In Roger Cohen’s article on “Anti-Semitism From the Left” (NY 3/8/16), he issues the following imprimatur: “The oppression of Palestinians should trouble every Jewish conscience.” How sad that he didn’t issue these more relevant thoughts: The deliberate murder of innocent Jewish civilians, including pregnant women and children, should plague the conscience of every Palestinian instead of being the source of perverted celebrations and rewards. Muslim imams commanding their faithful to kill Jews everywhere with anything within their reach - knives, can openers or cars - should be condemned world-wide as brutal murderers, no different from Charles Manson who instigated a massacre without soiling his own hands. The collateral damage of killing American tourists can not be tolerated by our own government whose passport is meant to be protective of its citizens. American aid to Palestinians will be withheld until these policies of random stabbings and killings are forbidden by the Muslim clergy, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
Cohen prefers to believe that Palestinian violence is unrelated to the Islamic Jihad taking place all over Europe, Asia, Africa and the U.S. Instead, he wants to convince us that West Bank Arabs are “dehumanized through Israeli dominion, settlement expansion and violence.” Conveniently, he fails to acknowledge that the Israeli company Soda Stream, employer of 600 West Bank Palestinians earning the same wages as their Israeli co-workers, along with health and other benefits - was forced to shut down because of the BDS boycott. He never mentions that the profitable nurseries left intact for Palestinians in Gaza when Israel withdrew its own population - were destroyed by Hamas, depriving Arabs of ready-made jobs in an area plagued by unemployment. No statement about how the billions of dollars given by the U.S. and Europe to aid Palestinians have been re-directed for military purposes or have lined the pockets of corrupt leaders without making a dent in the welfare of their own people.
Lastly, Cohen chooses to ignore the double-edged obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state - the resolute refusal of any Palestinian leader to affirm the legitimacy of the Jewish state of Israel and their insistence on the “right of return” of descendants of families who fled their homes before the Arab attack of Israel in 1948. No other ethnic population in the world has been accorded the title of “refugee” after almost 70 years of dislocation, as no other population has its own Relief Works Administration from the UN. No Arab state has offered citizenship to the Palestinians who have been kept hostage by a leadership that prefers waiting as long as necessary to destroy Israel rather than improving the lives of their own people. To pretend that Palestinian violence against Israel began with the consequences of Arabs losing their war of aggression in 1967 is to belie the history of Arab non-acceptance of Israel that continues to this day. Until that enormous impediment to peace changes, there is nothing Israel can do but defend itself against the ever-growing murderous hatred of Islamic Jihad, now spreading rapidly throughout the world.
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