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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Richard Cohen gets it wrong

Acknowledging the scourge of anti-Semitism and its likely continued prominence in the Arab world, the Washington Post's Richard Cohen argues that now is the time for Israel to settle with the 'Palestinians.'
There are nearly no Jews in Arab lands - they were kicked out after Israel was established in 1948. Nowhere in the Middle East is peace with Israel popular. Nowhere in the Middle East is anti-Semitism considered aberrant or weird. It is inconceivable to me that Arab politicians will not attempt to harness both sentiments, combining nationalism with anti-Semitism - a combustible and unstable compound. History instructs about what follows.

Israeli leaders are well aware that they face a new reality in their region. Whatever regime arises in Egypt, it is likely to chill even further what is already called a cold peace. The same might hold for Jordan. King Abdullah is secure for now - the Bedouin tribes need him to avoid chaos - but he, too, will have to listen to popular sentiment.

Consequently, now would be the propitious time for Israel to settle with the Palestinians. I am aware that resolution of the Palestinian issue will not satisfy anti-Semites or extreme Arab nationalists - Israel is not going to give up all of Jerusalem nor, for that matter, disappear - and both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza have only been emboldened by recent events. Still, the creation of a Palestinian state - the lifting of all the onerous restrictions on Palestinian movement - will take some air out of this particular balloon and, possibly, improve Israel's deteriorating moral standing in Europe and elsewhere. This is no small matter.
Sorry, but no. No, because there are no terms on which the 'Palestinians' and their Arab patrons are willing to settle that would not make Israel's continued existence not viable. No, because at a time when the anti-Semites are emboldened, making them generous settlement offers only whets their appetite for more. And no, because, as Cohen acknowledges, a settlement will not satisfy the anti-Semites or the 'extreme Arab nationalists' - descriptions that fit the vast majority of our neighbors' populations - but a settlement will weaken Israel's defenses against its enemies.

Contrary to Cohen's worry about Israel's 'deteriorating moral standing' in Europe, the Europeans don't matter. They hate us at least as much as the Arabs do and possibly more. They always have and they always will. From the genteel British who did all that they could to prevent the State of Israel from coming into existence, to the orderly Germans who until recently were too embarrassed by their actions in the 1940's to say anything, the Europeans are the original anti-Semites. We cannot fool ourselves by thinking that a 'Palestinian state' - even if agreement could be reached on where and how to establish one - would change their thinking.

Sorry Richard, but no.

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At 1:45 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Leftists like Cohen believe that europeans hate Jews and not" Israelis". This is standard socialist zionist dogma/

At 2:06 PM, Blogger NormanF said...


Even if Israel by some miracle did reach an agreement with the Palestinians, no one imagines Iran or the Arab Islamists or extreme nationalists would accept it.

The truth is the land for peace school is dead. Israel should not amputate itself to make those who hate the country like it. Its time for Israel's leaders to face reality and to stop apologizing to the world for the lack of peace in the region.

That is not Israel's fault and there will be no peace in our lifetime.

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remember Cohen also wrote that Israel was a historical mistake. If Israel gave back land and disappeared tomorrow it would not bother him one bit.

At 1:01 AM, Blogger ais cotten19 said...

I am thinking about an article, I think I read it here. The article was about a study where animals were tricked into believing they were in severe and imminent danger. Some of the subjects displayed a strange casualness to the threat. It was hypothesized that deep fear caused the subjects to repress their natural fear mechanisms, to the point where they seemed completely unaware of the danger they had realized only moments before. (I hope I'm getting this right. It was a while ago when I read it but I'm pretty sure it was here.)

Anyhow, maybe Cohen and others like him are so terrified of the many current threats against Jews that they've gone and disconnected themselves from reality.


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