Friedman: Middle Easterners are scheming, except Israel

Israel/Palestine
on 103 Comments

Orientalism, the globalist variety: Notice how Tom Friedman, now in Istanbul, goes from describing as insane a conspiracy theory that on its face is plausible– the shocking possibility that the enemy of Israel’s new enemy is Israel’s friend– to mounting his own (mildly interesting) theory of why Erdogan used the flotilla as a radical raid on Israel.

Moreover, Erdogan has evolved from just railing against Israel’s attacks on Hamas in Gaza to spouting conspiracy theories — like the insane notion that Israel is backing the P.K.K. terrorists — as a way of consolidating his political base among conservative Muslims in Turkey and abroad…

Only two weeks before the Gaza flotilla incident, a leading poll showed Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P., trailing his main opposition — the secularist Republican People’s Party — for the first time since the A.K.P. came to office in 2002. That is surely one reason Erdogan openly took sides with one of the most radical forces in the region, Hamas — to re-energize his political base. But did he overplay his hand?

I never forget that Friedman also dismissed as insane and conspiratorial the theory that American Zionists had anything to do with the decision to invade Iraq. Then a year or two later he essentially conceded the point to Haaretz (not his large American audience).

103 Responses

  1. Richard Witty
    June 20, 2010, 9:34 am

    His point is a good one.

    Please don’t repeat the “Israel orchestrated the Georgia civil war”, “Israel is orchestrating Kurdish dissent”, “Israel started Hamas” repetitions.

    It does make you sound like a Larouchite.

    • kalithea
      June 20, 2010, 10:20 am

      Israel tacitly backed Hamas as a weapon against Fatah….and after the covert operations Israel has been conducting for years to destabilize Iran, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that Israel is tacitly aiding the Kurds in some way. Israelis are mean and vindictive that way.

    • kapok
      June 20, 2010, 10:44 am

      Whoer the ones forging passports, witless?

    • Donald
      June 20, 2010, 11:58 am

      “His point is a good one.”

      His point would be better if he’d acknowledge (as Phil points out) that Americans and Israelis are at least as conspiratorial-minded as the Middle Easterners and often with less reason. Jeffrey Goldberg is a prime example–he wrote a long piece in the New Yorker linking Saddam to Al Qaeda based on the flimsiest of evidence and all that has happened to his career is that he keeps failing upwards. You don’t get marginalized in US political circles by being wrong, so long as you’re wrong in the right way.

      Friedman himself is two-faced–lecturing Arabs and Turks on democracy and openness and yet there’s no one in the American press more willing to support the subversion of democracy, praise brutality (when practiced by the US or Israel) and ignore unpleasant facts than Tom Friedman. He’s an absolutely terrible model of what he claims to favor.

      As for Israel, I don’t pretend to know what they or the CIA might be up to behind the scenes–we often don’t get official confirmation of what was done until many decades later, if then. Israel had connections with some of the most unsavory people on the planet during the Cold War era (the South African apartheid regime, the Guatemalan military), as did the US, and so who knows for sure what might be happening now? I take conspiracy theories without much evidence with a truckload of salt, but expect that in 30 or 40 years when almost nobody cares we’ll probably hear a few things that would be dismissed as laughable conspiracy theories now.

      • MRW
        June 20, 2010, 1:33 pm

        Donald,

        I take conspiracy theories without much evidence with a truckload of salt, but expect that in 30 or 40 years when almost nobody cares we’ll probably hear a few things that would be dismissed as laughable conspiracy theories now.

        That’s the intention of both the label and the so-called theory: shame you into waiting so the real agenda can get enacted.

      • Shingo
        June 22, 2010, 6:02 pm

        “Friedman himself is two-faced–lecturing Arabs and Turks on democracy and openness and yet there’s no one in the American press more willing to support the subversion of democracy, praise brutality (when practiced by the US or Israel) and ignore unpleasant facts than Tom Friedman. He’s an absolutely terrible model of what he claims to favor.”

        Hence why Witty agrees with him.

    • potsherd
      June 20, 2010, 12:48 pm

      Please don’t tell the truth about Israeli black ops. It makes them sound like a nasty country.

      Because it is.

    • MRW
      June 20, 2010, 1:19 pm

      Please don’t repeat the “Israel orchestrated the Georgia civil war”, “Israel is orchestrating Kurdish dissent”, “Israel started Hamas” repetitions.

      The bonafide news reports from the American military press of Israeli involvement in Georgia from the start of the Iraq War and Israel’s pull-out one week before Saakashvili slaughtered over 2,000 South Ossetians in their bed, in one night alone, puts a lie to your usual badly researched assertions. Any 11-year-old can google for that. [Any reader can also search youtube for the Florida residents who were in South Ossetia the night it happened.]

      The Israel started Hamas charge came from Israeli reporting. Again, you have done zero research to substantiate your position one way or the other, and fail to cite any authority, good or bad, for the hyperboles you fling at Phil hoping that your amygdala-generated fantasies will stick. “It does make you sound like a Larouchite! a Mennonite! a Meiskeit!”

      And as for this: “Israel is orchestrating Kurdish dissent,” google for Paritzky, the former National Infrastructures Minister and the oil pipeline from Mosul (in Kurdish territory) to Haifa. Try, oh, April 2003 as a search element as well, and to get to the right article, add The Guardian. Paritzky was shamed out of office after he “let the cat out of the bag.”

    • Sumud
      June 20, 2010, 2:01 pm

      Come on Richard, this is the 3rd time (at least) I’ve asked..

      Shortly after the murdering of civilians began on the Mavi Marmara you declared you were running away for two weeks [rather than confronting Israel's appalling behaviour]. Then when you return you claimed you let for other reasons.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      Prove it.

      If you’re telling the truth, it will be easy. If not, then you really shouldn’t be permitted to post here. A difference of opinion is one thing – blatant lying is another. It’s not the first time for you, just the most recent. I consider it a form of abuse. It’s an insult, not only to We The People who comment at Mondoweiss, but to Phil and Adam.

    • Mooser
      June 20, 2010, 4:07 pm

      “It does make you sound like a Larouchite.”

      My oh my, how temperate, how moderate, Richard Witty is becoming. When Phil went to Gaza, Richard Witty accused him of selling his journalists soul for a plate of hummus “Brainwashed” and “coerced” and to paraphrase “you did eat with them, didn’t you”? is what sticks in my mind.
      Andf now he’s retreated to calling Phil a “Larouchite”
      I’m sure Phil is so gratified by rising in Witty’s estimation, and no doubt breaths a sigh of relief when he sees Witty is still addressing him personally.

      • Richard Witty
        June 20, 2010, 8:36 pm

        “you did eat with them, didn’t you”?

        That is a fabrication on your part.

        I did ask if Phil was assessing what he saw independantly, or if he was influenced.

      • MRW
        June 21, 2010, 1:26 am

        “I did ask if Phil was assessing what he saw independantly, or if he was influenced.”

        Oh, he was probably influenced. Yeah, I would say Phil was influenced: by his own thinking, observations, and probably by his reading of historical and current reports. Et tu, Brute?

      • Shingo
        June 21, 2010, 2:02 am

        “Oh, he was probably influenced. Yeah, I would say Phil was influenced: by his own thinking, observations, and probably by his reading of historical and current reports.”

        As opposed to Witty, who’s only thinking was invested in  how to shoe horn historical and current reports he might have read (the very few), to comply with his Zionist ideology.

        For example, Phil will look at the November 4th attack by Istael on Gaza and conclude that it was a violation of the ceasefire. Witty on the other hand viewed the whole episode through an ethnocentric tribalustic prison where the Palestinians are expected to passively accept their macabre fête, whereas it would be entirely appropriate for Israel to respmd with overeheliming force yep any provocation.

      • Shmuel
        June 21, 2010, 2:14 am

        viewed the whole episode through an ethnocentric tribalustic prison … the Palestinians are expected to passively accept their macabre fête

        Shingo,
        Either you or your phone spellcheck have a wonderfully poetic way with mistakes.

      • demize
        June 21, 2010, 3:19 am

        Shmuel you don’t now the half of it lol. Case in point: There transmogrifies into Their or They’re. In a random fashion. On screen keyboards are weird too. That’s my guess.

      • Shmuel
        June 21, 2010, 3:28 am

        But prison for prism and fête for fate are magnificent here. Worthy of a really talented poet.

      • demize
        June 21, 2010, 3:11 am

        LOL, if he was a Larouchite then the cospiracy would eventually devolve into blaming the British Monarchy. I wanted to post this essay in response to VR. But could not find the thread. Their are some very relevant points in it as well as the connected essays. It is broadly in regard to power relations and oppressive systems. link to powerofnarrative.blogspot.com

  2. Walid
    June 20, 2010, 9:48 am

    Friedman’s letter from Istanbul sounded more like a letter from Israel’s MFA. He just had to repoeat a couple of times, maybe three, how people are terrified of speaking their mind in Turkey, which to me sounded like pure BS. Erdogan did not need a rumble with Israel to lift his popularity. A while back, he didn’t need to raise it either when he pissed down on the Peres’ leg and finally all over him at Davos. Somebody should piss on Friedman for this blatant piece of Israeli PR supposedly coming from Istanbul.

  3. lysias
    June 20, 2010, 10:05 am

    So Friedman would have us believe that it was just a coincidence that, two hours before the Israelis attacked the Freedom Flotilla, the PKK attacked the Turkish naval base at Iskenderun near the Syrian border, which just happened to be the base from which any Turkish naval assistance to the flotilla would have come? What’s more, he would have us believe it was so clearly just a coincidence that to believe anything else is insane?

  4. Gellian
    June 20, 2010, 10:09 am

    What about this, from the same column?

    “I’ve never visited a democracy where more people whom I interviewed asked me not to quote them by name for fear of retribution by Erdogan’s circle — in the form of lawsuits, tax investigations or being shut out of government contracts. The media here is rampantly self-censored.”

    Pretty funny. Friedman only thinks this way because he is on the right-thinking side of the Israel question…

    Seems like Phil might have something to say about this…

    • kalithea
      June 20, 2010, 10:24 am

      The Zionist Friedman preaching democracy to Erdogan, when Israel is detaining and “disappearing” people, denying them of legal and human rights and committing war crimes and crimes against humanity.

    • Sumud
      June 20, 2010, 3:14 pm

      I almost fell over when I read his line about the media in Turkey self-censoring – as if the manufactured Helen Thomas scandal didn’t demonstrate clearly how self-censoring the US media is RE: Israel.

  5. kalithea
    June 20, 2010, 10:15 am

    What do you expect from a dyed in the wool Zionist? I’m waiting for Erdogan is kick Israel’s butt real hard like it deserves.

    Davos was a slap on the wrist. Israel is rubbing Turkey’s nose in the Armenian Genocide STRICTLY for political gain and hasbara pr not because Israel ever really gave a damn about Armenians, since Israel never recognized it as a genocide anyway. Let no one be deceived: Israel is all about SELF-INTEREST. Israel is the LAST country that should be preaching to Turkey.

    Turkey needs to work with all its partners in the region to normalize relations with Iran and rub Israel’s nose in that!

    • Mooser
      June 20, 2010, 4:08 pm

      “Israel is all about SELF-INTEREST. “

      I wish.

      • MRW
        June 21, 2010, 1:32 am

        ;-) I laughed.

      • MRW
        June 21, 2010, 1:44 am

        At your remark, Mooser. “I wish.”

  6. VR
    June 20, 2010, 10:19 am

    There is one phrase in here, I always find these “Freudian slips” with Friedman –

    “Who defines Turkey will determine a lot about whether we end up in a war of civilizations.”

    Nothing new, he still carries the old neocon baggage as his foundation. As far as the political intrigue (Erdogan boosting his popularity), what politician does not try to boost their popularity? The implication is that Erdogan really does not care about Gaza (that is why he has gone on for years decrying what is done there), but merely uses it in a cynical ploy. Perhaps Mr. Friedman thinks Erdogan is as heartless as he is, or given to the cynical ploys that Friedman constantly displays.

    • lysias
      June 20, 2010, 10:25 am

      Sounds like Friedman is one of those trying to bring about a military coup in Turkey to remove Erdogan’s government.

      Pity for these schemers that Israel’s joining forces with the PKK has made any such venture even less possible than it was before.

      And Friedman has the nerve to suggest that, whereas Erdogan and his government are not democratic, a coup government would be democratic.

  7. lareineblanche
    June 20, 2010, 10:36 am

    Friedman’s columns are perfect for people who couldn’t find any of the Middle Eastern countries on a map without the big letters. Third-rate, milquetoast, pseudo-intellectual propagandist.

  8. Debonnaire
    June 20, 2010, 10:49 am

    Can just imagine the third rate crawl out of the woodwork Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet types who spoke to this schlomozzle. “Good to see you, Tom” (pants down around ankles, gefilte fish stains across shirt pocket, stinky fez)

  9. maximalistNarrative
    June 20, 2010, 11:01 am

    Turkish strikes kill girl in Iraq’s north
    Teenage girl’s family also wounded in strikes against Kurdish rebel positions in self-rule region
    Associated Press
    Published: 06.20.10, 17:36 / Israel News
    A local official says Turkish air raids in Iraq’s Kurdish north have killed a teenage girl – the first reported civilian death from shelling that began last week.

    Turkish warplanes often bomb suspected Turkish Kurdish rebel positions in the self-rule mountainous region. But the areas are sparsely populated and many have fled the villages being targeted.

    Karmang Ezzat, mayor of the Soran border town, said Sunday that the girl’s mother and 3-year-old brother also were wounded in the previous night’s attack.

    • potsherd
      June 20, 2010, 2:16 pm

      Turkey has a right to defend itself, no?

      Maybe Israel ought to rein in its pet Kurdish terrorists before the international community imposes crippling sanctions on a state supporter of terror.

      • maximalistNarrative
        June 20, 2010, 2:31 pm

        Israel has the right to defend itself, no?

        Maybe Iran ought to reign it its pet HAMAS terrorists before the international community imposes crippling sanctions on a state supporter of terror.

        Does the comments policy work as well for the goose as the gander?

    • kalithea
      June 20, 2010, 2:44 pm

      Hasbarists will pause to yap about the death of a teenager that serves their hasbarist propaganda, but Israel killed many Palestinian children and teenagers and just recently shot an American/Turkish teenager 4 times in the head and once in the chest execution style, but this kind of news hasbarists downplay and run from like the plague.

      Please, spare us your hypocrisy!

  10. boulos
    June 20, 2010, 11:02 am

    I stopped reading Thomas Friedman years ago. And now, when I have the occasional mental lapse and read him again, I am reminded why. He’s smug. He’s arrogant. He’s cocky. He’s patronizing. And he knows nothing about the Middle East. I mean, zero. The authors of Lonely Planet Guide Books know more about the region and culture than he does. Here is a guy who will explain how to deal with leaders of Middle Eastern countries based on how he imagines one should haggle for a carpet in a Middle Eastern suq. And the fact that he has no idea how simplistic, ridiculous and simplistic such comparisons are speaks volumes about his megalomania and ignorance. He almost certainly knows no Turkish or Persian. He might know enough Arabic to get around in a cab and maybe sound out street signs. He also loves to lecture Arabs, to tell them how they need to behave, what they need to do, how they need to think, in order to be accepted, treated like human beings, stop being killed and stolen from, etc. This is a standard tactic from the playbook of Zionist apologists. It just boggles my mind that Friedman has the perch that he does. I can only hope that nobody takes him seriously: he takes himself extremely seriously and that’s probably about all this planet can handle.

    • kalithea
      June 20, 2010, 11:09 am

      Couldn’t have put it better myself.

    • lysias
      June 20, 2010, 11:42 am

      Thomas was a Marshall Scholar, and got an M.Phil. in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford. At least in his youth, he was no dummy.

      • MRW
        June 20, 2010, 1:29 pm

        He told the truth about the Lebanon War and what Sharon was doing. He had the riot act read to him and that’s the last time he ever told the truth.

        That was 28 years ago.

  11. maximalistNarrative
    June 20, 2010, 11:06 am

    It’s possible that the comments policy ought to be changed. Maybe a clause stating that if it is believed the commenter may be a Zionist, the comments are liable to be held in a queue and not published until the conversation has well past the point where it was posted.

    • Sumud
      June 20, 2010, 3:18 pm

      Boo-hoo. Start your own blog if you’re bothered.

      • kalithea
        June 20, 2010, 3:37 pm

        I second the emotion.

    • Mooser
      June 20, 2010, 4:13 pm

      maximalist, I suggest “The Idiot’s Guide to the Internet” instead of whining.

      Say, fella, are all Zionists whining dirt-bags like you? Why are you so insistent that people should think so?

      And Blogger is free. You don’t even have to give your real name to start a blog, dodo.

    • tree
      June 20, 2010, 9:29 pm

      i am in no way whatsoever a Zionist and my comments have been subject to moderation lately as well. I suppose that if it bothered me a whole bunch I could email Phil or Adam about it. I wouldn’t immediately assume, as you did, that there was some nefarious conspiracy about the whole thing.

      • tree
        June 20, 2010, 9:31 pm

        And, of course, as I posted the above comment, I just got a notification that ‘Your comment is awaiting moderation.’

        I’m not sure what the criteria is for such a notification, but it has nothing to do with your viewpoint.

    • MRW
      June 21, 2010, 12:56 am

      “the comments are liable to be held in a queue and not published until the conversation has well past the point where it was posted.”

      The ‘ole Huffington Post trick, hunh?

  12. azythos
    June 20, 2010, 11:22 am

    So he’s in Istanbul too? Such a lot of travel activity. AIPAC mobilization to carry messages of support for the military coup? The same days the Turkish press is choke-full of “authoritative” appeals to go back to kissing Israeli ass or else…

    On the same days the Turkish judiciary releases the officers arrested for two past coup attempts and mass murders with blatantly illegal, in-your-face (Israeli-like) shamelessness and the PKK armed attacks from Iraq restart big time. It’s so dejà-vu and transparent it’s not even fun anymore.

  13. kalithea
    June 20, 2010, 11:29 am

    I don’t like wishing bad on others, but I do believe in Karma, and I do believe the saying that the wheels of justice sometimes grind slowly but they grind very fine.

    BUT……my patience has been worn thin to the bone! So please forgive me for saying this….I keep having a recurring dream of…a GIANT SINK HOLE CALLED ISRAEL!!

    • maximalistNarrative
      June 20, 2010, 1:21 pm

      I have reported this hurtful comment.

      • potsherd
        June 20, 2010, 2:14 pm

        This is a Witty parody, isn’t it?

      • Frances
        June 20, 2010, 2:19 pm

        That’s what I thought, but apparently not. He’s funnier than Witty, though. The self-pity is so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

      • maximalistNarrative
        June 20, 2010, 2:26 pm

        Double standard. Imagine for a moment if somebody said they wished Gaza City, Ramallah, or Nablus was a “Giant Sink Hole” on this forum. You would no doubt be up in arms.

        The true pitiable fact is that on this forum it goes without notice when one fantasizes about the mass extermination of Jews in their land, as well as collective punishment of Jews by way of BDS.

      • andrew r
        June 20, 2010, 4:22 pm

        To be fair, that wasn’t the best thing to say. We expect the Palestinian refugees will have a country to return to. Can’t do that if Israel becomes a sink hole.

        Seriously though, when Gaza or Ramallah start their own blockades, aerial bombings and military prisons for enemy civilians, then you can talk about them sinking into the ground.

      • thankgodimatheist
        June 20, 2010, 9:16 pm

        “fantasizes about the mass extermination of Jews in their land, ”

        You’re making a huge mistake. It’s not “their” land..

      • Sumud
        June 20, 2010, 9:41 pm

        More to the point TGIA nobody said anything about mass extermination of jews..

        Though maximalistNarrative – I concur 100% on, as you put it: “exterminating the Jewish State”. Violence won’t be necessary. I feel the same way about that entity (the jewish state) as I do about nazi Germany, Australia under the White Australia policy and apartheid South Africa: sick racist / discriminatory nations must change or cease to exist. Obviously existence is going to be tenuous for a nation which refuses to define it’s borders and continuously breaks international law.

      • kalithea
        June 20, 2010, 2:55 pm

        Oh so you’re a thin-skinned snitch too?

        1ST AMENDMENT…get used to it! Now there’s one thing that makes you Zionists cringe…powerlessness. You want to control the images and everything people are thinking, feeling and expressing? Well too bad! Suck it up! We have to tolerate the crap coming out of Israel, and you think you can shut us up too??? Who the hell do you think you are??? The Gestapo? The thought police? Go bully someone else!

        Hurtful my eye!!!! Try looking at what ISRAEL is doing…now that’s….HURTFUL!

        The nerve of you!

      • maximalistNarrative
        June 20, 2010, 3:11 pm

        Excuse me but it’s you that seems to have an exaggerated amount of nerve. In fact, you first mentioned that Israel should be turned into a “Giant Sinkhole”.

        I simply responded to your written fantasy of exterminating the Jewish State with extreme violence.

        I’m not the thought police, though there is a very well defined comments policy, and though it is only my comments that are moderated and held up for long periods of time, I do remind you that there is a recourse to report anti-semitism and clear fantasies of genocide.

      • Shingo
        June 20, 2010, 9:34 pm

        “Israel has the right to defend itself, no?”

        Not the right to massacre civlians on false pretenses.

        “Maybe Iran ought to reign it its pet HAMAS terrorists before the international community imposes crippling sanctions on a state supporter of terror.”

        Maybe Israel shouldn’t have created Hamas in the first place. Israel is a terrorist state, so are you advocating that the international community imposes crippling sanctions on a state supporter of terror?

        “Does the comments policy work as well for the goose as the gander?”

        Your obsessin with the comments policy is clearly born of your need to censor what you don’t  like to hear. No one is forcing you to stay here.

      • Menachem
        June 21, 2010, 7:00 am

        the old they suck worse argument

      • kalithea
        June 20, 2010, 3:15 pm

        Oh and one more thing: BIG DEAL!

        I’ve move on since kindergarten, unlike you, who finds nothing “hurtful” while millions of Palestinians suffer atrocities at the hands of Israelis.

      • Mooser
        June 20, 2010, 4:15 pm

        “I have reported this hurtful comment.”

        You left some tears-stains in the box to show the moderators your sincerity, no doubt.

      • maximalistNarrative
        June 20, 2010, 4:19 pm

        Instead of calling those people cry-babies that take offense at clear-cut fantasies of genocide directed against the Jewish people, I advise introspection, less double standards, and more empathy.

      • maximalistNarrative
        June 20, 2010, 4:23 pm

        I’m also surprised the comment I’m reporting hasn’t been removed. Maybe the moderators figure that in the future people will live in floating houses, so if the Jewish homeland is turned into a sinkhole, nobody would die.

        Possibly the moderators think that since the concept of the State of Israel turning into a giant sinkhole where millions would perish, was equivocated as being a fantasy, that the comment is ok.

        Or a final idea is that since the call to genocide involved Jews, that this is simply ok discourse.

        Who would dream of making statements on here that Gaza City should become a Sinkhole without being banned for life? It seems that Jewish life is much more cheap on this forum.

      • Philip Weiss
        June 20, 2010, 9:02 pm

        Maximalist, I think you’re being tetchy and a little disingenuous.
        The original comment characterized Israel as a giant Sink Hole. Kalithea wasn’t saying she wanted to turn Israel into that, or push Israel into it, that’s her characterization of Israel. It’s not very nice but it is a metaphor. It’s a little like when I was a kid and people said Baltimore was the armpit of the east coast… I dont think you were actually hurt or threatened by this comment, it just p’d you off…

      • Shingo
        June 20, 2010, 9:35 pm

        “The true pitiable fact is that on this forum it goes without notice when one fantasizes about the mass extermination of Jews in their land, as well as collective punishment of Jews by way of BDS.”

        The true pitiable fact is that no one has ever alluded to the mass extermination of Jews in any land, and the suggestion that BDS is the collective punishment of Jews is clearly a lie, seeing as most Jews don’t live in the apartheid state of Israel.

      • Shingo
        June 20, 2010, 9:37 pm

        “Instead of calling those people cry-babies that take offense at clear-cut fantasies of genocide directed against the Jewish people”

        The only clear-cut fantasy is the notion that anyone gas alluded to any kind if Genocide. Where would you Zionists be without your mental delusions?

      • maximalistNarrative
        June 20, 2010, 9:45 pm

        Philip,

        Thank you for your direct response,

        I have never broken the comments policy and I don’t plan on it despite being delayed, moderated and censored because of my ethical views.

        However that poster did, in fact, say that he dreamt if Israel being turned into a sinkhole. This is evidenced by the poster prefacing with a comment that while the poster doesn’t usually wish bad on others, due to the belief in the system of Karma, that the posters is starting to dream of Israel becoming a Sinkhole.

        This sort of backbending to justify anti-semitic comments is very similar to those that explain that Helen Thomas meant that only Jews in pre ’67 should “return to Poland” when any non-biased observer knows she meant every Jew in our aboriginal homeland .

        In FACT, the poster even pleaded for forgiveness BEFORE detailing his fantasy of genocide, so either you willfully ignored the antisemitism, or you took his advice, forgave it and condoned it.

      • Philip Weiss
        June 20, 2010, 10:30 pm

        i see your point, Maximalist; kalithea dreamed of it, so maybe kalithea wanted israel to disappear into a giant sinkhole.
        is kalithea off the hook because a sinkhole is not something that man can produce? kalithea didn’t dream of a mushroom cloud or a missile or, say, white phosphorus. i think i would agree if that were the dream.
        also: you conflate israel and the Jews. being against israel isn’t being against the Jews, necessarily… some might say that supporting israel is hurting the Jews….

      • Sumud
        June 20, 2010, 10:48 pm

        “This sort of backbending to justify anti-semitic comments is very similar to those that explain that Helen Thomas meant that only Jews in pre ‘67 should “return to Poland” when any non-biased observer knows she meant every Jew in our aboriginal homeland .”

        Don’t position yourself as an unbiased observer mN, you’re nothing of the sort. Like it or not Helen Thomas said (to paraphrase) “return to where they came from”, and included examples Russia, Poland, US, “wherever”. That has to mean jews living in pre-zionist Palestine don’t need to go anywhere, because they *are* Palestinian. Object to her comment if you wish but don’t distort it to fit your ‘anti-semitism everywhere’ mindset.

      • kalithea
        June 20, 2010, 10:55 pm

        You’re really trying hard to start a tempest in a teapot, aren’t you? Since a Sinkhole is an act of Nature or God if you prefer; it can’t really be considered “genocide”, now can it?

        Forgive me for fantasizing with some kind of karmic retribution against Israel’s crimes; I’m only human! Somehow the image of Israel being swallowed up by a giant sinkhole gave me temporary relief from the ugly reality Israel has created.

        Don’t worry, I’m sure God will come up with something better.

      • maximalistNarrative
        June 20, 2010, 10:57 pm

        Sumud,

        If your particular exgesis of her antisemitic comments were correct then she word be exhorted people to break international law as the Mandate for Palestine was specifically set up to encourage and increase massive Jewish immigration into Israel.

        I’d be very interested to hear at what year and date you would mark the period of “pre zionist Palestine”

        You may also find that many Jews, even in the past took great offense to having been labeled Palestinian, even when the term Palestinian was synonymous with being Jewish.

        The reason for this is because the renaming of Judea to Palestine, was meant as a slap in the face to Jews, by renaming the Jewish homeland after the ancient enemies of the Jews, as well as renaming Jerusalem to Aeola Capitolina, fortunately the latter didn’t stick, though there are still attempts to rename Jerusalem to Al Quds.

      • kalithea
        June 20, 2010, 11:15 pm

        Oh bruuther!

        Genocide is a man-made act and no matter how hard you try, you can’t stop me from imagining a karmic event that would stop Israel from continuing with its crimes against humanity.

        I know exactly what Helen Thomas meant. She’s a nice, sharp little old lady who’s not afraid to speak her mind. She’s fed up! I’m fed up! Everyone with a heart is fed up!

        She clearly meant the Jews in Israel should pack their bags and take their Zionism back to where they cooked it up!

        I don’t give two hoots about your bruised sensibilities when millions of people are suffering at the hands of Israelis. Your “concern” is inflated and petty. Give it a rest, already!

      • maximalistNarrative
        June 20, 2010, 11:20 pm

        Ok so we have established two things

        1) That you dream and possibly pray that divine intervention will cause the mass extermination of millions of Jews

        and

        2) That you suggest the best solution is to break international law by somehow dissoluting a UN member state and sending it’s inhabitants “packing”

        It’s very difficult to see how you believe you are the only one around with a heart when your views are very clearly unethical at best, violently sadistic at worst.

      • kalithea
        June 20, 2010, 11:30 pm

        “kalithea didn’t dream of a mushroom cloud or a missile or, say, white phosphorus.”

        Bingo. I dreamt with natural karma….a girl can dream can’t she?

        Okay, I’d settle for something less dramatic than a sinkhole.
        How about a swarm of locusts?
        Okay, I’ll try to be nice…
        (fingers crossed)

      • Walid
        June 20, 2010, 11:50 pm

        Kalithea, you should get an Israel-doll with some long needles and some chicken claws; both guaranteed to work when you want to put a curse on a country. Better than those karma vibes you are now sending.

      • Shmuel
        June 21, 2010, 12:44 am

        in our aboriginal homeland

        Aboriginal (ab origine) means “from the beginning”. You can’t return to a place where you have been from the beginning.

      • MRW
        June 21, 2010, 1:00 am

        Shmuel…. ;-)

        Nothing like knowing Latin, which I gather is probably banned in Israel these days, since that’s not a language that Lieberman heard singing Donna Summers.

      • Shmuel
        June 21, 2010, 1:17 am

        The classics department at Hebrew University (my alma mater) sure ain’t what it used to be in its heyday, when HU was practically an offshoot of Heidelberg.

      • MRW
        June 21, 2010, 1:20 am

        Well, at least they done taught you good.

      • Shmuel
        June 21, 2010, 1:32 am

        There is even some good old fashioned humanism there – particularly Taayush activist, Prof. Amiel Vardi (who taught me Virgil). See him in action here (2:12). He’s a damn good teacher too :-)

      • MRW
        June 21, 2010, 1:43 am

        Good for him! Peppery, isn’t he.

      • demize
        June 21, 2010, 3:35 am

        This man is a subtle and genius parodist. This my friends is E-Performance-Art extraordinaire. I believe you may have Andy Kaufman posting on your blog.

      • Shmuel
        June 21, 2010, 6:51 am

        You may also find that many Jews … took great offense to having been labeled Palestinian

        My Lithuanian great-grandfather, Shmuel Palestine, was extremely proud of his surname.

      • Shingo
        June 21, 2010, 7:08 am

        The only thing we’ve established maximalistNarrative, is that you cannot make an argument without crating straw men.

        1) No one said anything about exterminating Jews.
        and
        2) Israel has violated the terms fo it’s membership to the UN.

        Are you finished wining or do you want to continue?

      • Shingo
        June 21, 2010, 7:13 am

        But maximalistNarrative,

        Israel has broken international law by dirign 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and violating over 100 UN Resolutions, not to metion the Geneva Conventions.

        Surely you of all people must be a huge advocate of flouting international law and human rights.

        “I’d be very interested to hear at what year and date you would mark the period of “pre zionist Palestine”

        How about 1948?

        “You may also find that many Jews, even in the past took great offense to having been labeled Palestinian”‘

        False. Everyone in Palestine, Jewish, Muslim and Christian was known as a Palestinian before 1948. The term was no synonymous with being Jewish but with being a resident of Palestine.

        “The reason for this is because the renaming of Judea to Palestine, was meant as a slap in the face to Jews”

        False again. Judea was but a tiny portion of what came to be known as Palestine.

        And BTW. Al Quds was always the Arraic name for Jerusalem.

      • thankgodimatheist
        June 20, 2010, 9:24 pm

        “I have reported this hurtful comment.”

        My first laugh of the day, thanks..
        BTW, I don’t know why but you remind me of UNIX..maybe it’s that disingenuous, faked air of innocence. Are you that retard?

      • azythos
        June 20, 2010, 9:36 pm

        tgia: “Are you that retard?”
        He may well be, and again he may be pretending, doesn’t change the result. What is sure is he is writing only for morons, just in case they happen to have a peek into this blog. Propaganda-Abteilung operatives always work with at least two teams: Oily-liberal-zionist and total moron.

      • Walid
        June 20, 2010, 11:21 pm

        Don’t laugh, TGIA, this is serious stuff; Max should be reported for accusing Kalithea of Hindu voodoo with the bad karma stuff. Probably all spooked about it since the Lebanese yogis did a number on Israel a couple of weeks back:

        link to kabobfest.com

      • kalithea
        June 20, 2010, 11:41 pm

        Voodoo, huh? A pin cushion that looks like Netanyahu, or a little Regev doll might be fun.

      • MRW
        June 21, 2010, 1:02 am

        “I have reported this hurtful comment.”

        He’s been a hurtin’ cowboy since the first day he showed up here.

  14. Taxi
    June 20, 2010, 11:38 am

    Phil,

    Seriously now, do you HAVE TO keep bringing up such dispicable and discredited people like Friedman ad infinitum?!

  15. MRW
    June 20, 2010, 1:25 pm

    Friedman is a fool who runs his column from the best conversation at dinner. Or lunch.

    He admitted on Charlie Rose that he had only gone to lunch with Obama the day of some big event, YET HIS COLUMN REPORTED ON THE EVENING’S ACTIVITIES, and he wasn’t event there.

    His explanation? Oh, I knew what would happen.

    • MRW
      June 20, 2010, 1:26 pm

      The Times fired Jayson Blair for the same thing.

  16. Bumblebye
    June 20, 2010, 2:03 pm

    Just heard – NYahoo’s ending ban on arbitrary items, gonna be just a list of goods that may be used as or in the making of weapons. No exact quote, snippet from bbc R4.

    • potsherd
      June 20, 2010, 2:13 pm

      And no German ministers, no change in the fishing ban, all goods subject to inspection by the prison guards.

      And whatever Israel says might be used as a weapon is a weapon. Like, kitchen knives.

      This is no change at all, just a slap of cosmetic paint over the prison walls.

      It must be rejected.

      • Bumblebye
        June 20, 2010, 2:30 pm

        If he’s trying to turn down the heat on world scrutiny, means he’s worried about it! But if the eye turns away from Gaza, there’s all the appalling activity, continuous expansion in the rest of Occupied Palestine to focus on, build more heat, no?

  17. hayate
    June 20, 2010, 3:30 pm

    As I wrote before, if the war criminal friedman writes it, one can safely assume it’s bs. You know goebbels would have hung for his similar war crimes, had he not topped himself, friedman is still alive (scientifically speaking), so what’s the delay here?

    • hayate
      June 20, 2010, 3:51 pm

      BTW, I’ve an important philosophical question to put to the zionist friedman: right now I’m frying up some french fries and I’m wondering since these are made with sweet potatoes, rather than the usual regular potatoes, is it “kosher” to call them “freedom fries”?

  18. VR
    June 20, 2010, 4:22 pm

    Just as an small example of Erdogan’s views and sentiments regarding the Palestinians and what is happening in Gaza and elsewhere, since Friedass (Friedman) is intimating that these are just current concerns merely to gain political advantage –

    In 2004 Erdogan called the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yasin by the Israelis “a terrorist act;” Palestinian Strategic Report 2005, pg. 127

    In 2004 Erdogan speaks out against Ariel Sharon, and accuses the state of Israel of engaging in terrorism against the Palestinians; Turk: Websters quotations

    Erdogan quite bluntly insults the Israeli Infrastructure Minister Joseph Paritsky in 2004, so much so that Israel says it wants to remove its Ambassador to Turkey; Websters Quotations

    In May of 2005 Erdogan says he wants to mediate in the conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis. He visits Ramallah and lays a wreath at the grave of Arafat. Websters Quotation

    I could go on for years and years about Erdogan’s efforts, but they all make the statements of Friedman look like what they are, either complete stupidity or blatant lies. What Erdogan is attempting to do, by working with both Israel and the rest of the world, along with stumping for the Palestinians, is to try to gain as much clout as he can (while helping Turkey) to address the Palestinian’s terrible condition. It is called statesmanship, but Israel will have none of it, and now is in the process of scuttling this relationship also to hold on to their brutal goal of ethnically cleansing the Palestinians. All that Friedman does is join the chorus line of complicity with Israel, like a good little Zionist stooge.

    • VR
      June 20, 2010, 4:37 pm

      I guess I could have said in short (above), what is seen is a “pattern” of Erdogan addressing the issue of this conflict on behalf of the Palestinians, and not just political interest of the moment. At the same time you see a pattern from Friedman of complete support for Israel, no matter how atrocious its activities are. In visiting Turkey all he does is give a pseudo appearance of some first hand information, all for the purpose of dissing Erdogan and lifting up Israel.

  19. piotr
    June 20, 2010, 6:39 pm

    I like that motif “troubling Chavez/Putin tendencies”.

    Neither gentleman is a saint, and yet, one has to wonder. Why are we more troubled by authoritarian streak of Chavez, who has stooges that try to intimidate journalists and artists, often to no avail, but not by our allies that have death squads? If you are out of favor journalist in Colombia, you run for your dear life, and do not stop on this side of the Atlantic. But somehow we were troubled only when death squads were ALSO running cocaine.

    Same story with Putin. Condi’s visit in the region. Day one, Riga, speach urging Russians to be more democratic. Day three, visit to Kazakhstan and trying to convince local President for Life to give some contracts to American companies. Actually, there is a common motif for both Chavez and Putin, namely, they committed human rights violations of the worst order: being beastly to oil executives. Exterminate Tutsis or East Timorians, we will regret or even kvetch, but touch executives (or, worse, owners) of oil companies ….

  20. Kathleen
    June 22, 2010, 8:14 am

    Nelson Mandela’s letter to Thomas Friedman…says it all

    link to bintjbeil.com

    “In the last few years, and especially during the reign of the Labour Party, Israel showed that it was not even willing to return what it occupied in 1967; that settlements remain, Jerusalem would be under exclusive Israeli sovereignty, and Palestinians would not have an independent state, but would be under Israeli economic domination with Israeli control of borders, land, air, water and sea.

    Israel was not thinking of a “state” but of “separation”. The value of separation is measured in terms of the ability of Israel to keep the Jewish state Jewish, and not to have a Palestinian minority that could have the opportunity to become a majority at some time in the future. If this takes place, it would force Israel to either become a secular democratic or bi-national state, or to turn into a state of apartheid not only de facto, but also de jure.

    Thomas, if you follow the polls in Israel for the last 30 or 40 years, you clearly find a vulgar racism that includes a third of the population who openly declare themselves to be racist. This racism is of the nature of “I hate Arabs” and “I wish Arabs would be dead”. If you also follow the judicial system in Israel you will see there is discrimination against
    Palestinians, and if you further consider the 1967 occupied territories you will find there are already two judicial systems in operation that represent two different approaches to human life: one for Palestinian life and the other for Jewish life. Additionally there are two different approaches to property and to land. Palestinian property is not recognised as private property because it can be confiscated.

    As to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, there is an additional factor. The so-called “Palestinian autonomous areas” are bantustans. These are restricted entities within the power structure of the Israeli apartheid system.

    The Palestinian state cannot be the by-product of the Jewish state, just in order to keep the Jewish purity of Israel. Israel’s racial discrimination is daily life of most Palestinians. Since Israel is a Jewish state, Israeli Jews are able to accrue special rights which non-Jews cannot do. Palestinian Arabs have no place in a “Jewish” state.

    Apartheid is a crime against humanity. Israel has deprived millions of Palestinians of their liberty and property. It has perpetuated a system of gross racial discrimination and inequality. It has systematically incarcerated and tortured thousands of Palestinians, contrary to the rules of international law. It has, in particular, waged a war against a civilian population, in particular children.”

Leave a Reply