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Contentions

Helena Cobban on the Jews

Helena Cobban sits on the board of Human Rights Watch and was a member of the blogger panel at the J Street conference. She recently ruminated on the question of why so many Jews are disgusted with the Goldstone/HRW treatment of Israel (hat tip: Richard Landes). Her answer:

But the Michael Goldfarbs, the Norman Podhoretz’s, the Alan Dershowitz’s, and Robert Bernsteins of this world truly don’t get this. They truly think there is something so “special” about Jewish people and their experience in the world that somehow the [sic] (and especially the allegedly “Jewish” state, Israel) deserve to be given a free pass on the application of any neutral standards of behavior, such as would be applied to anyone else.

Ah, so the Jews think they’re superior to everyone else — where have we heard that one before? And what is the “allegedly” Jewish state? (Sorry, I’ve misquoted her. That’s the allegedly “Jewish” state.) Her writing is so sloppy that it’s impossible to discern what specific slander she has in mind.

Cobban concludes:

So now, frustrated by their inability to dream up a “Cast lead II,” Israel’s hardliners are taking out their frustrations by railing against Goldstone and “demanding deep changes in the laws of war.”

The pop psychology here is entertaining but of a thematic piece with the rest of her thinking. The criticism of Goldstone, she intones, is not serious or rational — it is in fact the redirected frustration of a predatory and sadistic people whose desire for more war on Palestinian civilians has been thwarted. Get it?

Just to remind people again: this petulant woman sits on the board of Human Rights Watch.



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