On October 7, Hamas terrorists recorded themselves in a state of joyous excitement to document their murder of so many Jews. But over the ensuing weeks, that emotion has given way to another emotion: pity for the Palestinians as passive victims of Israeli aggression. The men instigated this war are now seen as victims of this war, occupied, displaced, not murderers but among the murdered. That transformation is our focus of this episode of the Tikvah Podcast.

As it happens, that transformation is not unique to the Hamas attacks of October 2023. It is a pattern of Palestinian transformation that can be observed throughout the history of Israel. This is one of the distinguishing features of the Palestinian predicament, according to the Israeli writer Shany Mor, and it’s one of the core themes of a big essay he wrote for us at Mosaic in November 2023, called “Ecstasy and Amnesia in the Gaza Strip.”

On November 15, Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver convened a discussion of Mor’s essay, along with the Egyptian-American writer Hussein Aboubakr, and the Israeli journalist Haviv Rettig Gur. This week’s podcast brings you that conversation.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.