Roger Cohen needs a bunny to boil
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Roger Cohen needs a bunny to boil


Roger Cohen, the in-house Iran apologist at the New York Times, tells Philip Weiss that Marty Peretz "has developed an obsession with me that seems to hold no bounds," in reference to this post.

Peretz makes triumphalist after discovering that Cohen is showing up only online and not in the dead tree edition; he should have checked before posting. Cohen has always been restricted to online readers; his appearances in the print edition have been the exception.

That doesn’t keep Peretz from getting in a dig:

He adds nothing to the discourse except a certain false innocence. Of course, maybe it’s not false. Does that make it better?

Cohen gets his own back in his reply, via Mondoweiss:

Nothing has changed of late, but Peretz has developed an obsession with me that seems to hold no bounds.

Obsession? What, then, to make of Cohen’s vicious jones for Jeffrey Goldberg?

Just a couple of weeks ago, he called Goldberg a "faithful stenographer" for Benjamin Netanyahu, although he surely knows that Goldberg has been scathing in his criticism of the new government as well as the military actions and settlement policies that exercise Cohen.

What’s bugging Cohen, of course. is Goldberg’s sensible – and civil – criticism of Cohen’s mortifying and monomaniacal* foray into "The Iranians like me, they really like me, therefore they must like all Jews" territory.

This is what Cohen said:

Perhaps I have a bias toward facts over words, but I say the reality of Iranian civility toward Jews tells us more about Iran — its sophistication and culture — than all the inflammatory rhetoric.That may be because I’m a Jew and have seldom been treated with such consistent warmth as in Iran.

And this is what Goldberg countered:

Warmth, civility, hospitality and friendliness are the hallmarks of most Muslim societies I’ve visited. I have been in many places — in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Gaza, Iraq and Iran — where people absolutely hate Israel, absolutely hate "International Jewry," and hate the Talmud, or what they think is in the Talmud. But people in these places have been almost uniformly kind to me as a visiting Jewish reporter (and they almost always know, right from the outset, that I’m Jewish, because it’s not something I ever hide).

It’s a reasonable point, but weeks later, it apparently still has the power to drive the spittle from in between Cohen’s gritted teeth.

Rog, let he who casts the first bunny first deal with his own inner Glenn Close.

*I’m not so civil.