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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Hamas horror is also a lesson on the price of populism

The Hamas horror is also a lesson on the price of populism

By Yuval Noah Harari, Washington Post

Yuval Noah Harari is the author of “Sapiens,” “Homo Deus” and “Unstoppable Us” and a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Israelis are struggling to understand what has just hit us. We first compared the current disaster to the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Fifty years ago, the armies of Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack and inflicted on Israel a string of military defeats, before the Israel Defense Forces regrouped, regained the initiative and turned the tables.

But as more and more horrific stories and images emerge about the massacre of entire communities, it dawned on us that what has happened is nothing like the Yom Kippur War. In newspapers, on social media and in family gatherings, people are making comparisons to the Jewish people’s darkest hours — as when the mobile killing units of the Nazi Einsatzgruppen surrounded and murdered Jewish villagers during the Holocaust, and when pogroms were waged against Jews in the Russian Empire.

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