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VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: The unhinged among us

Oct. 7 should have been an open-and-shut case of moral condemnation.

During peace and holiday, invading Hamas gunmen murdered, tortured, mass raped, decapitated and mutilated some 1,200 Israelis. The vast majority were unarmed women, children, infants and the elderly.

The cowardly murderers proudly filmed their atrocities and then fled back to Gaza — to cheers from the Gaza street.

Before Israel even retaliated, the mass murdering of Jews earned praise from the Middle East, the international hard left and especially the faculty and students of elite Western campuses.

When the Israeli Defense Forces struck back, the killers dispersed to the safety of their multibillion-dollar subterranean cities. The cowardly elite architects of the mass murder fled to Arab sanctuaries in Lebanon and Qatar.

From its headquarters burrowed below hospitals, mosques and schools, Hamas bartered hostages for a reprieve from the IDF and the release of its own convicted terrorists in Israeli jails.

Hamas shot any of its own supporters who refused to shield Hamas gunmen. It continued launching rockets at Israeli civilian centers. It serially lied about its casualties, expropriating intended relief food and fuel for its underground tunnel city of killers.

Abroad, Hamas supporters also emulated the methods of the pro-Nazi demonstrators in Western cities of the 1930s. Unlike their pro-Israel critics, the pro-Hamas demonstrators in the United States and Europe turned violent. They took over and defaced private and public property. They chanted genocidal antisemitic slogans calling for erasure of the nation of Israel.

They interrupted shoppers, blocked highways, attacked businesses, and swarmed bridges. They assaulted police. The majority wore masks to hide their identities in the fashion of anti-semitic Klansmen.

Why did the doctrinaire left, the youth of the Democratic Party, and the campuses outdo each other in their antisemitic venom toward Israel?

For the first time in their lives, many of the ignorant protesters suddenly professed concern about refugees, colonialism, disproportionality, innocent civilians and the rules of war.

But none could explain why the Palestinians who fled Israel in 1947-48 still self-identify as victimized “refugees” when 900,000 Jews ethnically cleansed from Middle East Arab cities about the same time do not.

The 200,000 Greek Cypriots driven out from northern Cyprus by Turkey apparently do not warrant “refugee’’ status either.

Few protesters knew that Jews have lived in present-day Israel for more than three millennia. The longest colonialist presence there were Muslim Turks who brutally ran the Holy Land for 300 years until they lost World War I and were expelled.

How exactly did it happen that the eighth-century A.D. Al-Aqsa Mosque was built within King Herod’s earlier Second Temple enclosure?

The pro-Hamas crowd has little appreciation that colonizing Arab Muslims have one of history’s longest records of “settling” other countries far from their historic birthland.

They “settled” and “colonized” the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Middle East, Berber North Africa and southern Spain. Millions of Middle Easterners migrated to — “settled?” — supposedly infidel European cities, where they often self-segregate, and do not assimilate fully with their magnanimous hosts.

As far as “disproportionality,” it is the goal of every power at war, Hamas included.

What protesters are furious about is that Israel is more effective at being disproportionate in retaliation than Hamas and its Iranian supporters were in their pre-emptive mass murdering.

Targeting innocent civilians? Hamas is among the current greatest offenders in the world. It rockets Israeli cities without warning. It mass murders Jews in their beds during peace. It exposes Gazans to mortal danger by impressing them as human shields. Hamas shoots those who refuse.

The “rules of war” are violated by Hamas daily. Such protocols require combatants to wear uniforms not to blend in with civilians, not to use them as shields, not to murder noncombatants, not to rape them, not to mutilate them and not to execute civilians without trial.

Why then would millions ally themselves with this odious reincarnation of the SS?

Are they ignorant of the history of the Middle East?

Are they arrogant since few challenge their hate and threats?

Are they opportunists who feel mouthing anti-Western shibboleths gains them career traction in leftist-run media, academia and popular culture?

Are they bullies who count on the Western silent majority remaining quiet as they disrupt lives, trash Western tolerant culture and commit violence?

Like Hamas that they support, do they despise Jews? Why else do they express an existential hatred toward Israelis that they never display to any other group?

Those now on the street utter not a peep about the Sudanese Arab mass killers in Darfur, Chinese oppressors of the Muslim Uighurs, Russians targeting civilians in Ukraine, or ISIS, Syrian and Yemeni murderers of fellow Muslims.

Yet all of these terrorist killers are guilty of the very charges the protesters falsely attribute to Israel. But they are all not Jewish — and that explains the pass given them by our antisemitic, pro-Hamas street.

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and a classicist and historian at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Contact at authorvdh@gmail.com.

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