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Salman Rushdie says a Palestinian state formed today would be ‘Taliban-like’

Salman Rushdie says a Palestinian state formed today would be ‘Taliban-like’

Salman Rushdie has said that the formation of a Palestinian state “right now” would mean a “Taliban-like state” is created.

Commenting on the US campus protesters calling for a free Palestine, the author said that while he has “argued for a Palestinian state for most of my life – since the 1980s, probably – right now, if there was a Palestinian state, it would be run by Hamas, and that would make it a Taliban-like state, and it would be a client state of Iran”.

“Is that what the progressive movements of the western left wish to create? To have another Taliban, another Ayatollah-like state, in the Middle East, right next to Israel?” said the Indian-born British-American author on a podcast run by German broadcaster Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg which was released on Thursday.

“The fact is that I think any human being right now has to be distressed by what is happening in Gaza because of the quantity of innocent death. I would just like some of the protests to mention Hamas. Because that’s where this started, and Hamas is a terrorist organisation. It’s very strange for young, progressive student politics to kind of support a fascist terrorist group.”

Rushdie said that there has been “student upheaval” at New York University, where he a faculty member. He said that he has mixed opinions on the protests – while students have the right to demonstrate, he said, it is also necessary to ensure that other students don’t feel unsafe as a result. He added that while unleashing armed police on students is not a good idea, neither is occupying and damaging buildings.

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“I feel that there’s not a lot of deep thought happening. There’s an emotional reaction to the death in Gaza, and that’s absolutely right. But when it slides over towards antisemitism and sometimes to actual support of Hamas, then it’s very problematic”.

Rushdie appeared on the Orte und Worte (“Places and Words”) podcast to discuss his latest memoir, Knife, in which he recounts his recovery after being attacked on stage in New York state in August 2022, 33 years after Iran’s then leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death in the aftermath of the publication of The Satanic Verses, which was deemed blasphemous.

A video clip of Rushdie’s comments was shared by the official X account for Israel and Israeli diplomat David Saranga.

Source: theguardian.com