A fine opinion piece

A fine opinion piece

Richard Cohen’s April 21 piece in the Washington Post should be required reading for those who try to advocate for Israel in the face of misinformation and downright lies.

He cannily repackages information from the just-released Human Rights Watch report:

“Some residents of Gaza were taken from their homes and shot in the legs or feet. Some were brutally beaten, and some were simply murdered, sometimes after hideous torture. If you are expecting – based on everything that has happened – that the awful Israelis did this, guess again. It was Hamas, the authentic and genuine government of Gaza. Well, no one’s perfect.”

According to the report, he notes, “‘Hamas security forces or masked gunmen believed to be with Hamas’ executed 18 people, most of whom were accused of collaborating with Israel, sparing the expense and bother of a trial. Others were shot, maimed or beaten … for belonging to the opposition political party, Fatah.”

That’s a slap in the eye for the woolly-eyed, who want to believe that a democratically elected government (which, alas, Hamas appears to have been) must by nature be democratic.

“You can only imagine,” he writes, “what would happen if Israel dealt with its internal political enemies or dissenters in such a fashion….

“No doubt the Human Rights Watch report will be ignored or dismissed in the greater cause of demonizing Israel….

“Read the Hamas charter,” he urges. “It is not some uplifting cry of a downtrodden people seeking its freedom but a repellent anti-Semitic screed. It sees the Jews behind every major world event since the storming of the Bastille: ‘They were behind the French revolution, the communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions . . . for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests.’ The Rotary? The Lions? Why not Welcome Wagon?”

Read the whole piece – it can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/20/AR2009042002815.html.

And read the comments as well – but be warned: Most of them will make you very angry.