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The week Hamas reinvented horror Israel has become a theatre for gruesome spectacle

An unprecedented low.(Belal Khaled/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

An unprecedented low.(Belal Khaled/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


October 14, 2023   4 mins

Israel and Gaza are a Pathé newsreel of violence. Atrocity mounts upon atrocity. Blood smeared on gristle. Festivals mottled with corpses. Women dragged off to be raped and killed. And, now, perhaps the ultimate taboo. “This is the most difficult image we’ve posted,” ran the Daily Telegraph’s front page, reprinting a tweet from the State of Israel’s official account.“As we are writing this we are shaking. We went back and forth about posting this. But we need each and everyone of you to know. This happened.”

The images were of the charred and blackened corpses of babies. Dead bodies are a fixture of my professional life, and I have never seen anything like it. I have never felt that level of nausea. Nothing is beyond the sadism of Hamas. Nothing, now, might be beyond the response — comes the reply from Israel.

Clearly, nothing now is beyond being live-streamed, uploaded, posted, tweeted or shared. Amid the horror and disgust, one thing has struck me above all: the footage has overwhelmingly come from the perpetrators. Yes, there is video shot by terrified and fleeing victims, but scroll through Twitter, Telegram and Instagram and what do you see? Hamas filming themselves barking at cowering Israeli families on the ground; parents covering their children’s eyes, desperate to banish reality; Hamas yanking soldiers off tanks and throwing them into the dirt; Hamas grinning as they parade an elderly woman around in a golf cart.

This conflict has lasted for almost a century, yet what we have seen this week has never been seen before. It is a nasty and brutal war fought over land where ideology and the interminable cycle of reprisals has made its resolution impossible. But it is something else, too. It is perhaps the world’s longest running geopolitical media spectacle. Nothing, not Kashmir nor the Balkans nor any of the other enduring conflicts largely created by empire, has received anywhere near this level of coverage. The depths plumbed by Hamas are unprecedentedly low.

Several factors explain the brutality. First is a perennial of human nature: old-fashioned rage and bloodlust. No one, least of all it seems Hamas, expected the attacks to be so successful. Coming upon hundreds of unarmed Israelis was obviously too much of a temptation for many of these incontinent fanatics.

Then there is the desire to provoke. To get Israel to overreact, but also its neighbours. Broadcast images of dead Palestinian babies onto those feeds and then maybe your Arab allies will start to wonder about the wisdom of their various normalisation agreements with Israel. History is turning away from Hamas. The warming of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia threatens to destroy them forever. If the “Custodian of the Two Holy Places” decides the “Zionist Entity” is actually ok, then it’s only the politically impotent and half-witted Bashar al-Assad beside you, and the Iranians, who are formidable but largely alone.

It’s a basic strategy but a generally successful one. Don’t forget that one of the reasons bin Laden struck the World Trade Center was to get the Leviathan to lash out, which it did. Hamas has limited options. This is perhaps the one card it can play with any real efficacy.

But this relies on Hamas exhibiting its dead before the court of international opinion, which makes what it did seem so counterintuitive. Israel now has a far greater licence from that very same court to react more forcefully than it ever has.

For decades, the Palestinians have sought to rally public sympathy to their cause. They accepted they would generally lose the battle in the United States but win in parts of Europe and elsewhere. Now, the reaction from the West is unanimous, projected in blue and white onto the Eiffel Tower and Brandenburg Gate. Yet even this has its benefits. Last Saturday, Hamas morphed into Isis, which ran the most successful media campaign of any terror group in the last century. And I think it was deliberate. Brutalising people on camera will earn you wide scale revulsion, but global attention.

That word “global” is the key here. As the Pax Americana recedes, along with Washington’s capacity and appetite to enforce it, the need to court the West diminishes accordingly. Israel-Palestine has become, like Russia-Ukraine, another front in a broader, undeclared and unofficial war against the Western-led status quo in which spoiler powers such as Iran and Russia can seek to punch holes.

This is not the Cold War — a bipolar world bifurcated into two opposing ideological camps, with some non-aligned powers on the side. If there is any ideology here, it’s Maoism, in impulse if not in doctrine: tear it all down and see what emerges in its stead. Whether it is Slavic chauvinism, Islamism or Han expansionism, that can all be worked out later. Tear it all down and see what rises.

This means Hamas can commit atrocities, provoke Israel, and alienate the West but not, say, Russia, which is committing its own atrocities in Ukraine. Note that Putin has already warned Israel against laying siege to Gaza in the same way Nazi Germany besieged Leningrad, because it would lead to an “absolutely unacceptable” number of civilian casualties. The comparison is about as offensive to the Israelis as you can get, and deliberately so.

Once the Palestinians would never have dreamed of ceding the moral high ground so obviously and egregiously to Israel — even for a week. Now they can do just that with, from their perspective, an extraordinary military success. And if the West damns them? They can go elsewhere. As well as Russia, the Chinese obviously aren’t going to care about human rights violations. And the Iranians are on their side. It doesn’t matter that they share conflicting cultures, religions, and beliefs, the only one thing that matters is the overriding interest that binds them: to attack the Western order.

Of course, given the choice, I suspect Hamas would rather have support from the United State and EU. But it knows that’s not going to happen any time soon. So it leans in, and becomes a proxy not just to Iran but a broader axis of “resistance”. Stream and post and kill and maim to your heart’s content. It’s a new day out there — and a very different world is watching.


David Patrikarakos is UnHerd‘s foreign correspondent. His latest book is War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the 21st century. (Hachette)

dpatrikarakos

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Mark Turner
MT
Mark Turner
6 months ago

This is exactly why we ( The west) should stamp down mightily on the militant muslim menace, except rather stupidly, we have spent the last 20 years importing vast numbers of them into our countries where they now subvert, breed in large numbers and will shortly be taking over…….helped in no small part by the pathetic liberal left institutions who are too blinded by their student politics ideals to see whats really happening…and if they ever do, it will be too late. This is all going to end rather badly for Europe I am afraid. Seriously considering moving to Poland…….When will people in any significant numbers start to realise that these people dont want to integrate and accept our cultural values and become like us. They simply want whats ours and to take over……..

Last edited 6 months ago by Mark Turner
Chipoko
C
Chipoko
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

Look no further than the UK where Islamic politicians now operate at the highest levels nationally and regionally, the current Mayor of London being a case in point.

Cathy Carron
CC
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

Sadiq Khan is not a ‘calm leader’ – he projects aggression and anger.

TheElephant InTheRoom
TI
TheElephant InTheRoom
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Lol saw him on the tube once and absolutely no one said a thing to him except “WANKER”. He’s not a likeable character even in his own community.

Dylan Blackhurst
DB
Dylan Blackhurst
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Mr Kahn speaks softly, but look at the content of what he says and most importantly the outcome of his actions.

William Edward Henry Appleby
WE
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

You mean Sadiq Khan, as mayor of London, and Hamza Yousaf as first minister of Scotland? It’s hardly the “great replacement” is it? And what exactly is an “Islamic politician”? You mean a politician who is also a Muslim? Are you suggesting that these two politicians are part of some Islamic fifth column, about to impose Sharia law? Maybe I’m wrong, and the ULEZ is mentioned somewhere in the Hadith?

Alan Osband
AO
Alan Osband
6 months ago

‘ Hardly the great replacement is it ‘
Too right , I preferred Boris .

Alan Hawkes
AH
Alan Hawkes
6 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

I am no fan of the Mayor of London, but he is a democratic politician. Your comment verges on libellous.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Alan Hawkes

I don’t think any comments here can be, actually, legally libellous. It’s free speech.

Last edited 6 months ago by Clare Knight
Chipoko
C
Chipoko
6 months ago
Reply to  Alan Hawkes

What have I said that “verges on libellous”? Engage in discussion and disagreement. Making ad hominem attacks only reveals your true nature and contributes nothing of value to discussion.

Alan Osband
AO
Alan Osband
6 months ago
Reply to  Alan Hawkes

But when was the demographic transformation of London that resulted in Mayor Khan put to a vote ?

TheElephant InTheRoom
TI
TheElephant InTheRoom
6 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

I live in a diverse area of London where my Muslim neighbours are wonderful and very family orientated. Their kids are respectful, they don’t drink and don’t keep dogs. I wish I could say the same for others.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago

Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

Samir Iker
SI
Samir Iker
6 months ago

I think you will find most muslims in Gaza, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are wonderful, family oriented and with respectful kids.
Still doesn’t work out too well for non muslims though.

And people who don’t like or keep dogs are generally avoidable, I have found, especially when it’s driven by religious prohibition, that cannot be challenged, imposed by a prophet who was rather less reluctant about slaves and nine year old “wives”.

Last edited 6 months ago by Samir Iker
Alan Osband
AO
Alan Osband
6 months ago

Very family oriented , to the point of honour killing their own daughters when they infringe some behavioural standard imposed by their culture .Wonderful !

A D Kent
AK
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

Mark – the ‘except we rather stupidly’ issue is the West actively spreading and supporting islamist extremists across the globe for the last 40 years. From the toppling of secular governments in the Cold War to the Mujihidin, to Iran-Contra, the PetroDollar deal with the devil, to shipping extremists to Bosnia & Kosovo, the Iraq catastrophe, Yemen, Libya, Syria and many many more disastrous interventions ‘we’ have never given the moderates a chance. Not anywhere.

William Edward Henry Appleby
WE
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

People in Europe, since the middle-ages, have been referring to the Jews using similar language, and look where that got us. I strongly doubt you will move to Poland by the way, and in any case, what makes you think the Poles want you there?

Last edited 6 months ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
Alan Osband
AO
Alan Osband
6 months ago

Increased antisemitism in Europe is entirely down to Muslim immigration . This was the finding of the EU’s own suppressed report .
Norman Plantagenet Tudor Appleby would have been more fun .

Davina Powell
DP
Davina Powell
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

Good luck with that then. Go on then, off you go, grab your gun and your helmet and your flak jacket and your badge and your big stampy boots and I’ll see you on the other side (maybe, if you’re lucky and I’m not) ✌❣️

elaine chambers
EC
elaine chambers
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

Unfortunately Poland has thrown off one oppressive tyrant, communism and replaced it with another Catholiism. Poland is not a good place to bring up daughters.

Andrew D
AD
Andrew D
6 months ago

Why not?

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

‘They’ did that before from 1919 to 1939 and despite ‘us’ idiotically giving them the ‘blank cheque’ it didn’t end well.

Arthur G
AG
Arthur G
6 months ago

If the UK and France hadn’t been absolutely gutless from 1936 to 1939, they wouldn’t have needed your help.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Firstly ‘we’ couldn’t afford to, secondly ‘we’ thought Adolph had a bit of a case.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing they say.

starkbreath
SL
starkbreath
6 months ago

How did Hitler have ‘a bit of a case?

starkbreath
SL
starkbreath
6 months ago

Come on Stanhope, you’ve made a very provocative statement, now back it up.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

As someone who identifies as left leaning and liberal I would advise you not to throw out the baby with the bath water, because I agree with everything you’re saying (except the bit about moving to Poland), and my liberal friends feel the same way. It’s only the extremes of both right and left who are beyond reason. You may be surpried at how many like-minded people there out there if would stop with the labeling and be open minded.

Judy Johnson
JJ
Judy Johnson
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Well said Clare!

Philip Tisdall
PT
Philip Tisdall
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Ms. Knight, the terms “right” and “left” have no meaning beyond identifying allies and enemies. Our political spectrum can be more usefully thought of as spreading across” collectivists” and the “individual rights”. In this sense, extreme collectivists are Communists, of whom the Fascists are a specific variant of the 1930’s. For “individual rights” the extreme is Libertarians. I belong to this extreme. I believe the whole point of the United States is the unique belief that the government exists to protect my rights to be an individual.
Your Comment merely obfuscates. “Labeling” can be a useful tool, but only if one uses good labels.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Philip Tisdall

I think I clarified my position rather well.

stephen archer
SA
stephen archer
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

You’ll have to learn Polish first, and believe me Mark it’s not an easy language. The strings of consonants are unpronouncable for anglo-germanic speakers and then there’s the declension of nouns, even names and place names.

Davina Powell
DP
Davina Powell
6 months ago
Reply to  stephen archer

I bet he can’t even cope with my WELSH language lol

Rohit Gupta
RG
Rohit Gupta
6 months ago
Reply to  Davina Powell

LoL

starkbreath
SL
starkbreath
6 months ago
Reply to  Davina Powell

Who can? Adding some vowels would help.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  Mark Turner

While I certainly have concerns, I don’t think that Muslims here in the US present a massive problem, although I certainly recognize the potential for some small-scale mayhem. At this point there are a reported 3.45 million Muslims in the US and I would guess that a lot of them are either born here or are US citizens who have converted. Of course, it doesn’t take a lot of people to create something bad but, whether we accept it or not, the majority of Muslims do not want to have anything to do with this stuff. The elected ones who have been so pro-Palestinian are another story and they are problematic.

N Satori
NS
N Satori
6 months ago

Hamas re-invented horror? The path to uninhibited cruelty was already well established by ISIS who openly boasted about their barbarity. Not only did this terrify their enemies but displayed a defiant rejection of Western, post-Christian morality.
James E Mitchell, in his book Enhanced Interrogation: Inside the Minds and Motives of the Islamic Terrorists Trying to Destroy America, provides some insight into the extreme Islamist view of the West. Their attitude to the weak and vulnerable is quite opposite to the West’s humanitarian morality – they definitely do not expect the meek to inherit the Earth.
In his interrogations Mitchell also discovered an interesting Islamic variation on the ‘useful idiots’ concept. The Islamic terrorist leaders he interrogated believed that those in the West who oppose and try to undermine the fight against Islamist terror are (though they do not realise it) motivated by Allah who has planted the seed of the destruction of the West in their minds.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

This is why we in the West need our own Christian resurgence. Post-modernism is rooted in cultural relativism which, although it allows us to feel luxuriantly superior and distanced from cultural idiosyncrasies, actually makes us wishy-washy and weak. The message throughout the ages is that if you abandon G*d as a foundational societal building block, your civilization will give way to all kinds of bizarre ideas and debased forms of idolatry, so much so that it becomes weak enough to be conquered.

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

That bird has flown. The absence of such a resurgence does not preclude our ability to withstand Islamism. Our parents and grandparents fought in two worldwide existential conflicts to remain free (as in democratically free) and they didn’t take up arms in the name of a god.

Whether we do withstand Islamism is another matter, but wishing for a religious resurgence is not only unnecessary but i”d argue (and frequently do!) counterproductive.

Barbara Manson
BM
Barbara Manson
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Our parents and grandparents believed in God and that’s what gave them the backbone to take up arms in defense of freedom and humanity.

Steve Murray
LL
Steve Murray
6 months ago
Reply to  Barbara Manson

With respect, you are wrong. There would’ve been many atheists/agnostics among them. Were they less worthy of our appreciation for their sacrifice? As stated, religious belief is not required in the fight for freedom.

Arthur G
AG
Arthur G
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

They may have been doubters, but they shared basic Judeo-Christian values. Today the secular largely don’t.
No one sane is going to fight to preserve wokism, not even the woke. The woke will be the first to convert to Islam and submit wholeheartedly. They’ll all join the religious police. They’ll love it!

Last edited 6 months ago by Arthur G
Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

That’s a load of rubbish. I doubt that you know what values the secular live by. It’s certainly not a belief system.

Last edited 6 months ago by Clare Knight
Arthur G
AG
Arthur G
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Your values are imposing your cause du jour on everyone else, by Gov’t force if necessary. COVID and the trans issue have exposed you. Woke is your religion and in that, you’re harsher puritans than Cromwell ever was.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

You absolutely do not know my values. What you said is total, narrow minded projection.

Kent Ausburn
KA
Kent Ausburn
6 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

There are no atheists in foxholes.

Lewis Lorton
LL
Lewis Lorton
6 months ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

That is a remarkably unprovable and silly assertion.
If there was a benevolent supreme being, there would be no need for foxholes except for those dug by foxes.

Alan Osband
AO
Alan Osband
6 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Who is more woke than the current Archbishop of Canterbury ? He envies Islam and would love a role as junior partner ensuring the tax on infidels gets paid .

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Exactly!

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Barbara Manson

Maybe your grandparents believed in god but not mine. Please speak for yourself.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Exactly.

Warren Trees
WT
Warren Trees
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I do hope you are correct, but if you are, then the entirety of the Old Testament is pure nonsense, as it chronicles the opposite over millennia. Regardless, I choose to side with God’s word.

Chipoko
C
Chipoko
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Julian – I understand the essence of your point. I would emphasise a slightly different, but related, perspective – that of Christian cultural values and history, rather than the actuality of the Christian faith as such. Steve Murray suggested you were “wishing for a religious resurgence”, but I believe you may have been thinking more along the lines of the Christian-based value system represented by democratic freedom. Surely this is the foundation of the Allied response to the evils of fascism in WW2? I am not a Christian, but I value the Christian heritage of democracy and tolerance that has shaped my life and worldview and consider it is probably the best political framework around, in spite of its very obvious deficiencies. Our civilisation has been weakened from within by the insidious influence of Marx’s worldview which, in the 21st Century, has been the basis for the devastating impact of woke thinking on our body politic, and the framework of power upon which the Woking Class elites have consolidated their control over us.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

I have so much trouble understanding what you, and others who throw the word “woke” around, are actually saying.It’s a relatively new word and seems to have become a catch-all, put-down for things the user doesn’t like rather than actually explaining what it is they don’t like. How can one make an argument against “woke” without knowing what is meant?

Last edited 6 months ago by Clare Knight
Chipoko
C
Chipoko
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

To each their own. I have equal trouble in understanding how/why you appear adhere to the ‘woke’ agenda and apparently justify its offshoots like the ‘cancel culture’ and other egregious manifestations. I think there are many people out there who perfectly understand what is meant by the recent evolution of the word ‘woke’, including many who themselves are Woke. I don’t have to explain myself to you. If you haven’t grasped the essence of its meaning yet you probably are disinclined to. There are plenty of excellent, articulate posts variously in Unherd which amply illuminate this phenomenon if you take the trouble to understand rather than merely reacting to these.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

Fifty-five percent of Americans say “wokeism” encompasses being informed,educated on, and aware of social injustices. In that case, I confess I am woke.

N Satori
NS
N Satori
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Was it Nietzsche who told the world of philosophy that ‘God is dead’? Perhaps it would be more true to say that ‘God has become redundant’. He no longer has any authority. In fact the concept of authority itself has become strangely fluid.
Anyway, there will be no resurgence of Christianity, however socially desirable that may be, without evidence of the supernatural. Just look at the Church of England – devoid of the miraculous and sunk by its own trivial attempts to be ‘relevant’.

Bruce Edgar
BE
Bruce Edgar
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Faith is defined as the belief in something for which no evidence exists. Keep up with the good work.

N Satori
NS
N Satori
6 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Edgar

I think we all know what faith is – but is it any use other than as a kind of spiritual placebo?

Benjamin Dyke
BD
Benjamin Dyke
6 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Edgar

I’m a Christian and let me enlighten you as you seem happy to ignorantly dismiss my faith. My faith is predicated on historical happenings. You dispute they happened and I believe they did, but you can never disprove Jesus life,death and resurrection and I believe they are historically true. So please by all means disbelieve and think you know better but do not make the mistake of thinking you know why other people believe. I don’t know why you don’t but it doesn’t permit me to act like I know why you don’t and to therefore dismiss your thoughts. And I’m not doing this to start an argument about the veracity of the Christian faith just to correct your misunderstanding and arrogant reasoning.

Last edited 6 months ago by Benjamin Dyke
Elvis Quinn
EQ
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Unfortunately, without God we get people like Nietzsche, who think themselves a god.

N Satori
NS
N Satori
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

With God we get people like ISIS, like Torquemada.

Charles Stanhope
CS
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Wasn’t Torquemada a ‘converso’? Thus even more dangerous!

William Edward Henry Appleby
WE
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago

Allegedly so. Probably a touch of the “self-hater” about him.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago

He was a sadist.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

To name but a few.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

My upvote didn’t register.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

It’s a comfort to many but they don’t seem able to keep it to themselves, they are compelled to convert, control and destroy.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Exactly, there is no evidence of the supernatural that’s why it’s necessesary for the faithful to believe. But if you know something for a fact you don’t need to believe.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Any form of religion is the problem not the answer.

Hilary Lowson
HL
Hilary Lowson
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I’m not sure Christianity has a monopoly on morality. You don’t have to be Christian to understand & know that moral & cultural relativism sit atop a hideous slippery slope that slithers to a place where justice, reason &logic are lost – mob rule replacing democracy, debate, discussion & acceptance that disagreement does not equate with being a ‘nazi’ or similar hyperbolic insults (silly, yes, but which nonetheless can ruin lives & careers).

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Hilary Lowson

Exactly.

A D Kent
AK
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

That’s the ISIS with whom Israel had relatively amicable relations across the border they shared because they were fighting the (mostly secular) Syrian government.
https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/ultimate-opportunism-tacit-israeli-islamic-state-alliance-syria

N Satori
NS
N Satori
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

The Middle East Eye is a rather dubious and pro-Palistinian source (to say the least). As for ‘relatively amicable relations’ – with a movement of fanatical anti-Zionists and uncompromising Jew-haters! That adverb ‘relatively’ will sure have its work cut out!
Still, if a Lefty can find a blemish in Israeli behaviour I guess he’s bound to milk it to the max.

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Israel just last week bombed Syrias two main airports. That’s the country they border who is fighting against islamist extremists. You don’t have to milk these things as far as Israel are concerned – they bathe in it like Cleosoddingpatra.

N Satori
N Satori
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

I would be very interested to know the tactical reasons behind that bombing. Would you? Or are you satisfied with juvenile moral point scoring?
Are you familiar with Churchill’s orders to sink a major part of the French battle fleet after France had fallen to the Germans in WW2 or going further back into history Nelson’s destruction of the neutral Danish fleet in the battle of Copenhagen over fears that they were about to side with Napoleon’s France? In a battle for survival fine points of morality become a dangerous luxury.

UnHerd Reader
C
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Mahan Air flight 146, which left Tehran for Aleppo before the attack on Aleppo and Damascus airports, supports Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC-QF) QODS force. The flight diverted back to Tehran.

Cathy Carron
CC
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Israel bombed Syria because Syria launched rockets against Israel first.

TheElephant InTheRoom
TI
TheElephant InTheRoom
6 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

There are may 3 letter agencies in the west.

Sayantani Gupta
SG
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago

I don’t think it is as simplistic a trajectory as the author claims. World politics are far more complex now as unipolarity post -1991 has broken down, due to a mix of American led Foreign Policy hubris( especially under Uniparty Military Industry complex driven administration’s) and an attendant crumbling of the strong institutions of Western modernity.

Ethnic troubles in a multi- polar world will intensify. The West has its own problems in huge multi- cultural immigrants who are effectively the ” fifth column” for Hamas.

Witness what happened in Arras France yesterday.

If these “sleeper cells” are activated in unison across the West, there will be greater turmoil.

Plus Slavic ” chauvinism” is of all hues and shades, including in being enmeshed in quasi- Teutonic revanchism in Ukraine ( a liberal use of symbols of that infamous 1930s regime a pointer.)
The fact is that the post Soviet era engendered a sense of complacency in the West led by the US that everything was now permanently in its grip.

That led it’s economics and cultural arena to lose all sense of Westphalian nation- statism, and unleash ” globalism” as a credo.
The fact that this “borderless ” Neo Empire was a convenient Trojan horse to let in every kind of foe was lost on these strategists.

So unless Western policy makers take tough decisions ( unable even after these horrific events) and delink ideological imperatives of Wokery from foreign policy, such horrors will recur more and more.

The rest of the world is clearly not in synch with the” rules- based order” of Pax Americana always..

Last edited 6 months ago by Sayantani Gupta
Cathy Carron
CC
Cathy Carron
6 months ago

Perhaps, it’s a good thing that many principled Americans own 330 million or more guns….the 2nd Amendment to the American Constitution turns out to have been quite prescient and a good thing after all. There’s great concern about ‘sleeper cells’ in Western countries that have allowed way too many people in from ‘intolerant’ societies, who not only bring their ethnic problems and conflicts to their host country and but who are also seemingly unwilling to assimilate into Western culture. Notice the uptick in ‘citizen defense’ that is happening in the USA. People are wary and will act if threatened. One has to be very careful about ‘trespassing’ on private property. And then, look at the frequent bombings in Sweden; Its citizens just have to sit and hope the authorities will act.

Last edited 6 months ago by Cathy Carron
Danielle Treille
DT
Danielle Treille
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Well this beats all the attempts at political recuperation. Use the un folding madness in the Middle East as an argument to defend the outdated US Constitution 2nd Amendment. Mindboggling Republican craziness.

Last edited 6 months ago by Danielle Treille
A D Kent
AK
A D Kent
6 months ago

@Dannielle – quite so. With around 500 mass shootings already this year in the US, I’m not sure the Aras tragedy would be noticed.

Allison Barrows
AB
Allison Barrows
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

The mass shootings you refer to are committed by inner city gangs, not by law-biding gun owners exercising our Second amendment right.
That they occur in Democrat-run cities, the mayors of which have defunded and defanged their police departments and set no-bail, low prosecution policies, are the reasons for these shootings.
The warfare of young, illiterate men for whom gang culture is a lifestyle choice, as their rap and hip hop lyrics demonstrate, is not a Second Amendment issue: their weapons are illegally procured. It is a cultural problem.

Cathy Carron
CC
Cathy Carron
6 months ago

Exactly. We didn’t just leave NYC because of high taxes. The most worrisome issue is inner city violence. When we go back to the city for a few days, it’s rather ‘tense’. People are fearful of using the subways. And of course you would never walk the parks at night nor even be on the streets in the wee hours of the morning. It is a ‘cultural issue’, which Democrats refuse to acknowledge and address. The people being hurt the most are poor inner city people.

Allison Barrows
AB
Allison Barrows
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

We lived in NYC Gramercy Park) in the 80s: I used to take the subway up to Bloomingdale’s. It was scary even back then, so I switched to the bus, which was a much longer commute, but I felt safer. We were in the City for Christmas 2019 and nearly every building was covered in dark scaffolding and plywood. The entire atmosphere was menacing. I loved New York; it was always my ambition to live there. Seeing what its become – especialy after Rudy Giuliani chased away the crime and made it livable again – is tragic, but a completely avoidable, if only the residents would stop voting for the DiBlasios, Adamses, Cortezes, and their ilk.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
6 months ago

Up until recently, I lived in NYC for 35 years so I’ve seen the ups and downs. The ‘ups’ were certainly during the Giuliani (Republican) and Bloomberg (independent) administrations. DeBlasio and his kooky wife (democrat progressives) brought the city to its knees; Covid finished the job via reckless and corrupt Gov. Cuomo’s (democrat) policies. NYC has since lost 500,000 people fleeing to better run ‘red’ republican states. Only 20% of NYC votes republican. It will take decades for the city to recover if ever.

Last edited 6 months ago by Cathy Carron
Danielle Treille
DT
Danielle Treille
6 months ago

A yes the “wonderful” Giuliani…

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
6 months ago

The parasitic grifter.

• Violent crime in New York began falling three years before Giuliani took office in 1994, U.S. Justice Department records show. Property crime began falling four years before. The decline accelerated during his administration, but the “turnaround” he claims credit for started before him.
• Independent studies generally have failed to link the tactics of the Giuliani administration with the large decrease in crime rates.
Rather, many criminologists believe the decline in New York, as in Chicago, San Diego, Miami and elsewhere, was the result of a complex mix of social and demographic changes, including a break in the crack cocaine epidemic, an improving economy, and increased prison terms for proven lawbreakers.
Better policing tactics and policies were likely part of it, experts say, but not to the extent Giuliani claims.
“Demographics have an awful lot to do with this, and these are very, very large social forces,” said Jeffrey Fagan, co-director of the Center for Crime, Community and Law at the Columbia Law School in New York. “It’s hard to imagine policing, no matter how smart and effective it is, giving the kind of leverage … to move a macro force like crime.”
He didn’t even author the ‘broken windows theory’ – that was Wilson & Kelling (social scientist elites, oh my!) and it is Giuliani’s police commissioner, William Bratton who was the great advocate and implementer of Broken Windows.

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Meanwhile, the stats show another story – red states have the highest crime rates, per head:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_violent_crime_rate

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago

You are so wrong. Mass school shootings are carried out by white, suburban young males. Inner city shootings are predominately black on black youth in inner cities.So put away your weapons, Allison, they’re not coming for you.

Last edited 6 months ago by Clare Knight
Kirk Susong
KS
Kirk Susong
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

The reason they’re not coming for Allison… is because she’s not putting away her guns.

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
6 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

“Allison the Gungslinger”… it’s the wild, wild Florida!

Y Way
YW
Y Way
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

You are correct. I think the previous response meant that by far the most gun deaths in this country are inner city, black on black gang shootings. By far. The number of people who die in mass shootings each year is eclipsed by the numbers of African Americans shot in inner city areas every year.

I am neither strongly for or against gun ownership. I think it should definitely be well regulated (wording straight from the constitution) at the state level.

But it is naive to think that most shootings are carried out by law abiding gun owners. That is simply not true.

In fact, most of the youths who carry out these mass shootings have zero legal right to have the weapons used.

Should this be open for discussion on how to prevent these events? Yes.

But outright weapons bans will not solve the inner city deaths which are by far the bigger problem. There are too many guns in circulation that will work for decades to come. There are dark websites where you can purchase weapons and ammo from around the world.

And pipe bombs can be built if weapons are not handy. Knives can be used as they were by gangs of old.

I think this is a cultural problem. A societal problem. Not a gun problem per se. Though I do see room for regulations that make sense. Both the far left and far right take these issues and make them impossible to solve for the rest of us. They hijack these issues.

Charles Hedges
CH
Charles Hedges
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Way

I would suggest in both cases, mass shootings and gang warfare it is lack of emotional self – control. Britain was heavily armed after WW1 and WW2 and many men had killed at close quarters and violent crime was very low.
After WW2, tens of thousands of British men had gone through Commando/ Special forces Training in how to kill in every conceivable manner yet desisted when they got into arguments
Switzerland is very heavily armed and has a very low murder rate from guns.
The USA needs to to ask why there are so many people who lack the emotional maturity required to control murderous impulses and why so many have these impusles. We accept two year olds have temper tantrums but we expect self control from twelve year olds.

Dominic A
DA
Dominic A
6 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

The USA needs to to ask why there are so many people who lack the emotional maturity

No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby. The mistake that is made always runs the other way. Because the plain people are able to speak and understand, and even, in many cases, to read and write, it is assumed that they have ideas in their heads, and an appetite for more. This assumption is a folly.” H L Mencken

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Way

Well said

Dominic A
Dominic A
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Way

“by far the most gun deaths in this country are inner city, black on black gang shootings.”

Pants on fire FALSE. Perhaps you have confused a per capita rate with the ooverall rate.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/258931/number-of-firearm-deaths-in-the-united-states-by-ethnicity/

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
6 months ago

I have many rights her in UK; I don’t choose to exercise them simply because ‘it is my right’. I am unsure why someone would want something specifically designed to kill.

Cathy Carron
CC
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Self-defense is seemingly a forgotten concept in the UK? When I lived in Kensington London during the mid-1990’s a neighbor got robbed of her very expensive jewelry at knifepoint. And we read that stabbings are more frequent than ever there. How does one defend against that?

Last edited 6 months ago by Cathy Carron
Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Not having children killed by guns in their schools is a forgotten concept in the US. Enough with the “what about stabbing” argument. By the way, a knife kills one personne at a time. A fully automatic AK-47 bursts 100 rounds per minute. Do the math.

Y Way
Y Way
6 months ago

So let’s talk about magazine capacity. That is the issue. Not guns.

The Constitution calls for a well regulated militia…so let’s regulate militias who want rights to high capacity magazines for self defense. Otherwise, individuals do not need to house high capacity weapons at home.

People could join well regulated militia groups which have rules about storage of weapons, etc. That would take away the argument that we are not allowed to defend against a tyrannical government, but would require safety provisions of a higher level for those who wish to train for this type of defense and own these high capacity magazines. If these weapons get into the wrong hands, that specific militia group could be held responsible. Each state could decide what these rules are. Which is how our system of government should work.

If we could speak reasonably with each other and not just scream at each other, perhaps we could find solutions.

I know both the hard left and hard right will hate this reply.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Way

It’s idealistic, unrealistic and naive.

Last edited 6 months ago by Clare Knight
Dominic A
Dominic A
6 months ago
Reply to  Y Way

As they do in Switerzland, I think. The time for doing this was pre 1970s – the modern NRA has whipped people into such a frenzy that they no longer feel, think or act straight.

It is truly remarkable how the “well regulated militia/ necessary to the security of a free State” clause has been ignored by all, especially those who for whom the 2nd is an article of faith.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

You have to be there to defend yourself and the odds are long. Would your neighbour have carried her gun around the house in case she was robbed? Would she have been justified in killing a robber?

Dominic A
Dominic A
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I’d rather be robbed at knifepoint than gunpoint – in that way the UK story is a success. We will never be rid of violence – just manage the problem, or as in the States, don’t. I’d argue this has been done far better in the UK/Europe (where the homicide rate is 1/4 of the US). I’ll tell you how we defend against it – 4 years for carrying a knife with intent to harm, 10 years for a gun. Moreover, ‘your Kensington neighbours’ need not be overly concerned for, as your co-commenter AB pointed out, this kind of violence is generally carried out by and against the ‘others’.

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
6 months ago

The usual Barrows “in Democrat-run cities” yadayadayada…

Dominic A
Dominic A
6 months ago

Indeed. And the idea that those 400 million guns are somehow protecting the American people from foreign agents, when they are not even protecting American children from themselves.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Exactly.

starkbreath
starkbreath
6 months ago

The best arguments for the 2nd Amendment have been made by Democrats. When you let mobs run riot, defund law enforcement, attempt to prosecute citizens for defending themselves and others, refuse to prosecute robbery and carjacking and eliminate cash bail for repeat offenders, you leave people with no other choice but to arm themselves.

Dominic A
Dominic A
6 months ago
Reply to  starkbreath

or by gun advocates – when everyone else has a gun, you’d be foolish not to get one (or so it seems). A tragic race to the bottom.

0 0
0
0 0
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

The sleeper cells, with their potential for inflicting mass destruction and chaos, represent the proverbial “elephant in the room.” As I write this, they may be already formulating their plans, and my concern is what they may have in store for us. If we get hit a second time–something on the order of a second 9/11 (or worse!)–I shudder to think about what will follow.

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
6 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Maybe this time around, Europe/the rest of the world will not rush to help you…

Davina Powell
DP
Davina Powell
6 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Actually, I thought 9/11 was kinda evil genius… minimum loss of life with maximum terror…?Positively considerate and restrained when compared to some of the shit the western industrial military complex has pulled on other countries… Hiroshima, anyone?

starkbreath
SL
starkbreath
6 months ago
Reply to  Davina Powell

If you hate America that much, you’re welcome to move to Saudi Arabia. I’m sure you won’t miss any of the rights you enjoy as a woman in the West.

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
6 months ago
Reply to  starkbreath

Women enjoy rights in the West, save in America!

TheElephant InTheRoom
TI
TheElephant InTheRoom
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

The first thing totalitarians do is ensure you are un-armed.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

It’s akin to non native plants and species that take over and kill the host that supported them.

TheElephant InTheRoom
TI
TheElephant InTheRoom
6 months ago

“The rest of the world is clearly not in synch with the” rules- based order” of Pax Americana always..”
The world is changing. Get ready for a diaper-change. Or shit yourself.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem went to Baghdad in 1941 and instigated a progrom with 800 Jews being murdered and women having their breasts cut off. GMJ went to Germany, met Himmler and approved of the Final Solution. The GMJ went to Bosnia and recruited Muslims for the SS. The GMJ was Arafat’s uncle.
Hamas was founded by th Muslim Brotherhood who murdered Sadat in 1981 who was well on the way of developing peaceful relations with Israel. Hamas overthrew Al Fatah in Gaza and murdered hundreds. Some of the earliest murders was of four homosexual men.
Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood have murdered fellows Muslims for decades; why should we be surprised at their recent activity?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

Precisely, it is now time for Arnaud Almaric! He knew how to deal with such people.

Johan Grönwall
Johan Grönwall
6 months ago

It’s starting to look like a ceremony, a ritual, beheading babies and watch their blood soil the ground. What a bronze age thing to do!

What antisemites always have liked to accuse the jews of now muslims do to appease their god, who seems to have no qualms to have killed anyone who disagree with him. How can we otherwise interpret the lack of compassion from the muslim world? The atrocities is in line with what the ideology say.

ISIS always backed up their blood letting with citations from the Quran.

We can’t back down from this also.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago

Molech .

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
6 months ago

(Flagged and deleted on unHerd but not on the Guardian. I’ll have another go…)

The writer for obvious reasons focuses on events in Israel, but I believe there is a wider and more fundamental pattern.

Iraq – civil war. Iran – funding proxy wars. Syria – civil war. Nigeria – insurgency. Chechnya – independence war. Gaza – terrorist sponsor. Libya – civil war. Yemen – civil war sponsored by Saudi Arabia. Pakistan – religious persecution. Qatar – funding terrorist groups. Azerbaijan – ethnic war with Armenia. Ethiopia – civil war. Niger – insurgency. Mali – insurgency.

These represent the majority of today’s potential or ongoing focuses of instability and war, excepting Ukraine and Taiwan. What they all have in common is a resurgent political Islam, something not seen for several centuries. This resurgence is often heavily influenced by Wahabism, a philosophy spread from Saudi Arabia by the Kingdom exporting its problem clerics abroad to secure stability at home. What Wahabism promises is a return to the key tenants of Islam.

Christianity began a return to its key tenants 500 years ago. This became the Reformation. The Christian Reformation is generally seen as a moderation of that religion, and it pathed the way to our tolerant, secular Western societies today. Many suggest Islam, as the more recent of the Abrahamic religions, will undergo its own reformation in due course.

I believe what we are now witnessing with the resurgence of political Islam is Islam’s own reformation. Yet Christianity and Islam are very different belief systems with very different tenants. The Prophet Mohamed fought, conquered, and subjugated. Submission – literally “islam” in Arabic – is the key tenant of Islam. It is a false prospect to think an Islamic reformation will be moderating or peaceful.

No one knows where a reformation of Islam might lead. What we do know is there’s not much established nation states can do to dowse fires burning in men’s hearts. This will play out over decades or centuries and be bitterly contested.

Last edited 6 months ago by Nell Clover
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

That’s an interesting perspective but do we have centuries? Climate change will force civilization to change because the planet will become uninhabitable in most places and we don’t even know what that will actually look like.

Danielle Treille
DT
Danielle Treille
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Come now, Clare, you must know that Unherders believe that climate change is a hoax!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago

When were the hottest periods since the the end of the last Ice Age ?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago

I forget, because it’s so hard to comprehend that mind set.

po go
PG
po go
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Christianity did not return to its key tenants in the Reformation. If that were the case, it would have sought out its Eastern history. Instead it went further and further, splintering away from the first 1000 years even more.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
6 months ago

This conflict has lasted for almost a century

The modern phase of the conflict has been going on since the early nineteenth century and the rise of Wahhabism, which led to a sharp increase in attacks on Jewish communities in the Maghreb and elsewhere, prompting growing numbers of Jews to emigrate to the Ottoman provinces now erroneously called ‘Palestine’.
However, there has never been a time when Jews have been able to live unmolested for very long in Arab societies. Even the much vaunted ‘tolerance’ of Andalucia was often broken by events such as the massacres of August 1013 in which more than 1000 Jews where murdered in a single night.
To have a grown-up debate about this topic we need to be aware of the entire history.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Exactly, but it seems that history is irrelevant at this point.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Not when Pro Palestinian demonstrators mention Khabar.

James Kirk
JK
James Kirk
6 months ago

Liberal naivété. There is no justification for the Hamas attack. It was not political or religious, it was criminal. Palestine, whether from fear or inclination, harbours criminals. I don’t see Gaza identifying or handing over their criminals, nor do I see their left leaning supporters imploring them to do so. I don’t see the clerics of Islam amending the Quran to say it’s not OK to kill infidels. If they have then Hamas ignore them. The fact they should need reminding is condemnation enough. That the liberal left support it makes them accessories to murder. Convicted murderers don’t get to vote.

René Descartes
René Descartes
6 months ago

A good and thoughtful article which strangely omits mention of antisemitism. Hamas is oblivious to the plight of Palestinians. Its consuming passion is a hatred of Jews.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago

Exactly.

Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
6 months ago

“The politically impotent and half-witted Bashar al- Assad”!
What world do you live in? De te fabula narratur! (It is yourself you are describing!)
Can anyone take such a commentator seriously?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Niall Cusack

No.

(Good to see you back ‘Father Quinlan’!)

Last edited 6 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Niall Cusack
Niall Cusack
6 months ago

Gratias tibi ago.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
6 months ago

Iraq – civil war. Iran – funding proxy wars. Syria – civil war. Nigeria – insurgency. Chechnya – independence war. Gaza – terrorist sponsor. Libya – civil war. Yemen – civil war sponsored by Saudi Arabia. Pakistan – religious persecution. Qatar – funding terrorist groups. Azerbaijan – ethnic war with Armenia. Ethiopia – civil war. Niger – insurgency. Mali – insurgency.

These represent the majority of today’s potential or ongoing focuses of instability and war, excepting Ukraine and Taiwan.

What they all have in common is a resurgent political Islam, something not seen for several centuries. This resurgence is often heavily influenced by Wahabism, a philosophy spread from Saudi Arabia by the Kingdom exporting its problem clerics abroad to secure stability at home. What Wahabism promises is a return to the key tenants of Islam.

Christianity began a return to its key tenants 500 years ago. This became the Reformation. Mirroring this, we are now witnessing Islam’s own reformation. Yet Christianity and Islam are very different belief systems with very different tenants.

The Muslim prophet fought, conquered, subjugated and forced submission. That concept of submission – literally “islam” in Arabic – remains the key tenant of Islam. In contrast, Christianity’s lord is a very benign character.

The Christian Reformation is generally seen as a moderation of that religion, pathing the way for our tolerant, secular Western societies today. It is a false prospect to think Islam’s reformation will be moderating or peaceful. The convulsions are only just beginning and there’s not much the established nation states can do to dowse fires burning in men’s hearts.

Last edited 6 months ago by Nell Clover
Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

And the operative word here is “men”. Islam, like all reigions, is misogynistic, but they have got to be the absolute worst.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

It’s women who do all of the child rearing and seed the ideas of the next generation. The Western students out supporting Hamas and Palestine are overwhelmingly female. Given the opportunity to secretly vote for something else, Afghan women voted for hardliners. It’s hard to solely blame men for something largely propograted by and supported by many women.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Research has shown that women also voted more conservatively as they get older and create a family, which when you think of it makes sense. One does want ones’s family to survive and thrive. That said a large amount of women are not getting married today for a variety of reasons- so they want to keep their options open (supporting abortion) and feel good (virtue signaling) as they move forward alone into the future.

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

So Afghan women are responsible for creating their own fate?Well this beats the cake of misoginy.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

Many women? How many. I don’t believe that most women freely voted for hardliners in Afghanistan.

Bernard Brothman
BB
Bernard Brothman
6 months ago

Here in the United States we have many on the left celebrating Hamas butchery. Look at the pro-Hamas protests and rallies at major universities, such as Harvard. Look at the meek or non-committal responses from University Presidents who are apparently afraid of offending some oppressed group and I do not mean Jews in this case.
Thankfully we are seeing some pushback including rescinding of a job offer of a pro-Hamas student who glorified the murders and terrorism, and plans for donors to stop their donations to these schools.
How do you fight an enemy that values death, including death of its own people to advance its cause? Probably with death. That’s what they asked for.

Davina Powell
Davina Powell
6 months ago

Fuckingfuckingfucking… just an experiment… keep getting my posts censored, apparently the immediate asterisks aren’t enough… English, one of those weird and rare languages that has actual singularly taboo words… I like to think that’s why my carefully crafted posts keep getting taken down… but hey, what the f**k do I know? I’m Welsh and apparently on a steep learning curve because “dead bodies piled up in mounds” is less offensive than a written word…

Last edited 6 months ago by Davina Powell
Davina Powell
Davina Powell
6 months ago

Every

Last edited 6 months ago by Davina Powell
TheElephant InTheRoom
TheElephant InTheRoom
6 months ago

I’ve heard that H a ma as was actually nurtured by Israel as an alt to the PLO? Do any of us have the relevant expertise to dissect this corpse? Seems to me very timely that as all the NATO countries have been demilitarised by gifts to Ukriane that this was able to even happen. A friend of mine told me a few years ago that we live in a psychopathic society and a I laughed as I drank our martinis. Nothing more he said then could be more true.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago

Hamas was created by the Muslim Brotherhood who murdered Sadat in 1981 which is why Egypt does not want them in their country. Sadat was well on the way to creating a lasting peace with Israel. A peace treaty with Jordan would have created the security for rapid economic growth. The GCC countries would have supplied $Bs or investment.
Arafat then Hamas have scuppered all and every attempt at peace.
Historically Gaza has been part of Egypt, perhaps as far back as 4,000 years but now they are content for it to be a foreign country.

William Brand
WB
William Brand
6 months ago

The Arab Israeli war is totally about religion. Islam and Judisim are very close in their theology. It all comes down to ownership of the temple mount and certification as the true faith mandated by God. It is far more important than land ownership. For the price of one jet fighter we could buy all the land in question and resettle the Palestinians in Africa.

Davina Powell
Davina Powell
6 months ago

Dos i chwarae efo dy nain… is THAT better you censorious cunts? f**k in Welsh… your language is very weird… I can’t believe you would accept people writing about accepting mass murder more than me writing an innocuous word… because freakishly it offends your sensibilities more. Whoever you are censoring this, you have some fucked up morality…

Last edited 6 months ago by Davina Powell
Michael Brett
MB
Michael Brett
6 months ago

A brilliant and terrifying article.

Bruce Edgar
Bruce Edgar
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael Brett

For every effect there is a cause. The author, and apparently you, do not understand this basic dynamic. America and its European toadies have sucked the world dry via their empires and need for perpetual hegemony. There’s an old English statement to the effect that even the worm, when cut, will turn. Europe, America and Zionism are now the recipients of an accumulated fury they themselves have engendered. For every effect, however unpleasant, there is indeed a cause. What goes around comes around.

Hugh Bryant
HB
Hugh Bryant
6 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Edgar

The most brutal empires of all history have been Muslim.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Bruce Edgar

That is so simplistic.

starkbreath
starkbreath
6 months ago

The author makes a lot of depressingly good points, with two glaring exceptions: 1) Saudi Arabia has backed away from its proposed agreement with Israel, going so far as to be showing solidarity with Iran, its regional nemesis; and 2) the US and UN have been supporting Hamas, first through the UNRWA and just recently through Biden’s 6 billion dollar gift to Iran in exchange for hostages.

Last edited 6 months ago by starkbreath
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  starkbreath

Rubbish.

starkbreath
SL
starkbreath
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

No, facts. Look it up.

William Brand
WB
William Brand
6 months ago

The deserts of Arabia and Africa only need water to become the bread basket of the world. With GMO crops that can be irrigatied with sea water which is plentiful. That can be done. Just add genes from sea grass or mangrove..we can then create a place to put the displaced Palestinian population. The attractive nuisance of the temple mount can be delt with by packing it with radioactive waste. If no one can have it a problem is solved. Alas this will not be done and the problem will only be solved when Christ returns and tells the Jews and Moslems who has rights to the temple. God made this mess and he w ill fix it. Look at he book of Ezikel to find out whet he plans to do.

Barbara Manson
Barbara Manson
6 months ago

“corpses of dead babies”
We discard ours as “medical waste”.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Barbara Manson

That is an ignorant and stupid comment.

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

No – it’s an accurate and thoughtful comment, though possibly not relevant to this particular discussion.

Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

It’s not an accurate nor thoughtful comment.

William Edward Henry Appleby
WE
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago

The barbaric attack on innocent people, carried out by Hamas, is to be roundly condemned, and Israel has every right to hunt down the perpetrators and destroy them, or bring them to justice. However, the attack cannot be considered on its own without recourse to understanding how we got to this point. It was the West who created Israel from Palestine and it has been the Israelis who have failed to resolve the issue of Palestinian statehood. Ordinary, peaceful Palestinians have been ghettoised: kettled in Gaza and the West Bank, and suffocated by a neighbour who controls their borders, water and power, while at the same time dehumanising them, exploiting them as a source of cheap labour. When moderate voices in the West avoid confronting Israel about the plight of the Palestinians, others, with malintentions and a violent, anti-Western agenda, step in and exploit the situation.

Last edited 6 months ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
Clare Knight
CK
Clare Knight
6 months ago

Exactly. But I would add that Palestinian leaders haven’t done anything to help the populace, either. Hamas is obviously self-serving.

Elvis Quinn
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago

All war is bad and is a waste of human life and potential.

Malcolm Webb
MW
Malcolm Webb
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

I have to disagree with you Elvis. To say war destroys lives is a truism. To say all war is bad is however not true. Unless free people had been prepared to wage war against Nazi tyranny and Japanese Imperialism in WW2 the consequences for mankind would have been very bad. Not to be prepared to fight to defend your freedom invites tyranny and serfdom. Pacifist tropes such as “ all war is bad” also insensitively denies the huge and valiant sacrifice which ordinary people have made to defend freedom and a better way of living.

Elvis Quinn
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Webb

I’m making a very general point here, Malcomb.
When I mean war, I mean it in the complete sense. Or we can simply call it “conflict” as well. It is the precursor to the examples you mention. How did the axis powers come about? Because of war. Why would people be pushed to have to defend their country? Because of war.
I would never deny the efforts people would make to defend themselves, and I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing to do. Of course, defence is necessary if the alternative means destruction of yourself and your people. But what is the fundamental condition for such a thing to come about?
I look at things in what I feel is their complete sense and meaning; I would say it’s almost a Platonic position (perhaps it’s not suitable for this kind of forum. This is what I’m now sensing.)
War and conflict come about from the choices of individuals or groups of individuals. Since to wage, or engage in, or escalate conflict or war is a choice, this means there are other choices that can be explored. I think it’s quite slavish and cynical to assume conflict is the default way of things.
So my question is; what are the choices out there for the leaders of countries regarding the escalating conflicts in the Middle East? And with Russia and Ukraine? Do you not fear of escalating conflicts that can truly disrupt the order of things and bring worldwide havok? Many people do have this fear. Will there not have to be a point when peace and diplomacy will be needed?
Thank you for your reasonable and thoughtful engagement.

Last edited 6 months ago by Elvis Quinn
Bernard Hill
BH
Bernard Hill
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

Wow, who’d’ve thunk it !

Elvis Quinn
EQ
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Yes, a very obvious and banal statement is it not, Bernard? And yet here we are, in a world with now even more increasing conflict, death and destitution.
It’s almost as if people in the world choose what is bad and destructive rather than what is diplomatic, sensible and restorative.
Makes you think, doesn’t it.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

Yes, Germany and Japan are now great civilised places after some sensible and restorative measures were unfortunately required.
Makes you think, doesn’t it?

Jim Bocho
JB
Jim Bocho
6 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Germany and Japan were both advanced countries before they were nuked by the USA. In the case of Germany more advanced than the USA itself.

Alison R Tyler
Alison R Tyler
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Bocho

We are off the point again now. We are engaged in murdering children and murdering and raping women, killing other men and women, again for the same old reasons (power, misapplied religious faith, racial hatred, ownership of land etc) somewhere in the world all the time.
Are there never any adults in our societies?

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
6 months ago
Reply to  Alison R Tyler

I was merely countering Gordon’s claim that firebombing Germany and nuking Japan are what made them advanced countries, as though the US did them a favour.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago
Reply to  Alison R Tyler

The murder was done by adults. Some ideologies are murderous. Nobel Prize winners have supported murderous regimes such as Sartre for Maoist China.
Germany was the most educated nation in the World ithe 1930s.
Some societies have a cruel blood lust, other do not; why? The Cosa Nostra is a product of Sicily, why not Florence ?The German Swiss did not undertake mass murder yet a few miles over the border in Germany, German speakers did: why?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

History, or at least the perception of.

Bernard Hill
BH
Bernard Hill
6 months ago
Reply to  Alison R Tyler

There can be, if the young are allowed to grow up in knowledge of the world’s immutable imperfections.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bernard Hill
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Bocho

Germany was NOT “nuked” by the USA.
For God’s sake Bocho do catch up, otherwise you are an embarrassment to the subcontinent, as I am sure SGJ would agree.

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
6 months ago

I immediately corrected myself in the second post, which i’m sure you saw. Your persistent pedantry leads you to miss the entire point with painful regularity.
A poster was arguing that the destruction of Germany and Japan by the US and allies led them to become advanced societies. I pointed out they were advanced societies long before then.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jim Bocho
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Bocho

You should have deleted/edited it.

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
6 months ago

Yes, you are right. I should have corrected the actual post instead of posting a separate correction.

Sayantani Gupta
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago

??
Rather absorbed by ” playing fields” at present!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

Indeed….some disappointing results!

Sayantani Gupta
SG
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago

Good for us yesterday but quite a Khyber boom today to maul England!!

Elvis Quinn
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

I don’t understand the point you’re trying to make, sorry.

Davina Powell
DP
Davina Powell
6 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

What is this ‘civilised’ of which you speak?! Ooooh, people like you, you mean? Lol lol lol Yep, it does make one think, doesn’t it? Lol “Sensible”? “Restorative measures”??! Now isn’t that a lovely euphemism for… Go on, describe to me IN DETAIL what that entailed… I bet the people left behind are eternally grateful for what their relatives endured because hey, now you think their homeland is just dandy…✌❣️

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
6 months ago
Reply to  Davina Powell

During an infestation it is sensible to kill all the pests and destroy their breeding grounds: restorative to rebuild an environment where they can never return.

Davina Powell
Davina Powell
6 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Go on, call them , “cockroaches”, I very f*****g dare you… hmmm, now, let me think, where have I heard that kinda dehumanising language before? I seem to remember it was something to do with a ‘final solution’ or some such shit… hmmm, I’m sure it’s there, right on the edges of my brain… can anyone help me out?

I guess you’re not big on eco systems… I shall tell you a tale about someone else who thought like you, some bloke called Mao.
So, let me begin.
Once upon a time, a man called Mao was told that sparrows were eating tons of planted seed that never got the chance to grow into crops, so if they could just stop the pests eating the grain, there would be more food for the people. So the people across the land came out of their homes, day after day, banging pots and pans and the whole land was alive with sound so the sparrows were too frightened to land and eat grains until eventually they fell from the skies in their millions, dead from exhaustion. Success! Now EVERY seed could germinate and successfully grow into food. Unfortunately, the sparrows also ate all sorts of insects that also liked to eat grain, but which nobody had really paid any attention to before… until the sparrows, their natural predators, were removed and they were able to replicate in plague proportions. Unfortunately, this led to the worst famine the country had EVER experienced…
Some people just never learn from history… I’m sure there’s an adage about that – ignorance/history/doom or some such shit…

One world, one love, no borders (metaphorical or otherwise) ✌❣️

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
6 months ago
Reply to  Davina Powell

How wrong can you be: where I heard that metaphor before was from a hamas supporter.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
6 months ago
Reply to  Davina Powell

Stalin wanted a 100,000 Nazis executed, at least ; Britain and the USA persuaded him to allow the Nuremburg Trials. After WW1 and WW2, many wanted Germany reduced to a large farm.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

…or maybe it’s the world which chooses it for people Elvis, when they forget the nature of the world. Compassion before justice has a well formed habit of fomenting chaos.

Last edited 6 months ago by Bernard Hill
Elvis Quinn
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Not a single bad thing in all the history of mankind has ever come from true compassion, Bernard. It is a fundamental human virtue.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

I totally agree Elvis. “Love they neighbour as thy self” is a human virtue which manifests interpersonally, and locally. I can personally care for the tree before me, but my personal virtue can’t act on the whole forest. At scale, what is a personal virtue, atrophies into empty ideological groupthink. And what might be virtuous towards my tree, may be disastrous for the forest overall.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Nothing is more destructive than humanity’s blind confidence in its own good faith, and its complete inability to distinguish “true compassion” (whatever that may be) from self-interest masquerading as compassion. It’s the people who claim to be helping that do the most harm – and it’s why Madison political structures work so well, and why the profit motive raises the poor out of poverty much faster than the muddle-headed philanthropy of the self-righteous.

Elvis Quinn
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

You’re talking about ideological (and perhaps theological) structures, Kirk. That’s just things of the mind. Things that rest on weak foundations (which I suppose you’re pointing out and I’d say you’re right to do so)

But I’m talking about compassion, something of the heart, something that stirs within people. Some people nurture it, most neglect it.

This is my final comment on UnHerd as my thoughts and feelings are not suited here. That’s been made evident.

All the best.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

Your thoughts and feelings were unheard and since you posted they have been heard: not only that, you prompted a useful exchange of ideas.
Not suited here? … how did you conclude that? … upticks downticks? … IGNORE and keep contributing.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
6 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

That’s very compassionate of you Gordon.
There seem to be a bunch of new subscribers, who are not used to having their internal narratives questioned. Elvis seems like a nice bloke. He should stay on, as you say.

Shelley Ann
SA
Shelley Ann
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

What a shame I hope you don’t leave. I liked your comments about compassion & feel similarly

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
6 months ago

Agreed, we have been horrified by the Hamas attack.
But what is going on right now ? Brutal retaliation on Gaza, with hundreds of civilians killed, thousands of homes erased, a complete blockade for 2.3 Mio inhabitants – with very soon the wounded not being treated in hospitals that lack electricity, starvation for the remaining, even the displaced crowd…
In order to allow Israel to defend itself, the west powers are burying their face in the sand about those multiplied horrors, which are definitely war crimes, that no moral stance can justify. A cease fire with negotiation is an absolute necessity.

Cathy Carron
CC
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Yes – war is not pretty…

Judy Englander
Judy Englander
6 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

‘But’. Always ‘but’.

Ben Scott
Ben Scott
6 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

I was always told: “everything before the ‘but’ is horse sh*t”

There have been a lot of “buts” in the last week.

Elvis Quinn
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago
Reply to  Ben Scott

What are your thoughts on hundreds of Palestinian civilians being killed, Ben?
I do ask of you to be forthcoming in your answer, if you please.

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

More than 2000 Palestinians killed now.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

Do you really think anyone actually wants that, Elvis?

Elvis Quinn
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

The ‘but’ here means that the original commenter is being consistent in their position. They recognise that the attacks that Hamas inflicted on Israel was a horrific thing. But they are also pointing out it is not right to blithely ignore or downplay the horrors that are now being inflicted on Palestine.
So we can infer that original commenter is anti-violence in the complete sense, and are making an argument that is consistent with that.
Does that not sound reasonable to you?

Kirk Susong
KS
Kirk Susong
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

What we can infer is that 99% of people who are “anti violence” are not themselves suffering the violence. If they were, they would have a very different response.

A D Kent
AK
A D Kent
6 months ago

Again the headline doesn’t quite match the contents – I’m a new subscriber here & I’m finding myself concerned that I’ve accidentally come to the Daily Telegraph to be honest – certainly this piece wouldn’t be out of place there. 
I don’t think Hamas have reinvented horror this week – rather they’ve just distilled it. They’ve essentially taken the images and horrors that might have taken a year or two to materialise in an interested observers various time-lines and presented them in 48 hours. This isn’t a new definition – it’s a compilation, a greatest-hits of horror – and our media has lapped it up (how could they not).  Now it’s Israel’s turn to do precisely the same.

As for Russia’s own atrocities in Ukraine – I fear we’re about to see what a bunch of rank amateurs they are compared to the Israelis – certainly in terms of the ratio of civilians to combatant deaths.  

Judy Englander
JE
Judy Englander
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Unherd has been centre right from its inception.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
6 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

…”sanity adjacent” might be apt?

Jim Bocho
JB
Jim Bocho
6 months ago
Reply to  Judy Englander

This is what attracted us to it, but it seems to be heading towards Daily Telegraph style looney right.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim Bocho

Who pray is “us”?

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
6 months ago

Me and a few of the posters on this thread. Why are you following me around on this website?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
6 months ago

Exactly! Don’t you hate that “us” thing, or the “we” thing. Speak for yourself I say.

Jim Bocho
Jim Bocho
6 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I was referring to Elvis Quinn, AD Kent and Davina Powell who have expressed these sentiments themselves on this very thread.
I generally assume people read the posts on a thread before they start commenting on it.

Last edited 6 months ago by Jim Bocho
Elvis Quinn
EQ
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

I’m a new subscriber here too, and my feelings are similar. I’d read some thoughtful articles in the past and so chose to subscribe for more content, but it now just seems to me to be another war-mongering rag just like the rest.

Sayantani Gupta
SG
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

I think you may find the comments to be more diverse than some of the articles( despite the up or down- ticks).
Why do you feel what you state?

Elvis Quinn
EQ
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago

Simply a one-sided bias to a very destructive conflict, in which many civilians, both Palestinian and Israeli, have lost their lives and will continue to do so.

Sayantani Gupta
SG
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

Agree with the latter part of your statement. However the despicable brutality of the Hamas attack against innocent civilians does make it a difficult proposition to establish moral equivalence in the context of the last 7 days.

Elvis Quinn
Elvis Quinn
6 months ago

I’ve no interest in “moral equivalence”.
All war is a waste of human life and potential.
God wills that each one of us individuals in this world be a peace-keeper.

Sayantani Gupta
SG
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago
Reply to  Elvis Quinn

Unfortunately world politics doesn’t run that way. It’s more Hobbesian and nasty.
I can see where you are coming from though.
And I too have had issues with some of UH analysts for lack of nuance and an ability to grasp complexities.

Kirk Susong
KS
Kirk Susong
6 months ago

The persons “lacking nuance” are the head-in-the-sand types who just can’t understand why we can’t all get along.
What’s terrible is that now a country defending its citizens from rape and murder is considered “right wing.”