Ignorance on parade: Richard Cohen’s mistakes

Richard Cohen, if I had the power to remove you from the Tribe, you would be gone this instant. Ignorant, unbelievably wrong crap like this is why:

The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself.

Ignorant man: Read your Torah. Read your history. A nation of Jews existed millennia before Islam was invented.

Ignorant man: Read your ancient history. You ignore it, and you grant legitimacy to a racist, anti-Semitic worldview by insisting that Jews have no right to live in the land of their origin—in the land which was usurped by the Arabs after the Jews were forcibly removed from it.

Ignorant man: Read your modern history. Half of all Israelis are now Sephardic Jews, refugees from Arab lands that expelled their Jews or drove them out through pogroms. Israel took them in, gave them homes and lives, and their children are now running the country.

Ignorant man: No wonder you quote Tony Judt, another Jew who thinks Israel should be destroyed. You have both turned your backs on yourselves, and on what you stand for, and on the survival of your people.

It is also true, as some critics warned, that Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon was seen by its enemies — and claimed by Hezbollah — as a defeat for the mighty Jewish state. Hezbollah took credit for this, as well it should. Its persistent attacks bled Israel. In the end, Israel got out and the United Nations promised it a secure border. The Lebanese army would see to that. (And the check is in the mail.)

Ignorant man: Read your own words. Israel should simply despair, because the UN isn’t doing its job? Israel should simply turn and walk away because Lebanon isn’t doing its job? Israel should simply cease doing her job, which is to exist, and continue to exist?

Ignorant man: Read the history of your scholars, particularly the Jew who was born in Babylonia and returned to Jerusalem—because Jerusalem is where he belonged:

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?”

Ladies and gentlemen, a perfect example of a self-hating, anti-Semitic Jew. To write a column like this, which justifies Arab anti-Semitism and ignores the history of the Land of Israel, and the people of Israel, is beyond reprehensible.

Next up from Richard: A whiny column complaining about all the hate mail this one engendered. Count on it.

Ignorant man: You are a defeatist, and a blind defeatist at that. Your ignorance is appalling. You shame your heritage and your name.

Israel is not the mistake. Your column is.

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19 Responses to Ignorance on parade: Richard Cohen’s mistakes

  1. Jason says:

    Richard Cohen is a self hating Jew. And I have got to wonder why the New York Daily News a very pro-Israel paper owned by Mort Zuckerman would even pick up his column from the Washington Post.

  2. Pingback: Hot Air » Blog Archive » The Richard Cohen “Israel is a mistake” quote of the day

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  5. Tatterdemalian says:

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again… Israel wants to survive, Islam wants to destroy Israel, there can be no peace until one side or the other gives up, and the international community really believes that the only option that will keep its own hands clean of military action is to convince all Israelis to give up their right to live and get quietly back on the trains to Auschwitz.

  6. I saw this and thought of you. Specifically, I wondered what the yield on the explosion would be.

    What is it with the punditocracy? Half the time you wonder where these people were when they should have been in history class. What’s future history going to look like when those writing its “first draft” don’t know any?

  7. Pingback: Blue Crab Boulevard » Blog Archive » History Itself

  8. Michael Bindner says:

    Richard Cohen did not say Israel should roll over and play dead, or that it should not exist now. If he had told the whole truth, he would have pointed out that an anti-semetic US State Department turned away all refugees. Had they not turned them away, there would have been a mass migration here which would have lead to further pressure to bomb the death camps and otherwise act against the Holocost.

    Cohen’s title was provocative – it made you look. His point was that reoccupation of Gaza and south Lebanon would not be a good idea. He may be right if the answer is a two state solution, although I don’t think the two state solution has been thought through as yet, since two real states would mean a Hamas with a right to arm itself as its own country. I think that is a non-starter. It also does not solve the demographic problem of the Israeli Arab Muslims (the Christians have mostly fled by now from both Israel and the West Bank). Unless a Palestinian state includes the Muslim areas in the north as well as a chunk of the West Bank and that state is absorbed into a larger Arab federation under Hashemite rule (and I am talking Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan), the two state solution is bound to fail.

    What is the alternative? Peace and Justice. So far that is not going too far in either camp. Israel claims to be a bastion of westernism, although if it is it has an apartheid problem it will have to solve. In fact, claiming to be a Jewish state and violating the Torah’s edicts about abusing the alien in its midsts is an exercise in hypocracy.

    If Hamas really wants to upset the applecart, it should end the call to abolish Israel and instead demand full Israeli citizenship for all Palestinians and Arab Israelis, including the obligation of military service. This would certainly change the nature of the debate and probably get to the heart of Cohen’s point, that what Israel is doing is inconstent with the Torah. He just didn’t say it that way.

    Ask yourself this question, if a Jewish State is about Judaism rather than ethnic nationalism (which is an interesting question to debate), than how is it not silly to expect G_d to allow the restoration of the Temple or the return of the tablets from their likely resting place in Eritrea while the Arabs are being treated as slaves?

    So, is Cohen a self-hating Jew, or one who is calling on the Jews to honor Judaism rather than ethnic nationalism? As you say at the outset, you would like to throw him out of the tribe, which means that the likely answer is that he has violated Jewish tribalism rather than Judaism. When you can see the difference, peace is possible.

  9. Richard Cohen did not say Israel should roll over and play dead

    That is exactly what Cohen said:

    The smart choice is to pull back to defensible — but hardly impervious — borders. That includes getting out of most of the West Bank — and waiting (and hoping) that history will get distracted and move on to something else. This will take some time, and in the meantime terrorism and rocket attacks will continue.

    Did you not read the entire article? His title was hardly provocative: “Hunker down with history.” But it emphasizes his main point, which is to sit and do nothing and hope the bad, bad terrorists go away.

    He did not argue Torah at all. You are doing that. Let’s be clear about who is saying what. He isn’t calling on Jews to honor Judaism at all. He is saying flat out that the creation of the modern state of Israel was a mistake.

    A mistake.

    He further says

    the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now

    thus blaming all of Israel’s ills on the creation of Israel. Not on the irredentism of the Arab states around the ancestral Jewish homeland.

    The theme of the article is that Israel is one, big, giant mistake that should never have been made. You can pretend that he said otherwise, but that just makes you look dim.

    Cohen is an apologetic idiot. The reason I would like to throw him out of the Tribe is because he makes me ashamed he is Jewish–culturally, ethnically, and religiously. He hit the trifecta of pissing me off.

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  11. Michael Bindner says:

    You are correct, I read more into his comments than he said. However, he did not call for capitulation to Hezbollah’s demands to but to strategic defensibility. He seems to also be saying something about occupation in general which may have domestic implications regarding Iraq. He does, however, seem to implicitly endorse a two-state solution. I have called such a solution a mistake. In light of Hamas, wouldn’t you agree? Short of genocide against the Muslims, if two state is dead, what else is there? It seems like Israel is in a heck of a pickle. If it goes two state, Hamas is on its border. If it annexes and grants citizenship, demography overcomes it.

    If you don’t like Cohen’s idea of pulling back to defensible borders, which Sharon would have likely agreed with, what would you do?

  12. Robert says:

    If I was in charge of Israel. I would make a declaration stating that all territory taken would be incorprated into the Israel. I would forcibly remove the Paleoarabs who do not want to become Israeli Citizens. I would forcibly disarm the terrorist by any means necessary. I would even open war with Syria and perpare for the inevitable conflict with Iran with the cooperation with US Military to end the potential military threat of Iran. I would annex Gaza and the West Bank incorprate those lands to Israel and would kick Hamas to become a thorn on the Egyptians and the West Bank terrorist would be expelled in the same manner Jordan did to the PLO in the 1960s/1970s. No more coddling. If I was the Prime Minister we would see the biggest expansion of Israel since the 1967 War.

  13. Larry G says:

    Interestingly enough, the Washington Post Editorial Board does seem to get it. See their editorial today:

  14. Michael: You are now assuming things that I never said. It is obvious to me that the argument in your head doesn’t resemble the argument in my post.

    I’m not going to get into a discussion with someone who doesn’t wait for me to actually say something before disagreeing with it.

  15. Larry: Yes, it seems they do get it. Which makes Cohen look even more stupid.

  16. Ephraim says:

    Just a quibble, but the Jews from Arab lands who now make up about half the population of Israel are not all Sephardim, since many of them never left the Middle east and were never in Spain (Sepharad). They are more properly referred to as “Mizrachim”, IIRC.

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  18. Shimmy says:

    Ha, you beat me to it! Good stuff. I have to link you now to make sure I don’t repeat your points AGAIN :)

  19. If there is one thing that ticks me off, it is the description of Israel as a country founded for European (or worse, ‘white’ Jews, and the fact that…

    OK, if there are two things that tick me off…and the fact that there is NO apparent knowledge that there were Sephardi and Mizrachi Zionists before the founding of the state and the subsequent unpleasantness, and…

    Well, if there are three things that tick me off…

    Never mind. I think this guy got to all of them.

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