Thursday, January 24, 2013

Does Roger Cohen finally get it?

 Roger Cohen (Photo: D Winter)

To this blog, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen is  notorious for whitewashing Iranian antisemitism. But his plea to Hamas to abandon the 'blight of return' seems to infer that he recognises the antisemitism that drove Jews from the Arab world created an 'exchange of refugees'.

"Extremes feed on each other; a majority in the middle is ready for a reasonable compromise that places the future above the past.

That, in part, is what the two-year-old Arab Spring has been about: the future over the past. However faltering (what revolutionary movement was ever smooth?), the awakening has been about overcoming an Arab culture of victimhood, conspiracy and paralysis in the name of agency, engagement and debate. The dinosaurs of the Palestinian movement, like Meshal, should take note.

Pursuit of all of the land, with its accompanying “right of return,” is a form of perennial victimhood, one that has spawned some 4.7 million Palestinian refugees, several times the number who were driven from their homes in the war of 1948. 

The right of return would be better named the blight of return. It is a damaging illusion that distracts from an achievable peace in the name of Palestinian children and grandchildren nursed on hope. There is the possibility of compensation, but there is in history no right of return. Ask the Greeks of Asia Minor, the Turks of Greece, the Germans of Danzig and Breslau (today Gdansk and Wroclaw) — and the Jews of the Arab world. 


Silke said...

It seems that Turkey's Davutoglu sees a lot of unity ahead for Hamas and Fatah

Davutoglu Says Turkey Hopeful For Palestinian Unity After Hamas-Fatah Talks
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said recent negotiations between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have boosted Turkey's hopes for a unity deal, for which he said Turkey is exerting its utmost efforts."We are hopeful on that issue."

and as to Roger Cohen - he may "suffer" from bursts of reality awareness - but since I recently listened to him on "Iran is a Paper Tiger" (an event of IQ2 from Feburary 2011) waxing lyrical on Tahrir Square I wouldn't bet one penny on it lasting.

This morning I saw that Necla Kelek, a German Turk, has a new book about her visit to Tunesia - the teaser said that in every mosque she went to Salafist preachers were at it. As I "know" Mr. Cohen I don't think he'd ever admit that, not even to himself.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Anyway, this subject will occupy a lot of people.
The time will come when finally there will be peace, but i suppose it will not be during my lifetime!
sultana latifa
a Jewish refugee from an Arab land!

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

o/t update on Jews of Yemen

Anonymous said...

Well, fine. So R. Cohen has called out HAMAS as a barrier, but Fatah isn't any friendlier. They are just more devious, right down to the resumed attempt to fix blame on Israel for Yasser Arafat's death as being caused by Polonium poisoning and not a stroke brought on by whatever underlying health conditions.

Anonymous said...

. I have bowed out of the local interfaith Holocaust service, because it was a custom to include Hatikvah at the end, but now some Christian groups object as they support the Palestinians and the Muslim Imams would either sit or leave during the Hatikvah. Perhaps interfaith Holocaust programs no longer make sense, at least to me. I do not need the stress of seeing disrespect being afforded to Israel and nor do I wish to compromise by leaving Hatikvah out. This is a personal choice and I DO NOT ADVOCATE ANYONE NOT PARTICIPATING IN ANY INTERFAITH HOLOCAUST SERVICE. I INTRODUCED INTERFAITH HOLOCAUST SERVICES IN 1974 AND WAS ONE OF THE FIRST IF NOT THE FIRST TO DO SO. This was a difficult decision for me based on personal principle. The interfaith Holocaust memorials started as well intentioned way for the Jewish people and other groups to pause and reflect on man's capacity to perpetuate unbelievable cruelty against his fellow and to commiserate as a group and others, with the Jews and hopefully prevent this nightmare from reoccurring. Over the years it was understandably modified to include other victims of genocidal mass killings, though these mass killings were not really analogous, as the Nazis were obsessed at not just killing Jews as a competing group, but Hitler desired to eliminate our creed and it's pervasive influence on humanity, particularly Christian doxy. As a result of Muslim participation and twisted liberalism, this is morphing into a twisted canard where Israel is being blamed for perpetuating ethnic killings against the Palestinians as the Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis. One can understand the Islamo-Nazis belief system with a quote from the Talmud. We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG, CHILD OF Holocaust survivors and a refugee born in a D.P. camp.