The Transformation of Roger Cohen


The emergence of The New York Times’ Roger Cohen as a vital progressive Jewish voice on issues related to Israel has been something that’s very much surprised me over the past year. This interesting article in New York Jewish Week helpsput it into some context:

“Something did break in me at the time of the Gaza attack” last winter, he said. “I couldn’t see the strategy behind” Israel’s military moves, “and I was appalled at the extent of the loss of life” among Gazans. […] “The great operative word” among Palestinians now is “humiliation,” Cohen said. “Whether or not it’s desired, that’s the effect. And it’s not good for the Palestinians, the Israelis or the Jewish soul.” […] “No degree of suffering gives you an eternal passport to ride roughshod over another people,” he said.

For me, I think the equivalent moment came during the attack on Lebanon in 2006, but the impulse is similar.