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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Comments

Tom Massey

I am not sure that Juan Cole is an expert on the Middle East (has he published serious papers on the subject in peer-reviewed journals?)

In fact, about a year ago I challenged his 'explanation' of Palestinian terrorism:

"Imagine if a foreign power forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of Israelis into refugee camps. Wouldn't that provoke significant terrorism on the part of the displaced? (Voila, you have the Palestinian radical groups)"

and he revealed ignorance of basic facts about Israel.

Massey to Cole:

No need to 'imagine': it was precisely the fate of hundreds of thousands of Jews kicked out of Arab countries half a century ago. 'Voila', you don't have Jewish 'radical groups'.

Tom Massey
London N1

Cole to Massey:


Dear Tom:

The Sephardim have been the most hardline and hawkish of the Israelis and a core of the Likud. They can engage in state terrorism, so don’t need to form the private equivalent.

Cheers Juan

Massey to Cole:

The Sephardim in 1950s Israeli refugee camps couldn't be 'a core of the Likud' even if they were itching to 'engage in state terrorism': Likud didn't exist until 1973. They didn't support Herut or other Likud's predecessors either; for two decades those 'most hardline and hawkish of the Israelis' voted overwhelmingly Mapai and its successor.
Even their support for Likud in 1977 had little to do with Arabs; it was a snub to the Labour Ashkenazi elite.

Dude, I mean - voila again.

Tom Massey
London N1

Cole to Massey:

Yeah, yeah, the Sephardim in Israel are the most open minded people you could ever find about the Arabs and have never fought them; and Israel is a perfect example of how you can walk all over people and they'll just lie down and take it, as you want the Palestinians to do.

And you're always right so what's the point?

JRIC

Massey to Cole:

"... so what's the point?"

Slanderers of Israel feed their hatred on lies

Tom Massey
London N1

End of correspondence

John Burgess

Cole's academic expertise lies in the area of Shi'a studies. On that subject, he's very, very good--though I've argued with him on a few points. Once he gets beyond that, though, his opinion is no more informed than that of anyone who's spent a long time working the Middle East, i.e., somewhat.

mikek

Didn't Cole claim that the Sept. 11 attacks were a response to the jenin "massacre"? If so, that's the sort of expert I would pay serious attention to.

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