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In defence of our new student radicals The Columbia protestors are better equipped than their forebears

Protestors at Columbia University (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Protestors at Columbia University (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


May 8, 2024   5 mins

Back in the Sixties, it was easy enough for conservatives to take pot shots at radical students. Not only were they out to subvert the state, but their lifestyle seemed calculated to transgress all standards of decency. They were long-haired layabouts who prated of revolution while too smashed on dope to erect a tent pole, let alone a barricade. Freedom came down to free love, while staying in bed for a week wearing nothing but a headband was a critique of the bourgeois fetish of work. You could enrage the Establishment by doing absolutely nothing. Instead of contesting this or that middle-class value, you could negate the whole repressive set-up simply by dropping out. Passivity became a form of activism. Peace meant bone idleness. Utopia lay not in the distant future but in a spliff you were smoking right now.

Yet these laid-back types could also be political militants because their militancy lay in their laid-backness. For them, switching off and chilling out were quite as political as counting votes. What was at stake, as in many political crises, was the definition of politics itself. Did it begin and end at the ballot box, or did it include what you ate and the way you made love?

All of which is to say that the student revolt of the late-Sixties was aimed at cultural revolution, not simply political change. It was aware that genuine political transformation must be rooted in people’s lived experience, not just in their views on agriculture or foreign policy. Culture in the broad sense of customs, values and habits of feeling was the soil in which politics had to bed down. If bedding down in a different sense was so important, it was partly because sex was fun, but also because it belonged to the inner, personal sphere that any political change worthy of the name had to recreate.

In this, the hippies and yippies were taking their cue from the very middle classes they deplored, who had launched their own long cultural revolution in Europe a few centuries earlier. One of the finest achievements of this innovation in morals and manners was the realist novel, though even that rich resource pales in comparison with the mighty intellectual revolution we know as science. What was being transfigured was not only sense but sensibility, as the old aristocratic values of courtesy, hierarchy and lashing the odd peasant yielded ground to thrift, conscience, self-discipline, industriousness and marital fidelity. The Roundheads were gradually ousting the Cavaliers.

There aren’t many peace-and-love druggies among the students currently occupying their campuses. If they are clamouring for peace, it is for a ceasefire in Gaza right now, not for some future world which has transcended violence, and they have no delusions that an end to the slaughter will involve any kind of love-in. They are, in a word, more canny, pragmatic and less idealistic than their Sixties’ forebears, as well as more sceptical of the belief that getting stoned and having it off are the highroad to heaven. In this sense, they are like most other students today, except for sleeping in the cold and being beaten up by the police. Ever since the era of Thatcher and Reagan, students almost everywhere have become more cautious, self-interested and self-seeking, some of which can be attributed to the political times in general and some of it to changes in higher education in particular. Being hugely in debt, as almost all students are these days, inclines you to conservatism. It ties you to the status quo and makes you less likely to step out of line.

It’s therefore all the more impressive that in a bleak season for political radicals, dissent has broken out on a sizeable scale in those bastions of corporate capitalism and managerial gobbledygook which a few years ago were still dimly recognisable as universities. But though the demand for justice has slept, it isn’t dead. In fact, of all human impulses it is one of the hardest to extinguish, however many police riots may try to crush it.

“Though the demand for justice has slept, it isn’t dead.”

The students who are currently protesting against the massacre of the innocent in Gaza are essentially consumers. For eye-watering fees, they purchase a commodity known as education from institutions for which the value of learning has long since given way to the overriding criterion of value for money. As a former university professor, I used to take advantage of this monetisation of academia by offering students those of my insights into literary works which they could afford. For a mere fiver, for example, they could have one of my moderately interesting but hardly world-shaking comments on the character of Macbeth, while those who could afford to pay four or five times this amount would be treated to a stunningly original analysis of Wuthering Heights. I even ran a hire purchase scheme for those who couldn’t pay for my critical remarks on the nail, allowing them to tip in a small amount each week or even to engage in a spot of barter, exchanging my ideas about Jane Austen for a chocolate cake or an Aran sweater.

Universities, in however privileged, aloof a fashion, were once centres of humane critique, subjecting the priorities of the social order to the test of long-accumulated wisdom and expertise; nowadays, they are almost as locked into the marketplace as Tesco, even if their product is rather less tangible. Today’s students are creatures of this system, and have known no alternative to it, apart from the protests around Iraq; the last large-scale political drama in which a good many British students took part was the miners’ strike of the early Eighties, now some 40 years behind us. Since then, the more politically minded among them have channelled their energies into either ecology or identity politics.

Even so, there are those among them who are reluctant to see their fees being used to prop up Israel’s war. There is, one should note, little or nothing in this for these students themselves. Altruism may not be politically fashionable, but for all the efforts of the rich it isn’t quite extinct. If you’re gay, disabled, a feminist or part of an ethnic minority, your political activity is largely in the service of others; but there’s likely to be a personal dimension to it as well, which isn’t so true of a white middle-class American who protests against the bombing of Palestinian hospitals.

There’s a danger, even so, of war in the Middle East becoming identity politics in New York and California, a danger to which some of the US pro-Palestinian protestors seem alert. In fact, there’s not much that postmodern America can’t turn into a question of identity. A small minority of these dissenters are vile antisemites, so it becomes easy to pin this charge on the movement as a whole. It also becomes possible for some Jewish students to reframe what’s at stake in terms of Jewishness rather than the dismemberment of innocent civilians. It’s known these days as controlling the narrative. If you can’t morally defend Israel’s campaign of terror, then talk about something else such as your right to cross the street. Distraction and displacement are the order of the day. Crowds are redefined as mobs, while non-students who pitch in are branded as foreign agitators. Among some US politicians, the talk is not of starving children but of free speech and freedom of assembly. As American student activists are eager to point out, there’s a lot of discussion in the States about academic freedom at a time when universities in Gaza lie in ruins. Violence on the West Bank goes unmentioned, while violence at Columbia hits the headlines.

Meanwhile, the doublethink continues apace. Yes, the mass killing in Gaza is regrettable, but it’s the only way of rooting out Hamas. In violation of one of the most basic of all ethical principles, the end justifies the means. So, would annihilating a million Palestinians in order to exterminate the enemy be acceptable in principle? Yes, the Right-wing fanatics now running Israel are an embarrassment, but the Israeli state must be defended at all costs. Yes, champions of Palestine have the right to make their voices heard, but too many  of them are pro-Hamas zealots in thin disguise, including the teachers and social workers who bring their children from Kennington and Walworth for marches in central London.

Traditionally, students bear the double burden of being both reviled and ridiculed. If they are smeared as social parasites, they are also mocked as idealists with their heads in the clouds. Yet the US student movement of the late Sixties was a power to be reckoned with in national politics, while its counterpart in France brought masses of working people out on the streets and almost unseated a government. Not bad going for a bunch of guys studying Plato or the pancreas.


Terry Eagleton is a critic, literary theorist, and UnHerd columnist.


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Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
19 days ago

This author has memorized many facts, but they have not brought him to wisdom. The “students who are currently protesting against the massacre of the innocent in Gaza” are deluded and/or ignorant about the Middle East, about history, about war, and most other things.

Specifically, when the Nazis launched an aggressive war against the West in 1939, and when Japan did likewise in the Far East again East Asia, murdering and bombing their way across continents, the free world fought to defeat Evil. In the cause of so doing, millions of German and Japanese “civilians” were killed, in carpet bombing, fire-bombing, and nuclear bombing, directly and via collateral damage.

Once the war was decisively won, these two nations were rebuilt from the ruins, to be prosperous and peaceful. Militarism in Japan and Nazism in Germany were both stamped out, removed from children’s textbooks and every aspect of culture, never again to return.

Per this author, that was wrong. When Evil arises, according to him, the ethical and proper thing to do is allow it to infect the entire world, lest you kill even one “innocent civilian”.

I rest my case.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
19 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Even so, Dresden and Hiroshima haunt us–or they should. Many (“former”) N*zis and Hirohito lovers emerged from the rubble, and integrated into a chastened, less blood-drunk post-war social environments.
Were there clear and effective alternatives to the 1945 atom bomb? Certainly from the armchair of hindsight. At the time? Not so much. But it would have been nice to have found them, and doing what happened in ’45 again is not an option because–like the gas ovens and kamikazes–the horror still reverberates.
You write as if some ruthless approach can eliminate Evil itself.
“The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts”.
–Solzhenitsyn

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

That’s a cute quote and I fully stand by it. Now please tell that to Hamas.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Fair point, and cutely made. In any case it’s both a moral and strategic mistake to make (un)holy-war combatants interchangeable with every mother, father, son, and daughter in Palestine–even if that is what Hamas is attempting to do.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Curiously enough, AJ, I don’t disagree. War is all tragedy, absolutely, and no one should take pleasure or joy in the destruction of one’s fellow men. That said, Evil thrives by its own rules, and the righteous can NOT let Evil set the rules of the game, lest we all fall and never again arise.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I’ll see your agreement and raise you to an agreement to agree on that.
However, self-righteousness or certainly in diagnosing Evil in others, but never ourselves, is to be avoided, and rooted out of the individual human heart.
Do not repay evil with evil.

Dr E C
Dr E C
15 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

So would you stand by & let a gang attack a lone passer-by in the street? Or would you do something, possibly fight, possibly kill, to defend the victim?
Not judging others is fine & dandy when you’re not in harm’s way. But I happen to think protecting other, innocent people from evil is the more moral action. It doesn’t need to involve self-righteousness, just a large dose of empathy for the person under attack. That’s why we have a criminal justice system isn’t it?

Ian_S
Ian_S
19 days ago

What an odd take. For an old Marxist, he strangely lacks any clue about how woke is a “divide and rule” strategy of a relatively small global elite. He thinks they’re being “altruistic”! Not sure why he gets a gig at UnHerd, because it’s the same dreary, misinformed, cognitively dissonant Guardian stuff about how nazi-adjacent Hamas are just oppressed leftist victims who through no fault of their own are inexplicably being bullied by j — I mean, Zionists.

Edit: I found a word my phone helpfully altered for me — I had wanted to say “I’m not sure why Eagleton gets a gig at UnHerd” — a GIG not a fecken “hug”, like my phone put in for me.

Edit 2: oh dear UnHerd, did I say “fecken”? Gasp! Well here you go, prim panties: fecken, fecken fecken, fecken. How awful. Now you can put my comment back on ice again. FFS, why do I give you money?

A D Kent
A D Kent
19 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Where did he say that?

Ian_S
Ian_S
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Altruistic? Just above where he seems to not accept the Al-whatever hospital wasn’t actually bombed by the IDF. You know, I used to admire this guy as an undergrad. He wrote a book called Literary Theory that I found utterly electrifying. That was back in 1985. So sad his mind has gone so soft and feeble. Oh well.

Bill Kupersmith
Bill Kupersmith
19 days ago

‘When universities in Gaza are in ruins’! I gather they usually teach rocket science.

David L
David L
18 days ago

The sooner all the universities are in ruins, the better.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
19 days ago

While I vehemently disagree with the commentator, I greatly appreciate UnHerd’s commitment to heterodox content


As to the commentators positions; there is no doubt the death and pain of innocent children is a tragedy full stop. How would this commentator address the following:

– The deliberate and direct attack on civilians on Oct 7th, not as collateral damage in any attack on Israeli military facilities or personnel but for the purpose of murdering civilians as the strategic goal.

– The strategic use of rape and torture of civilians by barbarians.

– The strategic and deliberate use of Palestinian civilians as human shields. Not just as a deterrent but as international cannon fodder for political propaganda.

– The direct threat to repeat the process again and again.

– The continued holding of hostages.

– The profound diversion of humanitarian aid to military ends.

– The presence of the military tunnel system.

How should the above be addressed


I can tell you if my home, my country were attacked in the way Israel was on October 7th, I would run over you and these virtue signaling children to get to the fight to destroy the terrorist barbarians responsible


Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
19 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

Great comment. Hamas apologists seem to forget that it is a terrorist organization. They pretend that Hamas has no agency and is just a hapless victim of unfounded aggression. Hamas builds no bomb shelters and does not allow citizens to use their tunnels. It steals food aid and sells it back to its citizens. Hamas is responsible for death of its citizens.

Jonathan Nash
Jonathan Nash
19 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

Agreed, but I would put the hostages at the top of the list. I am disgusted by the media presentation that this is a “war” and that there are currently “negotiations” for peace, as if the two sides were morally and politically equivalent: Hamas is a terrorist gang which is currently demanding that fighting should cease or it will continue to keep and kill the men and women that it has kidnapped. Do these fools who think that wearing a keffiyah is so cool even know this?

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
19 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

Well said, Matt. The Moral Equivalency Crowd will never and perhaps can never answer any of these questions, but only to moan and complain harder while decrying those who are “not being nice” to those poor murdering terrorists.

Gazans, at least 80% of them, support Hamas and with a full heart. They are upset – if they are upset – only that they did not do a complete job on October 7th, and that their own comfortable lives in an “open-air prison” were thereby disrupted.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
19 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Can you provide evidence of full-hearted support from at least 80% of Gazans? That is an opinionated and convenient assertion. How certain are you that you’d speak out against the rulers if you were walled into a warzone under theocratic rule and speaking out meant near-certain death?

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

But these protestors aren’t in any danger of Hamas reprisals yet still cry out for Israel to be destroyed.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

You shifted the issue. Or should the students be bombed into oblivion too? (I know you are not suggesting they should be).
I don’t defend the too sizable and vocal minority of protesters who are viciously anti-Israel or flat out anti-Jewish. But most of the protesters–many of whom are Jewish–don’t go that far, and some that do at least have the thin alibi of youth and ignorance.
I actually think that the protests, as a whole, are a mistake, and counterproductive even from the perspective of the protesters themselves (except the significant rogue element that’s in it for mayhem/hanging-out). But the less extreme protesters have a point. Why is this war effort being funded to then gills even when Netanyahu and his minions defiantly do just about whatever they want to, on whatever scale and timetable?
That said, intimidating fellow students, making the campus unlivable, or causing classes and graduations to be cancelled is unacceptable and I support some type of forced dispersal in those instances. Not violent counter-protests though.

Ian_S
Ian_S
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Once again with the excuses — “Why is this war effort being funded to then gills even when Netanyahu and his minions defiantly do just about whatever they want to, on whatever scale and timetable?”

You want to make it sound arbitrary, optional and self-indulgent, along with a pinch of NDS. You still can’t get it that Hamas has vowed to wipe Israel off the map, and go after every Jew on the planet, as their core religious principle. This is an existential battle against genocidal maniacs. It’s a pity someone who is intelligent enough to phrase proper sentences simply cannot grasp that concept.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

It’s a pity you’ve surrendered all sense of proportion–as if in some “non-optional” way–and permitted yourself to pretend that no possible civilian death toll, no conceivable level of severity could ever be excessive under this black and white, existential framework.
Perhaps none among the greater population in Gaza or Rafah even qualify as true civilians to you, not even the children, doctors, and aid workers caught in the rubble or starved to the edge of death, or beyond.
I don’t think the campaign is being prosecuted casually–or with a strong enough sense of Israel’s geographic and situational reality. Israel cannot eliminate every jihadist–but they can create more in the long run with a scorched earth approach like the present one.
I support their right to go after Hamas hard. But there should be more humane, self-imposed limits on the scale of the destruction, and longer, more frequent pauses that permit more civilians to escape or survive. Instead of this all-or-nothing, right-this-instant mentality that doesn’t even bring the hostages home. Often with a hair-trigger readiness to place anyone who even questions any part of this war machine into the Hamas apologist camp, or even among the genocidal maniacs.
The more deadly version of NDS surely thrives among those who defend Netanyahu’s self-interested extremism, even putting aside how badly his regime failed to protect Israel back in October.

Ian_S
Ian_S
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

As far as civilians in Gaza goes, Hamas wants to keep ’em keen by treating them mean. Gazans mostly are fooled into believing the death and destruction is Israel’s fault, and can’t see Hamas is using them — using everyone really — as pawns in their over-arching religious war of the ages. Most of Gaza’s problems can be sheeted home fully to Hamas. Hamas are, irrefutably, genocidal maniacs, who have openly vowed to repeat rape attacks if they’re left alive. Yes there’ll be more of them. That’s because they introduce Moslem Brotherhood fascist hatred of Jews even in kindergarten. Yes, they attacked Israeli civilians while go-pro live-streaming specifically so as to get Israel to attack, in order to “prove” their anti-Jew indoctrination. At this stage, there’s no reason for Israel to fear Hamas will “just be worse” if they fight them. You really do need to address that fallacy in your thinking. It didn’t apply to n*zis. Whether Israel fights them this way or that, as long as Jews remain undefeated, ultra-violent Islamists will keep coming at them. Islamic jihad is a problem with no solution. As to IDF following the Geneva convention, yes mostly they do. That includes firing through human shields (however, *using* human shields as Hamas do, is illegal — the blame is with Hamas, not Israel, though this concept escapes progressives). Hamas do not, at all, at any time, follow the Geneva convention. They follow Jihadi precepts, which, to loosely quote you, make no distinction between combatants and civilians when it comes to killing, no matter the circumstances; and defines all Muslims as combatants, hence under Islam, the use of Muslims as human shields is legal. This is a nightmare situation, but make no mistake, it is all a creation of Muslim Brotherhood Islamism. Otherwise, right now, there’d still be the pre-October ceasefire, there’d still be ongoing Israeli reconciliation with other states in the region, and it’s almost certain there’d be no Netanyahu — because, except for Hamas’s war, he would have been on his way out. But none of that suited Hamas, so here we are.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

I certainly agree that Hamas combatants are genocidal maniacs and I’m not suggesting extending an olive branch or trying to get along with them. My pushback is against lumping every resident in with the maniacs in charge. Or making their evil into a preemptive justification for revenge on any scale.
The response to a totalizing, genocidal hatred should not be totalizing, they-are-ALL-the-same hatred.
Many N*zi and H*itler sympathetic G*rmans survived the war, and so will some jihadists, both in what’s left of Gaza and the Muslim world more generally. I don’t think going Bronze Age biblical makes sense from anything but a vengeful, shortsighted perspective.
By the way, despite our disagreements I don’t support the censorious policy here. For one thing, it’s is unevenly applied and many seem to get away with a sort of language and post that others don’t. They should at least review the auto-quarantined or flagged posts more frequently. Many of my comments have been held back for 18 or 24 hours, sometimes for unpopularity alone. I recently had to email UnHerd support about 4 times to end a six-day stretch where none of my comments posted at all. Hope ya’ll enjoyed the break!

Ian_S
Ian_S
17 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Thanks AJ. We’ve passed the time when it was worth battling this out, thanks to UnHerd deciding to pull my replies. Thanks to for you commiserations, as you say, it’s an arbitrary and unpredictable system UnHerd runs here, affecting a number of quality commenters (and apparently not affecting the snitty ones).

Anyway, you’ve addressed my main concern, which is that too many are prone to believing the Hamas victimhood schtick, and all too willing to place all the blame on Israelis. I can agree with you, there’s going to be some Gaza residents who have resisted the Islamic Jew-hatred brainwashing, but are still paying the price of Hamas’s jihad. I don’t know how they can be protected — this is the problem of war, the innocent suffer too. Are Israelis bent on revenge, or are they destroying their enemy’s capability? Realistically, both would be in the mix, but the need to destroy Hamas has to proceed regardless.

See you in the next round, on another topic. (Anyway, who’s to say UnHerd won’t freeze this comment too)

Edit — UnHerd has indeed frozen this comment. Why?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
17 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Much appreciated in every respect, Ian. See you on the next board.

Ian_S
Ian_S
17 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Some days later … I replied to you AJ thanking you cordially for you reply, but UnHerd has blocked my comment again.

Ian_S
Ian_S
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I’ve replied, but if course my reply used naughty political-sounding words, which UnHerd has a prissy-panties attack about. So look out for my reply later this week, if they publish it at all.

Ian_S
Ian_S
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I seem to be wasting my time commenting here. UnHerd doesn’t publish my comments. I think it’s a naughty words issue. So although I have a rebuttal, which is argued rather than ad-hom, looks like they’ll keep it on ice until this thread is dead. Thanks UnHerd. I went off for a few weeks due to UnHerd’s censorship, and looks like I need to just give up. Go and do something useful. Good luck people.

Ian_S
Ian_S
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

As far as civilians in Gaza goes, Hamas wants to keep ’em keen by treating them mean. Most Gazans are fooled into believing the death and destruction is Israel’s fault, and can’t see Hamas is using them — using everyone really — as pawns in their over-arching religious war of the ages. Most of Gaza’s problems can be sheeted home fully to Hamas. Hamas are, irrefutably, genocidal maniacs, who have openly vowed to repeat rape attacks if they’re left alive. Yes there’ll be more of them. That’s because they introduce Moslem Brotherhood f*scist hatred of Jews even in kindergarten. Yes, they attacked Israeli civilians while go-pro live-streaming specifically so as to get Israel to attack, in order to “prove” their anti-Jew indoctrination. At this stage, there’s no reason for Israel to fear Hamas will “just be worse” if they fight them. You really do need to address that fallacy in your thinking. It didn’t apply to n*zis. Whether Israel fights them this way or that, as long as Jews remain undefeated, ultra-violent Islamists will keep coming at them. Islamic jihad, the religion of totalitarian hate, is an undying problem with no solution. As to IDF following the Geneva convention, yes mostly they do. That includes firing through human shields (however, *using* human shields as Hamas do, is illegal — the blame is with Hamas, not Israel, though this concept escapes progressives). Hamas do not, at all, at any time, follow the Geneva convention. They follow Jihadi precepts, which, to loosely quote you, make no distinction between combatants and civilians when it comes to killing, no matter the circumstances; and also defines all Muslims as combatants — hence under Islam, the use of Muslims as human shields is legal. This is a nightmare situation, but make no mistake, it is all a creation of Muslim Brotherhood Islamism. Otherwise, right now, there’d still be the pre-October ceasefire, there’d still be ongoing Israeli reconciliation with other states in the region, and it’s almost certain there’d be no Netanyahu — because, except for Hamas’s war, he would have been on his way out. But none of that suited Hamas, so here we are.

Dr E C
Dr E C
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

‘Scorched Earth approach’? Even if you were to take Hamas’ death toll at face value – which would be weird given their whole policy is to exaggerate the death toll to hamper Israeli efforts – Israel’s response to Hamas has yielded roughly a 1.8:1 noncombatant-to-combatant fatality ratio. This rate is significantly lower than that of other comparable battles, such as the 2016 Battle of Mosul, in which Iraq and allied forces defeated the forces of the Islamic State.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Dr E C

So just a bunch of left-wing, jihad-apologist hysteria? Nothing to see here, stop insisting the destruction is too indiscriminate?
High civilian death tolls have been independently verified, and also can be be extrapolated from the documented deaths of 179 UN aid workers. Over 70% of the dead are women and children. IDF says two-thirds of the dead are civilians, Hamas says nine-tenths. Even taking the IDF number as precise…that’s ok to you? The citations and links–of varied reliability, but informative in total–are here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Israel%E2%80%93Hamas_war#:~:text=The%20vast%20majority%20of%20casualties,at%2066%25%20of%20those%20killed.
You reference Mosul, where the still very high civilian death count was under 10,000:
https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/92961/pdf/#:~:text=According%20to%20monitoring%20groups%20and,more%20civilians%20killed%20at%20Raqqa.

Dr E C
Dr E C
15 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

War is not ok to me. 7/10 was not ok to me. The fact that the UN is piling on to Israel -their so-called independent experts are clowns- is not ok to me (& they just voted to give the Palestinian terrorists a state). The fact that Hamas hasn’t been tried for war crimes for using civilians as human shields & storing weapons in hospitals etc is not ok to me. The fact that a lot of the civilian deaths are caused by misfired Hamas rockets is not ok to me. The gross misinformation re Palestinians that’s been cultivated by a Jihadi cult for half a century, successfully swallowed by half the world, is not ok to me. The fact that Hamas has spent 18 years in power educating an entire population that their earthly mission is to kill Jews, funded partly by us, is not ok to me. Hard not to kill civilians when they’ve been brainwashed to want to die:
https://youtu.be/PTV8E8pz1ZA?si=-BVuAzqQGGYz2k5M Wtf is Israel supposed to do?

Ian_S
Ian_S
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

UnHerd has removed all four attempts of mine at a reply. Each was completely differently worded.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

I know the feeling, trust me (on that at least).

Nathan Sapio
Nathan Sapio
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Their voting records and published survey responses?

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Polls which were recently taken show such overwhelming support for Hamas.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Once again, those who say otherwise are likely to get murdered.
If we could ask: What would be the percentage of declared popular support for Kim Jung Un in North Korea? Could we trust that number to be accurate and full-hearted?
Are these anonymous or online polls taken out of earshot of the neighbors, safe from reprisals by the warlords?
I honestly think these are important things to consider. Many who dissent in their hearts are sure to lie or keep their mouths shut under the circumstances.
*Also: Even 20%–if we could reliably reduce the opposition to such a minority– is a lot of non-complicit people to let die. And that’s putting aside children, who are not factored in to these polls, nor capable of consenting to the current leadership at all.

Dr E C
Dr E C
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Again, no! Very many more Gazans said they were unhappy with Hamas’ leadership in said polls, but still supported October 7th.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Too true. But not all, and the same with-us-or- die pressure is in play on that bloody front.
Still, the sad fact, which I admit, is that many Muslims around the world, often so-called moderates, celebrated those atrocities and still do. Tending to deny some of the worst abuses, many American students also think the horrors were justified. Must they be eliminated too?

Ted F
Ted F
19 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

I can tell you if my home, my country were attacked in the way Israel was on October 7th, I would run over you and these virtue signaling children to get to the fight to destroy the terrorist barbarians responsible


What would you do if you your home was taken away from you and your country was occupied by another for many years? The history doesn’t start on October 7th.
I’m puzzled as to why the term “terrorism” is often discussed without considering its context. What drives people to resort to terrorism? Are there any alternatives for them? Is it realistic to expect that Palestinians could achieve anything through civil protests? Ironically, it sounds like Hamas is doing exactly what you would do in this situation.

For some context, here is a chart showing the number of Palestinian hostages in Israeli prisons, as reported by an Israeli human rights organisation:

https://www.btselem.org/administrative_detention/statistics

Dr E C
Dr E C
15 days ago
Reply to  Ted F

They had a ‘home’, Ted. It wasn’t occupied. Please read some history.

Ted F
Ted F
19 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

I can tell you if my home, my country were attacked in the way Israel was on October 7th, I would run over you and these virtue signaling children to get to the fight to destroy the terrorist barbarians responsible


What would you do if you your home was taken away from you and your country was occupied by another for many years? The history doesn’t start on October 7th.
I’m puzzled as to why the term “terrorism” is often discussed without considering its context. What drives people to resort to terrorism? Are there any alternatives for them? Is it realistic to expect that Palestinians could achieve anything through civil protests? Ironically, it sounds like Hamas is doing exactly what you would do in this situation.
For some context, here is a chart showing the number of Palestinian hostages in Israeli prisons, as reported by an Israeli human rights organisation:
https://www.btselem.org/administrative_detention/statistics

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
19 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

Absolutely! It seems to escape people’s attention that the capturing and bargaining with hostages is a war crime in itself; yet this is almost seen as a means to an end to broker for a cease fire by some quarters.

Ryan K
Ryan K
18 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

very succinctly laid out…so easy that Columbia, NYU, CCNY, FIT, SVA, Parsons are just the local schools where the hamas chanters are complete indifferent to rational thinking….as I heard one keffiyah girl say to a reporter….a Black man from FOX…hated FOX….her robotic….”that’s a false narrative.”

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
18 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

Well said. I feel the same.
And the Hamas apologists deliberately avoid addressing any of the issues you’ve raised because deep down they believe all civilians – including children – are collateral damage in the fight to inflict their deadbeat ideology on us.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
18 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

Not to mention the un enabling Hamas behaviour. If the un is looking for war crimes they should start with their “aid” groups.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago
Reply to  Matt Sylvestre

It’s beyond me to understand how a university professor could be capable of such skewed thinking.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
19 days ago

Why do Hamas apologists continually pretend that this war is being executed by Bibi and his right wing govt? There is an all party wartime cabinet in Israel right now. This is well known.

Aldo Maccione
Aldo Maccione
19 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

More to the point, Israel is a democracy, so Bibi’s right wing government is here by the will of its people. The fact that the author does not share their views does not make them less respectable.
I’m tired of this left wing tendency to poopoo the validity of legally elected governments or leaders just because they happen to be right wing.

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
19 days ago
Reply to  Aldo Maccione

If there were an election in Israel now, Bibi would be out

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
19 days ago

Probably true, but the whether the war in Gaza would change much is unlikely, based on the polling and many interviews both of public commentators and “persons in the street.” That Bibi is still there suggests there is not a strong groundswell to change that.
It might all change in a heartbeat were Hamas to release all the hostages, and the remains of the dead ones, even in an exchange, but Hamas does not do that because the war serves their interests as long as it stops short of annihilating the ones still in Gaza.
Which is not to say the way Israelis prosecuting this is correct or even whether the whole enterprise makes strategic sense, it is only an observation on Israeli politics and opinion at this time.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
16 days ago

So what?. And are you sure?. Let’s have a series of elections or referenda until we get the right result is not democracy!

A D Kent
A D Kent
19 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Notwithstanding your infantile dropping of the ‘apologist’ bomb, in reply to your question, those who choose to blame Netanyahu rather than Israel as a state tend to be bedwetting liberals. The kind of people too timid to call a spade a rabidly genocidal, increasingly lunatic, pathologically lying, fundamentally religious, ethno-state.

Israel is just doing what Israel does. If it wasn’t Netanyahu, it would be Gantz, if it wasn’t Gantz it would be another of the current Knesset of Knasty Knutjobs. I hope that clears things up for you.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

And people like you are upset about the killings in Gaza but said nothing about all the other wars in that area killing Muslims. You know doubt would deny supporting Hamas but want the Israelis all run into the sea. You are a good old fashioned anti semite. I hope that clears it up for you.

A D Kent
A D Kent
19 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Actually I got rather exercised about wars where Muslims killed Muslims to the extent that I wrote a few pieces on some aspects of them when I had the time – search for ‘Adrian Kent’ on medium.com for examples. Read them, they’re excellent.

Nowadays I just have the time for the odd exchange with depraved supporters of genocide here on Unherd. Which is a great shame which ever way you look at it.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Compare the number of dead in Gaza with those killed in fighting in Syria, Yemen, and other outposts where no Jews were involved, then come back with more pearl-clutching about “genocide.”

A D Kent
A D Kent
19 days ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Okeydokey. According to the UN, about 1.5% of the post war Syrian population had been killed in the decade up to 2022. Israel has achieved at least that (35,000 of 2M = 1.7%) in 6 months.

A D Kent
A D Kent
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

And in Gaza that’s with essentially just one side doing all the slaughtering. In Syria it was two – one of the with billions of US & Saudi dollars to splurge on the munitions they used. This is a genocide.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Tragic figures. But Genocide would involve a deliberate attempt to wipe out the entire population, so you’re simply misusing the word.
20% of Israel proper are Arabs with equal rights, so it’s not an ethno-state either.
You have some kind of irrational emotional investment in using these terms?

A D Kent
A D Kent
18 days ago

From the UN Genocide Convention:

Article II
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

GCSE stuff! It doesn’t say anything about trying to destroy a group of terrorists! That’s allowed!

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
17 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

It’s a war. These simplistic bullet-points apply to all wars.
Did the US commit ‘genocide’ against Iraqis then?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Check a dictionary, perhaps? Just a little effort before posting?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

And no Hamas were killed, presumably. Who has pulled the wool over your eyes? The big, bad wolf, I guess.

Ryan K
Ryan K
18 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I avoided calling him or her or they an anti semite cause they just love to be called this so they can retort….see …any criticism of Israel…(no matter how deranged) and you call me an anti semite.

A D Kent
A D Kent
18 days ago
Reply to  Ryan K

Oh go on…

Ian_S
Ian_S
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

And AD Kent does what AD Kent does — stereotype Jews as naturally devious and sociopathic. True Elders of Zion stuff there, ADK.

A D Kent
A D Kent
19 days ago
Reply to  Ian_S

And Unherd commentors do what Unherd commentors do – conflate the actions of the state of Israel with ‘the Jews’. I don’t, I won’t.

Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

You referred to Israel as a “fundamentally religious ethno-state”. Who or what else could you be referring to, if not Jews?
Israel is not an ethno-state, anyhow – it is in fact far more multi-cultural and ethnically diverse than most countries, not only in the Middle East, but the world. It is also a secular state. There is no edict that the leader has to be of a particular religion, and Arab muslims, Druze and Christians are represented in the Knesset.
Israel is a society, though, which protects Jewish customs and permits religious jews the freedom to practice the Jewish religion, free of persecution. That was its purpose.Any future Palestinian state would be far more of a mono-cultural religious ethno-state than Israel ever has been.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

as uneasy as that may make you, you *can* occasionally conflate Israel with Jews, because while they are by no means interchangeable or identical terms, they are closely related and linked. let me put it this way: to you, the vast majority of jews are “rabidly genocidal, lunatic, pathologically lying, fundamentally religious” children devouring jews. do you see why you sound antisemitic? the thing is that “being on the right side of history” is not as easy at it looks. look at you for example. you try, but from your place of privilege (peace) you don’t have the tools to understand what “right” means. the best you can do is weak=good. strong=wrong. jews who do as I say are good, ergo I am not antisemitic.
Blaming everything on the jews, rationalizing your hatred by attributing horrible blood libels to them, making hatred of jews a show of virtue: all great hallmarks of being on the right side of history.

Ryan K
Ryan K
18 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Conflate Israel with me.

A D Kent
A D Kent
18 days ago
Reply to  Ryan K

Oh alright then, since you asked. You’re a murderous, unhinged, pathologically lying, psychopath with a penchant for bulldozing villages and straffing US sailors in their lifeboats.

A D Kent
A D Kent
18 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Wrong, wrong and wrong. Well done.

Ryan K
Ryan K
18 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

IN MY NAME, conflate Israel with me and My Jewishness. IN MY NAME. kiill every single hamas terrorist….every innocent Arab killed is their responsibility and their fault. NO I don’t accept hamas minister of propaganda figures….how many did hamas misfired weapons kill? like the so called hospital bombing with rashida screamin on teh steps of the capitol …another bs artist.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Yes, it’s ridiculous.

Ryan K
Ryan K
18 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

what a thoroughly hate filled, bigoted and ignorant response.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
16 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Your language is extremist, racist and indeed almost unhinged. Still you are honest enough to show that you obviously loathe Israel under any political leadership whatever. Israel is not committing genocide what fight is war just as the Russians and ukrainians are fighting a war or the Allies were fighting a war against Nazi Germany when two million German civilians at least were killed. Of course unlike most of these other conflicts, Hamas deliberately places its military capacity among civilians and vice verse.

Has Israel wished to commit genocide against the Palestinians (which one could argue might have been convenient for Zionism – it could have done so decades ago).This is pure propaganda, and language not used of any other war even Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Calling for a “ceasefire” – which is precisely what prevailed on the 6th of October!.- is indeed effectively calling for Hamas to win this conflict.

The reason all of the wars involving Israel of occurred is because of a fundamental rejection by the Arab Muslim side of a Jewish state within any boundaries whatsoever, including the 1947 UN partition plan. You might even understand this reaction, best replacement of Israel will be yet another corrupt sonny Muslim state which treat did its (obviously non Jewish) population abysmally – and far worse than Israel now currently does on any metrics you want to use.

In any case, launching a series of wars with the intention of destroying an entire country (at best) expelling most of its inhabitants from the region, but then losing them – doesn’t usually entitle you to demand that somehow the results be reversed.

For decades the entire West Bank and Gaza were under direct arrow Muslim governments and all in fact in the case of the West Bank inhabitants had Jordanian citizenship (Jordan being part of the original British mandate to Palestine – who is routinely ignored, as does naturally the fact that huge numbers of Jews who were expelled forcibly from Arab countries).

All the holy places and the entirety of East Jerusalem were in Arab Muslim hands. Israel had a succession of Centre Left governments. Did any of this being about peace, or even peace talks? No, it didn’t there was constant rejection but not by Israel.

A D Kent
A D Kent
18 days ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I replied to this yesterday and to some responses, but Unherd has bravely wiped the replies. But to paraphrase my comments:

The people who blame Netanyahu rather than israel tend to be bedwetting Liberals, possibly cowered by the endless threats of anti-semitism that always follow any reference to the actions of Israel as a state (there were plenty of examples of this in the now-deleted replies).

Israel is just doing what Israel does. This isn’t ‘The Jews’, this isn’t Netanyahu, this is Israel and if it wasn’t Netanyahu it would be Gantz and if it wasn’t him it would be another, twisted sociopath.

Josef O
Josef O
19 days ago

I am appalled by this article, ignoring that a terrorist organization is mercilessly exploiting the Western values to promote their agenda of slaughtering innocent people. The current propaganda campaign against Israel pretends not to know how the attack on Nazi Germany unfolded. I do not understand what is the point of publishing such a narrative. Isn’t there enough of it in the social media ?

Stuart Bennett
Stuart Bennett
19 days ago

It’s the level of ignorance of a fundamental reality that really baffles me about the left wing activists of all ages. Are they aware from their usually very comfortable positions (given that left wing politics is now an upper middle class circle-jerk) that one can’t destroy Western society and also continue to benefit from it?

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
19 days ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

Prof Eagleton’s point is that the students have risen above “how does this benefit me?” type thinking. Despite often being in dept, they’re heroically taking a stand without regard for the well known risk that doing so is unlikely to help their future earning potential. It’s was already well known that young people tend to be more compassionate than their elders. But the students selfless & self-sacraficing behaviour utterly destroys the crass generalisations boomers & some Gen Xers make about the young. This should be clear even to the many who consider Israel pressing ahead despite tens of thousands of innocent lives lost as justified, by the horror of Oct 7th and the specifics that prevent hitting Hamas hard without such massive collateral damange.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
19 days ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

I am not so sure. It is impossible to look into the contents of another’s heart as you attempt to do here…
Similarly, it is also plausible that these students are just motivated by shorter-term goals of attention seeking, being part of a collective, hating their parents (or parents proxies), and saving themselves from the tedium of their schoolwork. They may not be thinking at all about the long-term consequences as children are want to do…

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
18 days ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

The young do tend to be more idealistic and naive than the more mature, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to “more compassionate”. For example, while paying lip service to the plight of the Palestenians, there doesn’t seen to be much compassion regarding the Jews masacered on Oct. 7 coming from these mis-guided, propogandized and essentially ignorant youth.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
18 days ago
Reply to  Kent Ausburn

It’s a consistent result of studies that the young score higher on compassion (and the more frqeuently studied measures of empathy.). A SSRS/CNN poll taken a few days after Oct 7, found 96% of Americans said they had sympathy for Israel. It’s reasonable to assume most of the students still do too. Agree it would be hugely desireable for them to do a better job of showing it, even if they want to protest mostly against the ongoing pain being inflicted on Palestinians.

Ian_S
Ian_S
18 days ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

” … even if they want to protest mostly against the ongoing pain being inflicted on Palestinians.”

In which case, if they were as intelligent as they no doubt think they are, they’d be condemning Hamas for its entirely planned “body count money shot” strategy of deliberately ensuring civilians are killed. But they don’t, they just blindly believe whatever rubbish Hamas and their Western proxies tell them. All their skiting about their supposedly intellectually super-advanced groovy cool “critical theory” based “social justice” revolution has just ended up in the ditch of same-old morally bankrupt Jew hatred.

PS: for the love of Odin, UnHerd, please don’t put this comment on ice for two days because you think I’ve said naughty words.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
18 days ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

Young people are only more compassionate then older people with other peoples labour.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
17 days ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

As a professor I can tell you that these students are terribly arrogant and horribly entitled. It’s not entirely their fault. Many of them have been cranked up on critical race theory by their very stupid humanities professors who preach hatred of all that is ‘white’. I have more empathy for the less well-off students who have had their classes and graduation ceremonies disrupted by these mindless, antisemitic mobs.

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
17 days ago
Reply to  Stuart Bennett

Bingo.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
19 days ago

If some scriptwriter were to pen a good old-fashioned British comedy on a caricature of the aging Marxist mindset, they couldn’t do better than to use the ramblings of the ‘learned Professor’.verbatim.

It’d be the equivalent of “Yes, Minister” for the corridors of academia. Keep it up, Terry, the entertainment value takes us right back to the golden era of sitcoms.

Richard 0
Richard 0
19 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Good post. Eaglelton is just a wind-up merchant; the moment you see his name under a headline you can predict with certainty what sort of stuff he will come out with. A perfect stereotype for a sitcom.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
19 days ago
Reply to  Richard 0

Yes. And it remnds me of this quote: “If I can predict all of your beliefs from one of your beliefs, you’re not a serious thinker.” I dont know the source.

Mark Passey
Mark Passey
19 days ago

That’s a profound observation. A consistent feature of (online) political discourse is that by stating a particular belief, people are almost always simply revealing what tribe they’re in. Human reasoning is not in the first instance aimed at truth; it’s a social competence aimed at solidifying our reputation in our group.  

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
18 days ago

Precisely why it’s a waste if time listening to the leftist talking heads on TV. I know by who they are, what they are going to say.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
19 days ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I’d watch that show. Working title: “Where Eagleton Dares”

Paul T
Paul T
19 days ago

Mr Eagleton; a down-wiv-da-yoof poseur still falling for everything and standing for nothing.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
19 days ago

The traditional anti-Semites of the modern Left – traditional as they’ve been around 60 years now, led by the Baader-Meinhof tendency who claimed with grotesque bad faith that they were breaking definitively with Germany’s wartime generation…
…well, they must be relieved they have a ‘Far Right’ Israeli government with which to clothe their, ahem, ‘anti-Zionism’. Their cartoon-like politics are a grim mirror to the atrocities of last October that the international Left sought to conveniently forget within weeks in order to get back to their PLO barricades.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
19 days ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

Within weeks ? Minutes more like.

Graeme Crosby
Graeme Crosby
19 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

I found it difficult to distinguish as to when the celebrations of rapes and murders concluded and “manning the barricades” resumed.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
19 days ago

….

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
19 days ago

Leave it to Mr Eagleton to think he sounds intelligent by defending profound moral confusion.
We should have sympathy for the way young people have been misled, had their minds poisoned by identity politics, and many other things besides. But we cannot afford to be this blasé in the face of a clear spiritual crisis. The crisis is an ever-deepening paradox, so eloquently expresssed by Chesterton:
“The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts.”
The protestors claim, on the one hand, that truth is relative and socially constructed. Then they claim that anyone supporting Israel is absolutely and definitively evil. They have no idea what they’re talking about.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
19 days ago

Exactly the same nonsense dynamic is employed by the Trans nutters; on the one hand there’s no such thing as sex; on the other hand I want to change ‘sex’ and employ a lot of afore-ridiculed sex stereotypes to convince myself that I’ve managed it; or go our with a ‘real man/woman’ to prove that I’ve succeeded.

This is the cul-de-sac dead end of the Postmodernist relativist word salad which at it’s least appalling, is a mind-numbing waste of time, but at it’s worst destroys the foundations of any possible stable way of life. It really is like a vacuous, greedy mind parasite that eats away at everything from within until the host finally collapses.

Terry wrote a book called ‘Evil’ which compared Nazism and Communism and, naturally, concluded that the former was far worse and ‘uniquely evil’ as it had no redeeming features. Communism obviously at least had ‘it’s heart in the right place’.

Whereas really they were just variations on the same theme and in fact the latter is way out in front in terms of misery and numbers of deaths.

A D Kent
A D Kent
19 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Nope. What these excellent young people are protesting is the fact that because of their government’s actions, there are now tens of thousands of desperate people coming to terms with the fact that there is now ‘no such thing’ as my son/daughter/father/mother/legs/arms/hands/school/hospital (delete as appropriate).

They protest because they are not sociopaths.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Interesting that you provide a medicalised definition of immoral behaviour. Tell me, under a purely medical worldview, what’s actually wrong with being a sociopath? Surely it’s just another condition, like arthritis or undescended testicles?

A D Kent
A D Kent
19 days ago

Not sure it was medicalised, but I’d suggest that arthritis tends only to affect the sufferer, undescended testicles, for the most part, likewise. Sociopathy however, is everyone elses problem.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Why does it matter that people cause problems to others?
Sorry to keep probing. You don’t necessarily have to answer. I’m just trying to dig a little deeper into the presuppositions.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

They protest because they want to follow the crowd. They have no idea about the middle east political situation. Identity politics at it’s worst.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
19 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

They can’t even spell Palestine. They are LARPing themselves out of future employment and the enabling schools are killing their reputations. Who the h*ll would apply to Columbia now?

A D Kent
A D Kent
19 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

When that crowd is also populated by decent people with more than the effall empathy and humanity in the crowd on these threads then that’s a very good thing indeed.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Where is your humanity when imagining the fate of the victims of 07/10 I wonder. Or perhaps you think it didn’t happen!

A D Kent
A D Kent
18 days ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I have great sympathy for the victims of Hamas and their families. I have it to the extent that I’d rather not see those events happen again – this revengeful slaughter makes it very much more likely I’ m afraid. I also have great sympathy for those killed by the IDF’s panicked reaction and very likely enactment of their Hannibal directive. I have less sympathy though for the beheaded babies and those put in the ovens – but that’s down to the fact that they didn’t exist.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

How true

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
19 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

Are these tragic consequences not also down to Hamas, who still have Israeli civilian hostages?
Frankly, your refusal to allow any moral agency to Hamas seems Islamophobic

A D Kent
A D Kent
18 days ago

Of course this is partly due to Hamas, but there were a world of options available to Israel that didn’t include mass murder, mass graves, mass incarcerations, torture, starvation and sexual assaults. They could have done it without often gleefully videoing themselves whilst they were at it. Likewise on October 7th itself there were options that didn’t involve them shelling & straffing absolutely everyone or implementing their Hannibal Directive, but as I said somewhere above, Israel is as Israel does. Hamas are probably scum, but the IDF most definitely are, the Israeli cabinet are and the 70 odd percent of Israelis who in polls say they want all aid cut from Gaza are too.

Benedict Waterson
Benedict Waterson
18 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

It’s not reasonable to trust Hamas – a militant jihadist organization – more than Israel – a functioning democracy which you don’t like.
Some of that news is fog of war stuff, where the facts on the ground aren’t clear. Mass graves? That fits a bit too neatly into Hamas’ propaganda narrative.
No doubt mutual tribal enmities can escalate, & radicalize both sides to some degree.
If aid is being intercepted by Hamas, then that makes the situation more morally cloudy.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago
Reply to  A D Kent

According to A S Kent this country might as well had welcome the Fuehrer with full military honours

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
19 days ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

The outcome of a political ideology is what matters. The fact that communism ‘had it’s heart in the right place’ is not reflected in the untold millions of people who died as a consequence of this fallacy. That people want to label themselves as communists in this day and age shows that they know nothing of history.

Archibald Tennyson
Archibald Tennyson
19 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

Communism doesn’t even have its heart in the right place. The belief that fallen human beings can create utopia in this life is absolute hubris, on both the theoretical and practical levels. It’s a wilful denial of the reality of the human condition, stemming ultimately from a belief in the self as God.

Martin M
Martin M
19 days ago

Yes, the mass killing in Gaza is regrettable, but it’s the only way of rooting out Hamas.
That at least is true, and it in large part occurs because Hamas insists on hiding behind civilians.

Neiltoo .
Neiltoo .
19 days ago

I can’t decide if this is just naive or deliberately disingenuous. Either way, if this is how the average university academic thinks then it explains an awful lot.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
19 days ago
Reply to  Neiltoo .

It’s anti-thought, and straightforward obsequience to a hoary old dogma.

AC Harper
AC Harper
19 days ago

“Altruism may not be politically fashionable,” but anti-Semitism is making a comeback.

AC Harper
AC Harper
19 days ago

From another article on Unherd (The personal has consumed the political):

Politics, in other words, is turning into a form of self-expression. It is no longer an arena to which we all bring our conflicting visions of how the world should be, and try to persuade others to join us in working towards ours — or even, in which we might listen to other people’s ideas and change our minds.

It makes much more sense to regard the protestors as a confused and narcissistic ‘art installation’ than political activists.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
19 days ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I love that: the protests as “art installation”. Its similar t I my wife’s opinion that they are all cosplaying.

Danny Kaye
Danny Kaye
19 days ago

Eye-opening text by a supporter of the student’s protests on the war in Gaza.
– He mentions “the massacre of the innocent in Gaza”. Nice turn of phrase. But surely only “A small minority of these dissenters are vile antisemites”.
– “[The student’s] fees being used to prop up Israel’s war” – Really? How precisely?
– “Israel’s campaign of terror” – but no mention of Hamas’s?
– “there’s a lot of discussion in the States about academic freedom at a time when universities in Gaza lie in ruins”. So it should be assumed that Hamas’s Gaza was a bastion of academic freedom prior to the current war?
 
And here is doublethink according to Eagleton:
– “the mass killing in Gaza is regrettable, but it’s the only way of rooting out Hamas”  – well, if Hamas counts tens of thousands of militants, and if many of them must be killed to root them out, then it will take tens of thousands of deaths. War involves mass killings. That’s why it is a crime against humanity to start a war.
– “So, would annihilating a million Palestinians 
” So, did Israel annihilate a million Palestinians?
– “Yes, the Right-wing fanatics now running Israel are an embarrassment, but the Israeli state must be defended at all costs.” Wouldn’t anyone want his state to be defended at all costs against genicodal maniacs, no matter who happens to be in the government?
– “Yes, champions of Palestine have the right to make their voices heard, but too many of them are pro-Hamas zealots in thin disguise”. Aren’t they, based on the slogans and banners that they raise?
 
If this is the best he could come up with, then it seems that in order to support the students’ protests against the war in Gaza, the only way is use doublethink for one’s own arguments and label “doublethink” any sensible opposing arguments.

Aldo Maccione
Aldo Maccione
19 days ago
Reply to  Danny Kaye

I’ve commented the same above, but it’s worth repeating :
The whole aspersion that the Israeli government is bad because right wing is typical leftist BS.
More and more European are voting for right wing politicians, because they are fed up with this leftist conflagration of right wing = western civilisation = oppressors, versus a poor oppressed non white population.
as i said above, Israel is a democracy, so its government is here by the will of its people. The fact that the author does not share the views of the israeli leaders is neither here nor there, and does not make them (the leaders and their ideas) less respectable.
This denigration of the government because it’s right wing is despicable. If you believe in democracy, prepare to disagree with a lot of people, but respect their validity when the majority disagrees with you.

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
19 days ago
Reply to  Danny Kaye

What this author does is the textbook definition of a strawman argument. Prop up a strawman, knock it down, and claim you have won.I’ll note that according to the ‘Hamas-run Ministry of Health’, there are 34,000 civilian deaths, but 0 Hamas terrorist deaths. As one may plainly see, they count EVERYONE as a civilian.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
19 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

How many do you think it makes sense to subtract, and is that adjusted number fine and dandy?
https://time.com/6909636/gaza-death-toll/

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
18 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

Fair enough. When the British were fighting the Nazis, desperately defending their home territory after being viciously attacked, Berlin was bombed. Civilians were killed in great numbers, both then and later on in WWII. Was Britain right in so doing, or was Britain wrong in so doing?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
18 days ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

It was understandable, and I’m not here to second-guess their legitimate fear.
The destruction of Dresden was on a different scale
I detect more fairmindedness and good will in your perspective than I did at first.
I admit I don’t have novel or specific strategies that would solve the flared up but ancient problems in Israel.
I just think it’s important to remember the humanity of those caught in the crossfire and even that of our enemies, even when they don’t remember ours. (Easier said than done, and I am not above rage or resentment). We cannot kill evil away.

Dr E C
Dr E C
15 days ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I normally appreciate many of your comments, AJ, but we’re not discussing _your_ enemies are we? They’ve done nothing to harm _you_.
I’m a bit tired of the Christian largesse & forgiveness of people who destroy _other_ peoples’ lives, as personified by the head of our church, Justin Welby, along with the religious-industrial complex behind him: mass converting dangerous criminal men so they get to stay & live amongst the rest of us & go on to attack innocent women for ex, because, who are we to judge?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
13 days ago
Reply to  Dr E C

That’s a valid distinction, Doctor. Even so, the understandable levels of (perceived) rage and outrage that one encounters–to which, as I said, I’m not immune–makes it seem very personal in some way. Also, let me drop Terence’s famous line: “Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto” I do consider Hamas fighters to be enemies of mine, rather like the N*zis they are oft compared to on these pages (more justly than I allowed at first).
Though I’m willing to accept, in sorrow, that civilian deaths, even a high number, will occur in a war of this sort, I still don’t think that means any criticism of the scale and manner warfare should be condemned as a reflex or conflated with defending or apologizing/rooting for terrorists. Nor do I accept the abandonment of the distinction between combatants and civilians, according to their statistically measured sympathies or whatever else. Even 20% of the Gazan population is over one-hundred thousand people.
While I’m interested in learning more, I know next to nothing about Justin Welby nor the circumstances under which prisoners were converted, released, or found to re-offend. Still, I’d ask this: Were there any among them that, in your view, deserved a second chance? I was under the impression that in addition to prohibition of the death penalty, very long or life-without-parole sentences are much rarer in Britain than in the States. Is this true? If so, many will get out and have a chance to re-offend either way.
I’m not an institutional Christian, nor a person of total nonviolence or infinite forgiveness, but I take instructive warning from Deuteronomy 32:35:
‘It is Mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them’
And Romans 12:17-19:
‘Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” says the Lord’.

Walter Lantz
Walter Lantz
19 days ago

“Political indoctrination was geared towards producing activists. The propaganda image of the ideal child was a precocious political orator mouthing agitprop. Communism could not be taught from books, educational thinkers maintained. It had to be instilled through the whole life of the school, which was in turn to be connected to the broader world of politics through extra-curricular activities, such as celebrating Soviet holidays, joining public marches, reading newspapers and organizing school debates and trials. The idea was to initiate the children into the practices, cults and rituals of the Soviet system so that they would grow up to become loyal and active Communists.”
― Orlando Figes, The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
19 days ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

The protests as an “extracurricular activity”, maybe with extra credit given too.

Ian_S
Ian_S
18 days ago
Reply to  Walter Lantz

Chilling. And most certainly on-point with regard to present-day Western society.

R Wright
R Wright
19 days ago

“They are, in a word, more canny, pragmatic and less idealistic than their Sixties’ forebears”

This piece is what the kids would call “pure copium”. It is a few thousand confused young white girls and their predator allies desperately latching onto Occupy era progressive stack rhetoric. Many of them are plants backed with government funding. I am no fan of the Israel side and even I can admit this basic fact.

Allan murray-jones
Allan murray-jones
19 days ago

‘students are reluctant to see theirs fees being used to prop up Israel’. Where does that come from?

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
18 days ago

Conflating different issues is the tool of the ill-informed.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
19 days ago

Why does Mr Eagleton not refer to the atrocity that triggered the current conflict? Is he defending the right of Hamas to burn babies alive, rape women and take hostages? Instead we read “It also becomes possible for some Jewish students to reframe what’s at stake in terms of Jewishness rather than the dismemberment of innocent civilians” It IS Jewishness that is at issue. The Hamas murderers boasted to their families of how many JEWS they had killed. Hamas dismembered civilians, not soldiers. The IDF is at war agaihnst Hamas, and Hamas put their own Palestinian citizens in the firing line of Israeli miltary to garner the sympathy of the world.
This appalling conflict would never have happened if Hamas had not conducted the worst atrocity against Jews since the Holocaust.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
19 days ago
Reply to  Michael Askew

He, like his fellow travelers, pretends that October 7 never happened. Someone ran a video loop of video from that day and the response from the mob was to call it lies.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
19 days ago

Ever been in ‘The real world’ Terry, or has it been a lifetime of academia for you? Don’t know your history, but I suspect that I know the answer.

Dr E C
Dr E C
19 days ago
Reply to  Mark Cornish

Nope, he’s literally been in academia, without a break, since his early 20s, which is when his supervisor, Raymond Williams, bequeathed the Marxian frame of thinking through which Eagleton has read everything that’s ever happened since.
Just about every assertion in this piece (of something) is factually wrong. No, terry, these protesters are not just better organised than your doped generation were, they are led & indoctrinated _by_ you & your peers in radical academe, as well as being joined by professional agitators who, in some cases, are armed & very violent: https://youtu.be/EipsEgdAfA8?si=EnNdTE4ldRnaYaaJ

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
18 days ago
Reply to  Dr E C

Thanks for getting me up to speed on that one. I can’t say I’m shocked! Who do these academics think they are!!! Sitting on their arses pontificating and indoctrinating the ill-informed.

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
18 days ago
Reply to  Dr E C

My father was working class and both he and my mother were in the communist party post second world war. By my mid teens I knew enough about history to realise that they were deluded in their beliefs and in denial about the appalling consequences of their political doctrine.. My father’s biggest heroes were Stalin and Mao; two of the biggest mass murderers in history. My father went to his deathbed still praising these monsters. It’s the same as a religious belief; denying reality.

El Uro
El Uro
19 days ago

So, would annihilating a million Palestinians in order to exterminate the enemy be acceptable in principle?
Say something else! More hell, more lies, more demagoguery

Josef O
Josef O
18 days ago
Reply to  El Uro

You know that your comment is a provocation, don’t you ?

El Uro
El Uro
17 days ago
Reply to  Josef O

But the quote in a bold is not. Okey, got it.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
19 days ago

A small minority of these dissenters are vile antisemites, so it becomes easy to pin this charge on the movement as a whole.
When you can convince yourself of that statement, you can convince yourself of anything. Ignore how these coordinated “protests” were funded by the usual Dem-supporting suspects. Ignore the serial talk of solutions, intifada, and a river and sea that few in the crowds can name. And especially ignore the aftermath, in which self-congratulatory LARPers say they deserve finals bein canceled, as has happened at more than one institution.

Martin Johnson
Martin Johnson
19 days ago

The article’s comments on the current protests can only be made by someone thousands of miles away and with little practical experience in the area of discussion.
These protests are well-funded and entirely manipulated by professional “community organizers” (the same network that turned the George Floyd case into an assault on our institutions and mental state, and have tried with varying success to do so with other incidents that might serve their purpose) working with foreign students who, themselves, are manipulated by Muslim and MENA-funded and oriented groups, though those students no doubt honestly favor Hamas and probably do wish Israel would just disappear by any means necessary. Many of the “foot soldiers” are Americans.
Eagleton’s comparison of what is happening now to the campus protests of 1965-72 is, well, what I would expect from an English academic who does Literary Theory and only knows what he reads in The Guardian and sees on BBC, plus maybe a small bit from acquaintances across the pond who have their own axes to grind. He is entitled to his opinion and UnHerd is certainly within its right to publish him, but there is no reason to think he offers anything factual. There are better places to go for commentary that is sympathetic to the protests.
I say all that as someone who was on campus 1967-74 and and observed and at times participated in those demonstrations, and has friends and relatives who are college faculty and students, now. And has some “real world” experience in the interim.

Glynis Roache
Glynis Roache
18 days ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Ref your lines about organised backing for the protests : The anti-Israel protests began in London very quickly after Oct 7 – almost before Isreal had made a move. Certainly before there was scope for a significant death toll to be a viable motivation for protest. My husband and I couldn’t believe how quickly so many flags and placards and, above all, people were organised. It struck us as preplanned.

David Mayes
David Mayes
18 days ago
Reply to  Martin Johnson

Eagleton has no moral insight into the dire consequences of campus protests now and in the past. The student protests in early 70’s were an integral part of the communist’s Peoples War strategy and were an effective part of sapping West’s will to fight with South Vietnam against the communist forces.
Now, I am ashamed to have been part of those protests. Most of us were sheep commanded to bleat on command by a handful of well trained and resourced wolves. Demoralised by negative public sentiment, generated in no small part by the protests, the West betrayed the South Vietnamese. As Anthea Jeffrey recounts it in her book Peoples War – “By 1978, some three years after the fall of Saigon in April 1975, the realities of life in the Socialist Republic of Vietnam were readily apparent. An estimated 65,000 South Vietnamese people had been executed. Between 1 million and 2.5 million had been imprisoned without trial in re-education camps across the country, where some 165,000 people were to die of starvation and torture over the next ten years. A million more were trying to flee the country in makeshift boats not meant for the open sea, and thousands were dying in the attempt.”

Mark Cornish
Mark Cornish
18 days ago
Reply to  David Mayes

Thanks for your honesty. Self-reflection is in short supply these days, especially among our political class.

Sisyphus Jones
Sisyphus Jones
19 days ago

[T]hey have no delusions that an end to the slaughter will involve any kind of love-in.

They have only delusions.

Josef O
Josef O
19 days ago

I read again what Mr Eagleton writes. It cannot be left unanswered. Maybe he is not aware that the behaviour of the Gazan civilians is of an unseen cruelty. Many of the hostages on October 7th who were brought into Gaza, were bound to cars, face down, dragged for miles until they no longer had a face. Children and bystanders took organs of the dead as trophies.
A wounded Israeli girl was taken to Al Shifa hospital to be cured and murdered by a doctor. At least Mr E. should stop depicting the scenario in black and white. There are many nuances of very dark grey.

Andrew Henrick
Andrew Henrick
19 days ago

Stopped reading after the first two paragraphs. If you would like insight into the violent 70’s precursors that actually characterize the student revolt, please read Days or Rage by Burrough.

Craig Yirush
Craig Yirush
19 days ago

Yes, they are so ‘realistic’! Never mind that their activism is, to use an old Marxian term Eagleton will no doubt be familiar with, objectively pro-Hamas, an anti-semitic genocidal organization. If I’m wrong, why do they not call for the release of the hostages? Why do they call for Palestine to be free from the river to the sea?

Ryan K
Ryan K
18 days ago

I reject this tendentious and bigoted essay….with “massacre of innocents” “Israel’s war” Jews “reframing” A LARGE number of the disturbers are Jew Haters …they have grown up and have been embedded in a culture of persmissable hatred of Jews. Jews who join this are no different from my friends in SDS or who went off to cut sugar cane in Cuba or join Maoist cells. They are deranged. Their use of Jewishness is a ploy and their use of tallithim and kippot is a a travesty and mockery of Jewish traditions as they say kaddish for hamas terrorists…. There is a core of social justic e in the sixties……..the Vietnam war is not this hamas war…..SDS tried to organize cafeteria union workrs on my campus…I participated in that. I never burned American flags and I rejected anti Zionism from the time of the Six DaY WAR, forward and embraced my Jewishness and Zionism as one and the same.

Hazel Gazit
Hazel Gazit
18 days ago

What a truly idiotic article. I cannot begin to enumerate the how wrong this is.

David McKee
David McKee
18 days ago

Terry Eagleton’s pieces are always interesting. It’s not that I agree with him (I usually don’t), but it is interesting to work out why I disagree.
He regrets the good old days, when student protests made history and universities were in the business of ars gratia artis. What he does not mention is that, in the good old days, less than 10% of each cohort of teenagers went to university. Now it’s more like 50%.
Yet the protestors still come from the privileged 10%. They have the luxury to jump up and down about any cause that takes their fancy. And they are remarkably selective: Cecil Rhodes, racism, climate change, trans rights and Gaza. So what’s wrong with: the erosion of rights of Hong Kongers, the civil war in Syria, Modi’s hinduisation of India’s politics, corruption in Africa?
Discussing that would be a challenge, but I am sure Prof. Eagleton could rise to it.

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
18 days ago

Students have a right to protest providing they follow the rules established by their universities. People forget that this war started when Hamas attacked Israel and murdered, raped, tortured and kidnapped civilians. Some people could call these actions war crimes and others consider these actions “justified means of resistance.” How should Israel respond? How would you want your own country to respond?
Why are hospitals, schools and civilian infrastructure attacked? Because that is where Hamas hides. Hamas knows that many in the liberal west, especially in the US, are addicted to the oppressor / oppressed philosophy and the intersectional hierarchy. Hamas = oppressed = good guys. Israel = oppressor = bad guys.
Many people arrested at these schools are not enrolled students. They do not have a right to set up a tent on lawns where tents are prohibited. People told to disperse by police should do as they are told or face the consequences.
Hamas has stated that it will do October 7th over and over again until Israel is destroyed. Why should Israel let Hamas live?
I am also struck by the double standards. Before October 7th, using the wrong pronoun could make a fellow student fearful of harm and subject the user to severe penalties. Calling for the deaths of Jews. Well…it’s a matter of context.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
18 days ago

A lot of this is pure rubbish. The students, unusually dumb even for that strata, are being artfully manipulated by smart Marxists interested in hijacking any movement that comes along. You can also bet undercover FBI agents are represented in all of the camp-in leaderships.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
18 days ago

‘Yes, the mass killing in Gaza is regrettable, but it’s the only way of rooting out Hamas. In violation of one of the most basic of all ethical principles, the end justifies the means. ‘

So what exactly is Israel supposed to do, against an enemy that is pledged to destroy Israel as a state and likes killing Jews? Sit and twiddle their fingers?
Whatever one may think about Netanyahu’s politics, at least he has been resolute in his war aims.
And yes, unfortunately sometimes the end does justify the means.
Presumably Hamas must abide by the same principle, since it refuses to provide shelter to Gazan citizens in pursuit of its aim to control the narrative – and thus making it directly responsible for the loss of life in Gaza.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
18 days ago

Unreadable nonsense, as per usual.

J Boyd
J Boyd
18 days ago

I was a radical Socialist student in ’80s, Prof. Eagleton’s heyday.
We would never have allowed ourselves to become apologists for pogromists like Hamas.
By siding with the perpetrators of the atrocities of October 7th, the Left has lost all its credibility and any claim to moral superiority, or indeed any moral basis for its action and thinking.

Howard Clegg
Howard Clegg
18 days ago

Terry didn’t actually say very much. Just a few pen portraits, and some good ‘ol days reminiscences. His fuzzy musings mirror the muddled realities of the actual situation. What ever that is. Facts, facts? History, what’s that? And more importantly, whose history? There are many and they all disagree with each other. Which is perhaps is why the protesters appear to be so incoherent and confused. And perhaps why our leaders are so transparently hypocritical. Everyone is sick and tired of a the Arabs and the Jews and the Druze and HamasHezbollaHuthiISISAl-Quida mutant terrorist blob thingy. All paid for by Iran or was it the House of Saud, who knows, probably both. Morons with high tech precision guided death. We only care because of oil and nukes. How long do we think oil production will last in a proper hot war? About 10 minutes. And if the Saudi’s really get the wind up, how long before they throw enough money at the Pakistanis for a nuke? Pakistan be dirt poor you know. Just a little one. You only need a little one, and an air force that works, which the Saudi’s have after practicing in Yemen for 10 years.

It could all get so much worse, so quickly.

The Americans have been trying to get out for decades. They don’t need the oil anymore and have only been keeping the lid on things for our benefit. A service for which we have been profoundly ungrateful. I’m so sorry America for our geopolitical naivety. You’ve been wiping our collective arses for 70 years, you had to get tired of it eventually. Trump just said it out loud. I loath the man but his candidacy is not a bug it’s a feature.

Word.

Sphen Oid
Sphen Oid
18 days ago

And your point is??

Howard Clegg
Howard Clegg
18 days ago
Reply to  Sphen Oid

My point is that sometimes you just have to step back and let people get on with it. We have very little agency in this. With their ridiculous millennia old grievances and stupid exclusionary belief systems. Let them kill each other, they are clearly itching to get to it.

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
18 days ago

His statement about police brutality is equal to many of his other remarks, unfounded in reality. I concur with the sentiment that UnHerd does well in providing a forum for many viewpoints. I’m certain that Mr Eagleton speaks for many, which is clearly a large factor in today’s problems.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
18 days ago

This is turning into a discussion about Gaza. It should be about the article which, as expected, tried to whitewash the protests. I’d go along with everything as long as I could see one single suggestion as to what else should Israel do to be able to live in peace. There’s none,unfortunately,and instead there’s bashing a people which tries to survive. It is no surprising however since it looks like today it is this very notion that is under assault.

Malcolm Robbins
Malcolm Robbins
17 days ago

Good article until the second to last paragraph which looks like a hacker somehow inserted this paragraph into another author’s article – the one starting: “Yes, the mass killing in Gaza is regrettable, but it’s the only way of rooting out Hamas
”

From here it’s an article of faith that seems out of place but reveals that the author was previously only trying to soften the reader up to accept these dark opinions. Truly aweful

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
16 days ago

By some amazing coincidence, Ivy Leaugue colleges have accepted a huge amount of money from the government of Qatar, which in a further amazing coincidence is harboring Hamas’ three top leaders, who are leading the lives of billionaires while sacrificing their supporters to the noble cause of exterminating the Jewish people and establishing a worldwide caliphate.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
16 days ago

This guy has seemingly learned nothing since the 1960s. The “dismemberment of people”. Why is this emotional language used in the context of a war between Israel and Hamas and no other, despite significant numbers of other major conflicts going on – not even for example about Russia’s invasion if Ukraine Why.are these wonderful humanitarian students not protesting about the latter? There is no serious doubt that the IDF goes to significant lengths to protect civilians, unlike almost any other army, including Western ones in Iraq.

The current Columbia students and the 1960s students do have a lot in common in that they largely exhibit virtual signaling indulgence with the most absurd analysis of world events, thus giving succour and strength to some of the worst forces and ideologies in existence – a bit like if thousands of students were protesting in favour of the Third Reich

The 1960 students were essentially on the side of promoting world communism (which Terry Eagleton, a Marxist, supports) that killed tens of millions of people and opposing the democratic and (largely) free United States. Even the Vietnam war was not about National independence – which had already been attained in two separate states – as in Korea. It was caused – again exactly in Korea – caused by the invasion of the South by the North. This is a simple historical fact. Vietnamese people responded to the imposition of communist tyranny in 1975 by tens of thousand fleeing on ramshackle boats – not a theory but a grim reality. Tens of thousands of others were packed off to “re-education camps”. But hey, nowhere near as “cool” as Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
16 days ago

Eagleton is an evil man supporting terrorist Hamas. The truth is he’s just a Neo Marxist that wants to bring down the West.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
16 days ago

I find it strange that National Socialists, whose ideology killed a mere few million, are banned from teaching young minds.

Yet Prof Eagleton, a man who supports Marxist ideology which killed probably 20 times more, as well as keeping hundreds of millions in poverty, is allowed to teach in a university with impunity.

He happily defends his ideology and is never challenged in the same way a Nazi would be.

Why not?

P Branagan
P Branagan
16 days ago

I stand with all the Jewish people around the world who abhor the genocidal Apartheid regime in Israel. For 75 years this vile regime has treated Palestinian people as ‘ĂŒntermenchen’.

Please oh please as many thumbs down as possible from the usual fanatical mob of brainwashed racist ‘Jew good, Arab bad’ commenters in Unherd. Disapproval from such sources can only strengthen the moral and ethical case for the dismantling of that truly vile regime.

0 0
0 0
16 days ago

Dropping out then made a difference because young people were needed by the system. Boots on the ground for the US abroad was only the tip of it. Workers and consumers were needed on a massive scale at home because it was a society of mass production and consumption.

Sixties dropouts helped bring that to an end. In the new neo liberal world it’s shareholder value that counts; people are expendable especially those in advanced economies expecting good jobs and public services.

Protesters now among young people, whatever the ostensible cause, arise in the context of their expendability. Any appearance of a parallel to sixty years ago is illusory as there’s rherll be no easy ways to drop back in today. Indeed shredding opportunity and shedding people is inescapable short of fundamental change.

Perhaps that’s why today’s protesters are more serious about changing things.

Jamie
Jamie
16 days ago

Professor Eagleton fails to mention that the student protests were against a war in which American boys—sons and brothers—weee dying daily. How on earth he can compare the protests of post-lockdown rage to anti war Vietnam rallies is a sign of how academic arm chair radicals can always see what they want when there is nothing at stake but rhetoric.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
15 days ago

As a “student” in the 60’s, I was going to thoughtfully comment on the current article. However, screw it. This is nothing but pretentious BS pap written by a hack who is either is clueless or sold out for a few shekels, or both. Pure spin. Let’s have some of his articles!

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
15 days ago
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
15 days ago
Studio Largo
Studio Largo
15 days ago
Reply to  Studio Largo

The heroic saviors of humanity in action.

G M
G M
15 days ago

“The students who are currently protesting against the massacre of the innocent in Gaza”

The casualty figures come from Hamas or Hamas-controlled agencies.

Do not believe Hamas.
Do not trust Hamas, a terrorist organisation.

The problem is Hamas.
Hamas invaded Israel, massacred 1200 people, raped and mutilated women, kidnapped over 200 hostages, hides behind civilians, relishes civilian casualties as propaganda and created a Gaza that has no free speech and nodemocracy.
The people of Gaza are poor while Hamas leadership became rich.