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Will Israel-Hamas cause a world war? This has all the symptoms of a devastating global conflict

Smoke ascending over the Gaza Strip (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)

Smoke ascending over the Gaza Strip (RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images)


November 1, 2023   5 mins

As Israel continues to mourn and Gaza continues to be turned into rubble, many in the Middle East are coming to a grim realisation: that things could soon become much, much worse. Huge tectonic shifts now threaten to rupture the status quo — and even spark a global war.

Already, Israel is engaged in daily clashes with the Iran-linked armed group Hezbollah along the Israeli-Lebanese border and has launched several air raids on Syria, which is backed by Russia and Iran. Elsewhere, a US warship recently intercepted three missiles fired by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen which may have been aimed at Israel. American forces in the region have also suffered a series of drone and rocket attacks, to which they retaliated by carrying out air strikes on two facilities linked to Iranian-backed militias in Syria.

The response in the Arabic world has been equally hostile, with every government — including those, such as Saudi Arabia, which had begun normalising relations with Israel — issuing strong denunciations of Israel’s actions. But the most strident response has come from Turkey, despite it being a Nato member. President Erdogan described Israel’s bombing of civilians in Gaza as a “genocide”, and claimed that Hamas is not a terrorist group but “liberators who protect their land”. Turkey also hosts several Hamas officials, and has refused to expel them in recent weeks. This is all part of Erdogan’s attempt to assert his leadership in the region.

Another country with a foot in both camps is Qatar. The country is home to the biggest US military base in the Middle East; it is also home to the political leadership of Hamas which has had an office in Doha since 2012. It is especially well-placed to act as a mediator between Israel and Hamas and has been credited for playing a crucial role in securing the release of four Israeli hostages.

Then there’s Iran, which has longstanding ties to Hamas and cheered on the October 7 attack. While US and Israeli officials have stated that there is no indication of a direct Iranian involvement in the massacre, there is little doubt that Iran benefits from the attack in several ways, and might even be using its proxies — in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen — to further maximise its gains.

Hamas’s attack, after all, has all but killed America’s strategy of promoting Arab-Israeli rapprochement as a way of reasserting US influence in the region at the expense of Iran and China. In September, Netanyahu took the stage at the UN General Assembly and presented a map titled “The New Middle East”, depicting a section of the region shaded in green — the Arab countries with which Israel was in the process of “normalising” relations. As for Israel itself, it was depicted as extending all the way from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea — from the river to the sea, as the saying goes — with no delineations showing occupied Palestinian territory.

Netanyahu then drew a red line across the map, all the way from the Arabian Sea to southern Europe, speaking of “a new corridor of peace and prosperity that connects Asia through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel to Europe”. Both the Trump and Biden administrations, with the Abraham Accords and other agreements, played a major role in promoting this idea of a “new Middle East”, in which Israel, as Biden said, would enjoy “greater normalisation and economic connection”.

One of the major pillars of this project was the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) — the “corridor of peace and prosperity” mentioned by Netanyahu. Unveiled last month at the G20 summit in Delhi, the project envisages the creation of a logistical corridor linking the North-Western Indian Ocean to the Eastern Mediterranean via ports, railways and roads passing through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel. The US has explicitly portrayed the corridor as a competitor in the Middle East to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Its aim was obvious: to limit China’s influence in the region and isolate Iran.

Yet while the IMEC’s dream now seems more elusive than ever, the truth is that it was always out of reach, based as it was on a dangerous illusion — that the Palestinians could be locked away forever inside Gaza. As Marwan Kabalan, Director of Policy Analysis at the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies, explains, the US-brokered deals normalising relations between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain undermined a long-standing pan-Arab stance that Palestinian statehood was a precondition for the establishment of normal relations with Israel. That is why Palestinian officials condemned the deals as a “stab in the back”. Under the surface of a relatively stable status quo, anger and instability have been brewing.

Since the latest attack, every Middle Eastern power has been using the chaos to further their own, often conflicting, interests in a geopolitical game that is as dangerous as it is complex. But this comes with its own risks. As one Washington insider told the Financial Times: “All the countries involved have thresholds that, if crossed, will make them believe they have to act. But nobody really knows what the other side’s threshold is.”

Of course, much will depend on what Israel does next. Iran and Hezbollah, for example, have both stated that they consider a full-scale ground invasion of Gaza —  especially if aimed at the complete annihilation of Hamas and the forced expulsion of part of the Gazan population — as a red line not to be crossed. Over the weekend, the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi issued a clear threat: “[The] Zionist regime’s crimes have crossed the red lines, which may force everyone to take action. Washington asks us to not do anything, but they keep giving widespread support to Israel.”

Yet this hasn’t deterred Israel from expanding its ground operations in Gaza over the past few days. Even more worryingly, there is growing evidence that Israel’s plan may be to drive many Palestinians — potentially tens or even hundreds of thousands — out of Gaza and into Egypt. A week into Israel’s military operation in Gaza, the retired IDF Brig. Gen. Amir Aviv called on Egypt “to open the border and let all the Palestinian civilians move south into the Sinai Peninsula”. The Egyptian President, Abdulfattah al-Sisi, warned that “what is happening now in Gaza is an attempt to force civilian residents to take refuge and migrate to Egypt, which should not be accepted.” Then, on October 17, an Israeli think tank with ties to Netanyahu issued a report, subsequently leaked, promoting the “unique and rare opportunity” for the “relocation and final settlement of the entire Gaza population”. More recently, a “concept paper” was leaked, this time from the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, recommending the permanent transfer of the entire population of the Gaza Strip to Egypt.

The Israeli government has since claimed that the document is conjectural, and isn’t being considered as an option. This can only be good news, given that such a policy, aside from being a catastrophe for Gazans, would inevitably spark some form of retaliation from the Iran-led so-called Axis of Resistance, which includes the Syrian government, Hezbollah and the Houthi movement in Yemen. At that point, the situation could rapidly escalate. Not only would Israel respond by heavily bombing Iran-backed forces in Lebanon and elsewhere — but the US would almost certainly get involved as well.

Indeed, over the past weeks, the US and Nato have been assembling the biggest fleet seen in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf for decades, encompassing no fewer than 73 ships from a dozen countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The US alone has deployed two nuclear-powered carriers, as well as aircraft, cruisers, destroyers and submarines equipped with Tomahawk missiles.

Unsurprisingly, Vladimir Putin responded by announcing that, over the waters of the Black Sea, Russia has commenced around-the-clock rotations of MiG-31 interceptors armed with Kinzhal hypersonic anti-ship missiles, whose operational range extends to 2,000 km. “This is not a threat, but we will exercise visual control — control with weapons — over what is happening in the Mediterranean Sea,” Putin told reporters. China is also following events in the region very closely, with up to six Chinese warships present in the Middle East over the past weeks.

It’s not hard to see how all this might end. With all the world’s major powers present in the Middle East, it is almost certain that, in the eventuality of an escalation, the US and Nato would be drawn into a conflict against Russia and China. The consequences of this would be catastrophic, its economic, military and humanitarian repercussions rebounding in the West. Faced with such a risk, calling for a ceasefire is no longer just in the interest of Gazans, but of the world as a whole.


Thomas Fazi is an UnHerd columnist and translator. His latest book is The Covid Consensus, co-authored with Toby Green.

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Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
6 months ago

What is striking is the manner in which the Muslim-majority nations named think the fate of Gazans – a population that represents a major threat to the State of Israel – actually concerns them, and that this has the potential to spark a major conflict.

If only the same solidarity had been shown to the Christian Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh – evicted without fanfare by a Muslim army from areas in which they had lived for over a thousand years only months previously. Where were the pro-Armenian demos then – for an ethnically cleansed population that represented zero threat to its neighbours?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

Listen to the ‘Goodfellows’ (Hoover Institution) podcast this week with Stephen Kotkin (youtube)…he said that Israel supplied the Azerbaijanis with weapons in their war against the Armenians. How’s that for a weird datapoint? Not sure that to make of that…

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Yes they did apparently – in exchange for listening posts to monitor what’s going on in Iran. Understandable, but to the ultimate detriment of the Armenians.

Nell Clover
Nell Clover
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Israel also has also investigated a plan to “encourage” Gazans to migrate to Europe. Whilst I have every sympathy with Israel destroying Hamas, I’m not happy to see Israel plan to solve its problem with Islamism by moving the problem to my neighbourhood.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
6 months ago
Reply to  Nell Clover

I think plans are already afoot to bring them here in large numbers. Do our governing class have any knowledge of how Palestinians are educated?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

..like I said above, no leader today has the remotest interest in religion, their own (claimed) or that of the victims of conflict..

Jim M
Jim M
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

China is just getting rid of their Muslim population. When foreign policy is influenced by AI’s, the machines will suggest getting rid of Islam from planet Earth as a way to achieve real peace. What does the Islamic world really contribute to humanity?

Sue Whorton
Sue Whorton
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim M

The UK Christian Uighur association has been debanked

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim M

Racist garbage.. Compare the West to the Islamic world, over the past 200 yrs under the headings..
1) No. of wars started
2) No. of invasions conducted
3) Haulocausts / mass murders
4) No. of coups, regime topples
5) Assassinations of foreign leaders
6) Bombing campaigns
7) Atomic bombs dropped…
..I think you’ll find so-called Christians have committed 100 times more war crimes and crimes against humanity, and murder 100 times more victims that Islamic countries ever did..
If there’s anything we learn from history it’s that we never never learn anything from history, or facts, of statistics or truths either!

David Lindsay
David Lindsay
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

40 per cent of Israel’s oil comes from Azerbaijan. Birds of a feather, I suppose. But the pipeline runs through Turkey, which could turn it off.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

You must be deluded if you think major powers are motivated by anything other than self-interest and hatred of other major powers. The victims, as always are of zero concern and least concerning of all is their religion.. Sure, most leaders of today are Godless, heartless, greedy and immoral Atheists whatever they might claim to the contrary.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
6 months ago

“History does not repeat itself but it rhymes” and, at the moment, it is rhyming with the situation before World War I.

1/ The increasingly sharp emergence of two hostile coalitions

2/ The core of one coalition being the rising economic power – Germany then, China now – in an increasingly nationalist and militaristic phase which believes that now is the time to for it to take its “rightful place” in the global order

3/ The existing leading power – Britain then, America today – being gripped by an increasingly odd psychology after a sequence of events: peak hubris and arrogance (1897/2000), an unnecessary and incompetently conducted war of choice (1899 Boer/2003 Iraq war), internal polarisation and hysteria (1909/2016 onwards) and previously unthinkable discussion of civil war (1914/2020). Last time this psychological “pressure cooker” found release in a unified enthusiasm for an external war.

4/ The waves of competitive rearmament creating temporary and destabilising advantage for first one then the other of the two camps.

5/ A series of international crises each capable of settlement but each one successively sharper and riskier. A destabilising factor is that secondary powers often take the initiative but the great powers feel obliged to support them. Tails wag dogs.

One could add more parallels.

There is no need to be fatalistic – history rhymes not repeats – but we must hope that Biden and Xi Jinping and their successors show more finesse and goodwill than Asquith and Kaiser Wilhelm managed in 1914. It is not just this current crisis but all the inevitable clashes between the two camps over the next decade which must be defused successfully. Otherwise …

Last edited 6 months ago by Alex Carnegie
Hazel Gazit
Hazel Gazit
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

You forgot to mention the global rise of militant Islam.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
6 months ago
Reply to  Hazel Gazit

No parallel is perfect but perhaps the pre WW1 equivalent was Serbian terrorism. It was not just the assassination of Franz Ferdinand but the repeated terrorist tactics of the Serbian secret service which caused outrage cf. Iran and the RG today. The problem was that Russia felt obliged in 1914 to support their fellow Slavs in Serbia notwithstanding their their objectionable behaviour. Today, it is moot if China would feel obliged to support Iran if the US attacked it but the dynamics between the US and Israel show how tails can still wag dogs i.e. regional powers suck in a a global power during a crisis.

david moody
david moody
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

If you look at the causes of the long term drift to war in 1914 the major European imperial powers were all involved. Germany was planning for war at least a year earlier. The ME won’t cause Russia or China to do more than they have been doing via their proxies. Can you seriously consider Russia taking on another war when its economy is tanking and its current military powers over extended? It is very likely to be a very nasty regional conflict with the puppet masters not formally engaged.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Hazel Gazit

Islam does not appear to be aggressively militant.. rather defensively determined on its own nationalistic behalf and its ‘brother’ Muslims. Faced with threatened attack you’d hardly blame them, eg Lindsey Graham demanding Tehran be nuked. That kind of bellicose rhetoric kind of focuses the mind on ‘defence’.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I know, right. Apart from the odd video-taped beheading, occasional suicidal killing spree, and the overblown hyperbole of planes being purposefully crashed into the World Trade towers, Islamists are pretty fun-loving people once you put prejudice aside.

Pedro the Exile
Pedro the Exile
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Aye-the Religion of Peace-and we’ll keep bombing you until you accept that!!!
The concept of “brother” Muslims above is also an odd concept unless you assume “brothers” naturally want to blow each other up for being the wrong” strain “of brother.
Brought to its natural conclusion by Eqypt and Jordans attitude toward any Palestinian resettlement on their land-brotherly love at its best..

tom j
tom j
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Exactly, most of the 2 billion Muslims in this world are peace loving. Maybe 10% are militant, but that’s only 200 million militant Muslims.

William Jackson
William Jackson
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Nice one Brian.

Shrunken Genepool
Shrunken Genepool
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

That’s either insane or a piece of industrial gas lighting

Wyatt W
Wyatt W
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

What an insane statement. Graham promised to defend Israel against Iran, which is way different than saying he wants to nuke its capital…

P Branagan
P Branagan
6 months ago
Reply to  Hazel Gazit

Some Muslims have become militant because of the genocide of members of their faith by a racist apartheid Zionazi state backed by a West that P C Roberts described so well:
“How much evidence is required before it is clear that Western Civilization is empty of integrity, judgment, reason, morality, empathy, compassion, self-awareness, truth, empty of everything that Western Civilization once respected?

All that is left of the West is insouciance and unrestrained evil.”

~Dr Paul Craig Roberts, former Undersecretary Of Treasury, Reagan Administration

Please, please loads of down tics from the usual brain washed rabble.

Yoda
Yoda
6 months ago
Reply to  P Branagan

Every death of an innocent civilian is a tragedy. Genocide is the intentional extermination of a people. There are approximately 4 million in the population to which you refer. Out of this the number of deaths from military action is in the region of 30,000 (it may be higher but it’s not easy to find a reliable agreed upon number) over a 75 year period (less than 1% of the total population). If the state mentioned wanted/tried to commit genocide it’s doing a pretty poor job of it considering that it has the capability to do this within days. Let’s start by using accurate language.
Out of curiosity, kindly explain how the hundreds of thousands of civilians slaughtered in Muslim states by Muslims are never called genocide? where is the outrage? the 100,000 strong demonstrations in Western streets? the calling for the death of the perpetrators? and if the claims of the “progressive” (read “backwards”) Left that they don’t hate Jews, only Zionists/Israelis, kindly explain the words of Hamas and other actors who call for the death of all Jews worldwide with the resultant echoes throughout the world. This is pure racism of the ugliest and oldest sort and without any shame…indeed, it’s proponents are proud of it. Where are the cancellations and the “woke” (read “asleep, zombies”)?

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
6 months ago
Reply to  Yoda

I’d like to add the notable silence of the anti-Israel protestors over (1) the treatment of women in Iran and (2) the deaths of 500,000+ in the Syrian Civil War.
I find deep irony that I see a large number, maybe a majority, of the anti-Israel protestors are women in hijabs or scarfs. I wonder what their Iranian sisters think of them?

Annie Gottlieb
Annie Gottlieb
6 months ago
Reply to  P Branagan

All that is left of Western “civilization” is the worship of money and power and the vestigial sense of entitlement (to all the globe’s treasure) and superiority.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
6 months ago
Reply to  Hazel Gazit

In 1915 the Ottomans declared a Jihad against the allies. Fortunately the Arabs were more interested in pursuing Jihad against the Ottomans. ‘Militant Islam’ has been around for ever.

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Excellent comment Alex. Of course looming over this possible (and IMHO probable) global war is the potential for complete Armageddon. What particularly worries me about this now is another manner in which our current predicament does not rhyme with the Great War history – that’s the strong probability that the bulk of the forces available to one side could well be obsolete.
 
The US have sent 4 carrier groups to the Middle East – every one of which could well be taken out by Chinese/Russian missiles or submarines (they usually are in NATO war-games). Then there’s the drone capacity of the Iranians, Chinese & Russians who have a large arsenal kept in reserve despite their use in Ukraine.  Of course the Russians would be stretched fighting in Ukraine & the ME, but have handily seen off all the Ukrainian offensives this summer and in the meantime gained all sorts of information regarding the various Western weapons being drip fed to the AFU over the last few months. The Patriot heavy US air-defences could well now be irrelevant. 
 
The West have put almost all of their air-force eggs into the useless basket of the F-35 and what else they have is armed with missiles that are out-ranged by their Russian & Chinese counterparts with the Russians coming to this war chock-a-block with recent experience. 
 
Beyond that the artillery cupboard is bare
& would have to be shipped halfway across the globe anyway.  I could go on with this, but I think the
chances of an escalation to something nuclear – ‘safely’ thousands of miles
away from the USA might be more rapid than we might expect & it won’t
necessarily be the Chjnese or Russians who are tempted to press the button
first. 

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

This may relate to my point 4 – the destabilising effects of arms races. Some historians would argue that if any one individual was to blame for WW1 it was von Moltke, the Chief of the German General Staff, who thought that in 1914 Germany could defeat France and Russia combined but that, if Germany waited until 1917, it would be unable to do because Russia would by then have completed a rearmament program and built some useful railways.

The current parallel would be that China has stolen a march in America by building up an impressive collection of missiles which negate the U.S. aircraft carriers and effectively given China dominance out over the Pacific to Guam – but that America is rearming aggressively and will no doubt come up with countermeasures with its usual ingenuity – so this is a wasting advantage encouraging early action. I agree that the US armed forces are currently not structured or supplied for a prolonged clash with China but this also will be corrected within a few years. (Fortunately, however, China is still at a strategic disadvantage for the time being because it depends on Middle Eastern oil imported via the Indian Ocean, which the US still dominates).

Last edited 6 months ago by Alex Carnegie
A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Alex thanks – I’m not so sure that any imbalance could be sorted by the US within a few years – and frankly am not convinced it could be now at all. They simply don’t now have the industrial base to do so – either in infrastructure or human-capital terms. The globe-spanning supply chains for almost all of their ‘cutting edge’ weapons are designed more for political approval than rapid expansion – and most include Chinese components anyway. Too many systems are essentially boondoggles and kept alive by sunk-costs alone (see the numerous reports on the F-35 at the Project For Government Oversight pogo.org for instance).

I missed out probably the biggest risk to the West/NATO in my list of vulnerabilities which is their reliance on GPS & other networking tech for almost all of their military systems – from targeting to C&C. China admitted to testing anti-satelite missiles back in 2007 & the Russians have missiles to match.

Any war between the two/three global powers would see both sides networks rapidly degraded & then the Indian Ocean would seem much further away than it does right now.

I hope we never get to find out if I’m right about this.

james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Very astute analysis, Alex. You write like someone who has had some concrete military experience.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
6 months ago
Reply to  james elliott

Thanks but no. Instead I had both a father and grandfather who were generals so I guess I must have absorbed a fair amount second hand while arguing with them as a teenager.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

The ‘widened’ Kiel Canal opened in 1914.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Nice take.. I disagree on two crucial points however:
1) Germany = China? No, Germany was hugely expansionist.. no suggestion China is except via win-win Trade.. nothing warlike about that.
2) Expecting finesse from Biden?? Good luck with that!

Wyatt W
Wyatt W
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You don’t think China is expansionist? Seeing what they’ve done in the South China Sea, India, and their posturing towards Taiwan, I’d disagree.

Ed Newman
Ed Newman
6 months ago
Reply to  Wyatt W

Not sure what “expansionist” means but it has been apparent for some time (decades?) that China is active commercially in Africa and purportedly building a naval base in Guinea…. https://ecfr.eu/article/chinas-new-military-base-in-africa-what-it-means-for-europe-and-america/

Arthur G
Arthur G
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Really? All China’s maritime neighbors would dispute that. You don’t engage in a defense buildup of the scale they are for peaceful reasons. You don’t need aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships to defend your coast.

james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

1. Uhm….. the South China Sea?

2. True.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Have you read Christopher Clark’s ‘The Sleepwalkers’?

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
6 months ago

Yes but a long time ago. I cannot recall if his version is inconsistent with my argument.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

He doesn’t subscribe to the popular idea of German’ war guilt’, nor exculpate the idiotic Russians as you appear to do if I am not mistaken.

I short his thesis is that about ten ‘old men’ stumbled into a catastrophic war due to hubris, arrogance, fear and vengeance. Thus causing the greatest disaster in Western history since the Fall of the Roman Empire.

I do not think things are quite so bleak today because at least we do have the example of The Great War (1914-1914, plus round 2, 1939-1945.) before us.

None of the belligerents of 1914 had that inestimable advantage, in fact very much the opposite. War was a perfectly acceptable way to behave, expensive but not ruinously so, and frequently quick, as in Prussia’s victories of 1864, 1866, and 1870 for example.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
6 months ago

I would accept most of your points. Sometimes – occasionally – individuals do learn from history. It was helpful e.g. that JFK had been reading Tuchman’s book on the start of WW1 just before the Cuban missile crisis kicked off.

To me, the big risk is not that either China or America decide that they want to start a war deliberately but that a crisis flares up – perhaps because of the actions of regional players – and they stumble into war through a mixture of brinkmanship in the early stages and refusal to backdown because of domestic nationalism in the latter stages.

China is the main concern on the second point. Since 1990 they have deliberately induced a spirit of vengeful nationalism via the education system and constantly harping on about th “century of humiliation”. In a crisis this might restrict Xi’s ability to compromise. If there was a rerun of the Cuban missile crisis type confrontation, I do not think Xi could make the concessions that Khrushchev made.

Historical parallels do not forecast the future but they can highlight risks and suggest areas needing attention. I would claim no more for my WW1 analogy.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

JFK made the crucial decision to withdraw/disarm the ‘Jupiters’ from Turkey. Without that it would have been WW IIII.

After all it was their deployment to Turkey and Italy in the first place that was the causus belli.

Last edited 6 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
6 months ago

Both Kennedy and Khrushchev IMO played their hands with significantly more wisdom than most statesmen would have been capable. My point about Khrushchev was that he was able to prevent a nuclear war and be the “objective” winner because he was willing to appear to be the “public” loser and the man who “blinked first”. This was possible because in the USSR political debate was confined to the Politburo. Even under Xi public opinion matters more in China so I don’t think he would be able to make the same trade off.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Agreed, but ultimately it cost Khrushchev his career did it not?

Still but for his pragmatism none of us might have been able to chat away so amicably as we are now!

rupert carnegie
rupert carnegie
6 months ago

It was on the charge sheet but I think the underlying reasons were two:
1/ K was a turbulent spirit and the nomenklatura or Soviet blob wanted a quiet life.
2/ K foolishly let himself be persuaded to remove Zhukov and Serov, the heads of the Army and KGB. They had been loyal to him in earlier struggles and in 1957 had prevented the Politburo from deposing K with Serov flying in hundreds of Central Committee members for an impromptu meeting. Their replacements then happily joined in the overthrow of K.

George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago

Surely the assassination of Kennedy was a factor too.
Having been willing to be seen to blink, Krushchev could certianly have hoped that he might have established a degree of personal trust with Kennedy which he might have been able to lean on in future engagements.
With Kennedy dead at the hands of a KGB-linked assassin, there was little prospect of that doveish pragmatism bearing fruit.
The US was hardening its stance, why wouldn’t the USSR do the same?

starkbreath
starkbreath
6 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Considering Kennedy’s ramping up of the United States’ involvement in Vietnam, not sure how many Kumbaya moments they would have shared.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

How many people at the time thought that the assassination of the Archduke would be the trigger for a world war?

Simon S
Simon S
6 months ago

Oh you conspiracy theorist!!

Last edited 6 months ago by Simon S
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon S

Takes one to….

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

we must hope that Biden and Xi Jinping and their successors show more finesse and goodwill than Asquith and Kaiser Wilhelm managed in 1914.
Oh God.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
6 months ago

A sentence prompting a mass outbreak of bunker building.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

One hardly believes that Biden is a student of history…seems like he never cracked a book on history ever.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Biden! Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?

starkbreath
starkbreath
6 months ago

A fungus.

Brian Doyle
Brian Doyle
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Absolutely correct, but the process started with Germany stating in the early 1900,s that they were going to compete with the Royal Navy who controlled the High Seas and Trade routes
By build and launch of Battleships capable of matching Royal Navy Dreadnoughts
Britain’s response for every one Germany launches one we shall launch 2
All this over trading and the Devolopment of German industrial capacity which was seriously being kept
In check by British control of vital commodities and it’s trade routes and sources
Once this process was underway all Imperialist colonial Nations then embarked upon setting up alliances and treaties which became more and more complex forcing Nations to mobilise in support of their allies if any had mobilised against them
In the lead upto WW1 and after The son of the Austro Hungarian Empire was murdered Russia mobilised against Germany which meant Germany had to mobilise not realising that once doing so
That due to logistics and railway timetables it would be impossible for either Russia or Germany to demob
As whoever did so 1st would then find them extremely vulnerable as they did so
If the other side attacks ‘ How to you turn a whole army around who are embarked
Homewards upon railway lines ‘
So Germany launches a attack upon Russia
The rest is History
But USA and its allies not only been effectively mobilising against China but also attempting to Thwart China by way of High Tech embargoes
Unfortunately America but much mistakenly so reconfigured its military
To deal with China and upon the Orders of President Obama
Big Big Big fu**ing mistake as China’s
Response has to build a new 2nd Great Wall by way of its people’s ingenuity and
It’s great way of innovation and its high tech industry
You must realise that this 2 nd. Great Wall serves the exact same purpose as the 1st wall .Its most important that in any form that this wall is in noway aggressive but it is it defensive only
Its sole and main purpose is that in the event should any ever be foolish enough to attempt to breach the wall
Irrespective of by How much or many
Then there is no way out once inside
And you destruction is absolutely certain
The West MUST recognise this and I certainly hope so
What has China done in building this New Great Wall
Well to start with and only as The Chinese can and do think having been inbued with much ancient wisdom and history came to the conclusion that after
Profusely studying The Pacific War in WW2 that it was not about building aircraft carriers ( Note USA would be totally dependent on carriers to breach
This new great wall )
But it was simply a matter of sinking them
Therefore China now deploys Hypersonic Aircraft carrier bursting
Missiles capable of launching by submarine, surface ships, Aircraft and from Land. All intergrated by way of The best radar systems globally linked into
AI computers and extensive satellite system
China realized that during WW2 before and during WW2 Japan had commissioned 29 mumber
Aircraft carriers but finished the War with
Only One

China with its Wisdom know the one and
Only true reason wars start
And that’s when and only when One or Both possible combatants actually believe they shall win
If neither do the War does not start
Hence the 2 nd Great Wall
China knows beyond all doubt that they shall prevail
But more importantly do the USA and the West think they can Win then that’s the pinnacle of utter and complete stupidity
If so then certain defeat awaits them
And to finish I give you a Ancient Chinese proverb

For the Mad there is Medication

For the Ignorant there is Education

But for the Stupid there is No Treatment

Let all pray that there exists some Wise Council within the upper Echelons of American and Western Governments
No need for coolness etc.
Just Wise Council who truly understands
All I have Spoken off

Peter Barrett
Peter Barrett
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

The lightly educated and heavily indoctrinated cohort running the Biden Administration continues to be wrong on every major foreign policy and national security issue. They make Kaiser Wilhelm II look like Solomon.

Linda M Brown
Linda M Brown
6 months ago

I’m not sure is the west has the ability to conduct a `world war’. We are no longer homogenous societies and as such more likely to devolve into civil war. Unlike the last world war, the enemy is already inside the gate

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
6 months ago
Reply to  Linda M Brown

Indeed. Thousands of UK Muslims intent on sabotage could lead to Muslim internment and civil war so our support of Israel is likely to be severely constrained. Even the US is likely to face a similar dilemma. Unfortunately, the Covid enquiry has shown how fanatics can push the more nuanced and rational into extreme and destructive measures. Too many of our politicians are no more than shopping trolleys pushed around by competing interests.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
6 months ago

The comments praising praising Fazi for his efforts at balance and nuance are hopelessly naïve.
If his deceitful. shamefully pro-Palestinian piece on the history of Arab-Israeli conflict didn’t tip readers off to his position, his next: Why was I censored on Twitter for supporting Palestine? made it explicit.
Curious at how far his support for Palestine went, I had a look back through his X feed to see what his immediate response was to the October 7 attack on Israel.
His first action was to repost someone chastising people expressing horror at the events in Israel without at the same time talking about Palestinian’s suffering. Then he posted a piece about how Hamas was Israel’s creation. Then before the dead Israelis have been found and buried, he trots out the usual figures showing how more Palestinians than Israelis have died during the years of conflict.
His ceaseless postings since have shown a pathological hatred of Israel and the most extreme. one eyed support for Palestinians
Most importantly for Unherd readers who think him a moderate, I can find no condemnation by him of Hamas’s sick, barbaric, murderous attack on Israeli civilians on October 7. In fact he reposts a tweet by John Pilger referring to the attack as “resistance” to which Palestinians “have a right”.
I challenge Fazi to have the courage to come out in to the open and be candid as to whether he supports or condemns Hamas’s murder and vile sadistic crimes committed against Israeli men, women, and children on October 7
If, as the evidence suggests, he does support it, then he must accept that what is happening in Gaza was the inevitable consequence of the October 7 massacre. As a consequence, his calls for ceasefire and nonsense about WW3 must be seen in the context of a supporter of a proscribed terrorist organisation and their sickening attack on Israel, and who now clearly wishes to protect Hamas from the consequences of Israel’s attempt to destroy them.
I urge Unherd to ask Fazi to write a piece unequivocally expressing his position on Hamas and the October 7 massacre. Readers – some of whom are under the impression they are reading “balanced”, factually accurate pieces by a moderate – should be made aware that pieces are being written by a man to which the weight of evidence points to him being a pro-Hamas extremist.
I apologise to Mr Fazi in advance if I have misconstrued his position.

Last edited 6 months ago by Marcus Leach
Sayantani Gupta
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I think I agree with you. I too went through the X feed of Fazi which ticks all the boxes you mention- so maybe he should ” out’ himself here too.
Unless he has been forced by UH to tone down here..he is quite the Hamas supporter on X

Last edited 6 months ago by Sayantani Gupta
Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
6 months ago

He’s earned some trust from Unherd readers because his previous pieces on other subjects have been reasonably fair and measured.
Unherd readers will limited knowledge of the Arab/Israeli conflict have extended that accumulated trust to Fazi’s pieces on the conflict. However, that trust is being abused, because on this subject, the evidence is that Fazi is a dishonest, Hamas supporting extremist who is feeding unwary readers an entirely one-sided, Palestinian/Hamas version of history and current events.
If he supports Hamas and what they’ve done, then fine. But just be upfront about it, and readers can judge for themselves how much they are prepared to take anything he asserts on this subject as being truthful, fair and objective.

Sayantani Gupta
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

Precisely.
It’s always interesting to note that every release from Israel needs to be ” fact checked” while every release from Hamas Health ministry is immediately accepted.
Find these appalling double standards.

Last edited 6 months ago by Sayantani Gupta
james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

You have misconstrued nothing. What you wrote above pretty much nails him.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
6 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I think we can make up our own minds about Mr. Fazi’s article. I don’t find any evidence that he is a ‘pro-Hamas extremist’, rather I see an attempt by you to attempt to censor him. You mention a ‘sick, barbaric, murderous attack’ on Israel but you don’t have any words to describe the horror being rained down on Palestinians. Are you a pro-Israeli extremist?

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
6 months ago

Fazi has had an article published in Unherd – which presumably he was paid for – so we have an expectation that he will observe standards of objectivity. This seems to be in doubt regarding his reported X feed. No such responsibility is upon the shoulders of Marcus Leach or any other commenter. So it really is irrelevant whether Leach is a pro-Israeli extremist or not. Nor do I see any evidence of an attempt to censor Fazi, merely a counter argument to Fazi’s article.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
6 months ago

Reposting John Pilger referring to the October 7 attack as “resistance” to which Palestinians “have a right” is not evidence of his support for Hamas?
I specifically say that if he is an Hamas supporter: “then fine”. I have not asked for him be censored. Rather I am suggesting that it is crucially important for readers who are not particularly well versed in the history of the Arab/Israeli conflict to be made aware from what perspective Fazi’s pieces are written, particularly as on other subjects he is a moderate voice.
Imagine a regular, moderate contributor for Unherd wrote a piece about the history of Arab/Israeli conflict which you knew was shamefully and dishonestly 100% pro-Israel propaganda, but commenters were praising the piece for being “balanced” and praising the author for taking pains to be objective. Elsewhere you have read the author express the view that all Palestinians should be slaughtered. Would you hold your tongue and not make readers aware of this extremist position so they can take it in to account in judging how “balanced” the author actually is?
I have every sympathy for Palestinians who denounce Hamas and its attacks on Israel. They are innocent victims suffering terribly for something they bear no responsibility for.
But those that support Hamas’s attacks on Israel despite knowing the inevitable consequences, and who support Hamas even when it uses them and their children as human shields and their dead and mangled bodies as propaganda to further their terrorist ends – you expect me to feel badly for them? Their innocent children, too young to yet be indoctrinated with their parents hatred, they I feel great compassion for.
But the fact remains, it was their parents and fellow Palestinians’ support for Hamas and its attacks on Israel that brought that upon them. If Hamas had not attacked Israel on 7 October, every single man, woman and child now dead in Gaza that you mourn for would now be alive.

Last edited 6 months ago by Marcus Leach
Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
6 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

‘I have not asked for him be censored.’
I urge Unherd to ask Fazi to write a piece unequivocally expressing his position on Hamas and the October 7 massacre. Readers – some of whom are under the impression they are reading “balanced”, factually accurate pieces by a moderate – should be made aware that pieces are being written by a man to which the weight of evidence points to him being a pro-Hamas extremist.

The above, to me, is a call for censorship, or the very least, an attempt to influence Unherd’s editorial policy. What Fazi has written elsewhere (and he too is entitled to his opinions) has nothing to do with the article we are discussing. I don’t need your ‘cancel’ pivot to analyse what is in front of me.
We had some idiot in here yesterday asking what is to stop us dumping the Palestianians along the North African coast. Would our silence on this be the same if someone had suggesting dumping (that was the word used!) Jews along the southern European coast?

Last edited 6 months ago by Dermot O'Sullivan
George Venning
George Venning
6 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

I think the comments are mostly praising the analysis – which is a matter of weighing the available evidence and weighing the probable outcomes.
What Mr Fazi may or may not think about the state of Israel or the Palestinian people isn’t necessarily relevant to his ability to assess how the conflict might escalate. Unless you think he’s misrepresenting facts – which is not a charge you make.

Simon S
Simon S
6 months ago

Terrific article with every effort made to be balanced. My own fear is that the US just does not seem to care whether, indeed, world war does break out. There is a casualness that I find extraordinary – and which never, ever existed during the Cold War. even among the hawks of the JFK era.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon S

Following the discussion on the World at War here a few days ago I’ve been watching it (thanks for the link Prashant.)

What stands out is how unprepared, blasé, basically useless we (the allies) were when it started, whereas the Axis had been preparing and training for some time

Does anybody really think Oct 7th was just a jihadi spasm and not a well prepared opening move in a much wider geopolitical game?

Putting aside the moral issues, the most glaringly obvious argument for Israel not invading Gaza, is that it is exactly what their (and our) enemies wanted them to do.

Last edited 6 months ago by Martin Bollis
anthony henderson
anthony henderson
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

And I’m thinking that Israel should crush Hamas then turn their attention to Hezbollah, then, with the Americans bomb the Iranian oil terminals and nuclear sites and let the Iranian population finish the mullahs off.

james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

“Putting aside the moral issues, the most glaringly obvious argument for Israel not invading Gaza, is that it is exactly what their (and our) enemies wanted them to do.”

I would say yes, this is the *only* good argument against invading Gaza – but Gaza should be emptied out into Egypt. And how else to do it?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  james elliott

Between 1945-8 some 12-14.6 million Germans were expelled from Eastern Europe, a further 500K-2.5 million apparently died in transit*.

Thus why is it so difficult to shift 2.5 ‘Arabs’ from Gaza, and dump them along the North African coastline?

(* Source of the figures: Wikibeast.)

Mark Duffett
Mark Duffett
6 months ago
Reply to  james elliott

The thought occurring to me on seeing “the permanent transfer of the entire population of the Gaza Strip to Egypt” mooted How about, far more simply, the transfer of the Gaza Strip to Egypt?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon S

Casual because the plans are well established, long standing and events fully expected? Or worse, Evangelical nutjobs reading too much Bible? “Lo and behold.. Glory be to the blessed bomb” ..kind of extremely dangerous “End if days”, fatalistic, indeed nihilistic stuff? God help us all, the lunatics have taken over the asylum!

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Christians who read the Bible are instructed to love and forgive. Muslims who read their Koran are instructed to hate and kill. The “nut job” here seems to be you.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon S

I suggest you read Fazi’s X feed to see how “balanced” he is. Since the massacre of Israeli civilians on October 7 he has ceaselessly posted and reposted the most extreme pro-Palestinian, anti Israel material.
He has never once condemned Hamas’s morally sickening, murderous attack on innocent Israeli men, women and children or called for hostages to released. In fact he reposts a tweet by John Pilger referring to the October 7 attack as “resistance” to which Palestinians “have a right”.
Rather than an objective observer, there is substantial evidence to suggest he is a pro-Hamas extremist whose concern in not with nonsense about WW3. but with using it as a pretext to get encourage support for stopping Israel hunting down and destroying Hamas.

Last edited 6 months ago by Marcus Leach
james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

He is, yes, very clearly pro-Hamas.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon S

I would not be so sure about JFK

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

Jupiter missiles etc.

Lindsey Thornton
Lindsey Thornton
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon S

Thank you Marcus Leach (below) for suggesting reading Thomas Fazi’s X (Twitter) feed, nothing but unadulterated Hamas propaganda. Thanks for exposing him for what he is. I’ll read his articles in a new light in future, or even ignore them altogether. Time is precious it would seem.

Last edited 6 months ago by Lindsey Thornton
james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon S

I strongly suspect that the Democrats – knowing they are ruined in 2024 and for a decade thereafter – are leaning towards a World War conflict as a desperate gambit to keep power.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  james elliott

That’s a bit OTT! Have you any evidence?

Rob C
Rob C
6 months ago
Reply to  james elliott

Why do you think the Democrats are “ruined”? I think they’ll pick up seats in congress, and retain the presidency.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
6 months ago
Reply to  Simon S

Seems like tons of people stateside are making lots of money off of this current conflict, no? Too many Congressmen and women have stock in Raytheon!!

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago

There does seem to be a binaryness to the way the world sees the Israel-Palestine conflict. To a disturbing degree, countries are picking one side or the other and ignoring nuance. Not completely so, but too much. The Russia-Ukraine war seems to be trending that way too.
American economist Thomas Sowell likes to say that there are no solutions, only tradeoffs. That’s a better way to look at these complex disputes than to consider them as zero-sum games, where you pick a winner and a loser. A spectrum of possibilities allows for disputes to be resolved without fighting to the death of one side or the other.
Dealmakers develop a skill at finding tradeoffs that are, to a degree at least, win-win. But getting to a deal requires not thinking in terms of winning and losing.
Donald “Artist of the Deal” Trump, when asked whether he wanted Ukraine to win its war, put it in exactly those words: “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of settling it so that we stop killing all these people.”
Mock him if you will. I think those are wise words. We need to stop thinking of abstractions like right and wrong when both sides are right and both sides are wrong. We need to stop the killing and try to balance tradeoffs to preserve peace.
That’s always been difficult. Two millennia ago Cicero noted how hard it is to give up the fight for justice, but still urged that it be done: “As for me, I cease not to advocate peace. It may be on unjust terms, but even so it is more expedient than the justest of civil wars.”
My hope is that Israel will agree to a cease fire to stop the killing. That may stop the escalation and the loss of control. My fear is that Israel won’t. And if Israel won’t, who knows what will happen.

Last edited 6 months ago by Carlos Danger
Hazel Gazit
Hazel Gazit
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

If Israel accepts a ceasefire, Hamas (and therefore Iran, Hezbollah and militant Islam everywhere) wins. This isn’t another squirmish between Israel and Gaza. This is a fight between good and evil.

Jeremy Drysdale
Jeremy Drysdale
6 months ago
Reply to  Hazel Gazit

I don’t think it’s ‘Israel won’t’ – I think it’s ‘Israel can’t’. If they pause now, they’ll risk losing everything.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Hazel Gazit

I hope that’s a joke? They’re ALL evil, rotten to the core! I refer to each and every one of the decision making warhawks.. not the ordinary people who will be the pawns that die in their millions while the kings, queens, bishops and knights all retreat to their safe castles.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
6 months ago
Reply to  Hazel Gazit

Agreed. Just like there can be no compromise when cancer enters the body. The surgeon doesn’t say, “let a few cells remain.” They must cut it all out, otherwise, it returns again. This current battle is merely due to a remaining cell that was left after the last battle, under the foolish thought that maybe this time it will be different. This battle has been ongoing for several thousand years.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Hazel Gazit

“This is a fight between good and evil.”
That’s where I disagree. If you view this as a fight between good and evil, then Israel can do anything it wants to. Kill Palestinians in Gaza indiscriminately. Ethnically cleanse Gaza by expelling Palestinians, and do the same to make the West Bank into Judea and Samaria.
To me, that’s wrong. The terrorist attack on Israel was inexcusable. That should not lead Israel and the world into treating the Palestinians as evil and deserving of extinction.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

One word from Biden to Bibi and it stops, first the aid, then the war.. it’ll take minutes to accomplish each of those.. but I fear the war hawks are all set for Armageddon thanks to the lunatic, end of days nutjob Evangelicals and Satanists calling the shots.

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

No – the Israelis are rightly terrified of Hamas and are determined to destroy it, whatever Biden says.

Moreover, the USA needs Israel just as much as Israel needs the USA.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

How on earth does the USA really need Israel?
Presumably the same logic that says it needs Ireland via NORAID?

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago
Reply to  Tony Buck

Why does the USA need Israel? It would make more sense for the USA to build strong relations with the (Sunni) Arab world, at least as a counter-weight to Russian and Iran. In fact the USA wasn’t always unquestioningly supportive towards Israel: the Six-Day war is a case in point.

Last edited 6 months ago by William Edward Henry Appleby
Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Excellent points made re: Thomas Sowell and Trump. I’ll add another made by Konstantin Kisin of Triggernometry who said that the West fails to appreciate the importance of power in the deal-making process, specifically the respect much of the world has for opponents that are ready, willing and able to escalate if a deal can’t be made. There’s a difference between not wanting to escalate and having your opponents convinced that you will never escalate under any circumstances. That just encourages them to “take liberties” as they used to say.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Very thoughtful post. Israel, however, is in a very challenging situation. A ceasefire doesn’t really help them because there was one in place on Oct. 7.

james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

There will be a ceasefire tomorrow if Hamas surrenders unconditionally.

Where is the international pressure on Hamas to do that?

rupert carnegie
rupert carnegie
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

I agree with you that I find the binary nature of both the debate here on UH and even more in the media rather surprising. It is certainly a change from the way e.g. the BBC used to report on the Middle East with, if anything, an excessive concern to provide the context and longer term implications, seem even handed and avoid simplification. Perhaps it is only a temporary effect as there is a natural reaction to the horror of what Hamas did and soon a more multi dimensional debate will emerge; perhaps not.

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
6 months ago

I am not sure where NATO countries would align in a larger war. I could see a larger war if Hezbolla unleashes thousands of its rockets and the US intercepts some of them. If some actors consider the US to be hostile power and attacks or sinks a US ship, then it could get interesting. The Houthi’s declared war against Israel and has begun shooting long range missiles. Maybe Israel will retaliate long range.
I am not sure where the other NATO countries would align if the war expands. Image if NATO “ally” Turkey has a confrontation with a US ship – who side would NATO come down on?
Meanwhile, Russia continues being bogged down in Ukraine and would probably not join the war. A troubling brew is the pro-Hamas / anti Israel / anti Jewish protests taking place around the world. How might these protestors react to involvement of the US or their own country in a war?
If Iran want a destabilized world, they got one, and more.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago

NATO should be playing no part in this conflict. If individual countries want to come down on either side that’s up to them but it isn’t a situation where collective defence is an issue

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Did you use the words “defence” and NATO in the same sentence??? Ha ha, ah ha ha!

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Point is, collective defense may become an issue.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Ironically the NATO nation most likely to suffer an attack due to all this is Turkey, which would then theoretically see other NATO nations joined up against Israel

Tony Buck
Tony Buck
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Correct. No NATO country is facing invasion.

D Glover
D Glover
6 months ago

I really don’t understand how Erdogan’s Turkey remains a NATO member. He has reversed Turkey’s secularism and sympathised with Hamas. The US sticks with Israel. How can they be in the same coalition?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

It’s supposed to be a defensive organisation against Russia remember? ..yes, I know, that’s a looong time ago, a distant memory.

D Glover
D Glover
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

It still is. I expect that that is why Finland and Sweden are joining it.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

That’s the problem with NATO. The world NATO was created in no longer exists. In practical terms, the US is NATO.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Because it’s a defensive organisation, it’s not meant to have a foreign policy as such apart from defending each other from invasion, though I’ll agree they’ve sometimes strayed from this remit

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

The principal destabilisers are and have always been ISUK using NATO as a back-up to coups, assassinations, regime toppling, terrorist building and backing, etc etc. Iran, Russia and China are very far behind in that race!

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
6 months ago

Obviously the potential for a series of miscalculations to drag more and more players into the conflict is there BUT
Russia can barely sustain operations in Ukraine and any kind of direct war with the NATO is not in their interests. Syria is still a wreck, the Houthis are the enemies of the Saudis, as are the Iranians, so the Saudis are not likely to jump with any enthusiasm into a hot war. At least on their side.
So we’re back with Iran and its proxies vs.Israel and the US and its allies. There’s only one winner there if it comes to blows, and one suspects that’s why Hezbollah have been quiet.
So that leaves the Chinese. Are they going to ‘take advantage’ of the situation to go for Taiwan militarily? I just don’t think they’re mad enough. There are huge US military assets on Okinawa, as close to Taiwan as mainland China is, and the US Pacific Fleet, Taiwan’s own defences, and potentially the Japanese to reckon with.
A military defeat (and if victory was defined as a successful invasion of Taiwan, then defeat would be the overwhelmingly likely outcome) for China amid their collapsing real estate market and consequent financial troubles and vast numbers of under- and un-employed youth, would threaten the Party itself.
Yes, things could become much worse, but ought not to if the main actors are self-interested and rational.

max redgers
max redgers
6 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

“Russia can barely sustain operations in Ukraine”….Seb, do you read the news? Even stauntly Pro Ukrainian sources, including Ukrainian ones, acknowledge the deficit in artillery, trained men, numbers of available men (Ukrainian soldiers are supposed to have 30 days leave a year if they can get away from the front), aircraft (Ukrainians rightly ask whether NATO would fight an offensive without meaningful air support), shells (Russia out produces US and EU) and most tellingly….the 5 month thrust to sea of Azov (or any front) has at best reached Russian first lines to create “grey zones” aka fire traps of slaughter. Even western MSM has shown the piles of armour burnt out or disabled in the “killing zones” aka “Grey zones”.

No I am not a Russian supporter/troll etc…but the psy-ops , I am being restrained here, of MSM, “Think Tanks” and allied governments has greatly failed Ukraine. Ukraine was “promised” all the support required to keep this war going to a successful conclusion, and instead the west just gives enough to keep Ukraine from being defeated, but not enough to win. Cluster shells….that is what the West sent instead of HE that would destroy well prepared defenses protecting well motivated, trained and rotated Russians. Ukraine needs weapons that NATO would wish to field, not propoganda however well meaning.

Read the latest edition of “Time” magazine before outbursts of “troll” are considered…I live in Ukraine, I see, hear and feel what is ‘the situation “. I have been explaining for months, mostly not published so “Unheard” is “filtered”, the reality here.

Ukraine’s partners promised, they need to deliver before the street below me is either empty of men, or abound with even more limbless men.

Last edited 6 months ago by max redgers
Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago

This is the rare Fazi article I agree with. In a vacuum, this is a conflict between Israel and Hamas, and I believe every citizen who believes in basic human rights and the established rules of warfare should support Israel, as what Hamas did was simply beyond the pale of acceptability. There can be no excuse for the deliberate abduction and murder of innocent civilians in warfare, regardless of provocation.
However, this is not a vacuum, and the danger is real. Any student of world history has to recognize the potential for a small conflict to domino into a large one. Russia, China, and Iran are more closely aligned than Germany and Japan and Italy were on the eve of WWII. Russia is already effectively fighting a proxy war with the US and Europe in Ukraine. China threatens Taiwan with provocative military actions on a daily basis. America’s concentration of naval assets in the Middle East is exactly the sort of distraction that would make an attempted invasion of Taiwan far easier. Support for Israel has to be balanced against provoking a truly devastating conflict.
I hope and pray we are all overreacting and that cooler heads will prevail in Washington, Israel, and elsewhere. I fear that it may not matter. These events may well be the first bits of tumbling snow that presages an avalanche no one can stop.

Robin Sparrow
Robin Sparrow
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I agree that there can be no excuse for the deliberate abduction and murder of innocent civilians, regardless of provocation, AND regardless of who is perpetrating it. What Hamas and the Israeli military have been doing is horrific and heartbreaking to anyone who stands for human rights. Human rights are by their definition universal. To use them in an exclusionary sense means to deny their very essence.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
6 months ago
Reply to  Robin Sparrow

Of course human rights are universal. No one disagrees with that stale platitude. The question is, however, how are human rights enforced?

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
6 months ago

This is wild speculation. Fazi’s claim that Israel is planning a forced, mass migration of Palestinians because of an academic paper is not credible. It is highly unlikely the conflict in Gaza will trigger a conflict between superpowers. Anything can happen when conflict is unleashed but two decades ago when we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan it didn’t start a war with China and Russia, so I think it is safe to assume there is a lot of posturing going on.
I think all the people who want a ceasefire should tell us how Hamas should pay for the atrocities they committed on Oct 7th. Should the world continue to allow a terrorist organization that routinely lobs rockets at its neighbor control a state? Should Israel turn the other cheek and negotiate with people who deliberately kill women and children? I really want to know what they want because in the absence of that I have to assume they want the same things Hamas wants.

Last edited 6 months ago by Benjamin Greco
Sayantani Gupta
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

I just checked Fazi’s Substack where he openly is anti- Israel. The interesting thing is that on X and Substack writers are far more clear in their slants than here.
Why doesn’t UH allow them to unmask themselves similarly?

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
6 months ago

I think most Unherd subscribers are well aware of Fazi’s predispositions. I certainly am. Nevertheless, I believe in hearing from all sides and Fazi is a very good writer. He makes a better case for his point of view than most of the mindless globalist stooges who repeat globalist propaganda to please their corporate masters. Unlike most of the sheep who parrot whatever dogma they’re told for the Guardian or the NYT, Fazi appears to think for himself. Unherd could do far worse.

Sayantani Gupta
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve Jolly

I don’t disagree. I have liked some of his writing on other issues. Yet I would like it if author’s ideological stances are clearer. He is quite frank about it on Substack.
On this issue I think many on UH are unaware of the reality of Hamas. They don’t possibly live cheek by jowl with radical Islam.Some of us do, and so we know that Hamas is as totalitarian and cruel and adept at using Goebbelsian propaganda to sway well meaning Western readers and audiences.

Robin Sparrow
Robin Sparrow
6 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

A wild speculation? If the migration of the Palestinians to the south of Gaza in the last two weeks has not been a mass migration and a forced one, then what qualifies as “forced, mass migration”? 

Last edited 6 months ago by Robin Sparrow
Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
6 months ago
Reply to  Robin Sparrow

The warning for Palestinians to move south was a humanitarian gesture made to avoid killing them (it also warned Hamas which surely sent men and arms south too) when the Israelis invaded the north. Would you rather they were killed so you can berate Israel some more. What would you have Israel do after their citizens were wantonly massacred? Please tell me.

Last edited 6 months ago by Benjamin Greco
Mike Carr
Mike Carr
6 months ago

It might have been useful to have included discussion of the war between Shia and Sunni as part of the narrative and what it’s impact on the future outcomes might be. Everyone seems to forget that Saudia Arabia and Iran are effectively at war in Yemen.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike Carr

Fighting between brothers stops the instant the street bully sets upon one of them with serious intent. The idea that Sunnis prefer Christians and Jews to Shiites might sound attractive to the warhawks but I wouldn’t bet on it!

james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Brothers?

Sunni and Shia see each other as apostates and infidels. Islam tolerates zero dissent – and for the beliefs of either sect to be true, the core belief of the other must be a heretical lie.

Thank God for Ali.

I don’t think you have any concept of how bitter that divide is.

Zaph Mann
Zaph Mann
6 months ago

In these pages Thomas Fazi has many lateral observations on matters; it seems though that, in retrospect, not many of these insights lead to the associated dire predictions he implies. Alex Carnegie (below) cites comparable situations well – but the world is not the same as 1914: The weapons now are monstrously destructive, the economic dependencies are constrictively entwined and the populaces’ access to information (false or not) is beyond what was conceivable in 1914

0 0
0 0
6 months ago

It will be a regional war at best, Russia is preoccupied with Ukraine and no interest or ability to fight Israel effectively. China is to far away and lack global force projection capability that America has, and don’t want to help Islamic terrorists do to issues they have with them.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Add up the might and determination of the armed forces of Turkiye and Iran and you might revise your thinking. Add 80% of Russia’s army because only 20% is bogged down in Ukraine; and China, although far away and disinterested to a large extent, can provide considerable clout (it already has several warships in the area). Then if Egypt and Pakistan decide this is a war against Islam.. the ensuing war may be SET in the region but it will not BE regional. Once the going gets heavy, Israel will nuke Iran and soon after be obliterated. If I was a Zionist I’d be getting tf out of Zionland afap!

Brian Hunt
Brian Hunt
6 months ago

“Israel itself, it was depicted as extending all the way from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea — from the river to the sea, as the saying goes — with no delineations showing occupied Palestinian territory.”. An important detail that mainstream media has ignored.

As the slaughter of innocents in Gaza continues while many of Hamas responsible for the atrocities against Israelis on 7th October are sheltering away from harm, support for Israel is liable to reduce. Meanwhile the angry Islamists demonstrating on UK streets are a security threat.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago
Reply to  Brian Hunt

“Support for Israel liable to reduce” ..liable to reduce? Really? The reputation of Israel is in rhe toilet, even among many Israelis!!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

Eventually the ‘Arabs’ will get the bomb, then what?

In fact given their financial resources it is simply incredible that they haven’t already got one.

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
6 months ago

The Israelis have already prevented that particular cat from getting out of the bag.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Phillips

Agreed, but for how much longer?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

Pakistan says it will make nukes available to the brothers in Iran if it is nuked by the Zionists..

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

They don’t even need a ‘delivery system’.
Just bury it on Mt Nebo, wait for an easterly wind, and press button B.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
6 months ago

Did not Saudi Arabia finance the development of the Pakistani nuclear bomb? One assumes there was a quid pro quo.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Yes, so where have they hidden it?

rupert carnegie
rupert carnegie
6 months ago

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the deal was that the Pakistanis would keep and maintain the bombs plus missiles but make them available to SA in an emergency. How well based that report was I cannot say.

Ardath Blauvelt
Ardath Blauvelt
6 months ago

Just give in and it will be fine. Now they are Gazans. First Egyptians, then Palestinians and now, Gazans. Interesting to note: one side is Iran, Hezbolla, Hamas. Houti, Russia and China. What do they have in common, hmmm? The other is the west as represented by NATO. What do they have in common? Pick your children’s future.

Katrina McLeod
Katrina McLeod
6 months ago

Why does no one mention the Leviathan oil/gas deposit off the coast of Israel -Palestine. What would happen to the Leviathan oil field if there were a 2 state solution?

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
6 months ago
Reply to  Katrina McLeod

Don’t worry. I’m sure Greta di Thunberg has that all in hand.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Just to make sure we ought to finance a fact finding mission for her and some of her more eager buddies. See ya later.

Johan Grönwall
Johan Grönwall
6 months ago

The usual hit job and blood libel ”the jews are behind all wars”. In this case they are supposedly initiating WWIII by defending themselves against muslim fascists et al.

Last edited 6 months ago by Johan Grönwall
Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
6 months ago

‘Netanyahu then drew a red line across the map, all the way from the Arabian Sea to southern Europe, speaking of “a new corridor of peace and prosperity that connects Asia through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel to Europe”.’
No, I think he’ll find that’s just the migration route.
Well, now that I’ve got that bit of gratuitous facetiousness out of my system, this was a good article.

Last edited 6 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Mike Downing
Mike Downing
6 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I M E C

Intercontinental Managed Emigration Corridor

Tom D
Tom D
6 months ago

The title is completely wrong, it should read “Will Israel-Iran cause a world war?” Hamas is just a proxy.

Sayantani Gupta
Sayantani Gupta
6 months ago
Reply to  Tom D

I don’t think so. Iran, Quatar and Turkey are all vying for Islamic leadership sweepstakes and are financiers and arms dealers for Hamas.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
6 months ago

I can’t see Netanyahu turning the “axis of evil” into a “corridor of peace””.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
6 months ago

If we at all had an adroit diplomatic corps, we could play Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey off one another, since each wants to be the leader of the Islamic world and there can only be one. But, of course, instead we’ve managed to unite them against us. Well done.

Micheal MacGabhann
Micheal MacGabhann
6 months ago

Israel will manage it on its own. It doesn’t need help from anyone.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago

It’s almost completely reliant on American money and military hardware. If the yanks ever lost interest (and changing demographics make that a possibility in the decades ahead) then Israel would be in big trouble. This is probably why there was the big push to normalise relations with its neighbours, however the bombing campaign will have kicked that into touch

martin logan
martin logan
6 months ago

Breathless fantasy, rather than any consistent logic.
Neither Russia nor the US have any reason to expand the conflict. Given that Kinzhals can be shot down, the patrols are the usual sabre rattling, not a march toward Armageddon.
China might make a move, but the outcome when another Asian power attacked the West some 80 years ago suggests Xi won’t do this unless he is desperate. Nobody’s cutting off his oil supplies, it seems.
The real goal here was to blow up the alliance against Iran. Just how much Tehran knew is debatable. But the idea was to draw Israel into an extended conflict it couldn’t fully win.
And so far, Israel is doing exactly what Hamas and Tehran wanted it to do.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Any comment on ‘max redgers’ (above.)opinion about what is going on or indeed NOT going on in the Ukraine at present?

Bernard Davis
Bernard Davis
6 months ago
Reply to  martin logan

Kinzhals cannot (yet) be shot down. They have been used several times in the Ukraine to devastating effect against Patriot antimissile batteries and deep hardened bunkers. All attempts to stop them failed utterly. The US military has admitted they have no defence against this type of weapon.

Vern Hughes
Vern Hughes
6 months ago

At last, an article in UnHerd that does not seem to feel obliged to grovel to Israel. What a breath of fresh air!
Two articles by Thomas Fazi in UnHerd seem to be the only two pieces on the Israel-Gaza crisis that appear to be non-partisan. Have their been others? Have I missed them?

Last edited 6 months ago by Vern Hughes
A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago

Great article. Remember those US forces who are under attack recently in the Middle East are their against the will of the people of the countries that they are occupying. This is either by way of direct illegality as is the case in Syria where they currently occupy a third of that desperate country or by way of simply ignoring the will of the government – as is the case in Iraq who resoundingly voted for them to leave in 2020. In that context any excuses they make regarding defending themselves from these attacks ring very hollow.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Thank you for reminding us that the US is still quite illegally occupying a large part of Syria and a smaller part of Iraq.

No wonder some refer to her as ‘The Great Satan’, but perhaps someone can justify this gross misconduct?
Or is it solely the malign influence of ‘Kosher Nostra’ that condones this outrage?

7hrs later. I see, NO answer!
Then let us hope that Mr Trump withdraws these illegally deployed forces in 2024.

Last edited 6 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

You got in one Charlie.. 0.1% God’s chosen people; 99.9% Goys, ie disposible trash, unnecessary feeders and yet we support them, us turkeys fighting to preserve holy Christmas!

Arthur G
Arthur G
6 months ago

I honestly don’t understand where the world war part is coming from. Russia has no military capacity to spare; they’re fully committed just to maintain a stalemate in Ukraine. If Russian air or naval forces tried to engage, the US would completely destroy them within a day or two.
Iran, likewise, has no ability to bring conventional forces to bear. They’re not going to march their army across Iraq and Syria to attack Israel. It’s completely impossible logistically. Their air force and navy wouldn’t last any longer than the Russian against the US. And there’s no way on earth the Gulf Arabs are going to make common cause with Iran. They hate Iran more than they hate Israel.
Turkey also has no realistic means of attacking Israel.
The only party capable of making this a world war is China, and that would involve an invasion of Taiwan, which has no impact on the Middle East fighting, but would totally collapse an already reeling Chinese economy. Unless Xi is a maniac, I can’t see China starting anything.

Last edited 6 months ago by Arthur G
james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago

If it does cause a World War, it will be the fault of useful idiots like Fazi who support the Arabs of Gaza and indeed Hamas in spite of – or because of – their stated aim of the genocide of world Jewry.

The radical Left may well destrot the West – and this activist-journalist is part of it.

This moron thinks that if there is a World War, it may just bring about Utopia…..

james elliott
james elliott
6 months ago

“Even more worryingly, there is growing evidence that Israel’s plan may be to drive many Palestinians — potentially tens or even hundreds of thousands — out of Gaza and into Egypt”

Again, Fazi betrays his obvious sympathy with the terrorists of Hamas – terrorists who murdered 1,400 people in a single day, beheaded babies, raped women to death, and kidnapped hundreds of others.

Worrying? Hardly. It is a strategic and existential imperative that the Gazan ‘refugees’ need to be kicked out and rehomed in Egypt.

All of them.

They have been given decades to get their act together – and still their sole ambition is a second Holocaust.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  james elliott

So it’s ethnic cleaning you propose? I thought that was frowned upon, especially by the Jews after their experience of the Second World War?

Bernard Davis
Bernard Davis
6 months ago
Reply to  james elliott

Your atrocity porn is so 1914. The fact is that the cross-border raid on 7 October was aimed chiefly at capturing hostages for later exchange with Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. Nearly half of those killed (by Israel’s own figures) were active military or police, so fair game in the circumstances. There was no identified child victim under the age of 3. There were no rapes or beheaded babies outside the fervid sado-masochist imagination of Zionist propagandists. Most of the death and destruction was the result of the chaotic, panicky and indiscriminate counter-attack by Israeli forces using tanks and helicopter gunships firing Hellfire missiles.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
6 months ago

Ceasefire is out of the question for Israel as they would lose face with Iran and their terrorist allies. Israel won’t stop till Hamas is destroyed. As far as many Arab Nations are concerned they very likely support Israel secretly. The Saudis are fighting the Houthis for years. They actually downed some of their missiles towards Israel yesterday. Last week several Saudi soldiers died in clashes with Houthi forces in the Jazan Province at the border with Yemen. The Abraham accord is just put on ice for the time being.
In my opinion the danger now lies within Western countries and their big Muslim population, a situation which could very much get out of control with weekly demonstrations turning violent and increased dangers of terrorist attacks.

Last edited 6 months ago by Stephanie Surface
Ramon Bloomberg
Ramon Bloomberg
6 months ago

This author does not know what he’s talking about. Arm chair conjectures devoid of realism. Yes, of course the current moment is fraught with geopolitical risk. But why does Fazi suggest that a ceasefire is the correct action at this juncture? What would that achieve?

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago

A cease fire would save a lot of Palestinian lives and stop a lot of Palestinian suffering. Properly done, a cease fire is more likely to result in hostages being released than the war Israel is waging.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
6 months ago
Reply to  Carlos Danger

Why wasn‘t there a cease fire in the war against ISIS? Lots of Syrian lives would have been saved. The problem with all these terrorist organisations is that they hide between civilians.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago

It doesn’t mean there is carte-blanche to kill the civilians. How many dead Palestinians are enough before a ceasefire is inevitable?

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
6 months ago

So you mean Israel should proclaim a one sided Ceasefire, as Hamas already declared, there will be none for them. This terrorist organisation gives a s**t about ordinary Palestinian life, that‘s why they are hiding in Mosques, hospitals, schools etc.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago

Yes, Israel should proclaim a one-sided ceasefire and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza. It’s not like Hamas is going to attempt another cross-border raid, is it? Unless the Israelis have failed to protect their borders for a second time. And Hamas rockets are little more than fireworks.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
6 months ago

The Egyptians don’t seem to be very eager to open their side, that is why the humanitarian aid is not coming into Gaza.
What a statement “…unless the Israelis have failed for a second time to protect their borders”. According to your logic those civilian Israelis had it coming to them, because their supposedly sophisticated electronic system let them down.

Last edited 6 months ago by Stephanie Surface
Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
6 months ago

The final sentence: calling for a ceasefire, fails to address Israeli fears that this will benefit Hamas.

Alex Colchester
Alex Colchester
6 months ago

What this conflict has shown is the worrying rise in support for a ‘blank-cheque morality’. This argues that any amount of suffering can be demanded if one is on the side of the ‘good’.
Supporters of this ideal think they will be able to cash this cheque. As the author warns- if you ask for too much, the cheque might bounce with horrific consequences.

Last edited 6 months ago by Alex Colchester
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

USS Florida, currently cruising off Gibraltar is quite capable of dealing with BOTH China and Russia.
Whilst she may not quite “bomb them back into the Stone Age”, she will certainly “make their eyes water”!

D Glover
D Glover
6 months ago

You are familiar with the concept of Mutual Assured Destruction?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

Yes, and it’s nonsense.

Darwin K Godwin
Darwin K Godwin
6 months ago

Why is it nonsense? I served during the Cold War and MAD was pounded into me. I would genuinely be interested in understanding another view. Thanks.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago

Given the current disparity of nuclear power between the USA and in particular its 18 ‘Ohio’ class ballistic submarines, and the nuclear arsenals of Russia or China, any conflict would be clear win for the win for the USA. Another Cannae in fact, and certainly not without cost, but certainly NOT mutually assured destruction.

That mawkish mantra has outlived its sell by date.

Caty Gonzales
Caty Gonzales
6 months ago

MAD works when both/all participants equally desire not to be destroyed.

I don’t think that applies to a suicidal death cult like Islamo-Fascism where martyrdom is applauded. I’m not sure it necessarily applies to an aging dictator faced with losing power, either.

A D Kent
A D Kent
6 months ago

Unfortunately that eye-watering treatment would likely also have the side-effect of me, my family & everyone I love dying slowly and painfully in the next few years.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Hopefully ‘fallout’ would be minimised by ‘air bursts’.
It won’t be “Dr Strangelove”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snTaSJk0n_Y

Last edited 6 months ago by Charles Stanhope
D Glover
D Glover
6 months ago

We would have to hope that half our population died outright, because we’d only be growing enough food for the surviving half.
Even if the ports were open – unlikely – there’d be no money to pay for imports. If the ‘square mile’ of the City was out – likely – there’d be no banks and no money at all.
Your savings would be but a memory, and you’d be trying to grow carrots and onions. How to defend them from marauders?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  D Glover

That is a ‘worse case scenario’, and sounds like the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, or something that the late Nevil Shute wrote about.

I am more optimistic given the imbalance of available nuclear forces.

Tim Dilke
Tim Dilke
6 months ago

A few air bursts on the UK to intimidate the West will ‘only’ immediately kill a couple of million. But it will send us back to the Middle Ages. I mean no TikTok let alone no food nor healthcare. The US and Russia could survive such an attack. The UK less so.

https://youtu.be/FYWcgF4Wwog?si=hABZn1YHjPrR8Mo_

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Tim Dilke

Agreed, to use that lovely expression we are a ‘target rich environment’, too many in too little space.

Fortunately nobody cares about us any more, an old moth eaten toothless tiger.

Last edited 6 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
6 months ago

One Kinshal missile and she’s sea bottom junk.. no defence!

Last edited 6 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
6 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Nonsense Liam old chap.Just hopeless propaganda, rather like all that drivel spouted about Russian hypersonic missiles!
To lapse into the vernacular ‘the chinks couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding’.

Incidentally you’re up very early this morning, presumably you are back in Lusitania?

Last edited 6 months ago by Charles Stanhope
j watson
j watson
6 months ago

Autocrats care about their own survival more than anything. Quite risky therefore for Putin or Khamenei to escalate as a strong Western response could be v detrimental for both. Strong deterrence thus may limit response they might help Hezbollah initiate.
Xi perhaps a different matter and stars aligning a little more for CCP to make a move on Taiwan. That may get held to post Feb 24 elections. By which time if Middle east calmer US and Allies less distracted. So could well be he’s really in two minds at the moment. Still would be a huge risky move that could backfire on him and CCP, but…this theatre feels the much more dangerous.

Last edited 6 months ago by j watson
Dumetrius
Dumetrius
6 months ago
Reply to  j watson

China’s demographics – its young people aren’t distracted by the gender woo-woo , but they are as affected by social media as much as any other country, and if anything, have a greater level of anxiety – mean that if Xi contemplates a war with a large number of casualties, his mind will have to turn to the question of whether he has a sufficient reservoir of conscriptable youth who would be suited to being soldiers.

j watson
j watson
6 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Yes and does he set off a train of internal events he can’t then control?. The growing disobedience re: Lockdown and how CCP just had to change tack will have frightened the CCP. The potential property market crash and general economic stagnation will too. But the latter might just push him to do something as a distraction.
I think the first step would be a blockade which would put the next step back in the West’s court and test our ‘will’. Cuban Missile crisis Mk2 almost but with roles almost reversed. Allies will have war-gamed this for sure, as will CCP.

Michael James
Michael James
6 months ago

But Hamas has no intention of agreeing to a ceasefire.

Carlos Danger
Carlos Danger
6 months ago
Reply to  Michael James

How do you know?

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
6 months ago

“Faced with such a risk, calling for a ceasefire is no longer just in the interest of Gazans, but of the world as a whole.”
‘Ceasefire’ is completely the wrong word to use, when Hamas has already stated very publicly they intend to continue doing what they did on Oct 7. A unilateral ceasefire is just dumb.
Choosing not to stop an violent bunch of murderous thugs in your neighborhood isn’t ‘ceasefire’ but appeasement.
Some called for a ‘ceasefire’ after the Germans took over Austria, after they invaded the Sudetenland, after they invaded Poland. Ultimately rejecting that call, the Allies eventually defeated the Germans at the cost of enormous loss of ‘blood and treasure.’
If we imagine a world in which the West continued to appease the Germans, would that have saved lives in the long run? What we would have saved in ‘blood and treasure’ would we have lost in any other currency?
Why do so many Unherd commentators continue to ignore the ideological/religious motivations of Hamas? These motivations cannot be put on hold, cannot be compromised with, do not brook any moderation. A ‘ceasefire’ just gives Hamas more opportunities to steal aid from Gazans, to indoctrinate more Gazan children into ‘martyrdom,’ etc. The best thing that can be done for Gazans is to free them – or at least the ones that want to be freed – from the grip of Hamas and its ideology.

Justin S
Justin S
6 months ago

This is not developing into ww3.

The USA has placed two entire aircraft carrier groups in the eastern med off the coast of Israel. Plus abundant support and amphibious assets.

NATO countries have moved naval assets into the theatre, and USA fighter bomber squadrons are now in theatre.

Who is going to start ww3 as a response to the IDF campaign in Gaza ? Iran?, Russia?, China? Egypt?

If iran gets properly out of line they then gift the USA the ‘big stick’ moment.

No, iran is about getting little people to die on their behalf. Iran is all about causing trouble, not being in the line of fire, as the trouble. They watched Iraq and Afghanistan get turned into a smouldering husks by the USA.

Last edited 6 months ago by Justin S
Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
6 months ago

It has come to this because the West has been kicking this can down the road for a long time. The nuclear deal with Iran by Biden and the EU was insane.
This entire issue has to be faced now, whatever the risks.
Appeasement with Putin, Iran, and the various terror groups hasn’t worked just as it didn’t work in the 1930’s. What a surprise!

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

I’ll assume you’ll be the first to volunteer to do the fighting? I personally wouldn’t want to see a single western soldier risked because of yet another middle eastern conflict that doesn’t concern us

Marianne Kornbluh
Marianne Kornbluh
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You Europeans have slaughtered us Jews for centuries – that’s why there exists Israel. Thus it certainly concerns you.
Now after having succeeded in creating an almost Jew-free Europe, G’d allowed himself a little joke: he has been sending you millions of Muslims instead and many more will come. Good luck with that.

Tom K
Tom K
6 months ago

Fazi – CCP apologist. Not worth reading.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
6 months ago

No Palestinians aren’t contained in Gaza. More live more peacefully on the West Bank and more live more prosperous lives in Israel.
There is a real danger though.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
6 months ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

And their reward for living peacefully in the West Bank is ever increasing numbers of Israeli settlements

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
6 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Settlements whose inhabitants are quite willing to terrorise their Palestinian neighbours.

Last edited 6 months ago by William Edward Henry Appleby