“I am a historian (like Khalidi), interested in the origins of ideas and arguments. It turns out that Khalidi’s premier talking point has a very specific genesis.”
Martin Kramer notes that Rashid Khalidi of Columbia University is using the same justification that the Nazis used during the Nuremberg tribunals.
From his blog:
The Nazi case for Hamas
Rashid Khalidi, the Edward Said Professor at Columbia University, is no fool. He started out as a spokesperson for the PLO in Beirut in the 1970s, and he’s been at it ever since. A New Yorker by birth, he knows something about perceptions of the conflict in America. And he knows that terrorism has set back the Palestinian cause time and again. That’s why he’s spent much of his career trying to anesthetize America to terrorism, divert attention from it, or minimize it.
The horrific massacre of Israeli men, women, and children committed by Hamas on October 7 has made his mission much harder. “The current sentiment,” he told an Arab interviewer (in Arabic),
politically, popularly, and in the media, is overwhelmingly negative. This contrasts sharply with the past decade, which saw growing support for Palestinian political rights and strong opposition to Israeli policies…. They’re capitalizing on the deaths of Israeli civilians during the Al-Aqsa Storm operation…. Having lived in the U.S., particularly New York, for over half my life, I’ve never seen such an onslaught of lies and crude propaganda that are actually making an impact.
Khalidi recommends a number of talking points to his followers. He’s dropped some in reaction to new and awful evidence, but one remains constant. Here is how Khalidi has made it, on two separate occasions:
There are ways of making war, which advanced technological societies employ, which involve the killing of huge numbers of civilians, who are never somehow counted in the calculus. Oh, that’s collateral damage. Oh, we didn’t mean to do it. If a pilot does it from 1,000 feet, and kills fifty people, or some somebody with a gun comes in and murders fifty people, there is a difference, obviously, but in the last analysis, if this is a violation of the rules of war on the one hand, it’s a violation of the rules of war on the other hand… One kind of killing of civilians—only that kind—is called terrorism and another kind of systematic killing of civilians, with much higher death counts, is simply ignored.
Sound familiar? It should.
The ‘Dresden defense’
I am a historian (like Khalidi), interested in the origins of ideas and arguments. It turns out that Khalidi’s premier talking point has a very specific genesis.
It figured in the case for the defense in the Einsatzgruppen Trial, conducted by the Nuremberg Military Tribunal from late 1947 to the spring of 1948. The Einsatzgruppen were the paramilitary death squads of Nazi Germany, which carried out mass murder by shooting in Nazi-occupied Europe. They destroyed well over a million Jews, and two million people all told. After the war, their surviving senior commanders were put on trial at Nuremberg, charged with crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The chief defendant, SS-Gruppenführer Otto Ohlendorf, had been commander of Einsatzgruppe D, which carried out mass murders in Moldova, southern Ukraine, and the Caucasus. An economist and father of five, he had supervised the killing of 90,000 Jews. Ohlendorf imagined that he had a moral conscience. The killers under his command, he told a U.S. Army prosecutor, were prohibited from using infants for target practice, or smashing their heads against trees.
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