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Some of the People Defending Hamas Are Using the Same Argument the Nazis Tried After the Holocaust

Some of the People Defending Hamas Are Using the Same Argument the Nazis Tried After the Holocaust

“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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If you look like a Nazi, act like a Nazi, and think like a Nazi, it’s not surprising you would use Nazi arguments.

    guyjones in reply to Peabody. | October 28, 2023 at 8:44 pm

    An Islamonazi, to be specific. The “Palestinians” were allies of the German National Socialists, in World War II, united in their Jew-hatred.

Europe is doomed, it’s probably just a matter of 5-10 years

We are not far behind

100’s of thousands protest SUPPORT of Hamas…

Sow the wind; reap the whirlwind.

Terrorism has consequences.

This article leaves me with the feeling that it was truncated before it was finished. I expected at least a little exposition of the original Dresden Defense, and what the judicial response to it was.

Khalidi seems to be claiming that terrorism is just war and it’s no worse than any other kind of war, no matter how people feel about it.

He’s lying.

In war, civilian deaths are an extremely unfortunate side effect. In terrorism, such as what Hamas does routinely, it’s the whole intent.

Likewise, the Nazis who tried to characterize the killing of Jews as just one of those things that happens in war also lied. Targeting civilians is not okay. Period.

The only time when sentiment for HAMAS grows is when HAMAS quiets its terrorism and airs its grievances unopposed to uneducated people who don’t know their history.

Once HAMAS starts up the terrorism and blatantly says their aim is genocide, their popularity wanes. That is also how it worked with Al-Qaeda in Iraq, as well. The Iraqis rallied against Al-Qaeda saying, “these are not Muslims.”

Looking around this morning did see one atrocity video being saved. They all need to be as in a year the Palestinian backers will claim it was all Israeli Propaganda.

The right defense is that it’s meant as a provocation.

This is the utilitarian ethic argument— or by any means necessary which is the justification of intentionally targeting civilians. To most of us intentions matter a lot. So civilians who die who are not the intended target are different than intentionally killing innocent civilians. But when you are trying to justify terrorism all you have to work with is that the end goal is so wondrous so perfect that it doesn’t matter how many innocents are murdered. So of course they default to the fake notion that they followed some code when murdering civilians , we know they didn’t because they filmed themselves doing it and bragged about it proudly.

JackinSilverSpring | October 28, 2023 at 11:09 pm

The difference between Hamas and Jews is that Israeli soldiers stand in harms way with the civilians behind them. Hamas being the cowards they are stand behind the civilians, putting them in harms way. When the war started, Israel evacuated its civilians around Gaza and in the north away from the Hezbollah-Lebanese border. When Israel warned the residents of Gaza to move south, out of harms way, Hamas obstructed many from doing so. So, any civilian casualties in Gaza are the direct result of Hamas’ cowardice and indifference to life. I suppose Hamas is representative of Islam at its finest: indifferent to life.

Arafat was a KGB asset. Educated and trained and installed as the leader of the PLO by them. The entire “Palestinian state” effort is a “popular front” KGB operation. His handler was the head of Romanian KGB who defected to the West and laid out the entire operation. Invented by the KGB. Ion Mihai Pacepa. Operation Sig. Arafat put a million dollar bounty on his head.