In a New York Times op-ed entitled "Bernie’s Israel Heresy," Roger (Iran is "not totalitarian") Cohen praises Bernie Sanders for his criticism of Israel during his recent debate with Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn. Cohen writes:
"In New York, no less, days before a primary, a candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination declares that Israel used 'disproportionate' force in Gaza in 2014, that 'we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity,' that the United States has to play 'an evenhanded role' and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel 'is not right all the time.'
Wow! Sensation! Hold the presses!."
Yup, the US needs to be more evenhanded, particularly as the Palestinians continue to fire rockets at Israeli towns and cities; continue to stab Israeli civilians, particularly women; and continue to blow up Israeli buses transporting civilians.
Moreover, the US must treat Palestinians "with respect and dignity" as Palestinians engage in "honor killings" against their sisters and daughters, and oppress homosexuals, who flee to Israel for safety. And then there is the small matter of Palestinian Authority President Abbas, now in the twelfth year of a four-year term of office. Correct me if I am wrong, but it appears that it is the Palestinians who need to be treating Palestinians "with respect and dignity."
Sanders's claim that the Israeli response to the more than 4,000 Hamas missiles fired at Israeli towns and cities in 2014 was "disproportionate"? Perhaps Bernie would care to explain how many missiles the US should fire back at Iran, if a single Iranian ballistic missile hits New York. Should it be tit for tat, i.e. one ballistic missile for one ballistic missile?
Cohen goes on to tell us in this gem of an opinion piece, "In most of the rest of the world, Sanders’s position would be uncontroversial." How reassuring! But isn't this the same world that turned away Jews seeking refuge before and during World War II, notwithstanding Hitler's abominations?
Cohen denounces "continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank." However, Cohen forgets to mention that Israeli settlements are built on less than two percent of the total territory of the West Bank, and that it has been agreed that most of these settlements will belong to Israel as part of any peace deal which will inevitably involve land swaps. More important, Cohen makes certain not to let his readers know that Netanyahu declared a 10-month settlement freeze in 2009 "to restart peace talks" at the request of Obama; however, Abbas delayed entering negotiations until the last moment and then walked away from the discussions. Yes, it's hard to negotiate peace when someone is not willing to talk peace with you.
And then there's Cohen recital of Netanyahu's "relentless attempt (even in extremis) to stop the Iran nuclear deal." Ah yes, that wonderful unsigned deal, which has allowed Iran to engage freely in ballistic missile tests. The deal purportedly extends Iran's nuclear "breakout time" from three months to one year (What a difference those nine months make . . . not!), but does not prevent Iran from perfecting its nuclear weapon delivery capabilities.
Yes, the ignorance (if only that) of Cohen and Sanders is sickening.