"Israel itself is a mistake"

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
So says Richard Cohen of the Washington Post:

"The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now. Israel fights Hezbollah in the north and Hamas in the south, but its most formidable enemy is history itself."

Some other quotes from Mr. Cohen:

"There is no point in condemning Hezbollah." and "And there's not much point, either, in condemning Hamas."

Now consider a thoughtful response to Mr. Cohen prepared by Kesher Talk.

11 comments:

Rick Ballard said...

"Hunker down and take it." The stirring words of the left are always invigorating. To predators.

Cohen doesn't acknowledge that Israel now has a free hand in determining the level of response which it may choose to employ. And the Lebanese will be able to assess the correctness of allowing Hezbollah to operate without restraint.

Lebanon is unlikely to ever be able to resist Israel militarily but they do have the ability to conduct a civil war with Hezbollah to settle the matter of whether they are entitled to be a nation state. Freedom implies responsibility for choices made - the Lebanese made an incorrect initial choice.

chuck said...

Lebanese made an incorrect initial choice.

Lebanon, like much of the Middle East, is a collection of tribes, not a true nation state. That's its problem. The tribes are just learning to live together again, they don't want a civil war, so their position is understandable, especially as Hizb'allah is probably the single largest power in the country.

Cohen doesn't acknowledge that Israel now has a free hand in determining the level of response which it may choose to employ.

If I was making the decisions in Israel I would be going crazy. There are altogether too many choices and the wrong choices can have severe consequences.

loner said...

chuck—

If I was making the decisions in Israel I would be going crazy.

So would I.

Knucklehead said...

Isn't the notion that the UN's creation of the "Jewish State" within the "British Mandate" was a mistake the the fundamental concept underlying the entire "anti-Zionism" charade?

As far as I've ever been able to tell the "anti-Zionists" have always believed that if Israel had never been created the ME would be peaceful place of Authentic Primitives living the Noble Life of rug making, tea drinking, and huka smoking. Nary an angry word would have ventured beyond the animated haggling in the bazaars.

Barry Dauphin said...

"There is no point in condemning Hezbollah." and "And there's not much point, either, in condemning Hamas."

There is no point in trying to reason with Mr. Cohen, as his most formidable enemy is reason itself.

CF said...

He wrote a column about a year ago indicating what a dreadful dunce he'd been in school. I suppose he just wants to prove to us that he's still the dummy.
(OTOH, George Wills did better in school, and today in the same paper he shows he's a dummy, too.In his case it seems to have been brought on my an over-estimation of the breadth of his intelligence.)

In both cases they are poster boys for my view that we really need term limits for pundits.

Rick Ballard said...

As long as the mullahs rule Iran, what difference does Israel's level of response make? Except to the Israeli's, of course.

The precipitating event - kidnapping the soldiers - was not within Israel's control and the cascade won't be within Israel's control. Whatever Israel's response, Iran will claim that its next move (or the next move of its proxy) was justified.

So will Cohen.

chuck said...

George Wills did better in school, and today in the same paper he shows he's a dummy,

I suspect George longs for the carefree days of yore, say about 100 years ago, when the US could ignore the world and the British kept the peace.

Skookumchuk said...

There is though a kind of larger danger in this sort of classic liberal Ashkenazi intellectual attitude amounting to "we as Jews deserve it". That plus the danger of condescendingly ignoring the ever narrowing gap between Islamic rhetoric and capability.

If these voices ever take center stage at a time when the survival of Israel demands real sacrifice on the part of the West, that is to say, America, there could be an ugly isolationist reaction along the lines of "fine - if they want to walk in to the ovens, let them".

Hopefully it will never come to that.

Eric Blair said...

Why does anybody bother to pay attention to anything Cohen writes anymore?

terrye said...

What about the Jews who have always lived in the Middle East? We hear about the right of return for Palestinians but no one talks about the hundreds of thousands of Jews who lived in the Arab world and were forced out. Europe forced them out, the Arab nations forced them out and so they went to a place they had always considered theirs. Cohen might have felt he belonged somewhere else, but not everyone is so lucky. Some people have to make a home for themselves because no one wants them.

So I don't think it is fair to say that Israel was a mistake made by Europeans. The Jews were fighting the British for a homeland, they were not just going to go away. Why do people think they would have just given up? Have the Palestinians?