Posted: Feb 2, 2012 at 9:49 AM [Feb 2, 2012]
Ann Arbor, MI – On the evening of Monday, Feb. 6, 2012, at 6pm, Roger Cohen, columnist for the International Herald Tribune and New York Times, will speak at the University of Michigan. His talk—“Israeli Spring? The Enduring Jewish Question”—will ask how close, 63 years after the founding of the Jewish state, has Israel conformed to its founding ideals.
“Israel,” explains Cohen, “by giving Jews at last a small piece of earth, was supposed to create what Ben Gurion called ‘a self-sufficient people, master of its own fate,’ rather than one ‘hung up in midair.’ This was to be the resolution at last of the Jewish Question. After the millennia of marginalization,” he continues, “after the pits in the Lithuanian forests and Auschwitz and Dachau, it was supposed to end Jewish precariousness, Jewish annihilation angst – the inner ‘exile’ of the Jew. Know your history, be proud of your history, end Jewish meekness and humiliation, the acquiescence that took your forbears to the ditches and the gas: that was Israel’s message.”
The lesson of strength, coupled with that of tolerance declared in the Founding Charter of 1948, are what Cohen will discuss during this talk.
[Roger Cohen joined The New York Times in 1990. He was a foreign correspondent for more than a decade before becoming acting foreign editor on Sept. 11, 2001, and foreign editor six months later. Since 2004, he has written a column for The Times-owned International Herald Tribune, first for the news pages and then, since 2007, for the Op-Ed page. In 2009 he was named a columnist of The New York Times.
Cohen has written Hearts Grown Brutal: Sagas of Sarajevo (Random House, 1998), an account of the wars of Yugoslavia's destruction, and Soldiers and Slaves: American POWs Trapped by the Nazis' Final Gamble (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005). He has also co-written a biography of General Norman Schwarzkopf, In the Eye of the Storm (Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1991).]
Cohen’s lecture will be held in the Rogel Ballroom of the Michigan Union, located at 530 South State Street in Ann Arbor, MI. This talk is part of a symposium on “Up Against a Wall: Israel in a Changing Middle East,” organized by Sarai Aharoni, the Schusterman Visiting Lecturer at the University of Michigan. For more information, email JudaicStudies@umich.edu or visit http://www.lsa.umich.edu/judaic/.