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Yossi Klein Halevi: ‘I don’t need Auschwitz to motivate me to defend myself against Hamas’
‘This is a war against the return of Jewish helplessness.’
In the days immediately following the massacre, I received calls from several European journalists, asking if I saw this as a “Holocaust moment.” They were sympathetic; they meant well. But I couldn’t give them the answer they were seeking.
I don’t need Auschwitz to motivate me to defend myself against Hamas, I replied. I live in the Middle East; the fate of the Yazidis is more relevant to me than Babyn Yar. Nor do I trust European sympathy for Israel that is based on the Holocaust. That support is unstable; today it is applied to dead Jews, tomorrow to dead Palestinians.
The support I seek is based on the understanding that Israel faces a genocidal regime on its southern border, that that regime must be destroyed not only for our sake but for the sake of the region, and that the only way to destroy a terrorist infrastructure embedded in a civilian population is the way the IDF is proceeding.
Halevi is a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. Together with Imam Abdullah Antepli of Duke University, he co-directs the Institute's Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI), which teaches emerging young Muslim American leaders about Judaism, Jewish identity and Israel.