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Richard Cohen: Israel is a Mistake

Updated

Richard Cohen wrote this in his article from yesterday:

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.

Why does Richard Cohen take this view? Because creating a Jewish state in the Holy Land upset the Muslims and led to the creation of terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. In fact Cohen goes as far as to say we shouldn't condemn Hezbollah and Hamas; instead, he recommends that Israel use restraint and not employ its military might to take back the land it gave up:

There is no point in condemning Hezbollah. Zealots are not amenable to reason. And there's not much point, either, in condemning Hamas. It is a fetid, anti-Semitic outfit whose organizing principle is hatred of Israel. There is, though, a point in cautioning Israel to exercise restraint -- not for the sake of its enemies but for itself. Whatever happens, Israel must not use its military might to win back what it has already chosen to lose: the buffer zone in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip itself.

What does Cohen think Israel should do then? Retreat. Pull out from the West Bank, hunker down, and take it from the terrorists:

The smart choice 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.

Israel should curl up into the fetal position and allow the terrorists bomb it into oblivion. Maybe someday the terrorists will get bored and move on to something else. If that time comes and Israel is still in existence, it can move on with life.

Update: James Lewis at The American Thinker explains why Richard Cohen should be fired today:

What gives Cohen the right to encourage the genocidal enemies of Israel in a time of hot war, when innocents are getting killed every hour, and when he knows that his words will be read and repeated times around the world?


Forget Cohen's last name. It wouldn't make any difference if it was Smith or Schicklgruber. But it might be a lot more understandable.

During the Hitler Holocaust the expression "self-hating Jew" became part of the vocabulary of history. It is a terrifying expression, as horrific as "house slave" in the antebellum South.

Today, the German expression "Juedisches Selbst-Hass" has come to haunt civilization again.

Thank you, Mr. Cohen. And thank you, Washington Post.

There are people, unfortunately, who do evil. And then there are those who encourage them by word and deed. In common law and in common decency the enablers are as bad as the evil doers.

Thank you, Mr. Cohen. And thank you, Washington Post.

Read all of Mr. Lewis' post.


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Comments (50)

Mr. Cohen is an ass.... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Mr. Cohen is an ass.

Hmmm. So America was a mis... (Below threshold)

Hmmm. So America was a mistake too? We should curl up and let the terrorists and illegal immigrants destroy us as well?

I bet Mr. Cohen has two affirmative answers to these questions, which should say it all.

However, that's no reason t... (Below threshold)

However, that's no reason to fire someone. It's a free country, and if he and the WAPO want to publish such drivel, and complain about their dwindling subscriptions, so be it.

Just sit there and wait unt... (Below threshold)

Just sit there and wait until the terrorists get bored with killing them?

What a completely ignorant asshole.

That is the most absurd arg... (Below threshold)
hdw:

That is the most absurd argument I've heard on the subject of subject of Israel. Hunker down? Idiot.

Here's a literate vivisecti... (Below threshold)

Here's a literate vivisection of the article:

http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/2006/07/18/richard-cohens-article-isnt-as-bad-as-it-first-appears/

Don't let the title fool you.

Mr. Cohen's ignorance of hi... (Below threshold)
Bern:

Mr. Cohen's ignorance of history is abysmal. The Arabs were already murdering Jews in Hebron in 1929, 19 years before there was an Israeli state. Had the Arabs accepted the UN's partition plan in 1948, there would have been two states living in piece. Yet, in his warped thinking, Richard Cohen absolves the Arabs of any responsibility for the current situation. Who chose war in 1948? Certainly not the nascent state of Israel.

Mr. Cohen knows mistakes; j... (Below threshold)
Masterblaster:

Mr. Cohen knows mistakes; just ask his mother.

'spose if we all went to Co... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

'spose if we all went to Cohen's house and started throwing stones at it and his family that he'd simply "hunker down"?

Seems worth a try....

What the ^&&^%%%^^& is the ... (Below threshold)
914:

What the ^&&^%%%^^& is the racist b&*(&& pretending to know?

Ass$^%$

A summary of Richard Cohen'... (Below threshold)
hermie:

A summary of Richard Cohen's article (Maybe a bit too blunt for some):

"Why don't you Jews just do everyone a favor ahead and die?"

A summary of Richard Cohen'... (Below threshold)
hermie:

A summary of Richard Cohen's article (Maybe a bit too blunt for some):

"Why don't you Jews just do everyone a favor and go ahead and die?"

As an Is supporter, I am a ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

As an Is supporter, I am a little tired of the American Jewish support for the liberal Dems. It is time for them to send a strong message to the Dems at the polls if they care about their compatriots in Israel.
Hope that these non-sense will wake them up sooner.

Mr. Cohen is an ass.... (Below threshold)

Mr. Cohen is an ass.

Well, possibly, but he has a point. It does no good to "condemn" people who don't understand that they are acting inappropiately, and it does no good to talk about the condemnation to others who don't care.

To a large degree, diplo-speak is fart-gas. It's why we publically tell Israel to use "restraint" while privately telling them to kick ass; it's why Arafat sent the US a sympathy card after 9-11; it's why France said "we're all Americans today" after ditto.

The only purpose it serves is to hornswoggle the gullible into believing fantasy, such as: that the US enjoyed any more world favor on 9-12 than we did on 9-10 or today.

"That includes getting out ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"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.
"

So in other words hope the bully gets distracted and stops beating the snot out of you while you cower in a fetal position. Ummm no thanks.

The best thing the US can do is just let Isreal go. Even if Syria sticks its nose in just lete Israel pound the snot out of them. I notice noone has suggested that Hezballah simply curl up into a ball while Isreal pounds them. Gee why not?

As long as Iran stays out of it the US should. If we get involved then we have Bush Cowboy diplomacy, we have the US bullying folks, The US being led into war by Bush's lies, his incompetence, his failure at diplomacy, etc etc etc (insert your favorite liberal mime here).

The smartest thing for Bush to do is say "Hey let the UN handle it but we will veto anything that is short of Israel's demands being met or that we dont veiw as a permanent solution to the problem"

Bush should tell the UN that if they want to criticize our statement above then he will respond by pointing out that if the UN had enforced their UN resolution against Hezballah then this wouldnt have happened in the first place.

This will serve to show the world a few things

1. Things are a lot tougher to fix if the US isnt involved.

2. The UN is totally useless and cant solve anything.

3. That it is easy to throw stones at those who attempt to find real solutions rather than just talk about things but it is hard as hell to actually find solutions and no matter the solution you come up with not everyone will be happy.

4. That the UN is trying to protect people who throw rockets indiscriminately at civilians and try to punish those who are simply trying to protect themselves.

If Syria gets involved China and Russia will hem and haw and make some noise about escalation but as long as Iran stays out of it their moaning will just amount to jackasses braying. China and Russia could give a wit about Syria other than the if it causes the US troubles. They will give them moral support but when push comes to shove Syria will be going against Israel by itself and that is a fight they cant win.

If Syria uses any chemical weapons they are reported to have it will turn world opinion agianst them even further. And remember the detereent against using WMD is the use of WMD against the original user. And Israel has nukes. I am sure that if they are subject to chemical attacks they will use at least one to show that they wont stand for it. And they will tell the rest of the world to go screw themselves.

"That includes getting out ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"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.
"

So in other words hope the bully gets distracted and stops beating the snot out of you while you cower in a fetal position. Ummm no thanks.

The best thing the US can do is just let Isreal go. Even if Syria sticks its nose in just lete Israel pound the snot out of them. I notice noone has suggested that Hezballah simply curl up into a ball while Isreal pounds them. Gee why not?

As long as Iran stays out of it the US should. If we get involved then we have Bush Cowboy diplomacy, we have the US bullying folks, The US being led into war by Bush's lies, his incompetence, his failure at diplomacy, etc etc etc (insert your favorite liberal mime here).

The smartest thing for Bush to do is say "Hey let the UN handle it but we will veto anything that is short of Israel's demands being met or that we dont veiw as a permanent solution to the problem"

Bush should tell the UN that if they want to criticize our statement above then he will respond by pointing out that if the UN had enforced their UN resolution against Hezballah then this wouldnt have happened in the first place.

This will serve to show the world a few things

1. Things are a lot tougher to fix if the US isnt involved.

2. The UN is totally useless and cant solve anything.

3. That it is easy to throw stones at those who attempt to find real solutions rather than just talk about things but it is hard as hell to actually find solutions and no matter the solution you come up with not everyone will be happy.

4. That the UN is trying to protect people who throw rockets indiscriminately at civilians and try to punish those who are simply trying to protect themselves.

If Syria gets involved China and Russia will hem and haw and make some noise about escalation but as long as Iran stays out of it their moaning will just amount to jackasses braying. China and Russia could give a wit about Syria other than the if it causes the US troubles. They will give them moral support but when push comes to shove Syria will be going against Israel by itself and that is a fight they cant win.

If Syria uses any chemical weapons they are reported to have it will turn world opinion agianst them even further. And remember the detereent against using WMD is the use of WMD against the original user. And Israel has nukes. I am sure that if they are subject to chemical attacks they will use at least one to show that they wont stand for it. And they will tell the rest of the world to go screw themselves.

I think what is happening i... (Below threshold)
Brett:

I think what is happening in the Lebanon now is a massacre supported by US, Britian and Germany. I have the same question put to Mr.Blair to the readers:

"Imagine if Lebanon destroyed every bridge in Israel, blew up the international airport, blockaded the ports, severed every arterial road, ordered people to leave their homes and then bombed them to pieces when they did," Galloway said.

"Do you think any Western leader would utter the words 'Lebanon has a right to defend itself'?" he asked

original article from http://www.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-234/0607196327172442.htm

I bet his next column is a ... (Below threshold)

I bet his next column is a long "poor me" about the mail he receives about this column. He'll focus on the insults he'll undoubtably get and studiously ignore substantive counterpoints.

Like Andrew Sullivan.

Richard Cohen has officiall... (Below threshold)
D:

Richard Cohen has officially joined the ranks of some other famous Jews in recent history:

Lazar Kaganovich - Stalin's right hand man up to his death
Rudolf Kastner - Zionist leader who refused to help Hungary's Jews escape the Nazis, assuring that 600,000 would be gassed.

Israel should turn Iran int... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Israel should turn Iran into a sheet of glass at it's earliest convenience !!

Posted by: Brett at July... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

Posted by: Brett at July 19, 2006 10:52 AM

Another moral equivalence argument.

Do you realize you are stuck in 'third' grade?

Do you realize this forum is for adults?

Imagine, thinking that Isra... (Below threshold)
Andre:

Imagine, thinking that Israel isn't always right and has a large part in it's problems. Horrors! Can't ever say anything about Holy Israel. Can't ever suggest that maybe it wasn't the greatest idea to plop a country right in the middle east and drive it's inhabitants out! No, if you do you're an anti-semite! It gets so frustrating to see so many people that just don't get it. There's plenty of blame to go around on BOTH sides and the only thing that will stabalize the region is both groups losing their egos and the creation of an economically secure palestinian state. Continuing to pretend that Israel is just this "poor widdle country" being picked on is nonsense. Continuing to pretend that the Arabs in the area don't have valid grievances against Israel is more nonsense.

The Lebanese made a choice:... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

The Lebanese made a choice: accept and harbor Hezbollah or risk a civil war. Fair enough. But they did so knowing full well that Hezbollah was first, last and always an anti-Israeli terrorist group. Now they are paying the price for their accommodation with the devil. In the long run they would have better off with a civil war, driving the extremist out or to death. Instead the Christians have been driven out for the most part.
The best possible outcome in the long term would be for Israel to invade Lebanon, crush Hezbollah, cripple Syria and expel the remaining Shia/Hezbollah out of Lebanon. Then encourage the Christian Lebanese overseas to come home. Do the Lebanese Christians love Israel? Most emphatically no. Will they want to have good friendly relationship with Israel? Most likely no. But they won't be attacking Israel either.

Israel by far the most accomplished state in the middle east is a mistake? In one year she has contributed more to the advancement of science, medicine and technology than the entire Arab world. Every year for the last 58 years. Israel is not the mistake, the Arab world is the mistake. It is time for the Arabs to quit the Middle East and North Africa and return the land they have stolen in the 1400 years to the indigenous peoples like the Kurds and the Copts among others and return to their Arabian pile of sand.

Cohen thinks that by groveling he will be considered the good Jew and be spared. As if the Islamofacist terrorist bomber makes distinctions between "good" Jews and bad Jews. No doubt he would have been a Kapo in the camps. Hoping to killed last. A complete POS.

It's this type of arrogance... (Below threshold)
Andre:

It's this type of arrogance that is the reason why nothing will ever change in the middle east until one side is completely destroyed.

andre,yes, a two sta... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

andre,
yes, a two state solution would have been nice. too bad arafat rejected it. look, most people know and understand that all sides bear some responsibility. I include the UN and the British in that all sides, btw. But it would be hard to argue that the palestinian/arab side does not bear the larger share of blame, especially for the recent violence.

Andre, grow up. There were ... (Below threshold)
Scott in CA:

Andre, grow up. There were nearly a million Jews in the Middle East before Israel existed. Those Jews lived under Arab governments that abused them, restricted their lives and work, made them second class citizens, and barely allowed them to live at all. The creation of Israel was justified for that alone. I do hope you understand the history of the region. Prior to 1920, there were no Arab states in the region. Egypt was the only nominally independent Arab state, and it was under British control until 1922. Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq were all created out of provinces of the dismantled Ottoman Empire. They are products of Europeans drawing lines on a map, not of "national" aspriations. These states were created first of all to give the Europeans control over the region, and secondly to give a form of self-determination to the Arab inhabitants of the regions. But what about the Jewish inhabitants of the region? Well, Isreal came along and gave THEM a state. The European diaspora of Jews and the Holocaust are secondary to that. Jews deserve a state in their native region no less than Arabs do. There are 22 Arab states now. We do NOT need a 23rd.

There will not be another Palestinian state. One exists now, Jordan, and it is sufficient to absorb the remaining Arabs living on Jewish land. After this little theatrical production this week, Israel is not going to allow the Arabs to have a state whose borders are 10 miles form TA and Jerusalem. Deal with it.

Can't ever suggest that ... (Below threshold)

Can't ever suggest that maybe it wasn't the greatest idea to plop a country right in the middle east and drive it's inhabitants out!

Under what circumstances were the "inhabitants" driven out?

Did the emigrating European Jews bully their way into Palestine? No...

Did the Palestinian Arabs gladly sell land to the emigrating Jews? Largely, yes...

But ... did the "inhabitants" get driven out?

Yes.

So what happened that drove them out?

Could it be ... that those inhabitants got six nations to help them wage a war against the Jews in Israel, which they lost, and which meant that Israel can take land?


Continuing to pretend that Israel is just this "poor widdle country" being picked on is nonsense.

True; they are a rich widdle country being picked on.


Continuing to pretend that the Arabs in the area don't have valid grievances against Israel is more nonsense.

What is nonsense, Andre, is pretending that the Arab grievances are not due almost entirely to their absolutist, fanatical, black-n-white worldview. This was not imposed upon them by Jews, but by themselves.

They started wars; they lost -- usually very very badly. And they're petulantly demanding do-overs. This is not a playground even though the pal-arabs are acting like children, this is the real world.

Talk about arrogance. While we're at it, give East Prussia back to the Germans, and Burgundy back to the Burgundians.

And Scotland back to my ancestors. I'll take the Firth of Forth if you don't mind, just because it's alliterative.

Perhaps Andre can expain wh... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

Perhaps Andre can expain why a "Palestinian" State is desirable but not a Kurdish State? Or a Coptic State? Or any number of States in the Middle East and North Africa comprised of the native inhabitants before the Arabs conquered and forcibly converted the local peoples to Islam?

Perhaps Andre can tell us if his great great grandfathers land was stolen and he recovered a large part of it, is that stealing?

On 6/6/67 there were Jordanians in the West Bank and Egyptians in Gaza. Time to end the failed "Palestinian" freakshow experiment and revert to the status quo ante.

There will not be anothe... (Below threshold)

There will not be another Palestinian state. One exists now, Jordan, and it is sufficient to absorb the remaining Arabs living on Jewish land.

Hahahahaha. And when the Palestinians living in Jordan start behaving in Jordan the way they behave in Gaza and the West Bank, then Jordan will do to them what Jordan did in 1970 -- which is what Israel did to them in '48 and '67.

But isn't it ironic that when the Jordanians decimated the Palestinians in September of 1970, the Palestinians took umbrage, created the "Black September" movement to exact revenge for Jordan obliterating them, and one of the first things Black September did was kill Israelis in Munich?

...because it's all the fault of the Jews. Naturally.

Brett,Galloway? I... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Brett,

Galloway? Islamic Republic News? The bastions of unbiased reporting and editorial.

In reference to what you quoted:

"Imagine if Lebanon destroyed every bridge in Israel, blew up the international airport, blockaded the ports, severed every arterial road, ordered people to leave their homes and then bombed them to pieces when they did," Galloway said.

Correct me of I'm wrong, but did Israel really destroy every bridge, blockage every port, and sever every arterial artery in Lebanon?

As far as ordering people to leave their homes: Context is important isn't it? Israel did not demand people leave their homes, (something apparently Hezbollah has been trying to stop for reasons that we know) Israel strongly suggested through leaflets that maybe it'd be a good idea to evacuate the immediate area because bombing was going to be taking place in the vicinity.

They wouldn't be dealing with these leaflets and this bombing if they didn't allow Hezbollah dig it's claws into Lebanon and flourish. Now they find themselves as unwilling human shields for the terrorists.

As I've heard said, if you sleep with the dogs expect to get fleas.

"Do you think any Western leader would utter the words 'Lebanon has a right to defend itself'?" he asked

Well given my above notes, it's pretty clear that there is no analogy.

Andre said "It's this type ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Andre said "It's this type of arrogance that is the reason why nothing will ever change in the middle east until one side is completely destroyed."

FINALLY YOU SAY SOMETHING SMART!!!!!!!!!!!

Hezballah wants Israel destroyed. They dont want peace. They dont want a ceasefire. They want ISRAEL DESTROYED. Dont you get it??? Have you ever heard anyone from Hezballah say "we can live in peace with Israel".

Andre go read the poem the Hangman. Who do you think Hezballah will go after if Israel just up and dies? Do you think that they will simply go away or do you think they will go after US??

Stop helping the hangman. Stop being part of the problem. And stop being STUPID. Israel has gave in to every demand over the years except to go find a hole, crawl in and die and it hasnt brought peace yet. Their enemies have shown time and time again they wont stop until Israel is destroyed. Well if I have to choose between Israel suriving or Hezballah I will take Israel. If you love Hezballah so much why dont you go join them and rail against Israel with your buds.


What I know is this. Each ... (Below threshold)
Andre:

What I know is this. Each side has what they consider to be valid reasons for disliking the other and continuing to engage in violence against the other side. My problem is pretending that Israel is some innocent little country that has never done it's share of dirty deeds. As long as Israel supporters continue to act this way, these actions will continue and more Israelis will die, and more Arabs will die. The SMART way is to concede that BOTH SIDES have sins to atone for and to try to amicably reach a mutual settlement instead of railing on about how Israel is "justified" in whatever actions it takes.

Andre, I will belie... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Andre,
I will believe your rhetoric if people like you will go to Israel to be the human shields for the Is women/children against the Hezbollah/Hamas terrorists while the Is negotiate with them about the terms of Is destruction.

Andre:My proble... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Andre:

My problem is pretending that Israel is some innocent little country that has never done it's share of dirty deeds.

I can see where that would be a problem, however, if anyone had said that could you point it out?

America has done it's dirty deeds, just as every other country in the world to date, does this mean they cannot be right?

The SMART way is to concede that BOTH SIDES have sins to atone for and to try to amicably reach a mutual settlement instead of railing on about how Israel is "justified" in whatever actions it takes.

No, that is not the smart way, that is the historical way...and it's never worked. The reason why is, and yes we'll have to repeat it again because it's important: One side (or all sides more precisely) doesn't want an agreement unless it entails the absolute destruction (though they may mercifully settle for slavery) of the Jews.

So the recap is, Andre -

Israel: Disarm and/or stop attacking us or we will retaliate.

Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.,: Die, Jews.

See the disconnect? Where are the grounds for agreement here?

LoveAmerica Immigrant, I've... (Below threshold)
Andre:

LoveAmerica Immigrant, I've LIVED in the Middle East, specifically Egypt and i've BEEN to Israel. Further, I've had both Palestinian AND Israeli friends in my lifetime. And what I've seen continuously in my experience is both sides demonizing the other. Since the US has been set up to be attached to Israeli's hip, the propoaganda here is overwhelmingly pro-Israel so my annoyance about it is probably more palpable regading Israel though I would like both sides to reach some kind of accord. I just have a major problem with the portrayal of Israel as some innocent little lamb being stalked by the Big Bad Wolf when that is far from the case in my opinion. Further, where is all the propaganda GETTING anything? More Isrealis will die, more Arabs will die and each side can comfort itself in being "right" while they destroy each other. It's absurd to me.

Andre, You still do... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Andre,
You still don't address one fundamental point: Is has been willing to withdraw from Southern Lebanon and Gaza and most of the West Banks. Why didn't the Palestinians try to build a decent country on what they have? Why can't the Hezbollah try to build up Lebanon? The Arab has plenty of oil money to help the Palestinians. Why don't they do it?

Heralder raised a good point that you don't address: Is has been willing to live side by side with the Palestinian, who have their own country now. The Palestian and Hezbollah are committed to the destruction of Is. What is there to negotiate? The first step is for the Palestinian to recognize Is 's right to exist as it is now.

Just a fact: I see the Arabs enjoy full benefits (if not more due to affirmative action) of Is citizenship. Can the Jews live anywhere in the Arab countries now?

Last point: your arg is the common perfection fallacy used to make moral equivalency. Ex: America is not perfect, North Korea is not perfect. So there is no difference between America and North Korea.

You can tell your Palestinian friends to work on building a country on the land they have now and stop lobbing rockets indiscriminately into Is. I am confident that Is will not return fire.

Again, instead of admitting... (Below threshold)
Andre:

Again, instead of admitting that BOTH SIDES have done their share of dirt you, like many (not all) Palestinians want to pretend that you're so holier than thou. And this attitude has put us where we are now. So go ahead and keep that attitude, and there will be more destruction and death. I guarantee you that just thinking you're "right" won't be enough to stop it. Eventually, if there is to be any chance of peace both groups are going to have to swallow their pride. You don't seem to be willing to do that, and admit that Israel has done plenty of dirt. So bombs will contiune to lob, and I guess you can be satisfied with being "dead right".

Andre"Isrealis will ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Andre
"Isrealis will die, more Arabs will die and each side can comfort itself in being "right" while they destroy each other"

Israeli point of view.

1. Give our soldiers back
2. Hezballah disarm IAW UN resolution 1559
3. Lebanon army create buffer zone so Hezballah cant attack Israel.

Hezballah point of view

1. Each and every Jew must die.

Now tell me Andre which side do you see as being more reasonable towards the other?

You cant have peace when one side insists upon the EXTINCTION of the other as a part of their terms. You cant even have REASONABLE dialog right that. Of course you dont care about reasonable anything.

Here's the point. I can go... (Below threshold)
Andre:

Here's the point. I can go out and find Palestininan scholars that will document the horrors and unfairness of Israel occupation and existance, as easily as you can find Israeli scholars that will take the opposite opinion. But the only thing that matters is whether each side is going to be willing to put that aside in order to stop the killing. Further, when you have poor, desperate people (like many Palestinians) they are going to lash out against those that they feel are responsible for their plight. The Middle East is a big mess that the US, Israel, the palestinians ALL have a part in. To not concede that is to be intellectually dishonest.

Andre"As long as Isr... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Andre
"As long as Israel supporters continue to act this way, these actions will continue and more Israelis will die, and more Arabs will die. The SMART way is to concede that BOTH SIDES have sins to atone for and to try to amicably reach a mutual settlement instead of railing on about how Israel is "justified" in whatever actions it takes.
"

At the risk of repeating myself.

It doesnt matter ONE WHIT what supporters of Israel say, dont say, do, or dont do, acknowledge or dont acknowledge.

It never has and it never will.

What matters is that Hezballah wants ISRAEL DESTROYED. Now if someone felt that way about you can I see where as you might be a bit preturbed and not act too nicely towards them. THAT IS WHY HEZBALLAH CAME INTO BEING. TO DESTORY ISRAEL.

You are trying to equate "a bad deed" from Israel with MASS GENOCIDE.

In short you are saying

Well Israel shot one of their soldiers so Hezballah should be excused for using 20 nukes on their country.

There is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCE BETWEEN THE TWO.

Israel is a COUNTRY who is a part of the UN and recognized as such. HEZBALLAH IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION WHOSE PURPOSE OF BEING IS TO DESTORY ISRAEL.

How freaking DENSE CAN YOU BE????

You cant have a discussion with someone who only wants to see you dead and wont stop hounding you until you are dead. You can only do one thing.
YOU KILL THEM FIRST. That is the only way PEACE will be established is if one of the two sides is dead.

One side is a country.

The other side is a TERRORIST ORGANIZATION.

If we were trying to "right the bad acts of the world" we should start with places like Russia, China, and Iran. We arent. We are attempting to resolve a conflict where ONE SIDE WONT STOP UNTIL THE OTHER SIDE IS TOTALLY ANNIHILATED. You cant reason with that you can only kill them before they kill you.

GEEZ what an idiot.

Andre, Talking abou... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Andre,
Talking about intellectual honesty: can you be intellectually honest enough that Is has shown willingness to live side-by-side with the Palestinians by withdrawing from Gaza and most of the West Banks. And the Palestinians are only interested in the destruction of Is? Also, the fact in front of our eyes is that Arabs can live peacefully in Is and enhoy all the benefits of Is citizenship. The reverse is true in Arab countries.
These are simple facts. Can we be intellectually honest enough to agree upon them before moving on?

BTW, we had scholars adoring Hitler for keeping the trains on time before WWII. We still have scholars making excuse for the atrocities of communists.

Can you be intellectually honest enough to admit that America is a better country than North Korea. Or are you insisting that America is as bad as North Korea?

Andre' But the onl... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Andre

' But the only thing that matters is whether each side is going to be willing to put that aside in order to stop the killing."

EXACTLY GOOD POINT!!!!.

Hezballah ISNT WILLING TO STOP THE KILLING. They have shown this OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Israel is willing but wont be left alone. This has been proven OVER AND OVER AND OVER.

So get off your "ITS ISRAEL's FAULT TOO" kick and open your eyes and look at the facts.

If Hezballah disarmed, gave back their Israel captives and moved away from the border of Israel what do you think Israel will do? Continue to attack them? Not likely. They would have to retreat back to their own lines and break off attacks. Hezballah has refused to do this and even your "HOLY OF HOLIES" the UN has stated that they must. They have refused to stop attacking Israel and thave have refused to obey UN DIRECTIVES. Have you seen any UN Directives for Israel to disarm? Stop attacking? ANYTHING? The ANSWER IS NO.

Hezballah is clearly at fault for starting this and clearly at fault for continueing it. Even Ray Charles could see this.

I'd just note that one can ... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

I'd just note that one can also find Palestinian scholars who will document quite extensively that the Holocaust didn't happen.

This might raise a few, erm, doubts about the veracity of some of the rest of their research?

Its about time someone says... (Below threshold)
RFS:

Its about time someone says what most Americans think.

The religious in America support the *idea* of Israel, but nothing more. When it comes down to it, the Zionists will be left to defend themselves.

Cohen is dead on, and more and more Americans are realizing that Israel is more of a burden than any kind of partner.

We have confirmation that m... (Below threshold)
LJD:

We have confirmation that moonbat central is living in fantasy land when they start making comments that 'most Americans think... whatever'.

More and more Americans think you are a communist surrender monkey. Go back to your satan page and continue hitting the crack pipe.

Only crass ignorance of his... (Below threshold)
Poles for Israel:

Only crass ignorance of history and blind belief in conspiracy theories as exemplified by Mearshimer & Walt's The Israel Lobby can dictate a screed like Mr. R. Cohen's. In his opinion the worst mistake Israel has ever made was its declaration of independence of 1948. Mr. Cohen is not aware of the fact that Israel was created by the UN vote and not by the Israel Lobby, which allegedly bribed Pres. Truman during his penniless 1948 presidential campaign. Such a view of history was embraced by the Muslim fanatics, because it makes it possible to turn creation of the state of Israel into a political crime.
In fact, the idea of Jewish homeland in Palestine originated with Lord Palmerston, the architect of British 19th century policy, who decided to create a Jewish minority in that area whose protection could serve as a pretext for evicting the Egyptians. The Balfour Declaration was on political horizon. One thing is certain, without British political protection Jews wouldn't be encouraged to settle down in hostile Palestine.
The British used the Palestine Mandate as a stronghold to foment political strife inside the czarist and then the Soviet Empire. So, when the opportunity occurred, the Soviet Empire stroke back. Mightily, from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The best way to subvert the British power in the Middle East and in its colonial possessions in Asia was to undermine their stronghold in the Middle East by creating an independent state of Israel.

Indeed, On May 4, ten days before the actual proclamation of Israel's independence, Gromyko declared that "a Jewish State is in existence, in spite of attempts by certain countries to impede the implementation of partition." On the very day of Israel's Proclamation of Independence, when the Special Assembly session was discussing the American proposal to appoint a United Nations mediator, Gromyko used the fact of "the existence of one of two states provided for in the General Assembly's resolution, the Jewish State," as an argument against the appointment. Could Ben Gurion have ignored this statement proclaimed from the rostrum of the United States? Especially that pogrom in Kielce, Poland and in other places forced out 200.000 Jews out of that country and made them run toward the only place where, they hoped, to be safe - Palestine. People who intentionally ignore this history have criminal minds.

The Soviets in their wider political game used the Holocaust card as a moral prerequisite for creation of the Jewish state. But that argument was for the world which was shocked by the monstrosity of the Nazi crime perpetrated on Jewish nation. In terms of realpolitik, the Soviet move was a reaction to a new concession granted by the British government, in March 1948, to the Iraq Petroleum Company in the form of a right to build a second pipeline terminating at Haifa. The Soviet had their own gigantic oil fields they intended to use in their European policy. And thus the British Empire collapsed in the Middle East, India and in the Far East. The tiny nation which was tertiated, (i.e. one third of the nation perished), couldn't have done that. God uses as His tools whomever He chooses, even atheists are not free from His power!

The truth is this IS Israel... (Below threshold)
john moore:

The truth is this IS Israel's fault. They continue to give more and more land won in DEFENSIVE wars. They continue to negotiate with nihilistic fanatics. They continue to give more and more rights to Arabs that openly flaunt the killing of Jews.

I think Mr Cohen's words ar... (Below threshold)
Me:

I think Mr Cohen's words are wrong to an extent. I think that there is disgusting brutality on the Israeli part against innocent civillians, but I think that by retreating, it will only motivate more offensive from the Hizbollah.

Hizbollah are a Shi'ite organisation backed by the Shi'ite capital Iran. These people are religiously compelled to murder anyone (including other muslims that are not Shi'ite) for 'Allah' swt.

Obviously Cohen has no concept of politics, conflict resolution or who the Hizbollah are.

Do you see an international jihad being announced at this present moment due to the attacks on Lebanon? No! Because most Islamic countries want these Shi'ite extremists out as much as anyone else, anyone that is familiar with Ayatollah Khomeini and Shi'ite beliefs will understand why other Islamic countries refuse to support them, that and the fact that these Shi'ite extremists are bombing within their own countries and killing as many innocent as 'westerners'. Eg. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

But in forming Israel, a whole race of people have been displaced. If you lose your home, your rights, your family even. It will drive you to hate. The Jews have the sympathy of the rest of the world, but the Palestinians have little support or help. When you suffer and the rest of the world doesn't care, you would hate the cause of your pain too.

I think we can find some re... (Below threshold)
Brad:

I think we can find some reasonable comments in Cohen's article despite his crude characterization of both sides in this conflict:

When he states that "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" it seems reasonable to conclude that Zionism was always going to mean ethnic nationalism - and that almost always means racism, violence and bloodshed.

The creation of a nation of European Jews outside of Europe was perfectly amenable to Europe but it was inevitably not going to be a peaceful project for European Jews simply because it entailed displacing an indigenous population (ethnic cleansing).

Bottom line. You push a people off their land irrespective of how many legal documents or historical claims you make for why it is ok, and you've made the first violent move that will be returned in kind. (And that holds true prior to 1948 with the settlements in Palestine).

Also, I think Cohen's point about Israel hunkering down stems more from a realistic assessment of how Israeli aggression, invasions, occupations and now the starvation of the Palestinians in Gaza make it critical that Israel work toward peace (maybe by living up to past agreements itself and making compromises on the resource bases it covets from outside Israel proper (where exactly is that anyway?)).

Israel's situation is precarious. War, killings, bloodshed, reneging on agreements etc. - all these tactics are failing Israel. It is decreasing Israel's chances of surviving as a viable state. Until Israel's defenders see fit to tell Israel as much, Israel's actions are inviting its own destruction far more effectively than other groups are purportedly aiming at its destruction.

Clearly there are UN resolu... (Below threshold)
fictionfinder:

Clearly there are UN resolutions that have been broken by Israel in the past and certainly in the present. I even expect they will continue well into the future if history is any indication.

Everyone freaks right out when something is said that puts Israel under scrutiny.

Here's the kicker: good policy and justice tend to stand on their own merits: They don't require the force of "group-think" behind them to push the idea or ideology through, except to demonstrate that the idea is marginal at best - that the force of one unified voice will somehow convert injustice into justice. The only thing it accomplishes, and clearly the only desirable goal for some pundits, is to prevent people from even considering an alternate perspective to that being pawned off by the "group".

It's quite simple: adhere to UN laws and resolutions when it DOESN'T suit you, NOT only when it suits you! Now of course you will undoubtedly call me names for presenting this view... I fully expect that as part of the method by which people with more moderate and balanced views are treated in the context of the extreme or biased.

Others will try to dismiss my views as being radical rant; I particularly like this type of opposition to balanced views since time ultimately sides with justice regardless of the opinions expressed by those perpetuating the injustice. There is only so long that injustice can be disguised and painted over and spun.




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