Richard Cohen and Mainstream Press Myopia

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Richard Cohen's WaPo column yesterday called Israel "a mistake"and was roundly denounced by AT's James Lewis and many others. Cohen stated that Israel was created as a haven for European Jews under attack from anti—Semitism,

...the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now.

But he totally ignored the larger issue of Israel being created as a haven for Jews under attack in any part of the world. It is as if the dark skinned Sephardic Jews of Israel are totally invisible to him. This is arguably a form of skin color racism.

Cohen is evidently totally ignorant of the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries after Israel's founding and after the 1956 Sinai War. Many of these Sephardic Jews were like my former barber in New York, who was forced to leave Morocco with $250 American dollars and one suitcase in the 1950s, having the rest of his  property confiscated. Jews were expelled from Iraq, Morocco, Syria, and elsewhere, and allowed to go to Israel where the Arabs believed they could one day kill them all together. This inflow of about 1 million refugees virtually doubled the Jewish population of Israel at the time and strained resources, which was one of the Arabs aims.

Cohen is stuck in some 1960s time warp where few American Jews had visited Israel and had ever seen a Sephardic Jew. It is common knowledge in Israel that the country's Jewish population is made up of at least half of its Jews from Arab countries. If he ever traveled in Israel outside of major hotels where journalists hang out, he would have seen the reality of non—European Jews finding haven in Israel. Go to a major bus station and journey on intercity buses and trains with young soldiers, and you will see a number of Jews from Arab countries who look almost like Arabs with swarthy skin. They are most Sephardic Jews, not the Druze who serve in The Israel Defense Forces.

Years ago, when I watched the mainstream nightly news, I remember once emailing Forest Sawyer after he made a report on ABC TV news about the "wrong" of Israel expelling 400 Arab terrorists from their country. I emailed Mr. Saywer asking where was ABC News's sense of outrage when over 500,000 Jews were expelled from Morocco in 1956 just for being Jews. I got some inane double talk response from him that did not address the issue.

One could also make a case that by Richard Cohen's ignoring the history of dark skinned Jews from Arab countries seeking safe haven in Israel, he is practicing a not—so—subtle form of liberal elitist racism against people who do not look like him. Cohen's answer to anti—Semitism, moving former European Jews into new affluent ghettos in present day Europe or North America instead of Israel, leaves Jews without any self defense, totally dependent on other people for their safety and national identity.

Europe wasn't a safe haven in the 1930s and many Jews wouldn't trust Europe today. And, once again, it also totally refuses to even discuss the existence of Jews suffering from anti—Semitism in Arab countries, a hatred originating centuries before the first Jewish settlement on the West Bank or Gaza was created.
 
Cohen's appallingly ignorant assumptions about Israeli and Jewish history also reminds me of how the mainstream press treated another story last year, the scandal of England's Prince Harry wearing a Nazi officer's jacket to a party. It was largely covered as if only European Jews were insulted by this gesture, and the memory of 50,000 civilian deaths in England due to the World War II Blitz, as well as many English service men and women dying in combat was not another significant area of insult to the memory of the dead. There were quotes in the press from Jewish organizations of rabbis in England being outraged, but no talk from Royal Army or RAF veterans or Blitz survivors who had to sleep in the London Underground (subway) tunnels being personally outraged, as I suspect many of them were.
 
Once again, the main stream press shows its ignorance of recent, as well as centuries' old history. That Richard Cohen can write an article about the reasons Israel was created and ignore the history of half of Israel's population, the Sephardic Jews, and get that article approved by the editors at The Washington Post, is a prime example of liberal willful ignorance.
 
Jack Kemp (not the politician)  7 19 06

Richard Cohen's WaPo column yesterday called Israel "a mistake"and was roundly denounced by AT's James Lewis and many others. Cohen stated that Israel was created as a haven for European Jews under attack from anti—Semitism,

...the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism of the sort we are seeing now.

But he totally ignored the larger issue of Israel being created as a haven for Jews under attack in any part of the world. It is as if the dark skinned Sephardic Jews of Israel are totally invisible to him. This is arguably a form of skin color racism.

Cohen is evidently totally ignorant of the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries after Israel's founding and after the 1956 Sinai War. Many of these Sephardic Jews were like my former barber in New York, who was forced to leave Morocco with $250 American dollars and one suitcase in the 1950s, having the rest of his  property confiscated. Jews were expelled from Iraq, Morocco, Syria, and elsewhere, and allowed to go to Israel where the Arabs believed they could one day kill them all together. This inflow of about 1 million refugees virtually doubled the Jewish population of Israel at the time and strained resources, which was one of the Arabs aims.

Cohen is stuck in some 1960s time warp where few American Jews had visited Israel and had ever seen a Sephardic Jew. It is common knowledge in Israel that the country's Jewish population is made up of at least half of its Jews from Arab countries. If he ever traveled in Israel outside of major hotels where journalists hang out, he would have seen the reality of non—European Jews finding haven in Israel. Go to a major bus station and journey on intercity buses and trains with young soldiers, and you will see a number of Jews from Arab countries who look almost like Arabs with swarthy skin. They are most Sephardic Jews, not the Druze who serve in The Israel Defense Forces.

Years ago, when I watched the mainstream nightly news, I remember once emailing Forest Sawyer after he made a report on ABC TV news about the "wrong" of Israel expelling 400 Arab terrorists from their country. I emailed Mr. Saywer asking where was ABC News's sense of outrage when over 500,000 Jews were expelled from Morocco in 1956 just for being Jews. I got some inane double talk response from him that did not address the issue.

One could also make a case that by Richard Cohen's ignoring the history of dark skinned Jews from Arab countries seeking safe haven in Israel, he is practicing a not—so—subtle form of liberal elitist racism against people who do not look like him. Cohen's answer to anti—Semitism, moving former European Jews into new affluent ghettos in present day Europe or North America instead of Israel, leaves Jews without any self defense, totally dependent on other people for their safety and national identity.

Europe wasn't a safe haven in the 1930s and many Jews wouldn't trust Europe today. And, once again, it also totally refuses to even discuss the existence of Jews suffering from anti—Semitism in Arab countries, a hatred originating centuries before the first Jewish settlement on the West Bank or Gaza was created.
 
Cohen's appallingly ignorant assumptions about Israeli and Jewish history also reminds me of how the mainstream press treated another story last year, the scandal of England's Prince Harry wearing a Nazi officer's jacket to a party. It was largely covered as if only European Jews were insulted by this gesture, and the memory of 50,000 civilian deaths in England due to the World War II Blitz, as well as many English service men and women dying in combat was not another significant area of insult to the memory of the dead. There were quotes in the press from Jewish organizations of rabbis in England being outraged, but no talk from Royal Army or RAF veterans or Blitz survivors who had to sleep in the London Underground (subway) tunnels being personally outraged, as I suspect many of them were.
 
Once again, the main stream press shows its ignorance of recent, as well as centuries' old history. That Richard Cohen can write an article about the reasons Israel was created and ignore the history of half of Israel's population, the Sephardic Jews, and get that article approved by the editors at The Washington Post, is a prime example of liberal willful ignorance.
 
Jack Kemp (not the politician)  7 19 06