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‘Ethnic cleansing for a better world’ — Richard Cohen says Palestinians brought the Nakba on themselves

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Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen says that the Palestinians are to blame for the Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 in which 750,000 Palestinians were expelled by or fled Zionist militias and were never allowed to return. In his new book Israel: Is It Good for the Jews? Cohen says that by resisting the Zionist movement to take their lands, the Palestinians gave the Jewish immigrants, with their “advanced culture,” no choice but to force them from their homes.

[T]he driver of events was not, as is almost universally argued, the Jews, but the Arabs. Had the Palestinians and the nearby Arab states agreed to the United Nations partition plan, had they acceded to the creation of the State of Israel, the rationale for the nakba would have been avoided… Had they accepted this outcome—had they accepted the rule of law—there would not have been a nakba, and 770,000 Palestinians would not have been displaced.

Cohen makes a full-throated argument for ethnic cleansing as the only rational outcome:

They simply had to be pushed out. The very people who had made war—who had initiated the war and sometimes conducted it in barbaric fashion—could not be permitted to stay in place or to return to their old homes. This was not a case of racism or colonialism but of security based on common sense. The Palestinian was the enemy, and the enemy had to go.

israel-is-it-good-for-the-jews-9781416575689_lgThe Washington Post columnist has gotten in trouble in recent years for blunt comments about black people that have widely been viewed as racist– lately saying that “conventional” people “gag” when they see interracial couples. On a couple of occasions he has apologized.

Cohen’s hardboiled comments about the Nakba in his new book are also sure to offend. In a lengthy historical section, Cohen defends the practice of ethnic cleansing, saying that it may be necessary in certain circumstances to prevent ethnic clashes.

The section reads like a parody of a Zionist apology, to the point that it may damage Cohen’s own cause. Titled “Ethnic Cleansing for a Better World,” one chapter argues that Jews in Palestine were only doing what great powers in Europe were doing, sometimes to Jews.

“Why were they not entitled to play by the rules others had established? They had to use power and force and violence too. Sorry, it was unavoidable.”

Cohen’s fiercely realist tone seems anachronistic– ignoring advances in international law in the intervening 70 years– when he describes the many ethnic cleansings that took place in Europe during and after World War II.

Population transfers were in the air. A good many figures in public life supported them, Churchill being the most prominent of all. ‘Expulsion is the method which, insofar as we have been able to see, will be the most satisfactory and last.’

A policy of forcing ethnic Germans out of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary back to Germany was “brutal” but it “worked,” Cohen says.

Except for the Balkans and the occasional victimization of the Romani (Gypsies), Eastern Europe has been largely free of ethnic strife since the 1950s, and, afterward, largely free of discussing how that was accomplished.

Cohen all but endorses ethnic cleansing as a reasonable solution, when he cites the transfers between Greece and Turkey of minority ethnic populations:

[B]y the twentieth century, the barbarism of population transfers had become accepted government policy. It was a solution, no matter how ugly, to the problem of certain people being in certain places – a coldly pragmatic way of dealing with a combustible mix of peoples…. Once Christian Greeks had become disentangled from Muslim Turks, they ceased killing one another…. The lesson from this, the first significant population transfer of the twentieth century, was that ethnic cleansing worked.

That historical backdrop justifies the Nakba:

This is the era when Israel was born. This is the era that shaped its leadership and its people. This was an era unlike any other. Israel was born in hell.

In his next chapter, on the Nakba of 1948, Cohen states that Zionists came unwanted into Palestinian land and that Palestinians were right to mistrust their motivation, even if some Jews had deluded themselves that everyone was gonig to coexist. The fact that 770,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes was inevitable and even to the good, he argues.

[T]he facts are the facts: European Jews, no matter how noble their cause, established themselves in a part of the world occupied by another people and, by dint of their advanced culture… forced those occupants to make way. This, essentially, is the argument made by the enemies of Zionism, and they are right.

But once you agree that Israel had a right to exist–

then you are stuck with what for some is an unpalatable reality: the nascent state simply could not afford a large and hostile minority/majority within its borders.”

That reality is not unpalatable for Cohen. Once Palestinians resisted the Zionist efforts to establish a state on their lands, it became “clear that the Palestinians had to go.” And other colonial solutions for an indigenous population wouldn’t work here: they couldn’t be put on reservations or go to Bantustans and townships, or be sent to an ancestral homeland.

They simply had to be pushed out. The very people who had made war—who had initiated the war and sometimes conducted it in barbaric fashion—could not be permitted to stay in place or to return to their old homes. This was not a case of racism or colonialism but of security based on common sense. The Palestinian was the enemy, and the enemy had to go…

The two cultures were bound to clash, and if the Jews had not done it to the Palestinians, the Palestinians would have forced them into the sea, Cohen says.

The point in defending (or, as I prefer, explaining) what Jews did to Palestinians is not to suggest that it was virtuous because it was common—because others did it—but rather to emphasize that others did do it. And while they sometimes did it out of vengeance or for the sheer ugly fun of it, they more often did it because they had to or because they thought they had to. The tribes of the world sometimes get along, but more often they do not… Had these Jews not foisted the nakba on the Palestinians, the state would not have survived. It is one thing, of course, to hold that the state should not have survived—that it was nothing other than a racist, colonialist enterprise—but should you hold otherwise, then you have bought into a chain of events that entails a certain amount of ethnic cleansing.

But Cohen insists that Palestinians bear responsibility for their own expulsion:

Once again, the driver of events was not, as is almost universally argued, the Jews, but the Arabs. …. Had the Palestinians acceded to the wishes of the international community, they would have come to predominate in the new Israel.

Instead of being 20 percent of the population as they are today, Cohen says, Palestinians might be a majority. “The Jewish state might not be Jewish after all.” Israel would be an Arab state or an apartheid state.

Cohen says that he would have objected if Israel had chosen “sheer expulsion,” the forcing of the entire Palestinian population out of the borders of the new state.

[I]f I were writing at the time, I would have condemned it vociferously. But it would have worked. Israel would now be as Jewish as the Czech Republic is Czech or Hungary is Hungarian.

In the same grim realistic tone, Cohen says that Israel is not likely to survive as a Jewish state. There are too many Palestinians inside Israel and too many secular Israelis fleeing the country for it to retain a Jewish majority. And the raison-d’etre for the Jewish state– the Holocaust in which Cohen lost many relatives– has faded from the world’s memory, giving way to an era in which Israeli abuses against Palestinians under occupation are causing the state to lose legitimacy. Though he ends up calling for the world to support Israel, Cohen is pessimistic about Israel’s chances.

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130 Responses

  1. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 1, 2014, 5:41 pm

    “Cohen says that by resisting the Zionist movement to take their lands, the Palestinians gave the Jewish immigrants, with their “advanced culture,” no choice but to force them from their homes. ”

    For some reason this reminds me of ISIS driving Yazidi “pagans” from their homes .

    Anyway, what an advanced culture Israel has today. Where is it in the PISA tables? Why does Israel have such a problem with cults that prey on young orthodox girls ? Why did only 5% of Israeli Jews oppose the recent slaughter in Gaza ? Why can’t anyone come up with decent hasbara any more ?

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      October 1, 2014, 6:17 pm

      1948: Jews had more money, more support and friends abroad, more advanced weaponry and more weaponry altogether than the Palestinian Arabs had — or, indeed, than all the surrounding Arab countries combined had; and knew it. Is this what is meant by “advanced culture”? And is the argument that people with “advanced culture” (such as people whose culture is so very far advanced that they base their claims on a Bible consisting of fictional stories several thousands of years old) have the right to wipe out or displace people with a less advanced culture an idea that had acceptance in 1945-50?

      If so, what (precisely) was Israel’s complaint about Germany (with its ever so advanced culture)?

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        October 1, 2014, 11:57 pm

        “Advanced” is too value-loaded a term. The reality is that the Zionists were part of the European culture that had come to dominate the world. It is an oversimplification to attribute that dominance just to better guns.

        “Whatever happens, we have got
        The Maxim gun, and they have not”*

        Heaven’s command notwithstanding, those guns did not drop from the sky. Europeans developed the intellectual and material resources need to design and manufacture those guns in large numbers, to train armies to use them effectively, and to transport guns and armies to the place where they would have the required effect. But achieving these feats required considerable organization and administrative skills, and a high level of social solidarity and discipline. The debilitating effects of tribalism, corruption, and idiotic leaders had to be reduced. It needed commitment to duty, to the extent that an official might approve of using high explosive to improve the souls of black people, but would never dream of stealing ninepence from the petty cash.

        All this was part of the culture that the Zionists were heir to, and provided the money, support and friends abroad, and weaponry that they have used so effectively.

        (*Hilaire Belloc. Read “The Modern Traveller” sometime.)

      • gracie fr
        gracie fr
        October 3, 2014, 5:31 pm

        ….and then there were the Mizrahi Jews that were considered “not advanced” and dealt with in a kind of misbegotten internal ethnic cleansing as Jonathan Cook’s recent post confirms.

        In the 1950s, waves of new immigrants swept into Israel. To the dismay of the country’s Ashkenazi leaders (those originating from Europe and the US), the great majority were from Arab countries. Levi Eshkol, a later prime minister, expressed a common sentiment when he called them “human rubbish”. Israel, deprived of “good-quality” Jews, was being forced to bring to its shores Arab Jews, seen as just as primitive and dirty as the Palestinians whom Israel had recently succeeded in ethnically cleansing.

        Into this deeply racist atmosphere stepped Dr Chaim Sheba, a eugenicist, who believed that the Arabs Jews were bringing along with them diseases that threatened the Ashkenazi Jews. His obsession was ringworm, an innocuous childhood disease that affects the scalp. He went to the US, collected old military X-ray equipment and zapped tens of thousands of these children’s heads with potentially lethal doses of radiation. The survivors tell of their horrifying experiences during and after the treatment, and of the brothers and sisters they lost at a young age.
        http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/46674-history-of-eugenics.html

    • Dunnit007
      Dunnit007
      October 1, 2014, 9:15 pm

      It is hard to believe that this “journalist” is a four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist in the “Commentary” category….hmm.

      • Pretext
        Pretext
        October 2, 2014, 3:41 am

        Take all this “advanced” discussion, susbstitute “Jews” with “Boers”, “Palestine” for “South Africa”, and “Palestinians” for “Africans”

        That should remove all doubt that you’re looking at a racist post-hoc rationalization of crimes against humanity.

      • peterfeld
        peterfeld
        October 2, 2014, 8:14 am

        Awesome takedown of Cohen’s racism by Alex Pareene:

        “I am a deeply ignorant and cloistered old man,” should be the next sentence, “and no one should pay me for my views and opinions, because they are worthless.”…

        This Richard Cohen column — and perhaps all Richard Cohen columns — should be read as a memo to Jeff Bezos, the new owner of the Post. Cohen is saying, perhaps subconsciously, that he has nothing to offer the Washington Post. He adds no value. “Buy me out,” Richard Cohen begs, between the lines. “Pay me to go away and stop embarrassing this once respected newspaper.” How much will it take? I am not sure, but Jeff Bezos is a very rich man, and I think he can afford it. Indeed, if his mission is to invest in quality journalism, paying Richard Cohen to go away would be one of the quickest and simplest ways to advance that mission.

        http://www.salon.com/2013/11/08/how_much_will_it_cost_to_make_these_racist_old_men_go_away/

      • October 2, 2014, 9:20 am

        This is quite typical of the Zionist dominated mainstream media.

  2. spokelse
    spokelse
    October 1, 2014, 5:46 pm

    this is the old, “realist” Jabotinsky zionist argument, that is actually the touchstone of current Israeli politics, the logic is sound, the assumptions are evil, as are all colonial settler “reasons” for their actions.

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      October 2, 2014, 12:21 am

      It is, but it is useful to ponder if a white Christian mainstream WaPo/NYT journalist would have defended Jim Crow as “necessary but brutal” to “prevent blacks and whites from killing each other”.

      In other words, the George Wallace argument. But in Cohen’s case, he goes much further than that, he goes not just into racial segregation but into outright ethnic cleansing.

      Still, in a bizarre way, I’m thankful to him for being upfront with what a lot of Zionists feel but are too afraid to express. He is many things, but at least he has the bravery to admit what he believes, instead of hiding behind a smokescreen of liberalism(that always falls apart when the going gets tough, see Goldberg, Ben-Ami, David Aaron Miller, the forward’s Eisner etc).

      I also agree with him on the Jewish question. But I’d go further. There’s no way the green line will ever be resurrected at this stage, so he has to count the Arabs in the WB, too, and then the demographics become much darker for Israel’s Zionist demographers. I’d also add Gaza, because the reality is, they are not going anywhere(even if Israel can’t believe it).

      Where are the smart, cosmopolitan Jews going to go? We already know the answer, the well-off are going to London, Berlin, Sydney, LA, New York, Toronto etc. The Zionist dream, as in all Jews in place, has been a spectacular failure. Israel could well become a place where only the poorest Jews live, in perpetual conflict and agony.

      In some ways, it’s already fast becomming that.

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        October 2, 2014, 7:16 am

        Krauss: I don’t know what the future holds, but, like you, I am actually pleased to see this rationale laid out where non-Jewish Americans are likely to see it. Many of us (as I’m part of that group) are surprisingly uninformed or misinformed about this topic. This ignorance, in turn, means that they are unconcerned or even supportive of U.S. policies that many of them would question, given better information.

        Also, like you, I’ve belatedly come to see (as I’ve belatedly become better informed) some of the “liberal Zionists” as part of the problem. They may mean well, but they hide ugly reality in a cloak of high-sounding ideals and vague fantasies of some better world, thus helping to enable the reality of oppression to continue.

  3. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 1, 2014, 5:48 pm

    Actually, ethnic cleansing in 1948 set Israel on the road to today. There is just no way to turn off the trauma that brutal violence unleashes on a society. The damage lingers long after the last person has been tortured to death and the guns put away.
    Israelis are fearful, closed, cruel and untrusting as a collective and the continual use of violence as a tool of public policy has a lot to do with that.

    It is extremely ignorant to say that the Nakba made Israel into a better place. The reverse is the case.

    Israel reminds me of Siena’s allegory of bad government.

    http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/the-allegories-and-effects-of-good-and-bad-government.html

    • bintbiba
      bintbiba
      October 1, 2014, 6:03 pm

      Monsieur Cohen…. just adds insult to injury !

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

        Anyone could say in the case of Poland that while the Holocaust was seen as distasteful at the time it was for best in the long run. But what would be the point ?

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      October 1, 2014, 8:14 pm

      Seafoid,

      Kay asked where people come up with this way of thinking. How can people who are very liberal on issues in the US be extremely “conservative” when it comes to Palestinians’ rights?

      It is hard to think that in normal circumstances Richard Cohen would write a book with a chapter supporting “ethnic cleansing.”

      The best way to understand the mentality is with a mix of self-identification, religiousness, and focus on fear and safety. Back when I was a kid, I read about the Israeli state in the Encyclopedia, and it sounded pretty cool, like it was just a continuation of ancient Israel, like I read about in my Bible. Then, the story of people making the state after going through discrimination in Europe and the Mideast was compelling. I didn’t have the self-identification part, though.

      The main thing that changed my view was that I realized that Palestinians were going through conditions related to those in other Mideast countries targeted by the West, like Iraq. That is, I saw that they were being brutalized and that it was part of a similar pattern of oppression.

      For someone with intense self-identification, however, I can understand that it might trump Palestinians’ rights when they look at the issue. This is something that Danaa said: perhaps with such intense, sometimes quasi-religious, identification with a nationalist system, it may be very hard for them to think otherwise.

      You are dealing with a very ingrained psychology. In fact, even Christians today might read Exodus and say that the brutal conquest that happened then (in 1500 BC) was OK, but that we would not agree to it today. It’s because you are dealing with a problem- you don’t want to say that God or Moses were “wrong”. Generally for Christians, the conquest of Canaan can be a non-issue today because we can say that it has been superseded. But my point is that religious or nationalist ideology can have a strong lock on peoples’ minds, and I don’t know how to unlock it, Seafoid, when the lock doesn’t want to open.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 2, 2014, 4:56 pm

        “I don’t know how to unlock it, Seafoid, when the lock doesn’t want to open.”

        So, we are going to have to wait for the Zionists to have a change of heart? I don’t quite understand why the Zionists are entitled to that. Everybody whose Muslim heart doesn’t want to open gets a missile or bomb up their butt.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        October 2, 2014, 9:26 pm

        Mooser,

        We said earlier that if the US, Russia, and international community decide to impose any just solution (2SS with full sovereignty for Palestine, etc.), they will get resistance from Israelis. The “Progressive nationalists” are still going to be around with their intensity. It’s like it’s never ending.

        It looks like some Muslims are moderate or open to reforms, but others aren’t particularly interested (eg. ISIS).

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        October 2, 2014, 11:38 pm

        WJones

        I don’t see why Israel should be sui generis. Israelis have soldiers but very little soul in the sense of a moral link to the best of Judaism. It’s like a reversion of the famous line in that Killers song “I’ve got soul but I’m not a soldier”
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZTpLvsYYHw

        and it becomes more like Baker St “So many soldiers (people) and it’s got no soul”.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo6aKnRnBxM

        Are you still with me ?

        Gerry Rafferty would identify the Israel problem very easily
        “another year and then you’ll be happy but you’re (shooting and) crying now”

        Going back to the Killers (the band, not the IDF)
        “All the things that I’ve done” suggests they’ll keep on pummeling Gaza while ignoring the big picture

        When there’s nowhere else to run
        Is there room for one more massacre (son)

        Just like the Killers, they have the hand out, expecting unlimited political cover and victory in social media

        Help me out
        Yeah, you know you got to help me out
        Yeah, oh don’t you put me on the backburner
        You know you got to help me out

        All the things they’ve done suggest that Israel can’t stop the destructive behavior And if it can’t hold on, if it can’t hold on, why would it be special ?

        Zionism may just have to be opened up. Take out the cruel IDF heart and see if it can be reset.

      • piotr
        piotr
        October 4, 2014, 8:17 pm

        Leading Israeli archaeologists view Conquest as a myth. Around 1200 B.C. Kana’an was severely depopulated in the aftermath of decades of a drought, and there were hardly any settlements in the future area of Hebrew kingdoms, and when the climate reverted to normal, the number of settled villages was increasing exponentially for more than 200 years. This resettlement was associated with agricultural and architectural, and of course, religious innovations that appear fully native, with only slight Egyptian influence (as there was always trade with Egypt). Even “united monarchy” of David and Solomon seems mythical, although by that time undisputably Hebrew settlements are archaeologically evident — but on a modest scale.

        My private theory is that Hebrew myth makers tried to make sense from the past that was forgotten during the “demographic bottleneck”, and created the past according to cultural patterns of Assyria: it is pius and glorious to be a merciless conqueror, but we too are glorious and merciless!

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        October 4, 2014, 8:54 pm

        Piotr,

        Hasn’t it been determined what period the language style of the Torah is from?

        The language style in Job, along with its themes match the period from about David’s and Solomon’s times. Thus we can date it, even though we don’t have direct information on its dating.

  4. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    October 1, 2014, 5:51 pm

    “Cohen says that he would have objected if Israel had chosen “sheer expulsion,” the forcing of the entire Palestinian population out of the borders of the new state. ”

    That’s mighty white of him.

    • October 1, 2014, 7:09 pm

      I am sure a consistent thinker like Cohen will have no problem with Jews being ethnically cleansed from Israel or elsewhere.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        October 1, 2014, 8:24 pm

        Only if the ethnic cleansers are more “cultured” than they are. But how are cultural levels to be measured and compared? It seems, for instance, that Palestinians write a greater quantity of poetry per capita than Jews… How about a TV reality show in which the contestants compete to demonstrate their “cultural” prowess and the winners get to drown the losers in the sea? What fun!

        Seriously, though, Cohen’s main argument is based on the erroneous claim that war led to the ethnic cleansing. In fact, the direction of causation was the opposite: the ethnic cleansing was conducted for several months against peaceful civilians before it finally provoked armed resistance. What happened later cannot explain (let alone justify) what happened earlier.

      • southernobserver
        southernobserver
        October 1, 2014, 9:10 pm

        I strongly agree with Stephen. Terrorism by Irgun, and ethnic cleaning occurred before the start of any war. Co-existence was ruled out before the beginning of the state.

      • JWalters
        JWalters
        October 3, 2014, 8:15 pm

        Absolutely correct. Cohen reveals himself to be a barbarian. He uses Hitler’s rational for exterminating Jews, and justifies the obliteration of Israel.

        His history omits one key fact, however. Israel was established as a scam by war profiteering bankers, using Jewish supremacists as boots on the ground, to establish a perpetual, profitable religious war in the Middle East. They have been abusing Jews right along with Muslims. See “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror” at
        http://warprofiteerstory.blogspot.com

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 6, 2014, 11:14 am

        . “They have been abusing Jews right along with Muslims”

        Oh, in a different way, one that doesn’t usually result in death. It might be fair to say that Palestinians are Zionism’s victims, but Jews are the people Zionism victimizes.
        But yes, the idea that the founders of Israel were intent on doing something “good for the Jews” is absurd.

  5. Kay24
    Kay24
    October 1, 2014, 6:15 pm

    Sounds just like the Regev/Dermer/Nutty Netty refrain of blame on the Palestinians in Gaza for their own deaths. The they hate their own children therefore they get them killed BS. This is indeed yet another zio voice doing his loyal best to keep the occupation going, and justify the ongoing violence against the real victims. How they can come up with such BS is a mystery.

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      October 1, 2014, 7:45 pm

      ” How they can come up with such BS is a mystery.”
      Kay.
      I don’t know why you think it’s a mystery. Let’s just start from a simple premise. I’m right, and you’re wrong.
      OK, well first off, you called yourself Kay24. That’s not a real name. Nobody calls themselves a name that ends with a number. And in case you can find someone who does, well, they are goofballs.

      Oh, King Richard III and Queen Ekaterina II have a number? Well, they didn’t join their number to their name. And in case you find someone who did, well, then let’s look for another reason why you’re wrong.

      And on and on. People can find ways to make things up once they are absolutely set on some underlying premise.

      One of the main problems is that they don’t explore and announce where their premises and biases come from. For example, how come they are liberal about every issue except for Palestinians’ human rights? They answer will just be more commentary based on the premise that Palestinians are “wrong”.

      But I think it would be hard to get people who are otherwise liberal to face a contradiction in their position.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        Stephen Shenfield
        October 2, 2014, 6:54 am

        The Mixteca of pre-Columbian Mexico (Oaxaca province) used names that combined a number with the name of an animal, e.g. Eight Leopard or Seven Lizard.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        October 2, 2014, 1:12 pm

        Stephen,

        If we are proceeding from the premise that Kay24 is “wrong no matter what”, then I can point out that Seven Lizard is not the same as writing Lizard7.

        Then we can write seven paragraphs about how Lizard7 is bad form, and Kay24 is even worse because it uses a real name with a number.

        And on and on and on…. It feels like it never ends.

      • Pretext
        Pretext
        October 2, 2014, 8:00 pm

        I think we can agree Cohen would see that as proof of how much the Mixteca hated their children and needed to be set straight by a more advanced culture.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        October 2, 2014, 9:31 pm

        Kay24,

        I am not actually claiming that there is some real problem with your name.

        My point was that all kinds of irrational claims can be defended, sometimes irrationally, if there is some strong underlying motive to do so. I picked your name to give an example of irrational arguments.

  6. Jim Holstun
    Jim Holstun
    October 1, 2014, 6:20 pm

    Really, I prefer this sort of thudding monster to the lachrymose shoot-and-cry of Ari Shavit, whose argument is, at bottom, the same.

  7. Horizontal
    Horizontal
    October 1, 2014, 6:36 pm

    Is it just me, or are all of Israel’s friends sounding like inhuman monsters?

  8. annie
    annie
    October 1, 2014, 6:50 pm

    Titled “Ethnic Cleansing for a Better World,” one chapter argues that Jews in Palestine were only doing what great powers in Europe were doing ……

    i actually thought that line in the title was paraphrasing. it’s astonishing he really wrote that!

    • W.Jones
      W.Jones
      October 1, 2014, 7:48 pm

      Annie,

      Max Blumenthal’s critics complained chiefly that Blumenthal was using titles like that for his own chapters!!!!

    • ckg
      ckg
      October 1, 2014, 8:41 pm

      Yep. It’s chapter 14. Other notable chapters are:
      3. Anti-Semitism: A Gift to the Jews.
      9. Anti-Semitism Among the Semites.
      13. A Bald-Headed Son of a Bitch to the Rescue
      17. Jabotinsky Was Right.

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        October 2, 2014, 8:59 am

        “17. Jabotinsky Was Right.”

        Reminds me of “Hitler was right”. Cohen is stealing Nazi slogans.

    • Raksha
      Raksha
      October 2, 2014, 1:01 pm

      When I first saw the title of this article, “Ethnic Cleansing for a Better World,” I th.ought the reviewer was mocking Richard Cohen–you know, being sarcastic. I didn’t know until I read it that it was the title of one the actual chapters in his book.

      This definitely falls into the “you can’t make this stuff up” category. The Israel apologists get better at parodying themselves by the day.

      • gracie fr
        gracie fr
        October 2, 2014, 5:06 pm

        Looking for an “edgy symbol/jingo/cartoon with punch…..

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 11:11 am

        When I first saw the title of this article, “Ethnic Cleansing for a Better World,”

        Frankly, my first thought was “Wow, Richard Cohen’s editor must loathe the man, absolutely hate his guts!”
        Think about it, Cohen on the telephone with his editor: “What’s that Rich, you want to call it “Ethnic Cleansing for a Better World”? Brilliant! Where do you get these great ideas?”

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 2, 2014, 5:01 pm

      “i actually thought that line in the title was paraphrasing. “

      Yeah! Like those “horrible” “anti-Israel writers” who coined the phrase “mowing the lawn” (for what Israel does in Gaza) just to make it look worse! No Israeli would ever say that!

  9. lysias
    lysias
    October 1, 2014, 6:57 pm

    Even if ethnic cleansing was common practice among nations up to the 1940’s, it hasn’t been since. So what excuse does Israel have for continuing its ethnic cleansing?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 3, 2014, 3:10 pm

      “So what excuse does Israel have for continuing its ethnic cleansing?”

      Since Zionist claims that the Jews are among the worlds sweet, just, boyish masters were not recognized soon enough, don’t you see, the world owes them a bunch of ethnic cleansing.

      After all, look what happened to Jews who have been forced to live as equals among their fellow citizens instead of being protected! Would you have the world’s Jews suffer the fate of those in the US?

  10. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    October 1, 2014, 7:41 pm

    Mr. Cohen perhaps (shudder) finds inspiration in the words –
    ” … territorial expansionism to gain Lebensraum as being a law of nature for all healthy and vigorous peoples of superior races to displace people of inferior races”.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum)
    These people are sounding increasingly desperate, and their hateful disdain and cruelty are both disgusting and frightening.

    • bilal a
      bilal a
      October 1, 2014, 9:34 pm

      You have no idea. Cohen actually praised the post war gynocide in eastern europe. – a unspeakable thought crime to mention the hell of the allied victory:

      Kill! Kill! In the German race there is nothing but evil; not one among the living, not one among the yet unborn but is evil! Follow the precepts of Comrade Stalin. Stamp out the fascist beast once and for all in its lair! Use force and break the racial pride of these German women. Take them as your lawful booty. Kill! As you storm onward, kill, you gallant soldiers of the Red Army.
      Soviet papmlet, Thomas Goodrich’s Hellstorm:
      The Death of Nazi Germany, 1944–1947

      Putin, Peres unveil Netanya memorial honoring Red Army
      http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Putin-Peres-unveil-Netanya-memorial-honoring-Red-Army

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        October 1, 2014, 11:37 pm

        After the Reich is a very detailed riposte to the notion that the ethnic cleansing of the Germans was the right thing to do.

        http://www.amazon.com/After-Reich-Brutal-History-Occupation/dp/0465003389/

        “A nation in tatters, in many places literally flattened by bombs, was suddenly subjected to brutal occupation by vengeful victors. According to recent estimates, as many as two million German women were raped by Soviet occupiers. General Eisenhower denied the Germans access to any foreign aid, meaning that German civilians were forced to subsist on about 1,200 calories a day. (American officials privately acknowledged at the time that the death rate amongst adults had risen to four times the pre-war levels; child mortality had increased tenfold). With the authorization of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, over four million Germans were impressed into forced labor. General George S. Patton was so disgusted by American policy in post-war Germany that he commented in his diary, “It is amusing to recall that we fought the revolution in defense of the rights of man and the civil war to abolish slavery and have now gone back on both principles”

        Although an astonishing 2.5 million ordinary Germans were killed in the post-Reich era, few know of this traumatic history. There has been an unspoken understanding amongst historians that the Germans effectively got what they deserved as perpetrators of the Holocaust. First ashamed of their national humiliation at the hands of the Allies and Soviets, and later ashamed of the horrors of the Holocaust, Germans too have remained largely silent – a silence W.G. Sebald movingly described in his controversial book On the Natural History of Destruction.”

        Israel still acts out the trauma of WW2. Anyone who saw what they did to Gaza this summer can see that.
        Cordyceps Nazi I would call it.

      • W.Jones
        W.Jones
        October 2, 2014, 1:16 am

        “First ashamed of their national humiliation at the hands of the Allies and Soviets, and later ashamed of the horrors of the Holocaust, Germans too have remained largely silent – a silence W.G. Sebald movingly described in his controversial book On the Natural History of Destruction.”

        Thats messed up.

  11. eljay
    eljay
    October 1, 2014, 7:44 pm

    Ah, yes, how wonderful it could have been for the rapists’ victims if only they hadn’t fought their abduction by the rapist, their imprisonment in his bunker and his repeated self-determination in them. :-(

    Mr. Cohen might want to add these phrases – favourites of “liberal Zionist” RW – to his repertoire (if they’re not already in there):

    The nakba that occurred in 1948 was accompanied by the independence, the liberation, of the Jewish community. So, I primarily celebrate …

    If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.

    I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.

    Currently its not necessary.

  12. chet
    chet
    October 1, 2014, 7:46 pm

    As to the possibility of peaceful co-existence, when and why was Plan Dalet conceived?

    • Talkback
      Talkback
      October 2, 2014, 9:02 am

      In April 1948. Before the proclamation of Israel many areas in the territory alloted to the Arab Palestinians were allready occupied and about 300.000 refugees created, in 73% of the cases because of Israeli actions according to Haganah’s SHAI report.

    • tree
      tree
      October 4, 2014, 4:35 pm

      ..when and why was Plan Dalet conceived?

      The broad operational outlines were drawn as early as 1944, according to Pappe. The specific Plan Dalet was agreed upon by Ben-Gurion’s Consultancy in March of 1948, following earlier plans that were adopted as early as 1945 with the same goals but slightly less drastic means.

      Why? Most specifically because the Zionists realized they couldn’t simply overwhelm the existing non-Jewish population with Jewish immigrants because there weren’t enough interested and available Jewish immigrants. In general, “transfer” had always been on the ZIonist agenda since the early days. They’d hoped they could simply urge the population to leave and bribe the surrounding countries to encourage it, but were willing to resort to forced transfer if it was the only way to achieve their goals of a Jewish majority in Palestine.

  13. ckg
    ckg
    October 1, 2014, 7:59 pm

    Currently on Amazon, there are only two customer reviews of his book, both “one star” reviews. The first of these is by M.J. Rosenberg. http://www.amazon.com/Israel-Is-It-Good-Jews/dp/1416575685

    • Dunnit007
      Dunnit007
      October 1, 2014, 9:26 pm

      I assume that it is not possible to judge the book and then award it no stars? Abmittedly, I have not read book nor do I have plans to do so.

      • ckg
        ckg
        October 1, 2014, 11:03 pm

        This is true, 007. But you can find a review ‘helpful’ or not.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 2, 2014, 1:08 am

      There is a third now. Also one star.

      • ckg
        ckg
        October 2, 2014, 7:09 pm

        And now there is a fourth review, also one star, from Pamela Olson.

  14. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    October 1, 2014, 8:29 pm

    I suppose I should not make Yeshaya Leibowicz the alpha and the omega of right minded opinion regarding israel, but… did Leibowicz ever speak out against the nakba?

  15. Pretext
    Pretext
    October 1, 2014, 8:40 pm

    Please keep digging Mr. Cohen. You’re doing more for BDS in one book than I could hope to achieve in a lifetime.

  16. southernobserver
    southernobserver
    October 1, 2014, 9:08 pm

    The culture argument is bizarre as addressed by all of the commentators.

    The central argument seems to be who was the aggressor. Since we know that the proto-israelis, ie immigrant jews began with terrorism against the locals and initiated the explusion of the palestinian’s who merely lived there, the record shows that the proto-Israelis were at fault. Based entirely on his reasoning, he is arguing that all israeli should now be expelled.

  17. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    October 1, 2014, 9:11 pm

    Cohen says, if I get it right, that IF the Palestinians had managed to accept the UNGA 1947 partition, which the Zionists didn’t like, and which chopped the land into (as I recall) 6 pieces with three for Jews and three for Arabs, very separated (like the Bantustans now seemingly proposed for new-Palestine),THEN the Jews (in their 55% of The Land) would not have attacked anybody and would not have evicted anybody.

    Who can believe this theory given the talk of “transfer” and “iron walls” which preceded 1947? I believe that as well as being a nasty piece of post-hoc pro-colonial fluff, it is quite wrong headed even on its own terms.

    • Dan Crowther
      Dan Crowther
      October 2, 2014, 11:13 am

      well done, great point!

    • Shingo
      Shingo
      October 2, 2014, 5:31 pm

      Even more bizarre is the claim that the desire to create a Jewish state with a Jewish majority was the result of the refusal of the Palestinians to allow the Zionists to take over.

      Apparently Cohen never heard of Herzl.

      The one good thing about this book however, is that it is one more nail in the coffin of Nakba denial.

  18. bilal a
    bilal a
    October 1, 2014, 9:26 pm

    Ask Chomsky, or Bernie Sanders about the Nakba, they were both Israelis when if was fresh in people’s memory, Its not clear when Sanders was in Israel , graduated high school in 1959, graduated chicago 1964, if he was in Israel before graduation it was probably between Brooklyn college and Chicago, little more than 10 years after Der Yassim.

    “After graduating from the University of Chicago, Sanders spent time on an Israeli kibbutz around(?) 1963 – notably before the 1967 Six-Day War, when it was not common for American youngsters to spend time in Israel.

    Read more: http://forward.com/articles/190913/bernie-sanders-lone-socialist-in-congress-pushes-j/?p=all#ixzz3EwiGwqSB

    If elected, he will be our first Israeli president.

  19. Marco
    Marco
    October 1, 2014, 10:06 pm

    Cohen’s comments are vivid proof that the normal rules don’t apply for Zionists in America.

    Sure, he talks about other historical cases of ethnic cleansing, but let’s be real.

    If he praised gentrification as a justified ethnic cleansing of blacks, for example, he’d be off the NY Times and the mainstream media for good. And yet, as much of an injustice it is, gentrification does not even approach the moral depths of the Nabka.

  20. Donald
    Donald
    October 1, 2014, 10:55 pm

    I’m glad that there are columnists like Richard Cohen, Thomas Friedman and David Brooks around. From time to time they come right out and say they are in favor of war crimes. Obviously the Beltway crowd and their Israeli counterparts think this way, but most of the time people have enough sense not to be too open about it. But now and then you have a Madelaine Albright saying that a lot of dead Iraqi children are worth it, or a Brooks advocating brutal measures by American troops, or Friedman praising war crimes (too many examples to list) or a Cohen endorsing a massive crime against humanity. It’s useful to have someone lifting the veil and showing how little difference there is between some ISIS thug and their Western counterparts.

    • catporn
      catporn
      October 2, 2014, 2:59 pm

      Completely agree, its essential that people get to see behind the mask, Cohen has complied.
      His book is an arrow in our quiver.

    • MRW
      MRW
      October 3, 2014, 3:21 am

      It’s useful to have someone lifting the veil and showing how little difference there is between some ISIS thug and their Western counterparts.

      Good line and accurate.

  21. NickJOCW
    NickJOCW
    October 1, 2014, 11:02 pm

    From these extracts it appears to be one half of a dialectical debate, the sort of thing students engage in to develop a capacity for logical argumentation by arguing an issue one way and then the opposite. It can be fun if well done but in this case, and at his age, it comes over as a self-indulgent bit of showing off, and a shade silly.

    • catporn
      catporn
      October 2, 2014, 3:05 pm

      Maybe it started as an exercise in reductio ad absurdum, but he just ran with it.

  22. seafoid
    seafoid
    October 1, 2014, 11:28 pm

    “If I were writing at the time, I would have condemned it vociferously. But it would have worked. Israel would now be as Jewish as the Czech Republic is Czech or Hungary is Hungarian.”

    they always bring up this argument. By the same token presumably Cohen would have vociferously condemned the Spanish expulsion of the Jews in 1492 vociferously. It worked..for a while . Spain was as Spanish as a nation of chorizo eaters could be. They really went overboard on the pork.

    But the ethnic cleansing was at the long term cost of its economic health. It came into empire and began a long decline 150 years later. Nobody to grease the wheels of trade.
    By 1790 Spain was like Iraq is now. Goya painted it.

    Hungary could really do with its Jews now. The Czechs got the Sudetenland but they’ll never catch up economically with Germany.

    And Cohen’s argument- that ethnically pure is where it’s at- is diametrically opposite to the argument that will be needed against the fascists when the global economy takes its next nosedive and people ask why we need Jews in Galut.

    • Marco
      Marco
      October 1, 2014, 11:52 pm

      Consider what you’re saying.

      Ethnocentrism goes both ways!

      Are you saying that non-Jewish Spaniards weren’t up to snuff intellectually or commercially?

      That may be, but say it bluntly please.

      Let’s bring racialism out of the closet.

      P.S. If late 18th century Spain (America’s ally in the Revolutionary War by the way) was like Iraq today, does that mean that it also was subject to a Zionist-inspired invasion around that time?

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        October 2, 2014, 11:03 am

        Monoculture is stupid IMO. Cuts out too much potential.
        Spain shouldn’t have expelled its Jews- England didn’t and England did much better in the 17th century.

      • Shmuel
        Shmuel
        October 2, 2014, 11:16 am

        England didn’t and England did much better in the 17th century.

        Not that I disagree with your premise, but England actually did expel its Jews in 1290, and there were hardly any Jews to speak of in England in the 17th century.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 2, 2014, 5:12 pm

        And that the Jews survived those two expulsions, and others, and considerable segregation and discrimination, if not outright violence with their cohesion and unity intact is remarkable. They went into the centuries of European Christian (to be general about it) with the same cohesion and unity they went into it with. And that, and don’t let no one tell you different, is remarkable.

      • MRW
        MRW
        October 3, 2014, 3:17 am

        Monoculture is stupid IMO. Cuts out too much potential. Spain shouldn’t have expelled its Jews- England didn’t and England did much better in the 17th century.

        Spain expelled first its Muslims (1480s), then its Jews (1492), because Isabella wanted the Pope to relocate The Holy See to Spain. She thought it would burnish Spain’s Catholic bonafides. Her real purpose, of course, was in extending her husband’s empire.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 2, 2014, 9:09 am

      >> “If I were writing at the time, I would have condemned it vociferously. But it would have worked. Israel would now be as Jewish as the Czech Republic is Czech or Hungary is Hungarian.”

      Czech Republic and Hungary are countries. Israel is a country. “Jewish” is not a country.

      Czech and Hungarian are nationalities. Israeli is a nationality. “Jewish” is not a nationality.

      Israel can be just like Czech Republic and Hungary. “Jewish State” can only be a religion-supremacist construct primarily of and for Jews.

      • eljay
        eljay
        October 2, 2014, 9:22 am

        >> eljay: “Jewish State” can only be a religion-supremacist construct primarily of and for Jews.

        Actually, I shouldn’t say it “can only” be that. “Jewish State” could be like other states if:
        – “Jewish” were made the bureaucratic nationality of all citizens of, immigrants to and ex-pats and refugees from “Jewish State” ;
        – all people with this new Jewish nationality had equal rights under “Jewish State” law;
        – preferential immigration to “Jewish State” were granted to all people originally from – and up to n generations removed from – the geographic region comprising “Jewish State”.

        It could be like other states…but Zio-supremacists don’t want it to be like other states.

      • MRW
        MRW
        October 3, 2014, 3:24 am

        l“Jewish State” can only be a religion-supremacist construct primarily of and for Jews.

        Or like Iran, only less accommodating of other religions.

  23. RoHa
    RoHa
    October 2, 2014, 12:09 am

    I really do not care whether people will be offended by this book or not. What I do care about is whether it is historically accurate and morally sound.

    From the description given her, it seems to fail on both counts.

    Other commenters have shown the historical inaccuracies.

    As for the morality, it seems, like all the attempted justifications for Israel that I have seen, to use the basic assumption that Jews are more important than other people.
    The interests of Jews outweigh the interests of Palestinians.

    And this assumption is simply immoral.

  24. Jackdaw
    Jackdaw
    October 2, 2014, 12:12 am
    • annie
      annie
      October 2, 2014, 2:56 am

      except that it appears to be the efforts of a few lone people. even the byline says An isolated incident snowballed into a wide debate and then there’s this: http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/.premium-1.618007

      the university published a statement Saturday saying: “The administration has nothing against the presence of the journalist Hass. The university as a national institution differentiates between friends and enemies of the Palestinian people… and works with every person or institution that is against the occupation.”

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      October 2, 2014, 3:30 am

      Amira Hass ‘ethnically cleansed’ from Bir Zeit University.

      Why the restrained language, Jackdaw? Why not come right out and say Hass was ‘genocided’ or ‘holocausted’ from Birzeit?

      As much fun as all of this has been for The Jewish Press and Commentary, Hass’ own comments on the affair are the most appropriate response.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 2, 2014, 7:27 am

      >> Jackdaw: Amira Hass ‘ethnically cleansed’ from Bir Zeit University.

      I condemn the university’s expulsion of Ms. Hass. Let’s agree to hold the university – and all other people and institutions, everywhere – fully accountable for all forms of ethnic cleansing.

      I admire Ms. Hass’ dignified response to the snub.

  25. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    October 2, 2014, 2:59 am

    I’ve yet to come across the “realist” who argues: ‘It was either us or them, and they had the numbers and were better organised — and, to be perfectly honest, had they not done it to us, we would have done it to them. Sure it was ugly, but they didn’t really have a choice, and it worked.’

  26. Accentitude
    Accentitude
    October 2, 2014, 7:12 am

    *Gasp* Richie Cohen. What would your response be if the people of the world decided that the European Jews brought about the Holocaust upon themselves? After all, They didn’t voluntarily lie down and die when the peaceful Third Reich waltzed into town expecting to wipe their feet on a carpet of Jewish flesh, right? I’m sure you’d be up in arms, ranting and raving about “anti-semitism.”

    Let’s take a better look at Mr. Cohen, shall we?

    1) He’s a privileged New York Yuppie who rarely finds himself coming into contact with those lesser than him. He’s afraid of interracial marriage, supports “stop and frisk” laws, and is always fearful of the scary black man *shudder*.

    3) In 1986, he said that jewelry stores should not have to allow entry by young black men b/c of the fear that said black men might rob the place.

    2) In 1998, he sexually harassed a co-worker, created a hostile work environment for her, and at one point told her to “Stand up and turn around.” Stand up, guy.

    3) He fiercely supported G. Dubya and was in favor of the Iraq War…and look where that got us. Hi, ISIS. How YOU doin’?

    4) After 9-11, he was quoted as saying “”the prudent use of violence could be therapeutic.” So in other words, go ahead ‘merica. Lick your wounds by murdering civilians far away. After all, it’s good therapy.

    5) He was a supporter of Scooter Libby (enough said)

    6) In 2013, He was a supporter of George Zimmerman and found it reasonable that Trayvon Martin could be considered a threat…because he was Black. He said that Washington needs to acknowledge that Black people commit more crimes than anyone else.

    7) His response to the movie “12 Years a Slave” included the quote: “Slave owners were mostly nice people.”

    8) In talking about Mayor Bill DeBlasio of NY: “People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) .”

    9) He thinks Miley Cyrus is bringing about the potential to being raped upon herself for her provocative stage acts.

    10) He supported Judge Clarence Thomas who sexually harassed Anita Hill b/c according to him it was “before the modern era” when apparently people primitive and uncultured and didn’t understand how sexual harassment and rape could be considered something bad.

    11) Roman Polanski drugged and raped a little girl (13 years old) but that’s old news to Cohen. In discussing the case, he repeatedly put Victim in quotes as if to imply that a little girl who was drugged and raped is anything but a victim and even said that people should just get over it because it happened so long ago.

    12) Cohen apparently was against torture, but he also said that it works just fine and that abolishing torture won’t make us safer b/c terrorists don’t care about our morality.

    • eljay
      eljay
      October 2, 2014, 7:51 am

      >> 4) After 9-11, he was quoted as saying “”the prudent use of violence could be therapeutic.” …
      >> 12) Cohen apparently was against torture, but he also said that it works just fine …

      I suspect that Mr. Cohen is highly selective about who gets to use violence and torture on whom.

      And I suspect that despite his belief in the value of violence and torture, he would strenuously object to both violence and torture should he ever find himself in the role of “whom”.

    • travellerh
      travellerh
      October 2, 2014, 4:07 pm

      Serious question: How is he published by a mainstream newspaper? Did he make his bones by writing level-headedly on other topics?

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      October 2, 2014, 6:55 pm

      But , Accentitude, he’s a Jew and he’s got a white beard, so he must be wise, kind, loveable, and full of wry humour.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 3, 2014, 10:53 am

      “What would your response be if the people of the world decided that the European Jews brought about the Holocaust upon themselves?”

      You know, for years, I have been frustrated by commentors at Mondoweiss who ask “Can we ask what the Jews did to bring persecution or hatred upon themselves?” I always thought it was a very stupid question. The facts of the persecution of Jews in Europe through the Christian era are well known, sure possibly obscure around the details, but basically well known. How could a person even ask this question?
      Well, now I get it. Who, who on earth would ever believe that somebody who writes like Richard Cohen, who claims to represent Jewish thinking, has ever known, or even thought about persecution? Who would ever think that Jews had ever done anything except progress triumphantly from place to place, arranging things, genocidally, if need be, to suit themselves and their “social fabric”? Their only problem being, as Mr. Cohen so well demonstrates, to explain the workings of immunity and impunity to lessor “peoples”. Now, I get it.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 3, 2014, 11:29 am

      1)…/…12)

      Ah yes, this is a man, who, always conscious of his own people’s history of persecution and exile, is always aroused, instinctively aroused, to empathy by the plight of the oppressed. A man who knows the sting of the lash of racism, and so holds himself to the highest standards of ethical humanism. A man worthy of the highest encomiums the vernacular has to offer: Zol makekhs voxen offen tsung!

  27. justicewillprevail
    justicewillprevail
    October 2, 2014, 7:17 am

    Like all zionist apologists, Cohen accepts the situation as it is now, and justifies it by retrofitting history to suit his politics. There are so many factual errors and inappropriate comparisons he sounds like JeffB in disguise – there is nothing in the world which can’t be altered to fit the entirely fictitious zionist justification for ethnic cleansing and apartheid. And like most, he relies on the general public’s lack of knowledge about the founding of israel and the history of palestine to parade a confected tissue of lies, half-truths and myths as if they were somehow ‘fact’. It is a classic example of ill-informed, ignorant, prejudiced bloggers who affect to have some knowledge about history and hit us with their ‘hard truths’, while being profoundly ignorant, or malicious, themselves. All of it is junk history, but that doesn’t bother people like Cohen – all they are interested in is the propaganda war in which they are engaged, to justify the unjustifiable.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 2, 2014, 5:22 pm

      Hmmmm, “JeffB in disguise”? With diamonds? No doubt ascending to sit on the right hand of God.

  28. Kay24
    Kay24
    October 2, 2014, 8:15 am

    It was simply appalling to see an excerpt of an interview of Netts by Andrea Michelle, where he responds to the question about being criticized by the WH for the illegal settlements, and hear the war criminals make Obama out to be ignorant of facts. He stated that those were not illegal settlements but extensions of already existing homes. Really? It is disgusting that those who keep taking charity from us, even enjoyed increases under Obama, to see this liar, disrespect Obama every time he visits the WH. First there is the usual announcement of more illegal structures (which the US condemns) then there is the disrespect for the Presidency of the US, by either reprimanding the President in front of cameras, or making public statements disagreeing with him. What a load of bull we keep taking from this insect, who really should be hauled up in front of a war tribunal.
    I guess one cannot blame an opportunist for showing arrogance, because he keeps getting support by Americans in Congress, who cannot stand up for their own President.

  29. Talkback
    Talkback
    October 2, 2014, 8:56 am

    Well, Richard Cohen is a perfect example of an Judeonazi.

    First – like antisemites – he’s blaming the victims for their expulsion:

    [T]he driver of events was not, as is almost universally argued, the Jews, but the Arabs. Had the Palestinians and the nearby Arab states agreed to the United Nations partition plan, had they acceded to the creation of the State of Israel, the rationale for the nakba would have been avoided… Had they accepted this outcome—had they accepted the rule of law—there would not have been a nakba, and 770,000 Palestinians would not have been displaced.

    That is a total BS based on lies.
    1.) The United Nations agreed in April 1948 to put Palestine under UN trusteeship and decided in the Security Council to asked both conflicting parties to abstain from proclamating states. Israel was even proclaimed far too early according to partition plan.
    2.) The US prosposed at the end of April 1948 a truce which the Arab parties accepted, but the Jewish seperatists not. They wanted to establish the state through war.
    3.) If the Arabs would have accepted partition plan, there would have been far too many Gentiles in the Jewish state. More than half of the population in the partition territory for the “Jewish state” allready wasn’t Jewish. Even more in the territory of “67”. Israel again didn’t abide to the partition plan which demanded giving all habitual residents the citizenship of the newly created state as it was customary law even when the Palestinian citizenship was established in 1925.

    They simply had to be pushed out. The very people who had made war—who had initiated the war and sometimes conducted it in barbaric fashion—could not be permitted to stay in place or to return to their old homes. This was not a case of racism or colonialism but of security based on common sense. The Palestinian was the enemy, and the enemy had to go.

    Again, a perfect example for Judeonazism. In this case Palestinan refugees AS SUCH have to be defamed as “enemies” like Jews as such had been defamed by Nazis. But this has NOTHING to do with “security”. Even if the expelled Palestinians would have been angels send from “G-d”, Israel would never allow them to return for obvious demographic Apartheid reasons.

    [B]y the twentieth century, the barbarism of population transfers had become accepted government policy.

    And before that the barbarism of genocide had become accepted goverment policy. Thanks for legitimizing the Holocaust and other genocides. Btw the expulsion of Palestinians has never been accepted by the United Nations ant the vast majority of its members. So it is not accpeted goverment policy.

    “the nascent state simply could not afford a large and hostile minority/majority within its borders.”

    The truth is that the “nacent state” simply cannot afford a GENTILE minority/majority within its borders. It is as “Jewish” as it is Antigentile.

    “advanced culture,”

    Yep, the Nazi’s argument for every warcrime and crime against humanity.

    I see nothing new in Cohen’s judeonazilike approach. He just uses Nazi arguments to justify crimes against humanity and blame the victims. The question “Is it good for Jews?” is just a renewal of the question what’s good for the Germans. It is inherently immoral, because it puts the tribe above humanity and human univeral values.

  30. michal
    michal
    October 2, 2014, 9:06 am

    Since Czechoslovakia has been brought up, I’d like to point out some things from the wiki bout Beneš decrees. These decrees were always controversial and were tackled by Constitutional Court of Czech republic in 90s, considered legal. Quoting from the decision: “It must be stressed, that even as regards persons of German nationality, there was no presumption of “guilt”, but a presumption of “responsibility”. The category of “responsibility” aims clearly beyond the boundaries of “guilt” and therefore it has much larger, value-wise, social, historical as well as legal extent. (…) Here the question must be raised, whether only the figureheads of the Nazi regime or also those who had profited, fulfilled their orders and did not resist them, are responsible for the gas chambers, concentration camps, mass exterminations, humiliation and de-humanization of millions. (…) Together with the other European states and their governments, unable and unwilling to counter Nazi expansion from the very start, also the German nation is in the first line responsible for the inception and development of Nazism, although there were many Germans who had actively and bravely apposed it.”

    It was entirely different situation to Nakba. Confiscations according to Beneš decrees were punishments and reparations of costs rather than security concerns. Beneš decrees were supposed to be extended to Hungarian minority in Slovakia, too, but weren’t – the minority is still there and there are absolutely no security issues. It’s dishonest to claim that ethnic cleansing of Sudetendland solved some ethnic clashes – it solved none of the ethinc clashes, because there would have been no ethnic clashes there anyway. So can please Cohen stfu about security issues?

    It’s dishonest to make this analogy with Nakba also because Germans in Czech lands were considered responsible for allowing brutal German occupation of Czech republic, which resulted in violent and murderous ethnic cleansing. Palestinians can only be found guilty of living in their territory. Incomparable stuff.

    And even as far as punishment of Germans by Beneš decrees goes, Czechs are far from convinced about whether it was necessary, just or right. Personally, I think it wasn’t right and we shouldn’t have done that. In the last presidential elections, one of the two final candidates (Schwarzenberg – the loosing one, but only by small margin) said: “What we committed in 1945 would today be considered a grave violation of human rights, and the Czechoslovak government, along with President Beneš, would have found themselves in The Hague.”
    How many leading Israeli politicians comment on Nakba in this way? I’d guess it’s somewhere between zero and null.

    • a blah chick
      a blah chick
      October 2, 2014, 10:40 am

      You see, this is why I come here, not just to kvetch but to be informed by people who actually know what they are talking about.

      Thanks, Michal.

  31. amigo
    amigo
    October 2, 2014, 9:31 am

    Well , at least this opens up the discussion about the so called non existent Nakba and Palestinians.

    Cohen , has brought the Nakba to the fore .Israel has spent decades trying to hide it.

    Thanks Richard.You are a gem.

  32. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    October 2, 2014, 9:32 am

    And the Jews brought the Holocaust upon themselves too? What rubbish. I would assume that this ‘expert’ is reading from ‘israel’s 2009 global language’ dictionary. What a bunch of ‘nebbich’…can’t even think for themselves.

  33. ahadhaadam
    ahadhaadam
    October 2, 2014, 9:37 am

    This is of course the odious sentiment that is now the Zionist norm. At first they denied the Nakba. Now that the Nakba can’t be denied and the fact that Israel was established through the ethnic cleansing of the native population has become an indisputable fact, the Zionists move on to justify ethnic cleansing by blaming the victims. The sophisticated among them (Cohen is not one of them) found a new approach: blame the leaders of Palestinians.

    None of his arguments stand up to scrutiny and it would be a waste of time to rehash all the debunked myths that he repeats (“they started it”, “security menace”, etc.) and of course, it’s all good when Jews do this others, Cohen has no problem with that. The Palestinians living in refugee camps and under Israeli repression are expected to accept their dispossession as fait-accompli. If Hamas wishes to do the same as what Zionists did by reverse-ethnic-cleansing and simply roll back the clock: they are Satanic monsters!

  34. catporn
    catporn
    October 2, 2014, 11:08 am

    Unbelievable!
    Once again, the driver of events was not, as is almost universally argued, the rapist, but the girl. …. Had she acceded to the wishes of the rapist, it would have been consensual and a flourishing relationship could have ensued.

    Twisted logic.
    If, in fact, you weren’t carrying any money, is it true to say that the defendant could not have robbed it from you, ergo carrying, thus initialising the stealing of the money, is clearly your fault.

    It really is like a parody.

  35. lukelea
    lukelea
    October 2, 2014, 1:35 pm

    The only moral right the Zionists had, not to be dismissed, was the right of self-preservation. They had been driven out of Europe and, what is more, European statesmen took it upon themselves to solve their “Jewish problem” by giving them someone else’s land as a refuge. For the diplomatic background based on the opening up of the British Foreign Office’s archives, see Friedman’s The Question of Palestine: 1914-1918

    Bottom line: it is Europe that is ultimately responsible for the Israeli-Palestinian conflct. A corollary is that they are also responsible for the plight of the Palestinian people. They owe blood money and must somehow, someday pay.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 3, 2014, 11:00 am

      ” They had been driven out of Europe and,”

      I do believe there were several hundred thousand Jewish displaced persons at the end of WW2. (as many as 700,000?). Seems those of them that wanted to could have been relocated to Palestine.

  36. Talkback
    Talkback
    October 2, 2014, 1:53 pm

    Here’s another one:
    “Hardline rabbi calls to ‘cleanse’ Israel of Arabs”
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/hardline-rabbi-calls-to-cleanse-israel-of-arabs/

    Btw. one of his justification for cleansing was that Arabs wouldn’t get the idea of democracy. I suppose he means the concept of a Jewish democracy where Judeonazis like him support a book justifying the killing of Gentile infants and get away with it.

    But who am I to argue about Jewish values with a rebbe.

  37. Mikesailor
    Mikesailor
    October 2, 2014, 2:51 pm

    When is he going on a book tour to promote his view of ethnic cleansing? Is the New York Review of Books going to do a review? Remember? The guys who ignored Walt and Meirsheimer really should extoll Cohen. How about the NY Times or the Washington Post? Of course he could try to hock his book on the Daily Show or Colbert but I think he is too much of a coward. Interesting how he has tried to cover up his true feelings all these years to not appear as the virulent racist he is.

  38. ThorsteinVeblen2012
    ThorsteinVeblen2012
    October 2, 2014, 2:56 pm

    If the Palestinians can be blamed for the Nakba is Mr. Cohen also willing to accede the reciprocal and accept that Jews were responsible for the various instances in history when Jews were thrown out of nations?

    What’s good for the goose

    • eGuard
      eGuard
      October 3, 2014, 3:49 am

      More probable: next time he’ll blame Palestinians, the Palestinians, for the holocaust.

  39. gracie fr
    gracie fr
    October 2, 2014, 4:20 pm

    Much of the grim and murky circumstances of the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the late 1940s have gradually been exposed over time. One aspect – rarely researched or deeply discussed – is the internment of thousands of Palestinian civilians within at least 22 Zionist-run concentration and labor camps that existed from 1948 to 1955. Now more is known about the contours of this historical crime, due to the comprehensive research by renowned Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta and founding member of the Palestinian resource center BADIL Terry Rempel.

    The facts are these.

    The study – to be published in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Palestine Studies – relies on almost 500 pages of International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) reports written during the 1948 war, that were declassified and made available to the public in 1996, and accidentally discovered by one of the authors in 1999.
    The establishment of concentration and labor camps occurred after the unilateral declaration of Israel’s statehood on May 1948.

    Prior to that event, the number of Palestinian captives in Zionist hands were quite low, because, as the study states, “the Zionist leadership concluded early on that forcible expulsion of the civilian population was the only way to establish a Jewish state in Palestine with a large enough Jewish majority to be ‘viable’.” In other words, for the Zionist strategists, prisoners were a burden in the beginning phases of the ethnic cleansing.

    Those calculations changed with the declaration of the Israeli state and the involvement of the armies of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Transjordan, after much of the ethnic cleansing had occurred. From that moment, “the Israeli forces began taking prisoners, both regular Arab soldiers (for eventual exchange), and – selectively – able-bodied Palestinian non-combatant civilians.”

    The first camp was Ijlil, which was about 13 km northeast of Jaffa, on the site of the destroyed Palestinian village Ijlil al-Qibiliyya, emptied of its inhabitants in early April. Ijlil was predominately made up of tents, housing hundreds and hundreds of prisoners, categorized as POWs by the Israelis, surrounded by barbed wire fences, watchtowers, and a gate with guards.
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israels-little-known-concentration-and-labor-camps-1948-1955

  40. Donald
    Donald
    October 2, 2014, 5:58 pm

    I wonder what sort of reviews this book will get in the MSM? Will they ignore it entirely? The NYT ignored Max Blumenthal while praising Shavit’s book to the skies, presumably because Max B wrote about Israeli racism in very blunt terms. Now Richard Cohen exposes his own racism as an Israel supporter. It’s going to be interesting to see if the book gets noticed, or if people avert their eyes and hope it just goes away.

  41. pjdude
    pjdude
    October 2, 2014, 7:39 pm

    ok so his argument is we were forced to steal your rights because you objected us to stealing your rights. what is it about zionist jews thats makes them so crazy.

    • catporn
      catporn
      October 3, 2014, 6:45 am

      At Haifa university, history Prof Pappe listened to the Prof of geography Amon Sofer explain to his students, many of whom were Palestinians, that every child that was born into an Arab family was a threat to Israel’s national security, essentially telling those students that they and every member of their family is a threat, and therefore not welcome in their own country. This debate about the ‘demographic problem’ is pedestrian, its seen as legitimate discourse with no moral problem. Pappe asked the professor of geography what would you do if you heard someone in Canada have the same discussion about the Jewish population there? he said “you cannot compare, these are Arabs, and those are Jews”.

      That’s the mindset we’re dealing with.

  42. traintosiberia
    traintosiberia
    October 3, 2014, 9:26 am

    We may feel hurt ,we may feel angry,and even let down by this type of reasonings and statements.
    But it displays how the world is changing for everybody . Old trope from Zionist are not convincing enough morally or legally ,even to them ,mainly from under the evidences of the emerging facts from the past and from the dispersion of the information on the behaviors of the Zionist both in the present political and military fields and both abroad and within the country. So the Zionists are saying ” yes we killed ,we displaced,we looted,we raped,we used religion ,we used powers drawn from other sources illegally ,we did all. But it as good for humanity ” The Zionist are at the end of the tunnel and there is no light. They are looking back to see if anything is shining from the end that they left behind . There is none. The light gone out for the Zionist .
    Its death and silence .
    Zionists are still lying though hoping no one would notice as is evident in the Cohen”s claims that Palestine ignored the International community . No they did not . We know how pressure ,threat,bribes,were brought to bear down,carried out,and promised respectively to Truman and his opponents ,to the Uzn members,and to the religious and the secular outfits within US. Zionist also knows . One day Cohen would admit in crabwise fashion or kind of backhanded way that the illegal activities were good for the world and were embraced by the international community

    . He even could cite rational like ” Israel was not committing crimes. If it did it would have been attacked the way Iraq,Syria,Libya,Yemen,or Somalia were attacked by the international communities for breaking world opinion and for hurting civilian and for military activities. Israel was not. The Zionists were not . The fanatic Alquida and ISIS movements or Al Shabab movements were . Zionist as movement was not . This proved that Zionism was esteemed member of the world ideologies and the Zionists were esteemed members of the world community “

  43. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    October 3, 2014, 10:51 am

    I just read the WSJ review by Bret Stephens which was rather negative. Interestingly his criticisms were about Cohen’s pedantic writing style that about the politics. He does not take issue with the basic premise that ethnic cleansing is fine for the untermensch, in fact he ignores is altogether. It’s like being at a disaster of a wedding; avert your eyes from auntie doing a striptease in the lobby and instead look at your drunk dad trying to be like Tony Bennett.

    In fact most of the news outlets appear to be ignoring the book. No doubt because of the wretched politics. Byers on Politico:

    “Cohen may be doubly frustrated that, though his book came out 10 days ago, Stephens’ item is the most high-profile review his book has received. (Run a Google search on “Israel: Is It Good for the Jews?”) There’s no hard-and-fast rule on this, but usually when a columnist writes a book, his or her respective paper reserves some room for reviews, articles, maybe even an excerpt.”

    I did a google search and it’s true, I could not find any reviews in the usual outlets. No doubt the media elites are trying to protect one of their own, Crazy Uncle Richard.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 3, 2014, 1:22 pm

      “the media elites are trying to protect one of their own, Crazy Uncle Richard”

      The poor schlimazel His own publisher seems to have it in for him.

      • annie
        annie
        October 3, 2014, 1:42 pm

        speaking of cohen’s publisher – reminds me of a comment i just made in response to stephen on the pappe thread http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/israels-triumph-zionism#comment-713854

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        October 3, 2014, 3:24 pm

        Annie, how on earth did you know that I almost left the comment about his publisher loathing him under the comment you link?

        Anyway, you got a better explanation? This drek went all the way through the pipeline and off the press without anybody hinting maybe it wasn’t such hot stuff?
        I think they loath him so much they are willing to lose money to see Cohen get his.

  44. Edward Q
    Edward Q
    October 3, 2014, 12:37 pm

    The Obvious question here is what about the holocaust? Suppose instead of killing everybody the Nazis had simply expelled the “undesirables”. Would that have been O.K. for Cohen? I wonder what David Duke thinks of this book? Given the fuss Zionists have made about Duke’s approval of anti-zionist literature I would like to know.

    As for the “advanced culture” this is the movement that brought terrorism and hotel bombings to the Middle East. Maybe advanced culture consists of not stooping to ethnic cleansing. This “advanced culture” canard is a reprise of the “making the desert bloom” hasbara which was a tissue of lies.

  45. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    October 3, 2014, 4:10 pm

    I would question the idea that there was a duty, by way of accepting the rule of law or constitutional government, to accept the UN partition plan. If the UN was not the sovereign it had no right to demand or impose partition and if the plan was merely a suggestion, not a demand, no one had a duty to obey it. If the UN was the sovereign it had the normal and basic duty of sovereigns to make arrangements for the whole territory in the interests of all concerned: and these interests are not normally identified by a decision that clearly overrides the will of the majority. If the UN used its constitutional powers so as massively to favour a minority, it abused its powers grievously and once again we find no duty to accept.
    If Cohen thinks that the situation has been for decades a clash between one party committed to the rule of law and one opposed to it, in some sense anarchist, he has to ask which party this could be: surely not the one that bases its apparent rights on heredity and ancestry rather than on residence.

  46. talknic
    talknic
    October 4, 2014, 5:18 am

    @ MHughes976 “I would question the idea that there was a duty, by way of accepting the rule of law or constitutional government, to accept the UN partition plan”

    Indeed, however, the Jewish Agency accepted it and considered it binding, regardless of whether the other party agreed… http://wp.me/pDB7k-Yx

    Friday, 5 March 1948 Rabbi Silver stated to the UNSC

    “Nevertheless, reluctantly but loyally, we accepted the decision which appeared fair and reasonable to the United Nations”

    “We feel under the obligation to make our position unmistakably clear. As far as the Jewish people are concerned, they have accepted the decision of the United Nations. We regard it as binding, and we are resolved to move forward in the spirit of that decision. “ http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/02EA8C2370F7C75C85257656006775C1

    and

    Friday, 19 March 1948 Rabbi Silver replacing Mr. Shertok at the Council table as representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine stated

    “We are under the obligation at this time to repeat what we stated at a [262nd meeting] meeting of the Security Council last week: The decision of the General Assembly remains valid for the Jewish people. We have accepted it and we are prepared to abide by it. If the United Nations Palestine Commission is unable to carry out the mandates which were assigned to it by the General Assembly, the Jewish people of Palestine will move forward in the spirit of that resolution and will do everything which is dictated by considerations of national survival and by considerations of justice and historic rights.”

    “The setting up of one State was not made conditional upon the setting up of the other State.” http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/5072DB486ADF13D0802564AD00394160

    and

    Security Council S/PV.271 19 March 1948 The representative of the Jewish Agency, Rabbi Silver:

    The statement that the plan proposed by the General Assembly is an integral plan which cannot succeed unless each of its parts can be carried out, is incorrect. This conception was never part of the plan. Indeed, it is contrary to the statement made by the representative of the United States during the second session of the General Assembly. The setting up of one State was not made conditional upon the setting up of the other State. Mr. Herschel Johnson, representing the United States delegation, speaking in a sub-committee of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question on 28 October 1947, stated, in discussing this very matter in connexion with economic union: “The element of mutuality would not necessarily be a factor, as the document might be signed by one party only.” http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/5072DB486ADF13D0802564AD00394160

    It’s also enshrined in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel and in the Israeli Government plea for recognition, by which the State of Israel was recognized.

    the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947 http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

    and
    Referenced in the Israeli Government statement to the UNSC May 22nd 1948

    Question (a): Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at present over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947?

    “In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.” … ” the Government of the State of Israel operates in parts of Palestine outside the territory of the State of Israelhttp://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/B4085A930E0529C98025649D00410973

    ” If the UN was not the sovereign it had no right to demand or impose partition and if the plan was merely a suggestion, not a demand, no one had a duty to obey it.”

    Indeed, however, the reason there are so many UN/UNSC resolutions against Israel is because the Jewish Agency DID accept it and declared according to it and was recognized as the Israeli Govt requested, by the borders it described. Israel then ignored its legal obligations as a state and UN Member.

    ” If the UN was the sovereign it had the normal and basic duty of sovereigns to make arrangements for the whole territory in the interests of all concerned: and these interests are not normally identified by a decision that clearly overrides the will of the majority. If the UN used its constitutional powers so as massively to favour a minority, it abused its powers grievously and once again we find no duty to accept”

    Quite so, however, the Jewish Agency DID accept UNGA res 181 and declared according to the boundaries and was recognized accordingly! No further territories have ever been legally annexed to or recognized as Israeli.

    “If Cohen thinks … etc etc..”

    Thinking is not a strong Zionist point. It seems to be a prerequisite NOT to think

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 4, 2014, 1:16 pm

      “Thinking is not a strong Zionist point. It seems to be a prerequisite NOT to think”

      Men do not prevail by thinking! no, it is the power of the will, and the strength of the people, that makes a race successful! Thinking is for sissies.

  47. Tom Suarez
    Tom Suarez
    October 6, 2014, 12:57 am

    Thank you, Phil. Didn’t know about this guy.
    Just to point out that the 750k or 770k figures cited as Palestinians refugees is based on a technical definition that understates the reality. Only people who were thrown off their land past the Armistice Line, and whose entire villages/farms/etc lie on the Israeli side, were classified as refugees. Thousands of people we would call refugees are not in those figures. But in any even, my sincere gratitude to Mr. Cohen for blurting it all out. I much prefer his ilk to the Thomas Friedmans or Roger Cohens who are SO liberal and moral, but … arrive … at … the .. same … result … couched … in … nice … lingo.

  48. Nevada Ned
    Nevada Ned
    October 7, 2014, 10:06 am

    In the interest of full disclosure, MW should refer to the author as Richard “Ethnic Cleansing” Cohen, about once a month, with a link to the book.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 7, 2014, 12:29 pm

      I’m still convinced Cohen’s editor and publisher just loath him, to the point that they are willing to see this book go into the remainders bin to see Cohen get his.

      ‘What’s that Mr. Cohen? You’re worried about distribution? Well, set your mind at ease. We mean for everybody to be aware of this book! You just pitch it strong, the way you always do, and we’ll see to the publicity! Don’t worry, the book will be everywhere!’

      Anybody got a better explanation for how this got through the pipeline and off the press at Simon and Schuster? An editor who had his writer’s (and the publisher’s) best interests in mind said: ‘Ethnic Cleansing For a Better World” is a brilliant chapter name!’ ? Can’t see it.

  49. ldq1997
    ldq1997
    October 10, 2014, 1:04 am

    I read the review of this book in Mondoweiss and I was horrified because I often read Richard Cohen’s columns in the Washington Post, and I could not believe that he would have written such a thing. Now, I looked up the book on Amazon’s website and was astonished to see the book described: “With lucidity, compassion and a healthy dose of humor, Richard Cohen examines the Jewish experience in all its complexity.” The review goes on at some length in this vein. Either Mondoweiss is crazy or Amazon is crazy. Or worse still, maybe Mondoweiss’ description of the book is accurate but Amazon thinks this is just a “healthy dose of humor” which would really be sick. Anyway, I hope somebody else will read the review on Amazon to seehow it strikes them.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      October 10, 2014, 11:05 am

      “With lucidity, compassion and a healthy dose of humor, Richard Cohen examines the Jewish experience in all its complexity.”

      Oh, yeah, Richard Cohen is one well-loathed man. It almost seems to be a conspiracy against him. That sentence is obviously designed to encourage those most likely to be appalled by the book to read it.

    • Another Steve
      Another Steve
      October 12, 2014, 12:16 pm

      That wasn’t Amazon’s review; it was from Chrisitane Amanpour. It is followed by others in the same vein, all from Cohen’s journalistic colleagues. Maybe Christiane hopes that when she has her own book, Cohen will write something equally insincere.

      Amazon calls them “Editorial Reviews,” but that terminology is a little misleading; these are provided by the publisher and they appear on the back book jacket.

  50. hammersmith
    hammersmith
    October 10, 2014, 4:06 pm

    In the same grim realistic tone, Cohen says that Israel is not likely to survive as a Jewish state. There are too many Palestinians inside Israel and too many secular Israelis fleeing the country for it to retain a Jewish majority. And the raison-d’etre for the Jewish state– the Holocaust in which Cohen lost many relatives– has faded from the world’s memory, giving way to an era in which Israeli abuses against Palestinians under occupation are causing the state to lose legitimacy. Though he ends up calling for the world to support Israel, Cohen is pessimistic about Israel’s chances – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/10/cleansing-palestinians-themselves#sthash.Nx3Qgyas.dpuf

    Richard is such a tease!!

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