Is Hamas Evil? Reflections In the Wake of the 10/7 Carnage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The October 7th massacre and the ensuing war show how easily evil can pierce civilization’s thin veneer of comity. How should we define, identify, and defeat evil? In this article, I argue that to be evil means consciously and constantly treating people like things to be (ab)used. Like pure righteousness, pure evil— the uppercase “Evil”—is a metaphysical construct. Actual human beings are not Evil, and thus, unlike mortal people, Evil can never be killed or defeated. But lowercase “evil” can be. Defeating evil is practically and morally daunting. We should be willing to give up on humans who have given up on the good in their own humanity, while not relinquishing our own. Hamas’s ideology and practice of genocide through politicide is evil, and defeating it will require both a vision of the good and, like it or not, the lesser evil.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalCurrents: Briefs on Contemporary Israel
StatePublished - 2023


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