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‘The Israel I love is increasingly hated’– Richard Cohen

Israel/Palestine
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Cohen

Cohen

The writing is on the wall, as the Old Testament says. Richard Cohen is against boycott in The Washington Post; but he sees what’s happening to his beloved Israel.

What matters most about the boycotts is what they represent — widespread and growing antipathy toward the Jewish state. It’s facile to attribute this entirely to anti-Semitism, although it surely lurks here and there. But in the United States at least, anti-Semitism is a spent force — witness the appointment of the third Jew in a row to head the Federal Reserve. A generation ago, more than a few commentators would have mentioned the International Jewish Conspiracy or some such thing. That now exists only in the rattled brain of a Louis Farrakhan.

Nonetheless, there is a special, worrisome fury directed at Israel. I hear it from people who are not in any way anti-Semitic. (I would hear more of it if many people were not afraid of being labeled anti-Semitic.) Sometimes I think the anger comes from having repressed criticism of Israel lest it offend. Sooner or later, though, the emotions come spilling out.

Whatever the cause, the fact remains that Israel’s occasionally harsh occupation of the West Bank has put the country on the defensive…

[W]hat they say is not as important as the sound they make. The Israel I love is increasingly hated.

So he alludes to bankers Greenspan, Bernanke, and Yellin. I grew up counting Jews, as a sign of our inclusion. Does that mean others get to count them, too? Thanks to Peter Voskamp.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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72 Responses

  1. hophmi
    January 14, 2014, 4:00 pm

    “witness the appointment of the third Jew in a row to head the Federal Reserve.”

    Richard Cohen writes lots of dumb things (usually, it’s borderline racist stuff about African-Americans), but this may be the dumbest. America is a tolerant place, and accepting of its Jewish population, but that is hardly proven by the fact that it trusts Jews to handle the Fed. There have been Jews on the Board of Governors for as long as there has been a Board (the first was Paul Warburg), and America was not as accepting of Jews in 1914. The Warburg were a German family; Germany is another place that trusted Jews to manage money, until, well, they didn’t.

    I don’t think there’s anything particularly remarkable about the coincidence that the last three Fed chairs have been Jews. It’s much more notable that Janet Yellin is a woman than that she’s Jewish.

    • doug
      January 14, 2014, 4:38 pm

      Really? Brush up on your math. Jews are 2% of the population. Females are about 50%. The odds of 3 people selected at random being Jewish is about the same as 17 consecutive people, selected at random, being of the same sex.

      So, no, it is not more notable that Yellin is female.

      • seafoid
        January 14, 2014, 4:50 pm

        In fairness Yellen was a far better choice than Larry. And would have been way better back in the 00s than Greenspan.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2014, 9:40 am

        Not to mention, if memory serves, except for one guy who was the head for only a short time, the last 5 heads of the Fed have been Jewish. The odds for this happening with a 2% demography is more than if you or I got hit by a lightening bolt.

      • piotr
        January 15, 2014, 5:51 pm

        I smell a whiff of ugly anti-bolt sentiment.

    • Donald
      January 14, 2014, 6:47 pm

      Egads, hophmi, now you’re Fed Jew counting too. Anyway, what’s your point? Cohen’s point was that antisemitism is dying out in America, whatever one thinks of his method of counting Fed Chairs who are Jewish as a way of determining this .

      It is true that Cohen is generally an idiot. Can’t argue with that. This paragraph, though, probably hits the nail on the head–

      “Nonetheless, there is a special, worrisome fury directed at Israel. I hear it from people who are not in any way anti-Semitic. (I would hear more of it if many people were not afraid of being labeled anti-Semitic.) Sometimes I think the anger comes from having repressed criticism of Israel lest it offend. Sooner or later, though, the emotions come spilling out.”

      • Little_Shih_Tzu
        January 15, 2014, 8:42 am

        “Nonetheless, there is a special, worrisome fury directed at Israel. I hear it from people who are not in any way anti-Semitic. (I would hear more of it if many people were not afraid of being labeled anti-Semitic.) Sometimes I think the anger comes from having repressed criticism of Israel lest it offend. Sooner or later, though, the emotions come spilling out.”

        Oh, come on Dick Cohen, this is the same old whine in the same old bottle: Anti-Zionism = Anti-Semitism. Whwn will the israel-first finally retire this canard?

      • Ron Edwards
        January 15, 2014, 9:39 am

        I’m also curious to know specifically what he means by “the Israel I love.” Where is it? What are its qualities? What does it who? Who’s in it?

    • RFS
      January 14, 2014, 8:51 pm

      His argument isn’t that Jewish political prominence refutes the existence of American anti-semitism – it’s that Jewish political prominence doesn’t elicit distrust or resentment in the US, and *that* is a strong indication that anti-semitism is no longer a force in US culture.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2014, 9:54 am

        I don’t think the reason Joe Lieberman didn’t get to be VP of USA in the 2000 national elections was because he was a Jew, an a orthodox, Israel First Jew at that. The national chatter surrounding the Gore-Lieberman ticket never even brought that up, although the Jewish Jew-geography pundits did, mostly to their own Jewish community, not to the American community of voters at large.

        Just so you know, over the last Christmas holidays
        Joe Lieberman, the former U.S. senator and 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate, became chairman of the executive board of Chicago-based investment firm Victory Park Capital.

        Surprised? I thought not.
        It’s a good place to be since the Obama reforms did not reinstall the Glass-Seagal Act, so the taxpayers will be again on the hook when the investment banking sector gambles insanely with other peoples’ money.
        Lieberman can’t really lose even if he tried. So much for the power of American anti-semitism, just another example, as Beiden told his AIPAC audience, of latent goy jew hatred always right around the corner because it’s in the goy DNA, never has anything to do with what powerful jews do and get away with because if they are criticized, the messenger is smeared as a jew-hater. And so Jewish history moves on, repeating itself and justifying itself in its insane fashion, as if world history did not exist.

    • ritzl
      January 14, 2014, 8:57 pm

      Well…witness that the soon-to-be new #2 is the former head of the Israeli central bank. Since Yellin was the promoted/former #2 at the Fed, are we now in an era where Israel’s central bank is the flawed, high gini policies (like we need more of that), farm system for our banking system and its objectives?

      Fed Chairman progenitorship is now actually Israeli? If so, that’s a HUGE problem for all sorts of reasons.

  2. Krauss
    January 14, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Does that mean others get to count them, too?

    Don’t be silly. Only Jews can criticize Israel or the Jewish establishment(like Beinart) when it supports Apartheid. And even that is not enough.

    It can’t be the universalist Jews like Max Blumenthal. It has to be the “I pretend I’m a liberal but really I defend any real attempt to stop Apartheid” Jews like Roger Cohen or Bradley Burston(who recently went out of his way to attack “left-wing extremists” like said Blumenthal for his temerity of questioning Ariel Sharon’s sainthood).

    • Krauss
      January 14, 2014, 4:19 pm

      Here’s another:

      Sharon realized that Israel faced a demographic nightmare — too many Palestinians, too few Jews

      Now it’s important to understand that Cohenhardly has a liberal record. But even if he isn’t a liberal, he does his best to portray liberal Zionism in his Op-Ed, and I think he does a decent enough job.

      But part of that portrayal of “liberal” Zionism also involves the crude logic of racialism which is at the essence of Zionism, right or left-wing in this case doesn’t matter.

      As Blumenthal likes to say: the biggest threat to Israel is democracy; one vote for everyone regardless of race.

      And Zionists are right; Israel does get treated to a double standard. A standard where they are exempted from moral outrage which would be given without any scruples to any Western self-purported democracy as Israel itself likes to see itself if 50% of its population was without voting and/or under indirect starvation like in Gaza.

      Could France get away with having 50% of its population that it controlled in an undemocratic and authoritarian way in the name of security? Yet Israel has managed to do so for years, decades.

      The question is not why now, but why so late.

    • seafoid
      January 14, 2014, 4:50 pm

      Have you got a link for that Burston slam, Krauss?

      • yonah fredman
        January 14, 2014, 10:47 pm

        Here’s the burston article, although I certainly would not characterize it as Krauss did. I found the article quite reasonable. http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/1.568392

        The essence of burston’s contention seems to be that a nuanced approach to Sharon’s career or Israel cannot be found in blumenthal’s nation article. one has to read derfner and levy to read a nuanced approach. I would assert that nothing published here about sharon was nuanced either. But this site is not about nuance. but just more glaring in this case.

      • Djinn
        January 15, 2014, 12:45 am

        Yonah, just curious, how many dead men, women and children can a person rack up before you’re willing to forgo nuance?

        Ballpark is fine.

      • yonah fredman
        January 15, 2014, 9:11 pm

        Djinn- Nuance might be the wrong word. What I am looking for is analysis, such that a way forward can be accomplished. Derfner and Levy’s articles found something in Sharon’s career that might lead the way forward. For those whom the only way forward is an army other than Israel controlling Lod Airport, then Derfner’s and Levy’s way forward is probably not useful.

        But otherwise please don’t focus on the word nuance and tell me what is wrong with what Derfner and Levy wrote.

      • Krauss
        January 15, 2014, 1:48 am

        Yonah’s kindred spirits in the Deep South argued for a ‘nuanced approach’ to Jim Crow and Slavery back in the day, too. As did his contemporaries in white ruled-South Africa.

        Everytime you hear the word “nuance” and “complexity” in a conflict which is fundamentally about Apartheid, it is 99.99% coming from people who defend Apartheid but know they can’t get away with it anymore, so it’s a stalling tactic. The problem is the world doesn’t buy it anymore.

        But that won’t deter hasbara trolls like yonah. Is he paid by the Israeli government or is his idiocy for free?

      • Cliff
        January 15, 2014, 9:29 am

        Krauss,

        Clearly you have not encountered Richard Witty. MW veterans will recall just how inane and delusional he was when they read Wondering Jew’s comments.

        WJ is a Richard Witty-lite. More honest, not as much of a troll – but still petty and short-sighted (sniping threads for hints of Jewish identity discussions whilst ignoring the content of the article).

      • yonah fredman
        January 15, 2014, 9:15 pm

        Mister Kraus- We have never interacted before and your pompous attitude ensures that we will not interact again. Have a nice life.

      • Donald
        January 15, 2014, 9:08 am

        Burston tried to score one point against Blumenthal, where he implied that Blumenthal was glib about the suicide bombings of the early 00’s. But Blumenthal said this–

        “Palestinian suicide bombings were battering the cafes and nightclubs of Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem. Channeling the mood of Israel’s “peace camp,” which had called for Sharon’s ouster during the invasion of Lebanon, the liberal newspaper Haaretz demanded “a war about the morning’s coffee and croissant.”

        So it was Haaretz that was glib and Blumenthal quoted them.

        What Burston never explains is why it is extremist to condemn Sharon as a murderer He was a murderer.

        As for nuance and the derfner and levy pieces, with all due respect (I like them both), their pieces are opportunistic. Now that Sharon is dead, they want to use his alleged lesson-learning at the end of his career as a way of bashing Netanyahu and the even further right Israeli nitwits of the present.
        This is a standard sort of thing that pundits do–I’ve seen liberals hold up Reagan as a favorable model compared to Bush, nevermind that Reagan went as far right as he could in his day and helped set the stage for Bush later on. And Bush in turn is occasionally held up in the same way compared to the Tea Party types. The rightwingers in both Israel and America seem to be drifting further and further rightward, so sometimes lefty columnists will point to the earlier rightwingers as paragons of moderation. I don’t think this is a sensible way to do political analysis, but it seems to work as column filler.

      • seafoid
        January 15, 2014, 5:01 pm

        Blumenthal isn’t an extremist either. The Israeli system is mad.

      • yonah fredman
        January 15, 2014, 9:24 pm

        Donald- Do you really believe that Derfner and Levy’s analyses of the last stage of Sharon’s career was just column filler? If that is so, my estimation of your analysis has dropped.

      • Donald
        January 16, 2014, 5:33 pm

        Yonah–my “column filler” phrase was unnecessarily snarky, since as I said before I respect Levy and Derfner and there’s too much unnecessary snark around here (some of it from me). But I do think they are both giving Sharon too much credit on the withdrawal. I don’t think it was truly meant as a step towards peace–it was more of a strategic retreat. Pull back the settlers from Gaza and get credit from the West for doing so, while continuing to settle the WB. And maintain the siege on Gaza. When rockets are fired at Sderot, then Israelis and their defenders can say “See, we pulled back and what did it get us?”

        Now if Sharon had truly meant the withdrawal as a first step, then I’d be wrong, but it seems really unlikely to me that he did.

      • yonah fredman
        January 16, 2014, 5:47 pm

        Donald- Thanks for admitting to unnecessary snark. You’re one of the few mensches around here.

        It is difficult to predict how Sharon would have dealt with the West Bank if he had lived. Was the peace process on formaldehyde formulation his true heart of heart or not? He certainly thought in grander, bolder terms than Netanyahu and he certainly had greater “leadership” qualities than Olmert or Ehud Barak. But the precedent of partial withdrawal (partial- settlements and soldiers, but not end to siege) was an important precedent and to dismiss it because of the poor motives for the act is a type of tunnel vision.

      • Donald
        January 16, 2014, 6:16 pm

        Yonah–Thanks for the thanks. I’m in one of my self-reform moods, deciding to try and argue without excessive snark. I recently saw a blog where people were arguing civilly and couldn’t believe my eyes. We’ll see how long this lasts.

        On Sharon, motive matters. If it was a recognition that Israel had to start pulling back, that’s one thing, but if it was really just a PR/propaganda stunt, then it fooled some of the liberals and made the far right really angry at him, but didn’t accomplish anything towards peace. Whatever his ultimate intent, I think that’s how it actually turned out. Also, removing a few thousand settlers from Gaza is a far cry from removing hundreds of thousands from the WB (or letting them stay under Palestinian rule, as R Witty used to suggest. Don’t know if anyone outside blog comment sections has done so.)

  3. William Burns
    January 14, 2014, 4:18 pm

    “Occasionally harsh” classic!

  4. seafoid
    January 14, 2014, 4:24 pm

    ..occasionally harsh occupation

    Other gems in the series

    The occasionally stupid investment polices of Lehman
    The occasionally mendacious nature of Netanyahu
    The occasionally unsuccessful war in Iraq

    • W.Jones
      January 14, 2014, 7:15 pm

      I think you are starting to get the knack of things. Brutalization only happens on occasions and is not occurring everywhere at every moment. Thus it is only occasional.

      Lord have mercy.

  5. doug
    January 14, 2014, 4:32 pm

    >> “Sometimes I think the anger comes from having repressed criticism of Israel lest it offend. ”

    This may well be true. I recall reading a book about this effect relative to the breakdown of consensus amongst elites in the former USSR and Pre Islamic Iran. Basically it was how everyone tows the line due largely to the social but also very real penalties of violating custom. Then, more and more people notice that speaking out doesn’t quite carry the penalties it once did and the result is an avalanche as popular opinion turns against the regime. The more oppressive a regime is the more the effect is hysteretic. Unfortunately, revolutions produce unpredictable results and sometimes worse results. I sure wish I could remember the author or book title. I think it came out in the early 80’s and was by a USD prof.

    I hope we don’t go through something like that if the country is forced into a war with Iran and subsequent accelerated economic/military decline of empire.

    • seafoid
      January 14, 2014, 4:52 pm

      Suppressing dissent is the worst possible strategy for Israel. It led to YESHA. It means a lot of reasonable people hate the country. It keeps the IDF regime in power. It’s not good at all.

    • Citizen
      January 15, 2014, 3:13 pm

      Americans have been weaned on the Holocaust, and have no education at all on the Nakba, for example. If it took Taxi 15 years to shake off the feeling that Israelis were victims, not oppressors of innocents, how long do you think it will take the average American to do the same, especially when you consider also that the mainstream media has identified Palestinians with fanatical suicide bombers and endless rains of deadly rockets into peaceful children’s bedrooms in Israel? Obama has claimed he identifies his own kids with the little Jewish kids asleep in their beds.

      Every American kid knows about Ann Frank. None ever heard of Rachel Corrie. ]
      What can be done about that?

      • Taxi
        January 16, 2014, 12:23 am

        Citizen,

        If the mainstream (multi) media were not EN MASS selling us the holocaust product’ on a daily basis, it would take the “average American” a hecka lotta less time to “shake off” the clinging propaganda.

  6. seafoid
    January 14, 2014, 5:02 pm

    Cohen is in denial. The Israel he loves is either dead under YESHA or the Israel that gave birth to the YESHA golem.

    Alice Walker said it very, very well.
    “You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity”

    • American
      January 14, 2014, 11:42 pm

      ‘Alice Walker said it very, very well.
      “You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity”>>>>>

      Same here. Has boggled my mind for 11 years.

      • Taxi
        January 15, 2014, 7:00 am

        I’ve been peeling the layers of israeli lies for 37 years. That’s why I oft lose my patience with repeated hasbara and denialism.

        Weird thing though, even though I was always staunchly pro Palestinian, I think it took me about 15 years to shake off the ‘feeling’ that israelis were victims – so deep was my ‘holocaust industry’ brainwashing.

        Now, the state of israel and the holocaust are two completely separate events and ‘feelings’ for me. It took about a decade and a half to separate them.

        Phew! Liberation!

        But I’m still angry that zionists used the holocaust to bait me in and f*ck with my judgements.

      • bintbiba
        January 15, 2014, 11:48 am

        Taxi, even I, a Palestinian of ’48, during my youth went through the same agony! Now, mus=ch older ,wiser, better informed, know better!
        Thank you for expressing it so well. The bait even worked on me.

      • bintbiba
        January 15, 2014, 11:54 am

        correction : much older, wiser, better informed, I do know better.

      • seafoid
        January 15, 2014, 12:17 pm

        Bintbiba

        If you have time it would be very interesting to hear how your thinking evolved.

      • puppies
        January 16, 2014, 3:07 am

        @Bintbiba, Taxi – Interesting to hear that. Now that personal experiences are coming out, allow me to look at it from the opposite angle. I have never been able to believe that people would ever give any credit to the Zionist narrative and have been shocked every day of these seventy-or-so years, not to say every hour, by the ease with which seemingly intelligent and balanced people can have the wool pulled over their eyes. I was born in a WW2 partisan family; each family member I met had been in the resistance. With a fierce unanimity against Zionism, and note that most had been born Jewish, spoke Yiddish and all that. More: any family or acquaintances who emigrated to Palestine or helped Zionists were immediately cut off, following the wartime imperative of never fraternizing with the enemy. We never had a second’s hesitation identifying with the victim side’s thoughts and feelings. They had seen the business end of the knife and never had a chance to swallow any of the propaganda either.
        So how are people who never fell for it (thanks to particular circumstances, not any merit) to be patient with propaganda-struck people? How are we to separate them from the nasties? Hard to keep cool and polite with people who imagine it’s some kind of high-school debating practice.
        In fact, there’s a paradox for you: persons who had been bamboozled by Zionist propaganda and worked hard to shake it off may be more successful working with people than those who never fell for it, who can’t even figure out what all that ridiculous one-step-forward-two-steps-back tango is about.

      • American
        January 15, 2014, 12:32 pm

        When I undertood fully the real facts and everything that Israel and the Zionist had done –all those layers upon layers of lies and minipulations– I had no problem loudly condemning their holocaust excuse.
        It is the ultimate in hypocrisy.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2014, 3:23 pm

        So what brought you to the realization that the Holocaust did not justify whatever you had heard about the plight of the Palestinians? That two wrongs never make a right?

        What will it take to make the average American know about Rachel Corrie?
        Nobody I personally know has any clue at all about her. I have lived in USA for 71 years. They also never heard of the USS Liberty. And they have no clue about Truman being bought by the Zionist lobby, or JFK’s attempt to stop Israel from getting the bomb, or Bobby’s attempt to make AIPAC’s predecessor register as agent of a foreign government under FARA. They don’t even know how Bush Sr felt all alone when trying to curb the Israeli settlements by threatening to end aid to Israel. And so on.

      • American
        January 15, 2014, 7:07 pm

        Citizen says:
        January 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm
        So what brought you to the realization that the Holocaust did not justify whatever you had heard about the plight of the Palestinians? That two wrongs never make a right?”

        I knew nothing about the plight of the Palestines prior to two things–
        1) coming across a picture of the Palestine boy who was killed by the IDF while he and his father were cowering against a wall—-and 2) 911 putting the ME on my radar and sending me on a long trip thru ME history and the US relationship with the ME……whereupon I tripped over the Israel factor in the US.

        As for two wrongs making a right—I have never believed 2 wrongs are capable of making a right…does not compute….2 wrongs equal 2 wrongs.

        What it would take for Americans to know about things like Rachel Corrie and etc. is a free US media and press …not one controlled, run or owned by special interest groups to propagandize and mislead the public.

  7. Keith
    January 14, 2014, 5:19 pm

    PHIL- “So he alludes to bankers Greenspan, Bernanke, and Yellin.”

    Don’t forget Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers, Time Magazine’s 1999 “Committee to Save The World.” Three Yanks! Lets hear it for the good old USA!

    Phil: “I grew up counting Jews, as a sign of our inclusion. Does that mean others get to count them, too?”

    Sure we do, however, it is more difficult for Gentiles because we have difficulty identifying who is Jewish and who is not. Larry Summers, who knew? Also, we can count on the likes of Hophmi calling us anti-Semites and downplaying Jewish power and influence. Question: Do we ever reach a point where Jewish inclusion is tantamount to Gentile exclusion? Just asking.

    • yonah fredman
      January 16, 2014, 1:13 am

      Keith- Do you think that these candidates are inferior and are being chosen because they are Jewish? Then that would be Jewish inclusion tantamount to Gentile exclusion. But no one has claimed that these candidates are inferior. Do you claim that? No, you merely infer it, without making any claim. That’s called innuendo.

      • Keith
        January 16, 2014, 11:52 am

        YONAH FREDMAN- “But no one has claimed that these candidates are inferior.”

        When one has a statistically improbable concentration of one particular group in positions of power, it is quite legitimate to inquire as to why. That they may not be demonstrably “inferior” (a subjective evaluation) is hardly an adequate explanation. One explanation could be that they are demonstrably superior. Do you make that claim? And, if so, why would that be? Do you seriously believe that power is somehow distributed by some all knowing entity based upon objectively defined merit? Get real. Power is fought over by ruthless power seekers. Organizational politics determine the winners. And you better believe that “kinship” plays a part, a kind of informal ethnic favoritism. And, to borrow your phraseology, you seem to be inferring that I am an anti-Semite, rather than dealing with the essence of my comment. I might add in passing that the more recent performance of our financial system has been detrimental to the real economy and to our society as a whole while simultaneously benefiting the financiers enormously, hardly indicative of a socially responsible meritocracy at work.

  8. seafoid
    January 14, 2014, 5:40 pm

    “the Israel I love”. Is it anything like أمل حياتي (The hope of my life) ?
    Or the opposite?

    the last 3 minutes are masri magic

  9. ritzl
    January 14, 2014, 5:46 pm

    Oh dear! Angst. Head scratch. Angst. Blame (though he didn’t do that this time)! Angst. Occupation bad…but I love Israel! What to do? What to do? Write another meta column. Oh, what to do?

    Well, DO something besides worry and complain, Mr. Cohen. Your anxiety problem is a real thing that’s only going to get worse. Change. Write about substance. Change it. Shape it. Look forward. Think about future history and your place in it.

    Be a Voice!

  10. pabelmont
    January 14, 2014, 5:50 pm

    Cohen says some very good things.

    [1] A lot of people HAVE been holding back from criticizing Israel because of the antisemitism thing or because “some of my best friends are Jews”. Now that some criticism of Israel is beginning to come out, there is a good chance that a dam will break and a lot of criticism that was FELT will now be SPOKEN and WRITTEN.

    [2] That said, I doubt that people are criticizing ‘the Israel that Cohen loves’, because my belief is strong that most American Jews who “love Israel” love a fantasy, a story, but not the reality, especially not the reality of 1967-present, from which (for reasons of cognitive dissonance) they hide. They cannot comprehend (as Cohen probably cannot comprehend) that people who criticize Israel (or who hate Israel) do so because of what Israel is doing that offends their sense of fairness, of democracy, of the sacredness of human rights, etc.

    [3] Cohen is correct (I think) that most criticism of Israel does not reflect antisemitism alone, or even antisemitism at all. After all, if you see a man beating a child, do you first of all ask if he is a Jew? Israel’s excuses for the siege on Gaza are transparently false, as anyone would know who cared to become aware of the facts. But the text quoted suggests that he is hiding from the Gaza situation, which he does not mention in favor of mentioning West Bank, (which is of course also very bad).

    • Walker
      January 15, 2014, 5:24 pm

      . . . because my belief is strong that most American Jews who “love Israel” love a fantasy, a story, but not the reality, especially not the reality of 1967-present

      The reality of 1947-1967 was actually worse. The Nakba occurred; Israel prevented Palestinians from returning to their homes afterwards; Israel kept its Palestinian citizens under martial law; Israel invaded Egypt, etc. In fact the problems long predated the establishment of Israel.

      One of the unfortunate things I’ve witnessed over the decades is an erosion of the general awareness of the history of the area, and its replacement by a substitute reality.

      Another unhealthy trend has been near-total Jewish assumption of control of the discussion. The very fatuity of Cohen’s column is a symptom of this. There used to be serious, substantial non-Jewish critics of Israel and/or US policy, public figures like George Marshall, Dean Acheson, Dean Rusk, George Ball. These men didn’t quake in their boots when criticizing Israel or its lobby, or feel obliged to hedge their statements with expressions of undying love for the place. Hard to imagine now.

  11. MHughes976
    January 14, 2014, 5:53 pm

    I think that there was a time many years ago when Mr.Cohen referred to the foundation of Israel as a mistake. Now he puts things in emotional terms, loves and hates, but emotions are not the fundamental things, rational judgements are. It was a mistake, ie the implementation of a mistaken moral principle. The results were always bound, from the very beginning not from some intermediate point such as 67 or the reign of Sharon, to be much more than harsh, much more than occasionally – this phrase is classic indeed, as William B says. It isn’t so much that people feel flashes of hatred as that they see that moral condemnation is appropriate, though they may be deceiving themselves into thinking that the mistake was in 67 not in 48.
    Actually people are not to be hated because they make mistakes.

  12. just
    January 14, 2014, 11:31 pm

    There’s trouble in ‘paradise’:

    “TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel’s defense minister apologized to Secretary of State John Kerry Tuesday after a newspaper quoted him branding the diplomat as “messianic” just days before he is due to visit the country.

    Moshe Yaalon did not deny making the furor-causing remarks, but issued a statement praising Kerry.

    “Israel and the United States share a common goal to advance the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians led by Secretary Kerry,” it read, in Hebrew and English, according to Reuters.

    “The defense minister had no intention to cause any offence to the secretary, and he apologizes if the secretary was offended by the remarks attributed to the minister.”

    The State Department shot back Tuesday upon hearing about Yaalon’s remarks.

    “The remarks of the Defense Minister if accurate are offensive and inappropriate especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

    Yaalon was quoted by the Yediot Aharonot newspaper on Tuesday as saying that the only thing that could “save” Israel was for Kerry to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and “leave us alone.”

    “Secretary of State John Kerry came here very determined and operates based upon an unfathomable obsession and a messianic feeling,” Yaalon was quoted as saying. “Throughout the recent months, there is no negotiation between us and the Palestinians, but rather, between us and the Americans. The only thing that can ‘save’ us is that John Kerry will get a Nobel Peace Prize and leave us alone.”

    The State Department’s stinging response added that questioning Kerry’s motives and distorting his proposals were “not something we would expect from the Defense Minister of a close ally.””

    more here:
    http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/14/22298718-israeli-minister-apologizes-to-kerry-for-messianic-remarks?lite

    Yee-haw!

    • Philip Munger
      January 15, 2014, 3:21 am

      Yee-haw!

      Unfortunately, that is the sound of the donkey awaiting the its next encounter with Kerry’s lips.

      The State Department’s response was not stinging. It was somewhat less bland than the last one they gave when a high-ranking Israeli official disgraced this wan SoS.

      http://my.firedoglake.com/edwardteller/2014/01/02/how-many-times-will-sos-kerry-let-pm-netanyahu-kick-him-in-the-nuts/

      • just
        January 15, 2014, 4:36 am

        LOL. ;(

        Point taken. What does it say when Israeli thugs demean/disrespect our pols with deliberate intent?

        They have no decency. They are not worth any time or effort anymore. They ignore international law with no consequence and likewise have no decorum nor respect for diplomatic norms/basic etiquette…not even for their biggest benefactor. The American people should rightly feel insulted and angry and fed up with this pariah statelet.

        BDS.

      • MHughes976
        January 15, 2014, 4:51 am

        This little exchange is quite revealing, I agree. Jen Psaki’s statement, if accurately quoted, isn’t exactly fawning, which may be enough for slight encouragement. She seems to say ‘if accurate’ rather than ‘if accurately reported’, which means ‘if that’s a true picture of Kerry it’a a bit much for a friend to point it out so brusquely’. Perhaps that’s what she really thinks.

      • just
        January 15, 2014, 5:03 am

        I pondered her wordsmithing a bit, found it curious, and then my head started to hurt.

      • just
        January 15, 2014, 4:52 am

        Check this picture from Haaretz;

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.568678

        Moshe Ya’alon’s photo reminds me of Nosferatu. Fitting, as he sucks from the the treasury of the US citizens and insults them as well, tossing their leaders under the bus.

      • pabelmont
        January 15, 2014, 10:59 am

        What deliberate disrespect “says” is that Israel and its pols are, as usual and as always, TESTING to ascertain that they STILL retain absolute power (or the appearance of it). If they can slap Kerry in the face and get away with it, it assures them that all is well (from their POV) and Kerry is a wimp lacking either the power or the desire to slap them down in any respect. And that means that the “just and lasting peace” imagined by UNSC 242 (1967) is not right around the corner.

      • Citizen
        January 15, 2014, 11:29 am

        Neither Kerry or Obama are ready to use our biggest chunk of foreign aid as leverage to convince Israel it must get serious about a peace settlement. Nor is Obama ready to use the POTUS bully pulpit to help accomplish the same thing over the heads of Congress. This combo would work, as Ike did show back in the 1950s, although it’s no longer the 1950s and Obama’s no Ike. Yet it would still work because the American public does not want more US war in the Middle East; MJ Rosenberg says it’s the only tactic that would work, and he’s merely referring to Obama taking the bully pulpit, saying nothing about using withholding of US foreign aid to Israel to make the Israeli regime get real. Why should the Israeli regime care what the US says so long as they keep getting their totally fungible annual welfare checks from the strapped US taxpayers (plus interest & supplements galore, e.g., for Iron Dome)?

        The time is ripe, given the US economy concerns, and the American grass concern about another war for Israel int he Middle East, for Obama to step up to the plate–hell he’s in his last term. It will never be riper to put Israel in proper American perspective. Obama thus needs to negotiate in the I-P peace process as he’s done in the Iran Deal process–ignore Israel & AIPAC and do it without them. In other words, be an actual “honest broker” for America’s best interests in both cases.

  13. American
    January 14, 2014, 11:35 pm

    ”Sometimes I think the anger comes from having repressed criticism of Israel lest it offend. Sooner or later, though, the emotions come spilling out.”

    Cohen, blinded by the typical narcissism of a zionist, still doesnt have the full picture. By the time he and his Israel co lovers get it it will be too late. And 10 to 1 when he does finally get it, he’ll revert right back to blaming it on anti semitism, not on the ingraditude and abuse they have heaped on the US.

    ”U.S. seizes on Ya’alon insult to tone down Israeli criticism of peace efforts and Iran policies’
    snip…
    But the angry American reaction is also a reflection of long pent-up frustration at the steady barrage of denigration by right-wing Israeli politicians who take the “special relationship” for granted.
    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/west-of-eden/.premium-1.568668
    &
    Breaking News 7:34…(haaretz)..US says Ya’alon apology not good enough.

    • piotr
      January 15, 2014, 10:32 pm

      Breaking News: timid sobbing overheard by intrepid reporters of Ha’aretz.

  14. bilal a
    January 15, 2014, 2:04 am

    witness the appointment of the third Jew in a row to head the Federal Reserve. A generation ago, more than a few commentators would have mentioned the International Jewish Conspiracy or some such thing. That now exists only in the rattled brain of a Louis Farrakhan.

    Only anti-Semites notice the improbabilities involved in selecting 3 heads in a row in a coin toss , one of them landing as a shekel from Israel.

    William Buckley and Ben Wattenberg drummed out the last conservative critical of Israel, at the time, of Sharon, in much the same language as MW and MB:

    And this is exactly what the Party wants: to be
    recognized as the only authoritative Jewish voice, with
    all dissenting Jews marginalized. Under the brutal rule
    of Ariel Sharon, Israel’s image in the West is worse than
    ever before. Today it’s startling to remember the radiant
    aura it enjoyed in the days when its chief international
    spokesman was the urbane and eloquent Abba Eban. Those
    days are gone forever. The old image of a humane,
    democratic Israel was largely myth — a myth Sharon
    himself still exploits — but at least the Israelis made
    some effort to maintain its plausibility. Now, as Israeli
    soldiers shoot Arab women in labor without official
    rebuke or regret, the ugliness of Zionism has become
    visible to anyone with eyes to see

    Joe Sobran/ sobran.com, 2002

  15. Little_Shih_Tzu
    January 15, 2014, 8:39 am

    Hated?

    Can’t imagine why?

    • Citizen
      January 15, 2014, 3:43 pm

      Can’t imagine why? Of course it’s due to the innate goys’ jew hatred. It’s in their DNA. Beiden told us all about this, not exempting his fellow Americans, last time he made a speech at the AIPAC convention justifying Israel’s existence, it’s ways and means to maintain and enhance same. What I want to know, is, is how is Beiden himself somehow vaccinated against all goyim jew hatred? Does his immunity come from his hair plugs, or his fake chiclet teeth? From that long ago Brit labor party speech he plagiarized? Does he only drink crappy Jewish liquor?

      • puppies
        January 16, 2014, 3:14 am

        @Citizen – Manischewitz is viler than potato rotgut. It does miracles to the brain, then you go blind. That’s what Biden has been having.

  16. yonah fredman
    January 16, 2014, 1:08 am

    The writing is on the wall- as the Old Testament depicts. (It doesn’t say it, it tells a story of supernatural writing on the wall that foretells the end of Babylon’s reign. But it’s not a saying, it’s a depiction.) mena mena tekal ufarsin, what the supernatural hand wrote on the wall. Which added up to: you have been weighed and found wanting and your time is up and Babylon will be taken over by the Persians.

    • mcohen
      January 16, 2014, 6:32 am

      Yonah

      interesting saying,it somehow turned a switch in my mind,like when you experience something ,you know it is important but you are puzzled as to why

      just curious,what made you post those wordswords

  17. yonah fredman
    January 16, 2014, 1:31 am

    Anyone can count Jews. No one is stopping you. Some people count them to feel- look how well we’re doing. (When you were a kid that’s what you did). Others count them to illustrate- antisemitism is not what it used to be. (That’s what Cohen is doing.) Yet others count them and use it to prove that the Jews control America. (go to radio islam, the web site, http://www.radioislam.org/ and you will see this phenomenon.) And yet others rub their hands together and say, “Thank God (who doesn’t exist) this phase will soon be over and the Jews will no longer have too much power, because the Jews are no longer the strivers they once were, they are spoiled and entitled and their day is almost done. (That’s what you say these days, Phil. That’s not hatred, but it’s not pride or love, either. It is the first cousin of your shrug about the disappearance of the Jewish culture. The culture will disappear like all those New Guinea languages and the power will dissipate because their kids are not the strivers their parents were.)

  18. Woody Tanaka
    January 16, 2014, 10:21 am

    This is the kind of stuff one reads from the “liberal zionists” and often, by American Jews, that is so offensive:

    “occasionally harsh occupation”

    “occasionally harsh occupation.” No, the occupation itself, BY ITS VERY EXISTENCE is harsh. If the US were to pass a constitutional Amendment saying that all Jews or supporters of israel in the US had to be treated EXACTLY the way the Palestinians in the West Bank are treated, do you think Richard Cohen and all the other minimizers of israel’s crimes in the occupation would call that treatment only “occasionally harsh”?? No. They would rightly see it as a grotesque human rights violation. Their sin is the fact that they don’t have the character to see that when it is done by their favored ethno-religious group, it is no less a grotesque human rights violation.

    • Philip Weiss
      January 17, 2014, 2:36 pm

      I agree. I wrote to Richard Cohen to ask him what is the basis for that claim, and when he’s been to the W.B. lately.
      No answer

  19. Tzombo
    January 16, 2014, 10:37 am

    Speaking of walls and the writing being thereon, here’s the Gawker making fun of Israeli attitudes: Israelis Hate Being Called Nazis, So They’re Banning the Word “Nazi” (http://gawker.com/israelis-hate-being-called-nazis-so-theyre-banning-th-1502556509?utm_campaign=socialflow_gawker_facebook&utm_source=gawker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow)

  20. American
    January 16, 2014, 7:11 pm

    This is a good example of having weaved such a tangled web you’re stuck and cant find a way out of it.

    Israel’s Efforts to Limit Use of Holocaust Terms Raise Free-Speech Questions
    By JODI RUDORENJAN. 15, 2014

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/16/world/middleeast/israels-efforts-to-limit-use-of-holocaust-terms-raise-free-speech-questions.html?_r=1

    snips……

    JERUSALEM — Israel is on the brink of banning the N-word. N as in Nazi, that is.
    Parliament gave preliminary approval on Wednesday to a bill that would make it a crime to call someone a Nazi — or any other slur associated with the Third Reich — or to use Holocaust-related symbols in a noneducational way. The penalty would be a fine of as much as $29,000 and up to six months in jail.
    Backers of the law say it is a response to what they see as a rising tide of anti-Semitism around the world as well as an increasing, casual invocation of such terms and totems in Israeli politics and even teenage trash talk.
    “We have to be the leader of this battle, of this struggle, in order to encourage other countries,” Shimon Ohayon, the lawmaker sponsoring the bill, said in an interview. “We, in our land, can find enough words and expressions and idioms to express our opinions. What I’m asking is, please put away this special situation that has to do with our history.”

    ”Among those opposing the bill on Wednesday was Dov Hanin, a lawmaker from the left-wing Hadash Party, who suggested during the debate that perhaps Mr. Netanyahu himself “should be put in jail” for comparing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former Iranian president, to Hitler.”

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