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June 8, 2017 4:48 pm

Critics Denounce ‘Deranged’ Pro-Corbyn Column by New York Times’ Roger Cohen

avatar by Ira Stoll


UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote this week he was willing to look past British politician Jeremy Corbyn’s “long flirtation” with the Hamas terrorist group because Corbyn, unlike his opponent Theresa May, would be reliably anti-Donald Trump.

In a column headlined “A Case For Jeremy Corbyn,” Cohen concluded:

Elections take place in the real world; they often involve unpleasant choices. I dislike Corbyn’s anti-Americanism, his long flirtation with Hamas, his coterie’s clueless leftover Marxism and anti-Zionism, his NATO bashing, his unworkable tax-and-spend promises. He’s of that awful Cold War left that actually believed Soviet Moscow was probably not as bad as Washington.

Still, Corbyn would not do May’s shameful Trump-love thing. He would not succumb to the jingoistic anti-immigration talk of the Tories. After the terrorist attacks, he said “difficult conversations” were needed with Saudi Arabia: Hallelujah! He would tackle rising inequality. He would seek a soft departure from the European Union keeping Britain as close to Europe as possible. His victory — still improbable — would constitute punishment of the Tories for the disaster of Brexit. Seldom would a political comeuppance be so merited.

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Cohen’s apparent decision, reluctant or not, to prioritize tackling “rising inequality” and a lack of “Trump-love” over “Hamas” and “anti-Zionism” was enough to irritate at least some of his readers.

Omri Ceren, an official at the Israel Project — a pro-Israel advocacy group — wrote on Twitter: “NYT columnist: it’s true Corbyn is a Hamas-supporting, Israel-hating, NATO-bashing, Soviet-flirting loon… but he’s anti-Trump!” Ceren described the Times columnist’s view as “Deranged.”

Toby Harshaw, a former colleague of Cohen’s at the New York Times editorial page who has since escaped to the relatively more sensible precincts of Bloomberg View, tweeted out an image of the offending Cohen paragraph with the apparently exasperated comment, “Oh good lord Roger Cohen.”

Cohen’s writing about Israel has been the topic of past criticism here at The Algemeiner. A column he published in October 2016 inaccurately characterized Israel’s actions and called on America to undercut Israel at the United Nations. And an April 2016 column he wrote included two factual errors.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

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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