Tuesday, February 20, 2007

An Honest Critique of Nick Cohen, From The Left

It comes from Stan Crooke of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, a British Marxist group. You don't have to side with Crooke or with the Workers' Liberty crowd (I don't) to agree that Crooke has undertaken an honest engagement with the ideas in Cohen's book, What's Left? How Liberals Lost Their Way.

Where I do agree with Crooke, owing to my own personal experience (see the comments bedlam that followed my review of What's Left?, discussed here), is on the matter of the vile content of much of the "left" criticism Cohen's book has provoked. Crooke writes:

The reference to Cohen’s “Zionist buddies” was not unique. Some contributors to other discussion threads – “Comment is Free” carried several reviews of Cohen’s book – also homed in on Cohen’s “tribal loyalties” and the cover-up operation he was conducting for Israel.

As one well-read contributor put it: “I don’t want to dwell on Cohen’s book, having never read it. But I don’t have to – it is an old, dishonest argument. I can turn to Fox for a more entertaining version. The fear of ‘Islamofascism’ is simply a tactic to let Israel get away with crimes. This is so ridiculously obvious that it would be funny if the stakes weren’t so high.”

Contributors on other threads expressed themselves more openly. One of them explained that Cohen (“just a PR man for Israeli fascists”) supported the invasion of Iraq “for reasons closely connected to his Zionism,” while another asked the question: “It is suspect that no-one in the media has made the point of Cohen’s tribal loyalties, being a Jew he is of course an active Zionists as well. Yet this important fact is never discussed. I wonder why?”

In Australia, meanwhile, Julie Szego, writing in The Age, dives into the debate and makes an interesting point about the wisdom of hindsight that the "anti-war" left claims with respect to Anglo-American invasion of Iraq: "It doesn't answer why almost no one marched for the women oppressed by the Taliban, but plenty marched against a war that promised to liberate them. It doesn't answer why the streets weren't choked with protesters when Saddam gassed Kurds. It doesn't answer why they aren't choked now with protesters demanding an end to genocide in Sudan's Darfur."


Blogger SnoopyTheGoon said...

The funniest thing is that Cohen, in spite of his "in your face Jewish" surname is not Jewish. See here, for instance:


And by the way, I have tagged you yesterday for a mind-boggling case of a Canuck gone bonkers here:



10:44 AM  
Blogger Will said...

Don't give the game away Snoop! For fuck's sake man! - we need them to continue believing in the conspiracy in order for the conspiracy to work!

3:45 PM  
Blogger Transmontanus said...

Snoop: Little do they know Cohen is really Agent Cohan from Letterkenny. Ha!

Keeping an eye on that other one, meantime. We'll have him in Gitmo North if he isn't careful.

Will: No worries. Snoop's superhuman "Jew powers" will sort it out.

7:31 AM  
Blogger thebookmistress said...

Not that it makes a difference. Like the wise man said, “You can call yourself Cathleen ni Houlihan for all the difference it will make, the odds are you will be accused of `Zionism’. ”

7:23 PM  
Blogger waterdragon52 said...

What? D'ya think there aren't any Irish Jews? What about Robert Briscoe, Lord Mayor of Dublin for many years, whose family were among a number of Jewish immigrants from Lithuania who arrived on Ireland's fair shores in the early to mid-1800s?

As for "Cohan" being distinctly Irish, I'm not so sure that it isn't a misspelling of "Cohen". Converting from Judaism to Christianity after immigration ain't that unusual. Think, if you can bear to, about John Kerry finding out that his Czech ancestors a couple of generations back were Jews and not RCs.

9:26 AM  

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