What Were the Hamas Monsters Thinking?

Victor Davis Hanson
American Greatness

We know the multifaceted strategy of the monstrous Hamas operation of October 7.

In precivilizational fashion it wished to kill and mutilate the most vulnerable of all Israeli civilians and thus to shock the world that it was capable of—and proud about— anything, from decapitation to necrophilia. Such animalistic savagery, in the reckoning of Western therapeutic society, was supposedly to be seen as forced upon Hamas murderers by the “occupation.”

The killers felt they would shock the Israelis into concessions given their eagerness to commit the unspeakable. They took captives for tripartite reasons: to barter children and the elderly for their kindred terrorist murderers in Israeli jails; to use captives to force the Israelis to grant cease-fires and pauses in their retaliation; and to bank them as shields to protect Hamas kingpins from retaliation.

Hamas invaded during a holiday in the early hours, in a time of peace, and on the iconic 50th-annivesary of the Yom Kippur surprise Arab attack. Their aim was to prove that  Israeli soil was for the first time porous and 2,000 killers could enter sacred Israeli ground with impunity and kill in one day more Jews civilians than at any day since the Holocaust.

The terrorists shot thousands of rockets into Israel to overwhelm Iron Dome and terrify the entire civilian population.

All these tactics were aimed at long-term strategic goals: stop the Abraham Accords; obey the directives of Hamas’s Iranian terrorist masters as payment for their arms; discredit the radical Palestine Authority and Arab moderate nations as anemic in their opposition to the supposedly shared hated Zionist entity; and prompt an Israeli response that by necessity would involve collateral damage to human shields, and schools, mosques, and hospitals atop subterranean Hamas headquarters.

Yet if we know their despicable methods, aims, and strategies, why did they think the civilized world would support their barbarity or at least excuse it?

One, Hamas assumed anti-Semitism was prevalent throughout the West and was canonical in the Middle East. Palestinian authorities count on the fact that being an enemy of the Jews of Israel wins them empathy of the world and creating their own unique rules of passive-aggressive victimhood.

So Palestinians demand to be the only “refugees” in the world—not Greek Cypriots, Eastern European Germans, and Prussians, Kurds, Armenians, and certainly not a million Jews cleansed from the Arab Middle East.

Israelis are to be “settlers,” not millions of Middle Easterners who surge and settle into the West, form resistance communities, sneer at integration and assimilation, and use Western liberality to protect and project their own illiberality.

Second, Hamas relies on useful Western idiots. It understands its terrorists repel the majority of Americans. But it figures Western and globalist institutions—academia, the media, popular culture—in their wealth, ignorance, and self-importance, alleviate guilt and find resonance by mouthing the shibboleths of the “underdog.”

In particular, Hamas understands that the Palestinian cause has fused with the leftwing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion industry. Thus Hamas becomes the Middle-East counterpart to BLM, aggrieved minorities, and, more preposterously, the trans/gay/feminist movement. Meanwhile, Israelis are recalibrated as the demonized Western “colonialist” white supremacists.

Third, the Islamic expatriate populations of Europe and the U.S. have soared. In the strange logic of the Middle Easterner in the West—on a green card, or a student visa, or either as an illegal alien or a first-generation immigrant—he will envision the magnanimity of Americans and Europeans who offered him refuge from the violence, hatred, tyranny, racism, sexism, terrorism, and violence of his homeland all too often as weakness to be manipulated, not as generosity to be appreciated much less reciprocated.

Middle Eastern expatriates brag of their growing numbers and the political clout that Islam accrues in liberal democracies, without a clue of their hypocrisy of supporting illiberal tyrannies whose violence drove them out to the West in the first place.

So, we watch Middle Easterners in the U.S. trying to ruin iconic events such as crashing “Black Friday” shopping, disrupting the New York Thanksgiving parade, or tearing down American flags on Veterans’ Day.

Only in America would the Iranian terrorist theocracy’s ex-ambassador to the UN, Mohammad Jafar Mahallati, be accorded a professorship at Oberlin or a former top diplomat for the Iranian regime Seyed Hossein Mousavian land a coveted billet at Princeton.

From such perches these expatriates are free to promote pro-Hamas, Iranian, anti-Semitic—and Anti-American—agendas. They consider their hosts not so much tolerant as stupid, in the sense that any American expatriate in Iran who whispered criticism of the theocratic regime would either be hanged or used as a barter hostage. Why would those whose careers were devoted to demonizing and harming the United States from their coveted billets in Iran even wish to move to the Great Satan, while keeping warm relations with their theocratic kingpins in Tehran?

Four, behind all these considerations, is the reality of terrorism and the fear it instills in the West, given the 21st century history of Middle Easterners slaughtering thousands of Americans and Europeans. In crude terms, Hamas and its terrorist affiliates signal us, “damn Israel or be prepared for another 9/11.”

Five, Hamas is a death cult, an updated terrorist version of the more organized SS—with the qualifier it broadcasts rather than hides its savagery.

Radical Palestinians brag that they love death more than Israel loves life. So they count on Israel giving up three convicted terrorists for one elderly or young captive, on targeting civilians with rockets while Israelis drops leaflets warning of their bombing attacks, on coercing human shields that they assume Israel will avoid, on sanctioning raping, mutilating, and beheading in a way Israel would never conceive of reciprocating in kind, and on and on.

So will all these tactical and strategic methods work? For all the UN, media, and globalist support for Hamas, still perhaps not.

October 7 was a declaration by Hamas that all barbarity imaginable was now fair game. Yet its sheer evil has unleashed the IDF that perhaps not even Joe Biden, hostages, and “world opinion” can permanently stop.

For all the boasts about loving death, it was Hamas who cowardly murdered the unarmed, scampered back to the safety of their tunnels, and used their own kindred Gazans to shield them from death—delivered to them by supposed nerds who love life too much.

Europeans also have had it with unlimited immigration from the Middle East. Restrictionist politicians throughout Europe are ascending as never before, in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain, and Sweden.

They all reflect growing public anger that Europeans are hated by the very people who seek them out and wish to destroy their Enlightenment institutions by manipulating and discrediting them.  The thousands who hit the streets to cheer on October 7 and damn their hosts only confirm a growing global consensus—in the West, Latin America, Asia, and even throughout the Middle East—that admitting migrants from Palestine or Gaza, or their supporters, is a veritable death wish.

Pro-Hamas protestors calling Joe Biden “Genocide Joe” and boasting about the Arab or Muslim vote in Michigan is incoherent. Not only do harassing Thanksgiving shoppers and parades, disrupting iconic American holidays and events, swarming highways and bridges, and preying on Jews alienate Americans. But also taking credit for ensuring Biden’s defeat will only distance the Democratic establishment, such as it is, from its embarrassing, loud, but ultimately relatively impotent Islamic constituency.

Shouting for mass death “From the River to the Sea” does not endear the pro-Hamas crowd to half of their fellow Democrats, much less unabashedly strutting their anti-Semitism. The current overt support for Hamas, in other words, has revealed to the nation the bankruptcy of the entire pro-Hamas/DEI base of the Democratic Party and will do much to ensure a conservative president in 2024.

And that president will likely deport anyone on a green card or student visa promoting Hamas terrorism, or violating U.S. law, while ensuring a travel ban from terrorist supporting regimes in the Middle East. Such measures will win overwhelming public support, despite media and academic outrage.

Strategically, Iran, Hamas, and the Palestinians may seem to have flummoxed Israel into endless concessions by metering out hostages for serial pauses. But again, no Israel government can retain power by allowing the mass murdering Hamas to survive and so it will not.

Despite all the blood-curdling rhetoric of Hezbollah and Iran, neither will attack Israel or U.S. assets in force, given no American president could afford not to retaliate disproportionately. And “disproportionately” would mean rendering Iran’s military and Hezbollah to something akin to the current status of Hamas.

So for now, Hamas and its American-residing apologists are full of themselves and feel they are leveraging and manipulating the West. But such haughtiness may be a delusion. Hamas in the Middle East and its enablers in Europe and America have done more to harm the Palestinian cause and the idea of Middle Eastern immigration to the West than at any time since 9/11.

It is hard to anger Westerners, but continue the death chants, the violent demonstrations, the creepy anti-Semitism, and the proud support for the Hamas bloodwork of October 7, and they will be surprised at the growing anger of otherwise postmodern Europeans and distracted Americans.

Just as Israel realizes that there is no living with Hamas killers, so the West is learning that it can no longer sustain universities that despise the culture that nourishes it or Middle Eastern immigrants, visiting students, and residents that use the gift of freedom and tolerance to promote their abhorrent anti-Semitism, violence, intolerance—and, yes, hatred of their generous hosts.


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48 thoughts on “What Were the Hamas Monsters Thinking?”

  1. Thank you Victor for one of your best articles – not an easy feat when one considers the great volume of prose you have written! I say this because of your orderly progression through the insanity and deserved retribution that is on its way for Hamas/Hezbollah/Iran. But, for me, the most important part is your understanding that true American citizens will not tolerate this Hamas/marxist/progressive left idiocy much longer! I pray for a Conservative slate win in 2024. If the progressive marxists are not defeated, prayers may not be enough to save our country!

    1. Albert Vanderheide

      I hope Victor is right on his forecast of a conservative win in the 2024 elections. Firstly, I do not doubt that an informed public would turn its back on the woke/marxist/islamist crazy Dems but I have much less confidence in the American open-ended voting system. It seems to be so fraud-prone. Secondly, what is missed by Victor, is any reference to the Islamic terror the Ottoman Empire unleashed on the region with the genocide of the Armenians and the Greek-speaking communities along the coast of present-day Turkey. Has everyone forgotten the Armenian genocide and Smyrna September 1922? Thirdly, The public in the Western world was appalled by the slaughter back then but failed to push their government to act on behalf of the targeted communities. Did Hamas take its cue from this failure?

  2. I hope with all my heart that you are correct, Prof Hanson. But surveying the American scene, from Academia (and I wear my 1967 degree from Oberlin College as an indelible badge of shame) to most of the “news” media to the entertainment industry, to a Congress that tolerates the likes of Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, I cannot convince myself to share your optimism. The sleeping giant that Admiral Yamamoto awakened 82 years ago is now a senile, confused, irresolute shadow of his former self, perfectly epitomized by the pathetic husk stumbling around the Oval Office. Yes, there are millions of us joining you in crying “Enough!” but too many more millions glued to their mobile phones, absorbing whatever TikTok dishes out, perhaps grumbling about how burdensome life has become but unprepared to do anything to change it. Most young Americans not only do not share, but have never even heard of the founding principles of this nation that were ingrained in us who came before them. They have no source of information beyond their stultifying social media feeds. They don’t know enough to be outraged, or at least toward what to direct their outrage.

    I hope I am wrong. We will know in 11 months.

    1. Mr. Leonard, I appreciate and relate to everything you said. I’m a high school history and civics teacher in, of all places, CA. It is a depressing picture you paint and not far from the truth. That being said, I see hope in the youth who are sick of the madness. I see organizations informing those youth. I see parents rising up to defy the tyrannical government that is indoctrinating and controlling their children in schools. I see teachers fighting back against the woke administrations that seek to destroy the America we grew up in. I’m close to retirement but I don’t want to leave. There is hope. I believe it will get worse before it gets better but we are almost at maximum “Clown World”. I’m so frustrated but, at the same time, hopeful.

  3. I agree with all of this. Well done.

    The change we need is not subtle.

    We now understand that the Hamas-lovers amongst us will never have a desire to integrate with our western civilization. However, they will use our freedoms to weaken America. That’s the irony that we all understand.

    We can eliminate the friction in our society by either changing behavior or ridding ourselves of bad actors.

    As I stated, this is not a time for baby steps. We are facing a huge threat from within that will not go away without swift and decisive action.

    Whoever runs on a platform that clearly and directly addresses these issues will win in 2024, by a landslide.

    Try these platform suggestions out: 1) massive deportation of illegal immigrants, 2) no citizenship for anchor babies, 3) immediate expulsion of all foreign criminals, 4) military at the border to resist all trespassers, 5) finish the wall, 6) death penalty for all fentanyl sellers and distributors, 7) incarceration for hate speech against Jews, 8) free all Jan6ers, 9) expel all foreigners who foment rebellion on our college campuses, 10) fine or imprison people who openly try to cancel others on the basis of idiotic “woke” infractions, 11) fire the top levels of several selected government agencies, 12) defund universities.

    Some of these may seem outlandish and impractical, but if you run on them, you will most likely win.

    The other choice is to do nothing and lose everything. Can’t we see this?

    It’s our choice.

    1. Not a bad list, Jim. Whomever runs on this platform gets my vote.!!! Early and often to emulate that other political party.

    2. I believe you just stated Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign promises!
      My concern is that the administrative state will fight him tooth and nail on keeping those promises should we get a fair and honest accounting on election day.

    3. Everything great except the hate speech one. I detest what is going on…grew up asking how in the world Germany happened…but “speech” cannot be a cause for jailing in this country due to the BOR, and that’s finality. (Not just because it’s “law”–because what we uses against them, they will use (are already using) against us. Just no.

      Otherwise. So, so agree. The problem is…PDT was against so many of these that were prominent at the time and yet….they stole it anyway. What do we do about five swing states all closing down voting on election night at the same time, only to pick it up the next day with the votes reversed? I hope and pray the White Hats in this country are dealing with this issue as we speak…

      Bless. And bless VDH– whose books (all the ones about America, not the ones on classicism) we have in our home libraries. He’s an American treasure.

      1. Vladdy, the free speech part is a sticky wicket. The problem is that our society is not “proportional”, “balanced”, “reciprocal” or fair when it comes to free speech.

        The other side gets away with essentially calling for genocide against all Jews. Try chanting anything close to that about any other easily defined group — Blacks, Indigenous People, Muslims, the Irish, the Finns (I’m Finnish), Trans people, just about anybody but Jews. You would likely be severely punished in some manner.

        But Jew-haters? No problem, apparently, even from our elected representatives. What they are promoting is wrong, and we all can feel that.

        I don’t know what the answer is, but the current configuration has major issues that work to unravel society.

        As stated, the remedies we need to enforce are not subtle. Emergency measures are way overdue. We are falling apart at the seams.

      2. Somewhere in Burma, I think it was, that “Fox” reported that they imprisoned someone who spoke against the government, for 10 years; citing spreading ‘misinformation’, among other things. Were I younger, I would go to Israel and help them. As it is I contribute and do what I can. But if you have to consider what you’ll say through a filter of whether or not it will land you in jail, you’re not free.

    4. Jim we need to do one more thing, and it ma be impossible, as was done in the 1930’s and 1940’s when the mafia was terrorizing this country we removed some of the Italian mobsters and kicked them out of our country. This same thing has to be done to the many middle easterners, revoke their citizenship and deport them. As to the anchor babies you reference, the 13th amendment that freed the slaves also gave citizenship to all the slaves born in this country. I don’t think it was ever meant to convey citizenship to babies of illegal immigrates, if the Supreme Court doesn’t decide this, we may need another amendment to settle this matter.

  4. Dr. Hanson, you are spot on in stating that “Hamas assumed anti-Semitism was prevalent throughout the West…” Proof abounds across America as “pro-Palestine” protests are innumerable and give excuse for demands for the genocidal elimination of Israel (from the river to the sea), and anti-Christian protests of community Christmas parades, even in small town Ypsilanti, Michigan, while giving license to satanic “holiday” displays at a tree festival in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and anti-Christian state/local holiday trees and ornaments in capitols and town parks.

    No, we can not assume that the protesters are misguided youths who only wish for a cessation of war in the Gaza. Rather, the Hamas pre-civilization style massacre of Israelis is the catalyst for the next round of attacks on Western Civilization from within our own borders.

    Ted / Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  5. Yes. I wish I could just say benighted/distorted, but the massive atrocities (and pride in them!) . . . cross some kind of line into . . . yes, monsters. I feel sad.

  6. Simple Solution for Election Integrity

    1. Congress passes legislation requiring ALL FEDERAL Election Ballots be printed on paper with an individual identification number (just like we have on our paper currency).
    2. Only LEGAL United states CITIZENS are eligible to vote for Federal election candidates!
    3. EVERY Voter at the time of their vote places one index finger onto an ink pad of purple colored, ultraviolet INK to show they have ALREADY VOTED, and Adds that colored fingerprint to their ballot.

    We have less than twelve months to make this happen on the November 2024 election. So contact EVERY Senator and Representative in your state and tell them, they WILL LOSE YOUR VOTE (and everyone else, who truly wants to restore Election Integrity) should They Fail to Make This Happen!

    And don’t forget to contact EVERY source of News media and Demand they support this simple solution, TOO!

    Please make sure you get this message to EVERYONE you know.
    No one else is going to do it for us!

    1. Good thoughts, but for the fingerprint. I’m a tad leary of having the Feds have a file on voters coupled with who those voters voted for.

  7. Don’t take this the wrong way. I’m all for the Israeli people but I don’t trust their government no more than I trust my own. Do you think this was a wag the dog event? I no the Palestinians are shooting video with actors and uploading it. I don’t believe for one second that the idf was caught with there pants down. Eight hrs to respond? I just got this feeling that it’s all a bunch of bull shit and lies.

    1. To believe that any country founded on the values of Western civilization would lie about such atrocitities…is unbelievable. No. Who has a centuries-long history of this behavior? If you do not know, study your islam (and not from islamic sources.)

  8. Dr. Hanson, your pov informs me in a manner and depth few others can. Thank you.

    I assume the monied maniacs in Iran, the oligarchs like Soros, Schwab, totalitarians in China, et al collectively paid off Hamas leaders to do the evil bidding of the theocrats, oligarchs and globalist elites. The end of the elitists (including Obama et al) is the destruction of the civil society– regardless of geography and demography.

  9. Michael D Henderson

    VDH is absolutely brilliant and thoughtful.

    Nostradamus was correct, World War III is coming between two religions.

  10. Americans who love their country have been “somewhat” primed over the last 15 years by the increasing excesses of the Left that fly in the face of what many believed America stood for, as defined by the Constitution, and its (unrevised) history.

    I say “somewhat” due to the slowness of that building of anger against the Left, and the near disbelief at times that so-called fellow Americans could, in fact, hate their country as much as they profess.

    It is ironic IMO, that the strategy was first employed by former President Obama 15 years ago, of melding together disparate populations into “people of color” (PoC), as a means not only of swelling their supposed numbers against their “oppressors”, but also as a false statement of their uniformity of opinion. It might now be difficult to shut the stable door after that horse has bolted, as non-PoC LGBTQ, DEI, CRT, and now Terrorists and their supporters, are swelling the PoC ranks.

    As the Left continues to get increasingly more hateful, and despicable, the anger building against them is continuing to build commensurably – as witnessed by the recent ousting of Left politicians in elections around the world.

    How will this veritable House of Cards that has been built by the Left finally fall into dissolution? Will it be a sudden abrupt collapse? Or a slow wilting away into nothingness. Only time will tell.

  11. World Order Kinder Education (WOKE) with a little Race Baiting. We can only only hope it is going off it’s will greased rails!

  12. I learned a lot about Radical Islam from Glenn Beck’s ‘Chosen by Allah,’ a three-part series. I am 57 and only knew a very small portion of what I saw. He just re-released it on YT last week. The series is from over 10 years ago, but you could easily change the dates to the present. I was raised Roman Catholic and never knew Islam worships Satan until today. I watched an educational video that explained the Dragon and the Beast. I previously thought our biggest threat was the CCP. It’s not; they are too weak. Radical Islam is our enemy, and our government is being played by Iran and The Muslim Brotherhood.

  13. Thank you again…. How can we as. Nation improve our even short term memo that deserves recognition? Always sincere appreciation and regards.


  14. It’s always darkest before the dawn.
    The great ignorance ascends and then descends.
    Darkness is ignorance.
    Reason is enlightenment.
    The sun inevitably rises.

  15. Billye Miles-Seale

    Psalm 58:11 AMP
    Men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on the earth.”

  16. Thank you, Dr. Hanson. The massive support in our streets for murderous thugs has surprised me. The open expression of hate towards American Jews has also surprised me. It feels like it came out of nowhere. There must have been clues that this was brewing.

    I always enjoy your comments. The way you remind us of history and its influence on today is very interesting.

  17. William Sheffler

    Thanks for your work, Victor.

    But… I’m concerned about you repeating “everybody knows …” in your 11/24 podcast regarding some things. In this case, the use of aid to the Palestinians were provided during the recent (or any) ceasefire. If everyone did know it, we wouldn’t read BOLD print and HEADLINES in the newspapers or elsewhere that it is “humanitarian aid”. Maybe it is time for a discussion about the need some members of the public must have to deny the real consequences of their support for such actions.

  18. Mr. Hanson, I watched the speeches both you and Larry Arnn gave to Hillsdale’s 2009 graduating class posted January 21, 2010. Both speeches encouraged and warned graduates about the onset of our current issues that I found enlightening. One might be frightened after looking back, but looking back in contrast and recognizing what others are doing to prepare and protect our constitution, strengths my faith in the spirit for which brought about our American constitution.

    What I see today are the intentions and facts of many decisions and actions and victory over those who tried to depose our freedom of speech. I also see a lot of time wasted debates over protecting hostile protesters. Obstructing justice, defacing property and degrading America’s President is not freedom of speech and it’s not okay.

    I doubt Hamas has the intellect to coordinate the uprising and I dont blame protesters nor antisemitism. The United Nations members who’ve aligned with their 30-50 year plan has harmed us.

    However; our House and Senate have enough information to act in a warlike manner to recapture Constitutional deterrence. These bad actors have infiltrated our democracy, they’re using our values to keep us hostage. just like hamas is holding Israel’s people.

  19. great article VDH. I’m so glad you’re getting so much traction on X these days. All this being said last night November 29 the City Council of Oakland voted 6 to 2 to condemn Israel and support Hamas.

  20. Some of the tame Quran Death cult quotes that should have been part of the above article would be:

    “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Surah 2:191

    “And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him….” Surah 3:85

    “So fight them until there is no more Fitnah
    (disbelief [ there must be no more non-Muslims])
    and all (the world) submit to the religion of Allah alone .” Surah 8:39

    “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” Surah 9:5

  21. The long march of freedom-hating globalists through our institutions of higher learning has been disastrous for America. These leftist zealots have transformed what were once reliable purveyors of knowledge and truth into citadels of academic and moral ignorance. They did so by filling the curricula with repackaged Marxism and substituting virtue signaling for rational thought among their students. This tactic has produced legions of “useful idiots” mindlessly waging war against Western civilization.

    The ranks of these deluded insurrectionists are largely populated by naive, narcissistic idealists. Their intellectual indolence and vulnerability to being celebrated as the “best and brightest” among us renders them incapable of distinguishing the utopian promises of their Machiavellian mentors from the actual, dystopian consequences of their nonsensical plans. These deficiencies blind them to the timeless truth that “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” are the scariest nine words in the English language.

    In commenting upon this phenomenon, the late British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge declared several decades ago that “we have now educated ourselves into a state of complete imbecility.” The good news is that the victims of this educational hoax are not hopeless. Their salvation lies in the fact that even a single, original, independent thought is capable of producing sufficient light and heat to vaporize a lifetime of ideological indoctrination.

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