'Why should Arabs be any less pragmatic than Jews?'

That is a question Roger Cohen of the New York Times rhetorically asks as he argues in an NYT's op-ed for recognition of, and negotiations with, Hezb'allah and Hamas, since this, in Mr. Cohen's view, will make them "pragmatic," which pragmatism will translate into their recognition of Israel, and acceptance of peace.  

But Mr. Cohen's question is simply stupid. It is stupid not because it is rhetorical, but because it implies that Arabs, Hezb'allah and Hamas (and for that matter, the "moderate" Fatah) including, are somehow not pragmatic.

Surprise, surprise, Mr. Cohen! They are indeed extremely pragmatic. What other than pragmatism caused the Arabs to agree to adopt the UN resolution 1701 which ended Hezb'allah-Israel war of 2006, despite the fact that it forbade importation of weaponry to Hezb'allah and the return of the abducted Israeli soldiers? Pragmatically, they chose to stop Israeli bombing in exchange for what they knew would be empty promises -- for, equally pragmatically, UN resolution or not, Iran pragmatically continues to supply Hezb'allah with rockets, and Syria pragmatically continues to lend its territory for the delivery of the same. Who disagrees with you, Mr. Cohen, that Iranians, Syrians, and Hezbullars are not pragmatic?

Or take Syrian participation in the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. That is a highly pragmatic thing to do for a country that is hoping to clandestinely develop nuclear weapons and needs to be kept off the radar screen. Well, the Israelis pragmatically bombed and destroyed the near-completed, North Korean-designed plutonium processing site in Syria - which does not at all negate the fact that Syrians were highly pragmatic when they built it.

Or Hamas "fighters" who, during Israel's operation Cast Lead, pragmatically shot at the Israelis from the homes of "civilians," with a very pragmatic calculation that Israeli's return fire would cause death to the "innocents" that could be pragmatically used to drum up world-wide indignation (and cause you, Mr. Cohen, to spew anti-Israel foolishness on the pages of the New York Times?); or why did Hamas leaders hid themselves in a hospital, if not for the pragmatic calculation that Israelis will not attack it?  

There is plenty of pragmatism in Hamas, and Hezb'allah, and other Arab and Islamic countries, Iran including, Mr. Cohen -- but what is that pragmatism aimed at?

Perhaps that's the question you, Mr. Cohen, should answer. When you wise up. 
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