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Tuesday: July 18, 2006

Juan Cole Gets It Right?

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:58 PM UTC

He does, in a way — a very small way –, but only inadvertently. One small portion of his very long post about events in Lebanon has been widely quoted: “there may be an element of ethnic cleansing in Israeli tactics”. Cole’s first two commenters — or at least the first two whose comments he approved — quote it, and both TigerHawk and Protein Wisdom single it out for bold-faced derision.

In all the discussion at these and other sites, no one seems to have mentioned that Israel has practiced ethnic cleansing in the recent past. Just a few months ago, they removed every single living Jew from the Gaza strip, many of them at gunpoint, along with some of the dead ones. The fact that the Palestinians of Gaza then went to a lot of trouble to repollute their ethnically pristine protostate by kidnapping an Israeli soldier and hauling him back across the border does not affect my point.

Of course, I don’t expect Juan Cole to denounce that kind of ethnic cleansing, or even to recognize it for what it is. As others have noted, Israelis who suggest expelling Muslims from Gaza, the West Bank, or even Israel proper are (quite rightly) considered extremists, Fascists, no better than beasts, but everyone assumes without argument that Muslims may quite properly expect territories to be rendered Judenrein before they are handed over. Perhaps one day we will see Palestinians protesting the imputation that they cannot be trusted not to kill any Jews left behind, and desecrate their graves, when the Israeli army withdraws from any particular place, but I’m not holding my breath.