The Players of the Gazan “War” and Their Strategies: Part Six: America, Europe, and the American Street—
November 17, 2023—PRINTED OFF 11/20/23
Victor Davis Hanson
The U.S.--What is the American interest in the Gazan war?
It is clearly threefold.
One, America seeks to protect the only constitutional government in the Middle East from its myriad of Iranian terrorist proxies. Our role then is to provide Israel with enough weapons to replenish its stocks and survive, share intelligence about anti-Western terrorist groups, deter Iran from ganging up on Israel, and discourage Arab regimes or Hezbollah from entering the war. Two, it tries to rally the Western world to check pan-Islamic radicalism and terrorism that seek to neutralize the West, and often find their wherewithal from the oil-rich and radical Middle East. Three, the U.S. deters Russia and China from entering the Middle East on the side of anti-Israeli terrorist coalitions. And since World War II, the U.S. has guaranteed open sea lanes to and from the Middle East, now often for the benefit of China and Europe and to prevent the nihilism of Iran.
So the U.S. has a special relationship with Israel. It is built on the premise of countering anti-Semitism. It acknowledges the strategically important but dangerous neighborhood in which Israel resides. It seeks to deter the hatred, power, and money of the half-billion-person Arab Middle East. And it rests on shared Western Judeo-Christian traditions and values, bolstered by the large Jewish community in the U.S. For all of America’s occasional wishy-washiness, the U.S. has many interests in ensuring that Israel survives and thrives, and so for all our acrimony, it will continue to ensure Israel deals as it must with Hamas.
Europe’s interest in Israel’s wars is changing a bit. Traditionally, given the history of European anti-Semitism, the importance of oil to an energy-short continent, and the growing number of Arab and Muslim immigrants in Europe, it tilted away from Israel as a neo-colonialist, supposedly overdog bully. But recently things have changed a bit. The Europeans are becoming fed up with the radical Arabs and Muslim immigrants in their midst, and the failure of integration and assimilation to Europeanize Middle Easterners. The latter are seen as taking as great pains to enter and enjoy Europe as they do to denigrate and seek to alter it—but only once they have obtained legal residence status or citizenship.
So publicly Europe expresses a need for caution and limitations on the IDF, given it needs Middle Eastern oil, and worries about its own restive Islamic street. But privately, it sees that in an increasing global West/anti-West binary, Israel is Western and shares European values. And EU nations are beginning to concede that their own internal problems with Islamic minorities are a microcosm of what Israel faces every day: hatred for what and who Westerners are and represent rather than what they actually do.
If the t***h be known, the Europeans are as eager to see Israel crush Hamas as is the U.S.
The American Street
Americans still overwhelmingly support Israel. But if there is solid support among Americans of all backgrounds over age 35, it has collapsed among those 18-34, and the young college-educated in general. Their shared hostility is predicated on two disturbing t***hs:
1) the universities, where half the youth often waste 4-8 years of their most productive years, are vehemently anti-Israel. Professors have glued the Palestinian cause onto the DEI industry, redefining Israelis as rich, oppressive, capitalist victimizers and the Palestinians as poor, oppressed, and colonial victims. That is an easy binary to make when today’s college students are mostly uneducated and ignorant, especially about the history and the issues of the Middle East.
2) Lax i*********n l*ws and the universities’ need for full-tuition-paying students, often on oil-fed stipends from the Middle East, have resulted in hundreds of thousands of student visa holders from the Middle East as well as a new wave of Green Card holders and first-generation immigrants.
There is also the factor of the replacement of the old melting-pot ideal by the American salad-bowl mentality of non-assimilation. Thus, in such a DEI dumb-down, Israelis crudely fit the white oppressor paradigm, the Palestinians the so-called non-white oppressed victims. Then add in the mix the ancient Middle Eastern anti-Semitism. Include also in the formula that there is no border, the nonenforcement of immigration statutes, and an appeasing university terrified to deal with the overt hatred and occasional violence of Middle Eastern students. Add it up and we have all the ingredients of huge, entitled crowds clamoring on behalf of the Hamas k**lers—angrier and more violent the more they are unable to alter pro-Israel policies of the U.S. government. In any case, our leftwing institutions favor Hamas, even if the people overwhelmingly do not. So America is in an Orwellian moment, when we know the obnoxious crowds cheering on the Hamas death cult represents a small percentage of the population, but concede it also wins an inordinate amount of media attention, political influence, and cultural clout.
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