The Strange Disconnect Between Israel and Ukraine

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

The Ukrainian and Israeli wars are similar and yet also different conflicts—but in more ways than we can imagine.

Ukraine was invaded by a huge Russian state, with a population three-and-a-half times greater, a gross national product ten times larger, and an area thirty times its size.

Hamas, by contrast, is a terrorist clique of about 50,000-70,000 gunmen and terrorist kingpins who run Gaza. It is dwarfed by the Israeli population (20 times larger), economy (27 times greater), and area (60 times larger).

Both Russia and Hamas started the wars. Russia was convinced it would easily crush the smaller neighbor. Hamas hoped to spark a pan-Islamic jihad against the Jewish state.

Most of Europe, the United States, and the West understandably supported arming Ukraine to repel Vladimir Putin’s Russian aggression.

By contrast, such support for democratic Israel was strangely mixed.

In many elite, political, academic, and media circles, Israel is criticized for its massive retaliation after October 7, 2023.

The Western attitude toward the two wars grows even more inconsistent, if not incoherent.

There are constant calls for Israel to be “proportionate” in Gaza following the massacres of nearly 1,200 Jews, the vast majority civilians.

But Westerners understandably seek to give Ukraine more and better arms than Russia to ensure a disproportionate response necessary to win the war.

Israel is faulted for collateral damage from its efforts to destroy Hamas—even though terrorists are burrowed in and beneath hospitals, mosques, and schools.

Israeli hostages are used as human shields to protect Hamas gunmen.

No matter. Israel is expected to text or drop leaflets warning Gazan civilians to keep clear of impending air attacks, despite Hamas launching 7,000 rockets with no such warnings into civilian centers in Israel.

On October 7, Hamas, along with some Gazan civilians, tortured, decapitated, raped, and murdered hundreds of Israeli civilians to start the war.

By contrast, no one in the West asks the Ukrainians to warn surrounding civilian populations in occupied Ukraine or inside Russia to keep clear of their intended targets. To do so, apparently, would lessen the surprise effect of Ukrainian attacks.

The West has relentlessly hammered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his supposedly right-wing government and its “disproportionate” retaliation in Gaza.

He is closely watched by his American patrons for any sign of absolutist rule or failure to create an inclusive wartime cabinet representative of a wide diversity of Israeli political figures.

Yet, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has not only suspended elections during the war but also declared martial law over his entire country.

Instead of facing Western censure, Zelensky remains a rock star in the West. Few seem bothered that he suspended most political parties, blurring the higher-ground difference between autocratic Russia and a supposedly democratic Ukraine.

Note that Israel, like the United States during World War II, has not declared martial law. Instead, it has formed a bipartisan coalition government with members of the opposition.

The U.S. keeps lecturing Israel to restrain its response to avoid a wider regional war in the Middle East. It fears Israeli retaliation for October 7 is apparently more incendiary than Hamas’ unprovoked invasions and murder of Israelis.

Yet, supplying a Ukrainian proxy to attack Russia, sometimes on the Black Sea or inside Russia, appears a far more dangerous gambit.

Hamas’ allies lack the 6,000 nuclear weapons of Russia and have no allies comparable to those now aligning with Moscow, such as China and North Korea.

Western media and politicians correctly discount Russian propaganda emanating from Moscow, especially its unsubstantiated claims of relative Russian and Ukrainian casualties or Ukrainian setbacks or atrocities.

Yet many of these same Westerners oddly take Hamas’ casualty totals at face value.

They have been gullible enough even to swallow Hamas lies that the Islamic jihad rocket that hit a Gazan hospital was an Israeli bomb.

By any fair standard, Hamas has proven to be no more honest, and perhaps far more inaccurate, than even Russian state-controlled media.

So what accounts for these strange disconnects in Western attitudes toward these two wars?

It certainly has nothing to do with consistently siding against those who started the war, or standing always with the more democratic power—or even logically against the side that is more likely to commit atrocities.

The answers seem as obvious as they are disturbing.

Many in the West have a bias against the Jewish state, as anti-Semitism rebounds in Europe and the U.S.

Popular Western culture often romanticizes Hamas killers as freedom fighters and demonizes collectively the Russian people as stereotyped Hollywood villains.

Middle-East oil money and massive immigration into Western countries dwarf the influence of an ailing Russia.

Left-wing politicians in Europe and the US court their growing Muslim constituents and have no worry about a commensurate Russian lobby.

And so the disconnect grows into absurdity.


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35 thoughts on “The Strange Disconnect Between Israel and Ukraine”

  1. This article about the asymmetrical views of the Left in the West on Israel/Ukraine hits the nail on the head: greed. It’s all about money and power.

    I just love how Dr. Hanson can effortlessly point out such obvious truths that are hidden under the surface.

    1. Please,
      Tell us more of how your heart just flutters everytime Victor Davis Hanson puts out a new piece and “hits the nail on the head.”
      It is curious how Mr. Hanson didn’t mention how the heros of the story have been warned time and time again, “if you think your going to put missles or bio-labs on our borders, you are radioactivity wrong or how the owners of ever flesh website wears a kippa or how the rainbow bow flag and the butchering of little boys and girls or 95% percent of all powerful men (and women hold a dual citizenship and possibly a double heart.

    2. The Word Hamas in Hebrew means violence – look it up. Demonized animals that teach their children slogans and like mothers milk, from nearly the very womb, fed a diet of hate (no-one really likes a kike) to the point, that mother’s dress the little ones in vests for forever money.
      Compare that with that little cross dressing natsi that bomb and strafe the Russian speaking neighbors in Ukraine and take our money that is a bribe from pedojoe and buy villas in Florida and Italy where after causing the murder of at least a million uskes and Russians – retire.
      Like Stalin said and I’m paraphrasing
      ‘causing the death of a bus load is a tragedy but causing the death of a million is a statistic.’

    3. Interesting – but he could have taken the antisemitic angle a bit further into the Nazi fovoritsm expressed by some Ukrainian officials and many civilians

  2. I see Deerborn, MI, as a giant Trojan Horse. Its immigrants have proven themselves being antithetical to our nation’s traditional values. They have proven this by whom they vote to represent their interests in congress as well as what they are for and against in their public protests.

    So why do we continue to legally admit them into our country in such large numbers. Hillary has said (when she was a presidential candidate agains Trump) that she would admit and additional 100,000 (or was it more?). Rep. Jamaal Bowman, the illicit fire alarm puller, has said we need a million more of them. Why? Any aid that we wish to provide for these so-called refugees, can be provided in their own part of the world–not here.

    So, why do the likes of Clinton and Bowman want to further sow the seeds of our own societal collapse? It is long past time that we, as a nation, have a period of serious self-reflection on what political and institutional factions truly support our constitution and time honored values, and which do not.

    I am hopeful that that a newly elected President Trump will spawn such a self-reflection.

  3. Having become an ardent follower of the Blade of Perseus and your podcasts, I wonder if I might ask a favor. I found Tuckers interview of Putin very interesting. Obviously Putin has his own views to present and began with a half hour presentation of the history of Russia and Ukraine, which I found, at times, not easy to follow. You briefly alluded to this in your Tuesday podcast. Would you consider a much more in depth discussion of the topic of control and governance of Ukrainian lands through history in one of your future podcasts please? I believe it would be most edifying for many of your listeners. Thank you for continuing to present your clear, concise, and knowledgable insights into our troubled times. I look forward to your podcasts each day they are presented.

  4. Hamas is using the same strategy as the Viet Cong used in the Vietnam War. Their goal is to win the propaganda war so that their paymasters can destroy Israel without shedding the blood of the paymasters

  5. “Left-wing politicians in Europe and the US court their growing Muslim constituents and have no worry about a commensurate Russian lobby.”

    That conclusion is spot on. It is political, and is fixated on winning elections, and power in the home state – the Holy Grail of the Left.

    “And so the disconnect grows into absurdity.”

    As absurd as most of the other policies that US Democrats and the EU left-wing currently espouse. Whether Open Borders, killing Fossil Fuels and consequently stoking Inflation, Lock Downs, attacks on Religion – all of which hurts the Middle Class, the tactics of the political Left in the US and EU are remarkably similar, and directed towards the same end.

  6. Mr. Hanson, I’m not so sure “Both Russia and Hamas started the wars” is an accurate statement. Wars are not started by the first shot(s) fired but by politicians and schemers who will tell any lie to get their way and make themselves appear in the right. Our promise to Russia not to allow NATO to encroach eastward and our dismissal of that promise was, I suspect, but one step in the ‘start’ of the Russia/Ukraine conflict, as well as Nazi like subjugation reported of Russian speaking peoples of the areas heavily populated by those of Russian dissent. I believe we Americans are ignorant as to our government’s role in starting this war.


      Sorry, but your argument implying that we started the Ukraine invasion doesn’t stand up.
      Yes, offering to bring Ukraine into NATO was a provocation, and unnecessary at that. It was foolish. But provocative though it was, Putin did not have to invade Ukraine because of it. There could have been a negotiated settlement. He chose violence. He started the war.

      1. You seem to conveniently ignore the fact that Ukraine and Zelensky were terrorizing ethnic Russians in Donbas & Luhansk since 2014, with upwards of 14,000 civilians killed by Ukraine, Zelensky, and his Azov Nazi brigades -before- Russia responded in 2022. The belligerent parties were (and are) the CIA, Obama/Biden, NATO, and Ukraine’s corrupt government… all of whom snubbed Russia’s attempts at resolving security concerns via diplomatic channels in 2021-22.

      2. maybe the stupidest interpretation of reality ive seen yet. yea it was wrong and provocative but nevermind if we respond we start a war…midwit.

    2. Ukraine is therefore responsible for Russia’s illegal invasion. It’s like saying the robber was just in robbing the bank because he had no money. Remember, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons for protection from the West, why is this never brought up. No matter how corrupt Ukraine is (America is not more corrupt?), Russia is a better example of freedom and democracy? Russia started the ethnic problems in Eastern Ukraine. Russia committed war crimes invading Ukraine and has targeted and murdered civilians. Why does Russia get a pass yet it is the aggressor?

    3. And the coup WE staged and engineered in 2014 with the “help” of Victoria Nuland never provoked in the slightest, did it? There was a duly elected by string popular vote presiding over the Ukraine until he as deposed in the coup and replaced by a rather disgusting sorry excuse of a “man” and “leader”. I cannot prove it, but my string gut feeling is that this joke of a “leader’ is a puppet front carefully selected and emplaced by those who staged and ran the coup d’etat. Seems as I recall this lout also did plenty to alienate and enrage those populations within the boundaries of the Ukraine who for centuries were part of Russia, and continue speaking that language and living that culture. In point of fact those people WERE Russian until Zelensky began to interfere. Those people had, at least once in recent history, voted by wide margins to leave the government of the Ukraine, and at least some of them directly voted to rejoin Russia, the nation and culture from which they were ripped back when there was rampant balkanisation being wrangled throughout Europe.

  7. Yes . . . anti-aggressor sentiment should be strong in both cases . . . the inconsistency is blatantly obvious and very disturbing. . . .

  8. One war is historically very complex and I believe Russia has an argument. Then throw in NATO and it’s pretty understandable. The other war is quite frankly obscene with accords being thrown out to allow Israel to bulldoze over innocent people and their given land. You re-write history which is what is happening in both cases.

  9. Let’s not forget the fact that Ukraine actively refuses to provide ANY information about its own miliary casualties while widely reporting Ukranian civilian and Russian casualties.
    It also remains unreported the sums Ukraine spends from US financial assistance that is provided to fund Ukraine government functions how much of that assistance is spent on Ukrainian PR efforts in the US and European media markets and towards campaign contributions to US politicians.

  10. After reading the first five comments above, I once again marvel at what a wonderful, articulate, and knowledgeable audience of readers, listeners and viewers you have. I can only pray that there enough of them throughout this country who will cast ballots in November to rescue this rapidly disentegrating America from the present insane, corrupt policies of a once, long ago, somewhat respectible Democratic Party. Thanks again for your wisdom, Dr. Hanson.

  11. Your posts have become too biased, and are essentially no different from conventional media. What difference does it make which way the bias leans ? A bias is a bias. I subscribed to your newsletter to get objective, educated opinions.

    When Russia invaded Ukraine, on Feb 24 of 2022, it had at most 150,000 troops. As you know, to crush or conquer a country as large as Ukraine, Russia would’ve needed more than 1.0 million troops. What was the size of the German army when it invaded Poland during WW2 ? More than 1.0 million troops I believe. Ukraine is twice bigger than Poland. So how could Russia conquer Ukraine with 150,000 troops ? Maybe it’s worth doing some research first, and listening to scholars such as John Mearsheimer from Uni of Chicago.

    And how can you say that the war between hamas (which is clearly a terrorist organisation, packed with a bunch of cold-blooded, lunatic murderers) and Israel started on October 7 of 2022 ? This war has a long and complex history , hamas is a symptom, just like venous wound is a symptom of mistreatment, and Netanyahu is a narcissistic racist.

  12. Are we suprised that there is a disconnect between the two situations. When was the last time we say a coherant foreign policy from a Democrat Administration?

  13. This would be a more credible article if VDH understood why the conflict in Ukraine started, why the leaders in Donbass asked for Russia’s help, what the Ukraine military was planning to do on March 1, 2022, etc. Ukraine has been offensively attacking Russians in Ukraine, without provocation, since 2014 and before. To compare Ukraine/Russia to Hamas/Israel would be to state that Israel has been offensively attacking Hamas without provocation.

  14. I was wondering where the line was for the the person that was hired by mister Hanson to monitor the comments. I guess when the raw truth is stated that free speech ends and American myths begins.

  15. Let’s put it this way, Viktor.
    The USA not only re-parted the Red Sea to displace millions who had been living in Israel for centuries , in order to re-create the state of Israel, but we have also been Israel’s ATM, giving many billions annually in freebies. Israel’s entire resttlement and national wealth has been a line item in the American budget. The perks Israel enjoys are off the backs of American citizens.

    We have a right to oversee Israel’s military actions, as the new state of Israel is our responsibility. Our past 20+ years of foreign policy have been mostly consumed by Israel. Our own American oligarchy has sold our sovereignty and national security off to COMMUNIST CHINA while media has fofused us on Middle East foreign policy.

    Ukraine, Viktor.. we have thrown Ukraine under the Western Express bus several times, beginning in 1931-32 when the oligarchy was flirting with Stalin, hoping to do business, while he was starving millions of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine who refused to be collectived. The oligarchy was trading in the wheat stolen to erase Ukrainian culture.

    WE KNEW. Yet, even today, the Holodomor is less than a non-event in history classes.

    Stalin was such a BRO when he helped with Hitler that DC ignored Patton and Churchill’s advice to “Hitlerize” Stalin, so DC allowed several time zones to be encapsulated in the Soviet gulag, including Ukraine.

    The oligarchy and Pentagon surely enjoyed the Cold War ATM for decades, right Viktor?

    Then to 1994, when

  16. Then in 1994, we con Ukraine into giving their nukes to RUSSIA in trade for “protection’..HA!

    SO, Viktor, you compare apples with
    avocadoes, Viktor. Israel is our responsibility and Ukraine is our victim. It’s time to sweep the crap out from under our rug and show the world that we are not a scummy geopolitical partner. We owe Ukraine whatever it takes to make it whole.
    WHAT do we owe Israel? MORE??

  17. Viktor David Hanson, censoring opposing opinions because…they don’t conform to your narrative??

    We lose credibility, one person at a time, Viktor. It’s disgusting that a guy who is so widely read is censoring in-your-face rebuttals.

    Tsk tsk Viktor…you just lost a formerly respectful reader and listener.

    Go park your butt in Kyiv for 2-3 weeks, get educated on Ukraine as a country with sovereignty and a history that SHOULD be in world history books…including its struggles against neighbors, and please take Tucker Carlson with you.

    Disgusting Viktor. I ashamed of you. You and Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft…go to your rooms.

  18. Hey Viktor, after reading the comments here that you HAVEN’T censored, it might indicate that you or your comment Nazi are a closet Russian apologist and that Putin or RT is your go-to source for the “truth” regarding Ukraine.

    Is it you Viktor, or your comment executioner?

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