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With a short but very revealing comment in his New York Times editorial of December 14, 2011, author, commentator, journalist and widely accepted expert on Middle East affairs Thomas Friedman exposed himself, probably unintentionally, as a spokesperson for the standard Arab propaganda’s anti-Israel mendacious screed.
Commenting on the 29 standing ovations that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received from a joint meeting of the US Congress during his speech on May 24, 2011, Friedman wrote:
I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.
“….bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.” Huh?
ABC News did not think so, describing the speech as having “all the trappings of a State of the Union address by a president with sky-high approval ratings,” and the 29 spontaneous interruptions with wild applause as a “thunderous bi-partisan response…[to what was]…a clear challenge to… [Obama’s] idea of using the 1967 boundaries…as a basis for a peace deal.”
It is beyond risible that any lobby, Israeli or otherwise, could ever buy almost all of our congresspersons; or that such a lobby might be able to orchestrate such a thunderous, bi-partisan response, and make it look spontaneous; or that such a feat of theatrics could be repeated 29 times during one speech, with the avid participation of many congresspersons whose voting constituencies have few or no Jews. But that is what Friedman tells us, and Prime Minister Netanyahu, that we should believe.
There can be little doubt that many Arab leaders, political, intellectual, or terrorist, desperately wish to countervail the strong American popular support for Israel, as revealed in past Gallop Polls showing that American public support for the Jewish State is stronger now than at any time since the first Gulf War (see here and here), and in the recent poll commissioned by CAMERA showing deep support for Israel in broader American Jewish society.
The Congressional response to Netanyahu reflects similar sentiments, and this must surely be even more alarming to the proponents of Arab anti-Israel propaganda. But does Friedman share that alarm? If so, why? If not, why make such an outrageously insulting and transparently nonsensical accusation about our Congress?
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