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Total number of comments: 1 (since 2014-02-20 16:38:40)

Robert Cohen

Cohen is a British writer. He blogs at Micah's Paradigm Shift.


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  • If you can't say 'equal rights,' I can't work with you

      A 10 minute speech is never enough time to do justice to an idea.

      I’ve had a great many positive comments about this blog post but also questions, concerns and some anger. Plus a small crop of antisemitism and holocaust denial too (not on Mondoweiss).

      So let me provide some brief clarification.

      ‘Equality’ does not mean forgetting the ‘sins’ of the past. I’m not suggesting that the ‘slate is wiped clean’ and everyone just moves forward as if nothing happened. To get to equality first requires acknowledgement of wrong doing, redress and reparations for the Palestinian people. There’s a great deal of ‘levelling up’ before equality can be achieved.

      As for Settlers, when I say equality applies to them too that does not mean they or the Settlements could possibly continue as they are. Same goes for the other side of the Green line. Equality means the end of Zionism. Zionism has always required theft.

      I’ve been asked about the Jewish ‘Law of Return’ (I don’t support it) and the Palestinian ‘Right of Return for Refugees’ (it’s a moral imperative).

      And why do I come at this from a Jewish perspective ahead of Palestinian solidarity? Because I’m Jewish and that’s what makes this issue my problem. I would be dishonest not to say that upfront. And don’t underestimate the damage Zionism is causing to Jews. It’s different but it’s real.

      Finally, is any of this ever going to happen? Or is it just wishful and worthless thinking?
      Right now I see no reason for optimism. In fact, matters just get worse. I doubt I will see an Israel/Palestine based on human rights, equal rights, democracy, free speech etc in my life time. But I remain hopeful.

      The point about articulating my thoughts on how to build a movement is that we need to create a climate of public debate very different from the one we have today. It will takes decades to achieve.

      But isn’t it worth making a start?

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