now no assurance of third-party relief and thus no restraint on Israel.

Even a shaken and shamed Biden administration—guilty of an open border and its de facto support for Hamas and Iran, but suddenly scared of a furious election-cycle American public—may for a while not call off Israel.

The arrogant but half-educated Harvard crowd, the European Islamists, the woke and pampered antisemites on Western campuses, the AOC socialists, the pro-Hamas Squad, the BLM chorus who cheered on the Hamas glider death attack, of course, CAIR, and all the usual suspects, for now, are as furious as they are impotent—petulant that, for once, just this once, and for a while longer at least, no one is listening to their oh-so-tired amoral defense of the indefensible.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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