One chapter in the saga of Stanley Cohen has closed, another started.

Cohen was to report today to prison to begin serving his 18 month sentence, the result of a plea bargain, for concealing and failing to report large cash transactions and failing to file income tax returns for several years.

Cohen pledged during his criminal case that he would rather serve 18 months than dine with a Zionist.

Twitter - @StanleyCohenLaw - Rather serve 18 mos than dine with Zionist

Cohen left for prison with his supporters singing the tune that he was a political prisoner.  Cohen still sees himself that way as well, with the last tweet from his Twitter account, as of this writing, showing him sharing the claim that he’s a political prisoner:

https://twitter.com/mayasdreams/status/552325601328373760

On January 5, 2015, Cohen issued a statement via Twitter, ending with these words:

Pray for Palestine and Bless the Resistence. Up the Rebels everywhere. They cannot stop us.

https://twitter.com/StanleyCohenLaw/status/552297810222407681

When he blesses the “Resistence,” he means Hamas, to whom he remains loyal as reflected in this recent Jewish Forward profile:

Meanwhile, Cohen’s own personal loyalties remain unabashedly with Hamas, a group designated by the United States and Israel as a terrorist organization.

The wisecracking attorney, who was raised in a moderately observant Jewish family in Westchester County, New York, today describes himself as an atheist and an anarchist, but is still proudly Jewish culturally and socially. So, what exactly is the attraction for him of this violent, authoritarian, conservative religion-focused, sexist and anti-gay group with a founding charter widely denounced as anti-Semitic — whatever he thinks of Israel?

Dismissing this question as one “worthy of Likud,” Cohen replied: “Does Hamas have strong religious ties? Yes. Is it a group that believes in Islamic tenets? Yes.” But first and foremost, he stressed: “I see Hamas as fundamentally a national liberation movement. I see their progressive work and their social services in the Palestinian population.”

Though he used to see “winning Israeli hearts and minds” as a prime task to end the occupation, Cohen said, the events of the past year or two have disabused him of that.

“I’ll take [Hamas’s] politics any day over a Tel Aviv leftist who sees marching in a gay pride parade as the political event of the year,” he said.

Jessica Shulberg at The New Republic has an excellent profile of Cohen, for which I was interviewed.  The title plays off of Cohen’s mocking self-description,  Today, the “World’s Number One Self-Hating Jew” Goes to Jail:

Not everyone is buying Cohen’s grandiose claims of political persecution. William Jacobson, a clinical professor at Cornell Law and blogger at Legal Insurrection, recently wrote, “The evidence [of tax evasion] was overwhelming, to put it mildly. When Cohen entered his plea last April, he admitted that the government could prove its case.”

After Cohen was denied further delay in his sentencing, he tweeted that the “judge denies it hour before he receives governments answer.”

“Must be more of that Zionist conspiracy,” Jacobson wrote.

Cohen also left for prison with the image of two Hamas founders and leaders, both killed by the Israelis, Sheik Ahmed Yassin and Ismail Abu Shanab. [See featured image taken from Cohen’s Twitter account and website.]

So what’s next for Stanley Cohen?

He’ll try to rehabilitate his law license, and go back to being “Hamas’ lawyer.”

There’s a petition for him to be pardoned. Who knows?