Blogs > Cliopatria > Cole

May 3, 2006 6:16 pm


Andrew Sullivan has a run-down on the debate between Christopher Hitchens and a contender for a Yale professorship, Juan Cole, regarding recent remarks from Iran about Israel. Cole provided an interpretation of President Ahmadinejad's recent remarks that suggested the Iranians were criticizing only Israeli control of East Jerusalem, not calling for wiping Israel off the map.

Sullivan concludes:

Cole's rhetorical sleight of hand strikes me as deliberate deception, an attempt to deny the existence of a real genocidal evil in the world that Cole himself knows exists. Why? You decide. But Cole has exposed himself more brutally than Hitch ever could.

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Brian Ulrich - 5/4/2006

By the way, how does the NY Times count as "neutral" in this context? Cole was correcting the media's Persian, and, while I'm far from fluent, in my recent experiences reading BBC Persian on Afghanistan I've seen things that are just clear-cut, easy, definite errors in English-language reports.

Brian Ulrich - 5/4/2006

I dunno...I see the Persian the same way Cole does. The (seemingly bad) wire translation doesn't do anything with "Qods," which I interpret as a reference to Jerusalem. Furthermore, we seem to be getting this all out of context, and Cole's point is that Hitchens is using it to paint a false picture. I agree with Sullivan that Cole dug too low in his counterattack, however.

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