The Outbreak of Hatred: Understanding the Massacre Among the PopulationNovember 14, 2023
The Holocaust occurred because of widespread antisemitism among ordinary Germans, not due to economic hardship or coercion by the state, as stated by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen in his book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust.” This thesis caused controversy and raised questions about culpability, similar to the responsibility for the recent massacre of Israelis and abductions of more than 200 people on Oct. 7.
The attacks were attributed to Hamas, but evidence suggests that ordinary Gazans were also involved. Videos captured Gazans looting and participating in the killings and kidnappings, while there were reports of cheering and humiliating the captives. These actions reflect deep-rooted antisemitism and hatred in Gaza, challenging the perception that Gazans are only trying to get by.
The reluctance to assign responsibility beyond Hamas may be driven by fear of justifying collective punishment, or to maintain sympathy for the Palestinian cause. However, acknowledging the involvement of ordinary Gazans in these crimes is critical for understanding the situation and working towards a two-state solution in the future. It is also important for honoring the victims and acting respectfully in the face of such atrocities.
The involvement of Gazans hired to work in Israel in providing intelligence on Hamas attacks raises questions about the potential for economic integration between Israeli and Gazan communities, or a Palestinian state in the future.
Telling the truth about the involvement of ordinary Gazans in the attacks is crucial for understanding and addressing these shocking crimes.