Victor Davis Hanson on How the World Will React to Gaza


I’m interested in your reaction to Victor Davis Hanson’s assessment of how the world will react to Gaza. Currently, the IDF is droning Hezbollah to the north. Residents in northern Israel are evacuating and say they will not return unless Hezbollah is also destroyed.
How Will the World React to Gaza?

Hamas has always repelled most of the civilized world. But the world was either too scared or too woke to say just that.

But now, Hamas’s premodern violations of all human norms have relieved most nations of any pretense of having to support it—at least for now. “Necklacing” and “baby burning” were its most recent contributions to its standard terrorist repertoire of hostage-taking, raping, beheading, and executions.

Most people will now hope Hamas gets what it deserves, while elites offer empty platitudes about “ending the cycle of violence” and “proportionality”.

As for the “world community” of the UN, the Davos crowd, the universities, the BLM fraudsters, and the DEI mafia endorsing what Hamas has done—they just indict themselves all the more, and slowly commit reputational suicide.

And whatever an NGO, a UN commissioner, an international court, or an American foundation preaches to Israel, it is worth nothing, and they themselves know that, and more importantly they privately know why.

So what is America’s position now?

Well, there are two Americas. The unstable, crazy, left-wing America now in power, and the traditionalist conservative one with a chance to take over in 2024.

The Left wishes to virtue-signal to the world its European sophisticated nihilism and to send its Ivy-League-stamped diplomats around the globe bloviating about the “rules-based order”, the “peace process”, and ending “the cycle of violence”—to yawns from its hosts who put up with the sermons for the checks to come.

Most abroad like the American Left in power. It predicably likes to print money and give it away. As penance, it yearns to be lectured by its hosts for Americans’ nonexistent sins of “imperialism” and “colonialism”. It opens its borders for unchecked entry by all those whom the world’s dictators drive out. It is a left-wing gravy train of anti-American fellowships, university billets, and speaking gigs even for its country’s worst enemies.

The problem the world has with the American Left is that in a crisis it does not understand its role of being unpopular Roman enforcers rather than European-like, dreamy Greek philosophers.

So, for now, perhaps expect Joe Biden in about 5 days after the start of ground operations to pressure Israel, revisit Blinken’s earlier deleted tweet telling them to “seek a ceasefire,” and lecture them ad nauseam that “disproportionate violence solves nothing”.

In sum, it is a very dangerous thing for a country to be an ally of a fickle America when it is run by the Left, as Israel knows all too well.

The world ostensibly hates the American Right (and authentically hates the bogeyman Trump for crudely cleaning up a few of the messes it had created).

But it quietly prefers the Right as well, since it is recently much less sermonizing, less intrusive, less likely to fly pride flags, paint George Floyd  murals, and demand gender studies programs as it flees in weakness and shame from Kabul, and occasionally takes risks to rid the world of the likes of a Soleimani or an ISIS.

So, bottom line: what will the U.S. do from now until January 2025?

Unless attacked, it will likely do little other than politely beg Israel to pull back and gently request Iran to simmer down. Both will nod and ignore.

What it will it do after 2025?

Return to its natural Jacksonian, don’t-tread-on-me, no-better-friend/no-worse-enemy deterrence—with everything on the table.

And that current interval makes the next 15 months very dangerous indeed for Israel, for us, and for the world at large.

How about Iran?

If Israel hunts down and destroys Hamas, Iran will scream more, send more money and arms to terrorists, but likely stay out of Israel. If they unleash a rocket barrage from Syria or Lebanon, they know they run the risk of seeing Damascus  or Beirut without power, water, and an airport—or, depending on the number of rockets launched and the damage they do, seeing the same done to Tehran and its nuclear projects as well.

So Iran knows it has pushed the US and Israel to the limit—and is wondering who or what might restrain the two nations now that they’re beyond it.

And the answer, it fears, is that for right now no one might restrain either.

Theocratic Iran’s problem is not just that it is anti-Semitic, anti-Western, and anti-civilizational. It is viscerally hated for good reason by most in the West. And no one would rue anyone taking out its nuclear facilities or more—a fact well known to Tehran.

Iran does not know whether a beleaguered Russia and China would or could protect it, given that the former is broke and tied up, and the latter wants calm, not chaos,  in its oil lanes.

The Arab world?

The Gulf monarchies, Jordan, and Egypt will become the shrillest critics of “Zionist” aggression in Gaza. But they would become even angrier denigrators of Israel if it were to let up and let Hamas get away. For now, they see a smoldering Gaza as a win/win/win: Israel earns the pan-Arabic street’s fury and gives its Arab critics street cred; Israel takes losses in destroying Hamas; and Arab patrons at no cost are relieved of their unbalanced, greedy, corrupt, treacherous, dangerous, and mostly despised Hamas client.

Qatar and Turkey are different, more insidious.

For all their claimed Western affinities and alliances, even more than other Islamic regimes they seem to detest the United States and Israel. And our “allies” like this are probably the most zealous supporters of Hamas in the Middle East.

By hosting U.S. bases, and adopting a Western veneer, both feel they deserve some exemption from being seen for what they really are: two of the greatest enemies of the Israeli state, and increasingly America as well, whom they feel is so easily manipulated and duped.


Russia is broke and its arsenals depleted. It is tied down in Ukraine, and needs Iranian drones, and is forging arms agreements with Turkey.

But Russia also deeply and silently loathes its own Middle East “allies”, especially given its own internal problems with radical Islam. Until Ukraine it was willing to allow Israeli pilots to go over Syria and after Hezbollah as they needed and pleased, and it still may. It would like the U.S. to experience another Kabul somewhere in the Middle East, but otherwise will leave the fate of Iran up to its enemies.

China’s only interest in Hamas is making sure that there is not a wider war (which might not just target the U.S. and Israel) that would hamper its own oil imports from and profiteering in the Mideast—and its plans for Taiwan.

It has some curiosity about finding a way to hurt the U.S. in the general unrest and turmoil, just as it currently enjoys our border left wide open for terrorists and for the means to ensure our 100,000 yearly fentanyl deaths.

True, if it had its own way, China would prefer Hamas disappear as an irritant to its stable mercantile exports and oil imports. Like Russia, it has its own Muslim problem, and, similarly, the more it shows concern for third-world Islam abroad, the more it can get away with abusing and exploiting Muslims at home.

China appreciates the pan-Muslim mindset that on one hand hates and attacks the conciliatory West because Europeans and Americans sincerely listen to its absurdities, but on the other leaves alone anti-Muslim Russia and China because they kill rather than show patience with radical Muslims.

China most likely does not want Iran and radical Palestinians pushing Israel to the existential edge, given that any delight it would receive in seeing Israel go up in smoke would be more than offset by the consequent destruction of 40 percent of the world’s oil exports.

Europe is somewhat similar in its reaction to the silent Arab regimes. 

It has long played the role of the proverbial blowhard mouse that suggests to fellow mice that some other mouse someday somewhere must bell the Hamas cat, but given that there were no takers in the West or among allies in the Middle East for that suicidal role, it would prefer Israel to run that risk for the “common good” and perhaps even pull it off.

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