Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ben Cohen Clarifies His Position

In the thread of his article, Ben Cohen made it a little bit more clearer what his views on the topic of the Arab/Israeli situation are:
Ben Cohen  
All nation states were created out of some form of violence/theft. I'm not arguing that Israel is somehow unique in its role as an occupying force - far from it. I'm just asking that it acknowledges the truth rather than disguise it through religious rhetoric and propaganda. One major sticking point in the negotiations is the Palestinians refusal to accept Israel's 'Right to exist'. No occupied people should accept that their occupiers have inherent rights to occupy them. Palestinians can accept that Israel does exist, but not that it has a right to exist. It's a subtle point but one that make a huge difference to negotiations. I am of the opinion that Israel demands Palestinians accept it has a 'right to exist' because they know they will never, ever accept it. They can therefore continue to occupy them, expand their territory and use Palestinians for cheap labor while claiming they 'don't want peace because they wont accept our right to exist'. Can anyone please name another country that has forced the people it occupies to accept their 'right to exist'? Countries do exist whether we like them or not - something the Palestinians have formally acknowledged (they officially recognize the state of Israel). Asking them to demean themselves even more prevents serious dialogue from happening, something the Israeli government seem to relish.

So here we see that he acknowledges that many countries, including Israel, have been "built on theft." So he is not singling Israel out, as his article implied. But I still find it a little bit strange that he considers Israel, simply by existing, to be "an occupying force." Talk about being more Palestinian than the Palestinians!

That being said, it's funny how he demands that Israel recognize "the truth," aka the Palestinian narrative. Someone who is truly committed to peace would ask that both sides acknowledge the history and the truth. The Israelis should acknowledge that they may have crossed the line in defending themselves, while in contrast the Palestinians should admit that they were in fact the aggressors in 1948 and ever since.

Most telling is when Mr. Cohen talks about the 'right to exist' thing. First of all, I find it interesting that though he acknowledges that the Palestinian refusal to acknowledge it is a major sticking point, he attempts to justify it. This contradicts his article in which he claims that it is Israel who is holding all the cards and upon whom the onus is placed. Regardless, stating that the Palestinians are correct in refusing to acknowledge Israel's right to exist is considered by most people (certainly all the US politicians involved) to be an extreme position.

And why does Mr. Cohen blame Israel for asking that the Palestinians accept them when (in Mr. Cohen's view) they never will? Why does not he not blame the Palestinians for making a concession that costs them nothing on the ground and will gain them quite a lot? Because he is placing his own opinions, positions and narrative over what is best for all the people?

I could go on a little bit more about why the Palestinians acknowledging Israel's right to exist is in fact the most important part of solving the conflict, but let me just end with this: Mr. Cohen protests that Israel is continuing to refuse "serious dialogue." What a hypocritical thing to say: There is no serious dialogue in any of his pieces, just a robotic and blind adherence to Palestinian narrative and Palestinian views. He has truly become what he hates, and he doesn't even realize it.

1 comment:

  1. As a Jewish anti-Semite, Cohen blames Israel for the Palestinians' own extremism. He finds fault with Israel for refusing to knuckle under to their genocidal proclivities. And he says Israel is illegitimate. He's not really endorsing a "two state" solution but rather the destruction of the Jewish State. For most of the leftists, the two state solution is just a Trojan Horse to get to the one Cohen wants. The one thing you can say about him he is honest in how he thinks the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved: with the Jews disappearing from the Middle East. What was that again about the HP's new comment policy? If you deny Israel's right to exist, you are an anti-Semite period. Note its not Israeli government policies or actions he is taking issue with but with the very existence of the State Of Israel. I have to disagree Zach - Cohen knows exactly why he is saying what he does and why he believes in it. Then again, the same could be said of Tali Fahima and all the other Jews For A Second Holocaust.