Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dr. Charles Cogan Stretches It

Dr. Charles G. Cogan recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post which, at first glance, is very short. Upon further glances, it is also quite wrong. I find that it is a pretty good example of what happens when the misleading realities about the Palestine Papers. Dr. Cogan presents what he calls "the problem:"
"The West Bank government of Salam Fayyad has control over only 40 per cent of the West Bank. The remaining 60 per cent, the so-called "Area C", is under exclusive Israeli control. Nevertheless, Fayyad has stated that the Palestinian state must include the entire West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, in other words, the borders of 1967 before the Six Day War (presumably with equitable land swaps to incorporate those settlements close to the Border (the Green Line) into Israel)."
This is not telling us anything that we don't already know. So the Israelis will have to withdraw in order for the Palestinians to have as much of the West Bank as possible. But according to Dr. Cogan, this is impossible. Why?
"It would seem very doubtful that the Israeli Government would agree to Fayyad's terms for a peace settlement, especially given the Israelis' intransigence in the face of the Palestinians' flexibility in the 2008 negotiations, as revealed by al-Jazeera earlier this week. The Israelis, then, might continue to stall and feint, paying occasional lip-service to the idea of a two-state solution while letting the 40 per cent of the West Bank continue to develop."
 Now, I'm not sure if Dr. Cogan had actually read the Palestine Papers but if he had then he would have noticed that it was not the 40 per cent or the 60 per cent or even the 80 percent with which he took issue. It was that the Palestinians were floating some acceptance of Israeli settlements while calling for too much ethnic cleansing of the others. Nor was it actual Palestinian flexibility, as indicated by the reaction of both the Palestinian people and the Palestinian government to the papers, but more of a candid discussion. It strikes me as a little dishonest to spin the PPs as cold inflexible Israelis versus flexible Palestinians, but complete honesty is a rare thing in the Huffington Post blogger stable.

This is especially true with Dr. Cogan's fellow blogger Hisham Wyne, who declared that:
"They [the Palestinians] are merely fighting for survival, trying to claim fragments of land they can call home."
 Funny how one blogger can say that the Palestinians are fighting to survive, then immediately contradict himself and then say they are fighting for land. It's also funny how a different blogger on the same day at the same website can say that they are fighting for all of the land to which they believe they are entitled, instead of just "fragments." I guess it just goes to show that we don't really know what the motivations of the Palestinians are. Maybe someday a leaked document will tell us, but I wouldn't count on it.


  1. "we don't really know what the motivations of the Palestinians are. Maybe someday a leaked document will tell us"

  2. How would Israel "survive" without any land?

    "Survival" and land are inextricable - fool.

  3. Hey Anonymous, I'm surviving perfectly fine, and I don't own any land. Maybe you should spend a little more time thinking critically and little less time trolling.

  4. Masybe you should consider the question.

    How would Israel survive without land?


  5. May I weigh in?

    "Israel" is a country. "Palestine" is a country. Countries need land to exist.

    Jews are people. Palestinians are people. People need water, food, shelter and clothing to live. Not land. The Palestinians do not need land to survive.


  6. If you are going to make thaqt preposterous claim (where do the water, food and shelter come from if not land?) the Jews don't need land to survive either - which kinda blows the entire Zionist project out of the water.


Hey guys we've started to employ a slight comment policy. We used to have completely open comments but then people abused it. So our comment policy is such: No obvious trolling or spamming. And be warned: unlike the Huffington Post we actually enforce our comment policy.