“Truth Matters: The Era of Fake News” Qatar National Library will host the Zionist journalist Roger Cohen, a New York Times columnist, to participate in a panel discussion on what constitutes false news and the difference between it and media propaganda and misinformation. Cohen identifies himself as a Zionist who believes in the existence of the occupying state as a homeland that should call for freedom, justice and peace.
Cohen dreams of a bi-national secular state, in return, he denies the right of the Palestinian people to sovereignty over all of their land. Cohen says that the “proposed Palestinian state” occupied a portion of the land, which it later lost, calling it “the ambition of annihilation is a recipe for Palestinian defeatism,” and that “the pursuit of all the land, together with its associated “right of return”, is a form of permanent oppression that has created about 4.7 million Palestinian refugees,” he said. Here we affirm that the Palestinian cause isn’t a cold war between two opposing powers, but this system is a colonial system, and this is “the truth that interests us all”!
The essence of normalization is only to break the barrier of hostility with the Zionist entity and accept it as a reality as Cohen advocates in his writings, which tries to legitimize the existence of the Zionist occupation, for example, Cohen argues that Palestinians should give up the right of return in return for “Israeli abandonment” as a painful concessions for both sides.
Roger believes that the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza have the right to self-determination, but the Palestinian refugees do not have the right of return, perhaps because they are concerned about the “the end of Israel as a Jewish state.”. This is not simply a point of view that Cohen has adopted, but rather this constitutes imposing the Zionist narrative and vision by trying to dismiss the resistance and reproduce a misleading narrative about the Palestinian cause.
The attempt to remove the hostility with the Zionist entity requires the deconstructing and reconstructing many notions and concepts about the Palestinian cause, and the purpose of the cultural boycott is to block any attempts to legitimize the occupation in any form. Cohen criticizes the Zionist entity, weeps for the victims and dreams of peace, but at the same time defends the Zionist presence, which in fact poses the greatest threat to the Palestinian people.
We call on the Qatar National Library not to give a platform for Zionist journalists and to respect the principles and values of the Qatari society, which is still, and will always be standing by the Palestinian cause. It should also be noted that the Qatar Youth Group Against Normalization did get in touch with the management at the library and asked them not to host Cohen, the response was that the context of hosting him through his work as a journalist is separate from his opinions on the Zionist occupation and his political views in general, and this is not acceptable because QNL has a moral and ethical duty to promote community values and not to go against the will of the people of Qatar, who have time and time again expressed their support to boycott and anti-normalization efforts
Finally, we cannot isolate politics from the context of what is written by Roger Cohen, who tries to dilute the existence of the Zionist entity through his work as a journalist. We also stress that the management of the Qatar “National” Library did not care at all about what was mentioned by the Qatar Youth Group Against Normalization and the need to respect Qatari society and find an immediate alternative to the Zionist Cohen. The administration can revoke Cohen’s hosting, or find an alternative, but these calls were ignored even after repeated attempts to clarify and affirm the position of the state and society of Zionism, and therefore we pose the question, how “national” can we consider the Qatar National Library to be?