Tom Friedman: SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE!

September 18, 2012


(I’m sure you all recognize Yasser Arafat on the left, but do you recognize his buddy on the right?)Here’s a video of Sunday’s Face the Nation, featuring Tom Friedman on a panel discussing the Iranian nuclear threat. Note Tom’s comments between 7:51 and 9:03.(A ONE TRICK PONY) The man is more ‘Palestinian’ than the ‘Palestinians.’ He is simply obsessed. He doesn’t recognize anything else. Progressives will eat each other like cannibals in the end…


NYT’s Tom Friedman Bombs on ‘Jeopardy!’

May 21, 2012

Despite winning three Pulitzer Prizes, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman bombed on Jeopardy! Friday.
By the end of the show, he had amassed a pitiful $1,000 placing him third behind CNN’s Anderson Cooper and NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):


Friedman must have been nervous for he missed his first two attempts.
With the category “21st Century Lingo,” the answer was, “In 2011, BusinessWeek said European government bonds were this ‘poisonous’ kind of debt.”
Friedman responded, “Sub-prime.” I guess he missed the clue in quotation marks “poisonous.”
The correct response of course was “toxic.”
In the same category moments later, the answer was, “It’s the ‘tiny’ term for a person who writes short posts about one’s personal life on Tumblr or Twitter.”
Once again, the word in quotations marks was the clue, and once again Friedman missed it.
“What is a tweeter?” he replied.
Of course, the answer was “micro-blogger.”
At the end of Double Jeopardy!, Cooper was in first with $15,600, Friedman in second with $8,400, and O’Donnell in third with $2,000.
The Final Jeopardy! category was Inventors, and the answer was, “The National Inventors Hall of Fame said his work ‘brought the south prosperity,’ but he was out of business within 5 years.”
Unfortunately, no one got the correct response of Eli Whitney, but as Friedman wagered $7,400, O’Donnell $500, and Cooper $1,201, the three time Pulitzer Prize winner came in last with only $1,000.
Nice job, Tom.

NYTimes foreign correspondent Tom Friedman on Jeopardy. No this is not SNL. This is real…


Video: Tom Friedman’s Breakfast With Hezbollah

December 29, 2011

(DaledAmos)The Algemeiner notes Thomas Friedman’s Hezbollah Breakfast?:

“Israel doesn’t have to worry about me,” Friedman had stressed early in the interview. “At the end of the day, Israel will have my support — it had me at hello.”

Tom Friedman, quoted in Bibi, Tom Friedman, and U.S. Jews divesting from Israel


“It had me at hello”

Nah, I bet Tom says that to all of the Middle Eastern countries.

The main dining room of New York’s Loews Regency hotel located on the corner of 61st Street and Park Avenue is well know as the favorite breakfast venue of the rich and influential.

Last Friday, an Algemeiner reader captured this photo and video of beleaguered New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman with Lebanese Ambassador to the United Nations Nawaf Salam breakfasting at the hot spot.
Salam, who has held his position since 2007 is well know for his key role in forwarding the Unilateral Deceleration of Palestinian Arab Statehood at the United Nations, a move that was vigorously opposed by the United States.
Anne Bayefsky, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute and editor of Eye on the UN, commented on Salam’s position as a representative of the Hezbollah dominated Lebanese government, saying, “He is essentially Hezbollah’s representative in the United Nations.” The group, listed as a terror organization by the United States, has dominated Lebanese politics since 2009.

Few real Jews feel betrayed however


Tom Friedman and Arafat

December 28, 2011

(Hat Tip: Ricky G/Carl)


Tom Friedman Says Congress Does The Bidding Of The Israel Lobby…Again

December 14, 2011

(DaledAmos) Thomas Friedman is going after the infamous “Israel Lobby” and its influence on Congress once again. (image by Moni Chavez) Remember the last time, in September, when Tom Friedman warned that the US was in thrall to the Israel Lobby

This has also left the U.S. government fed up with Israel’s leadership but a hostage to its ineptitude, because the powerful pro-Israel lobby in an election season can force the administration to defend Israel at the U.N., even when it knows Israel is pursuing policies not in its own interest or America’s.

And who is the mastermind behind this sinister lobby?
It’s Benjamin Netanyahu, of course, pulling all the strings in a way that conjures up images of the Elders of Ziyon:

O.K., Mr. Netanyahu has a strategy: Do nothing vis-à-vis the Palestinians or Turkey that will require him to go against his base, compromise his ideology or antagonize his key coalition partner, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, an extreme right-winger. Then, call on the U.S. to stop Iran’s nuclear program and help Israel out of every pickle, but make sure that President Obama can’t ask for anything in return — like halting Israeli settlements — by mobilizing Republicans in Congress to box in Obama and by encouraging Jewish leaders to suggest that Obama is hostile to Israel and is losing the Jewish vote. And meanwhile, get the Israel lobby to hammer anyone in the administration or Congress who says aloud that maybe Bibi has made some mistakes, not just Barack. There, who says Mr. Netanyahu doesn’t have a strategy? [emphasis added]

This time, Friedman merely refers to how the Israel Lobby applies the stick to Congress. It was only in his most recent column that Friedman claims that the Israel Lobby also applies the carrot.
Let’s put aside that Iran is no friend of the US, that Israel already agreed to a freeze–during which Abbas did nothing, and that one does not need an Israel Lobby to see how Obama’s failed Mideast policy hurts Israel.
The point is that Friedman wanted to play the Israel Lobby card one more time–this a day after the Wiesenthal Center urged that it is time to disown those “who take the low road and drag down policy debates into the gutter of individual and group defamation.”
But such niceties will not stop Tom Friedman, who writes that now the Israel Lobby controls congress:

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. The real test is what would happen if Bibi tried to speak at, let’s say, the University of Wisconsin. My guess is that many students would boycott him and many Jewish students would stay away, not because they are hostile but because they are confused. [emphasis added]

I sure hope Friedman realizes now how over the top that was.
Because lots of others do.
Elliott Abrams writes that Tom Friedman owes an apology to Congress for his Israel Lobby remark:

I would hope that in the cold light of morning Mr. Friedman would re-read what he wrote and withdraw the remark. Members of Congress in a country that is two percent Jewish stand to applaud Prime Minister Netanyahu because they, like their constituents, support Israel and want America to support Israel. Many of those standing and cheering were from districts where there are no Jews or a handful of Jews, and where Evangelical churches form the strongest base of support for the Jewish state. Now perhaps Mr. Friedman means those churches when he refers so nastily to the “Jewish Lobby,” but I doubt it. I think we all know what he means, and that is why he should withdraw the ugly remark fast. He owes an apology to hundreds of members of Congress who spoke for their constituents when they applauded Mr. Netanyahu, and to the millions of Americans Jews and Christians whom they faithfully represent.

It’s one thing for Friedman to go after Israel or American Jews and accuse them of all sorts of diabolical plans against the interests of the US.
This time, Friedman clearly said that the US Congress is bought and paid for with the money of the Israel Lobby.
Friedman won’t apologize to American Jews and he doesn’t care what Israel thinks. But he may reconsider his libelous claim about Congress.


Saint Thomas

November 5, 2011

(h/t Doc’s Talk)(Dror Eydar) The screams of those who executed deposed Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi were worse than the execution itself. They were barbaric cries from another world, an ancient world where bloody revenge still takes place and the only loyalty is to one’s tribe. The tribe that Gadhafi shunned for years during his rule and deprived of funding and development, turned on him with a vicious vengeance. We can expect a sequel.
Western liberalism has been trying for years to decipher the code of Middle Eastern behavior. Years of colonialism resulted in pangs of conscience that led to an absolutely Westernized perception of the Orient. Criticism on Orientalism, i.e., the science of Middle Eastern studies, from Edward Said and his cohorts rendered the West’s methods of studying the East ineffective, to the point that the mythical and tribal dimensions were almost totally neglected – the same ancient dimensions that from deep within motivate nations and groups more than any apparent economic or national interest.

Now that the dust has settled on Gadhafi’s regime and Sharia was chosen over any other form of law in Libya, Islamic forces have prevailed in the relatively advanced country of Tunisia, and Egypt is currently ruled by a military regime, it may be worthwhile to study the views of the journalist dubbed in Israeli media as “the most important journalist in the world,” Thomas Friedman. The truth is that the subject of study should not be Friedman himself, but rather the intelligence of his cohorts, who take pride in his intellect and worship his analyses.
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2 – As riots raged across the Arab world, I called the great Middle Eastern studies master, Bernard Lewis, and asked him what he thinks Israel should do. “Nothing,” he said. “Anything Israel does will be considered by others as favoring one side.” But Friedman chided Israel for not favoring the side of the protesters, and “siding with Pharaoh,” who at that time was Hosni Mubarak. In his view, “At a time of great change in this region, Israel has the most out-of-touch, in-bred, unimaginative and cliche-driven cabinet it has ever had.” Actually, this sounds to me like a feasible description of Friedman’s writings.
Last June, Friedman proposed that China learn a lesson from the revolution in Tunisia. “If you want to know what brings about revolutions, it is not G.D.P., it is the quest for dignity. ‘Dignity before bread’ was the slogan of the Tunisian revolution.” Yes, and with that slogan on their lips, Tunisians went to the ballot boxes and voted for an Islamic party to run their government.
3 – Last February, Friedman visited Tahrir Square, and, drunk with happiness, sang out, “What we have witnessed in Egypt today is the real de-colonization of this country. That is, after the British left Egypt, the country was ruled by an incompetent king and then, since 1952, by a stifling, top-down military dictatorship. For the first time in modern history, ‘Egypt is truly in the hands of its own people.'” Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t Egypt ruled at the moment by a military regime?
With excitement in his heart, Friedman spoke about two emotional focal points that will exist from now on in the Arab world: There will always be Mecca in Saudi Arabia, to which Muslims will make the pilgrimage to be closer to God, and there will be Tahrir Square, to which people will “come to touch freedom.” It’s important to note Friedman’s deliberate dichotomy between religion and civilian revolution. In his view, the Egyptian revolution had nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood. “What makes the uprising here so impressive – and in that sense so dangerous to other autocracies in the region – is precisely the fact that it is not owned by, and was not inspired by, the Muslim Brotherhood.” That is what the most prominent journalist in the world has determined on the basis of his personal visits to Tahrir Square and discussions with two and a half people there.
A week after Friedman published his thoughts, at the same square, in front of more than one million people, the exiled preacher behind the inspiration of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheik Yusuf Al Kardawi, delivered a speech. Kardawi has often supported suicide attacks against Israel and against American soldiers in Iraq. At the same time, Iraqi columnist Jabar Habib Jabar wrote a piece that was based on a bit more knowledge: “In the case of the Muslim Brotherhood, I believe that their back-seat approach was a choice based on an in-depth study, rather than the result of the movement’s weakness or hesitation. The brotherhood used a form of sophisticated “Takia” (deception) to refute claims that the regime tried to play up their influence so that it could secure Western support against the revolution. The regime declared that the Islamists are pressuring them, and that it would eventually turn into a movement similar to that of the Iranian revolution.”
Half a year later, the “million-man demonstration” took place in Tahrir Square, during which the crowds, backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, called for the “annulment of the peace treaty with Israel, military action against Israel, and preparation of the armed forces for the liberation of Palestine.” Incidentally, the “Takia” that Jabar spoke of refers to the “obligation of caution,” which permits a Muslim to disguise his identity to survive in a hostile regime. That’s how, for example, the Muslim Brotherhood obtained religious permission to shave their beards so that they would not be identified by Mubarak’s henchmen. Perhaps that is why Friedman was not aware of them even though they were all around him in the square …
4 – After he compared Mubarak to Pharaoh, Friedman conjured up another amazingly brazen comparison: “As for Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu], his Tahrir lesson is obvious: Sir, you are well on your way to becoming the Hosni Mubarak of the peace process.” He wondered: “Does Bibi have any surprise in him or do the Palestinians have him right: a big faker, hiding a nationalist-religious agenda under a cloak of security?”
In literary studies they call it an “implied author,” meaning that a writer places his world-view in the mouth of one of his fictional characters. That’s what Friedman thinks about Israel’s prime minister. Gideon Levy wouldn’t have put it any other way. Apparently, the pathological hatred for Benjamin Netanyahu did not end at the border of the Israeli Left. It seems to have crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached the offices of The New York Times. But what Friedman calls the “national-religious agenda,” is actually an alternative phrase for a “discourse of the rights” of the Jewish people to their land, a principle that is no less important than a dialogue on matters of security. Netanyahu never ignored that point; that is the foundation of Zionism and Israel’s right to exist.
5 – Two basic assumptions – which, not surprisingly, are often identified with the more extreme views of the Israeli Left – are repeated throughout most of Friedman’s articles:
a) That the Arab world is heading toward democracy, which will eventually render Israel’s democracy less unique in the region and
b) An Israeli Jewish minority is destined to rule over an Israeli Arab majority, which will force Israel into a situation similar to that of the South African apartheid in the past.
In that case,
a) It would be worthwhile to resend Friedman to the Middle East for an update and
b) The case of Israeli apartheid and minority rule for the most part ignores the many demographic and social surveys that negate that claim, and paint a different picture of Israel in the future than the one Friedman is waving before us.
There is no apartheid here, except the one imagined by professional leftists. We should note that, as of today, Israel does not govern an absolute majority of Palestinians. They are responsible for their own economy, foreign policy, education, industry, transportation, police, and more. They run everything except for security-related matters, which not only Israel demands, but the Palestinians demand as well behind closed doors (as documents released by Al-Jazeera revealed), to prevent hostile Hamas cells from taking over the Palestinian Authority.
6 – Another basic assumption is that in order to be perceived as serious-minded (but by whom?), Netanyahu must disclose his map of withdrawals now, so the world can see what “painful territorial compromises” he is talking about. As Friedman puts it, “Put a map on the table. Let’s see what you’re talking about. Or how about removing the illegal West Bank settlements built by renegade settler groups against the will of Israel’s government. Either move would force Israel’s adversaries to take Bibi seriously and would pressure the Palestinians to be equally serious.”
It is hard to imagine how Friedman can peddle this nonsense after 17 years of Israeli withdrawals, without a single positive response from the Palestinian side, except for blood, fire, and brimstone. And we have not even mentioned the greatest experiment of all – one that Friedman and his cohorts categorically supported in the Israeli media – the disengagement from Gush Katif. Ten thousand productive settlers who made sand dunes bloom in the south, were uprooted from their homes together with the graves of their loved ones. The government risked alienating part of Israeli society, without heeding the warnings of those who opposed the move. And, wonder of wonders, Friedman’s formula failed! It is hard to understand how the minister of history and the gods of Middle East politics do not heed Friedman’s insights, which delve as deep as oceans. But it’s a fact that where Israeli agriculture once blossomed and magnificent educational institutions once stood, there are now only ruins and rubble in those areas, which are used by terrorists to launch thousands of rockets against Israeli cities.
The Palestinian Authority was banished from those areas by radical Islamists, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. (How much more radical can you get than Fatah itself? Hamas is proof of how far one can stretch the absurd definitions of the Middle East.) Gaza became “Hamastan,” an Iranian outpost on Israel’s border. Israel went to war twice due to that disengagement. But Friedman sticks to his guns, in honor of American journalism, and the disdain of reality.
7 – This is how Friedman describes the second Intifada that was responsible for hundreds of Israeli deaths and thousands of wounded: “Yasser Arafat’s foolhardy decision, rather than embrace President Bill Clinton’s two-state peace plan.” So, it was a “foolhardy decision.” That is how Friedman understands history. The politicians and leaders are suspected of being foolish as opposed to the wise journalist, who is the only one who can unveil the truth for them.
But the clear evidence teaches us that the war that Arafat started in October 2000 was pre-planned. Arafat did not want to end the conflict on the Camp David lawn, because the faction that belonged to the collective group that Arafat headed – and whose heritage continues to guide current Palestinian leaders – was never dependent on the realization of Palestinian independence, as Friedman imagines. If that was the case, then the Arabs would have accepted one of the many partition plans that were proposed since the Peel Commission in 1936. The positive faction among the Palestinians of today, however, works to destroy the Jewish state. This is not paranoia, but an enlightened call by their leaders, in their school text books, in their media, and in their surveys.
8 – In many articles, Friedman makes it a point to paint Israel and the Palestinians as two equally rejectionist sides. This is so naive that it is funny. Israel has retreated and retreated for 17 years. The government – yes, this one – spoke about two states for two peoples, froze construction in Judea and Samaria, offered to negotiate with the Palestinians, and absolutely nothing happened. The most basic condition, which until now has been rejected by irresponsible politicians, was the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish people’s national homeland. Nothing is of value without that, since only recognition of Israel as a Jewish state will indicate that our neighbors truly want peace, without any further demands. Recognition of such will confirm that there are Muslims in the region who accept the Jewish people’s right to their land. It will ensure that no Arab party will come along later and claim that the Jews stole their land (even though we should tell Friedman that, historically speaking, the opposite occurred). It will eliminate the Palestinian “right of return,” which would inevitably bring about the destruction of Israel.
Up until now, every Arab leader, anywhere in the world, has declared that he would never accept Israel as a Jewish state. This can only mean one thing: Any Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria would be irresponsible and would endanger Israel’s existence, because it would perpetuate the conflict. In short, in the absence of a recognition of Jewish rights to any part of the land, any retreat that is not anchored in a final agreement would lead to an imbecilic return to the mistakes made at Oslo and the uprooting of Gush Katif, within this foolish historical framework.
9 – Another of Friedman’s basic assumptions, which he drew from the never-ending fantasy wellsprings of the Israeli Left (and I would like to recommend to Friedman to stop reading Ha’aretz, and to try other, more sober newspapers instead), is that there is a silent majority in Israel that is prepared to make far-reaching concessions. Really? What a deep observation. The concessions were already made, and the current Israeli government has already announced that it would be willing to make such concessions. So what is so unique in Friedman’s proposal? Oh, I see! According to Friedman, a majority of Israelis would be willing to commit suicide – excuse me, I mean give up their few remaining assets, and place their security in the hands of Mohammed Dahlan’s law-abiding, Zionist-loving thugs.
From his high perch and the abyss of his conceit, Friedman proposes that the Palestinians “announce that every Friday from today forward will be ‘Peace Day,’ and have thousands of West Bank Palestinians march nonviolently to Jerusalem, carrying two things – an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other. The sign should say: ‘Two states for two peoples. We, the Palestinian people, offer the Jewish people a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders – with mutually agreed adjustments – including Jerusalem, where the Arabs will control their neighborhoods and the Jews theirs.'”
There has never been a more naive and fabricated text since John Lennon’s famous song “Imagine.” The disengagement did not end in 2005; it is alive and well in Friedman’s writings, which do not reflect actual events in the region. Come to think of it, I read some similar views last year in Ha’aretz …

In any case, Friedman does not write even a single word about the most crucial indication of a change on the road to peace: the educational system.

Placing Israel on their maps, recognizing the Jewish people’s religious and historical rights to their land, or at least part of it, and ending their incitement against Israel in the media and in their leaders’ never-ending campaigns to de-legitimize Israel, are issues that have simply been ignored. So what “march for peace” is Friedman talking about?
10 – Friedman’s final basic assumption is repetitive to the point of an obsessive compulsion: It is Netanyahu who is mainly responsible for the absence of a peace process. “He wasted time in his attempt to avoid an agreement with the Palestinians. Everyone knows that. No one is dumb.”

“Everyone knows that” is a claim reserved for those who do not have a winning ticket, other than their own word.

The truth is that Thomas Friedman has no idea about the political, security, religious, historical, and cultural affairs of this region, despite the fact that The New York Times allows him to pull the wool over the eyes of his readers. Everyone knows that. No one is dumb …


Thomas Friedman Calls Rabbi ‘Stupid

November 4, 2011
(Israel National News h/t Sarah Leah Lawent) New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman recently faced a silent protest to which he could only respond with: “That’s stupid.”
At the conclusion of his talk at Yale University last week, Friedman was faced with a banner which read: “With friends like Chomsky, Soros, Mearsheimer and Thomas Friedman, does Israel need enemies?”
In the past, Friedman has called in his columns for Tahrir Square-style marches by Palestinian Authority Arabs on Israel.
He has also called to re-adopt the United Nations 1947 Partition Plan, which the Arab world rejected at the time and instead tried to annihilate Israel. He was recently the subject of a Facebook campaign launched by the grassroots Zionist group Israel Online Ambassadors. The campaign was entitled “Tom Friedman, Get Out of Our Lives!”
In the Yale incident, when Friedman dismissed Rabbi Hecht as stupid, the rabbi then held up the back of the banner, which read: “Jews don’t need solutions from your 11,000 square foot Ivory tower.”
“Thomas Friedman has no right and no basis for telling the leadership of a democratically elected government of a sovereign nation what to do regarding its delicate and hard won security,” Rabbi Hecht explained his resistance to the Friedman lecture. “Friedman asks the Israelis to make concessions when there is no credible partner for them to conduct a lasting settlement,” he added. “And yet, the Chomskys and the Mearsheimers are easier to deal with, because their hostility is naked. Friedman comes to the subject cloaked in the language of moderation, neutrality and respectability.”
He added, “The road to peace may look straight from Thomas Friedman’s very privileged worldview in his mansion on his huge estate, but for Israelis everywhere, especially Judea and Samaria, every decision is one that literally tilts the State and her citizens towards either life or death. In the real world, Jews don’t need ‘solutions,’ Jews need safety and security in their historic homeland and reborn refuge.”
Despite Friedman’s insult, Rabbi Hecht said he invites him to join the many writers and intellectuals of all backgrounds and opinions who have lectured at Eliezer.
“I have devoted my life to dialogue,” he said. “I would welcome the chance to discuss these important issues with Thomas Friedman.”