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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thomas Friedman, "My President Is Busy": Let the Israel Bashing Begin

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "My President Is Busy" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/11/opinion/sunday/friedman-president-obama-is-busy.html?_r=0), would-be Middle East expert Thomas Friedman (he actually knows quite a bit about "rugs") writes from his Maryland mansion:

"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.



3 comments:

  1. Nobody of any decency is at NYT, but Friedman is particularly repulsive.
    This guy reminds me how prostitutional journalism is. I didn't read any of his so called books, but I read two of his columns (many, many, many years ago) and I didn't understand how this comically bad writer (pompous and demagogic), could become a celebrated and rewarded journalist. The following years brought an explanation - he became so the same way Soviet journalists became celebrated and rewarded - by being scoundrels.
    Again, when there is no conscience, everything is possible.

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  2. Before the election, we were told that Obama was the best-ever president for Israel. Now Friedman would have us know that Obama is too busy for Israel.

    Oh what a difference a week makes . . .

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  3. Tom Friedman is an entertaining writer. He hardly ever knows what he's talking about but he sure can be entertaining. That's why he got all those prizes (and money). "I pity the fools" who believe him or rely on his conclusions, though. He's so wrong on most of his facts and conclusions that he's even funny to people who don't agree with him!

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