Why Thomas Friedman Hates Israel

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Thomas Friedman created a firestorm with his most recent NY Times article, “Newt, Mitt, Bibi, and Vladimir,” in which he intensifies his “friendly” assault on Israel.

Given the heightened concentration of poison in his already-toxic anti-Israel venom, it is necessary to contextualize Friedman’s latest attack on the Jewish state, to understand who Friedman is, the ideology he promotes, and how this shapes his views on, and actions towards, Israel.

Friedman is a self-professed “friend” to Israel only because Israel represents the ultimate litmus test of his “progressive” agenda. If only Israel could make peace with the Palestinians—should a glorious symphony be crafted out of Middle East chaos—then, to him, this would vindicate his far-Left ideology. If it can happen in Israel, then peace can be forged anywhere and everywhere. And this is Friedman’s goal, an objective which has come to define his being—the quest for trans-national, fully-integrated world peace, beginning with the “two state solution” in the Middle East, and then radiating outwards.

Given this perspective, it is not surprising that Friedman refers in his article to pseudo-dictator Vladimir Putin. He does so, ostensibly, to imply that Israel, led by Likud Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is transforming into authoritarian Russia, its democracy being undermined by “right-wing” elements. However, I propose a different, perhaps even subconscious reason to evoke Putin. In reality, for Friedman, the struggle to forge Israeli-Palestinian peace constitutes a type of ideological “Cold War,” with Israel playing the part of the former USSR. If only stubborn Israel would “democratize” (i.e. make peace with the Palestinians), then his Cold War—the battle against global turmoil, inequality, poverty, death and destruction—would be won, leaving in its wake a grand utopian village.

What Friedman fails to recognize, though, is that the real Cold War ended a long time ago—and the world is still an imperfect place. Moreover, Friedman has it backwards: in fact, it is the Palestinians that represent the “USSR” in his twisted analogy. Israel wants peace, has stated so many times, and, more importantly, has taken “bold,” tangible steps to achieve peace (see comprehensive proposals tabled to the Palestinians in 2000 and 2008, as well as the Gaza withdrawal in 2005). More concretely, Israel has already made peace with two Arab nations—when there was a real peace to be made. The Palestinians, on the other hand, fundamentally reject the notion. Whether it is preaching “death to Jews” to children in official PA schools and media, or the recent reunification between alleged “moderate” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, his Fatah party, and Hamas, Palestinians across the board unequivocally call for Israel’s demise, and overtly work towards that goal—by refusing to recognize the Jewish state’s legitimacy; by “de-Judaizing” Jerusalem by decimating archaeological sites while concurrently fabricating historical falsities to justify their claim to the holy city; by foregoing negotiations, and instead seeking a unilateral declaration of independence at the UN, etc.

Nevertheless, Friedman targets Israel uniquely, presumably since “the Jews should know better.” And this is where his elitism comes into play. According to Friedman, only Israel can make peace; the Palestinians, being “weak” non-entities cannot possibly be held accountable for their actions given Israel’s “supremacy.” Hence his obsession with Israeli policies and complete disregard for Palestinian belligerence.

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  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    The author (too) seriously and honestly examines the propagandist talking points of Friedman as though Friedman's position could have anything to do with the objective reality. Friedman represents the category of so called nothing-but-ethnic "Jews" in America akin to the infamous Soviet general Dragunskiy. (Dragunskiy was a show-Jew employed by Sovetskih for denouncing Zionism and Israel).

    The job of Friedman (ADL, and similar "friends" of Israel) is nothing but to deliberately divert the attention from the reality of the global islamic war on Israel and the West.

    • mlcblog

      Interesting. This has occurred to me from time to time also.

    • PhillipGaley

      Yes, "And this is where his elitism comes into play.". Thomas Friedman has no elitism, rather—if only to my eye—something about the similarity to NAZI scholars, his writing appears to be a product of Norse mythology, inevitably to "come up" with all of the half-baked and half-stirred, wrong answers because of weakness in psychological underpinnings.

      Also, "The job of Friedman"?
      To me, he appears as another of the kind of C. Hitchens type, who managed to carve out a living wage in controversial presentation—the source or rationale be damned—and for such controversy and criticism, the Joos becoming of a perennial substrate, . . .

  • SHmuelHaLevi

    Don Thomas is one akin to dinosaurs. The venemous types.
    We all certainly can go on and prosper w/o missing a wink if he is there or not.

  • mlcblog

    He acts toward Israel just as my brother does, condescending and hurtful, thinking he knows best for me, while all the time I have a life that he cannot or will not imagine. He is encouraged by his own intimidation and amused by his own cleverness, never checking in with other people who may have different views or with reality.

  • Elliott Alhadeff

    The author gives too much credit to Friedman's imagined integrity, that he as an agenday for "world peace." The only agenda dominating the "Friedmans" who rationalize criticisms of Israel by cherry-picking publicly reported irrelevant issues is fathfulness to the left that greases his palms. He's way too far entrenched and ideologically committed in anti-Israeli rhetoric to become, in even as single instance, favorable to Israel or to those who support its newly acquired rational of realism regarding future negotiations with Arabs who openly seek to destroy it as a nation and as a people.

    • Carl Sesar

      Friedman's integrity is indeed "imagined," as you say. But his ideological commitment to anti-Israel rhetoric is just as imagined. A visceral hatred of Israel, that's what his story is.

  • BS77

    He is NO journalist or objective reporter…no, he is another leftist propagandist with an agenda, and probably working orders coming directly from the establishment left…..i.e., maintain a continual, relentless campaign of writing to erode support for the nation of Israel , and the security of Israelis. Facts? Damn the facts. Keep up the lies. Friedman should be ashamed of himself….but, like they say, those who are truly brainwashed never know it.

  • Terry Traub

    Friedman spends much of his waking hours focusing laser-like attention on Israel, as though this one tiny country, a mere dot on the globe with only a few million population, is the source of all mankind's problems.

    The real reason for Friedman's hate speech is very simple: he's a member of a coterie of self-hating Jews that includes Chomsky, Soros, and a whole host of university professors. To prove that they are assimilated and not loyal in the slightest to the Jewish people, to gain acceptance by their fellow Left Wingers, they go out of their way to trash Israel (and, by extension, the Jews) whenever possible.

    That the New York Times gives this reprehensible man a regular outlet for his fringe ravings is merely more proof of that newspaper's long time bias. Even though many of its senior editors are New York Jews, the NYT has gone out of its way to downplay Jewish accomplishments, including and especially, the state of Israel.

    Fortunately, Israel is far too powerful and important to be damaged by these people. It is the one great ally of the U.S. in the Middle East, and in a world where we have few friends to begin with, we should at least be grateful for this one that has tried time and again to help us. Israel warned the U.S. about 9/11 months in advance; Israel warned the U.S. that Iran and not Iraq was the real regional threat. Israel shares its intel with the U.S. It's a one way street, especially when Democrats are in control, but even under the most friendly Republicans like Bush 2 and Reagan, Israel is dismissed as a troublemaker.

    Friedman should get a real job, and the Israel haters who support him (and there are a lot of them, to judge by the credulous, gushing comments on his columns) should get an education, or else move to a country that agrees with them, such as Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

  • steven l

    He must know better!

    • joe

      his favorite country is cina clean nonaggressive and abundantly free

  • crypticguise

    Very simply, Friedman is a friend of IslamoNazis. He supports those who would DESTROY Israel and the Jews. Friedman may have been born a Jew, but I suspect he is a Muslim IslamoFascist sympathizer.

    After all his conversion to Islam would be simple.

  • geoplaten

    I think it's your view that has it backwards, Mr. Bybezeler:

    Friedman knows the Palestinians are the USSR. He just thinks Israel – ie the US – should lose the Cold War; this would redeem his being on the losing side of the true Cold War.

    Friedman and his ilk are sick twisted people. They love their own perverse ideas; they can't bear to look at reality as it exists, for it completely repudiates all of their ideas.

  • Jim

    Way too much pipe weed Mr Friedman

    • ProudInfidel12

      Not everyone who smokes weed thinks the way Friedman does. Some can maintain their sanity while toking away! Just sayin' ;)

  • Anamah

    Respecting Jewishness Friedman has a polluted mind. He has lost any possibility to perceive the truth and reality. Little sample to taste it all Progressives alike.

  • kashaman

    The Jews have solved the problems of life for centuries with religious faith, group solidarity, and a better attitude toward outsiders than any other culture. We are the competion that irks all the idealists, from the ancient Greeks to the “community organisers. Hitler himself admitted he hated Jews because the Jew attempts and often succeeds at living by the Holy Torah, which teaches morality and altruism in a realistic way. Few others are so honest.
    By playing up any (imagined) shortcomings, the intellectuals and journalists create “news” and “research” of the “man bites dog” variety while smearing the competition. It’s a sound career decision. Happy Chanukah, with all that implies.

  • george a. way jr.

    when the blind lead the blind only "fools " follow" ( proverbs 8 : 34-36 ) , we are but dust and not really very good at that either !!!!!!!

  • Tyler

    uh, Thomas Friedman is definitely a right wing pro free market type of guy, a centrist these days perhaps given how far right the American right has gone. Definitely not a left wing extremist or a radical of any kind. The fact that EVEN this guy has said damn Israel is being pretty awful really tells you something.