Four Days to the Penn BDS Conference » ADL Blogs
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January 31, 2012 6

Four Days to the Penn BDS Conference

In advance of this weekend’s BDS con­fer­ence at the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, we are high­light­ing five of the most anti-Israel indi­vid­u­als sched­uled to speak at the conference.

Num­ber 4: Helena Cobban
Today we pro­file Helena Cob­ban, an anti-Israel writer, pub­lisher and the for­mer exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Coun­cil for the National Inter­est, an orga­ni­za­tion that reg­u­larly sends del­e­ga­tions of its sup­port­ers to meet with Hamas and Hezbol­lah rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Mid­dle East.
Cob­ban con­sis­tently tries to por­tray Israel as the only guilty party in the con­flict and has alleged that Israel’s mil­i­tary engages in “vol­un­tary eth­nic cleans­ing” of the Pales­tini­ans. In Jan­u­ary 2009, shortly after the Gaza War ended, Cob­ban spoke at an event at George­town Uni­ver­sity where she harshly crit­i­cized Israel and Israelis, say­ing she can’t believe “how stu­pid Israelis are” and claimed that Israelis are “inca­pable of empa­thy and com­pas­sion for other people.”

 

  • Anony­mous

    inca­pable of empa­thy and com­pas­sion for other people.”

    Is there any evi­dence, that she said that? Or did you just made it up to defame her? I wouldn’t be surprised.

  • Anony­mous

    Cob­ban is a sad, bit­ter woman who for years has railed against Israel
    and all Jew­ish peo­ple who dis­agree with her on the sub­ject of Israel.
    She iden­ti­fies her­self as a Quaker and appears to be respected in some Quaker cir­cles as a knowl­edge­able and fair-minded advo­cate of peace in the Mid­dle Eat, but her volu­mi­nous writ­ing over the years is full of fawn­ing and even wor­ship­ful ref­er­ences to the lead­ers of the PLO, Syria, Hamas, Hezbol­lah and Iran. A key to under­stand­ing her ani­mus against Israel and Jews can be found in the numer­ous ref­er­ences in her writ­ings to Mid­dle East ana­lysts such as Den­nis Ross and Mar­tin Indyk whom she char­ac­ter­izes as unfairly receiv­ing the respect and atten­tion that she deserves. She is worth read­ing from time to time, if only to be reminded how intractable and single-minded many “pro­gres­sive” lib­er­als have become on the sub­ject of Israel.
    As just one small exam­ple of this,
    con­sider the fact that Cob­ban is today appear­ing at a con­fer­ence urg­ing, among other non­sen­si­cal things, a boy­cott of hum­mus made
    in Israel; this, at a time, when
    blood is run­ning in the streets of
    Syria at the insti­ga­tion of the
    dic­ta­tor Assad, a man whom she has admired in print for years.

    If a fanatic on the sub­ject of Israel can be defined as a per­son who gets up in the morn­ing and goes to bed at night hat­ing the idea of Israel as a Jew­ish State and spends all of her time in-between look­ing for new ways to find fault with it — even as she goes on yearn­ing for its ear­li­est pos­si­ble demise –then Cob­ban is one.

  • Anony­mous

    It would be nice if the ADL didn’t, you know, just make crap up willy nilly. Not that there are black peo­ple, His­panic peo­ple, Arab peo­ple etc. that need actual pro­tec­tion from actual defama­tion and racism in the United States, no… what the ADL needs to focus on is pro­tect­ing Israel instead of Amer­i­can citizens!

    Do your­self a favor and look up “fifth col­umn” on Wiki. Oh here, Let me help you with that…

  • Anony­mous

    Don’t take Cob­ban too seri­ously.
    She’s a crank, noth­ing more, albeit
    a heavy duty one, and her few fol­low­ers lack jobs and girl friends.

  • Anony­mous

    Her fol­low­ers lack jobs and girl friends.” What are you, like, four­teen years old?

  • Anony­mous

    Oh to be 14 again! I’m 76 actu­ally, in which time I’ve had the oppor­tu­nity to observe many polit­i­cal naifs like the sad and trou­bled Cob­ban devo­tees — of which I hope you are not one — who, almost invari­ably, do lack jobs, girl friends and com­mon sense. But don’t take my word for it. Just visit her web­site and read what passes for com­ments up there. You’ll soon see what I mean.
    By the way, you quoted me incor­rectly. I said she has FEW fol­low­ers. You can check that out on her web­site also.