35 min

'Israel's government has a distorted view of victory. This war is more like a crusade for them‪'‬ Haaretz Podcast

    • News

There is "an abyss" between how the U.S. and Israeli governments treat the families of Israeli hostages held in Gaza, says Prof. Jonathan Dekel-Chen, whose son Sagui, 35, was kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 while trying to protect his family and other residents of Kibbutz Nir Oz. Sagui Dekel-Chen's wife, Avital, gave birth to the couple's third daughter in January.
Speaking with Haaretz Podcast host Allison Kaplan Sommer, the dual Israeli-U.S. citizen – who hasn't received new information about his son in eight months – compared the "inexplicably infuriating" behavior of members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government with their American counterparts.
Dekel-Chen said he has felt "privileged" to receive the attention and sympathy offered by U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration – along with the other dual citizens caught in the hostage nightmare. He also noted that he felt similar "wall to wall" support from members of Congress, "regardless of what their views are on the conduct of Israel's war."
In Israel, by contrast, "we've had no direct communication from senior ministers, nothing – it's unthinkable in a small intimate country like ours." He suggested that perhaps more sympathy and support would be forthcoming if those whose communities and lives were "destroyed" by the events of October 7 had come from the right-wing religious constituencies that make up Netanyahu's governing coalition.
While Biden has put another cease-fire and hostage deal on the table, urging Netanyahu and Hamas to agree to its terms, "Israel's government has a distorted view of what victory is," according to Dekel-Chen. "This war is more like a crusade ... its goals are dictated by the fringe, radical, far right."
On the podcast, Dekel-Chen also explains why, as a Hebrew University history professor, he feels that comparisons between October 7 and the Holocaust are inaccurate and dangerous. "Other than the death on that day, there are no real similarities," he says, "and it simply serves as a much too-easy-explanation for a horrific day and lets people off the hook who should be held accountable. It invokes some greater force that's so far beyond our control that it was almost inevitable. That's absolute nonsense."
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

There is "an abyss" between how the U.S. and Israeli governments treat the families of Israeli hostages held in Gaza, says Prof. Jonathan Dekel-Chen, whose son Sagui, 35, was kidnapped by Hamas on October 7 while trying to protect his family and other residents of Kibbutz Nir Oz. Sagui Dekel-Chen's wife, Avital, gave birth to the couple's third daughter in January.
Speaking with Haaretz Podcast host Allison Kaplan Sommer, the dual Israeli-U.S. citizen – who hasn't received new information about his son in eight months – compared the "inexplicably infuriating" behavior of members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government with their American counterparts.
Dekel-Chen said he has felt "privileged" to receive the attention and sympathy offered by U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration – along with the other dual citizens caught in the hostage nightmare. He also noted that he felt similar "wall to wall" support from members of Congress, "regardless of what their views are on the conduct of Israel's war."
In Israel, by contrast, "we've had no direct communication from senior ministers, nothing – it's unthinkable in a small intimate country like ours." He suggested that perhaps more sympathy and support would be forthcoming if those whose communities and lives were "destroyed" by the events of October 7 had come from the right-wing religious constituencies that make up Netanyahu's governing coalition.
While Biden has put another cease-fire and hostage deal on the table, urging Netanyahu and Hamas to agree to its terms, "Israel's government has a distorted view of what victory is," according to Dekel-Chen. "This war is more like a crusade ... its goals are dictated by the fringe, radical, far right."
On the podcast, Dekel-Chen also explains why, as a Hebrew University history professor, he feels that comparisons between October 7 and the Holocaust are inaccurate and dangerous. "Other than the death on that day, there are no real similarities," he says, "and it simply serves as a much too-easy-explanation for a horrific day and lets people off the hook who should be held accountable. It invokes some greater force that's so far beyond our control that it was almost inevitable. That's absolute nonsense."
See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

35 min

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