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Cornel West: October 7 Is a ‘Counterterrorist Reaction’

Independent presidential candidate Cornel West (Credits: CNN)

Independent presidential candidate Cornel West and his running mate Melina Abdullah have sparked controversy with their recent statements regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

In their first joint TV interview since announcing their ticket, West described the October 7 attacks by Hamas as a “counterterrorist response,” a statement that has drawn criticism for its characterization of the violent events.

West emphasized his general opposition to the killing of innocents but argued that these incidents should be viewed in the context of long-standing grievances, citing “vicious killings and occupations” over 75 years.

Cornel West (Credits: ABC News)

This perspective aligns with his broader critique of Israeli policies but diverges sharply from mainstream views on how terrorist actions are typically condemned.

Both West and Abdullah refused to press Hamas to release hostages, a standard demand in ceasefire negotiations. West shifted the focus to the actions of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), which he and Abdullah described as terrorizing Palestinians.

Abdullah reiterated themes from a Black Lives Matter statement that described Hamas’s actions, which included killing, raping, and kidnapping civilians, as acts of “self-defense.” Her refusal to condemn Hamas aligns with her broader critique of the state of Israel, which she accuses of being founded on genocide.

The Israeli Defense Forces (Credits: The Times of Israel)

The interview also touched on Abdullah’s previous statements linking the KKK, police, and government officials, which she defended by referencing historical connections between policing in the U.S. and slave patrols.

These positions, particularly the refusal to condemn Hamas and the framing of their actions as self-defense, place West and Abdullah at a particular remove from conventional political discourse in the U.S., highlighting the challenges they may face in garnering mainstream support for their campaign.

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