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February 7, 2016 7:03 am

A Tale of 2 Young Women: An Israeli Heroine and an American Coward

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Hadar Cohen with her parents after she was sworn in at ceremony as a borderpolice woman, just a week ago. Cohen died from wounds she sustained in a terrorist attack. Photo: Twitter/ SussexFriendsIsrael.

Hadar Cohen with her parents at her Border Police swearing-in ceremony shortly before her death. Photo: Twitter/ SussexFriendsIsrael.

This week, a beautiful young Israeli woman lost her life serving her country. Hadar Cohen, the 19-year-old heroine killed in the line of Border Police duty, died from wounds she sustained in a terrorist attack on Wednesday afternoon. Two weeks earlier, her parents had beamed with pride at the swearing-in ceremony that marked the successful completion of her basic training. On Thursday, they were weeping over her freshly dug grave at a military cemetery.

In spite of being new to the job — made particularly daunting by the surge in Palestinian terrorism that has swept the Jewish state since September — Hadar acted both professionally and swiftly. Not only did she literally and figuratively take a bullet for her unit and the innocent Israeli civilians whom the three terrorists had come to slaughter with knives, guns and pipe bombs, but she also managed to shoot at them in the process. It was this, apparently, that saved a fellow female Border Police officer, who was wounded in the attack, from certain death.

Though Hadar will be remembered for her special bravery, her story is not unique. It is the common course that the life of her peers takes after high school. We only hear about those individuals who become unwittingly famous for being buried before getting a chance at life, enabling countless civilians to go about their business in peace.

Comparing this late-teen-early-adulthood reality with that of Hadar’s American counterparts requires a stretch of the imagination and a sense of satire. Take the case of Yale University student Jencey Paz, whose own fame was gained through having her feelings hurt by an associate master at her college. Right around the time when Hadar was going over a checklist of items she’d need to pack before entering the IDF, Jencey was gearing up for Halloween.

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Don’t laugh. Selecting a costume is no small matter these days on U.S. campuses, where anything a student or faculty member says or does can and is interpreted as racist, sexist or — the ultimate no-no — “uninclusive.” College administrators and other staff, therefore, actually invest time and energy in the pursuit of pertinent guidelines ahead of the October 31 holiday. Playing dress-up, it seems, is not what it used to be — you know, fun for some, ridiculous or pointless for others.

So it was with great horror — not the haunted-house variety that Halloween typically involves — that Jencey and her classmates received a message from the associate master of Yale’s Silliman College (in this case, the wife of the master, charged with setting the intellectual, social and ethical tone of the institution) telling them that they were at liberty to wear whatever costumes they wanted.

Her assertion that students could and should be trusted to make their own decisions on this score was a response to an email sent out by Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Committee, urging students to be “culturally sensitive” when choosing Halloween garb. Outrage over being told she and her classmates were free to dress themselves — and even more incensed by the college master’s willingness to debate them on this point — spurred Jencey to write an op-ed for the Yale Herald called “Hurt at home.” She was upset that he had had the nerve to disagree with her view that students should have been forced to be “culturally sensitive.”

“I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain,” Jencey wrote on Nov. 6, a week after Halloween. “I have friends who are not going to class, who are not doing their homework, who are losing sleep, who are skipping meals and who are having breakdowns.” To illustrate the justice of her position, Jencey added: “My dad is a really stubborn man. We debate all the time, and I understand the value of hearing differing opinions. But there have been times when I have come to my father crying, when I was emotionally upset, and he heard me regardless of whether or not he agreed with me. He taught me that there is a time for debate, and there is a time for just hearing and acknowledging someone’s pain.”

After being called to task by a number of conservative columnists for her whining, Jencey requested that her piece be removed from the Yale Herald site and that her name not be mentioned in its subsequent defense of her pathetic display. Of course, her request was respected. Ultimately, Jencey didn’t even have the courage to stand behind her own words. Meanwhile, across the ocean, Hadar was donning a uniform and learning how to use the weapon with which she would end up preventing three Palestinians from committing the mass murder of Jews.

Ruthie Blum is the web editor of The Algemeiner.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Jennifer Kellogg

    I don’t why being culturally sensitive or respectful as I prefer in this country because we are all very diverse and unique. She needs a lesson in tolerance because she seems more preoccupied with other human beings that other human beings that have brains and feelings too. It is very overwhelming of a burden to hear a voice of protest and opposition to this particular individual because I think we are all equal and capable to conduct oneself in a decent manner and ever so precious to each person’s heritage. It inclines me to believe she has a superiority complex and should plan on a different frame of mind, so that everyone can thrive and not feel humiliated, deprived, oppressed, or exploited. This is a free country and each person has their own opinion and this is inadequate as to the the credibility of discriminatory behavior or unconditional because no-one has the right to limit or demean by intimadation tactics as it is in itself an understood stance against and an insult to knowledge such as brain power and the capabilities to capacitate a rare and valuable source because she seems to lack the tenacity to endure or tolerate to your own way whether you like it or not. There are none that above the law in this country and certainly not above morality. She needs justice served to her because that is what she seeks amongst the audience of your assembly, politely and with professional ethics in mind.

  • JMSC

    Just goest to show that Yale accepts idiots. Ivy’s are overrated.

    • Diane Gordon

      So are online “journalists” – I’m trying to figure out the point in comparing these two young women – it reads like a bad freshman composition, oh, my God.

  • Thank you Ruthie!
    Your article about Hadar Cohen was great. Hadar is a real Jewish heroine, and Jecency Paz is a typical self-adoring egomaniac. I am sure, most Americans admire Hadar Cohen, and despise Jecency Paz
    Roman Brackman
    New Your City

    • Caryl BERNER

      I don’t understand the purpose of this article. If you want to honor her as well I believe she should be, then write a tribute to her. Why the need to compare her life to anyone elses life except that Israeli Jews are jealous of American Jews. How sad! I choose not to waste my time and reread this article to find out what I missed, BUT I know I was upset when Prince Harry wore a Nazi outfit. I would think this is what the American college student was alluding to and trying to avoid. There is enough people who want to destroy us. Must we do this to each other? I am truly upset and discouraged by this article. Shame on you.

  • James Cheetham

    Young Jencey, and her ilk, do not cope with the real world very well.

    It bodies ill for the future in the US and Europe.

  • Rachel Cohen

    Early adulthood begins at twelve. And the age of the murder victim–is irrelevant–if she had been a hundred and nineteen, it would have been just as bad. Also the author needs to stop referring to Muslim Arab terrorists as palestinian.

    • howiej

      You should be embarrassed to be identified by the post you have written. The three terrorists were Muslim Arabs from Qabatiya, near Jenin in Palestinian Authority territory, making them Palestinian terrorists. They have been lauded by the P.A. for their actions. Their bodies should have been buried in unmarked graves in Israel.

  • However, there is the matter of a different attitude to life to be illustrated: some whine and some do, and this is true for men & women, for black & white and for each of us.

  • Jack Holan

    Jencey, I can think of only one word to describe you, Pathetic. When you graduate and Moveon into real life don’t let it crush you on Day 1.
    Hadar Cohen Z”L may your soul find Peace within the the Schinah, no amount of thanks from us will suffice the sacrifice you’ve made as an IDF Soldier saving many lives. G-d Bless You.

  • James smith

    What is the point of this?

  • stevenl

    Jencey Paz a symbol of perverted selfishness!

  • I must agree with the author,American people in general have gone through some minor wussification since GHW Bush. Remember he wanted a kinder gentler world,well that wasn’t too terrible but since Obama has taken over with his apology tours all over the planet just what can be expected. If that isn’t bad enough apparently the guy is scared of his own shadow,this translates down to all who buy into his constant barrage of wussification nonsense,in particular college people. I guess this is the state of liberal America these days,and poor little Jency what will become of her and her type who find it hard to stand up for herself,worried about hurting someone’s feelings with a Halloween costume….. I always thought college was for learning not abusive costumes,if it bothers you that much then just don’t wear one.

  • Jack

    I agree that the article is mean spirited. But it was also heart-felt. I wonder at the attitude of those who complain about having not enough shoes to wear when they learn of those with no shoes, and those with no feet.

    It was a study comparing those who serve and those who feel they should be served. It is a values lesson. And Jencey put it in the public domain for public comment.

  • Lance Otto

    That’s hardly mean-spirited. Many college age Americans today have long forgotten the survival battles fought by their parents (WW2) and grandparents (WW1) to insure the freedoms we enjoy today. There is no connection to a country’s historic past so great as when one risks his/her life in its immediate defense.

  • Kayla

    This is an unprofessional personal attack, not a newsworthy article. The author and paper should apologize to the Yale student.

  • James Enero

    Condolences to the Hadar family. What an amazing young women. A true hero.

  • Jencey Paz is a typical liberal progressive coward.

  • paul

    I don’t take this as mean-spirited at all.

    The author is pointing out the self-absorption and pathetic shallowness of the typical liberal American student in stark contrast to an Israeli youth of about the same age.

    This Harvard twerp could not comprehend the true meaning of JFK’s words,”Ask not what your country can do for you,ask what YOU can do for your country…” .Unfortunately the liberal culture within academia of the past 30+ years has spawned a generation + of wimps and narcissists.
    The death of this young Israeli woman is tragic. A devastating example of the randomness of combat and war,whether it is a war of terror or one with actually identifiable armed opponents in uniform.

    The comparison with an absurdly upset Harvard student,over nothing,truly nothing…is at once disgusting (the nothingness of her rage) and demoralizing as it shows what a waste many of our youth have been turned into as compared to Hadar Cohen.

  • Alex Brackman

    Hello Ruthie,
    Thank you for having the courage to remind us and underscore for us all that true courage and beauty of the soul as exemplified by the amazing life of Hadar Cohen should guide us throughout the world to know what true human beings are able to be and accomplish. And, it is so crucial, as you so openly and eloquently expressed, that we never shy away from pointing out the cowardice that can exist among us – even at institutions of higher learning like Yale. It seems that these spoiled, self-involved, coddled youth of our esteemed universities throughout this great land, are learning all to well that they can take for granted the freedoms they have, focus only on their pathetic feelings, and be oh-so-ever mortified at the opinions of their professors when in conflict with their own. Kudos to you Ruthie for bringing out into the open (yes not PC) the cowardice of that pathetic woman at Yale who complained of her friends ‘losing sleep’. Her name should not be uttered in the same context when we herald the beautiful and courageous life of Hadar Cohen – a gift to humanity. May her neshama be elevated and may her family be protected from harm. Hadar and her family are a shining light in an otherwise dark world. As Israel itself is a shining light to the world, what the great Ronald Reagan would have expressed as a shining city on a hill! Thank you for your courage Ruthie!

    Alex Brackman
    Los Angeles, CA

  • Jim Dearing

    st of us in the USA aren’t familiar with the IIsrael! er than what we have seen in movies, alive, pains me when I see how hard the Jewish people struggle not just to be safe but to stay alive. Personally I apologize for the disrespect displayed by our president toward Mr. Netanyahu it is my prayer that Israel will continue to have the strength and bravery to continue to defeat any nation or group that would try to do them harm, may God bless Israel

  • JH

    Meanspirited– why take down one young woman in the context of the other’s death?

    • Why take down a silly little whinger? Precisely because she is stupid. And a whinger.

    • ZG

      Because she is anything but a young women.she is a spoiled, immature example of a future mother? G-D help the next generation with such people as mothers.

    • One is a hero in Israel where they put their lives at risk daily. Courageous.
      The other is imprisoned by the banality of political correctness in present day campus life in the US. Total lack of serious values.

    • a.non

      Actually the New York Times had a story on the woman at Yale that Yency was attacking. She said the same thing as JH – that we should cut the girl some slack. She’s 20.

    • J Zucker

      JH, The comparison had to be made between two different kinds of people. Those who think only of themselves and can be hurt by nothing and those who will stand up for the safety and lives of others even to sacrificing their own. US college and university campuses are full of people who should not be there. Once upon a time, like when I went to school back in the 1960’s we went to become adults and to be treated as such. Our motto was “in loco parenti”. We did not want our school administrations to be our parents. If a child today needs a safe place and to be told what to do; then they should not be in a place of higher learning for they are incapable. If you need your parents to tell you what to do either they did not do a good job when you were younger or you failed to learn.

    • rachel robinson

      I would like to see all those 18 comments!!! why write a comment when no one is allowed to see it.

      Shame on Algemeiner!!!

    • Victoire

      Well, here’s the answer to your question: This editorial demonstrates the difference between the heroism of Hadar and a self-centered sissy. Grown women crying like spoiled children when they don’t get their way sets a sorry example and saying so is NOT mean spirited. (Fortunately, few American women are so lacking in fortitude as this pampered college coed.

    • JH. Not mean spirited at all.
      People forget that it’s the daily courage and selflessness of the IDF and security services that allows daily life in Israel to continue.
      This article illustrated by actual example the contrast between the nobility of spirit of the young soldier who sacrificed her life to save others, and the narcissism of the college student for whom her own selfish ‘feelings’ were paramount.

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