Sunday, April 6, 2014

Thomas Friedman vs. Israel

It’s a new low for Thomas Friedman.

I know, you didn’t think it possible, but today Friedman stoops to identify his own axis of evil, the forces in the world that are trying to destroy Israel.

He declares that the axis extends from Tehran to Las Vegas, from Ayatollah Khamenei to Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

For those who read the Times in order to know what to think and whom to hate, Friedman defames Adelson as a: “crude right-wing, pro-Israel extremist.”

Keep in mind that this extremist was supporting Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in the last presidential election, and now seems to have an affinity for Jeb Bush.

Friedman is willing to wager Israel’s future on the good will of the Palestinians, but he demonizes a man who has staunchly supported Israel:

Adelson personifies everything that is poisoning our democracy and Israel’s today — swaggering oligarchs, using huge sums of money to try to bend each system to their will.

For all the vitriol and vilification thrown at Sheldon Adelson, Friedman has nary a word to say about decades worth of Palestinian terrorism or about the affection that a previous generation of Palestinians felt for Adolph Hitler.

Let’s see. The ill-conceived Obama-Kerry peace initiative has gone the way of most Obama foreign policy initiatives. So, good Obama supporters need s scapegoat. Why not blame it on the Jew Adelson?

According to Tom Friedman, Adelson, a staunch supporter of Israel, is really undermining the nation. To quote the voluble and increasingly empty-headed Timesman, Adelson is “loving Israel to death,” while the Ayatollah Khamenei is “hating Israel to death.”

Friedman believes that Adelson, who has no real political power, is preventing Israel from surrendering more territory to the Palestinians. Why so? Because he’s a Republican and has no influence whatever over the decisions of the Obama administration, the Palestinian Authority or Hamas.

You see, Friedman believes that the “occupation” has worked in Iran’s favor. It has caused the world see Israel as a colonialist power, one that has flatly rejected a policy of unconditional surrender.

In his words:

By supporting Palestinian militants dedicated to destroying any peace process, Tehran hopes to keep Israel permanently mired in the West Bank and occupying 2.7 million Palestinians, denying them any statehood and preventing the emergence of a Palestinian state that might recognize Israel and live in peace alongside it. The more Israel is stuck there, the more Palestinians and the world will demand a “one-state solution,” with Palestinians given the right to vote. The more Israel resists that, the more isolated it becomes.

If you haven’t noticed yet, you will see that Friedman puts the onus entirely on the side of the Israelis. His is blame-the-Jews thinking. He barely even mentions the fact that the Palestinian authorities do not even recognize Israel’s existence.

You see, if only the Israelis ended their occupation, the Palestinians would naturally want to recognize Israel and live in peace. The Israelis, Friedman declares are:

… denying [the West Bank Palestinians]any statehood and preventing the emergence of a Palestinian state that might recognize Israel and live in peace alongside it. 

How many people honestly believe that a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank will elicit anything other than a Palestinian demand for more Israeli territory?

By positing a rosy scenario of what “might” happen, Friedman is, yet again, playing the fool.

Naturally, Friedman blames the anti-Semitic BDS movement on the Israelis.

The fault, in his thinking, always lies with the Jews:

The result [of the occupation] is a growing movement on college campuses and in international organizations to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish state because of this occupation. This “B.D.S. movement” — to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel — is gaining adherents not only among non-Jews on American campuses but even within some Hillels, campus Jewish centers.

One might notice that this movement would perhaps not be quite so widespread if people like Friedman were not so happy to grant it legitimacy. One might even imagine that the Palestinians might be less recalcitrant if they did not know that Tom Friedman has their back.

Here’s some more blame-the-Jews thinking from Friedman:

The more Israel sinks into the West Bank, the more it is delegitimized and isolated, the more the world focuses on Israel’s colonialism rather than Iran’s nuclear enrichment, the more people call for a single democratic state in all of historic Palestine.

Obviously, Friedman does not remember—or he simply fails to mention—that Israel did withdraw from Gaza, unilaterally. The international community happily stood by while Gazans voted for a government led by Hamas. The result: Hamas and other terrorist groups have been using Gaza to launch rockets and missiles into Israel.

Friedman does not see that unilateral withdrawal is invariably read as a sign of weakness. He does not recognize that his favorite president, Barack Obama, has given legitimacy to Israel-haters the world over, by siding with the Palestinians and by demanding concessions only of the Israelis.

Friedman pays lip service to the failure of Palestinian leadership and to the boundless enmity toward Israel. But, by suggesting that Israel surrender, he is telling the Palestinians that they need but wait it out.

Friedman concludes with a call for appeasement:

I don’t know if Israel has a Palestinian partner for a secure withdrawal from the West Bank, or ever will. But I know this: If Israel wants to remain a Jewish, democratic state, it should be doing everything it can to nurture such a partner or acting unilaterally to get out. 

He ought to know that Israel does not have a partner for a secure withdrawal from the West Bank. That much is clear to anyone who does not harbor an animus against Israel.

Besides, what is Friedman’s plan for the 350,000 Jews who now live on the West Bank? You don’t really think that they will be welcome in a West Bank Palestine?


Anonymous said...

A new low for Tom Friedman? I didn't know that was possible, Charlie...


n.n said...

Perhaps the Jordanians have forgiven Palestinian aggression. Friedman should offer to moderate their reconciliation.

Anonymous said...

The Western left (very much including the Jewish left) has endlessly indulged the Palestinians in their corruption, violence, and inflexibility. It is no surprise that Abbas is not willing to play along - the Palestinians have nothing to gain and everything to lose by "peace" with Israel. Endless conflict means endless Western largesse and the possibility that in the future the balance of forces will be in their favour. Fools like Kerry and the left will never understand this and so the game goes on and on and on....

Sam L. said...

Tommy "Chinese" Friedman--a thoroughly progressive leftist, or non-clinically insane? I vote both.