Richard Cohen – Can the Arab world leave anti-Semitism behind?

Richard Cohen – Can the Arab world leave anti-Semitism behind?.

To me, any argument that comes down to, make peace with the Palestinians and it will go away seems contrite and naive.  How can anyone think that an ideological, ingrained response like anti-Semitism can go away simply with a geographic change (because we know peace won’t be real even if a Palestine was created) really makes me wonder about their mental acumen.  I know I don’t usually use this blog as a rant against something another person wrote, but it really gets to me when opinion peaces contain silly logical inferences of this nature.  And yet, even he admits that peace won’t change the circumstances of Arab anti-Semitism:

Israeli leaders are well aware that they face a new reality in their region. Whatever regime arises in Egypt, it is likely to chill even further what is already called a cold peace. The same might hold for Jordan. King Abdullah is secure for now – the Bedouin tribes need him to avoid chaos – but he, too, will have to listen to popular sentiment.

Consequently, now would be the propitious time for Israel to settle with the Palestinians. I am aware that resolution of the Palestinian issue will not satisfy anti-Semites or extreme Arab nationalists – Israel is not going to give up all of Jerusalem nor, for that matter, disappear – and both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza have only been emboldened by recent events. Still, the creation of a Palestinian state – the lifting of all the onerous restrictions on Palestinian movement – will take some air out of this particular balloon and, possibly, improve Israel’s deteriorating moral standing in Europe and elsewhere. This is no small matter.

Israel’s critics have a case. Yet they make no case when it comes to Arab anti-Semitism. The prominence of Qaradawi cannot be reassuring to Israelis. They know that words can be weapons and hate is a killer. Nonetheless, since the days of Husseini, a true Hitlerian figure, Arab nations have shamefully been granted an exception to the standards expected of the rest of the world, as if they were children. If I were an Israeli, I’d be worried. If I were an Arab, I’d be insulted. If I were a critic only of Israel, I’d be ashamed.


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