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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Roger Cohen, "Zionism and Its Discontents": With Zionists Like Cohen, Who Needs Enemies?

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Zionism and Its Discontents" (, subtitled "Zionism and Israel’s War with Hamas in Gaza," Roger ("Iran is not totalitarian") Cohen tells us that he is a Zionist. However, Cohen immediately goes on to say:

"What I cannot accept, however, is the perversion of Zionism that has seen the inexorable growth of a Messianic Israeli nationalism claiming all the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River; that has, for almost a half-century now, produced the systematic oppression of another people in the West Bank; that has led to the steady expansion of Israeli settlements on the very West Bank land of any Palestinian state; that isolates moderate Palestinians like Salam Fayyad in the name of divide-and-rule; that pursues policies that will make it impossible to remain a Jewish and democratic state; that seeks tactical advantage rather than the strategic breakthrough of a two-state peace; that blockades Gaza with 1.8 million people locked in its prison and is then surprised by the periodic eruptions of the inmates; and that responds disproportionately to attack in a way that kills hundreds of children."

What isn't Cohen telling us this time?

As always, 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 tells us that Gaza has "1.8 million people locked in its prison." However, Cohen fails to mention that the population of Gaza was some 300,000 in 1967 after Israel occupied Gaza during the Six Day War (Israel unilaterally evacuated Gaza in 2005). Needless to say, the main reason Gaza is so crowded is that Gazans have been very busy having children. Then, too, life expectancy in Gaza of 74.64 years, according to the CIA World Factbook, is considerably higher than life expectancy in Turkey amounting to 73.29 years.

Cohen doesn't tell us about Gaza's eight universities and colleges, or its gourmet restaurants (e.g., "Roots"), or its 5-star hotel ("The al-Mashtal"). And then there was also the "Crazy Water Park," which was burned down by Hamas, because Hamas didn't want men and women intermingling.

That's quite an extraordinary prison you have there, Roger.

Cohen also fails to note that the border between Israel and Gaza was not always closed. It was closed after suicide bombers, sent into Israel from Gaza and the West Bank, killed more than 1,000 Israeli civilians. By the same token, Cohen ignores the more than 10,000 rockets and mortar rounds that were fired from Gaza at Israeli towns and cities prior to the current war.

Regarding the death of children in Gaza, Cohen refuses to acknowledge that many of the more than 3,000 rockets targeting Israel during the past three weeks have been fired from Gazan hospitals, schools and mosques.

By the way, for the third time during the current round of fighting, UNRWA has discovered rockets stored in its Gazan schools (see:

Cohen is a Zionist? With Zionists like Cohen, who needs enemies?

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