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May 17, 2011

Roger Cohen and the Tony Follies

cohen kushner.jpg
Note to Roger Cohen: Bring on the Kushner Quotes

Roger Cohen weighs in on the Tony Kushner brouhaha, noting that "a trustee called Jeffrey Wisenfeld . . . suggests Kushner is an 'extremist' opponent of Israel."

Instead of letting readers decide for themselves whether or not Kushner is an extremist, by citing Kushner's own words (calling Israel a "mistake," blaming "the existence of Israel" for "world peril," and accusing the Jewish state of ethnic cleansing), Cohen gives his own gloss of the author's views:

For anyone familiar with the Judt saga, Kushner’s travails have a familiar ring. He’s interested in historical facts, which include Palestinians being driven from their homes in 1948; he’s appalled by the ongoing Israeli settlement policy and is a board member of an organization that has supported boycotting West Bank settlements (although Kushner told me he’s against a boycott); he’s mused about one state.

It's not that Roger Cohen isn't familiar with concept of citing quotes concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He did find one quote, that of trustee Wiesenfeld, about whom he wrote:

Wiesenfeld, by the way, is not sure Palestinians are human given that they "worship death for their children."

He also quotes Kushner about his views on the American scene, writing:

Kushner told me he believes "there is a very significant change underway." Americans are realizing there is "a terrible need for a dose of debate" on Israel and that "silent acqiescence" to those "whose politics are based substantially on fantasy and theological wishes" is dangerous.

Silencing of debate on the country which is teeming with foreign news reporters? And let's recall, the other Tony that Kushner glorifies, Tony Judt, wasn't silenced, but was published in the prestigious New York Review of Books and republished (in a shorter version) in the Los Angeles Times.

If Cohen is concerned about silencing debate, he should ask himself: why did he consider little-known Weisenfeld's inconvenient views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict quotable, but those of Pulitzer-prize winning author Tony Judt not quotable? Cohen, please, publish Kushner's statements so they too will be subject to a genuine "dose of debate."

Posted by TS at May 17, 2011 03:12 AM


When Tony Kushner takes his Mediterranean cruise with the Hamas-supporting 'Armada'this summer, I suggest he and his friends proceed on to Gaza City, and hold a Gay Pride Parade.

Posted by: Art Victor at May 20, 2011 04:00 PM

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