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A cosmopolitan’s regrets: Roger Cohen on the Jewish condition

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Roger Cohen’s mother died 16 years ago at age 69, but it was only in recent years that the New York Times columnist went up to the attic of his parents’ country house in Wales and found a box containing her notes from two suicide attempts in her forties, and knew that he had to excavate her story. June Adler Cohen was hospitalized for the first time in 1958, at 29, missing her son’s third birthday. She suffered from serious depressive episodes throughout his childhood. Many cures of that era were tried on her: electro shock, lithium, and something called insulin coma therapy.

The Girl From Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family is Cohen’s brave reconstruction of his mother’s ordeal and its impact on her family. Cohen ascribes his mother’s first breakdown to her emigration to London in 1957 from the tightknit Jewish community in Johannesburg in which she was born and raised (she grew up on Human Street in the suburb of Krugersdorp). She missed the sun, she “fell apart in the English chill.”

The author follows the suffering inward and outward. “I could not count on love. So I sought it where I could,” he confesses. He believes he was traumatized by his mother’s absence when he turned 3; as an adult, he tells us, he disappeared from loved ones and pursued “an insatiable quest for consoling vitality.”

Cohen is worldly and accomplished; I thought he was a golden boy. No. When his mother says the same of him in an imagined dialogue, he responds: “The hectic achievement was a distraction from my empty core. Ambition and imagination were the best sanctuaries I could find; and passion, physical pleasure, the surest distraction.”

A cosmopolitan Jew if ever there was one, Roger Cohen says he was comfortable everywhere in the world, and comfortable nowhere. He wanted most of all to belong, and never did.

But Cohen’s subject here is not really his own psyche but modern Jewish identity, which he says has been formed by “the strain of upheaval, displacement and fear.” June Cohen was displaced; and Jews have been displaced again and again. Two of his grandparents were born in Lithuania and did not feel safe there; they moved to South Africa. Cohen felt displaced by his mother’s absences as a boy, and did not feel all that safe growing up in England, even at the snooty Westminster School. The English are given to polite anti-semitism.

This idea of Jewish displacement impelled Cohen to learn about members of his family who were extinguished in the Holocaust. He finds a Jewish neighbor of his ancestors who survived the Nazis by hiding in a barrel in a barn for days. George Gordimer lives in New Jersey and never overcame the boyhood experience: “We went from country to country and every place we went…. including the U.S. there was some next door neighbor who was going to call you a dirty Jew.”

So Israel is necessary. Of course, other people also feel displaced and unsafe—Cohen told Charlie Rose that his title means that his mother’s story is a universal one– but the author is concerned with the recent Jewish past.

The family stories in this book are spiritually scouring; they should be read by anyone who cares about mental illness. Cohen makes a half dozen of his relatives come alive, in particular his sophisticated, stylish and sensitive mother, a magistrate, a sometime shoplifter. “Depression buried her gaze,” he says of a snapshot from the 70s. She wears an “expressionless smile” that, like so many of her feelings, was “straining to reach the surface.” Cohen’s friend Diane Von Furstenburg has described him as an incurable romantic, and the author’s desire to hold and comfort the mother who escaped him is poignant.

Telling about her secrets seems to have healed him; near the end of his book, Cohen says he feels home at last in the United States.

Yet the book ends in Jerusalem.

Cohen is such an elegant writer he can relate a pony to a pomegranate—almost. I don’t quite understand what his family’s story of displacement and his desire for home have to do with Israel’s raison d’etre. But here is how Cohen expresses his liberal Zionist credo:

The Jewish experience over millennia demonstrates that no amount of scholarly questing, of religious devotion, of determined emancipation, or of proud patriotism and service could provide security. People and entire nations might turn on you…

Considering my family story—the pits in the Lithuanian forests, the repetitive school taunting, the displaced persons camps [in Europe] where my uncle Bert saw the bedraggled Jews in 1945, the frustrated attempts to fit in whether in South Africa or England, the Jewish precariousness, the annihilation angst, the inner exile—I can only concur with the necessity of Zionism.

My family story, like that of millions of other Jews, leads inexorably to Zionism. By the early twentieth century, no alternative offered a plausible chance of Jewish survival and belonging… Zionism was a necessary break with past, pogrom, and persecution…

Well, OK. But I wonder how much of Cohen’s psychic wound has been communicated to his politics. At times, Cohen seems to be rebelling against a family culture of assimilation. He was not bar mitzvahed, his father was “uninterested in if not hostile to Jewish identity” and knows only one Hebrew word, for broom. Cohen is an atheist but is nostalgic for “the ceremonies that gave cohesion and purpose.”

At other times he indicates that Israel is needed to make Jews who don’t want to live there feel more secure:

Israel, for all its failings, helped assuage at least some of my uncle’s fear…

The new Jew of Zionist pedigree was through with the diaspora pliability that had proved a death trap.

All of Europe had turned on us:

This continent [Europe] had decided its Jews must die.

But many human beings have feelings of displacement: in fact, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced to build the necessary Israel. Cohen doesn’t tell any of their stories, even as he narrates wrenching tales of the Holocaust. That omission is ethnocentric. If his mother’s (chosen) displacement in 1957 disturbed him for decades, well, what about those Palestinian families forced to make way for “the Jewish national home”. They have feelings too.

Cohen has distinguished himself journalistically as a tough liberal; and the South Africa sections of the book benefit from his ability to detach. His mother and father wanted to escape the “poison of apartheid” when they left in 1957. They understood: ‘This was not a normal country.”

He cannot really believe that Israel is a normal country either. He vacillates about comparisons of South African apartheid to Palestinian conditions, but he is good about the horrors of the Israeli occupation, where there is no “consent of the governed.” And aren’t some of the Jews in the Palestinian solidarity movement like the brave South African Jews he admires, who supported Mandela and the African National Congress in the 50s and 60s?

Cohen repeats the usual liberal Zionist mantras, that the messianic rot set in after ’67; but he seems to know the story. “Religious Zionism is the malignant offspring of secular Zionism,” he concedes.

And he quotes his cousin, who lives in an east Jerusalem settlement, correcting his wife when she says that another people live there:

“If we’d thought like that, there would never have been an Israel.”

Having often dared liberal Zionists who don’t live there to say why a Jewish state is so necessary to them, I am grateful to Cohen for being so forthright about his beliefs. But this book is not a memoir; it is an inspired meditation on his mother’s suffering and the modern Jewish condition. I await the autobiography, in which Cohen tells us how he made his life as a cosmopolitan. How he got ahead, how he got over, who he married, where he lived. Till I read that story I will find the Zionism unconvincing, and after he writes it, I imagine Cohen will feel the same way.

Philip Weiss

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

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71 Responses

  1. just on February 9, 2015, 5:41 pm

    Phil~ thanks for reading it, and for reporting on it. You write that:

    “The family stories in this book are spiritually scouring; they should be read by anyone who cares about mental illness.”

    I appreciate that. There are so many current stories occurring right now, though:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/02/palestinian-psychological-educational

    “Cohen is such a facile writer he can knit together a pony and a pomegranate—almost.”

    Great sentence.

  2. Krauss on February 9, 2015, 5:55 pm

    I don’t view Cohen’s emotional claptrap as worthwhile. Maybe I was vaccinated against his bullshit after his racist tirades against “Italy and the italians” in general. You can publish that kind of smelly sewage in the liberal media in this day and age which was typically written about Jews 70 years ago.

    And let’s not forget the central issue of his Zionism: his family was oppressed therefore Palestinians must accept Apartheid and colonization to make room for him and his children(even if they live in NY and London).

    Cohen is the archetypical “liberal” Zionist and the worst kind at that.

    • American on February 9, 2015, 7:45 pm

      @Krauss

      Ditto. Ugh.

      • Citizen on February 11, 2015, 8:23 am

        Double ditto, double Ugh. Romantic? Yeah, he romanticizes his lack of principle, moving heaven and earth, arguing by emotional omission that 2 wrongs make a right.

    • Don on February 10, 2015, 2:02 pm

      This Italian American very much appreciates your comment, Krauss. Why any Jewish person would have hostility toward Italians is a mystery to me. Two quick points…

      1. In spite of being a Nazi ally in WWII, to my knowledge there is no record of the Italian military ever handing over to the Germans…even one single person. Not one. Italian officers simply refused to cooperate, as did Mussolini himself.

      2. Here is a link to a recent article in the Spectator
      http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2013/04/di-canio-is-right-italian-fascism-was-not-racist/

      Some excerpts from the article…

      on the specific issue of race, he 9Mussolini) told Emil Ludwig, a famous German journalist and author, in a remarkable series of interviews, entitled Talks With Mussolini, that took place in 1932, his tenth year in power:

      ‘Naturally there is no such thing as a pure race, not even a Jewish one … Race: it is a sentiment, not a reality, it is 95% sentiment. I don’t believe that it is possible to prove biologically that a race is more or less pure …Anti-Semitism does not exist in Italy. The Jews have behaved well as citizens, and as soldiers, they have fought courageously.’

      Ludwig was Jewish and in the preface to a new 1946 edition of his book he wrote: ‘Undoubtedly no contemporary Englishman or Russian had so much sympathetic understanding of the Jews, as Mussolini with me in 1932.’ Ludwig wrote those words, remember, the war now over, and the full horror of the Holocaust at last exposed.

      No Jews were imprisoned in camps in Italy, or murdered in Italy, or deported from Italy to the Nazi death camps until…after the overthrow of Mussolini in the summer of 1943. Then, during the Nazi occupation of Italy, a total of 9,000 Jews were deported, of whom nearly all died.

      In France, meanwhile, the only hope for Jews was somehow to make it into the sector of the country occupied by Fascist Italy – the south east. There, Italian armed forces, diplomats and bureaucrats saved thousands of Jews — many more than the good German, Oskar Schindler of Spielberg film fame — from the collaborationist Vichy French who just could not wait to round up and deport Jews. In the Italian zone, the Italians stopped the French, by threatening to oppose them with force, from doing this. The Italian Fascist forces did the same thing in the part of Yugoslavia under their occupation, essentially Croatia and the Dalmatian coast.

    • philoden on February 11, 2015, 1:57 pm

      Krauss, out of curiosity can you give us a reference or two for Cohen’s ‘ racist tirades against “Italy and the italians” in general’?

      Thanks

    • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 4:48 pm

      “racist tirades against “Italy and the italians” in general.”

      Did he buy a parallel twin Duc ?

  3. Keith on February 9, 2015, 6:37 pm

    ROGER COHEN- “The Jewish experience over millennia demonstrates that no amount of scholarly questing, of religious devotion, of determined emancipation, or of proud patriotism and service could provide security. People and entire nations might turn on you…”

    Roger Cohen elevates Judeocentric obsession to a perverse level. He seems blind to the history, lives and fate of Gentiles except insofar as it relates to Jews and Jewish well-being. In this regard, I can only assume that his frame of reference is Jewish myth-history. If a Jew feels that Gentiles are his natural enemy, is it any wonder that Gentiles will come to reciprocate? Anti-Semitism the natural consequence of Jewish kinship and anti-Gentile solidarity? Once again, perhaps I should more specifically refer to East Coast Ashkenazi power-seeking ideology and justification? Finally, I grow weary of all of this East Coast elite whining about how tough they have it. This jerk is part of the doctrinal system which justifies empire and all of the suffering and injustice which results.

    • hophmi on February 10, 2015, 9:47 am

      “Once again, perhaps I should more specifically refer to East Coast Ashkenazi power-seeking ideology and justification? Finally, I grow weary of all of this East Coast elite whining about how tough they have it. This jerk is part of the doctrinal system which justifies empire and all of the suffering and injustice which results.”

      Did some Jew turn you down for a job, Keith? Is that what this antisemitic lunatic raving is all about? Did you miss out on something a Jewish colleague got, and did it fill you with anger and resentment?

      “If a Jew feels that Gentiles are his natural enemy, is it any wonder that Gentiles will come to reciprocate? Anti-Semitism the natural consequence of Jewish kinship and anti-Gentile solidarity? ”

      Um, no, Keith. I don’t believe Cohen (or anyone else here) has said that. You said that, because, well, you’re an antisemite, and antisemites often cannot deal with Jews who talk about themselves; they feel threatened because of some personal inadequacy. Jews and Gentiles get along every day, and Gentiles have managed to maintain an entire continent of states that are more homogeneous Christian than Israel is Jewish. And no one has talked about these Gentiles giving up these states, even though they’ve been used in history to do everything from persecuting minorities to colonializing the rest the world in order to bring them “Christian values” and, of course, to steal their natural resources. Jews today have a single state, a state which they went and worked to create after they got tired of facing persecution from these same Gentiles in century after century. That doesn’t mean Jews and Gentiles can’t or don’t get along. It does mean, however, that Jews historically have been unable to rely on their Gentile brethren for communal safety and protection, and sorry, Keith, but a couple of generations of post-war prosperity ain’t gonna change that. Maybe a couple of centuries.

      And no, Prince Mishkin, when a Jew talks about Jewish history, he’s not forgetting about Gentile history, but it is really not his obligation to tell your story, dear. You have plenty of people who are perfectly capable of doing that.

      • Mooser on February 10, 2015, 2:08 pm

        Oh look, Hophmi has decided to adopt “the mutter” for his own again. He’ll be a master of the form in no time.

      • seanmcbride on February 10, 2015, 3:24 pm

        Israel is a highly abnormal nation and the behavior of Zionists and pro-Israel activists is highly abnormal. Part of the abnormality in play here is the […] inability of Zionists to perceive and understand their own abnormality vis-a-vis the behavior of other mainstream ethnic groups in American life. Truly, the situation is quite crazy and is heading towards a blowup — that is what the currently escalating Netanyahu controversy is all about.

        Ethnocentrism and ethnic nationalism run amok is not a pretty thing. Militant ethnic nationalists view every rebuke from cult outsiders as an excuse to double down on their self-righteous fanaticism. They keep accelerating forward until they hit the wall.

      • annie on February 10, 2015, 10:51 pm

        the behavior of Zionists and pro-Israel activists is highly abnormal.

        not under the circumstances it isn’t. if you took a normal child and raised him/her the way many zionists are raised (what they are led to believe) they would turn out the same way.

        inability of Zionists to perceive and understand their own abnormality vis-a-vis the behavior of other mainstream ethnic groups in American life

        replacing abnormality with mindframe…i would also change “inability” with unwillingness. it’s willful, lots of this is willful.

        also, wrt that ellipses, by all means drop your anonymity and link to your qualifications for diagnosing mental disorders. otherwise just stop. and next time, if there is a next time, please know that’s why the comment was trashed because we won’t be publishing it. plus, it’s an insult to people who have this mental disorder. there’s a limit sean, you’re pushing the envelope.

      • Keith on February 10, 2015, 5:02 pm

        HOPHMI- “Did some Jew turn you down for a job, Keith?”

        Nope. In fact, my personal relations with Jews has been very positive. In trying to reconcile my personal experience with the blatant anti-Gentile chauvinism which I encountered on Mondoweiss, I concluded that you East Coast Ashkenazi are markedly different from the Jews that I have personally encountered. Take you, for example. I suspect that your first spoken word was “anti-Semite.” It appears to be your explanation for everything.

        Hophmi- “Um, no, Keith. I don’t believe Cohen (or anyone else here) has said that. You said that, because, well, you’re an antisemite….”

        Reading comprehension is obviously not your forte, a serious handicap for a lawyer. I led off with a quote which says exactly that. It is a slightly different way of saying eternal and irrational Jew hatred, is it not? And how about you calling me an anti-Semite? Would you not describe an anti-Semite as an enemy of the Jews? In calling me an anti-Semite you are saying that in your opinion I am your enemy. And since you conceive of anti-Semitism as irrational, then clearly in your and Roger Cohen’s view it is an unavoidable fact of nature. It is part of your Zionist ideology.

        HOPHMI- “…that Jews historically have been unable to rely on their Gentile brethren for communal safety and protection….”

        With the possible exception of the Holocaust, I have no reason to believe that Jews have been any less safe than other ethnic groups. For most of its history, Europe was an extremely violent place, mass murder the norm. In fact, historically, the Jews have been more privileged than the overwhelming majority of Gentiles. Yet, the only concern you ever express is about the fate of the Jews. You never put the situation of the Jews in perspective relative to the times and to the nature of Classical Judaism and its relationship to the surrounding Gentile communities. You don’t engage in discussion or analysis, you simply spew forth hateful Zionist propaganda. Who is your idol, Alan Dershowitz?

        HOPHMI- “…Gentiles have managed to maintain an entire continent of states that are more homogeneous Christian than Israel is Jewish.”

        What does your comment have to do with what I said? Your argument here is incoherent and irrational. Anyone who describes the US as a homogeneous society is seriously out of touch with reality. This, perhaps, is an inevitable consequence of lumping all non-Jews together as Gentiles and then acting as if “Gentiles” represents one humongous tribe of anti-Semites. Rather than engage in a rational discussion of Zionist fixation on anti-Semitism, you revert to your typical name calling mode. Since PERCEIVED anti-Semitism is the mothers milk of Zionism, your actions are logical in an unprincipled, hateful sort of way.

        HOPHMI- “Did some Jew turn you down for a job, Keith? Is that what this antisemitic lunatic raving is all about? Did you miss out on something a Jewish colleague got, and did it fill you with anger and resentment?”

        Your whole comment to me is nothing but you, once again, accusing someone (me, in this instance) of anti-Semitism for questioning Judeo-Zionist ideology. You attempt to give your outrageous assertions the semblance of substance by concocting ludicrous scenarios which you project onto me. You are one sick puppy. I leave you with the final two sentences from my initial comment. I grow weary of all of this East Coast elite whining about how tough they have it. This jerk (Cohen) is part of the doctrinal system which justifies empire and all of the suffering and injustice which results.

      • Citizen on February 11, 2015, 8:57 am

        RE: “Did some Jew turn you down for a job, Keith? Is that what this antisemitic lunatic raving is all about? Did you miss out on something a Jewish colleague got, and did it fill you with anger and resentment?”

        What is this sort of personal attack doing in this MW thread?

      • seanmcbride on February 11, 2015, 10:46 am

        Annie,

        Let me rewrite that post to better convey my intent:

        In the determination of Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before the US Congress, despite strong opposition from many influential Americans (including the president and vice-president of the United States), one sees fascinating psychological factors in play.

        No other head of a foreign state has ever behaved this way, nor would any other ethnic or religious lobby in American life — other than the RJC/ZOA wing of the Israel lobby — ever support such strange and abnormal behavior. One naturally looks for explanations.

        Btw, Phil penned an article here on December 17, 2014: “Israel will lose all American Jews but the crazies” http://mondoweiss.net/2014/12/israel-american-crazies

        BEGIN QUOTE
        The Finance Minister Naftali Bennett comes to Washington and dismisses world opinion as “a little thing called the rest of the world” and insults Martin Indyk, the courtliest man in the world, to the point that he talks about kicking Bennett’s ass, and Haim Saban, the leading Democratic fundraiser, is obviously angered by him. Caroline Glick shows up in the pages of the New Yorker as slightly unhinged, an impression she seeks to extend in a diatribe accusing European diplomats to their faces of anti-semitism for talking about the occupation.
        END QUOTE

        The term “narcissism” (in the clinical sense) has come up repeatedly on Mondoweiss in ways that have made sense to many people here:

        [Google; site:mondoweiss.net narcissism http://www.google.com/#q=site:mondoweiss.net+narcissism ]

        John Lewis-Dickerson has made many fascinating posts on the psychology of Zionism and pro-Israel activism.

        What one notices in the attitudes of quite a few pro-Israel activists is an utter absence of consciousness of the reality and autonomy of others — of sensitivity to and respect for their personal space. It’s always about ME, ME, ME — no other interests matter.

        And on the pathological front, see this today:

        “Conservatives Dance On Grave Of ISIL Hostage: ‘Jew-Hating, Anti-Israel B**ch'” http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/conservatives-kayla-mueller-israel

        BEGIN QUOTE
        Not all conservatives used the death of American hostage Kayla Mueller to highlight the brutality of the Islamic State — some decided to focus their disgust on the 26-year-old’s humanitarian work for Palestinians.

        “No tears for the newly-departed Kayla Mueller, the ISIS hostage whose parents confirmed today that she is dead,” conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel wrote on Tuesday, under the headline, “Kayla Mueller: Dead ISIS Hostage Was Jew-Hating, Anti-Israel Bitch.”
        END QUOTE

        Top comment: “Words fail me here. There is no amount of snark or belittlement that would do justice in this situation. Sometimes I think I these people are an entirely different species from the rest of humanity. . .”

      • annie on February 13, 2015, 4:06 pm

        Annie,

        Let me rewrite that post to better convey my intent:

        i already understood your intent sean, but nothing you’ve said indicates you understood mine. so there is no confusion here about why i edited your post, and just trashed another and another, is because, whether you intended to or not, you didn’t call out jewish leaders, netanyahu, “all American Jews but the crazies” or anything like that. you named a complex neurodevelopmental disorder and attributed it to “Part of the abnormality” of zionists, clarifying this as an “inability of Zionists”, then again “their own abnormality”.

        do you understand what i am getting at here? this is not about dna sean so don’t reference it like it is.
        i’m really not interested in what you meant to say, i’m interested in changing your behavior when you discuss it on mondoweiss. there’s absolutely nothing in your response here indicating you understood my warning to you.

        i’m going to be generous with you sean and (unlike you) give you the benefit of the doubt, in that, i am not going to claim you are physically or mentally unable to change your behavior. i’m not going to say you have an inability to change or alter your actions or behaviors because of a complex mental syndrome. and no matter how much i may vehemently disagree with “zionists” (all of them, and some way more than others) can we please not assign them all with a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that has genetic connotations?

        now, i made you an offer, come clean, drop the anonymity, tell us what affords you the expertise to make this diagnosis or cease. that is not an invitation to bring it up again or open a discussion, debate about it or speculate more or parry it down to “billionaires” or some people sans one iota of acknowledging what you said. “zionists” is what you said. that’s millions of people. ok. next time i’ll remind you by deleting your next 5 comments, regardless of what they are. or maybe more i don’t know. stop it!

      • Chu on February 11, 2015, 12:03 pm

        “That doesn’t mean Jews and Gentiles can’t or don’t get along. It does mean, however, that Jews historically have been unable to rely on their Gentile brethren for communal safety and protection…”

        -Now theres’s an idiotic & tribalist comment, as it assumes all gentiles had worked together for centuries, but it’s sort of like saying today ‘all those white people’. I think the comment is intended to gain pity on the tribe and you were unaware what a sloppy idea you laid out (more reflective of an ethnotcentric point of view).

        It’s then fair to say that Israel should have protected the innocent Gazan civilians who were accidentally slaughtered by the IDF in 2014. [i.e. Palestinians historically have been unable to rely on their Jewish brethren for communal safety and protection]

        I’ll ask the question again, in case it’s lost. In which century and which (subgroups) of gentiles should have protected Jews?

      • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 1:22 pm

        “Top comment: “Words fail me here. There is no amount of snark or belittlement that would do justice in this situation. Sometimes I think I these people are an entirely different species from the rest of humanity. . .”

        So let’s see, Sean, but if my reading comprehension (sketchy at best) hasn’t failed me, Annie just asked you to speak for yourself, and be responsible for your own comments. So, in response, you do this?

        Anyway, I would like to state categorically that I have lived in America for over sixty years and never noticed the slightest bit of anti-Semitism involved in turning me down for a job or promotion. Everybody does that, with egalitarian fervor. You know, it wouldn’t surprise me if I have been politely shown out of an interview with a Muslim by now.

      • seafoid on February 11, 2015, 2:24 pm

        “Israel is a highly abnormal nation and the behavior of Zionists and pro-Israel activists is highly abnormal.”-

        It’s consistent with trauma

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jan/06/rejected-parents-beliefs-identity-sexuality
        “If they are strict and inflexible – unable to move with the times or accept anything other than their values – this is probably the result of trauma: either their own trauma or transgenerational trauma – trauma passed on to them by their parents.
        When we are not traumatised, we can live fluidly in the present, responding to situations as they arise. But when traumatised, people stick to strict rules and codes, as though living in emergency mode, and they are fearful of deviating from these. So when they see their children being very different from them, they panic. In their belief system, to deviate from the rule book is to be cast out. And to be cast out is to be unsafe, and possibly to die. They are worried because they cannot imagine accepting you as you want to be, cannot imagine that it would be possible for you to be accepted anywhere. They may even fear that because you are different, they will no longer be accepted by their community”.

      • Keith on February 11, 2015, 5:16 pm

        SEAN MCBRIDE- “Top comment: “Words fail me here. There is no amount of snark or belittlement that would do justice in this situation. Sometimes I think I these people are an entirely different species from the rest of humanity. . .”

        Why, Sean, Why? Hophmi shoots himself in the foot with yet another of his wild anti-Semite allegations and you come along to rescue him? Because, my friend, although the reference to who “these people” are is unclear, the comment can obviously be interpreted as anti-Semitic. Not only that, but regardless of who “these people” refers to, it is flat out wrong. Hate mongering and mass murder are a large part of human history, and pretending that this type of behavior is abnormal is a distortion of reality. In fact, at the beginning of World War II, an American general said much the same thing about the Japanese. The question is what can be done to control elite power-seeking and consequent mass murder. Debbie Schlussel is but a symptom of a larger problem.

      • seanmcbride on February 11, 2015, 7:47 pm

        Keith,

        I posted the item not to express agreement with it, but because it was listed as the top comment at Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo — a point of interest. TPM is a quite mainstream publication, not prone to extremism.

        I wouldn’t use that language — but I can understand why Debbie Schlussel’s words would provoke that kind of response in normally sane and decent people — push them over the edge.

        There is something about the essential nature of Zionism that is pushing both Zionists and anti-Zionists towards ever greater fanaticism — that trend is unmistakable when one analyzes comments on Zionist issues Internetwide. Once you drag God into politics, you can usually expect a catastrophic outcome — that has been the historical pattern for a few thousand years.

      • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 5:19 pm

        “however, that Jews historically have been unable to rely on their Gentile brethren for communal safety and protection…”

        And in situations like the United States, where Jews have no communal protection whatsoever and are only afforded the same individual protections of most other citizens, what happens?
        I guess that’s why no Jew has ever survived more than six months in the US?

      • seanmcbride on February 11, 2015, 8:02 pm

        Keith,

        I presume the author of the comment was referring to people like Debbie Schlussel — of which there are many in contemporary American politics — most of them agitating for endless American wars against a long list of “enemies” of Greater Israel, of the Old Testament “God” and of “the entire Jewish people” — certainly not all Jews. Many of them are Christian Zionists.

      • Chu on February 12, 2015, 11:46 am

        Keith taking SeanMcBride to the woodshed! Funny Keith, i remember years ago how David Green(?) found some screed you wrote against the Jews on your blog and posted it here. Then you were doing damage control.

      • Keith on February 12, 2015, 3:07 pm

        CHU- “Keith taking SeanMcBride to the woodshed! Funny Keith, i remember years ago how David Green(?) found some screed you wrote against the Jews on your blog and posted it here. Then you were doing damage control.”

        Your memory is faulty. Not an unusual circumstance when it involves me. Curiously, however, the example you misrepresent makes my point quite well. Let us begin by noting that when I first began commenting on Mondoweiss, I had a little blogspot which, as far as I knew, had few if any readers. In a moment of outrage and frustration I posted a 3 paragraph polemic titled “ZIONazis.” It was a vitriolic condemnation of Zionism and the potential consequences thereof. Since the language was incendiary, it would have been totally inappropriate to publish it on Mondoweiss and I would have been irresponsible to do so. But it made me feel good to write it so I did then forgot about it.

        When I began commenting on Mondoweiss, I noticed that my screen name appeared as blue, but was unaware that it was a hyperlink to my blogspot. It never occurred to me that someone could easily access my writings looking for dirt. Well that is what Bruce Wolman did. He copied and pasted my three paragraphs on Mondoweiss without my permission, an act of incredible moral and intellectual dishonesty. The actual facts contained in those three paragraphs are beyond dispute, however, the language is inappropriate for Mondoweiss and I never intended to post it here. I have included the link to Bruce’s posting on his commenter profile for those interested. You might want to refresh your memory, Chu, as my comments were directed against Zionists and Zionism, not “Jews” as you disengenuosly state. Those interested may also wish to peruse Bruce Wolman’s Mondoweiss comments to get a feel for who I was dealing with.
        http://mondoweiss.net/2010/03/katrina-to-birthright-to-gaza-a-young-jews-progress#comment-159606

        Chu- “Keith taking SeanMcBride to the woodshed!”

        That is not how I would characterize it. I don’t think that Sean was aware of how that one aspect of his comment could be interpreted and/or misrepresented by those who gain from doing so. A big part of what Debbie Schlussel does is to try to piss off gentiles in order to create the semblance of low level anti-Semitism. I don’t think it wise to give too much publicity to these provocateurs.

      • seanmcbride on February 12, 2015, 10:52 pm

        Keith,

        “I don’t think that Sean was aware of how that one aspect of his comment could be interpreted and/or misrepresented by those who gain from doing so.”

        I *quoted* a comment from Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo to make a point about the current state of inflammatory rhetoric concerning Israeli issues on the Internet — even the mainstream Internet — I didn’t endorse or approve of the comment.

        I often post quotes from comment sections around the net in the Mondoweiss on Friendfeed group — for instance, see many examples here:

        https://friendfeed.com/search?q=pro-Israel+comment&group=mondoweiss-on-friendfeed

        I find the drift of “debate” about Israel — the ever-escalating verbal abuse and violence from all sides — to be fascinating and disturbing — it bears watching.

        I thought that my intention in that post was obvious.

      • Mooser on February 12, 2015, 7:13 pm

        “But whatever rules MW chooses to enforce, I respect and observe.”

        And I’m sure you do just fine (everybody has a bit of trouble now and then. I was once barred from saying “anthropophagy”, and never tried it again) and it’s honorable of you to do that, too. And there’s also the “friendfeed” you mentioned, where things can be more free-wheeling or unconstrained. A regular “Liberty Hall”, for the cerebellum, was the impression I got.

      • seanmcbride on February 12, 2015, 11:07 pm

        On the verbal violence front:

        “Comedian [Roseanne Barr] calls for UC Davis campus to be “nuked”” http://www.news10.net/story/news/local/davis/2015/02/12/barr-davis-nuked-jewish-campus/23280319/

        BEGIN QUOTE
        A stunning tweet by comedian Rosanne Barr, has called for the UC Davis Campus to be nuked. The sometimes controversial comedienne’s remark came as tensions have been rising on the campus in the wake of a vote by the student senate asking that the University of California divest itself of businesses that have ties to Israel, and after two campus Jewish organizations suffered recent hate crime.

        In her tweet on Tuesday night, Barr stated, “I hope all the Jews leave UC Davis and then it gets nuked.”
        END QUOTE

      • Mooser on February 13, 2015, 12:16 pm

        “Some of the most creative people I know could be described as a bit “Aspergery” — it has almost become a compliment in some circles”

        And, Sean, any man (or woman!) who says you are not intimately knowledgeable about circles, and running in them, will have to answer to me!

        But Sean, you have a beautiful nose! Just a tip: If you don’t want it bent, don’t use the name of a diagnosed and serious condition as a “compliment”.

      • on February 15, 2015, 9:35 am

        “Did some Jew turn you down for a job, Keith? Is that what this antisemitic lunatic raving is all about? Did you miss out on something a Jewish colleague got, and did it fill you with anger and resentment? ”

        Gee hophmi. The persecuted Jewish people are in charge of handing out jobs and are getting things non Jews are. How does that type of persecution work? Kind of like the English nobility and American slave owners were persecuted?

      • hophmi on February 15, 2015, 9:56 am

        It’s interesting that you read all of that into it. I guess you’re one of those people who think racism is over because we have a Black President.

      • Mooser on February 15, 2015, 12:04 pm

        “found some screed you wrote against”

        And since then, he’s learned more, and refined his language, like a lot of people, including me.
        I’d hate to see what I wrote years ago.

      • Chu on February 19, 2015, 12:39 pm

        Keith,

        You’re correct it was Bruce Wolman – my mistake. What caught my attention is how Homphi implies that you are a bitter non Jew [“Did some Jew turn you down for a job, Keith?] but then you call Sean an anti-Semite. Anyway, I thought it was a good example of political correctitude in action, like the guard kicking the dog who in turn, bites the intruder. something like that…

      • Keith on February 19, 2015, 3:48 pm

        CHU- “…but then you call Sean an anti-Semite.”

        No I didn’t and you are incredibly dishonest for saying that I did. I get that you don’t like me, but I would appreciate it if you would stop lying about me. I noticed that you tried to sneak in your BS comment long after the thread was dead and I am lucky that I caught it. Apparently, I am going to have to keep track of your comments to see what other BS you might have in store for me. To review: the original comment which Bruce quoted referred to Zionists and Zionism, not to Jews and was NOT anti-Semitic as your dishonestly claim. My comment to Sean did not call him an anti-Semite as you falsely claim.

    • on February 10, 2015, 11:38 am

      “Roger Cohen elevates Judeocentric obsession to a perverse level. He seems blind to the history, lives and fate of Gentiles except insofar as it relates to Jews and Jewish well-being.”

      I’d agree w that. A kind of example: Fred Child, the excellent (Jewish, I’m pretty sure) host of Performance Today (radio), he is to classical music what Robert Osborne is to film (and if you don’t know who Robert Osborne is….), said of a version of West Side Story that it pitted a Jewish gang against an “anti-semitic” Christian gang.

      But wasn’t the Jewish gang at all anti-Christian? I don’t believe there was anything insidious about his description (though I did find it odd that Child chose not to comment on The Death of Klinghoffer affair, his spokesman offered a very unconvincing explanation as to why not, it made no sense because Child is smart and knowledgeable and comments on all kinds of things) it was just … facile, I guess. Simply a variation on the media standard, where Jews are always responding to violence and hatred, never initiating it, whether gang or country.

      • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 1:30 pm

        “a version of West Side Story that it pitted a Jewish gang against an “anti-semitic” Christian gang.”

        Just a little confused. That actually happened backstage, but when a show is a huge hit, those things are all forgotten.

      • hophmi on February 15, 2015, 9:58 am

        Source for Child’s Judaism?

  4. Stephen Shenfield on February 9, 2015, 6:41 pm

    1. Not all Jewish families’ stories ended in Zionism. Therefore it was not inexorable.

    2. Is feeling comfortable really the most important thing in life, overriding all else?

    3. The world being as it is, isn’t there something wrong with a person who can feel totally comfortable in it?

    4. Surely anti-Semitism is not the only thing that can make a Jew uncomfortable? But if there are other sources of discomfort, then won’t they be present in Israel too?

    • Mooser on February 10, 2015, 11:32 am

      “4. Surely anti-Semitism is not the only thing that can make a Jew uncomfortable? But if there are other sources of discomfort, then won’t they be present in Israel too?”

      I have a faint memory that Philip Roth’s character “Portnoy” rendered us a disquisition on this.

  5. just on February 9, 2015, 7:22 pm

    I am still puzzled by this: “Cohen says he feels home at last in the United States. Yet the book ends in Jerusalem.”

    Linda Grant writes a long review in Haaretz that ends with:

    “So where is home for Cohen, in the end? It is America. That’s where the mind relaxes, you don’t even have to remember you’re a Jew all the time. Yet he ends the book in Jerusalem, the journalist taking over almost impulsively, to say where he stands on Zionism (he’s for). Trees have roots but Jews have legs, to quote the Polish Jewish writer and historian Isaac Deutscher. And off he walks, toward the market, “alive with the chatter of human exchange.””

    http://www.haaretz.com/life/books/jerusalem-international-book-fair-2015/.premium-1.640268

  6. Kris on February 9, 2015, 8:38 pm

    There are people who, through their suffering, learn compassion, and their example and teachings are like lamps in the darkness for the rest of us to follow. What can we learn from Cohen?

    Cohen suffered because of his mother’s mental illness and his negative experiences in a British school, and he learned—-what? Apparently nothing except self-absorption.

    What can we learn from Cohen or his book? That even someone who is wildly “successful” can be an “empty core,” as Cohen accurately describes himself, and that like many other Jews, Cohen likes to rehash stories of the Holocaust while looking away from Israel’s slow-motion holocaust against the Palestinians?

  7. Jeff Klein on February 10, 2015, 12:29 am

    Facile with words is one thing, but it’s no substitute for coherent thinking. Zionism seems to blur that ability — it makes people stupid — and not just with respect to Israel. Cohen’s latest column on Ukraine is full of militant bluster, historical ignorance and vacuous sloganeering that did not escape the notice of many commenters:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/10/opinion/roger-cohen-western-illusions-over-ukraine.html?_r=0
    Look at the readers’ favorite comments.

    • MRW on February 10, 2015, 8:21 am

      Got that right, and he’s really stupid about it.

      There is a language Moscow understands: antitank missiles, battlefield radars, reconnaissance drones. Bolster the Ukrainian Army with them and other arms. Change Putin’s cost-benefit analysis. There are risks but no policy is risk-free.

      Tripe.

      For what it’s worth, the only Russian analyst worth listing to, or reading, is Stephen Cohen. Roger is a hack at it.

      • marc b. on February 10, 2015, 4:31 pm

        Cohen was shaking uncontrollably with blood fever over the Charlie Hebdo shootings, and now this analysis. He is a psychopath. Shoot first, and maybe pick through the gory debris later to sort out the facts. If Weiss is in search of a shred of humanity amongst these liberal Zionist types, he’ll have to look harder. The statement that Cohen is somehow ‘courageous’ for writing about his mother is risible. He’s a writer, always on the hunt for material, and the soul searching memoir is constantly writing itself. To paraphrase Bono, ‘they kill their inspiration and then sing about their grief.’ It reminds me of Susan Sontag, a friend of hers noting the irony of Sontag rushing to the scene of the latest atrocity, wearing an ear to ear grin at the prospect of fresh inspiration. something new.

    • Keith on February 11, 2015, 5:30 pm

      JEFF KLEIN- “Cohen’s latest column on Ukraine is full of militant bluster, historical ignorance and vacuous sloganeering that did not escape the notice of many commenters:”

      It is this awesome hypocrisy which truly offends. Jerks like Cohen can decry the anti-Semitism of the Nazis while simultaneously providing encouragement and support for the Ukrainian neo-Nazis who are proxies for empire. The audacity to support neo-Nazis then decry the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe! Of course, it fits a historical pattern doesn’t it? The collaboration of the Zionists with the Nazis during World War II is the dirty little secret that dares not speak its name. The Zionists need to read “Zionism in the Age of Dictators” by Lenni Brenner.

  8. Fritz on February 10, 2015, 3:11 am

    Most comments point to problems with such books, and I agree. There is a problem with biographies / autobiographies focused on ethnicity, and particularly on Jewishness. All to often they tell the same melancholic story, mostly to gain sympathy for the people involved as members of a group. It is most often disappointing to read such stories and I know only few exceptions such as the books by Primo Levi, Ruth Kluger, Imre Kertesz. And reading such books you should have in mind, what Stanislawski stated: „we can no longer read autobiographies as factual first-person accounts.“ (Michael Stanislawski,: Autobiographical Jews. Essays in Jewish Self-Fashioning, Washington 2004, p. 177). Same with Cohen’s book.

  9. Steve Macklevore on February 10, 2015, 4:15 am

    “The English are given to polite anti-semitism.”

    Are we?

    Jews flourish throughout British society. The current leader of the Labour Party, currently on track to win the next general election in May is lead by the Jew Edward Milliband. During the 1990s the Conservative party, currently in government was led by the Jew, Micheal Howard.

    Famous and influential British Jews include the Actress Maureen Lipman, the novelist and journalist Howard Jacobson, and the journalists Jonathan Friedman and Nick Cohen. All the above a pro-Israel and have national (and sometimes international) platforms to spread those views.

    If British society is antisemitic, then it’s ineffective at denying Jews success and security. This is reflected in the numbers – we have the second largest Jewish community in Europe and the fifth largest in the world.

    • mariapalestina on February 10, 2015, 5:25 pm

      Born and raised in Northern England before, during and after the Second World War, I didn’t get to meet a lot of Jews, though I did work for a couple of Jewish companies in Manchester (90 percent Jewish employees) shortly before I left for the New World in 1953, and we all got along beautifully. I’m asking myself if I felt we English were given to polite anti-semitism, and I don’t know if that’s so. I do recall that as a Catholic I always felt “less than” because we were in a minority. I remember Christians being labelled as “Congregationalists” or “Wesleyans” or “Presbyterians” which were all more acceptable than “Catholics.” Most local kids went to the Wesleyan School, or the “Congs”, or whatever, and we went to Catholic school. But we always felt like “the other” in the way people would say things like: “Oh yes, I know your family… you’re those Catholics who live down Hilton Lane.” And my father-in-law (Congs) had not been pleased when his son decided to marry a Catholic girl.

      When I came to the U.S. I remember feeling, for the first time, that nobody cared that I was Catholic. Having Kennedy for president helped too, I think.

      I guess what I’m saying is most people can find some excuse to claim victimhood or persecution, even when it’s imagined, as it sometimes is even for Jews.

      • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 1:50 pm

        Thanks, “mariapalestina” that was very interesting! Thanks for relating it.

    • Citizen on February 11, 2015, 11:04 am
    • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 1:48 pm

      ““The English are given to polite anti-semitism.”

      Good manners beats hell out of barbed wire and Zyklon-B, in my book.

  10. MRW on February 10, 2015, 8:18 am

    Till I read that story I will find the Zionism unconvincing

    He’s getting older. He’s looking for religion.

  11. pabelmont on February 10, 2015, 9:45 am

    “Till I read that story I will find the Zionism unconvincing, and after he writes it, I imagine Cohen will feel the same way.”

    Phil, I think that is an important take-away: anyone who can describe emptiness and suffering, displacement, exclusion, and all the rest, and describe Zionism (the one of the myths of 1948, perhaps, or maybe what we now call “liberal Zionism”) as a cure for the ills Jews have suffered from the rest of the world — and not see the Palestinians — is in denial and may wake up someday, or not.

    My guess is that the older Zionists will not wake up: facing the duplicity of crying for succor while displacing another people and destroying their society and staling their lands and possessions and (in 1948) crops will be too great a psychic strain. They will not even be as honest as the Israeli generals who say with the cruelty of militarists that you must break (other people’s) eggs to make an omelet. No, they will simply continue not to know, not to admit, not to be conscious of the costs of Zionism.

    But the next generation will contain many people whose life experiences have not prepared them to embrace the (may I say) criminality of Zionism. And either the Jewish people who have replaced Judaism with pro-Israelism will wake up and find some other meaning in “being a Jew” or their “Judaism” will drift away into full assimilation.

    • bintbiba on February 10, 2015, 10:03 am

      Thank you , PA Belmont for your comment.
      No way could I have said better.

    • Mooser on February 10, 2015, 11:17 am

      “will drift away into full assimilation.”

      Drifting won’t get it, and you don’t want to get stuck in-between. You’ve go to go downtown, take the test, and become a full US citizen!

      Plus, some states give you a break on taxes if you do.

  12. Mooser on February 10, 2015, 11:10 am

    “how he got over”

    My soul looks back and wonders, how I got over.

    Gonna join the welcome choir,, gonna sing and never get tired!

  13. eljay on February 10, 2015, 11:36 am

    || Roger Cohen: My family story, like that of millions of other Jews, leads inexorably to Zionism. ||

    Right, and all stories of childhood abuse lead inexorably to violent criminal behaviour…except that they don’t: Some abused children become criminals, some become law-abiding citizens (and some of the latter even actively fight for justice for other children).

    The response to acts of injustice and immorality committed against Jews – or children or anyone else – was and is justice and accountability, universally and consistently applied.

    Like all Zio-supremacists, Mr. Cohen seems to believe that it’s acceptable for him to do unto others things he would not have done unto him.

  14. piotr on February 10, 2015, 1:22 pm

    Q. What is wrong with that: “The Jewish experience over millennia demonstrates that no amount of scholarly questing, of religious devotion, of determined emancipation, or of proud patriotism and service could provide security. People and entire nations might turn on you…”

    A. Is the experience of other people all that different? “rex sedet in vertice caveat ruinam”, “The king who sits above all others, beware of ruin”, security is not assured by power, money, etc., hence folks over the ages were pondering the vanity of mundane existence, “vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas”, “The phrase is late Latin and comes from the Vulgate translation of Ecclesiastes 1:2.” And those who got Biblical education in a Hebrew school, should check Kohelet.

    • Mooser on February 10, 2015, 2:15 pm

      “The Jewish experience over millennia demonstrates that no amount of scholarly questing, of religious devotion, of determined emancipation, or of proud patriotism and service could provide security.”

      I know! I mean, look what happened to Jews in the US, where they are completely unprotected by the government, receive only the same citizenship (assimilation by birth, in most cases) are no given any specific area where they can be protected. There are NO Jewish Leaders in the US who have any accreditation to deal with the Government on behalf of the Jews! In fact, it is very doubtful the US government knows or even cares if a person is Jewish (no accommodation whatsoever is made for Jews!!, frankly) The US government has done nothing to recognize authentic forms of Judaism, and allows people to practice bastardized and mutated forms, like Reform. Another example: The US government does NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, to prevent Jews from marry other people. One must ask, as Hophmi asked when Annie wasn’t responding to his come-on: ‘Do you just want there to be less Jews! Well, unless you’re willing to help me make some more, you must be an anti-Semite’

      And so millions of innocent Jews, immigrating to the US in all innocence and hope, were consigned to their fate! No wonder the Zionists shout: “Never Again!”

      • hophmi on February 10, 2015, 2:38 pm

        Yeah, Mooser, I mean, I know we only judge history by what has happened in the last 50 years, because no history existed before that. Jewish experience in America has been great for 50 years, so of course, Jews should forget about the hundreds of years of persecution they experienced in the West that preceded those 50 years (as well as the rising antisemitism that is occurring now). I mean, maybe Black people should forget about slavery and Jim Crow, since that too happened in the past, and now Barack Obama is President, so racism must be over forever, right?. But I guess you’d never make an argument like that about African-Americans because, hey, it would be really, really stupid and callous.

      • piotr on February 10, 2015, 3:37 pm

        At least in Boca Raton, and other places in Florida, you can live in a planned community surrounded by moats, so at least some Jews have a modicum of personal safety. On the other hand, the problem of avoiding marriage with infidels is hard to solve.

        To have some idea what happens in the Holy Land I use ynetnews.com, as it is free. Only at those occasions I am exposed to ads encouraging me to date Chinese, or Thai, or beauties from Eastern Europe. How about extolling the charms of Jewish women? Sadly, not much of that. For months, they had a paid link to “Top most attractive Jewish women under 40”. It really suggested that if you want to find an attractive Jewish woman, than among those 40+ you could easily get hundreds of them, but in the marriageable cohort under 40 you can barely scrape a list of 20.

      • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 1:54 pm

        “Jewish experience in America has been great for 50 years, so of course,”

        Mein Gott, how did we survive up until the last fifty years?

      • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 1:57 pm

        ” I mean, maybe Black people should forget about slavery and Jim Crow, since that too happened in the past, and now Barack Obama is President, so racism must be over forever, right?.”

        Ah, those two rivers of humanity, one consisting of slave ships, one consisting of Jewish immigrants to America, both headed toward the same inexorable fate, (Up til the last fifty years, of course) in the New World!!

        Hophmi, you better go change your shoes. You just jumped in it with both feet.

        “I mean, maybe Black people should forget about slavery and Jim Crow, since that too happened in the past,”

        You mean the way Palestinians should forget about the Nakba?

        Hophmi, you are way off base. All I’m wondering is why the same system which worked so well in America couldn’t work for Zionism and Israel.

      • hophmi on February 11, 2015, 3:35 pm

        “Ah, those two rivers of humanity, one consisting of slave ships, one consisting of Jewish immigrants to America, both headed toward the same inexorable fate, (Up til the last fifty years, of course) in the New World!!”

        You’re either being disingenuous or stupid. No one is comparing the Jewish and Black experiences in the United States. We’re talking about historical Jewish persecution in the West, culminating in the Holocaust.

        “You mean the way Palestinians should forget about the Nakba?”

        Not at all. I’ve never said that Palestinians should forget about the Nakba.

        “Hophmi, you are way off base. All I’m wondering is why the same system which worked so well in America couldn’t work for Zionism and Israel.”

        Are you wondering that? Do you wonder why it can’t work in Iraq either? Is this your position, that all countries should be just like America? Maybe you ARE a neocon, Mooser.

      • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 10:16 pm

        “Are you wondering that? Do you wonder why it can’t work in Iraq either? Is this your position, that all countries should be just like America? Maybe you ARE a neocon, Mooser.”

        Oh, Hophmi, you are just trying all kinds of distractions from the central truth- that Jews can’t make it as a community of individuals, and will be destroyed unless they are in a tight, militant and Jew-led community, recognized by the government as such.

        You know that’s true, and you are trying all kinds of nonsense to avoid admitting it. I know it makes us look weak, but you might as well admit it, any other strategy has always resulted in our extinction.

      • Mooser on February 11, 2015, 10:20 pm

        “No one is comparing the Jewish and Black experiences in the United States.”

        Ah so you didn’t mean to compare them by bringing up Jim Crow and African-American slavery. I see, you brought it up (you brought it up) to not compare them. Okay Hophmi, whatever.

      • Mooser on February 13, 2015, 1:13 pm

        “No one is comparing the Jewish and Black experiences in the United States.”

        Better change your shoes, son. I suggest hip waders. Could you step in it any deeper?

      • on February 15, 2015, 9:45 am

        hophmi: “Jews should forget about the hundreds of years of persecution they experienced in the West that preceded those 50 years (as well as the rising antisemitism that is occurring now). I mean, maybe Black people should forget about slavery and Jim Crow, since that too happened in the past ”

        hophmi 5 minutes later: “No one is comparing the Jewish and Black experiences in the United States”

        You can’t make this stuff up. The arrogance of the ignorant.

      • Mooser on February 15, 2015, 12:09 pm

        “No one is comparing the Jewish and Black experiences in the United States”

        And why not?

  15. Mooser on February 11, 2015, 11:01 am

    Looks like a lot of cosmopolitans are starting to get nervous: Josh Marshall of TPM is starting to snap!!

    He always insists on saying, when he writes about Israel or Zionist politics “as a Jew and a Zionist”. But all of a sudden he’s getting tired of the company? Sorry Josh, you wanna recline King-of-the-Jews-size bed, don’t complain about the company.

    “For Republicans, we really should rename the Redskins The Washington Jews” Josh Marshall

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