Israel misrepresented as nation of European Jews

On July 18, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote that “Israel itself is a mistake” because “the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism.” (See here for an analysis of Cohen’s column.)

Cohen did not reckon on a response from CAMERA‘s senior research analyst, Gilead Ini, an Israeli of Iraqi origin. Here’s Ini’s letter which ran in the Post a few days later.

Righting History in the Middle East:

“Richard Cohen wrote that Israel, which he describes as “a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims,” is “a mistake.” This, he explains, is because the country faces hostility from the jihadists of the world.

“If Mr. Cohen believes the liberation of the Jewish people from a history of oppression is a mistake because anti-Semitic movements such as Hamas and Hezbollah object to Israel’s existence, would he also have thought the emancipation of slaves in the United States was a mistake because white supremacists in the Jim Crow South objected to their freedom?

“Like other Israeli citizens, members of my (non-European) family do not believe their existence as Israelis is a mistake. As Iraqi Jews, they have been living in the Middle East since before the rise of Islam and the Arab conquest of the region. But as minorities in Iraq, they were second-class citizens; their rights were granted and removed based on the whims of their leaders, and they were forced to endure frequent anti-Jewish riots.

“Only when they came as refugees to Israel, their ancestral homeland, could they finally determine their own future with freedom and equality.”

GILEAD INI
Senior Research Analyst
Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America

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