The West Is Sick of the New Woke Jihadism

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatnes

What are the mobs in Washington defiling iconic federal statues with impunity and pelting policemen really protesting?

What are the students at Stanford University vandalizing the president’s office really demonstrating against?

What are the throngs in London brazenly swarming parks and rampaging in the streets really angry about?


They could care less that the Islamist Turkish government still stations 40,000 troops in occupied Cyprus. No one is protesting against the Chinese takeover of a once-independent Tibet or the threatened absorption of an autonomous Taiwan.


None of these mobs are agitating on behalf of the nearly 1 million Jews ethnically cleansed since 1947 from the major capitals of the Middle East. Some 200,000 Cypriots displaced by Turks earn not a murmur. Nor does the ethnic cleansing of 99% of Nagorno-Karabakh’s ancient Armenian population just last year.

Civilian casualties?

The global protestors are not furious over the 1 million Uighurs brutalized by the communist Chinese government. Neither are they concerned about the Turkish government’s indiscriminate war against the Kurds or its serial threats to attack Armenians and Greeks.

The new woke jihadi movement is instead focused only on Israel and “Palestine.” It is oblivious to the modern gruesome Muslim-on-Muslim exterminations of Bashar el-Assad and Saddam Hussein, the Black September massacres of Palestinians by Jordanian forces, and the 1982 erasure of thousands in Hama, Syria.

So woke jihadism is not an ecumenical concern for the oppressed, the occupied, the collateral damage of war, or the fate of refugees. Instead, it is a romanticized and repackaged anti-Western, anti-Israel, and anti-Semitic jihadism that supports the murder of civilians, mass rape, torture, and hostage-taking.

But what makes it now so insidious is its new tripartite constituency.

First, the old romantic pro-Palestine cause was rebooted in the West by millions of Arab and Muslim immigrants who have flocked to Europe and the U.S. in the last half-century.

Billions of dollars in oil sheikdom “grant” monies swarmed Western universities to found “Middle Eastern Studies” departments. These are not so much centers for historical or linguistic scholarship as political megaphones focused on “Zionism” and “the Jews.”

Moreover, there may be well over a half-million affluent Middle Eastern students in Western universities. Given that they pay full tuition, imbibe ideology from endowed Middle Eastern studies faculty, and are growing in number, they logically feel that they can do anything with impunity on Western streets and campuses.

Second, the Diversity/Equity/Inclusion movement empowers the new woke jihadis. Claiming to be non-white victims of white Jewish colonialism, they pose as natural kindred victims to blacks, Latinos, and any Westerner now claiming oppressed status.

Black radicalism, from Al Sharpton to Louis Farrakhan to Black Lives Matter, has had a long, documented history of anti-Semitism. It is no wonder that its elite eagerly embraced the anti-Israeli Palestine movement as fellow travelers.

The third leg of woke jihadism is mostly affluent white leftist students at Western universities. Sensing that their faculties are anti-Israel, their administrations are anti-Israel (although more covertly) and the most politically active among the student body are anti-Israel, European and American students find authenticity in virtue-signaling their solidarity with Hamas, Hezbollah, and radical Islamists in general.

Given the recent abandonment of standardized tests for admission to universities, the watering-down of curricula, and rampant grade inflation, thousands of students at elite campuses feel that they have successfully redefined their universities to suit their own politics, constituencies and demographics.

Insecure about their preparation for college and mostly ignorant of the politics of the Middle East, usefully idiotic students find resonance by screaming anti-Semitic chants and wearing keffiyehs.

Nurtured in grade school on the Marxist binary of bad, oppressive whites versus good, oppressed nonwhites, they can cheaply shed their boutique guilt by joining the mobs.

The result is a bizarre new anti-Semitism and overt support for the gruesome terrorists of Hamas by those who usually preach to the middle class about their own exalted morality.

Still, woke jihadism would never have found resonance had Western leaders—vote-conscious heads of state, timid university presidents, and radicalized big-city mayors and police chiefs—not ignored blatant violations of laws against illegal immigration, vandalism, assault, illegal occupation, and rioting.

Finally, woke jihadism is fueling a radical Western turn to the right, partly due to open borders and the huge influx into the West from non-Western illiberal regimes.

Partly the reaction is due to the ingratitude shown their hosts by indulged Middle-Eastern guest students and green card holders.

Partly, the public is sick of the sense of entitlement shown by pampered, sanctimonious protestors.

And partly the revulsion arises against left-wing governments and universities that will not enforce basic criminal and immigration statutes in fear of offending this strange new blend of wokism and jihadism.

Yet the more violent campuses and streets become, the more clueless the mobs seem about the cascading public antipathy to what they do and what they represent.


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37 thoughts on “The West Is Sick of the New Woke Jihadism”

  1. Great exposé Victor.
    Has the onslaught of the Left reached its peak? I’ve often thought that it has to get so bad that the center right populace will finally rise up and take the fight to them. The recent votes in France and Germany offer some hope. I’m praying that the same sentiment will prevail in the upcoming Presidential election. The Left needs to lose by an overwhelming majority in order to somewhat suppress their power. Unfortunately, it will never be eradicated.

  2. Question: Hasn’t siege warfare always been an accepted form of warfare? Blockades seem to have been consistent for all time. Sieges and blockades have worked from the days of castles to recent world wars. It’s to starve into surrendering. Israel was justified to try to block the aid. That was unfair that they were accused of genocide for wanting it. Right?

    1. No one is starving in Gaza. They make propaganda videos and either torture kids or show footage from something unrelated.
      The Arabs are liars.

  3. Craig Jenkins

    Much of this activity is simply destructive, juvenile behavior. Back to basics & common sense. We need to turn out the vote this fall.

  4. David Bertram

    What are they really protesting? Western economic success produced by a focus on vision and growth, rather than zero-sum power wars.


    What are the protesters doing? What are they protesting?
    Everything. They are overgrown adolescents, throwing tantrums at the world because it doesn’t conform to their desires.
    Leftism, progressivism, is immaturity expressed as a political philosophy.
    Jail is a timeout for these punks stuck in emotional adolescence.

    1. Absolutely. The political left is nothing if not a cult for those afflicted with arrested development. In such individuals, the prefrontal cortex never fully develops.

  6. Brian McKibben

    VDH 6/13/2024: Clearly stated description of the evils destroying world civilizations.

    Are the bad guys going to win?…
    …with help from self-serving amoral mainstream NEWS MEDIA that HAS NO CLUE (only political motives) how important the details of the US Constitution, Bill of Rights, Rules of Law, careful policing for public safety, public education, other public services,…
    …have been to America and other modern countries?

  7. I’m reminded of Houellebecq’s Submission wherein Western liberalism’s evolving nihilism has France asleep at the wheel while a more spiritually dedicated movement (Islam) ascends to control the State.

  8. Good column, sir. (As usual, by the way.)

    Sad to me that these “protesters” are not offered free one-way tickets to Gaza, so they can then worship at the feet of the Muslim radicals. This could not happen to a more deserving bunch, my simple view.

  9. Your summaries are priceless. Thank you. I can only hope and pray you are accurate about the public’s disgust. I’m not sure many even pay attention. Many don’t watch news, read news or engage in meaningful conversation about the state of the country.

  10. Adrienne Wasserman

    I read the remark once, a long time ago, that no modern, technologically advanced nation has a government takeover unless the military and police are in favor of change. In America right now, the miitary and police seem complacent, ready to follow the orders of whomever is in charge. Your comments, please? Can public antipathy change the system until and if the people with the military technology and power decide that change is needed? Do you see any signs of that in America, besides the National Guard refusing to arrest Texas border patrol members? Thank you.

  11. Professor Hanson,

    Yes, we the people are sickened by this “Woke Jihadism” and wokeness in general.

    The problem as I see it: Most of us don’t know how to fight back. We don’t form violent mobs that interrupt the lives of those around us. We don’t repeatedly screech out nasty rally cries when we have not a clue what they mean. We don’t define and divide people up according to which group we have decided to pigeon-hole them in to. We don’t accept the redefining of basic human biology. We don’t cheat, lie and steal to get what would be unobtainable under the established rules. We wouldn’t expect everyone else (below us) to accept a nonsensical worldview because some who we consider “progressive” are pushing it and we thought it would be fashionable to join their mob. Especially when we ourselves would never abide by the very rules that we would wish to impose on those not as “enlightened” as us.

    In other words, we don’t want to fight in the same repugnant way as our opponents, as we acknowledge that they are not playing by the established rules. We not only do not have sufficient experience fighting dirty, we truly don’t want to fight dirty. But enough is enough already.

    So the big question: In addition to voting, what can we do to beat back this onslaught of bizarre agendas in a way that is legal, orderly and respectful of our fellow citizens?

    Thanks very much,


  12. Kick all non-citizens engaging in this destructive, destabilizing behavior out of the country. If their home countries “won’t” accept them, well, that’s what the Marines are for.

    And no more Muslim immigration to Western countries unless and until Islam undergoes a true reformation. Their backward, violent, chauvinistic, totalitarian religio-political system should be their problem, not ours.

  13. Excellent analysis, as usual. Thanks. I do not see how this Marxism survives when confronted.
    Question is, who will confront and resist it?

  14. I’m not sure where we go if there is no practical enforcement of law, but things are really heating up. Make more laws? Where are the arrests from their destructive protest in DC? Got any cell phone data Merrick?

  15. With all due respect (and I could not respect you more), it pains me to point out my disappointment in see the venerable Dr. VDH use the lazy “could care less” instead of could NOT care less”. Too many people today use this out of simple ignorance or laziness – neither of which could ever be ascribed to Dr. Hansen.

    With deepest respect,

    1. Lenny Schafer

      Grammatical mistakes, really? Meanwhile the heathens are at the gate and Rome is about to burn. Besides, “could care less” is a contraction of “could not care less.” English idioms are rife with such stand alone nonsense phrases. “Wait a second”, for example, makes no sense but most people do not get their knickers twisted up over it’s perpetual usage. Thank goodness the world is not overrun by pedants who could care less, and do not publicly keep tabs on such things.

  16. Stephen A. Hill

    I am not sure that I want to learn the meaning of Proverbs 11:29: “He who troubles his household will inherit wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.”

  17. GillyGirl0831

    Before all the chaos, I was open, accepting, and probably more of a centrist. Now, I feel a strong pull toward the right. I am voting for DJT but never considered myself MAGA. I love the movement, but I honestly don’t remember J6 at all. I simply hate what I see happening to my country and want it to stop. That’s where my vote comes in. I would vote for any good Republican to be honest. I’m a lifelong Republican but never voted a straight ticket at the local level. June, to me, is about Flag Day, the Sacred Heart, and Summer Solstice. The American flag is my pride flag, and I HATE the filth they push in schools, at work, and in public. The terrorism, invasion, economy, military, and our government have me anxious, but that chaos will come to an end. The left worships the city of man and the prince of darkness. It’s a death cult. A golden age is coming, and that right soon.

  18. Thank you, as always, for your cogent, concise and searing analysis of the situation. But whether wisely or not, I would like to delve somewhat deeper into this highly selective outrage against Israel and the Jewish people world-wide. In the Book of Numbers the Moab king Balak hired the magician Baalam to curse the Israelites. After considerable to-and-froing in the narrative, Baalam delivers his first vision, which for better and for worse has demonstrated its accuracy over the centuries, as follows:

    “Look, a people that dwells apart,
    amongst nations it is not reckoned.”
    (Numbers 23:9, Robert Alter translation)

    This is the burden of the Jewish people, past, present, and most probably into the future. Because we aspire to righteousness, defective as we are as human beings, with such defectiveness emphasized over and over in the text of the Hebrew Bible, we are literally sitting ducks, a most convenient target, for all the rage and rancor of the disaffected. Every problem in the world can thus be traced back to baleful Jewish influence. Just ask Hitler.
    As a great rabbi is supposed to have said back in Eastern Europe in the latter part of the 19th century: “Enough already! Go choose someone else!” But no such luck. So Israel stands accused of all the crimes against humanity by others referenced by Professor Davis in his article which drew no condemnation in the past or the present from the so-called international community.

    1. Essie Ghetler

      Jews used to be sitting ducks; then they got themselves a country, and a military. They are no longer sitting ducks; they are fighting for their country, as must every people with a country to defend.
      Israel will stand accused of all the crimes against humanity by others until she finally beats down Hamas. Then she will be honored. The world loves winners.

  19. Maurio Fischbeck

    I”m glad to signed up for the Blade of Perseus and all it entails. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and observations. It’s very satisfying.

    Maurio Fischbeck,
    Mesa, Arizona

  20. Essie Ghetler

    Regarding: “Yet the more violent campuses and streets become, the more clueless the mobs seem about the cascading public antipathy to what they do and what they represent.” Maybe that’s because the mobs are visible and noisy, ever escalating in order to gain news coverage, while public antipathy is private and silent.

  21. James Johnson

    Sorry to say, the only way out of this is painful pushback: Long jail terms for violence and vandalism, felony charges when appropriate , expulsion from their universities and blackballed from future schools, call in for all student loans with no chance for loan forgiveness, deportation and lifetime ban on future visits for foreign students, fines to foreign countries that send students without a technical or professional major.

  22. Lenny Schafer

    Grammatical mistakes, really? Meanwhile the heathens are at the gate and Rome is about to burn. Besides, “could care less” is a contraction of “could not care less.” English idioms are rife with such stand alone nonsense phrases. “Wait a second”, for example, makes no sense but most people do not get their knickers twisted up over it’s perpetual usage. Thank goodness the world is not overrun by pedants who could care less, and does not publicly keep tabs on such things.

  23. Donald S Dadakis

    VDH wrote above ” They could care less that the Islamist Turkish government…” when he meant “They could NOT care less that the Islamist Turkish government….”

  24. It seems like one way to fight back is to boycott the enterprises that promote wokeness, as was done with Bud Light and Target.

  25. Teaching part-time at UC Irvine from 1998-2016, I have witnessed first-hand the chronic campaign against Israel by the Muslim Student Union and Students for Justice in Palestine, which all-too-often crossed the line from opposition to Israeli policies to pure anti-Semitism. Up until some years ago, it was a struggle to bring the excesses of the pro-Palestinian mobs to the attention of the outside community, even the Jewish community. Now it is out in the open. The universities have been the focal point of the resurgence in anti-Semitism in the US, and now it has metastasized into the rest of society. Since October 7, it has reached its peak.

    More than ever, we Gentiles need to stand with our Jewish students and fellow citizens against this wave of hate-which is largely imported, just as it is in Europe to an even larger extent. The universities need to be put on notice that they have all but lost public support, and that financial support will suffer as well. Then, perhaps, they will reform themselves and protect Jewish students.

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