"Israeli friends have been asking me whether a re-elected President Obama will take revenge on Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu for the way he and Sheldon Adelson, his foolhardy financier, openly backed Mitt Romney. My answer to Israelis is this: You should be so lucky.
You should be so lucky that the president feels he has the time, energy and political capital to spend wrestling with Bibi to forge a peace between Israelis and Palestinians."
"Wrestling with Bibi to forge a peace between Israelis and Palestinians"? Peculiar. In November 2009, Netanyahu acceded to Obama's request for a 10-month freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank. The Palestinians ignored the gesture.
To anchor his claims of Israeli obstinacy, Friedman quotes Israeli columnist Ari Shavit from Israel's struggling leftist newspaper, Haaretz:
"In the past, both the Zionist movement and the Jewish state were careful to be identified with the progressive forces in the world. ... But in recent decades more and more Israelis took to leaning on the reactionary forces in American society."
Oh really? Those nasty Israelis are leaning on "reactionary" Republican forces? As determined by Gallup earlier this year, a majority of Republicans, independents, and Democrats all view Israel favorably (http://www.gallup.com/poll/153092/americans-continue-tilt-pro-israel.aspx).
So what goes missing in Tom's renewed broadside against Israel?
- No mention by Friedman that almost a day doesn't go by without Iran threatening Israel with extinction.
- No mention by Friedman of the 50,000+ missiles being pointed by Hezbollah, Iran's surrogate in Lebanon, at Israel.
- No mention by Friedman of the quandary posed by massive stockpiles of chemical weapons amassed by the Assad regime in Syria. Also no mention that for the first time since 1973, mortar rounds have been fired from Syria into the Golan over recent days (see: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=291326).
- No mention by Friedman of recent attacks by Jihadists against civilian targets on Israel's border with Egypt.
- And of course, no mention by Friedman of the anti-tank missile fired yesterday from Gaza at an Israeli jeep and the subsequent missile and rocket bombardment of towns and cities in southern Israel (see: http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=291300).
Friedman concludes his opinion piece by observing:
"Don’t count on America to ride to the rescue. It has to start with you.
My president is busy."
Apparently unbeknownst to Friedman, Israel is fighting to stay alive in extremely difficult times, and long ago Israelis learned that they must rely on themselves and ignore bombastic journalists involving matters of self-preservation.