Summary: One year after acknowledging that Palestinians were to blame for the failed Israeli-Palestinian Authority peace process, left-wing NY Times contributor Roger Cohen cast Israelis as fanatical nationalists and Palestinians as passive, despondent victims. The Times’ cure for Jews’ violent adherence to their religious texts is punishing settlers with BDS, while the paper distanced Muslims from their religion and called for greater compassion towards these innocents.
Just in time for Christmas, Roger Cohen decided to write about the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. Again.
In an article called “The Assassination in Israel that Worked,” Cohen portrayed an Israeli society overrun with religious fanatical murderers. He described the killer of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Amir, as “a religious-nationalist follower of Baruch Goldstein, the American-born killer of 29 Palestinian worshipers in Hebron in 1994.” He wrote about Jews living east of the Green Line (EGL) as obsessed with “Messianic Zionism,” at odds with the concept of democracy. Because Palestinians are desperate for their own state, Jews living in EGL make “violence inevitable” according to Cohen. He argued that the UN’s creation of Israel “was territorial compromise, as envisaged in Resolution 181 of 1947, calling for two states, one Jewish and one Arab, in the Holy Land. This was humankind’s decision, not God’s.” In short, according to Cohen, the vast Messianic cult of violence in Israel seeks all of the Holy Land, but the rights of Jews are limited to just half of the land as dictated by man’s laws.
Lastly, Cohen argued, the only way to push back against the right-wing Israelis and their government was to employ different angles of the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) in which Obama should “close American loopholes that benefit Israeli settlers.”
Here is a bit of education for Roger Cohen (maybe the byline was wrong and this was written by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, the loud advocate of BDS?):
A smaller percentage of Jewish “settlers” are murderers, than are terrorists which are Muslim. The Cohen opinion piece would lead a person to believe that every Jewish “settler” takes up arms against Arabs, while the reality is that almost every Jew living in the land seeks to live in peace with their Arab neighbors. Baruch Goldstein was an anomaly, not the rule.
Why would the Times print such an inflammatory piece against Jews when it is in the midst of a blitz about the dangers of “Islamophobia”? The Times wrote over-and-again that most Muslims are peaceful and that Muslim terrorist abuse the interpretation of Islamic holy texts. Yet the Times was eager to describe Jewish killers as motivated by the plain reading of the Jewish holy texts, and suggested that any Jew living in Judea and Samaria is either a potential killer, or instigates Palestinian violence.
It is untrue, unfair and reeks of hypocrisy to portray Jews in such a manner. There are almost no Jews in Judea and Samaria that committed murders, but the Times labelled all “settlers” as devout killers. Meanwhile, the global jihadist movement enlisted thousands and slaughtered thousands, and the Times rallied to the defense of Muslims.
Jews are entitled to live in EGL/ Judea and Samaria according to international law. The 1922 Mandate of Palestine by the League of Nations clearly and specifically encouraged Jews to live throughout the Holy Land, including areas now known as the “West Bank.” The Mandate included language that specified that no one should be prevented from living anywhere because of their religion.
“Messianic Zionism” may be a driving force motivating some Jewish families to move to the region, just as they might move to Haifa or Be’er Sheva. Some people are motivated by Zionism without a Messianic component, while others go for good jobs in the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. The motivation for living there is irrelevant; the right of Jews to live anywhere in the Holy Land was established in international law.
“Violence is inevitable” because Arab don’t want Jews as neighbors, not because Arabs want a state. Arabs have been killing Jews in the Holy Land for 100 years. In several episodes in the 1920s, including the brutal Hebron massacre in 1929, Arabs called for ridding the land of Jews. On the eve of the Holocaust, they launched multi-year riots (1936-9) slaughtering dozens of Palestinian Jews and convinced the British to limit Jewish immigration, causing the death of hundreds of thousands of European Jews.
Whites in the 1950s also did not want to live with black neighbors. Racism and anti-Semitism are to be condemned, not rationalized. Shame on the New York Times for defending Arab attacks on Jews.
The establishment of Israel as a Jewish State has been rejected by the Arabs for 100 years, and counting. Cohen pointed to the United Nations Partition Plan which called for creating a Jewish State in 1947. He failed to say that the Arabs REJECTED that plan. They opted to launch a war against Israel instead.
Israel has continued to seek peace with its neighboring Arab countries: Jews approved the partition plan in 1947; the country uprooted Jews living in Sinai in 1982; it handed various cities to the Palestinian Authority in 1995; it uprooted Jews from Gaza in 2005. Israel made various peace offers to the Palestinians, including in 2000 and 2008. The Palestinians reacted to each offer with wars, and continue to reject Israel as the Jewish State to this day.
One year ago, Cohen wrote “Why Israeli-Palestinian Peace Failed. “ In the article, he acknowledged various Israeli peace efforts including settlement freezes and prisoner releases. In exchange for the Israeli gestures, the Palestinian Authority created a reconciliation government with the terrorist group Hamas, and joined international bodies counter to the agreed upon peace framework. The peace talks collapsed.
Cohen has now concluded that while the Palestinians suffer from ineptitude and corruption, at the end of the day, their cause is just. The Palestinians are not only despondent, but desperate for an external force to advance their vision of a state. Cohen believes that Obama should begin to advance various iterations of BDS on Jews living east of the Green Line to assure the Palestinians goal of a Jew-free state (Obama has indicated in the past that he approves of a Judenfrei Palestine). Cohen had no suggestions – or concerns – of how to make Palestinians approve of the Jewish State living in security.
The radical left-wing call for BDS of the Israeli territories is easier to make when one ignores the 99% of peaceful families living in Judea and Samaria. So Cohen, and other Israel-bashers paint all of these Jews as “Messianic Zionists” who are out of touch with reality. They are either murderers of Arabs like Baruch Goldstein, or of the peace process with Arabs like Yigal Amir.
Cohen fails two of Natan Sharansky “Three Ds” test for anti-Semitism: demonization and double standards. To rephrase the great ballad-rocker Meatloaf, Two of the Three IS Bad.
When will the Times and the left-wing fringe look at the Jewish families with an iota of the compassion they shower upon peaceful Muslims?
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