One of the most unappealing character traits anyone can exhibit is excessive self-love. For liberal Zionists, the tragedy of Israel is what it’s done to the Jewish people… and that’s basically it. The Palestinians are minor bit-players in a titanic family drama that sets the smart, sensitive and urbane (Cohen) against the smart, rough and gruff (Lieberman). They ‘love and wrestle’ with one another on stage.
Sometimes, self-love can make one appear less-than-smart or sensitive or urbane. Like when it causes one to substitute Zionist exceptionalism for the basic ability to apprehend the obvious. Norbert from Finland put it this way:
No right of return after 65 years for one side but a right of return for the other after 2000 years. I sense a certain contradiction here.
Cohen is too smart and genteel to respond with the argument that God gave him the land. But that’s something that lots of other Zionists openly claim. So the more analogous question is whether Jews of German descent ought to have the right of return to Germany – a right they’ve enjoyed since 1949. A right all of their descendants continue to enjoy:
A study at Tel Aviv’s Bar Ilan University study found 100,000 Israelis have German passports.
During the Nazi era, the 1935 Nuremberg racial laws stripped Jews of German citizenship. But since May 1949, German law gives Jews who fled Nazi Germany the right to German citizenship, including all their descendants.
How would Cohen respond to that? I don’t know – and it doesn’t really matter. Liberal Zionists have about as much influence on Palestinian agency as a midnight cricket in Palau. And Palestinian agency is what he’s really whinging about.