NYT’s Roger Cohen loves peace, forgets facts

Posted: April 27, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Iran, Israel, Own Articles, Palestinians, Peace Process, Press and Media, US

3186_1126418233728_1025335216_30383326_3028154_n Boy, am I growing tired of some columnists ignoring facts just to make their articles look good – you know, with some major thought there, like ‘peace is good’. It’s too bad this was good in the sixties – today, you have to look facts straight in the eye.

AND HERE ARE THE FACTS: In a recent op-ed, New York Times’ columnist Roger Cohen goes for the same old ‘we need to have peace with all’ mantra – but widens the scope to Iran. Cohen says that in the past, we all made a mistake – we tried achieving peace without Iran. Well, now it is about time to bring it in on the deal! Israel and US were wrong to single out Hamas – it should be allowed to form a single government with ‘moderate’ Fatah, led by Mahmoud Abbas, because the US already has similar experience with Lebanon, where – US has business with Lebanese government despite Hizb Allah’s presence in Parliament.

Let us follow up on this paragraph from Cohen:

In fact, you don’t so much drive into the Palestinian territories these days as sink into them. Everything, except the Jewish settlers’ cars on fenced settlers-only highways, slows down. The buzz of business gives way to the clunking of hammers.

3186_1126418073724_1025335216_30383322_7168946_n Meet road number 60 (above), built from Jerusalem, into West Bank, connecting many settlements on its way. It might be hard to see from the picture, but this road – as are many, many others – is not fenced. Both Israelis – yellow license plates – and Palestinians – white and green license plates – drive on this road. Palestinian villages take nearby hilltops, with nothing fencing them from the the road. Same thing I witnessed on my way to Hebron – as soon as the Jerusalem part of the Separation Fence ends, the road is accessible for all. Palestinians and Israelis roam the long way to Hebron and settlement of Qiryat Arba, with same road making its way through several Palestinian town. While some roads are fenced (usually those with many cases of terror attacks on them), many – if not most – roads are open to traffic. While roger attempts to present West Bank as a prison, it is far from that.

Now meet the village of Ein Yabrud (above). Located in West Bank, about 15 miles (24 km) north to Jerusalem. The village is full of large villas – each belonging to a single family – and several small businesses. Ein Yabrud for most Palestinians is a place to be with family and sleep – most drive to other places, such as Ramallah – to work. While Cohen talks about “clunking of hammers” – presenting Palestinian West Bank as very poor – it is not necessarily so in many areas. Ramallah is flourishing with businesses, after Palestinian Fatah mostly halted terror attacks in West Bank and concentrated on fighting Hamas’ influence. Driving on roads to and from Ramallah you will see many modern cars – BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Jeep and others.

I am no trying to say Palestinians live a good life. It is true they face many difficulties – IDF check points, unemployment, lawlessness. Yet, the situation is not as dire as Cohen portrays it – and it is true that many prosper in the West Bank. Main reason for some Palestinians working with hammers instead of running business is education, which was not a priority for local Arabs until recently. While equality-loving Cohen rants about the inequality between ‘buzz of business’ in Israel and ‘clunking of hammers’ among Palestinians, it is important to understand that the main reason for that is lack of education among Palestinians – even today, many Palestinian youngsters work, without the option of earning a university degree.


Clinton herself ignored facts, with Cohen quoting her:

In House testimony last week, Clinton said: “For Israel to get the kind of strong support it is looking for vis-à-vis Iran, it can’t stay on the sidelines with respect to the Palestinians and the peace efforts. They go hand in hand.”

Clinton, it seems, cannot forget legacy of her husband, trying to push it forward no matter who. For both Hillary and Roger, it seems, it is okay for Israel to be in danger from Iran, if it resents signing peace agreement with Palestinian terrorists, who declare they will never recognize Israel. And what about Fatah? According to some quotes, Mahmoud Abbas – the ‘moderate’ Prime Minister, refuses to have a Jewish state nearby, with other officials refusing to recognize Israel altogether. Now Hillary wants to force Israel to sign peace agreement with those people, or else you are on your own against Iran?

Cohen believes this administration’s policy makes sense. I wish Roger himself would make some sense, and call for international community to deploy NATO forces to control Hamas and Fatah terrorists – this way, Israel would not be oppressing Palestinians.

Instead, he believes it is okay to talk to Hamas – terrorist organization, responsible for murder of hundreds. This is the new liberal thinking, ladies and gentlemen – one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter –no matter how many children he kills with an axe. For Cohen, Hamas are freedom fighters, thus should be talked to. I guess he missed all YouTube videos of Gaza thugs indoctrinating their children into shahada.

  1. […] ROGER COHEN. Oh, you have already met him on these pages – the man who prefers Oz to facts; the man who will push for the two-state solution, even though Palestinian push for the […]

  2. ivarfjeld says:

    You wrote:

    I am not trying to say Palestinians live a good life. It is true they face many difficulties – IDF check points, unemployment, lawlessness.

    My comment:

    We regret the sufferings of all people who deny that Israel has a right to exist, and support terrorism. Egypt and Jordan do not, and live in peace with Israel. Its basic mathematics.

    Keep up the good publishing.

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