Yes We Cohen!
Prominent politico forges Dutch Third Way
The New York Times Magazine—a weekly magazine of Jewish life and culture—profiles Job Cohen, the longtime former Amsterdam mayor now leading his Labor Party into the Netherlands’s June 9 elections. His parents hid from the Nazis and his grandparents were killed at Bergen-Belsen, and he is “in many ways a traditional European leftist.” But he has forsaken the European left’s typical (and bankrupt) multiculturalism, instead—like several charismatic left-wing Boomer politicians before him—crafting a Third Way “for mainstream parties on the Continent to successfully combat the swelling tide of populist, anti-immigrant voices” like that of Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party. (Perhaps Cohenism is the sort of thing author Paul Berman has in mind?)
Says author Russell Shorto:
Some see in Cohen’s rise the possibility of a new Dutch society, and with it perhaps a hint of how new national identities could form in Europe. In what would be confirmation of the worst fears of a Wilders, the new identity prototype has an inclusiveness that inverts the centuries-old formula. As the Jew and the Turk stood side by side with their fellow candidates—which included a good mix of other ethnicities as well as native Dutch—Cohen proclaimed, “This is the Netherlands!”
Read the whole thing. And, of course, check out the Yes We Cohen! Facebook group.
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