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Monday, November 7, 2011

Roger Cohen, "The Last Jew in Zagare": No Mention of the Last Jews in Alexandria

In his New York Times op-ed "The Last Jew in Zagare" (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/opinion/cohen-the-last-jew-in-zagare.html?ref=opinion), Roger Cohen writes of the death of the last Jew in Zagare, Lithuania, whose Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis, and where his grandmother once lived. Cohen proceeds to link the Holocaust to the creation of the State of Israel. Reading Cohen's op-ed, one is led to believe the falsehood disseminated by the left that the Palestinians were forced to pay the price for a European abomination. There is not a single mention that the majority of Jews in Israel arrived from North Africa and the Middle East, after being forced out of their homes in Muslim countries, stripped of all their belongings.

I strongly urge reading another New York Times op-ed, published more than two years ago, entitled "The Exodus Obama Forgot to Mention" (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/opinion/09aciman.html), by André Aciman, a professor of comparative literature at the City University of New York. Referring to Obama's 2009 speech to the Arab world from Cairo, Professor Aciman writes:

"The president never said a word about me. Or, for that matter, about any of the other 800,000 or so Jews born in the Middle East who fled the Arab and Muslim world or who were summarily expelled for being Jewish in the 20th century. With all his references to the history of Islam and to its (questionable) 'proud tradition of tolerance' of other faiths, Mr. Obama never said anything about those Jews whose ancestors had been living in Arab lands long before the advent of Islam but were its first victims once rampant nationalism swept over the Arab world.

Nor did he bother to mention that with this flight and expulsion, Jewish assets were — let’s call it by its proper name — looted. Mr. Obama never mentioned the belongings I still own in Egypt and will never recover. My mother’s house, my father’s factory, our life in Egypt, our friends, our books, our cars, my bicycle.

. . . .

In Alexandria, my birthplace and my home, all streets bearing Jewish names have been renamed. A few years ago, the Library of Alexandria put on display an Arabic translation of 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,' perhaps the most anti-Semitic piece of prose ever written. Today, for the record, there are perhaps four Jews left in Alexandria."

Yes, I believe that the Palestinians should have their own state beside a Jewish Israel (which Abbas refuses to accept), where they can live in dignity and independence, and reap the economic rewards of peace. But there should also be no denying or falsifying from where the homeless refugees who created the State of Israel arrived.

1 comment:

  1. Jeffrey, can you comment on this noise in NYT about Sarkozy's Netanyahu remark?
    I am banned from Mackey's blog for being critical of antisemitic orgies he seems to enjoy orchestrating.
    Is it possible that Sarkozy (and Obama?) "leaked" their comments deliberately to cater to their constituency?
    Hmmm. A lying politician? A totally unknown creature.

    ReplyDelete