Thomas Friedman — at Home in a Middle Eastern Mob

P. David Hornik is a freelance writer and translator living in Beersheva and author of the book Choosing Life in Israel. 


Pages: 1 2

And if Israelis turned their eyes from their neighbor to the southwest to their neighbor to the north, Lebanon, the picture was also something less than inspiring. On Wednesday Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Hezbollah terror organization, threatened in a ceremony in Beirut to take over the Galilee in the event of another war with Israel.

“I’m telling the Zionist commanders and generals,” he said, “wherever you go, anywhere in the world and at any time, you always need to look out, because Imad Mugniyeh’s blood has not been spilled in vain”—referring to the terror master assassinated by Israel in Damascus in 2008.

Israelis can remember another “Arab spring” not long ago—in Beirut in 2005. Then too democracy protesters—many of them undoubtedly authentic—thronged the streets and succeeded in getting Hezbollah’s ally Syria to withdraw its army from Lebanon. But today Lebanon is very much in the grip of Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, and tens of thousands of Hezbollah missiles cover every inch of Israel.

One does not have to be Israeli—just intelligently sympathetic—to understand that such experiences dispose Israelis to caution about purported transformations in the Middle East. Intelligently sympathetic, and a good deal less arrogant than Thomas Friedman.

And what about Israel’s neighbor to the east, Jordan—with which, like Egypt, it signed a peace treaty, this one in 1994?

Some rather unpleasant winds blew from that direction, too, this week when Jordan’s new justice minister Hussein Mjali called for the release from a Jordanian prison of Ahmed Daqamseh—a Jordanian who murdered seven 11-year-old Israeli schoolgirls in 1997.

Mjali had been appointed by King Abdullah a week earlier “in a shakeup,” the Jerusalem Post noted in a stinging editorial, “geared to stem protests inspired by Egypt’s turmoil” and “facilitate greater democratic freedoms.” But

the fact that Mjali, who served as Daqamseh’s attorney during his trial, could be appointed minister of justice in the first place raises gave questions…. It would have been no great surprise that he’d be the blusterous chief speaker at a demonstration [pictured here] for Daqamseh’s release.

For now Jordanian officials have told Israel that there are no plans to free Daqamseh—even though “Jordan’s powerful Islamist movement and the country’s 14 trade unions, comprising over 200,000 members, relentlessly campaign for [his] release.”

Thomas Friedman, of course, does not live in a country surrounded by neighbors where journalists are beaten and sexually abused by a mob of “democracy supporters,” where a terror potentate threatens invasion and conquest, or where much of the population is enamored of a mass child-murderer. How much easier to visit the Middle East for a jaunt, hobnobbing with the Facebook and Twitter-savvy youth in Tahrir Square, and direct one’s bile at Israel.

At least Thomas Friedman fits in.

Pages: 1 2

  • muchiboy

    "At least Thomas Friedman fits in."

    In contrast to Friedman fitting in,it seems equally obvious that Zionist Israel does not fit in,anymore then Apartheid South Africa nor racial Rhodesia did not fit in.Maybe 2,000 years ago,but not today,not without significant change,which Israel seems unable to accommodate.Pity.muchiboy

    • StephenD

      You're right. Israel takes up too much space in the Mid-East. Being the largest land owners and preaching a vile religious conviction to the obliteration of anyone not believing the way it does as told by a trade route bandit that married a 6 yr. old little girl and who endorses slavery and savagery of all non-believers. Israel who holds as its charter goal the complete destruction of its neighbors? Israel who the UN supports because of such a wide spread commonality with other members. Such a sinister alignment they cannot help but have their agenda protected there! Israel that "oppresses" people and is a "Threat" to its neighbors? Oh wait…that is who you're talking about right?

    • MixMChess

      Israel is nothing like apartheid S. Africa or Rhodesia.

      Even before the Israel was established, early Zionists consciously sought to avoid a situation like S. Africa. As David Ben-Gurion stated: "We do not want to create a situation like that which exists in South Africa, where the whites are the owners and rulers, and the blacks are the workers. If we do not do all kinds of work, easy and hard, skilled and unskilled, if we become merely landlords, then this will not be our homeland."

      In modern Israel, Jews are a majority, but the Arab minority are full citizens who enjoy equal rights and are represented in all the branches of government. In fact, Arabs are represented by several parties in the Knesset, and have served in the Cabinet, as ambassadors and on the Supreme Court. Under apartheid, "black S. Africans could not vote and were not citizens of the country in which they formed the overwhelming majority of the population. Laws dictated where they could live, work and travel. And, in South Africa, the government killed blacks who protested against its policies." By contrast, "Israel allows freedom of movement, assembly and speech."

    • Dina

      Hmmmmm. Seems the hate is all from Arab nations. They are the ones calling for death of Jews and Christians.

    • ziontruth

      Israel fits in. It's Islam that doesn't fit in–in the whole world.

  • AL__

    Muchiboy is a filthy goat.

  • Dennis

    Let's see…South Africa, Rhodesia, hmmm, what about Serbia, Darfur, India, and others. It seems that when one group, ostensibly guilty of Apartheid, Genocide, Slavery, Colonialism, etc. has been accused by certain media and political groups as being so vile as to garner the world's scorn and contempt, they eventually get replaced by those groups identified as the victims. Yet, does it not seem that eventually the "victims" soon become the "tormentors"? So, does the world want revenge by the victims or does the world want a leap forward to avoid a repeat of the barbarisms? Ilana Mercer, Julia Gorin, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, etc. may be a start for research into this area of human interaction. Question: Is any society totally pure and innocent in its actions?

    • muchiboy

      "Is any society totally pure and innocent in its actions?"

      Of course not,Dennis.But we have ideals,and mostly we strive to meet them,and fall short far too often.But we get marks for striving,and we do move forward,if only two steps forward,one step backwards.Sometimes,maybe most times,we cannot correct historical wrongs.We can't reverse the horrors of the Holocaust,though I suppose the arrogant,ill thought out but well intentioned recreation of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians was one such attempt.But we have an opportunity to correct the wrongs we inflicted on the Palestinians in helping the Jewish people.The West ,America included,is complicit in the tragedy and travesty of justice.Despite the objections of the Israelis,we can impose a just and fair settlement to the benefit of both peoples.muchiboy

      • MixMChess

        We have a much better opportunity to correct the wrongs inflicted on the Jews by the Palestinians. Recall, Arabs illegally occupy over 85% of the Jewish National Homeland. Palestinians have been waging a war of terror and extermination against Jews for over 80 years. Palestinians regularly murder and maim Israelis.

        When will the Palestinians abandon their aspirations to murder, rape and torture Jews?

      • ziontruth

        "But we have ideals,…"

        Whose ideals? The suicidal ideals of Political Correctness and Multiculturalism, which only lead to subjugation to Islamic rule? No thanks.

        "But we get marks for striving,…"

        It is not for you to give us marks. You're not a judge, you're not in position of authority, you're nothing.

        "…recreation of Israel at the expense of the Palestinians…"

        Israel was recreated for the indigenous Palestinians, the Jews; not at the expense of the Arab settlers, who were already beyond their territorial mandate, the Arabian Peninsula. No injustice was done; the Arab imperialists were rightly repulsed when they tried to exterminate the indigenous Palestinians, the Jews, in the War of Independence (1947-9).

  • jaythehistorian

    To the filthy mutt Muchiboy; Nazis like you are pissing into the wind. You are living in a dream world. The entire combined military might of the filthy Muslims in the Middle East cannot defeat Israel . The genie is out of the bottle i.e. Israel has defense technology in some areas ahead of any other nation in the world. Israel's biggest customer for defense exports is India tied with Israel for third place (Strategy.com) in the world in land military power. The number 2 nation China is far behind Israel in developing innovative defense technology and used to be Israel's best customer until the US hypocritically forced Israel to stop sales to China. Israel gave Iran and Syria a taste of what they will receive if they tangle with Israel. Israel used cyberwarfare to shutoff Syria defense network long enough to allow Israeli Jets to totally destroy Syria's nuclear reactor several years ago.Does Stuxnet sound familiar? Israel is without a doubt the world leader in cyberwarfare. Israel invented UAVs , and is currently (w/ the USA) the world leader in robotic technology for defense. Russia canceled the sale of the S300 in order to buy Israeli made UAVs. Israel is developing much more advanced capabilities in space warfare such as a floating platform over Iran. If or when Iran launches ballistic missiles at Israel ,they will be destroyed at the most vulnerable point in their flight (the apex ) and shower Iran with its' own nuclear or other debris. Don't get your hopes up that Egypt will attack Israel since their military had the snot beaten out of them by Israel 4 times in 25 years. That's the only reason they made peace and the military which controls Egypt is understandably reticent about going for number 5.

    • muchiboy

      "The entire combined military might of the filthy Muslims in the Middle East cannot defeat Israel ."

      Who am I to argue with jaythehistorian? Regardless,there is more then one way to skin a cat,jay.Not that I would desire another Arab-Israeli war.The death of even one Israeli or Arab soldier is one too many.I say this as a brother -in -arms for all soldiers,Arab,Jew or Christian.It is also worthwhile to remember that while Egypt retains many of the disadvantages that resulted in past losses,e.g.poverty,etc.the Egyptian Army and Air Force are trained and equipped by the Americans.They will battle using American technology and tactics,not Soviet.Do nor forget that in 1973 the IDF came very close to some tactical defeats(in fact,the breaching of the Suez canal was a significant tactical victory for the Egyptian forces).However,even another Egyptian defeat would likely result in terrible losses for the small Jewish state.And needed resupplies might not be taken for granted this time from the Americans.
      Regardless,I would prefer to see a renewed ,democratic Egypt replace Israel as Americas most trusted ,reliable and respected ally in the region.This would take regional stability and decades.Then and only then,or perhaps in conjunction with, would I envision selected sanctions,etc.against Israel until she succumbs to the isolation and makes any needed changes.In the end,there may still be an Israel but beside or included in some associate partnership with a viable Palestinian state that would be equal in land,resources and potential with her Jewish partner.muchiboy

      • jaythehistorian

        Israel is much stronger than in 1973. Go to Strategy.com and look up rankings of the world's militaries. Israel is tied with India for the third highest ranking in the world. Israel was much weaker 37 years ago. while the reverse is true of Egypt's military. In 1973, Egypt had the following advantages which they don't enjoy today:1. the best anti-aircraft system in the world with a greater concentration of SAM sites than around Moscow manned by Soviet soldiers; 2. Egypt also had the best anti-tank weapons in the world and 3. They caught Israel totally by surprise. What did they accomplish? They crossed the canal and stopped. When Israel mobilized and focused on the Egyptians , the Egyptian 3rd army was totally surrounded. It took the threat of Soviet intervention with their own troops to save the Egyptian army from being totally destroyed. Despite Egyptians claims of victory, they were convinced they could never defeat Israel and signed a peace treaty. Today, Israel has UAV technology and capability equal to the US. They have their own satellites watching their enemies. As they demonstrated in Gaza, Israel has the ability to see deep into the enemies' defenses in minute detailed, real time video. In 1973, they were totally blind . I repeat the Egyptians know they got the snot beaten out of them in 73, and their military would suffer an even worse outcome today should they threaten Israel.

  • BLJ

    I say let's drop Friedman and Muchiboy into a Taliban stronghold. See how longer either one of them lasts with their good buddies.

    • Leo

      Good Idea, I'm sure both will enjoy being torture by the ideological brothers they adore

  • muchiboy

    "Israel who holds as its charter goal the complete destruction of its neighbors? Israel who the UN supports because of such a wide spread commonality with other members."

    You make some valid points,StephenD.Israel has many positive attributes as you and others have pointed out.However,it is not the positive attributes,but rather the unconscionable ones,I take issue with,mainly the occupation of Palestine by European Jews and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arabs to recreate a Zionist state.Like the German people can be proud of their achievements,they must never be allowed to forget their other unconscionable acts e.g.the Holocaust.So too must we remind the Jewish people that while they have much to be proud of in Israel,it comes at a terrible price for the Palestinian people.muchiboy

    • StephenD

      Unconscionable acts…I see. Like Jordan not allowing its own people within its borders. You know, the people you call Palestinian? Or the fact that the Palestinian people (as they call themselves, these refugees from other countries like Jordan, Lebanon and even Egypt) actually still have THEIR OWN PEOPLE living in squalor in refugee camps within their own borders? A cynic would think this is a means to international support. I see it as a plight of rejected people from their homeland just like you only the fact is their "homeland" was Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, etc. Why is only Israel asked to give up land to these people?

    • MixMChess

      "I take issue with,mainly the occupation of Palestine by European Jews and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arabs to recreate a Zionist state."

      Palestinians were never ethnically cleansed by the Jews. In fact, the Zionists who formed Israel begged the Arabs to stay in their homes and become part of the Jewish state. In Israel's declaration of independence (1948) it states the following:

      "In the midst of wanton aggression, we yet call upon the Arab inhabitants of the State of Israel to return to the ways of peace and play their part in the development of the State, with full and equal citizenship and due representation in its bodies and institutions – provisional or permanent."

      In fact, David Ben Gurion stated the following: "All our aspiration is built on the assumption-proven through all our activity in the land-that there is enough room in the country for ourselves and the Arabs."

      Of course, the Palestinian national movement is racist and based in ethnic cleansing (and genocide) of Jews. The Arab world has a "long legacy of anti-Semitism-racism– that still fuels its outrage at the existence of a successful Jewish state."

      Recall, it was the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem who stated: "Our fundamental condition for cooperating with Germany was a free hand to eradicate every last Jew from Palestine and the Arab world. I asked Hitler for an explicit undertaking to allow us to solve the Jewish problem in a manner befitting our national and racial aspirations and according to the scientific methods innovated by Germany in the handling of its Jews."

      I guess you're lies don't hold up to the historical facts eh, muchiboy?

    • ziontruth

      "However,it is not the positive attributes,but rather the unconscionable ones,I take issue with,mainly the occupation of Palestine by European Jews and the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian Arabs to recreate a Zionist state."

      And I say, whatever positive attributes Arab culture has, I take issue with its unconscionable ones, mainly the usurpation of Palestine by the descendants of Bedouin nomads from the Arabian Peninsula and the repeated attempts to ethnically cleanse the land of indigenous Palestinians, meaning Jews, to widen the Arab/Islamic empire.

    • ajnn

      "Israel who holds as its charter goal the complete destruction of its neighbors?"

      Another racist fantasy from muchiboy.

      You have it backwards. It is Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Iran, etc all "holds as its charter goal the complete destruction of (Israel)".

      Israel has nothing like that in its charter, basic law, or any other document official or unofficial of this nature. The PLO, Fatah, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood all do.

      Muchiboy, please try another wing-nut fantasy the 'bad jew' one you put forth has traveled too, too far from reality and tells us only about you, not about any jewish people

    • ajnn

      Let us try a little 'arithmetic'.

      Please notice that 1.2 million jews from outside israel but in the middle east became refugees from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Ethiopis, etc, and came to israel in the 1950's.

      That means that the majority of israelis today have lived in the middle east for a thousand years. (600,000 jewish israelis in 1948 and 400-700,000 arabs left israel in 1948. The number 1.2 million jews from elsewhere in the middle east who became refugees because of arab anti-jewish oppression is bigger than all of the arabs and jews in israel in 1948 put together !!!!!)

      So what are you talking about with this 'israel is just a bunch of european jews' nonsense ?

  • muchiboy

    "Maybe Egypt can give to the Palestinians greenhouses"

    It was not the Egyptians,Saudis ,Syrians, Jordanians nor any other Arab country that occupied Palestine while they ethnically cleansed the occupied land of the Palestinian Arabs.It was the Zionists,the European Jews, who carried out this unconscionable act that we may now classify as a Crime against Humanity and the Palestinian people.Throw as many red herrings as you like into the debate,deny Jewish responsibility and accountability,but as long as there are good,rational people who know the facts and truth,then the historical record stands.You are the Jewish equivalent of the neo-Nazi Holocaust denier,what ever your intentions or motivations.muchiboy

    • StephenD

      I am not Jewish. More importantly, I am not a Jew hater.

    • MixMChess

      "It was not the Egyptians,Saudis ,Syrians, Jordanians nor any other Arab country that occupied Palestine while they ethnically cleansed the occupied land of the Palestinian Arabs."

      Actually, after Israel declared itself a stated Egypt, Jordan, Syria and all the other surrounding Arab nations promptly invaded Israel and sought to ethnically cleanse and exterminate the Jews.

      You are so ignorant of history muchiboy, you don't even know that Jordan and Egypt occupied the W. Bank and Gaza respectively until 1967. Seriously, open a book before typing.

      "It was the Zionists,the European Jews, who carried out this unconscionable act that we may now classify as a Crime against Humanity and the Palestinian people."

      Wrong again, see me other posts, Israel begged the Palestinians to remain in their homes and become citizens in the new Jewish state. What about the crimes against humanity committed against the Jews by the Arabs? Over 80 years of rejecting peace and choosing murder, torture and rape of Israelis?

      "Throw as many red herrings as you like into the debate, deny Jewish responsibility and accountability,but as long as there are good, rational people who know the facts and truth,then the historical record stands."

      Exactly, the historical records show that Jews time and time again (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1979, 1982, 1988, 1993, 2000, 2005, 2006 and so on) tried to make peace with the Arabs. All the Palestinians have done is preach hatred, xenophobia and genocide. Get the through your thick skull. Clearly you've been hit in the head one to many times by one of your inmates (not that I could blame them).

    • ziontruth

      "t was not the Egyptians,Saudis ,Syrians, Jordanians nor any other Arab country that occupied Palestine…"

      Um, actually they did, from 1949 to 1967. Egypt had the Gaza strip, Transjordan had Judea and Samaria, and all the while they could have housed the refugees of War of Independence (1947-9) they neglected to do so, preferring to hold them in squalid conditions to perpetuate the hatred and as a propaganda showcase against the Jewish State.

      "It was the Zionists,the European Jews,…"

      Zionism, the resettlement of Palestine by the indigenous Palestinian nation, meaning the Jewish nation, was carried out by Jews from all over the globe. Your portrayal of Zionism as a White Settler Colonialist Movement is revisionism worthy of a neo-Nazi Holocaust denier.

  • Ghostwriter

    I'll be honest here. I've never seen an Israeli burn an American flag,scream "Death to America" on a daily basis,strap bombs to themselves in order to blow up innocent men,women,and children in pizza parlors,restaurants,movie theaters,etc. Those things are encouraged in the Muslim world. Maybe Muchiboy,you should learn a little more about the world before your type up another inane comment.

    • MixMChess

      In fact, it was the Palestinians who cheered and passed out candy when 9/11 occurred. And the US is giving these worthless ingrates another $500 million? It truly boggles the mind.

  • muchiboy

    "they were convinced they could never defeat Israel and signed a peace treaty"

    Another war for Egypt,won or lost,would set this poverty ridden,aspiring democracy back decades.The last thing the region needs is another war.Don't forget there will soon be two opposing sides possessing nuclear weapons.I just want the peace treaty formally ended and Israel further isolated.muchiboy

  • muchiboy

    "they were convinced they could never defeat Israel and signed a peace treaty"

    Another war for Egypt,won or lost,would set this poverty ridden,aspiring democracy back decades.The last thing the region needs is another war.Don't forget there will soon be two opposing sides possessing nuclear weapons.I just want the peace treaty formally ended and Israel further isolated.muchiboy

    • MixMChess

      "I just want the peace treaty formally ended and Israel further isolated."

      Of course, so that Egypt can fulfill your dream of extermination of the Jews.

  • muchiboy

    "I am not Jewish. More importantly, I am not a Jew hater. "

    You do not have to be a Jew hater to acknowledge the sins of the Israelis against the Palestinian people.It should not have to come down to being a Jew hater or an Arab hater.It is a logical flaw,and maybe even a lie,to equate anti-zionism with antisemitism.I suspect that argument is intended to deflect criticism of Israel at the expense of the Palestinian people.muchiboy

    • MixMChess

      Wrong as usual muchiboy. Anti-Zionism is Anti-Semitism. To deny the Jews alone among all people the right to self-determination is anti-semitism plain and simple.

      Just look at Natan Sharansky's “Three Ds”:

      Delegitimization: You deny the Jewish State's right to exist and deny Jews belong in the Middle East.

      Double Standards: You readily admit that you condemn Israel for self-defense measures and social problems that are seen as acceptable or inevitable in other nations.

      Demonization: Through distortions and lies, you depict Israel as the world’s most evil, dangerous and troublesome country in the World.

      You sir are a filthy antisemite. If the shoe fits…

    • ziontruth

      "It is a logical flaw,and maybe even a lie,to equate anti-zionism with antisemitism."

      Hardly. Anti-Zionism is the covering, the shiny wrapper, by which the turd of Jew-hatred is presented nowadays, now that older modes like racial theory and the deicide accusation are no longer considered fitting for polite society.

      But even if anti-Zionism had no connection with Jew-hatred, it would still be illegitimate, seeing as it denies the right of a nation (the Jews, the indigenous Palestinian nation) to its rightful homeland (Palestine, the Land of Israel). Anti-Zionism is as illegitimate as, say, anti-Hellenism would be–a movement that would deny the right of the Greeks to a state in Hellas, their indigenous territory.

  • scottabennett

    Friedman makes me sick. I say , tie his worthless ass to the bow of the first Iranian ship that crosses israeli waters and he can geta bird's eye view of some Israeli response. What a maggot.

  • RayS

    As much as many Egyptian anti-Jew haters would like to war (again) on Israel, One suspects they have enough imagination to visualize what would happen if Israel blew the Aswan Dam. Much of Egypt would be washed away.

  • Jim

    Unfortunately, this is a much better summary of events than most:
    "Egypt May Have Already Found Its Khomeini" http://www.thetrumpet.com/print.php?q=7990.6615.0

  • fmobler

    Freidman writes about someone else being "out-of-touch, in-bred, unimaginative and cliché-driven." Well. I suppose he isn't in-bred all by his lonesome.

  • BS77

    Friedman is a garbage peddler.

  • michiganruth

    if it wasn't so tragic, I'd laugh at the idiocy of people like muchiboy. "ethnic cleansing…genocide…Palestinian land…" these words are written by someone who either doesn't know or doesn't WANT to know the real history of the 1947-48 partition.

    if he did, he'd acknowledge that the Arabs (they hadn't decided to call themselves "Palestinian" yet) got Transjordan, and the Jews got Israel. there were about an equal number of refugees on each side–in the hundreds of thousands.

    after that, Israel got going building a state. the Jewish refugees were absorbed, even tho in many (most?) cases they lose all their wordly goods.

    in contrast, the Arabs got going preparing for war against Israel. not one week had passed before the newly reborn state was attacked by its Arab neighbors. and the Arab refugees, rather than working at finding a home, decided it would be more politically convenient to stay homeless and fight the "Zionist oppressor."

    like they say, the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, as they just showed again at the UN the other day. they had a chance to really stick it to the Israelis along with our dreadful president and his paid gun Susan Rice…but no…

    anyway, that's just a brief history for people who might believe muchiboy has any idea what he's talking about. but I've noticed that facts do not impress Jew haters. their vitriol goes so deep it's pathological, and they don't seem to suffer from cognitive dissonance.