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Why Is Israel Being Blamed for the Hamas Massacre?

Erasing the legitimacy of the Israeli narrative fundamentally revives a pernicious antisemitic trope that Jews deserve their fate.
Photo by Kobi Gideon / GPO via Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Kobi Gideon / GPO via Wikimedia Commons
Yossi Klein Halevi is a Senior Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Together with Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University and Jennifer Raskas, he co-directs the Institute’s Muslim Leadership Initiative. Yossi is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor and co-host with Donniel Hartman and Elana Stein Hain of the Institute’s award-winning podcast, For Heaven’s Sake. He is also the author of Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli

“How is it possible that, in much of the international community, there is ‘understanding’ for the mass atrocities of October 7? That on parts of the left there is greater outrage against Israel’s response to the Hamas massacre than to the massacre itself? That those who feel most vulnerable on liberal American campuses are not Hamas supporters but Jews? That anti-Zionists who call for turning Israelis into a defenseless minority within ‘Greater Palestine,’ ‘from the river to the sea,’ are chanting their hateful slogans with even greater vigor and moral self-confidence?

One answer was inadvertently provided by Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas. Speaking last month on Palestinian TV, Abbas sought to explain the origins of the Holocaust. The Nazis, he said, were not antisemitic, but opposed the Jews ‘because of their role in society, which had to do with usury, money… In [Hitler’s] view, they were engaged in sabotage, and this is why he hated them.’ In other words: the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves.

Abbas was widely condemned as an antisemite, including by some on the left. Yet Abbas’s sensibility informs the response of many progressives to the events of recent weeks. Israel, they say, effectively provoked the massacre with its occupation of the Palestinians, its racism and colonialism and apartheid, perhaps with its very existence. Once again, that is, the Jews have brought tragedy on themselves.”

Read the full blog on Times of Israel.

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