From an Arab to Jews: Stop Apologizing

Canadian journalist and academic Andrew Cohen (Cohen: A new wave of Jew-hating) provides a good overview of growing antisemitism in the world, and particularly in Europe. Unfortunately he destroys his own credibility when he blames part of the wave of antisemitism on Israel’s “conduct” during “the war in Gaza last summer”.

Cohen does not explain which “conduct” caused antisemitism in his view. Is it Israel’s extreme care in avoiding civilian casualties, including advance warnings and cancelation of strikes when civilians appeared in the vicinity? Is it Israel’s continued supply of water, electricity, and tons of food and medicine daily throughout the war? Is it Israel’s treatment in its hospitals of some Palestinian victims? Or is it the fact that Israel did all this while Hamas ensured as many civilian casualties as possible on both sides? Cohen does not say.

Yes too many Palestinian civilians were killed by Israel’s strikes, and even a single one would be too many.  But Cohen must be aware of the fact that this was inevitable considering that Hamas places civilians near missile launchers in an effort to maximize civilian casualties and gain media sympathy. So why is Cohen apologizing? Israel has conducted every war with the utmost respect for human life, both the lives of its citizens and the lives of the citizens of its enemies. No nation in the history of humanity has done better on this account under comparable circumstances, and I defy anyone, yes anyone, to provide credible evidence to the contrary.

Cohen is not anti-Israel by any definition. He has written pieces in the past (albeit a few years ago) where he strongly supports Israel.  So why does he now feel compelled to apologize for a case of Israel defending itself against terrorists determined to kill as many Jews as possible and destroy the state of Israel?  Perhaps Cohen suffers from the same syndrome that he talks about in his piece, the syndrome that causes Jews to “hide their Jewishness”.  Perhaps Cohen feels compelled to hide his Zionism out of fear for himself or his career.

Whatever happens to be the reason why Cohen is apologizing, he and other Jews like him need to stop apologizing.  It does no good to anyone, and certainly not to Palestinians.  Antisemitism is as old as Judaism and pre-dates modern Israel by about three millennia.  The only factor that has changed in modern times, since 1948, is that Jews now have a state that can defend them against aggression and that can ensure their safety.  A state that is a haven for Jews everywhere.  A state that will ensure that what happened during the Holocaust, when Jews had no place to go to escape the massacre, will never happen again.

Make no mistake about this Mr. Cohen and other Jews who feel the need to hide their Zionism.  The fact that Jews can now defend themselves is the only reason why Israel is hated.  The only reason.  Antisemites hate the fact that Jews defend themselves, and the more Israel defends itself, the more they hate Israel and Jews.

As a non-Jew and as an Arab I should not have to tell you this Mr. Cohen:  Be proud of Israel Mr. Cohen. Stop apologizing Mr. Cohen.  Stop looking for excuses for antisemitism Mr. Cohen.  To paraphrase Winston Churchill, stop being an appeaser Mr. Cohen.  Stop feeding the crocodile.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, and he supports the Palestinians' right to self-determination in their own state. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities, including Palestinians, can co-exist in peace with each other and with Israel, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
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