How a popular columnist fools readers into a false understanding of the situation in Israel/Palestine. Oh man, is he smooth. There is a reason Roger Cohen is a columnist in The Grey Lady: he is a fabulous writer. He is also extremely convincing, and his op-ed from yesterday, “Two Ideas of Israel-Palestine,” is no exception. It reads so well that I am sure he basically had most readers eating out of the palm of his hand. And if that’s the case, boy, did they fall for it. Because what Roger Cohen did yesterday is spoon-feed his readers one of the…Read More... | 51 Comments
[Completely off topic] The New York Times' Roger Cohen recently traveled to Paris and didn't like what he saw. His latest op-ed is titled "France Decapitated," and it predicts a dark future for The Republic. My favorite Francophile, former Haaretz Editor in Chief Dov Alfon, who now publishes a great Hebrew-language magazine called Alaxon, adds some figures from the NYT's archive (on his Facebook page): Year in which The New York Times first described France as "a state in decline": 1852 Number of times the "decline" of France was described in The New York Times since then: 35,400 Date of the…Read More... | 2 Comments
While the mainstream debate over Israel in the U.S. is changing as more people challenge the traditional 'pro-Israel' paradigm, it must also be accompanied by a shift in rhetoric. Roger Cohen, one of the New York Times writers I like most, wrote an op-ed this week called "Israel's True Friends." In the piece, which is centered around the Chuck Hagel nomination, Cohen argues, as I and many have, that those opposing Obama's nomination of Hagel may consider themselves "true friends" of Israel, but in fact can only be accurately defined as friends of the Israeli right - those who, among other things, are dismissive of a two-state solution,…Read More... | 12 Comments
There was something slightly frustrating about the J Street conference. At times, participants seemed to be discussing the same old problems, wondering why the same old solutions haven’t worked, while talking about them in the same old terms. Meanwhile, the Middle East is undergoing enormous changes with every new minute. Old policies have become slogans, drained of meaning by failure. We need an arsenal of new ideas; empty rhetoric is a liability that must be exposed. You can’t take aim at the future with a cartridge full of blanks. Take one example: “the peace process.” At the conference, the columnist…Read More... | 35 Comments
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