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November 27, 2013 10:37 am

Seal the Deal and Blame Israel

avatar by Jerold Auerbach

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The New York Times building in New York. Photo: Haxorjoe.

Whoever said that you cannot have your cake and eat it too never read The New York Times.

Hailing the current love fest between the United States and Iran, replete with “handshakes, smiles, side-by-side flags and significant compromise” (aka American diplomatic surrender), Times columnist Roger Cohen seized the opportunity to lambaste Israel (November 26). No sooner had President Obama chosen, with Iran as previously with Syria, to emulate Neville Chamberlain in Munich exactly seventy-five years ago than Cohen lacerated Israel for its “over-the-top ‘nyet’.”

Cohen seems unable to grasp why the American rapprochement with Iran that endangers its closest Middle Eastern ally was not greeted with euphoria in Israel. But like the United States, Cohen suggests, Israel must “adapt to a world where its power is unmatched but no longer determinant.” A world, that is, of Iranian nuclear weapons. This might be possible if Israel possessed the “enlightened leadership” that the United States enjoys from its president and the “admirable” John Kerry. But it does not, because its “overriding prism is military” i.e. it must protect itself not only against its enemies (Iran paramount among them) but now, it seems, against its erstwhile friends.

That provides Cohen with his opportunity to flail Prime Minister Netanyahu. His primary source for Iranian intentions is a Harvard-educated Iranian businessman with “a strong sense of outrage at Israel’s contempt for Iran’s national aspirations.” The problem with Netanyahu, Cohen suggests in his curious segue from Iran to Israel, is his absence of “hope.” (Where have we previously heard promises of “hope and change”?) Once Iran’s intentions can be tested, at least there is hope for a good outcome. “Perhaps this is what is most threatening to Netanyahu.” He remains unwilling “to test the Palestinians in a serious way – test their good faith, test ending the humiliations of the occupation, test from strength the power of justice and peace.” Indeed, he actually prefers Israeli “domination.”

This, of course, is nothing but liberal boilerplate. Palestinian intentions were tested by the Peel partition plan in 1937, by the U.N. partition plan a decade later, by the Oslo Accords twenty years ago, and by the ominously generous territorial concessions offered by Prime Ministers Barak and Olmert within the past fifteen years. On every occasion Palestinian leaders rejected their chance for statehood, “never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity” in Abba Eban’s memorable phrase.

Cohen is dismayed by “hyperventilating Israeli rhetoric.” About the recent references to Israel by Iranian leaders as a “cancerous tumor” and “an insult to all humanity” he has nothing to say. About Ayatollah Khamenei’s declaration, only weeks ago, that the “Zionist regime” is the “sinister, unclean rabid dog of the region” Cohen remains silent. Fault lies only with the Jewish state: Cohen writes, in closing, that “cheap allusions to 1938 are a poor template for Israel in the 21st century.”

In her “Memo from Jerusalem,” preceding Cohen’s column by a few pages, floundering Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren chimed in with her own deflection from the United States and Iran to Israelis and Palestinians. In a classic non sequitur, she cited Israeli outrage over the deal with Iran and followed with the erroneous reference to an Israel that “continues to build West Bank settlements while negotiating with the Palestinians.” But Israel is not building settlements; it is continuing to build within settlements, which is altogether different and which nothing in its negotiations with the Palestinian Authority prevents. Earlier this month, in a similar faux pas, Rudoren erroneously wrote that Israel was building “3,500 more settlements,” which the Times was compelled to correct. (November 7). She went on to compare “Israel’s approach to Iran,”  with “arguments long made by its Palestinian adversaries”: that Israel “evacuate settlements considered illegal under international law.” With such legerdemain, Rudoren transforms Israel and Iran into partners in international law breaking.

In the end, there is no Iranian problem for the Times – only, predictably, a Jewish problem. Perhaps, in the next eight days, the Times will even find a way to blame everything on the Maccabees who, after all, heeded the call of Mattathias to resist Hellenistic oppression in, of all places, Judea and Jerusalem.

Jerold S. Auerbach is the author, most recently, of Against the Grain: A Historian’s Journey (Quid Pro Books, 2012).

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  • zadimel

    This so-called deal increases the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East with the Saudis and others eventually obtaining nuclear weapons.The sanctions were working;why give it up? The risks to peace in this world have greatly increased as a result.Since the rush to do business with Iran by the European nations and those of China and India will be similar to the Black Friday rush to purchase goods,PEACE will be pushed to the floor and crushed. If Iran fails to comply – and I think they will not comply – reimposing the sanctions will be next to impossible,since China, India and others will be doing a very profitable business,which they will refuse to abandon.

  • We all know the wrld, esp Jews, hate Jews. The REAL problem is that the Israelis, like this excellently written article has NO solutions except crying. You CAN’T deny the fact that we are G-d’s chosen people.
    Start acting like it!!!! It’s the ONLY thing rhet havent tried

  • Rudy Hoffmann

    SORRY : S H A M E L E S S of course! (word processor’s fault)

  • Michael Garfinkel

    Very well said, indeed. I would just add Eugene Meyer’s Washington Post to this hall of shame.

    As despicable as the Times is now, this is nothing compared to the complicity of the newspaper in the murder of European Jewry.

    Before and during the war, it was editorial policy at the Times to deliberately bury reports of Nazi atrocities against the Jews.

    One should never underestimate the damage a fifth column can do, and the Jews seem always to be plagued by fifth columnists.

  • Jack Tucker

    Sorry,Jerold, but not very cogently argued. Iran was not going to accept any agreement that completely dismantled its nuclear enterprise no matter how much American pressure or how much Israel would scream. The most you can hope for is to limit Iran’s ability to create a bomb. That is the US goal and realistically has to be what Israel strives for. Any hope to gradually bring Iran into the family of responsible nations rather than the exporter of terror has to begin with this gradual approach. If you gamble that Iran’s Ayatollah regime will collapse of its own with greater economic, you might be over playing your hand because Russia and China will stop supporting the American approach if this deal were not accepted by the US. In that case America would emerge weaker not stronger by itsd pressure on Iran. Netanyahu would be happy if America would do the dirty deed and bomb Iran, but realistically, that will not happen either.

    • michaelgarfinkel

      Jack Tucker speaks of gambling and gradual approcahes to influence the behavior of the Islamists in Iran.

      Fortunately for Jack, it is not he who will be set on fire as a consequence of the least miscalculation.

  • Dov

    But I thought Israel did test the Palestinians back when they gave away Gaza and what did they get for it? Non stop missals and should they now do the same with the West Bank and allow Iran to move in?

  • HaroldT

    Roger Cohen – another Quisling Jew .

  • Arie

    As long as we’re discussing the NYT:

    No shock that the Anti-Jew NY Times, in its usual push to demonize Jews and protect all who would exterminate us, now alleges that the “knockout game” aimed primarily at Jews is “an urban myth”

    We are a short distance from their fully exiting the closet and declaring Judaism an “urban myth”


    Roger Cohen well states Israel’s dilemma because: “The United States is prepared to conceive of an Islamic Republic fully integrated in the community of nations, with equal rights [even though] that state of affairs is a long way off.” There is a major reason, not mentioned by Mr. Cohen, that Iran should not be so integrated: Iran’s role as a major initiator of terrorism worldwide, directly, and through Hezbollah.

    Hezbollah is no longer just a proxy of Iran; it is in a “strategic partnership” with Iran, said National Counterterrorism Center director Matthew Olsen. And the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, said Hezbollah and Iran are in “a partnership arrangement . . . with the Iranians as the senior partner.”

    Has Mr. Cohen, or President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry forgotten about the 241 American and 58 French soldiers who were killed by Hezbollah in October 1983 in Beirut? Not just then but now:Hezbollah is responsible for terrorism in Lebanon said formed Prime Minister Saad Hariri just last Sunday. Hezbollah was responsible, said the Bulgarian Interior Minister, for the 2012 bus bombing of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria that killed six.

    It is not only Iran’s strategic partner, Hezbollah, that perpetuates this terror. The US State Department brands Iran an “active state sponsor of terrorism.”

    So if America wants to keep the world safe, besides the nuclear dis-arming of Iran, America must require that Iran stops its direct and indirect, terroristic ways.

    Sincerely, Howard Sterling

  • Gregg Solomon

    A case of over-thinking.

    Wishful thinking that peace could had so easily if only the side like us would understand.

    A complete lack of knowledge and or understanding of what Khomeni referred to as the “writ of Islam.”

    Nothing unique in people being trapped in their own beliefs’ regardless of facts: Plato wrote about, Francis Bacon wrote about it, Leo Tolstoy wrote about it, Thomas Kuhn wrote about it, and psychology calls it an expectancy bias–despite all the facts insisting on one’s position and either dismissing the anomalies/facts or declaring them “something else.”


  • Nath Khodadad

    Shame on you Roger Cohen !!

    I am sure that your forefathers would roll over in their graves if they knew you were being both Anti Zionist and Anti Semetic, both which in my opinion are totally linked.

    May I just suggest that there should be an immediate family
    name change to say Cowen, or Coward thus severing yourself from your cherished people.

    • Sonia Willats

      Well said, Nath. Let’s not insult the Cowens; Coward would do just fine.

      Good information, Arie re NYT & their allegiances & paymasters.

      The roots of anti-Semitism & “liberalism” seem to have become totally intertwined, producing a poisonous fruit.

  • Arie

    Reality Check:

    1) The NY Times has promoted the demise of Jews since before the Shoah, and demise of Israel before the modern State even became independent.

    2) The publishers of the NYT, the Ochs and Sulzberger families have hated being Jews for so long, they finally gave in to their inner passions and converted to one of the most Jew hating Christian sects around – the Episcopal Church

    3) The NYT is replete with kapos, Cohen, Chomsky, Friedman – all of whom appear to live and publish only to demonize Jews and promote the usual blood libel canards that have been floated for 1500 years and used as foundations for many a genocide

    4) No shock that the nazi owned haaretz now uses ONLY the NYT as their international source given they are on the same wavelength: after all schocken did pen an editorial in haaretz defining “the cure for world peace” is the eradication of Judaism

    5) The NYT is on the verge of bankruptcy, having laid off enough people to empty out 15 floors of its NY tower. The only reason they can still publish is onbama’s need to have a “respected” voice promote his agenda. Hence, he has gotten one of his paymasters, carlos slim, to “loan” the NYT hundreds of millions of dollars to keep it afloat. But Slim is a businessman, and eventually he will pull the plug sending the “old lady” to her grave and finally put her out of our misery.

    Auerbach is correct in his assessments. But giving kapos unneeded attention defeats the purpose. The NYT needs the attention to pretend to be relevant. And today, they are as relevant as helen thomas and the decaying oprah winfrey

    • Well said, Arie.
      There’s a special place in Gehonim for Jews who commit fratricide by siding with our executioners.

    • Mike

      Pathetic! Like the rest of this article…