Why Thomas Friedman Abetted Anti-Semitism

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After a lifetime of studying the left, I have concluded that leftism is a form of moral poison. It causes otherwise decent and kind people who take it into their systems to say and/or do cruel and sometimes evil things.

While not specifically about the left, a major new scholarly book, “Pathological Altruism” (Oxford University Press), explores this phenomenon of people wanting to do good things yet ending up doing bad. It applies to The New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas L. Friedman, who has a deep altruistic urge to bring peace to the Middle East. But because he sees the world through the liberal/left prism, he says morally reprehensible things — statements that individuals associated with hate-filled, non-altruistic groups and ideologies would make.

In his Dec. 13 column, yet another of his attacks on Israel and its supporters, Friedman wrote: “The standing ovation (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) got in Congress this year was … bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

If a non-Jew had written this, he would have been severely condemned for writing something outright anti-Semitic. The notion that Jews manipulate the levers of power in Western societies for their own nefarious ends is probably the most enduring of all the West’s Jew-hating myths. It was a staple of Nazi anti-Semitism and is the single most repeated charge of those in the Arab and larger Muslim worlds who seek to annihilate Israel, since its purpose is to convince people that non-Jews who support Israel have been paid off by Jews.

But Friedman, who is a Jew and a liberal, can get away with it — even though it is so morally repulsive that Jew-haters can now assert they are merely quoting a well-known Jew. Who’s going to call him on it? The New York Times?

To his credit, one congressman did condemn Friedman. Rep. Steven R. Rothman (D-N.J.) released this statement: “Thomas Friedman’s defamation against the vast majority of Americans who support the Jewish State of Israel, in his New York Times opinion piece today, is scurrilous, destructive and harmful to Israel and her advocates in the U.S. Mr. Friedman is not only wrong, but he’s aiding and abetting a dangerous narrative about the U.S.-Israel relationship and its American supporters.

“I gave Prime Minister Netanyahu a standing ovation, not because of any nefarious lobby, but because it is in America’s vital national security interests to support the Jewish State of Israel, and it is right for Congress to give a warm welcome to the leader of such a dear and essential ally. Mr. Friedman owes us all an apology.”

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  • Arthur Fliegenheimer

    Do you know how to say "Quisling

  • g_jochnowitz

    Andrei S. Markovits, writing in the relatively progressive magazine Dissent, said in the Winter 2005 issue, “A new European (and American) commonality for all lefts—a new litmus test of progressive politics—seems to have developed: anti-Americanism and anti-Zionism (though not anti-Semitism, at least not yet).”

  • קעגן די ממזרים

    .פרידמאן איז פשוט א חזיר

  • Ron Carnine

    The Israeli lobby does not hold a candle to the from Saudi Arabia. As I commented elsewhere on a trip to my public library I found literature from that nation extolling its virtues. I also noted that Saudi Arabia couldn't brag enough about itself w/o condemning Israel. Saudi Oil money purchases places in American education through its large donations, places for the rewriting of history and out right hostility toward Israel. Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of radical Islam and terrorism in the world, ought to hide its head instead of bragging about how wonderful it is. It rates right up there with Iran and out to be on the US list of terrorist organizations instead of being given a place of legitimacy and prominence. It also has purchased the influence of Democrats in the US congress and into the Presidents inner circle.

    • Raymond in DC

      True. I just finished reading Sen. Bob Graham's "Intelligence Matters", written following his work on the 9/11 Commission. In it he discusses the Saudi connection, the support given to some of the 9/11 hijackers, and the efforts made by the Bush Administration to squelch any discussion of a Saudi role.

  • Ben

    Is leftism a justification for masses of Jews and gentiles ?

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

    A few points of disagreement with Mr. Prager.

    1) It is ludicrous to even suspect as though T. Friedman is "wanting to do good things ending up doing bad". Good things in whose view? Bad things in whose view? We are at (cold) civil war. Mr. Friedman is an enemy of me, of half of America and of Israel. His "good" things are my bad things…

    2) Mr. Friedman's "deep altruistic urge to bring peace to the Middle East" is no different from the similar urge of Judenrat to bring peace to the doomed ghettos under the Nazi occupation…

    3) The "well-intentioned seeker of peace" during a time of war is called a traitor. Mr. Prager is bright enough to realize, that nobody can "wish away" a war that is already in progress. This is the war waged by islam against the rest of the world, and the war waged by the Lefts and Marxist against the remnants of the Western civilization.

    However I completely agree with Mr. Prager that Jewish ethnicity of Friedman makes him particularly ugly and efficient enemy, just as the other so called nothing-but-ethnic "Jews" already exposed elsewhere:

  • NotaBene

    So, saying ‘the Israel lobby is powerful’ = antisemitism? Aren’t lobbies supposed to be powerful? If AIPAC is successful does that make them anti-semitism?

  • http://www.contextflexed.com Flipside

    How can you accuse a man of “abetting” something that is not a crime?

  • Rudy

    Why are the Jews so insane? They just LOVE the NY Times; the KVELL over it. The NYT Times has waged a virtual war against the Jewish people for decades: they buried every story about the Holocaust during the 1930s and 40s; opposed the creation of the state of Israel; and, have an unbelievable, sick bias against Israel on its Editorial and Hard News pages. What will it take for the Jew of America to see what the NY Times is all about? Another holocaust?

  • danseagull