Richard Cohen, in an article about the dilution of the charge of anti-Semitism, writes the following:
[...concerning] the current, ahistorical context for Israel. For many, [Israel] is no longer the orphaned waif of the Holocaust [#1] but the bastard child of Western colonialism [#2].
- Semantics: does 'orphaned waif' just mean orphaned orphan? Come to think of it, doesn't 'bastard child' really just mean bastard?
- Logic: aren't #1 and #2 completely compatible? Can't the state of Israel be both a product of the holocaust (a response to its horrors) and Western colonialism (a creation of its errors and crimes)?
- History: why would thinking of Israel primarily through the lens of #2 be ahistorical compared to thinking about it through lens #1 – doesn't he have it exactly backwards? Doesn't the history of colonialism give a broader and deeper context for understanding the plight of European Jews and the creation of the Israeli state? Isn't the simplistic idea that Jews were 'given' the state of Israel as some sort of 'compensation' for the Holocaust a more ahistorical way of looking at the situation? Isn't this the view that extracts from history and context, the view that considers the situation as crime and recompense in a timeless, ahistorical sense?