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    The delusion continues

    The delusion continues

    I previously have highlighted the treatment of the “Arab Street” by NY Times columnist Roger Cohen in the midst of the Arab Spring protests, many of which revealed an open and ugly anti-Semitic side:

    In the Middle East you expect the worst. But having watched Egypt’s extraordinary civic achievement in building the coalition that ousted Mubarak, having watched Tahrir Square become cooperation central, and having watched the professionalism of the Egyptian army, I’m convinced the country has what it takes to build a decent, representative society — one that gives the lie to all the stereotypes associated with that dismissive shorthand “The Arab Street.”

    In fact, post-Tahrir, let’s retire that phrase.

    Now Cohen, aware of the rise of Islamists, continues to downplay the threat:

    The old Middle East of Israel’s cozy military-to-military relationships with the likes of Turkey and Egypt is gone. A new Middle East where Israel must deal people-to-people is being born. For a democracy this should ultimately be encouraging: People, including Arabs, with control of their lives tend to be focused on improving those lives rather than seeking conflict. The rise of Islamic parties opposed to despotism and adjusting painfully to modernity is cause for caution, yes, but not for manipulative Israeli dismissiveness.

    “Cause for caution”  The main concern being “manipulative Israeli dismissiveness”?  In fact, history is full of examples of people who control their lives seeking conflict, particularly when Israel and Jews are on the other side.

    This is a dangerously optimistic view of the forces at work in the region, one which has been all too common among columnists at The NY Times.


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    BarbaraS | December 5, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Cohen is speaking from his cozy little nest here in the US. He is not challenged to put his money where his mouth is and probably never will be. It amazing that some people can sit in their armchairs and tell the rest of the world where it went wrong. OTOH, why does anyone pay any attention to this guy or read any of his drivel.

      Juba Doobai! in reply to BarbaraS. | December 5, 2011 at 10:46 pm

      Where he is doesn’t matter to Cohen cuz it will always be the “Juice” fault. Part of belonging to the in-crowd is denying reality and blaming the “Juice” for everything.

    platypus | December 5, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    I surely hope that no one around here is holding their breath waiting for intelligence to “spring” up at the NY Slimes. Methinks there would be many blue-faced people before that happens.

    Juba Doobai! | December 5, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Cohen has a death wish. When a group of people, based on their “holy” book, tell you that they will kill you, you’d better believe it. More importantly, you’d better have a plan to save your life. Cohen’s plan is to blame Israel. Word to Cohen: that won’t save you. Either you convert or you die cuz the “holy” book tells those precious ones you’re protecting that even the trees will say “yo, there’s a Jew hiding behind me, kill him.” I guess Cohen will say that that’s an Israeli translation and misunderstanding of Islam’s Koran.

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