That Hamas feeling

The Wall Street Journal extracts this Notable & Quotable excerpt from “Is Kamala the One?” by Joan Walsh in the Nation (July 8):

She has gotten credit for being a step ahead of the president in her public statements, criticizing Israel’s relentless bombardment and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Gaza with an eloquent anguish Biden has not matched. . . .

“Listen, I strongly believe that our ability to evaluate a situation is connected to understanding the details of that situation. Not speaking of myself versus the president, not at all. From the beginning, I asked questions. OK, the trucks are taking flour into Gaza. But here’s the thing, Joan: I like to cook. So I said to my team: You can’t make s— with flour if you don’t have clean water. So what’s going on with that? I ask questions like, What are people actually eating right now? I’m hearing stories about their eating animal feed, grass . . . so that’s how I think about it.

“Similarly, I was asking early on, what are women in Gaza doing about sanitary hygiene. . . .”

The young people who have mobilized against the destruction of Gaza are unlikely to be mollified by these answers. What does she say to them?

“They are showing exactly what the human emotion should be, as a response to Gaza. There are things some of the protesters are saying that I absolutely reject, so I don’t mean to wholesale endorse their points. But we have to navigate it. I understand the emotion behind it.”

Robert Wistrich was perhaps the foremost academic authority on anti-Semitism until his death in 2015. Contrast Harris’s inanity with the 2013 comment of Professor Wistrich in an interview with us supporting the publication of From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, The Jews and Israel (2012):

I belonged, at one point, to the radical 1968 generation in the West who were intoxicated (in my case, briefly) with the secular utopianism of radical Marxism and the mirage of “cultural revolution.” I was physically present in Paris when the French students shouted “We are all German Jews” in support of their leader “Dany the Red,” who had just been prevented by De Gaulle from returning from Germany to France. Today, their equivalents in Europe might well be shouting “Death to Israel” or “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!” That is one strand of the journey that led me to retrospectively subject the contemporary Left to intense critical scrutiny.

Add “and in the United States” to “their equivalents in Europe” and you have that Hamas feeling — “exactly what the human emotion should be” — that Harris blesses.

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