October 08, 2003

The Scourge of Richard Cohen, Vol. XCIII

(Ed. -- The following is a bit of mean spiritedness that will be an on-going feature of this blog. Normally the author will endeavor to be reasonably fair, but this is an exception.)

I wonder if all his efforts spent protecting Bill Clinton is what drove Richard Cohen to develop the habit of blaming the victim in Israel Is Losing.

I talked recently with an American who had just returned from more than 20 years in Israel. We did not talk for the record, so I will withhold his name and what he does for a living. But I will say he is somewhat well-known in Israel and that he loves it dearly but he has left, probably permanently, because he cannot take life there any longer. He is a nonstatistic -- a living victim of terrorism.

Mr. Cohenís friend is still a statistic, by definition. And we are all victims of terrorism today. Thank God itís not as bad here as it is in Israel, but it could be.

How many others there are like him I cannot say. He has the most valuable of all commodities in this world, an American passport, and with much regret and with questions about his courage, he used it to get out. His business had gone to hell, his life was always in danger and he simply could not take it any longer.

I sympathize with Mr. Cohen's friend. I think I would struggle with the situation in Israel today. Iíd like to think I could deal with it for myself, but I donít think I could deal with the threat to my family on a daily basis.

In the perpetual war against Israel, its enemies are winning.

I suppose that may be true, as long as we list all of Israelís enemies, and not just its pathetic Arab neighbors who could not survive without the support of all of Israelís enemies. But note the phrasing Ė the war AGAINST Israel -- and yet, it still is all Israelís fault!

The economy is awful.

Terror will do that, except in the United States if it can be used against President George W. Bush.

Parents do not want their children to go out. The beach is presumed safe, but not a cafe or restaurant. A commute on a bus (I have done it) is gut-wrenching. You watch everyone.

So Dickís lived it and still doesnít understand. Amazing.

What does a suicide bomber look like? The last one, the one who blew up a Haifa restaurant, was a 29-year-old woman, a law school graduate. She killed Arab and Jew alike. Even safe places are no longer safe.

Safe places? Richard just said that cafes and restaurants werenít safe.

So I cannot blame Israel for striking back.

Give Dick another paragraph or two, heíll find a way.

It assassinates Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders and militants. It razes the homes of suicide bombers. It has Yasser Arafat bottled up and may deport or kill him. It has bombed purported terrorist camps in Syria.

All justifiable, right Dick? Poor Yasser, itís as if he is an innocent bystander. Uh oh, here it comesÖ

But nothing Israel has done has brought it peace and security.

See! See! Itís Israelís fault for not figuring out how to live in peace with homicidal maniacs.

If you read the Israeli press, the despair is palpable. To some, especially those on the left, Israel has become virtually a dysfunctional society.

Sounds like the United States as well, or Iraq, or Afghanistan Ė at least to the Angry Left.

The government can't protect its people. Corruption is endemic. Religious zealots have inordinate influence, Ö

Like I said, it sounds like the United States, or Iraq, or Afghanistan -- at least to the Angry Left.

Ö and their vision, a Greater Israel, compels the building or thickening of West Bank and Gaza Strip settlements. With every suicide bombing, the rational course -- a withdrawal from Palestinian areas -- seems like weakness rather than wisdom.

See! See! Israel is irrational!

Israel must return to the so-called Green Line -- the border before the 1967 Six Day War.

See! See! Itís Israelís fault for winning the 1967 Six Day War and refusing to leave their nation in the same vulnerable position again. I mean, itís not like the Arabs would attack Israel again six years later.

It must dismantle most of the settlements. It must do this because occupation is corrupting and, in the long run, impossible.

See! See! Itís Israelís occupation that is the root cause. Why, it was the root cause before their even was an occupation!

The more Israel expands or retains settlements, the more it gets stuck in a quagmire where the enemy is everywhere.

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From September 2000 until recently, some 17,400 attacks were recorded in the territories -- and 40 percent of all fatalities. Even when terrorists struck in Israel proper, they invariably came from the West Bank.

But how come the attacks werenít happening between 1967 and 2000? Could it be that this is just another failed strategy of a desperate despot whose time is running out?

Yet Ariel Sharon recently decided to include two major settlements on the Israeli side of the fence that is being built to separate the Jewish state from the West Bank. By extending the fence to encompass the settlements, Sharon is only ensuring the continuation of his problem.

See! See! Itís Sharonís fault. I find it amazing that Arafat is only mentioned twice in this column, and both times as a passive victim of Israel.

For a people of the book, for a country created by history as well as by men, Israel acts as if nothing that went before has any bearing on what is happening now. But history admonishes Israel.

See! See! Israel, why are you so hated?

The only places where a Western culture has successfully transplanted itself are those where great population pressure and genocidal methods were used to extirpate the indigenous peoples. This is what happened in the United States.

See! See! We are all guilty! Bad Western Civilization! Bad!

Genocide is out of the question.

I would have been embarrassed to even bring it up, but not Dick.

Neither the world nor Israeli morality would permit it.

Are you sure Dick? The genocide of the Jews is openly called for by its enemies, and yet that doesnít even merit a stern look from the sophisticated countries of Europe.

Yet Israel keeps lengthening the odds against itself.

See! See! It is all Israelís fault. If Israel would just quit trying to draw to an inside straight everything would be fine. Israelís enemies are not unreasonable people who would never pass up an opportunity to pass up an opportunity.

Instead of withdrawing to where Jews are a clear majority, it continues to cling to settlements where Jews are outnumbered.

Terrible Jews! Get back to the ghettos where you can be amongst your own kind.

Every settlement, every day of occupation, puts Israel in greater and greater danger.

See! See! If Israel will only capitulate then everything will be as milk and honey.

Each settlement is a provocation.

See! See! Israel is the aggressor!

The deportation or killing of Arafat will do nothing but make him a martyr and exacerbate the chaos.

Maybe the bastard will hurry up and die of natural causes first.

The man himself is only a symptom of Israel's problem.

Yasser Arafat is only a symptom of Israelís problem. Thatís a rather amazing statement, isnít it? See! See!

The idyllic Zionist dream is in tatters. No one wants to go to Israel. On the contrary, people want to leave. For every suicide bombing, countless others are thwarted -- 22 in the past month, according to Zeev Schiff, the esteemed military correspondent for the newspaper Haaretz.

And yet, somehow itís all Israelís fault.

Israel lashes out.

See! See! Israel lashes out!

It has now bombed Syria.

See! See! Out of the unprovoked frickiní blue, Israel bombed Syria!

What next? Iran?

Be careful what you ask for, Dick.

This is not strategy.

Itís strategery.

It is fury.

Rather restrained fury if you ask me. After all, Arafat and Assad are still breathing.

I can understand.

Iíd like to believe that, but Dick's words make that a difficult proposition to swallow.

But I can understand, too, why, after more than 20 years, that man I met left Israel. You could say he lost his nerve. He would say he lost hope.

Shove it, Dick. Fortunately the government of Israel and most of its people are not going to give up. Being on the receiving end of a genuine attempt at genocide will do that to you. I donít bear any ill will or ill feelings towards Mr. Cohenís friend at all. But I cannot abide Dickís blaming of all these problems on Israel and his desire for that ďshitty little countryĒ to capitulate to the murderers and terrorists who oppose them.

Posted by Charles Austin at October 8, 2003 01:07 AM
Comments

Another good scourging. I almost got stuck in a quagmire, but the trusty wheel on my mouse saw me through.

... history admonishes Israel - what a putz! The subsequent crack about Western civilization transplanting by genocide is classic liberal revisionist history. Think like that and you too can get an "A" in History 201 at nearly any university.

How would Dick like to live in San Diego if Mexicans in Tijuana happened to act like the Palestinians? Yasser, the PLO, Hamas and their ilk seem to only understand one response, that their attempts at using force will be answered with deadly force.

Posted by: MarcV at 01:14 PM