UPDATE: ROCKET ASSAULTS BEGIN AGAIN ON SOUTHERN ISRAEL. TERRORIST MORTAR FIRE AT CITIZENS OF ESHKOL REGION LAST NIGHT.
U.N. UPDATE: LATEST REPORT IS THAT ABU MAZEN (MAHMOUD ABBAS) IS DETERMINED TO TAKE PROPOSAL TO SECURITY COUNCIL TODAY. AHMANDINEJAD: “ZIONISTS USE THE HOLOCAUST TO EXTORT THE WORLD”. “9/11 NOT CAUSED BY AL-QAEDA”. ERDOGAN: “PALESTINIAN CONFLICT MAIN OBSTACLE TO WORLD PEACE. ISRAELI AGGRESSION FLOUTS INTERNATIONAL LAW.”
On this eventful day at the United Nations, my focus is on a Thomas Friedman op-ed that appeared in the New York Times this week–a ‘hit piece’ on the government of PM Netanyahu meant to embarrass Israel on the eve of the Palestinian proposal in the Security Council.
Your humble servant has never understood Thomas Friedman’s appeal. An obviously shallow thinker who writes fancifully about a Middle Eastern world populated by ‘peace loving’ Palestinians and ‘fanatic right-wing Israeli Jews’, Thomas Friedman makes a living churning out endless articles about Israel characterized by a reckless disregard for the truth.
His most recent opinion piece is just such a smattering of deception. To Friedman, the entire responsibility for the lack of peace with the Palestinians rests squarely on the shoulders of Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government–“the most diplomatically inept and strategically incompetent government in Israel’s history.” Friedman’s main accusation is that Netanyahu “is responsible for. . . failing to put forth a strategy [to protect] Israel’s long-term interests.”
What Friedman is talking about in terms of strategy gradually becomes clear through the course of the article. Why, Friedman asks, does Netanyahu not put out “his own peace plan”? And again later: why doesn’t Israel put “a real peace map on the table?” And yet again, Israel needs to produce “a peace overture that fair-minded people would recognize as serious.” In what can only be described as the one of the most cynical lines that the snide Friedman has ever written, he concludes that: by not proposing more concessions to the Palestinians, Israel is giving its friends “nothing to defend it with.”
There is not one syllable about a Palestinian peace plan; there is not one syllable about a Palestinian “peace map”; there is not one syllable about a Palestinian “peace overture.” More than this, it is almost as if Friedman is still living in 1999—there is not one syllable about Palestinian rejection of the overly-generous Barak plan of 2000 (which was followed a massive wave of Palestinian terrorist suicide bombings against Israeli men, women and children) or Palestinian rejection of the incredibly generous Olmert plan in 2007 (which was followed by thousands of Palestinian Hamas missiles raining down on Israeli citizens). To put it simply, in Friedman’s world, the Palestinians are not responsible for anything—yet they are deserving of praise during the last five years for stopping their own people from blowing up themselves and Israelis (“making life . . . quieter than ever for Israel”).
Friedman devotes almost half of his ‘article’ to the ramblings of such self-proclaimed intellectuals as Aluf Benn and Nahum Barnea. For his part, Benn blames Netanyahu for expulsion of Israeli ambassadors from Ankara and Cairo and the evacuation of the Israeli ambassador to Jordan. According to Benn, all of this indicates that “the years-long effort to integrate Israel as an excepted in the Middle East collapsed last week.”
Israel is attacked by terrorists who were primarily Egyptian citizens and who trained in Egypt for the attack over the course of months. In pursuit of those terrorists who fled back across the border to their native Egypt, the IDF killed five Egyptian security personnel (though this is still not clear—since at least one of the personnel has been identified as one of the terrorists). Then Israel immediately issued a statement of regret to the Egyptians. For all of this, Egypt sent the Israeli ambassador home and Egyptian mobs attacked the Israeli embassy. Is this Netanyahu’s fault?
Turkey decides to participate in an attempt to break the Gaza blockade to help their Muslim brothers in Gaza. The government helps to organize a flotilla, specifically peoples it with IHH terrorists who are carrying weapons, and sends it off to Gaza—despite pleas from the Israeli government and other nations. Israeli soldiers board one of the vessels whereupon they are assaulted by the IHH terrorists who manage to throw three soldiers off of the upper deck of the ship (one overboard and two to decks below). To save their comrades from the terrorists, IDF soldiers open fire killing 9 terrorists. Turkey demands an apology and Israel refuses. (By the way, Friedman terms these actions “ the killing by Israeli commandos of Turkish citizens”.) Is any of this Netanyahu’s fault?
Finally, following the mob attack on the Egyptian embassy in which the Israeli staff tried to tough it out despite warnings by the Egyptians (a fact that the Israeli government was mercilessly attacked for by the Israeli ‘left’), a similar attack was expected on the Israeli embassy in Jordan. This time the Israeli government ordered its Ambassador and his staff home until the event had passed. How can anyone call this Netanyahu’s fault?
Every time Norman Finkelstein appears in person to speak or prints another article accusing Israel of exaggerating the Holocaust, he always notes that his “parents are Holocaust survivors.” Every time that that BDS has a program against Israel, it always makes sure to have a token “Jew” there. Every time that a flotilla forms against Gaza, you can be sure there will be a ‘former Israeli’ on board. And every time Thomas Friedman writes an inflammatory article against Israel, you can be sure that he will begin or conclude by writing “I have great sympathy for Israel’s strategic dilemma and no illusions about its enemies.” Whether it be Finkelstein or Friedman, cloaking one’s anti-Israel or anti-Semitic words in the pretense of sympathy for Israel or Jews is simply abominable.