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Roger Cohen (who doesn’t live there) explains the need for ‘my Jewish state’

Israel/Palestine
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Kerry leaves for Middle East last July, in State Dep't photo

Kerry leaves for Middle East last July, in State Dep’t photo

Tis the day we hit Reset on last year’s predictions. Tis the day for prominent pundits to predict the end of the two-state solution.

In his Times column, Roger Cohen (who once held out hope that Netanyahu would be a peacemaker), says that John Kerry will fail to achieve a peace deal in 2014. But the column is titled, “My Jewish State,” and Cohen does something I’ve always pressed Zionists in the media to do: he is frank about his Zionism and what that means.

If Israel looks like a Jewish state and acts like a Jewish state, that is good enough for me — as long as it gets out of the corrosive business of occupation. Zionism, the one I identify with, forged a Jewish homeland in the name of restored Jewish pride in a democratic state of laws, not in the name of finicky insistence on a certain form of recognition, nor in the name of messianic religious Greater Israel nationalism.

When I spoke to him in Tel Aviv a few months ago, Yair Lapid, a top government minister, said: “The fact that we demand from Palestinians a declaration that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, I just think this is rubbish. I don’t need that. The whole point of Israel was we came here saying we don’t need anyone else to recognize us anymore because we can recognize ourselves. We are liberated.”

That’s right. It’s also true that Palestinians leaders, with zero democratic accountability, and through facile incitement, are not preparing their people for territorial compromise at or close to the 1967 lines. Then again, nothing in Israel’s actions facilitates that. And on we go to more failure, more victories of narrative over normalcy.

I’ve always sensed that Cohen had a deep need to identify with muscular Jewish nationalism in the wake of the Holocaust. Now he says as much; and his candor allows us to question these ideas. How is Israel’s “democratic state of laws” doing after 46 years of occupation? When does a historical experiment in religious nationalist democracy cease to be experiment and earn the stamp of Failure?

What does it mean that a Zionist doesn’t live in Israel, doesn’t feel any need to live there; and actually has led a fairly good life as an ethnic minority, unfolding in Cohen’s case on two or three other continents? If Jewish “liberation” is such a symbolic, psychic, metaphysical construct, then why shouldn’t Jews in the Diaspora mark their own liberation with affirmations of our liberties: We believe that minority rights in a democracy and the separation of religion and state are the guarantors of freedom!

P.S. And wasn’t Naomi Klein right to question why North American Zionists demand the right “to not just one state but two” in the era of global warming, when other people are losing their countries?

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77 Responses

  1. annie
    annie
    January 1, 2014, 1:48 pm

    the end of his third paragraph:

    Israeli ministerial committee vote advancing legislation to annex settlements in the Jordan Valley. Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the vote “finishes all that is called the peace process.” Such contemptuous characterization of a negotiation from a leading protagonist is ill-advised and bodes ill.

    that’s as far as i got. but ah, any comment on that vote roger? or is it just erakat’s assessment of it that’s ill-advised and bodes ill? one would almost think the vote was insignificant.

    this will be another year in which peace is not reached in the Middle East. ….And on we go to more failure, more victories of narrative over normalcy.

    there’s something very same ol same ol about his outlook, which in itself is not unusual. but i don’t think it’s going to be a same ol year.

  2. NormanF
    NormanF
    January 1, 2014, 2:02 pm

    Phillip – no, not really!

    Jews have rights in democracies.

    But for most of their history, Jews lived as oppressed, persecuted and despised people – and unwelcome guests in Christian Europe and the Muslim World.

    In Europe, Jews did not attain civic equality until the 19th Century and even then it was bitterly opposed by most Europeans. They were never anything but dhimmis in the Muslim World with no rights.

    Against that background, Zionism was born. And with the resurgence of anti-Semitism throughout the world in our own time, the need for a Jewish homeland remains as great as ever.

    19,000 Jews made aliyah to Israel in 2013 and that number will only accelerate over the coming years. Israel is the most successful achievement of the Jewish people. Its not perfect but then again we all live in a fallen world.

    America is the Great Exception to the historical Jewish experience. But there is no guarantee it will remain that way forever.

    • just
      just
      January 1, 2014, 2:11 pm

      Norman– you never take any responsibility– ever.

      Just keep justifying the truly illegal, immoral and cruel. What a way you are beginning the New Year.

      Defending the indefensible.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        January 2, 2014, 12:33 am

        Norman is obviously the youngest sibling in his family.

    • Walid
      Walid
      January 1, 2014, 2:15 pm

      “America is the Great Exception to the historical Jewish experience. But there is no guarantee it will remain that way forever.”

      WOW; what a show of gratitude, Norman.

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 1, 2014, 4:45 pm

        He’s doing his part to make that change. If the Zios try hard enough they can even realize the unthinkable and get to lose the Great Exception status.

    • annie
      annie
      January 1, 2014, 2:15 pm

      19,000 Jews made aliyah to Israel in 2013

      wow, where did they all come from? russia? http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/157703/rising-number-of-french-jews-making-aliyah

      Aliyah rates from Western Europe increased by 35 percent in 2013, with 4,390 people immigrating to Israel from Western European countries as compared with 3,258 in 2012, according to data released by the Jewish Agency for Israel and the Israel Ministry of Immigration and Absorption.

      The most dramatic upturn in aliyah rates, though, was seen in France. In 2013, 3,120 new olim, or people making aliyah, arrived in Israel from France, compared to 1,916 the previous year, marking a 63 percent increase. 2013 was also the first year since 2005 that more Jews immigrated to Israel from France than from the United States, despite the massive disparity in size between the two communities. Even more striking, the increase in French aliyah rates was the driving force behind a 7 percent increase in the total number of Jews who moved to Israel this year.

      that means less than 3120 american jews immigrated. about 7500 between the US and europe. do you know where the other 12000 came from? any source link, i am interested. and do you know how many people emigrated from israel?

      They were never anything but dhimmis in the Muslim World with no rights.

      that’s definitely not true of iraq.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 1, 2014, 4:04 pm

        @ Annie Robbins

        See wiki” Yerida

        “Between the years 1990 to 2005 emigration assumptions from Israel by the Israeli CBS (Bureau of statistics) averaged 14,000 people per year. 1993, 1995 and 2001–2002 saw relatively high levels of emigration.” Wiki goes on to say that since the early 1970s, the CBS no longer gives out emigration figures because other Israeli emigration accounting organizations were giving out much higher emigration statistics.

        the wiki article also shows the majority of Israeli jews emigrate to America.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 1, 2014, 2:47 pm

      >> But for most of their history, Jews lived as oppressed, persecuted and despised people …

      So have homosexuals. But the answer to the injustices against Jews and homosexuals was and is justice, not the creation of an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” or “Gay State”.

      >> And with the resurgence of anti-Semitism throughout the world in our own time, the need for a Jewish homeland remains as great as ever.

      There has never been a need for a “Jewish homeland”. What there has been a need for is justice for Jews – and for all oppressed people.

      >> Israel is the most successful achievement of the Jewish people.

      An oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”, born of Jewish terrorism and ethnic cleansing, and maintained and expanded by means of a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder – that is the best “the Jewish people” could achieve? 8-o

      What a truly sad commentary on the desires and abilities of “the Jewish people”.

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      January 1, 2014, 3:00 pm

      Norman

      Dont you understand that racist regimes is not something people like?

    • Keith
      Keith
      January 1, 2014, 4:02 pm

      NORMANF- “But for most of their history, Jews lived as oppressed, persecuted and despised people….”

      That is the myth, however, “…during the whole of the classical period the Jews, in spite of all the persecutions to which they were subjected, formed an integral part of the privileged classes.” (p52, “Jewish History, Jewish Religion,” Israel Shahak)

      See also “The Jewish Century” by Yuri Slezkine for a discussion of historical Jewish privilege.

    • Ellen
      Ellen
      January 1, 2014, 4:26 pm

      oh gosh, Norman: They were never anything but dhimmis in the Muslim World with no rights.

      Dhimmis, meant minority status. Christians and others were also Dhimmis, not just Jews. Dhimmis had protection of the state and significantly greater rights over their land than Muslims, yet a dhimmis tax was imposed as they were not required to sent their sons into the armies, etc. One with minority status could not testify against a Muslim in a court, etc.

      Those laws are nonsensical in today’s world, but status the of dhimmis was not understood as necessarily negative. To the contrary, it carried some advantages.

      You might want to research what dhimmis status meant before spouting this usual endless victimology nonsense and blather.

      • Qualtrough
        Qualtrough
        January 2, 2014, 12:50 am

        Thank you for sharing that. It sounds very similar to the case of Chinese immigrants in Thailand in the 19th century. Unlike Thais, they were assessed a poll tax. Now, on the face of that it seems unfair. But by paying the poll tax they were exempt from corvee labor requirements, which required most Thais to work on projects for for their lords for weeks or months during a year. The exemption was one of the reasons that allowed the Chinese to prosper in business, because having to up and leave for corvee labor was not very conducive to running a business enterprise. It goes to show how a selective sharing of ‘facts’ can really warp an proper understanding of any issue.

      • ziusudra
        ziusudra
        January 2, 2014, 6:17 am

        Greetings Ellen,
        …Dhimmis…..
        Religious tolorence in the ME 636AD to 1200AD under Muslim rule, yes, but Dhimmi had to be paid by all non Muslims. with this surcharge The massive amounts of tax rev. losses were astronomical to said rule where most converted to Islam. They had also the protection of the Califa. For the Muslims, like the Greeks & Romans, they relied on These revenues & protected their chattle.
        The English of the 12thC. also collected a surcharge from the Giu,(Jew).
        Happy. N.Y., Ellen
        ziusudra

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      January 1, 2014, 4:36 pm

      19,000 Jews made aliyah to Israel in 2013 and that number will only accelerate over the coming years.

      How can it accelerate when the trend is heading downwards and an increasing number are leaving ?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 2, 2014, 12:05 am
      • jon s
        jon s
        January 2, 2014, 2:14 pm

        Here’s the data, from Haaretz:
        “The number of Jewish immigrants moving to Israel from the United States and the United Kingdom dropped in 2013, figures published on Sunday by the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Immigration Absorption show.

        A huge spike in immigration from France offset the drop and kept the number of new arrivals to the country more-or-less steady, the figures show.

        The number of new immigrants to Israel from around the world totaled 19,200 in 2013 – up by just more than 1 percent compared with the previous year, the figures show. On the one hand, the number of immigrants from France rose by 63 percent to 3,120, but on the other hand, the number arriving from the United States was down 13 percent to 2,680 and the number coming from the United Kingdom was down 27 percent to 510. This was the first time in many years that immigration from France surpassed immigration from the United States.

        Also offsetting the increase registered in French immigration was a 44 percent decline in immigration from Ethiopia, with the conclusion of Operation Dove’s Wings, which brought over the final wave of those deemed eligible to emmigrate from that country. The total number of Ethiopian immigrants arriving in Israel this year was 1,360.

        The sharp jump in immigration from France has been attributed to several factors, among them rising anti-Semitism and a bad economy. With almost 500,000 members, France has the largest Jewish population in Europe. The Jewish Agency has established a special taskforce to help facilitate further immigration from France this year.

        As in previous years, the largest group of immigrants this year came from the former Soviet Union, their number totaling 7,520 – a 1 percent drop from the previous year.

        Immigration to Israel from Latin America grew by more than a third this year to total 924, the majority of these new arrivals coming from Argentina, Peru and Brazil. Immigration from Middle Eastern countries, most of them unidentified, rose by 4 percent to 245. By contrast, immigration from Eastern Europe dropped 8 percent to 270.

        This year’s immigrants were on the whole young and tended to be female. According to the Jewish Agency figures, 60 percent of the new immigrants were under 35, with 37 percent between ages 18 and 34, and almost 53 percent were female. The group included more than 700 doctors and healthcare professionals. The city that attracted the biggest number of immigrants was Jerusalem, where 2,400 set up base, followed by Tel Aviv, which drew 1,650.”

    • thankgodimatheist
      thankgodimatheist
      January 1, 2014, 5:42 pm

      ” They were never anything but dhimmis in the Muslim World with no rights”
      You do not have the foggiest idea what dhimmitude is and what rights it entitled to the Jews so you better zip it. Your ignorance is staggering. I’m not going to give you any link because I’m using a phone and can’t be bothered. But you can still check it out yourself.

      • tree
        tree
        January 1, 2014, 7:57 pm

        TGIA,

        My understanding is that “dhimmitude” is a word coined by Bar Yeor, meant to subtly, or perhaps not so subtly, imply that dhimmi status was similar to “servitude”. She is a raving Islamophobe and its probably a mistake to use her coinage when it is so contrary to the truth.

        http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/09/anti-muslim-loon-with-a-crazy-conspiracy-theory-named-eurabia/

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        January 2, 2014, 2:10 am

        Tree
        It may have been coined by Bar Yeor but it’s based on the Arabic word dhimma ( consciousness). And while I’m at it, dhimmitude as a concept of law has disappeared with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Nowhere it’s applied today.

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        January 2, 2014, 2:35 am

        Again I’ll have to stress that only in the mouths of lousy propagandists does dhimmitude acquire a negative connotation when in fact it’s only a status inscribed in law meant as a measure of protection not subjugation or servitude. Zionists can talk knowing that Palestinians TODAY have far less rights in Israel than what the Jews enjoyed under Islamic rule yesterday. Sheesh.

      • tree
        tree
        January 2, 2014, 5:36 am

        TGIA, its the “-tude” part of the word that Bat Yeor created and its purpose is to imply that it was a legal status similar to servitude, which it clearly was not. That was my point.

        And it wasn’t even applied in the later part of the Ottoman Empire, after the reforms of the Tanzimat in the mid 1800’s.

      • thankgodimatheist
        thankgodimatheist
        January 2, 2014, 9:10 pm

        “TGIA, its the “-tude” part of the word that Bat Yeor created and its purpose is to imply that it was a legal status similar to servitude, which it clearly was not. That was my point. ”
        Yes, Tree. Somehow I missed the negative connotation of “tude”. Thanks for clearing it for me.

    • Brewer
      Brewer
      January 1, 2014, 7:57 pm

      “But for most of their history, Jews lived as oppressed, persecuted and despised people – and unwelcome guests in Christian Europe and the Muslim World.”

      Time this myth was put to bed.

      All people have suffered persecution at some time, Africans, Dalits, Muslims, Christians, Ukrainians, Atheists, Hugenots, Protestants…..the list goes on forever and, so far as I know, the championship has never been decided. Certainly there were pogroms, just as there were against other ethnicities and faiths.

      May one ask when it was they were “unwelcome guests in Christian Europe and the Muslim World ?”
      Certainly not Britain where, apart from the period of the Statute of the Jewry (1275 ) which outlawed usury and led to their expulsion (for breaching the prohibition) for a spell. By the 1600s they were again well-established and have had an important role in Government since. Do you claim privilege for this 500 year old ban?
      Most of them moved to Poland where the Statute of Kalisz provided special benefits e.g. ” Chapter 1. …Should a Jew be taken to court, not only a Christian must testify against him, but also a Jew, in order for the case to be considered valid.”
      In the East (what became the Soviet Bloc) Jews gained political power from the mid 1900s culminating in the first Soviet government being “mostly Jewish” (Vladmir Putin in Haaretz)
      Let us not forget the Kingdom of Khazaria, a huge swathe of territory straddling the Black and Caspian seas where Judaism ruled for about 300 years.

      As for the Ottoman Empire, “Under the Millet system the Jews were organized as a community on the basis of religion, alongside the other millets (e.g. Orthodox millet, Armenian millet, etc.). In the framework of the millet they had a considerable amount of administrative autonomy and were represented by the Hakham Bashi (Chief Rabbi of the nation’s Jewish community), who held broad powers to legislate, judge and enforce the laws among the Jews in the Ottoman Empire and often sat on the Sultan’s divan.

      The Ottoman Jews enjoyed similar privileges to those of the Orthodox. The city of Thessaloniki received a great influx of Jews in the 15th century and soon flourished economically to such an extent that, during the 18th century, it was the largest and possibly the most prosperous Jewish city in the world. By the early 20th century, Ottoman Jews – together with Armenian and Greeks – dominated commerce within the Empire”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millet_%28Ottoman_Empire%29#Jews
      Jews occupied high positions in the Ottoman Empire, most notably Joseph Nasi, a provincial Governor.

      Please find some other justification for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

    • Sibiriak
      Sibiriak
      January 1, 2014, 9:48 pm

      NormanF:

      …the resurgence of anti-Semitism throughout the world …

      More accurately: “the emergence of anti-Israel sentiment throughout the world as a reaction to Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people”

      • annie
        annie
        January 1, 2014, 11:02 pm

        more accurately, the resurgence of (lame) accusations of anti semitism throughout the world.

    • talknic
      talknic
      January 2, 2014, 1:40 am

      @ NormanF

      “for most of their history, Jews lived as oppressed, persecuted and despised people”

      Minorities tend to face that problem. We’re no exception

      “And with the resurgence of anti-Semitism throughout the world in our own time, the need for a Jewish homeland remains as great as ever”

      There is a Jewish homeland. The problem now is, it refuses to abide by the law, it refuses to adhere to its borders, it refuses to get out of non-Israeli territory it occupies

      “Israel is the most successful achievement of the Jewish people. “

      It’s dismal failure in that it has for 65 years created illegal facts on the ground despite all warnings and hundreds of opportunities to adhere to the law (UNSC resolutions). Now it cannot afford to adhere to the law and blackmails the Palestinians via the US UNSC veto vote in order to circumvent the consequences of being a rogue state

      The most successful achievement of the Jewish people was surviving without a state, without dispossessing anyone.

      “America is the Great Exception to the historical Jewish experience”

      Apologists for Israel really are quite ignorant.

      Japan Jewish refugees https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Japan+Jewish+refugees

      Australia Jewish refugees http://www.ijs.org.au/Jewish-Immigration-after-the-Second-World-War/default.aspx

      Britain Jewish refugees http://www.ajr.org.uk/index.cfm/section.frontpage/article.1361

      Switzerland Jewish refugees https://www.google.com.au/search?q=The+U.S.A+repeatedly+rejected+Jewish+refugees+and+accomodated+only+some+250,000+Jewish+refugees+from+1939+to+1945+%280.1+%25+of+the+1990+population%29,+while+Switzerland+permanently+sheltered+60,000+civilian+refugees+%280.85+%25+of+the+1990+population%29

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      January 2, 2014, 8:08 am

      NormanF: And with the resurgence of anti-Semitism throughout the world in our own time, the need for a Jewish homeland remains as great as ever.

      So what you are basically saying is that the Palestinians, too, have a right to a state within at least 78% of Israel and to expell and denationalize 85% of the Jews, correct?

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      January 2, 2014, 10:11 am

      They were never anything but dhimmis in the Muslim World with no rights.

      FYI, I’ve mentioned a couple of times that it was a matter of public record in the Ottoman era that rich and middle class Jewish dhimmis, including those in Palestine, frequently owned Christian and even Muslim slaves. In fact, many Jews earned a living as slave traders. So it’s ironic that you are shreying about their lack of rights.

      See for example Yaron Ben-Naeh, “Blond, tall, with honey-colored eyes: Jewish ownership of slaves in the Ottoman Empire.” Jewish History 20.3-4 (2006): 315-332 http://pluto.huji.ac.il/~yaronbn/No.26.pdf

      • Brewer
        Brewer
        January 2, 2014, 5:27 pm

        Thanks for that Hostage – I love a good credentialed document.
        It never fails to astonish me how, despite the reams of scholarly research and the commentary of contemporary writers that attests to the complete opposite, the “persecution of Jews under the Ottomans” (a 20th century invention) has become so firmly imbedded.

    • Donald
      Donald
      January 3, 2014, 8:12 pm

      “But for most of their history, Jews lived as oppressed, persecuted and despised people – and unwelcome guests in Christian Europe and the Muslim World.”

      “America is the Great Exception to the historical Jewish experience. But there is no guarantee it will remain that way forever”

      For most of history, ethnic or religious minorities and women and homosexuals (depending on the society) were oppressed, persecuted and despised people. Then the notion of universal human rights took root and is spreading. That’s the battle that people need to be fighting–Israel will be no defense for Jews if America ever became anti-semitic. (If we’re fantasizing about America as the next major fascist dictatorship, I think it’s far more likely that America would put Muslims into camps, but the point is the same–if the world’s current superpower becomes fascist, then nobody is safe.)

  3. American
    American
    January 1, 2014, 2:31 pm

    ”Israel to reportedly increase scope of recognized French diplomas as part of campaign to potentially draw 42,000 French immigrants by 2017.
    Israel to announce plan for attracting more French Jews”

    http://www.jpost.com/Jewish-World/Jewish-Features/Israel-to-announce-plan-for-attracting-more-French-Jews-336354

    I think the Zio orgs trying to stir as much anti semitism as they can, or what they can label anti semitism, is part of trying to get more Jews to Israel.
    Question is where will they house them—and will they shoot themselves in the foot with this plan—-the US and France have the most Jews outside of Israel so every
    Jew that leaves France or the US lessens the Jewish political threat that Zios employ on the politicians.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      January 1, 2014, 3:07 pm

      What would draw a French Jew to Israel? Not culture, wine or food.

      • Walid
        Walid
        January 1, 2014, 5:02 pm

        Maybe sex in the loo.

      • tokyobk
        tokyobk
        January 1, 2014, 6:40 pm

        Sure that and kids being shot at Jewish centers only to have other thugs come by to take selfies with a quenelle salute.

        No, Aliyah is not the answer but please try not to be crass about why some Jews might be concerned in France.

      • tree
        tree
        January 1, 2014, 10:21 pm

        Talk about being crass, what to you think this comment is?

        Sure that and kids being shot at Jewish centers only to have other thugs come by to take selfies with a quenelle salute.

        Crassly overstate much? You might want to read this:

        http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/01/the-bete-noire-of-the-french-establishment/

        The quenelle is not a Nazi salute, as much as CRIF and LICRA would like to pretend it is.

        And as I recall there was one attack that killed kids at a Jewish school, committed by a man with psychological issues a week after he killed 3 French Muslim soldiers in Toulouse. Why make it sound more widespread than it was?

      • Taxi
        Taxi
        January 2, 2014, 12:07 am

        The ziocons gave us the “terrorist fist bump” and now the “quenelle”.

        They’re aiming to have us walk around with our hands constantly up in the air, just to be sure there’s no perceived antisemitism going on between our pinkies and thumbs.

      • Walid
        Walid
        January 2, 2014, 4:41 am

        Toulouse is back in the news this week, tree.. A video was posted on the Internet a couple of weeks back showing a young man in a white T-shirt with a picture of Arafat in front of the Ohr Torah school where the 3 Jewish children and a teacher were killed last year allegedly by Mohammed Merah. The young man made the quenelle gesture towards the school and this was enough for the prosecutor to launch an immediate investigation a couple of days back to identify the young man and question him. They haven’t yet caught up with him.

        In September this year, another young man had called the same Toulouse school threatening to kill people there was sentenced to serve one year in prison for it.

        French lobby must be grateful for all this exposure about the school.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        January 2, 2014, 4:58 am

        a young man in a white T-shirt with a picture of Arafat in front of the Ohr Torah school…. The young man made the quenelle gesture towards the school and this was enough for the prosecutor to launch an immediate investigation

        And had it only been a “finger”? Four people were murdered at the school last year, including three children, apparently for racist/political motives.

        In September this year, another young man had called the same Toulouse school threatening to kill people there was sentenced to serve one year in prison for it.

        I don’t know whether the sentence is considered excessive under French law, but making death threats where murders have already taken place is not something I would expect the authorities to take lightly, especially where children are concerned.

        French lobby must be grateful for all this exposure about the school.

        Yeah, there’s Israeli/Zionist exaggeration and exploitation of anti-Semitism (particularly in France), but that doesn’t mean that the situation in Toulouse shouldn’t be taken seriously.

      • Walid
        Walid
        January 2, 2014, 5:11 am

        Skmuel, I agree that making a threat against any school or anyone is a serious matter and the young man deserves the year in prison, if not more. My issue is with the Israel lobby going overboard with this quenelle thing that’s bound to backfire on innocent Jews in France.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        January 2, 2014, 5:27 am

        Walid,

        I don’t know enough about popular French culture to venture an opinion about the significance of this, straight-armed version of the bras d’honneur. My point was that in the context you cited (in front of Ohr Torah), it would appear to have been a threatening gesture, perhaps racist, perhaps justifying the attack — in any event something worth the authorities’ attention and some concern (without exaggeration or instrumentalisation, naturally).

      • puppies
        puppies
        January 1, 2014, 10:40 pm

        Certainly. Some have a psychiatrical problem: too much freedom.

      • tree
        tree
        January 2, 2014, 5:17 am

        Yeah, there’s Israeli/Zionist exaggeration and exploitation of anti-Semitism (particularly in France), but that doesn’t mean that the situation in Toulouse shouldn’t be taken seriously.

        Death threats and violence should always be taken seriously. I wasn’t making light of that and I don’t think Walid was either. I was criticizing Tokyobk’s comment for implying that “thugs” were using the quenelle gesture as some kind of approval of the killing at the school. The only pictures I’ve seen seem to have been compiled by someone with an obvious axe to grind, trying to make the gesture into some kind of sinister anti-semitism. I haven’t seen any “selfies”, something that would be quite hard to accomplish since the gesture itself requires two hands.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        January 2, 2014, 12:23 am

        They are never going to get 42K Juifs. Aliyah is dead, baby.

      • Walid
        Walid
        January 2, 2014, 2:12 am

        There are the juifs of Martinique and Guadeloupe that could be recruited. But they’d have to learn the language.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        January 2, 2014, 4:12 am

        @Walid
        Aliyah is a numbers game. They want a football stadium full of French jews by 2017 and they’ll end up with perhaps 2 planeloads. Guadeloupe will not move the needle. Aliyah – allah irhamu.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        January 2, 2014, 4:19 pm

        How many jews die due to drink driving in Israel every year, tokyobk.? Wouldn’t they be safer in France?

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      January 1, 2014, 4:43 pm

      Jew that leaves France or the US lessens the Jewish political threat that Zios employ on the politicians.

      Not really. The big money campaign contributors will not be leaving and they’re the ones who intimidate politicians.

      • American
        American
        January 1, 2014, 11:23 pm

        @ shingo

        They also intimidate politicians with the “Jewish vote’—why do you think all the politicians are always proclaiming their Israel loyalty in all their campaigns and running to Jewish enclaves across the country to declare their undying love for Israel. Obviously the politicians are convinced that is what Jews want to hear to get their vote.
        So who convinced them of that?
        A lot of ink is inked declaring the majority of Jews dont vote based on Israel—-so?—-who convinced the politicians they did?…if its not their Jewish constituents then it has to be the zionist doesnt it?

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        January 2, 2014, 12:17 am

        @ Shingo
        That was my immediate thought too.

  4. American
    American
    January 1, 2014, 2:52 pm

    ‘Zionism, the one I identify with, forged a Jewish homeland in the name of restored Jewish pride in a democratic state of laws”

    ..a ‘democratic state of laws’….?
    Quelle delusion! ..beyond hopeless.

  5. seafoid
    seafoid
    January 1, 2014, 3:05 pm

    Jews need 2 states while Palestinians aren’t even allowed one. Zionism is such a joke.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 1, 2014, 4:22 pm

      @ seafoid
      Yep. The joke is on the Gentile masses. Cohen’s historical justification for his present stance against innocent native Palestinians, omits the fact during all those European years of regime oppression of Jews under elite Goy governments, the masses of Gentiles lived in situations much worse economically than the Jews. To the extent there were peasant uprisings against long oppression, the middleman Jew was attacked as part of the resentment against the Establishment. The agents of the oppressive PTB, having more direct daily contact with the masses, are the first to feel peasant/populist wrath. Remember back in the 1960’s when a synonym for cops was “pig”? Who views a tax collector as a friend?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        January 2, 2014, 12:50 am

        I think that’s it, citizen. A bit like popular anger against mid east christians who are protected by brutal regimes and have no political clout when the regimes fall. That might explain the run up to the protocols.

  6. Krauss
    Krauss
    January 1, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Cohen will stick by Israel to the end. It’s an age-issue.

    The younger cohort either make aliyah(80% of those under the age of 30 who make aliyah are Orthodox) or we take a more long-term view. Jewish life in the Western world after WWII has been remarkably good.

    And it just keeps getting better. Our challenge now is to keep the secular Jewry intact, because a Jewishness based on threats and anti-Semitism – which is Cohen’s Jewishness and why his children are assimilating – is now outmoded.

    But we should not be merciful of Cohen’s nostalgic claptrap of a glorious past that never was.
    His nostalgia is that of an upper-class Ashkenazi genteel Zionist. The ruling class of Israel and a privileged class, among his WASP peers, in the West.

    Cohen’s allegiance to liberalism is highly conditional on whether Jews are involved in the context or not. And his concern for Palestinian victims of Jewish-led ethnic cleansing is minimal if non-existant at best.

  7. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    January 1, 2014, 3:51 pm

    “Home is where you dig it.” – USMC

  8. OlegR
    OlegR
    January 1, 2014, 6:19 pm

    Philip Weiss (who doesn’t live there) runs a blog about why he does not need
    a “Jewish State”.

    But that some how makes sense to him.

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      January 1, 2014, 11:20 pm

      Philip Weiss (who doesn’t live there) runs a blog about why he does not need
      a “Jewish State”.

      That is far more consistent that Cohen’s position. After all, Philis walking the talk.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 2, 2014, 12:27 am

      “Somehow” means for a reason that is not known. Why Phil thinks Cohen’s need for a Jewish state is ridiculous Phil has made very clear, most especially because Cohen’s need discussed here harms millions of people everyday.

    • Xpat
      Xpat
      January 2, 2014, 12:32 am

      OlegR who is a Zionist (and who doesn’t live here) comments regularly on an American blog about undoing America’s co-dependence with a “Jewish State”.

      But that somehow makes sense to him.

  9. Sumud
    Sumud
    January 1, 2014, 8:34 pm

    It’s also true that Palestinians leaders, with zero democratic accountability, and through facile incitement, are not preparing their people for territorial compromise at or close to the 1967 lines. Then again, nothing in Israel’s actions facilitates that.

    Token disclaimer aside, Cohen still has to blame the victims. Talk about facile.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      January 2, 2014, 12:28 am

      Exactly.

    • Peter in SF
      Peter in SF
      January 2, 2014, 3:09 am

      Palestinians [sic] leaders, with zero democratic accountability, and through facile incitement, are not preparing their people for territorial compromise at or close to the 1967 lines.

      The only way to make sense of this sentence is with Richard Dawkins’ meme that “religion makes people stupid.”

      The PLO and PA have made it very clear in many public statements over many years that they will accept the territorial compromise of having a Palestinian state at the 1967 lines. It’s the Israelis and their American supporters/enablers who have a problem with the 1967 lines. Readers of the New York Times should remember that Obama got a lot of domestic flak when his opponents accused him of accepting territorial compromise at the 1967 lines (and Obama responded that he did not accept the 1967 lines, only that they’d be a basis for the boundaries).

      And what is he talking about when he refers to “incitement” by Palestinians [sic] leaders over the matter of territorial boundaries? Incitement is defined as the crime of provoking unlawful behavior. Whose laws is he suggesting that the Palestinians [sic] leaders are provoking their people to break, and what does that have to do with territorial compromise?

      And I get that Palestinians [sic] leaders lack democratic accountability, because their terms of office ended years ago, but what is he trying to say about the relationship between that fact and what he characterizes as their failure to prepare their people for territorial compromise? It sounds as if he’s suggesting that if they were democratically accountable, they’d be better at preparing their people for compromise, and wouldn’t be engaging in facile incitement. But does anybody seriously believe that? If they were democratically accountable, they’d be more likely to reflect the views of their people.

      And then look at the sentence that immediately follows:

      Then again, nothing in Israel’s actions facilitates that.

      So he’s disappointed that “Israel’s actions” do not “facilitate” “territorial compromise at or close to the 1967 lines.” What a convoluted way to express the well-known fact that Israel is refusing to accept territorial compromise at or close to the 1967 lines!

    • Peter in SF
      Peter in SF
      January 2, 2014, 3:26 am

      His [Netanyahu’s] argument is that this is the touchstone by which to judge whether Palestinians will accept “the Jewish state in any border” — whether, in other words, the Palestinian leadership would accept territorial compromise or is still set on reversal of 1948 and mass return to Haifa.

      Roger Cohen is historically misinformed about 1948. The original “Jewish state”, so called by the 1947 UN partition plan and affirmed by the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948, delineated particular boundaries, but subsequently the state of Israel has claimed sovereignty over areas beyond those boundaries. As for “mass return to Haifa“, the partition plan and the DoI were quite clear in affirming that non-Jews would not be expelled from the Jewish state.

      For Palestinians, such a form of recognition would amount to explicit acquiescence to second-class citizenship for the 1.6 million Arabs in Israel; undermine the rights of millions of Palestinian refugees; upend a national narrative of mass expulsion from land that was theirs;

      Oh, now the mass expulsion of Palestinians from land that was theirs is merely a “national narrative“. Just as the problem with Holocaust deniers is that they upend the narrative of the Jewish people.

  10. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    January 1, 2014, 11:49 pm

    Roger Cohen writes…

    “Zionism, the one I identify with, forged a Jewish homeland in the name of restored Jewish pride in a democratic state of laws…”

    It’s democratic for him, because his last name is Cohen. What if his last name were “Al-Khalidi”? Would Israel be democratic for him then? Of course not.

    Israel is a “Herrenvolk democracy”, meaning that it is a democracy for Jews, but only for Jews. The democracy does not extend beyond the limits of the Jewish population. Non-Jews can be expelled, bulldozed, ethnically cleansed, and their property seized without compensation. Jews can kill Palestinians, often with complete impunity.

    Palestinians rightly see this as racism, ethnic cleansing, which they are being pressured to endorse by “recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state”, meaning keeping Israel’s system of racial oppression intact.

  11. Peter in SF
    Peter in SF
    January 2, 2014, 4:28 am

    Notice that the only two people that Roger Cohen mentions as having spoken with are both Israeli Jews, and he quotes them because he agrees with them:

    1.

    This issue is a waste of time, a complicating diversion when none is needed. As Shlomo Avineri, a leading Israeli political scientist, put it to me, “It’s a tactical issue raised by Netanyahu in order to make negotiations more difficult.”

    2.

    When I spoke to him in Tel Aviv a few months ago, Yair Lapid, a top government minister, said: “The fact that we demand from Palestinians a declaration that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, I just think this is rubbish. I don’t need that. The whole point of Israel was we came here saying we don’t need anyone else to recognize us anymore because we can recognize ourselves. We are liberated.”

    That’s right.

    Compare that with the only direct quote from a Palestinian, and Cohen’s contemptuous judgment on it:

    Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the vote “finishes all that is called the peace process.” Such contemptuous characterization of a negotiation from a leading protagonist is ill-advised and bodes ill.

    And the other reference to what a Palestinian is saying about “Jewish state” recognition:

    Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, says no; this “nyet” will endure.

    Is Roger Cohen unaware that Mahmoud Abbas was born and raised in a town that became part of the “Jewish state”, but he was forced out as a teenager by the military power of the Jewish state because he wasn’t Jewish? Is that the kind of “restored Jewish pride in a democratic state of laws” that Roger Cohen identifies with?

  12. chinese box
    chinese box
    January 2, 2014, 9:02 am

    Israel as spare tire.

    I suppose psychiatrists might have something to say about this mentality…sounds like malignant narcissism?

    I agree that Cohen will never break with Zionism and support 1ss. It’s going to be very interesting when someone else “mainstream” finally does–maybe Remnick?

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      January 2, 2014, 10:42 am

      If Joan Rivers broke ranks it would be a real kick in the nuts for the bots.

  13. January 2, 2014, 9:41 am

    Cohen says: “If Israel looks like a Jewish state and acts like a Jewish state, that is good enough for me — as long as it gets out of the corrosive business of occupation.”

    Up until the dash racist, everything after dash, dishonest. (Occupation IS the business of the Jewish state.)

    Nice of Cohen to present Zionism, and himself, so succinctly.

  14. eljay
    eljay
    January 2, 2014, 10:13 am

    >> Up until the dash racist, everything after dash, dishonest.

    Both sides of the dash, supremacist.

  15. Hostage
    Hostage
    January 2, 2014, 10:33 am

    Zionism, the one I identify with, forged a Jewish homeland in the name of restored Jewish pride in a democratic state of laws, not in the name of finicky insistence on a certain form of recognition . . . When I spoke to him in Tel Aviv a few months ago, Yair Lapid, a top government minister, said: “The fact that we demand from Palestinians a declaration that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, I just think this is rubbish. I don’t need that.

    That’s a distinction without a difference. Israel has several Basic Laws which define the State as being Jewish and democratic.

    Lapid simply demands that Israeli Arabs recognize the fact that Judaism is incompatible with democracy and that the conflict is an unsolvable one. See Lapid: Israel’s definition as Jewish and democratic is an unsolvable contradiction http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Lapid-Israels-definition-as-Jewish-and-democratic-is-an-unsolvable-contradiction-330067

  16. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 2, 2014, 4:34 pm

    From the article “When I spoke to him in Tel Aviv a few months ago, Yair Lapid, a top government minister, said: “The fact that we demand from Palestinians a declaration that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, I just think this is rubbish. I don’t need that. The whole point of Israel was we came here saying we don’t need anyone else to recognize us anymore because we can recognize ourselves. We are liberated.”

    So absurd to think about those who went after the creation and recognition of the State of Israel based on internationally recognized borders through the UN are so incredibly dismissive of the international community after they twisted arms at the UN to get what they were after.

  17. TheWatcherWatching
    TheWatcherWatching
    January 2, 2014, 9:41 pm

    now we have ZINOs – zionists in name only, or maybe limousine zionists, these are always the worst type of turds. They feel they have something to prove so they are more radical then the radicals

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