Richard Cohen Blames Jews for Being Jews, and Forgets History

July 19, 2006, 10:41 am


By Andrew L. Jaffee

Richard Cohen, writing for the Washington Post, claims that “Israel itself is a mistake.” He doesn’t mention the thousands of years of Jewish ties to the Holy Land. Just how far can leftist political-correctness go? Apparently as far a delegitimizing a sovereign state mandated by the U.N., and even as far as telling Israelis not to defend themselves. From the Post:

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The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.

This is why the Israeli-Arab war, now transformed into the Israeli-Muslim war (Iran is not an Arab state), persists and widens. It is why the conflict mutates and festers. It is why Israel is now fighting an organization, Hezbollah, that did not exist 30 years ago and why Hezbollah is being supported by a nation, Iran, that was once a tacit ally of Israel’s. The underlying, subterranean hatred of the Jewish state in the Islamic world just keeps bubbling to the surface. …

The smart choice [for Israel] is to pull back to defensible — but hardly impervious — borders. That includes getting out of most of the West Bank — and waiting (and hoping) that history will get distracted and move on to something else. This will take some time, and in the meantime terrorism and rocket attacks will continue.

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Jews should feel bad about being Jewish? Information about the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not that hard to find. For example, take the World Almanac and Book of Facts, available in any mainstream bookstore and at most public libraries. Its profile of Israel states,*

… The Hebrews probably arrived early in the 2d millennium BC…

… Arab invaders conquered Palestine in 636. The Arabic language and Islam prevailed within a few centuries, but a Jewish minority remained…

… Jewish immigration, begun in the late 19th century, swelled in the 1930s with refugees from the Nazis; heavy Arab immigration from Syria and Lebanon also occurred. Arab opposition to Jewish immigration turned violent in 1920, 1921, 1929, and 1936. The UN General Assembly voted in 1947 to partition Palestine into an Arab and a Jewish state. Britain withdrew in May 1948.

Israel was declared an independent state May 14, 1948; the Arabs rejected partition. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia invaded, but failed to destroy the Jewish state, which gained territory. …

So we have ancient evidence of a Jewish presence in “Palestine” since 2000 BC, which can easily be found in any reputable archaeological journal. We have evidence of a continuous Jewish presence in the Holy Land. We have evidence that Arabs, not just Jews, were immigrants into the Levant. Finally, we see that Arabs violently rejected the hallowed concept of a Palestinian homeland in 1948.

According to the “activists” like Cohen, Arab immigration was acceptable, but Jewish was not, despite sound Hebrew ties to the region.

When you are thinking clearly, the hype just doesn’t add up; the bias inherent in left-wing support for the Palestinian cause seems incredulous. But we’re not talking about clear-thinking people, here. Emotion rules, but it is a pathos slanted towards the “underdog,” as Palestinians are perceived.

As much of the left-wing causes are rooted in a desire to relive the American civil rights and anti-Apartheid movements, the “activists” see the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as literally black (Palestinians) vs. white (Jews). Again, there is a lack of clear thinking here, as both Jews and Arabs are Semitic peoples. The non-violent tactics successfully practiced by Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, supposedly left-wing textbook examples of resistance to oppression, are tossed out the door while Arab armies threaten Israel’s existence, and homicide bombers continually target Jewish and Arab Israeli civilians.

It is quite difficult to have any type of constructive discourse with the “activists,” as they aren�t even living in (historical) reality.

* The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2002, World Almanac Education Group, Inc., New York, NY, 2002, pp. 808-817.


Related: Arab/Muslim World, Israel, Media/Blogsphere, Political Correctness

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