If I Were an Israeli Looking at the Iran Deal (to the tune of ‘If I Were a Rich Man’)

US Politics
on 21 Comments

Lyrics: Thomas Friedman
Music: Jerry Bock

If I were an Israeli looking at the Iran Deal,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d dibby dibby bum.
If I were an Israeli looking at the Iran Deal.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
If I were a dibby dibby Israeli,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle looking at the Iran Deal.

If I were an Israeli grocer, I’d just follow this deal on the radio,
I’d reject it from my gut.
And if I were an Israeli general, I’d share my grocer’s skepticism,
but know no enemy will ever out-crazy us into leaving this region.

Israel plays by what I’ve called “Hama rules” — war without mercy,
It is not pretty, but this is not Scandinavia.
The Jewish state has survived in an Arab-Muslim sea because its neighbors know that for all its Western mores it will not be out-crazied,
It will play by local rules.

If I were an Israeli looking at the Iran Deal,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d dibby dibby bum.
If I were an Israeli looking at the Iran Deal.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
If I were a dibby dibby Israeli,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle looking at the Iran Deal.

I’d fill my yard with nuclear weapons
For the region to see and hear.
Squawking just as noisily as I can
And each loud “This deal will bring war, it will spark a nuclear arms race in the region,”
Would land like a trumpet on the ear,
As if to say “Here lives a crazy Israeli man.”

The most important men in the world would come to fawn on me!
They would ask me to advise them,
Like a Solomon the Wise.
“If you please, Reb Friedman…”
“Pardon me, Reb Friedman…”
Posing problems that would cross a rabbi’s eyes!
And it won’t make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong.
When you’re Israeli, they think you really know!

If I were an Israeli looking at the Iran Deal,
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
All day long I’d dibby dibby bum.
If I were an Israeli looking at the Iran Deal.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum.
If I were a dibby dibby Israeli,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle looking at the Iran Deal.

With additional reporting from Adam Horowitz

About Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman is an American journalist, columnist and author. He has won the Pulitzer Prize three times and currently writes a twice-weekly column for The New York Times. He is also a fan of musical theater.

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21 Responses

  1. Philip Weiss
    August 13, 2015, 12:31 pm

    Tom, thanks for this. We’ve noticed the site is getting more mainstreamed in the last year, but this is huge for us. And you really are the best. You have wingspan and you can do the 30,000 feet and the ground level, like w the grocer. Do you think you could put in a word for me at the Op-ed page? Phil

  2. John O
    August 13, 2015, 1:17 pm

    Nah, can’t be Friedman. He hasn’t said anywhere that the next six months will be all-important.

    • piotr
      August 13, 2015, 4:12 pm

      Totally wrong, John. This is a major scoop, and it consists of the material that was not included in NYT editorial with the same title due to space limitations. The juicy Friedmanesque advise for world leaders was there, but it is protected by copyright and very good lawyers.

      I cannot claim to fully grasp that advise, but two pieces stood out. One is to give President ETERNAL authorization to attack Iran. It is not the next six month but ETERNAL vigilance that will be all-important. The second is to “contain, amplify and innovate”.

      This is what I pasted from ynetnews.com by mistake:
      A security official in the West Bank said [Meir] Ettinger quickly rose to dominance. “In one incident, we were watching him while he attacked an Arab shepherd’s flock of sheep. He stoned one sheep, and then slaughtered it right in front of the shepherd. It was terrifying, he was possessed with some sort of madness. That is when we realized that he was very active and very radical.”
      “Strangely enough”, Ettinger was sentenced to six months for gathering intelligence to be used against IDF, but not for that incident which seems worthy of a few years away from the society. Now he was subjected to “administrative detention” as the suspected leader of a group that committed Duma atrocity, but clearly he could be arrested for destruction of property, cruelty against animals and terrorizing.

      • John O
        August 14, 2015, 10:26 am

        Good grief, Piotr! I have to say I sympathise with the NYT eds who discovered they did not have enough space to print this. Weird Al Yankovich has no need to worry about having a new rival on the block.

    • Kathleen
      August 14, 2015, 8:35 am

      Or said anything about how hard be pushed for the Iraq war. Oh yes I am Tom Friedmann from the NYBloody Times. We can all just move on. I am extremely rich, powerful and everyone thinks I always know what I am talking about.

  3. David Doppler
    August 13, 2015, 1:56 pm

    Satire? Detracts from this website’s all important coverage of the coverage. Friedman is an important media voice, widely followed, and he has used his privileged position on the NYT OpEd page to call out Netanyahu for his failure of leadership. Isn’t that also worthy of coverage here?

    • Donald
      August 13, 2015, 9:47 pm

      I’m not sure–on the one hand it is nice to see the mainstream favoring the deal but on the other hand it is Friedman, who should have quit his job and taken up gardening decades ago. Notice he does his usual excuse making for Israeli war crimes. If Phil were to do a serious piece he’d have to talk about that too, but it’s Friedman–he has been making these excuses for Israel his whole career as a pundit (except, or so I have heard, when he was still a reporter back in the 82 war, when he was critical of Israel’s bombing. But I think that Friedman is gone.)

      • Kathleen
        August 14, 2015, 8:36 am

        “he has been making these excuses (aiding and abetting) for Israel his whole career as a pundit”

    • Mooser
      August 14, 2015, 10:12 pm

      ” Friedman is an important media voice, widely followed, and he has used his privileged position on the NYT OpEd page to call out Netanyahu for his failure of leadership. Isn’t that also worthy of coverage here?”

      Wow. Well, they say there’s a ‘Doppler effect’, but I didn’t know the side-effects were so bad.

  4. JLewisDickerson
    August 13, 2015, 6:27 pm

    Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum!

  5. eGuard
    August 13, 2015, 7:26 pm

    Without Friedman, I’d never have known that the world is flat.

  6. Annie Robbins
    August 13, 2015, 9:18 pm

    i love this tom, but could you add another verse or refrain? i really like this line:

    The Israeli Army.. has demonstrated..it will not be deterred by the threat
    of civilian Arab casualties.
    Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum!

    and you could stretch the word arab out sort of like: a-a-a-a-rab casualites!

    because dead arabs civilians are such a threat to the israeli army, it should be included in the song.

    thanks!

    • Kathleen
      August 14, 2015, 8:46 am

      Tom’s verse”

      I don’t need to wish I was a rich man…I am
      Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum!
      All day long I’d dibby dibby bum
      I wouldn’t have to work hard
      Write a few editorials pushing unnecessary wars in the NYBT
      All would be forgiven in my mind
      Dibby Dibby Dibby Dum

      I could go on the MSM whenever I choose
      Dibby dibby dibby dum
      Never being held accountable for my part in pushing a war where hundreds of thousands have died and been injured
      Dibby dibby dibby dibby dum
      Say what I think now
      dibby dibby dibby dum
      with blood all over my hands, letters, words
      Dibby dibby dibby dum
      Because I am a rich man connected to very rich and powerful people
      Dibby dibby dibby dum

  7. Krendall Mist
    August 13, 2015, 9:42 pm

    I used to think Mondoweiss provided a useful service by stating the obvious about Israel and its bloodthirsty US patrons that (still) cannot be said by we American goyim without being labelled “anti-Semitic” (QED, this sites own recent Alison Weir libels).

    Tom Friedman is an idiot who cannot write. His sick sentiments about the “reality” of the “Israeli neighborhood” are not apt for satire or mockery from adults (assuming that is what this frippery was intended to be), any more than torture or rape.

    This is in poor taste, even judging by the nearly non-existent standards of web media.

  8. Rodneywatts
    August 14, 2015, 7:11 am

    Tom, as a Brit I am not so familiar with your writing as others on MW. Hopefully you have got a thick enough skin to weather the more hostile comments, but I suspect that you would have already expected some flack. I welcome your appearance here, as I hope maybe you’re going through an epiphany, that I experienced over 30 years ago. The damage to America’s standing in the world has been exponential over the last few decades, mainly due to its stand with Israel and the zionist lobby. Indeed the actual security of Israel and America have not been enhanced. Also there is an economic price to be considered too
    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/flipping-looming-european

    The European position has been well articulated in a letter in May by the European eminent persons group to the Foreign Affairs and Security Commission of EU
    http://static.guim.co.uk/ni/1431517700142/EEPG-letter.pdf

    • Donald
      August 14, 2015, 1:15 pm

      Rodney, this wasn’t really Tom Friedman– it’s satire. Friedman just wrote a piece defending the Iran deal at the NYT, which is good, but he included his usual apologetics for Israeli savagery. Friedman is a pompous jerk who has won several Pulitzers and is treated with great respect in the mainstream press, but online he’s widely considered a very bad joke even on more mainstream liberal blogs.

      • Rodneywatts
        August 15, 2015, 11:39 am

        Thanks Donald , for kindly putting me wise every which way!

      • atime forpeace
        August 16, 2015, 11:10 am

        “Posing problems that would cross a rabbi’s eyes! And it won’t make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong. ”

        What is? Mr Friedman describing his career.

  9. Steve Grover
    August 14, 2015, 3:29 pm

    Sorry Tom, my song is much better:
    “Iranian Deal Rag”
    To be sung to the tune of Country Joe and the Fish “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’-to-Die Rag”
    Words and music by Country Joe McDonald

    Well come on Ayatollah’s men
    Got America in a Jam
    The money’s comin’ like internet spam
    Way down yonder in Te-he-ran!

    An’ its one, two, three
    Why are we givin’ for
    Don’t ask me its Obama’s sham
    Money’s in Te-he-ran
    And its five, six, seven
    Arming their terrorist mates
    Whoopie! Iranians Lie!

    Come on J-Street
    Why man the deal is Au -go – go!
    There’s plenty good money to be paid
    So the Ayatollah can buy the tools of his trade
    But just hope that if they drop the bomb, they drop it on the Is-rae-lis!

    An’ its one, two, three
    Why are we givin’ for
    Don’t ask me its Obama’s sham
    Money’s in Te-he-ran
    And its five, six, seven
    Arming their terrorist mate
    Whoopie! Iranians Lie!

    Well come on Congressmen lets move fast
    Your big chance has come at last!
    Good Ayatollah’s ain’t got no bread!
    And you know that peace can only be won
    By tellin’ ’em billions ain’t gonna come!

    An’ its one, two, three
    Why are we givin’ for
    Don’t ask me its Obama’s sham
    Money’s in Te-he-ran
    And its five, six, seven
    Arming their terrorist mate
    Whoopie! Iranians Lie!

    Well come on mothers throughout the land
    Shove all your fists at Te-he-ran!
    Come on fathers don’t hesitate!
    Hold ’em off before its too late!
    Let ev’ryone on your block
    Know the Prez is s Bumbl’in’ Ox

    An’ its one, two, three
    Why are we givin’ for
    Don’t ask me its Obama’s sham
    Money’s in Te-he-ran
    And its five, six, seven
    Arming their terrorist mate
    Whoopie! Iranians Lie!

    For you reference the Country Joe and the Fish song that I paid homage to:

    • Steve Grover
      August 14, 2015, 6:50 pm

      There are typos in the original. I corrected them.

      “Iranian Deal Rag”
      To be sung to the tune of Country Joe and the Fish “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’-to-Die Rag”

      Well come on Ayatollah’s men
      Got America in a Jam
      The money’s comin’ like internet spam
      Way down yonder in Te-he-ran!

      An’ its one, two, three
      Why are we givin’ for
      Don’t ask me its Obama’s sham
      Money’s in Te-he-ran
      And its five, six, seven
      Arming their terrorist mates
      Whoopie! Iranians Lie!

      Come on J-Street don’t be dumb
      Why man the deal is Au -go – go!
      There’s plenty good money to be paid
      So the Ayatollah can buy the tools of his trade
      But just hope that if they drop the bomb, they drop it on the Is-rae-lis!

      An’ its one, two, three
      Why are we givin’ for
      Don’t ask me its Obama’s sham
      Money’s in Te-he-ran
      And its five, six, seven
      Arming their terrorist mates
      Whoopie! Iranians Lie!

      Well come on Congressmen lets move fast
      Your big chance has come at last!
      Good Ayatollahs ain’t got no bread!
      And you know that peace can only be won
      By tellin’ ’em billions ain’t gonna come!

      An’ its one, two, three
      Why are we givin’ for
      Don’t ask me its Obama’s sham
      Money’s in Te-he-ran
      And its five, six, seven
      Arming their terrorist mates
      Whoopie! Iranians Lie!

      Well come on mothers throughout the land
      Shove all your fists at Te-he-ran!
      Come on fathers don’t hesitate!
      Hold ’em off before its too late!
      Let ev’ryone on your block
      Know the Prez is s Bumbl’in’ Ox

      An’ its one, two, three
      Why are we givin’ for
      Don’t ask me its Obama’s sham
      Money’s in Te-he-ran
      And its five, six, seven
      Arming their terrorist mates
      Whoopie! Iranians Lie!

      For you reference the Country Joe and the Fish song that I paid homage to:

  10. piotr
    August 17, 2015, 1:49 pm

    The top worry of the friends of Israel

    If Israel
    Was bigger
    And fatter
    And stronger,
    Or bigger
    Than Iran,
    If Iran was smaller,
    Then Iran’s bad habit
    Of bouncing at Israel
    Would matter
    No longer,
    If Israel
    Was taller.

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