The genocide charge

I excerpted Professor Jeffrey Herf’s review of the two Hamas charters in “From the river to the sea.” Professor Herf returns along with Professor Norman Goda in the Quillette essay “Holocaust Historians, the Genocide Charge, and Gaza.” They write:

As it happens, there is an interesting and challenging connection between the current Gaza war and Nazi Germany, but it is not the one Bartov proposes. It concerns the relationship between a terrorist dictatorship and the population over which it rules. Historians have long debated why Germans fought to the bitter end of the war, why the army never overthrew Hitler, and why there was no popular revolt against the Nazi regime. The famous term Volksgemeinschaft or “people’s community” captures the mixture of terror on one hand and popular consensus on the other that allowed Hitler’s regime to survive.

The relationship between the Hamas dictatorship and ordinary Gazans raises similar questions. After 17 years of Jew-hatred preached from Gaza’s mosques, taught in its schools, and beamed into its television sets, is it any wonder that so many civilians in Gaza seem to support Hamas? After years of pouring billions into tunnel construction, can there be any doubt that many thousands of Gazans were fully aware of Hamas’s intent to wage continuous war? Israeli soldiers are discovering tunnel entrances across the city and weapons stored in the bedrooms of affluent homes. Hamas trained openly for October 7th. How many Gazans knew about those preparations? Such questions do not justify intentional attacks on civilians, but they do offer some insight into [Israeli] military officers’ rage (and shame) two days after the worst case of mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust.

Whole thing here.

Via Richard Landes/Twitter.

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