Tom Friedman seems to threaten cutting off Israel’s aid

Israel/Palestine
on 50 Comments

Tom Friedman, who overlooks the neoconservatives and their sandbagging of the alleged peace process, is to his credit sick of the peace process and seems to call for an end to aid to the Jewish state. Or maybe I’m reading him wrong?

If we are still begging Israel to stop building settlements, which is so manifestly idiotic, and the Palestinians to come to negotiations, which is so manifestly in their interest, and the Saudis to just give Israel a wink, which is so manifestly pathetic, we are in the wrong place. It’s time to call a halt to this dysfunctional “peace process,” which is only damaging the Obama team’s credibility.

If the status quo is this tolerable for the parties, then I say, let them enjoy it. I just don’t want to subsidize it or anesthetize it anymore. We need to fix America. If and when they get serious, they’ll find us. And when they do, we should put a detailed U.S. plan for a two-state solution, with borders, on the table. Let’s fight about something big.

Oh, I see Greenwald is on this, too.

50 Responses

  1. potsherd
    November 8, 2009, 3:04 pm

    I don’t see Friedman saying to cut off financial aid, but rather to butt out of the “peace process,” which no one is interested in but the US. Greenwald, yes, seems to be suggesting it.

    It’s amazing that an administration as new as Obama’s is so deep into the same old ruts and refusing to look to one side or the other for a way out.

    • potsherd
      November 8, 2009, 3:09 pm

      Adding that both Fayyad the Unelected and Mofaz are making unilateral proposals for simply declaring a Palestinian state without bothering to go through a “peace process” first. Needless to say, they don’t bear a great resemblance to each other.

      • Citizen
        November 8, 2009, 4:14 pm

        What if the Palestinians had a leader who simply sent a letter to Truman-Obama they were declaring their own state of Palestine? In this letter, published to the world simultaneously, they could say their cause has come to prime time–as, they could say, the Jewish cause came in 1948, and now in 2008, the Palestinian declaration time has come?

      • potsherd
        November 8, 2009, 5:08 pm

        Cit – this is Fayyad’s proposal. Furthermore, there seems to be a rumor that he has Obama’s tacit approval for this – which may have something to do with the fact that he’s meeting with Bibiyahoo after all before he goes to the funeral.

      • Chaos4700
        November 8, 2009, 9:37 pm

        Palestine is a state already, actually. Just ask Russia, China, most of Africa and South America, among 100 or so countries. They all recognize Palestine.

      • Sin Nombre
        November 9, 2009, 4:43 am

        Due to vague early reporting I think it’s misperceived that Mofaz is making a unilateral proposal for simply declaring a Pal state. As I understand it he is proposing that via temporary/interim status talks with the Pals—including Hamas amazingly, if it wins the next Pal election—the I’s immediately renounce about 60% of the occupied territories and recognize upon same an interim Pal state so long as the Pal’s agree. The I’s and the Pal’s at the same time start holding final status talks aimed at concluding final borders and a final resolution to other issues with the I’s working on legislation to compensate whatever Israeli citizens are displaced by the final status agreement. See:

        link to monstersandcritics.com

        link to reuters.com

        The Reuters’ article was esp. interesting in noting that Mofaz’s idea was the talk of the Israeli political media over the weekend. (Or at least interesting to me given my suspicion that in one form or another I think the idea might well prove to have some legs in Israel.)

        In terms of declaring a Pal state that’s kind of interesting and Chaos4700 is on the right track: Many countries already recognize a Palestinian state because way back in the 1970’s I think—maybe when their leadership was in Morocco or Tunis or somewhere like that?—the PLO *did* declare such a state and that’s what has provided these other countries the basis to recognize same.

        However, the idea that the PA would do so again in essence still has power because, essentially, via its negotiations with Israel the PA has essentially admitted it does not yet have a state. So the possible re-declaration of one unilaterally does sto;; hold some significant concern for Israel because of what this might mean now, such as many more countries than before and even the U.N. recognizing it and recognizing its borders as being ’67 borders, and all kind of other things both related to that and unrelated. (For instance, if a Palestine with ’67 borders were recognized then Israel’s occupation would perhaps be raised from merely being viewed as illegal internationally to something more, perhaps meaning that almost no matter what it did the Pals would be deemed to be acting in rightful defense of aggression and etc. and so forth. There was a recent Haaretz story about this—dealing with a rumor that Obama had a secret deal with the Pal’s approving their unilateral dec. of a new state—but its disappeared. I at least suspect that’s because some Pal came out and said it wasn’t true.

        Why the Pals would not pursue this course or use to to their advantage more I can’t say, and can only speculate that it’s via U.S. pressure or bribery of the same sort that persuaded Abbas and the PA not to push the Goldstone Report.

        Lastly and on an unrelated point—albeit not unrelated at all to Bernard Avishai’s recent talk here about “the grandeur of the Torah” at least—Haaretz is carrying an interesting report about a new book being put out by some Rabbi there entitled “The King’s Torah.” The report says that “[s]everal prominent rabbis have recommended the book to their students and followers and it’s thus even more piquant to me at least as a Gentile:

        link to haaretz.com

  2. Mooser
    November 8, 2009, 3:12 pm

    You are reading him wrong. Friedman is saying that the US should simply look the other way and let Israel do what it wants.

    “We need to fix America.” He means, ‘ the family strip mall and shopping center real-estate empire has come on hard times, I need the money’

    If you actually proposed that America cut off the money to Israel, Friedman would be the first to start yelling anti-Semite.

    Or do we simply greet his each utterance as completely disconnected from his past utterances and actions?

    I get the feeling sometimes, that Phil has a dream that help is gonna come from a place from whence no help cometh. It’s like he expects the Jews to voluntarily give up power and advantage. C’mon Phil, you gotta remember, Jews are only human.
    Look how much just the vicarious enjoyment of Israel’s power stimulates the ziocaine crowd. You don’t think they will give that up merely to save Israeli lives?
    Believe me, when the time comes, all the Jews who really matter will be able to clear out and come back to America.

    • Call Me Ishmael
      November 8, 2009, 4:01 pm

      “I get the feeling sometimes, that Phil has a dream that help is gonna come from a place from whence no help cometh. It’s like he expects the Jews to voluntarily give up power and advantage. C’mon Phil, you gotta remember, Jews are only human.”

      That reads like something I might have said, in so many words. Mooser, sometimes when you drop your ethnic defensiveness you can make some really sharp points.

      That’s why I keep harping on the idea that non-Zionist or anti-Zionist Jews should learn to cooperate more with like-minded non-Jews (sorry about all the hyphenated words).

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2009, 4:14 pm

        Yeah, that’s me, just one big bundle of ethnic defensiveness, with palmate (That’s a Yiddish word for “what you jack off with”) antlers on top.

        And I will stand on that, Ishmael! The Jews have the world’s greatest schmendricks and these days, first class <i.schlimiels too. And we turn out as good a qualityschlamazel and nudniks as were ever known! Top that, you eater of white bread and mayonnaise!

      • Citizen
        November 8, 2009, 4:35 pm

        “Top that, you eater of white bread and mayonnaise!”

        The test of virtue is power. We all know that David Duke has been kicked to the curb–reduced to a crazy fringe of society, and this, while the USA still remains with a white majority (though dwindling fast; which reminds me that the “silent holocaust” is just a strum beat of David Duke’ s). Is it possible that Israel has to have it’s own Civil War akin to the USA’s in the latter middle of the 19th Century?
        The white world slowly evolved to the present day, a major bump in the road was the dozen years of Greater Germany’s regime. We are all still evolving. It think the current major problem is that the USA is a plutocracy, and nobody in congress thinks at core beyond the best economic interests of their biological family. Am I wrong in my vision? Please inform me.

      • Call Me Ishmael
        November 8, 2009, 5:57 pm

        Mooser, it is typically presumptuous of you to imply that I spread mayonnaise on my white bread.

      • kylebisme
        November 9, 2009, 2:45 am

        Yes Mooser, you go into Witty mode on occasion, here being one notable example.

    • MRW
      November 8, 2009, 4:22 pm

      But regular non-Jewish people are going to read this as cut the aid to Israel. Besides, as you pointed out before, Mooser, Friedman’s wife needs to recoup her dough.

      • potsherd
        November 8, 2009, 5:09 pm

        No way. The Zionists have been screaming “Leave Israel Alone!”

    • robin
      November 8, 2009, 5:43 pm

      I’m with you here Mooser. He certainly doesn’t come out and say it. And if he was suggesting that, he would in effect be suggesting a massive show of support to the Palestinian side, which he absolutely savages. You’re right about the equivalency canard. He’s saying it’s equally Israel’s and the Palestinians’ fault. So why punish one side so much more than the other, as cutting off aid would do?

      And of course his “equivalency” arguments are ludicrous. Abbas isn’t feeling political pain? He’s committed to holding power and ideological obsessions? To his great credit, the man is resigning. Clearly the phony peace process has incinerated him politically, and holding power is at least not his first priority. And demands for basic human rights are “ideological obsessions”? That is a pretty vicious characterization. And then there’s this: “this Palestinian Authority still can’t decide whether to reconcile with the Jewish state or criminalize it.” Uh, you’re about 30 years too late on this one, Tom.

      I read this right after reading Avnery’s piece. Though he may not understand BDS or more fundamental criticisms of Israel, Avnery, bless him, GETS the peace process. Friedman doesn’t at all, except the obvious fact that it’s failure.

      What better characterization is there of the peace process (to this point) than this: “phony negotiations, devoid of substance, as a camouflage for the deepening of the occupation and enlarging of the settlements.” For the Palestinians, negotiations are not “so manifestly in their interest” as Friedman asserts. As currently structured, they provide nothing and serve as a fig leaf to brutal oppression.

      And though it’s not his, credit Avnery for printing this gem: “We are negotiating the division of a pizza, and in the meantime, Israel is eating the pizza.” Is opposing that an “ideological obsession”?

      Oh, and Mooser, don’t take any crap about “ethnic defensiveness”. You’re right on the issues, and I think its great that people stand up to the anti-semitic goons that troll this site.

      • Cliff
        November 8, 2009, 6:00 pm

        Are you kidding? Do you read this blog? There are far more Islamophobes and anti-Arab racists – whom Phil NEVER bans.

        Mooser spends a great deal of time making stupid jokes. Targeted at regulars here who are sick of Jewish exceptionalism and IDENTITY POLITICS.

        Why don’t you take your gate-keeping elsewhere? Go hold more dark-skinned orphans to make yourself feel better.

      • Call Me Ishmael
        November 8, 2009, 6:10 pm

        Which commentators here are “the anti-semitic goons that troll this site”? While you are at it, please provide your working definition of antisemitism.

      • Cliff
        November 8, 2009, 6:16 pm

        There’s a good idea for a blog entry:

        A clear and detailed definition of what the hell, antisemitism is.

        Oh and robin, are you a Jew? Or are you just a chicken shit liberal? Or both?

      • robin
        November 8, 2009, 6:18 pm

        Someone’s a little sensitive. I know there are Islamophobes and anti-Arab racists here. They’re trolls too.

        If Arab and Muslim posters responded to them, should they also be called out for “ethnic defensiveness”? That’s what I was objecting to. Not engaging in any “gate-keeping”, though I would prefer people check their bigotry at the door.

      • robin
        November 8, 2009, 6:22 pm

        Haha, I guess I’m a chicken shit liberal, not that it should matter.

      • Cliff
        November 8, 2009, 6:42 pm

        Of course I’m sensitive, you douchebag.

        Possibly 1 million dead Iraqis. Before that 500,000 dead Iraqi CHILDREN.

        1400 dead Palestinians in 22 days. It’s goes ON and ON.

        That’s the physical brutality. Then there’s the intellectual dehumanization of the Arab by Zionists, American jingoists and ethnocentric Jews – via Hollywood film after Hollywood film, the propaganda by our news media, and our moronic bought-and-paid-for politicians.

        You hand wring over antisemitism and I’ll do the same over anti-Arab and anti-Islamic hatred – even though Jews are part of the Establishment and have vastly vastly more political capital and clout over Arabs and Muslims. Even though many of the policy makers in our country are Jews and Zionists. Etc. etc.

        Fuck you.

      • tree
        November 8, 2009, 6:47 pm

        “If Arab and Muslim posters responded to them, should they also be called out for “ethnic defensiveness”? ”

        Mooser hasn’t been called on his defensiveness merely because he claims to be Jewish. He’s been called on it because he’s been defensive and bigoted in his own way. He’s claimed that he can’t understand Americans because he doesn’t understand “racist chicken-hawkery”, he’s made numerous negative over-generalizations about non-Jews, and attacked various posters here because according to his fondly held stereotypes they must have voted for Bush or agreed with the Iraq war just because they disagree with him. He also finds anti-semitism everywhere when anyone talks about Jewish culture (which he insists doesn’t exist) or religion(which has no relation to Zionism in his head, whereas Christianity has some relationship to anti-semitism and racism). If he thinks that some non-Jewish poster dares to hold any Jew, or group of Jews, (even Zionists themselves) responsible for Zionism then he insists that poster must be falling for anti-semitic tropes, which then of course leads him to make further negative assumptions along stereotypical lines. In other words, he’s got ethnic defensiveness issues. Some people have them. No individual is immune to that merely because of their religion or ethnic heritage.

        If you stick around longer you’ll understand his shtick. He has and can make good points but he has his own blindspots and prejudices. And really, “goon” is a pretty nasty word to be throwing around. Check your own prejudices.

      • potsherd
        November 8, 2009, 7:30 pm

        I love Avnery for that line!

      • Chaos4700
        November 8, 2009, 9:47 pm

        Cliff and I have butted heads (albeit briefly) in the past but I’m with him 100%. I don’t believe it was the intent of anyone with admin priveleges running this site but there does seem to be an inconsistency whereby racist anti-Arab caricatures don’t get banned, but anti-Semitic ones have.

        Not that I’d openly lobby for anyone to be banned, although I should confess that I have used “Report Abuse” to offer my own unsolicited recommendations that certain people be banned for truly heinous comments. But I think unfortunately, there is something of a double standard that has occurred on the site, although I think it’s unintentional. After all, it’s natural that Mr. Weiss, being human, is going to be more sensitive and react more strongly to comments that, effectively, target him and his own. It’s the natural reacion, I don’t blame him for that — but then again, the consequence of the ban policy as it seems to stand now cannot be ignored.

        As a sidebar, I have to contest the notion that Mooser is bigoted. He can be a bit vitriolic (and my criticizing that would very much be the pot calling the kettle black, so don’t view that as a criticism. Vitriol can be good, sometimes) but he relies on sardonic tone and ironic humor to make his point. There’s a lot of subtext to what he says, but unlike someone like, say, Witty, I don’t perceive any racism or bigotry in it. Is overt tone is very different from his covert one.

      • robin
        November 8, 2009, 10:22 pm

        OK Cliff. First of all, I never called you (or anyone else) out for anti-semitism. Second, did you see my post? 5 paragraphs criticizing real-world anti-Arab actions and biases, 2 sentences “hand-wringing” about anti-semitism. Am I really the best target for your rage? Hence my observation that you’re “a little sensitive”.

        “Ethnic defensiveness” was a phrase that struck me as bullying. As in, “don’t respond when people write things that you judge to be anti-semitic”, or “your feelings of being offended are invalid”. Mooser has a right to respond in those cases, and if he’s wrong about the content being anti-semitic, criticize that. If you think that he often inappropriately accuses people of anti-semitism, I don’t know, I think there would be a better way to express that.

        But it’s been my experience that there is genuine anti-semitism expressed on this blog, as well as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry. They both seem to make it through Phil’s filtering system.

        My working definition of anti-semitism would be “hatred or dislike of Jews (as Jews)”. As in, a person’s Jewish identity having some bearing on your dislike for them.

      • tree
        November 9, 2009, 12:12 am

        robin,

        First of all, I never called you (or anyone else) out for anti-semitism. Bad way to start off your argument, since you did call people out.

        With your comment to Mooser, “don’t take any crap about “ethnic defensiveness”. You’re right on the issues, and I think its great that people stand up to the anti-semitic goons that troll this site. ” you in effect called “Call Me Ishmael” an “anti-semitic goon”. You offered no proof nor argument to support your slur, so I think its a little hypocritical of you to insist that others have to defend their opinions regarding Mooser’s ethnic defensiveness, but you can throw insults around and then be surprised that anyone took your comments negatively. Really? You think that “anti-semitic goons” is a term that we are too sensitive about? You meant it in the nicest way, and we took it all wrong? Please.

        CMI has not posted much lately but his posts are always thought-provoking and often get to the crux of the matter. And I don’t see that anything he has said here has been anti-semitic. In fact, his comment to Mooser was mostly a compliment about the point Mooser was making. CMI has provided a reasoning behind his belief that Mooser has a problem with “ethnic defensiveness”, and this has already been discussed at length. If you’ve got proof that something CMI said was anti-semitic, fine, then provide it. Otherwise, don’t be so surprised if you throw out slur and get it slammed back down your throat.

      • tree
        November 9, 2009, 12:14 am

        Reposting, because I am hopeless at this today.

        robin,

        First of all, I never called you (or anyone else) out for anti-semitism.

        Bad way to start off your argument, since you did call people out.

        With your comment to Mooser, “don’t take any crap about “ethnic defensiveness”. You’re right on the issues, and I think its great that people stand up to the anti-semitic goons that troll this site. ” you in effect called “Call Me Ishmael” an “anti-semitic goon”. You offered no proof nor argument to support your slur, so I think its a little hypocritical of you to insist that others have to defend their opinions regarding Mooser’s ethnic defensiveness, but you can throw insults around and then be surprised that anyone took your comments negatively. Really? You think that “anti-semitic goons” is a term that we are too sensitive about? You meant it in the nicest way, and we took it all wrong? Please.

        CMI has not posted much lately but his posts are always thought-provoking and often get to the crux of the matter. And I don’t see that anything he has said here has been anti-semitic. In fact, his comment to Mooser was mostly a compliment about the point Mooser was making. CMI has provided a reasoning behind his belief that Mooser has a problem with “ethnic defensiveness”, and this has already been discussed at length. If you’ve got proof that something CMI said was anti-semitic, fine, then provide it. Otherwise, don’t be so surprised if you throw out slur and get it slammed back down your throat.

      • robin
        November 9, 2009, 12:26 am

        Whoa, hold on a minute: “you in effect called ‘Call Me Ishmael’ an ‘anti-semitic goon'”.

        I don’t agree that I did. The “ethnic defensiveness”, I assumed, referred to prior instances of Mooser being “ethnically defensive”, possibly against “anti-semitic goons”. “Goon” was not directed toward anyone in particular, but I stand by the assertion that vulgar anti-semitism has colored comments on this blog in the past.

        But Call Me Ishmael, if I misinterpreted your comment (per my previous explanation of how I interpreted it), I apologize.

      • tree
        November 9, 2009, 12:38 am

        Ok, so you made all sorts of assumptions without any basis in fact, and meant only to refer to some unnamed “anti-semitic goon”, whom you refuse to identify and you refuse to indicate exactly what was posted to justify such an appellation.

        I wold hope that the next time you feel the need to throw out a slur you will at least back it up with some detail and reasoning. Better yet, if you think that something someone has said was anti-semitic, why don’t you follow your own advice: “I think there would be a better way to express that.”

      • robin
        November 9, 2009, 1:32 am

        I know you’re not giving me a hard time about it, but let me explain better what I meant last post.

        I said: “I think its great that people stand up to the anti-semitic goons that troll this site.” Since Mooser and Call Me Ishmael were in the process of agreeing, I didn’t think Mooser could be interpreted as “standing up” to Call Me Ishmael in that instance. So my “slur” would not apply.

      • Call Me Ishmael
        November 9, 2009, 2:03 am

        robin – thanks for the explanation and I want to assure you I have no hard feelings. I have noticed and admired a number of your comments here.

        tree – thanks for the spirited defense. Well put, as always. You explained quite cogently the basis for my little dig at Mooser, which I meant only in a friendly way.
        It seems to me that robin probably wasn’t aware of some of the previous discussions.

        Cliff – I think it is obvious to everyone here that you are angry. Many of us are angry and frustrated about the state of the world. I often agree, at least in part, with the general drift of many of your comments. But I want to say again that I think you are fully capable of expressing and defending your views without resort to name-calling and verbal abuse.

        One further point, Cliff. I think it is very important on this blog – ESPECIALLY this blog – not to talk as though all Jews were alike, not to paint all Jews with the same brush. To do so, particularly with explicit rage, inevitably suggests the possibility of antisemitism. This lumping of Jews together in one homogeneous group is one of Mooser’s pet peeves, and I agree with him entirely that it is never appropriate.

        As far as I know, Mondoweiss is unique as a forum permitting intelligent people to exchange wide-ranging and controversial commentary concerning Israel/Palestine and US Middle Eastern policy. We want to keep this good thing going by keeping it civil. (Here again, I suspect Mooser and I are in agreement.)

      • robin
        November 9, 2009, 2:15 am

        I think I failed to pick up the not-totally-serious tone, so sorry about that. Anyway, I mostly just meant my comments to affirm that standing up to anti-semitism here is worthwhile, which most of us seem to agree to.

  3. Mooser
    November 8, 2009, 3:15 pm

    Shorter Friedman: “We’re just gonna turn our back for a while, you know what you have to do, and you know we will have to make some polite noises of reproach here in America, but it will all work out.

    Notice, Friedman leans hard on the “equivalency canard” Witty used to be so fond of.

  4. Richard Witty
    November 8, 2009, 3:19 pm

    Friedman is only despondent. He is echoing Avnery’s sentiment above, that the world held high hopes for Obama, and so far he has not yet delivered presidential leadership.

    • Mooser
      November 8, 2009, 4:16 pm

      Witty, was Obama elected President of Israel? I did not know that. But please, Witty go on admitting that Israel’s fate is pretty much in America’s hands. It makes it much easier to know what to do.

      • Mooser
        November 8, 2009, 4:19 pm

        Of course, the idea that the Israelis might actually have to show some leadership, and maybe even some decent actions isn’t even on the table, is it Richard? Obama has to do it all. And gosh, there’s just no way the Israelis can influence him to do good stuff for the Palestinians, no matter how desperately they try.

      • Chaos4700
        November 8, 2009, 9:54 pm

        Mooser, didn’t you know? According to Witty, it’s actually the Palestinian’s fault for whom gets elected in the Knesset! Hamas has had a master plan, tricking Israelis into dousing their homes, food and children with white phosphorous in order to win the world’s sympathy. The rocket attacks were designed to make it impossible for Israel to do anything else — the IDF had no choice but to slaughter civilians indiscriminately in response to rocket attacks that killed as many people over a decade as Israel killed within the first five hours of Operation Cast Lead! Especially after Hamas, the clever bastards, stopped firing rockets into Israel during the cease fire until Israel broke it on November 4th, but for which Israel cannot be held account according to Witty.

      • tree
        November 9, 2009, 12:22 am

        “in response to rocket attacks that killed as many people over a decade as Israel killed within the first five hours of Operation Cast Lead!”

        Chaos, I think the total number of Israelis killed by rocket fire over a decade is in the low teens. Israel killed over 200 in the first hours. They exceeded the decade long kill number in the first few minutes.

  5. Eva Smagacz
    November 8, 2009, 4:40 pm

    There is an icing on the cake: The Israeli intransigence with the issue of settlements have broke into the mainstream media, making it very difficult to maintain an illusion that Israel is selflessly and breathlessly seeking peace.
    If Israel is making Obama look like a fool, it is also making few Americans feel like shmucks. This is turning the public opinion against supporting Israel “no matter what” and it is making it difficult for Israel to continue using “Victim Card”.
    If issue of Aid to Israel were to start to be mentioned in the media while American public is feeling slighted, it may create some new political currency for Obama that he could use to pressure Israel.

    • Richard Witty
      November 8, 2009, 4:48 pm

      Its definitely true. For Freidman to dedicate column inches to his despondency, indicates that that is widely shared.

      People are rationally getting very impatient with the stalemate, and the US impotence to realize any change.

    • Danaa
      November 9, 2009, 1:20 am

      I agree, Eva. When something looks like it’s getting through to our obtuse Friedmann, it indicates there’s a percolating cauldron of resentment not too deep below the surface of the MSM gatekeepers. I also think that Tom – who may be a zionist but fancy himself a great american patriot – actually feels offended that his president would be treated with such disrespect. Like Obama or not – whatever his other duties – he also symbolizes the country, much as the queen of england symbolizes hers. So on that level, many people are embarrassed as well as pissed off. I wouldn’t be surprised if even rahm emnuel is, who I’m sure is plotting right now how to put the yahoo in his place. I think Tom F made a slip and seeing that he did let it stand. But that’s the way he is.

      Of course, none of that is the same as plotting for real peace (where frankly, we could use some of rahm’s machinations and calculated indignations). But I’ll take a decent smack down as apperitif any day.

  6. Richard Parker
    November 8, 2009, 8:27 pm

    Thomas Friedman is an ‘Establishment Voice’ . If he (and his wife) are beginning to feel the pain of the millions of other Americans who are paying the price of an over-extended empire, and he expresses it, good for him. If other MSM people follow him, then better.

    The very thought of reducing Israel’s obscenely large aid-giving by the USA might become a more generally known area, and subject to a resentment by those millions. (Of course, this would give rise to complaints about ‘anti-Semitism’ in the US).

    As for Avnery, he’s a wise man, and has seen these problems developing from up close. If he sees Israel’s ‘partner for peace’ disappearing from the scene (like Arafat, but not quite), and, very correctly, the resulting opportunity for Israel to acquire more ‘land for peace’ , he’s astute and right.

    Maybe he doesn’t ‘understand’ BDS, but so what? Maybe he just knows that just not buying Jaffa (Haifa) oranges or Dead Sea mud cosmetics will not do the trick.

    Phil (and partners) – please crank up the idea of weaning Israel from its nipple.

  7. tr
    November 8, 2009, 11:09 pm

    is that richard bordeaux parker, former us ambassador to lebanon?

  8. Donald
    November 8, 2009, 11:18 pm

    Friedman’s two unwritten rules are as follows–

    1. If Israel bears most of the blame, then Friedman blames them both equally.

    2. And if the Israelis and Palestinians are equally to blame, Friedman blames the Palestinians.

    Due to circumstances he’s currently employing rule 1. Notice how he sneers at the notion of “criminalizing” the Israeli government. He’s got to sneer at that–he implicitly supported Israel’s actions right after the Gaza War.

    • Donald
      November 8, 2009, 11:25 pm

      Here, btw, is where Friedman takes for granted Israel’s right to “educate” Arabs b bombing them–

      link

      I also forgot to include his third unwritten rule–

      The US always means well, is always trying to bring peace, and is at worst guilty only of naively expecting others to be as good as we are.

  9. Richard Parker
    November 9, 2009, 5:14 am

    Friedman is an overpaid journalistic reptile; albeit with a natty moustache. Forget his actual thoughts and scribblings; trace his moves from outright defence of every Israeli aggression last February to his recent comments that, just perhaps, Israel might be restrained.

    @ Donald: “The US always means well, is always trying to bring peace, and is at worst guilty only of naively expecting others to be as good as we are. ”

    The best I can say about this, without going on for 3 pages, is: total bullshit.

    • Donald
      November 9, 2009, 12:30 pm

      “@ Donald: “The US always means well, is always trying to bring peace, and is at worst guilty only of naively expecting others to be as good as we are. ”

      The best I can say about this, without going on for 3 pages, is: total bullshit. ”

      Agreed. I hope you understood I was describing Friedman’s views, not mine. Anyway, that attitude underlies every foreign policy piece he writes, even the rare ones where he makes a certain limited amount of sense.

  10. Citizen
    November 9, 2009, 7:56 am

    I thinks Glen Greenwald’s article, which Phil referenced, everyone should read–I noticed nobody mentioned it so far on this comment thread although it covers things really well and his analysis is great:

    link to salon.com

    • Chaos4700
      November 9, 2009, 9:20 am

      It’s a solid article, certainly, Citizen, but besides mentioning the other columnists, there’s nothing new in it. That’s not a knock on Greenwald, it’s just… what is there to comment on? At least, nothing is forth coming to me. Except for the fact that this is probably too little, too late for the MSM.

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