“What was Hamas thinking?
This lecture, by Author and Middle East Scholar Tareq Baconi, will examine Hamas’s October 7 attack, placing the events of that day within the broader historical and political evolution of the movement. Situating Hamas as a key constituent in the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, the talk will analyze the movement’s rationale and strategic objectives behind the attack. Specifically, it will discuss Hamas’s calculations within the more immediate history of its containment in the Gaza Strip, highlighting specifically how the equilibrium which had taken hold between Israel and Hamas since 2007 has been effectively overturned.
Dr. Tareq Baconi is working on a book about decolonization in the 21st century. His memoir, about his upbringing as the grandson of Palestinian refugees in Jordan, reckoning with forbidden first love and the decades-spanning sweep of violence and erasure that his family experienced, is forthcoming with Atria in fall 2025. He is the author of Hamas Contained: The Rise and Pacification of Palestinian Resistance (Stanford University Press, 2018) and of the short film One Like Him, a BFI-funded queer love story set in Jordan. His writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, among others. He is the former senior analyst for Israel/Palestine at the International Crisis Group. He serves as the president of the board of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network and the book review editor for the Journal of Palestine Studies.