The horrific discovery of an abandoned truck holding the bodies of 71 dead Middle Eastern migrants along the border between Austria and Hungary made Juan Cole, a professor of Middle East studies, immediately think of . . . the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Martin Kramer writes:
[H]ow addled and obsessed must one be to use this event as a stick to beat Israel? About as addled and obsessed as Juan Cole, professor at the University of Michigan and popular blogger on the edge of the left. See as evidence [his blog post entitled], “Austrian Truck Tragedy Echoes Palestinian Story, Reminding Us of Seven Million Still-Stateless [Palestinians].” . . .
I won’t make an issue of the “seven million still-stateless” Palestinians. (The upper-end estimate is closer to five million.) And far be it from me to quibble with anyone’s free associations. But Cole tops off his with this statement, which purports to be historical: the Palestinians’ “home has been stolen from them by the Israelis and they were unceremoniously dumped on the neighbors or in the West Bank or in the Gaza Strip. They are stateless. They are the original truck people.” (My emphasis.)
This concluding dramatic flourish, identifying the Palestinians as “the original truck people,” jolted me. The first people made stateless, dispossessed, stripped of their humanity, and packed into sealed trucks where they died horribly, all in the very heart of Europe, were many thousands of Jewish victims of the Nazi extermination machine.