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Monday, July 14, 2014

Roger Cohen, "Israel’s Bloody Status Quo": Sexist!

Roger Cohen does not speak Hebrew or Arabic, and his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Israel’s Bloody Status Quo" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/15/opinion/roger-cohen-israels-bloody-status-quo.html?ref=opinion&_r=0) is written from London, but why should that prevent him from writing yet another risible opinion piece concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict. After all, he spent the greater part of 2009 informing us from Tehran that Iran is "not totalitarian," while almost entirely ignoring Iran's oppression and murder of women, homosexuals, Kurds, Baha'is, Sunni Muslims and political dissidents.

Today, Cohen would have us know:

"What Israel wants is the status quo (minus Hamas rockets). Israel is the Middle East’s status quo power par excellence. It seeks a calm Gaza under Hamas control, a divided Palestinian movement with Fatah running the West Bank, a vacuous 'peace process' to run down the clock, and continued prosperity. Divide and rule. Hamas is useful to Israel as long as it is quiescent."

Needless to say, Cohen makes certain not to mention that in 2008, when Israeli Prime Minister Olmert offered Palestinian Authority President Abbas an independent state along the 1967 lines with agreed upon land swaps and Palestinian control of east Jerusalem, Abbas refused. Cohen also ignores the fact that several years earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Barak similarly offered to withdraw from 97 percent of the West Bank and tear down 63 Israeli settlements. In exchange for the settlements that would remain part of Israel, Barak said he would increase the size of Gaza by a third. Barak also agreed to Palestinian control of much of East Jerusalem, which would become Palestine's capital, and Palestinian sovereignty over the Temple Mount. Arafat, however, also refused.

Cohen continues to write concerning the current war between Israel and Hamas:

"None of this is edifying. Much is abhorrent: indiscriminate Hamas rockets on Israel, Israeli killing of Palestinian civilians in 'collateral damage.' Yet I find myself short on moral outrage. It is all so familiar, a recurrent curse. It is a sham fight, and so doubly inexcusable. The Jews and Arabs of the Holy Land are led by men too small to effect change. Shed a tear, shed a thousand, it makes no difference."

What isn't Cohen telling us? First, he makes a point of ignoring the fact that the death toll in Gaza, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters, is less than 200. Needless to say, every civilian casualty is a tragedy, but consider how the US, the UK and Afghan government forces have killed a total of some 6,500 innocent Afghan civilians in recent years (see: http://www.thenation.com/afghanistan-database). Are the US and the UK also "led by men too small to effect change"?

Although approximately 1,000 rockets, missiles and mortar shells have been fired from Gaza at Israeli civilian centers over the past week, the number of casualties in Gaza has remained low because Israel has refrained from attacking Hamas's rocket arsenals, which are located under high-rise apartment buildings. Any attack on such an arsenal would involve a huge number of civilian deaths.

Israel is "led by men too small to effect change"? Cohen fails to observe that Israel's parliament has a higher proportion of women than America's Congress. Is Israel also led by women too small to effect change?

And then there is indeed the small matter of the Hamas charter, which calls for the murder of all Jews, not just Israelis. Seemingly unbeknownst to Cohen, it is difficult to reach a peace arrangement with an enemy that is intent upon genocide.

But heck, why should any of this matter to Roger Cohen, who is far away from the rockets in distant London?

1 comment:

  1. Of course, ROGER Cohen doesn't speak Hebrew. Didn't he go to Eton (or something similar)? Oh, ah. And did you hear him speak? Even the Queen of England must be impressed with his level of artifice. And did you notice where he works (ah, yes, you noticed)
    Absolutely and perfectly despicable creature.

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