‘Let the one-state era begin’– Tom Friedman explains there will never be a Palestinian state

US Politics
on 90 Comments

Hat’s off to Thomas Friedman. The New York Times columnist states what the New York Times news reporters failed to report to America (notably Jodi Rudoren, the former Jerusalem bureau chief) and that we have reported: The two state solution is over, there will never be a Palestinian state, let us move on to the one state reality.

Our politicians are living in dreamland when it comes to the Middle East, Friedman says.

Start with Israel. The peace process is dead. It’s over, folks, so please stop sending the New York Times Op-Ed page editor your proposals for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians. The next U.S. president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live.

How did we get there? So many people stuck knives into the peace process it’s hard to know who delivered the mortal blow. Was it the fanatical Jewish settlers determined to keep expanding their footprint in the West Bank and able to sabotage any Israeli politician or army officer who opposed them? Was it right-wing Jewish billionaires, like Sheldon Adelson, who used their influence to blunt any U.S. congressional criticism of Bibi Netanyahu?

Or was it Netanyahu, whose lust to hold onto his seat of power is only surpassed by his lack of imagination to find a secure way to separate from the Palestinians?… [two paragraphs of blaming Palestinians for demise of Oslo.]

They all killed the two-state solution. Let the one-state era begin. It will involve a steady low-grade civil war between Palestinians and Israelis and a growing Israeli isolation in Europe and on college campuses that the next U.S. president will have to navigate.

Let’s leave aside Friedman’s funky metaphor of Netanyahu as father and Hamas as mother. He places far greater blame on Israel than on Palestinians for the one state mess Israel has made of it. Because that’s where the power lies.

Friedman is doing the journalistic work that John Kerry and Ambassador Dan Shapiro want the US press to perform. It’s a one state reality. Yousef Munayyer, Ali Abunimah, the late Tony Judt and Virginia Tilley said this eons ago.

And notice that Friedman blames the Israel lobby for the end of two states, in the person of Sheldon Adelson. Walt and Mearsheimer said this ten years ago and got run out of town on a rail for doing so. Now we’re on the threshold of a great Jew-versus-Jew battle about Who lost Israel. The neocons are going to fight back hard. And liberal Zionists will at last use the right word to describe what Israel has established: apartheid.

Reflect that Tom Friedman has done important work on this issue: when he said that Congress is bought and paid for by the Israel lobby, which people said was an anti-Semitic canard. And when he told a British audience that American politicians had all taken the lesson from George H.W. Bush’s defeat in 1992 that they had to support Israeli settlements. Friedman was once a liberal Zionist. He began his career as a Middle East correspondent by giving his high school class mates in St. Louis Park, MN, a chalktalk on the Six Day War, which he surely celebrated. I bet he’s over that now; and that many other Jewish liberal Zionists will walk the path toward a simple principle for Israel that has served us so well here: equal rights. (Friedman’s column puts pressure on many idealistic liberal Zionists, Roger Cohen, Dan Fleshler, Lara Friedman, and holdouts at the Nation magazine, to step up to the plate and acknowledge that Palestinian disfranchisement in a Jewish state is never going to end).

Finally, this column is about BDS. Friedman knows that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is coming. Maybe his own kids are telling him that. He begins this column with quotations from the secret panel on BDS held at the (No-Palestinians-Allowed) Saban Forum late last year. That panel was aimed, by Haim Saban at stopping BDS. Saban is Hillary Clinton’s Adelson and she has promised him that she will work with Republicans to fight BDS.

Many progressive Americans, including many Jews, now support BDS. Where is Bernie Sanders?

90 Responses

  1. John O
    February 10, 2016, 12:01 pm

    An Interesting article which I read earlier on the NYT website. I still have trouble getting past Friedman’s bombast, even if it has won him two Pulitzers:

    “It will be a Middle East shaped by struggle over a one-state solution, a no-state solution, a non-state solution and a rogue-state solution.

    That is, a one-state solution in Israel, a no-state solution in Syria, Yemen and Libya, a non-state solution offered by the Islamic caliphate and a rogue-state solution offered by Iran.”

    He writes a grand, pithy sentence – a classic “soundbite”. But then he has to twist the facts to fit his soundbite. The overall effect is “Trust me, it’s not complicated”, when that is a gross simplification.

    He makes some good points (and for once – unless I missed it – doesn’t say the next six months will be crucial), but can’t resist a final ego-trip in the last paragraph: “So my advice to all the candidates is…”

  2. Donald
    February 10, 2016, 12:52 pm

    No time to check, but I thought the two paragraphs you snipped actually put quite a bit of blame on the Palestinians–in particular, he blamed Hamas for not turning the Gaza Strip into Singapore, which was a way of taking away blame for Israel’s blockade (which was supported by the US government and tacitly by the NYT, which doesn’t give a damn about Palestinian suffering if it is a weapon to pressure Hamas.) And he left out the civil war supported and encouraged by the US and Israel so that there would be no unity government between Hamas and the PA after the 2006 elections. Basically Friedman makes the liberal Zionists the victims here–the poor dears lost faith because of Hamas violence.

    So I don’t think Friedman deserves any credit here, though the fact that he is admitting as much as he did is a sign of how things are changing.

    • a blah chick
      February 10, 2016, 3:09 pm

      “…the poor dears lost faith because of Hamas violence.”

      Isn’t it interesting that the mighty warriors of Israel can be reduced to hysterics by a bunch of kids with knives?

      • Marnie
        February 11, 2016, 3:36 am

        ‘a bunch of kids with knives’, scissors, paper or rocks? Yep, it’s pretty funny and only goes to show the ‘mighty warriors of israel’ are only mighty when killing a defenseless populace.

    • kalithea
      February 10, 2016, 4:44 pm

      No matter what progress it’s good to point out inconsistencies; the truth should prevail. There is no way forward without honesty.

      • inbound39
        February 11, 2016, 9:26 am

        Exactly right Kalithea…..honesty is the way forward and that means America needs to stop degrading itself by supporting and financing the Occupation and supplying the weapons that Israel uses to enforce it. The other bit of honesty needed here is the fact that The Partition Plan was actioned by a pen stroke,therefore no-one can ever say the Two State Solution is dead. Palestine can come into being by a UN Vote in favour and a pen stroke. The honesty and courage required by global politicians to publically out Israel for illegitimately building in Palestine and illegally taking land and resources from Palestinians. Calling Israel on all its war crimes and placing Israel under sanctions. It is time to stop the denial and give Israel the consequences it deserves.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      February 10, 2016, 5:16 pm

      Don’t forget the Israel Lobby’s push for aid to the Syrian “rebels” as well as a direct intervention. I wish everyone here knew about the Oded Yinon Plan to destabilize the ME.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 10, 2016, 5:31 pm

        everyone here knows about the Oded Yinon Plan to destabilize the ME.

    • Jerome Slater
      February 10, 2016, 5:59 pm

      I’m with Donald. Ok, Friedman has come a long way, though his narcissism is just as teeth-gritting as ever.

      But consider this:

      Friedman:” Hamas devoted all its resources to digging tunnels to attack Israelis from Gaza rather than turning Gaza into Singapore, making a laughingstock of Israeli peace advocates.”

      Who would have guessed there was a repressive occupation that might just have had a causal relationship to Hamas’s tunnels? And is it possible that the ongoing Israeli economic siege of Gaza bore some relationship to Hamas’s “failure” to turn Gaza into Singapore?

      Friedman: “The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, sacked the only effective Palestinian prime minister ever, Salam Fayyad, who was dedicated to fighting corruption and proving that Palestinians deserved a state by focusing on building institutions…”

      Ah, hah. That’s why Netanyahu will never allow a Palestinian state–they don’t deserve one. If only Abbas had not sacked Fayyad, Netanyahu would have agreed to a Palestinian state, no doubt about it.

      Friedman: “it’s not your radical chic college professor’s Palestine anymore.” That’s me, your standard 80 year old radical chic (ex) college professor.

      • diasp0ra
        February 11, 2016, 5:07 am

        @Jerome

        “Friedman: “The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, sacked the only effective Palestinian prime minister ever, Salam Fayyad, who was dedicated to fighting corruption and proving that Palestinians deserved a state by focusing on building institutions…”

        This is also faulty thinking. Not only was Fayyad unpopular and known to be an American stooge, the neo-classical economic paradigm of focusing on institutions is a wasted effort when it comes to Palestine.

        Say we build incredible economic institutions that would enable all the trade, industry and prosperity in the world.

        If we do not control our roads, our borders, our airspace, how are these institutions going to function? They can’t.

        This is a main problem of international aid that IGNORES the occupation and Israel as factors. They have been focusing on institutions for the past decade, none of it has helped because institution building isn’t what is hampering the Palestinian economy, it’s the occupation.

      • gingershot
        February 11, 2016, 5:10 pm

        Fayyad – Elliot Abrams and the rest of the Neocons dream candidate for giving Israel the Palestine they want

        Elliot Abrams was always championing Fayyad which tells you all you need to know: bought lock stock and barrel

      • gingershot
        February 11, 2016, 5:35 pm

        Fayyad – Elliot Abrams and the rest of the Neocons dream candidate for giving Israel the Palestine they want

        Elliot Abrams was always championing Fayyad which tells us all we need to know: bought lock stock and barrel by Israel and the Israel Lobby

        Friedman as always is a gatekeeper, Who else has acted to confuse the Middle East for Americans more than Tom? This is rearguard action

        Friedman is a reliable indicator of how far lost their cause is … When he admits it it’s already too late to defend any iota of it further

      • Pretext
        February 11, 2016, 8:20 pm

        diasp0ra:
        “Say we build incredible economic institutions that would enable all the trade, industry and prosperity in the world.

        If we do not control our roads, our borders, our airspace, how are these institutions going to function? They can’t.”

        Not to mention, next time the occupiers “mow the lawn”, they’ll just target them anyway as part of their collective punishment.

    • jd65
      February 11, 2016, 2:01 pm

      “So I don’t think Friedman deserves any credit here…” I couldn’t agree more, Donald. Weiss writes, “Hat’s off to Thomas Friedman.” Really? I want some of what he’s smokin’. This Friedman article is just more of the same glib, jokey, status-quo “balanced” B.S. we’ve seen from Friedman on Israel forever. He’s a master of writing/talking a whole lot without really saying much. He’s my poster boy for the “Conservative is the New Moderate” movement.

      • Boomer
        February 12, 2016, 11:16 am

        re “So I don’t think Friedman deserves any credit here…”

        I’m with you. For me, he will always be the man who explained (with some evident satisfaction) that the U.S. invaded Iraq to tell the Arab world to “suck on it.”

      • jd65
        February 12, 2016, 12:51 pm

        Yes Boomer. Friedman is a (not so) thinly veiled U.S.A. cheerleader. He’s a jingoistic, authoritarian power loving one-percenter posing as a “moderate” peace advocate. Friedman is likely the best representative to show how conservative politics and attitudes on the I/P conflict are now being called liberal/progressive, or at best moderate. Phil’s above article does nothing but contribute to this slide to the right (Phil is widely seen as “progressive” on the I/P conflict, yet he praises Friedman, opening his article w/ “Hat’s off to Thomas Friedman.”) What makes Friedman particularly frustrating – aside from his clever-clever, self-amused, glib, and often simply confused style of writing – is the fact that he’s so widespread throughout the media spectrum that you know he’s effecting the minds of a large portion of the population with his transparently Israel-first ideas.

        I’m far from alone in this view of Friedman’s rhetoric and writing. Lawyer, writer for The Guardian newspaper, and author Glenn Greenwald wrote this of Friedman’s writing:

        He literally negates his own principal claim… in the very same column in which he advances it… But incoherence is the least notable aspect of this column. This is to say nothing of the warped imagery Friedman often uses of the invading U.S. as a ‘midwife’ — as though Muslim countries are our little babies who need and pray for our parental imperial guidance out of their primitive wombs. If I had to pick just a single fact that most powerfully reflects the nature of America’s political and media class in order to explain the cause of the nation’s imperial decline, it would be that, in those classes, Tom Friedman is the country’s most influential and most decorated ‘foreign policy expert.’ (1)

        Or this from Rolling Stone’s political writer/reporter Matt Taibbi:

        …This is Friedman’s life: He flies around the world, eats pricey lunches with other rich people and draws conclusions about the future of humanity by looking out his hotel window and counting the Applebee’s
 signs… [Re: Friedman’s method of creating an argument or making a point]: “It’s crazy, a game of Scrabble where the words don’t have to connect on the board, or a mathematician coming up with the equation A B -3X = Swedish girls like chocolate.” (2)

        1 – Glenn Greenwald, The Value Of Tom Friedman, Salon, July 25th, 2012.

        2 – Matt Taibbi, Flat N All That, New York Press, Jan. 14th, 2009.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 12, 2016, 3:53 pm

        jd65, i can’t stand him. he just makes me grind my teeth.

      • jd65
        February 12, 2016, 4:12 pm

        Annie: “…he just makes me grind my teeth. Ha! Exactly. I can see how folks who may be relatively new or uninformed would be taken in by his spiel. But to me, after years of following the issue and hearing/reading his columns and interviews, it’s rather transparent that his “balanced/moderate” rhetoric is simply designed to entrench the status quo. And not just on Israel/Palestine. Seems to me he’s a major supporter of keeping the status quo on globalization, and thus corporatism/hyper-capitalism/free-market worship/etc…

      • Annie Robbins
        February 12, 2016, 10:28 pm

        yeah, remember what martin wrote about the white moderate? letter from birmingham, one of his most famous passages. reminds me of friedman. i was introduced to him during the iraq war. it was really cruel what he did, just six more months, just six more months. i wanted to pull my hair out. now, i read his name and i literally have a physical reaction. needless to say i didn’t open the link. i can’t bear it. phil could jump up and down til the cows come home but i lready know what’s there. friedman will never be changing his stripes, ever. him and david brooks, both of them i can’t stand.

  3. eljay
    February 10, 2016, 1:03 pm

    … How did we get there? So many people stuck knives into the peace process it’s hard to know who delivered the mortal blow. …

    It was a death of a thousand cuts, each one delivered by hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists for whom the existence of Israel as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine easily and greedily outweighed:
    – justice, accountability and equality in I-P; and
    – the notion of two secular and democratic states of and for their respective citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

  4. a blah chick
    February 10, 2016, 1:05 pm

    Folks, I think our support of Netanyahu in the last election is starting to bear fruit. We all knew that with him at the helm Israel would go off the rails, to mix a metaphor. And he has not disappointed! It’s full speed ahead to full blown fascism and they’re not even trying to make it look good. The latest comical outrage was a few days ago when Livni called in some journalists to bring in their homework and show how they were “not” on the side of the “terrorists” with their reporting. This incitement against the Only Democracy in the Middle East must end! And we’ll use all the undemocratic weapons in our arsenal to stop it.

    This is definitely a time to let it crash and burn. That’s the only hope.

    • kalithea
      February 10, 2016, 4:52 pm

      I think our support of Netanyahu in the last election is starting to bear fruit… because Zionist greed never fails to deliver!

  5. pabelmont
    February 10, 2016, 4:00 pm

    “Many progressive Americans, including many Jews, now support BDS. Where is Bernie Sanders?”

    Well, as you noted, Candidate Clinton has promised to oppose BDS. A politician’s promise. But since she claims to be “progressive” (what a bumper sticker word THAT is! No meaning) we must allow that “many progressive Americans” is not “all p.As.”

    And, yes, it would be good to hear from Bernie. But I imagine that his silence is a bit like NOT kow-tow-ing to AIPAC/Adelson. And as a candidate he has (I am sure) what he considers much better revolutionary ideas to sell than any idea at all on I/P. Next to getting rid of big-money in politics and reducing the power of big-BANKS and working on Climate Change, I/P is small potatoes, and there is no rush.

    Sadly. It is never a rush as to I/P.

  6. kalithea
    February 10, 2016, 5:11 pm

    He knows Hillary will push the non-existent two state no matter what with Saban holding her purse strings. And Bernie has stated he’s a two stater; but he never stated how he plans to induce the eviction of close to 600,000 extremist Zionist squatters from the West Bank. So is Friedman paving the way for Bernie Sanders who is much more likely to admit that the two-state has vanished so let’s push for human rights for Palestinians? Hmmm…should I trust these progressive Zionists. Hell no!

    But unless a Chris Hedges or Van Jones start a third Party; I guess Bernie’s the only game in town.

    • Mooser
      February 10, 2016, 6:22 pm

      “should I trust these progressive Zionists

      Oh gosh, please don’t say that! Don’t give them any ideas. Something about that phrase fills me with dread. There’s a horrible inevitability about it.

      • kalithea
        February 10, 2016, 10:39 pm

        I know! What the hell was I thinking?! Can I take it back???

    • inbound39
      February 11, 2016, 9:39 am

      The simplest way to shift 600,000 illegal settlers is to declare a Palestinian State on 67 Borders. Move in a multi national force to police the borders. Settlers can then be given the opportunity to remain in Palestine if they take up Palestinian citizenship and comply with Palestinian Law. If they refuse then all utilities to their homes,power water,sewage can be disconnected and can be forcibly be removed by the IDF back inside the borders of Sovereign Israel where they should be in the first place. Given Israel has seen fir to extra judicially kill Palestinians then in order to remove settlers then surely Israel would not mind if Palestinian police used their tactics in removing settlers. Even bulldozing their homes.

      • Theo
        February 11, 2016, 1:20 pm

        “Settlers can then be given the opportunity to remain in Palestine….”

        You must be joking!!! Do you really believe that any of those settlers would except a palestinian government and laws, give back the stolen lands, and give up their weapons? How could such land function, when 25% of the habitants are hardcore zionist terrorists, still living in times of 1,000 BC?
        Those settlers must leave Palestina, one way or another, and go back to the countries they came from. If your build a house on sand, it will collaps very soon.

      • inbound39
        February 12, 2016, 7:10 am

        I also doubt fanatical settlers will take Palestinian citizenship but Palestine needs to offer them that to be seen to be just and fair. If they reject it then it is up to the IDF or a multi national force to remove them at Israel’s expense. Israel saw it fine to break International Law and allow the illegal settlements. Israel therefore has the responsibility and obligation to rectify its problem it created.

  7. David Doppler
    February 10, 2016, 8:51 pm

    What bothers me about the turn to the one state solution is the sheer illegality of it. “We stole the land fair and square, so get over it. We’re entitled to impunity, so let’s now talk about how we might modulate [a little bit] our oppression of the defeated Palestinians under this new reality.”

    The sheer illegality under international law, plus the absolute inconsistency with American founding values like equal rights, legitimacy of government deriving from the consent of the governed, separation of church and state. Friedman pontificating about it, as if there is no obligation to the Palestinians for justice and redress. Mondoweissers cheering it on, appearing to relish the turmoil greater Israel will face attempting to manage its minority problem.

    The only thing that makes the one state solution inevitable is Israeli expansionism, and right-wingers threats to anyone who stands in their way or refuses to drink the Kool-Aid. For the US to acquiesce is to aid and abet war crimes. We need more Ban Ki Moons fighting against the oppression, not adapting to its growing pains.

    • Sibiriak
      February 10, 2016, 11:41 pm

      David Doppler: What bothers me about the turn to the one state solution is the sheer illegality of it.

      ——————-

      To be accurate, Friedman never refers to a one-state solution . He’s talking about a civil war:

      It will involve a steady low-grade civil war between Palestinians and Israelis and a growing Israeli isolation in Europe and on college campuses that the next U.S. president will have to navigate.

      On one level, whether you describe it as a war (two-states de jure, one occupied) or a civil war (one state de facto, no occupation any longer) makes little difference.

      But as you point out, on the level of international law it makes a big difference.

    • echinococcus
      February 10, 2016, 11:56 pm

      David,

      A one-state solution in the form of Palestine, its basic structure to be decided by the entire Palestinian people including the refugees (but excluding the invader, master race population), would be an eminently just and legal solution. In fact, the only just and legal one.

      A little logic will show that a single state driven by the Zionist entity is nothing but the making official of today’s Hell on Earth and must be prevented at any cost.

    • diasp0ra
      February 11, 2016, 4:44 am

      @David

      Do you view the 2 state solution more “legal”?

      In the 2 state solution the Palestinians must give up the majority of their homeland to refugees and immigrants from abroad. In the 2 state solution, the rights of the refugees gets swept under the rug and there is no guarantee that they will ever legally return to where they were expelled from, and it is very doubtful that they would all be allowed to return to the new Palestinian “state”.

      This state would have its borders still controlled by Israel and be completely under Israeli mercy, with talks of remaining in the Jordan valley for at least 30 years, and some bases in the West Bank for more.

      Is this not the very definition of “We stole the land fair and square, so get over it. We’re entitled to impunity, so let’s now talk about how we might modulate [a little bit] our oppression of the defeated Palestinians under this new reality.” ?

      Legality from an international perspective is useless. Israel has been breaching security council resolutions for the last 60 years and nothing has come of it. I am surprised this is one of your points of contention. And please spare us the talk of American “founding values” they had nothing to do with what you listed, America was born out of settler colonialism and privileging of one group over all others, similarly to Israel. I’m sure the natives appreciated the founding values of the colonists as they suffered genocide.

      The one state solution holds in it the seeds for a real and just solution, not by design. It will be an Apartheid state to begin with, but it will evolve the struggle into one for equal rights. Israel cannot win such a struggle. It will eventually become a state for all its citizens, and then Palestinians can once again travel and live anywhere in their homeland, not live in a Bantustan with a “state” marker on it that will have 0 real sovereignty.

      • David Doppler
        February 11, 2016, 1:18 pm

        “Legality from an international perspective is useless. Israel has been breaching security council resolutions for the last 60 years and nothing has come of it.” So, it’s time for the UN to change its ways with Israel, with US and EU backing, to force change.

        “And please spare us the talk of American “founding values” they had nothing to do with what you listed, America was born out of settler colonialism and privileging of one group over all others, similarly to Israel. I’m sure the natives appreciated the founding values of the colonists as they suffered genocide.”

        America certainly began as a colonial enterprise, and heinous crimes were committed against Native Americans, African Americans, and other minorities, yet the Union born out of the American revolution bore all the seeds that led America to what it is today, including slave-owner Jefferson’s universalism to justify the colonists break from their Empire, “all men were created equal,” later invoked by Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr., to justify correcting historical injustice, including slave-owner Madison’s “more perfect Union” perpetual aspiration, to have a form of government designed to check abuses, and incubate improvements. These values have served America well, and illuminated the path from where we began to where we are – still not perfect, but a progressive pathway nonetheless.

        The crimes committed in 1948 are similar. They are now history, they cannot be undone. The adults involved are all dead or in their dotage. Those born since are entitled to justice in our time, are obligated to provide justice in our time. International law recognizes the West Bank as land for the Palestinians. Just because there are right-wing nuts in Israel willing to assassinate politicians who take international law and the rights of the Palestinians seriously doesn’t mean their views and behavior should be accepted by the rest of us, doesn’t mean we should embrace one-state and “low-grade civil war,” meaning rock-throwers against tanks and AK 47s who continue to systematically displace and ethnically cleanse, as the inevitable future in which the situation never improves. Our founding values led America from race-based slavery and ethnic cleansing to what we have today (still not perfect), and can show the way forward in the Middle East. They are in stark contrast with Neocon values, clashes of civilizations, Islamophobia, religious-state dreams, messianic dreams, war as cover for ethnic cleansing. The one-state solution Friedman speaks of is not justice. It is giving up in the face of right-wing Israeli intransigence, which will only get worse until it is stopped by the international community.

      • diasp0ra
        February 11, 2016, 5:24 pm

        @David

        I guess we’ll agree to disagree on “American founding values”, as the US is one of the most frequent and gruesome breakers of international law and atrocities against humanity across the globe today. But putting that aside, when it comes to the two state solution I fail to see how that will be a just solution for the Palestinians. I fail to see how it will solve anything, or how it will help the millions of refugees come back home.

        It is rejected by the majority of Palestinians who view every bit of land as their ancestral homeland that they were robbed of, and despite all the sacrifices it is not enough for Israel who continues to settle.

        The only way to be able to live there is through a one state solution that becomes egalitarian after struggle, not a 2 state bantustan.

        Let’s be frank, we’re already living a 1 state reality. Israel rules everything, the PA is merely an administration. When this fig leaf disappears then Israel will have no choice but to confront a population asking for rights and equality, which is a struggle it cannot win. It will eventually lead to a comprehensive solution, whereas even if the 2 state solution is enacted tomorrow it will not solve the root cause of the problem, it will not end the conflict, it will not bring back the refugees, it will not make Palestinian forget about Haifa and Safad, it will not make Israel less in control.

      • inbound39
        February 12, 2016, 6:56 am

        Your view of how you envisage a Two State Solution is simply your view. If it is done in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative then it would not be like you say. Until an agreement is reached in line with International Law then no-one can truly say what it will be like. Any Palestinian State needs to be a Sovereign State independent of Israel and any incursions into Palestine by Israel should be dealt with harshly and maximum consequences for Israel should be applied. If a multi National force is deployed to protect Palestinian borders then Israel would not be able to interfere and any idea of Israel invading the Palestinian State should be strongly deterred by the International Community upon the Palestinian State being formerly declared Sovereign. The International Community as a matter of course should ensure the defence and protection of the Palestinian State.

      • diasp0ra
        February 12, 2016, 7:23 am

        @Inbound

        This is not merely my view, these are the dozens of conditions Israel is putting on the creation of any state. We have been arguing about 2 states for 20 years and what have we to show for it? More Israeli control.

        No, we are at a paradigm shift. The majority of Palestinians do not support a 2 state solution. Keep in mind this does not automatically translate into support for a one state solution, but the number of those who support it has been rising at a steady pace over the last few years.

        This is not a detached position, those in the heart of popular resistance call for this, such as Basem al Tamimi, organizer of the Nabi saleh demonstrations for the last 10 years at least. He is among many that have shifted their view of a solution, and more and more are joining them.

        I find everyone’s faith in the international community to be surprising, this is the same international community that has allowed this tragedy to go on for decades and which can’t even punish settlements, even though they are a violation of all the laws. The same international community that didn’t blink when invading Iraq for violating the same tenets Israel violates daily.

        How will the international community somehow become the knight in shining armor that will jump to the Palestinian’s aid and enforce their will on Israel? Defend Palestinians? How? Why?

        Did the multinational UN forces stop the Israeli invasion of Lebanon? No, they retreated.

        Please explain to me how the 2 state solution can comfort/bring justice to someone ethnically cleansed from Safad or Haifa. Or any Palestinian that wants to live in a place they call home? Why should we agree to 20%? Because the international community said so?

        Can you show me any progress that 20 years of negotiations for 2 states has brought us?

        Thank you, but I’ll pass.

      • just
        February 12, 2016, 8:22 am

        Thank you for your great and articulate comments here (and elsewhere), diasp0ra.

      • diasp0ra
        February 12, 2016, 4:11 pm

        @Just

        As usual, you are way too kind to me. You humble me, my friend. :)

    • inbound39
      February 11, 2016, 9:42 am

      Israel can under no circumstances be allowed to keep any Palestinian Territory. If the law is ignored it means Israeli’s will never be accepted. They will forever be known as and treated as thieves and war criminals.

      • Theo
        February 11, 2016, 1:35 pm

        All territories of Israel are stolen and legally belong to the palestinians, GB, USA and the UN had no right to give away a land that doesn´t belong to them! In addition, international laws forbid annexation and populising a land conquered in a war.
        At partition jews made up roughly 30% of the population, but received 70% of the land, so even then it was fixed to benefit the jews. Speaking legally, the palestinians should decide how they arrange a new division, they lived there for many centuries, it is their property.

      • inbound39
        February 13, 2016, 4:55 am

        America cannot continue to support the blatant illegalities of Israel. The damage to America is mounting. The UN has a major part to play here by standing by its Charter and enforcing agreements Israel made. Resolution 194 for instance. Israel agreed to implement 194 in exchange for full UN Membership. It has not honoured that agreement and it continually whines and whinges at dissatisfaction with UN. The UN needs to suspend Israel from the UN until it complies with and honours its agreement to 194. The fact the UN has never held Israel to account is the main reason why the UN has become undermined and made toothless. Time to put teeth back into UN. Politicians around the World may well have been bought by Israel to do its bidding but the average punter in the street does not support Israel’s actions or its Occupation et al. Even if Israel gets away with its theft of Palestine Israeli’s will have no safety globally and will be rejected by the everyday people on the street hence the increase in anti semitism and it will become worse and America will not be able to do diddly about it.

    • Abern
      February 12, 2016, 12:34 pm

      That “sheer illegality” is a most important point. There needs to be a deterrent established against any state trying colonialism ever again. Otherwise a state might try it knowing it will at least partially succeed.

      Imagine have a quarter of the population loyal only to a foreign state and armed with overwhelming financial support to affect government policies.

      • inbound39
        February 13, 2016, 5:00 am

        This is true…..if Israel is not deterred not brought in line and made to comply with International Law then it promotes lawlessness and chaos. So Americas special relationship with Israel promotes and encourages lawlessness and chaos. I never thought I would ever see America openly supporting such a grossly criminal state the likes of Israel.

  8. chris o
    February 11, 2016, 1:03 am

    Everyone, and I mean everyone, likes to hate on Friedman. Of course the whole world is not wrong but I think he is a good op-ed columnist. He is out there. As noted above, he has bombast – that’s kind of what you want in an op-ed. He throws a lot against the wall and much of it misses. Sometimes he is way off. But he is not always safe or conventional so here’s a toast to Tom Friedman. (Sound of one glass “clanging” against the air as no one returns my sentiment.)

  9. chris o
    February 11, 2016, 2:17 am

    Even though I gave Friedman some credit above, I have now read the article in full. When you read what he says about “rogue state” Iran, how can anyone take anything he says seriously?

    • Ellen
      February 11, 2016, 1:03 pm

      Yes, that discredited him. Friedman has gotta’ write that stuff in to appease his masters. Israel has not given up on attempting to destroy any future relations between Iran and the west.

      But just as he has evolved on the farce of a two state construct, the Friedmas of the world will also evolve on Iran.

      Meanwhile Israel and KSA become closer and closer as both of these states, created under the last gasps of Imperial Britain, decend each into their own abyss.

      • Abern
        February 12, 2016, 12:39 pm

        That “Iran is a rogue state” business is a good example of how much the pro-Israel policy of the US has distorted truth. It is the Saudis who are truly everyone’s enemy and the major supporters of terrorism.

  10. JLewisDickerson
    February 11, 2016, 3:22 am

    RE: “Start with Israel. The peace process is dead… The next U.S. president will have to deal with an Israel determined to permanently occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, including where 2.5 million West Bank Palestinians live. How did we get there?” ~ Tom Friedman today (finally)

    CHOMSKY & SHAHAK MORE THAN 20 YEARS AGO:
    Noam Chomsky and Israel Shahak on Jewish Fundamentalism – Part 1 of 2
    Published on Jul 25, 2012
    Noam Chomsky and Israel Shahak spoke together at MIT on November 4, 1994. They discussed Jewish fundamentalism and Israeli policy.
    link to youtube.com
    Noam Chomsky and Israel Shahak on Jewish Fundamentalism – Part 2 of 2
    [VIDEO, 1:42:31] – link to youtube.com

    • MRW
      February 12, 2016, 2:48 am

      This is worth every minute to watch. Both parts.

  11. diasp0ra
    February 11, 2016, 4:33 am

    “[two paragraphs of blaming Palestinians for demise of Oslo.]”

    Nobody wanted Oslo to work more than the PA. They had everything to lose from it not working, as they would lose the very reason for their existence, they would lose their chance to rule and all the power associated with it.

    I don’t know how Friedman can blame the Palestinians for its failure when it’s Israel that kept expanding settlements and annexing territory for almost a decade, giving up nothing and continuing its expansionism.

    • echinococcus
      February 11, 2016, 10:00 am

      Nobody wanted Oslo to work more than the PA

      Precisely, and that’s why liquidating the PA looks like the necessary first step to effective resistance.

  12. MHughes976
    February 11, 2016, 9:03 am

    Whatever we think of Friedman he is of course right that there is no intention to set up 2 states. He needs to add that there is no intention of enfranchising the 2.5 m, Palestinians and no wish to keep them in permanent apartheid-style subjection – that would not work in the long run. So the intention is to remove them, probably this time ‘with compensation’, and that intention is slowly but surely beginning to make itself known. We need to be ready to oppose this horror but the leaders of the West will go on proclaiming that the 2ss is just around the corner given a bit of moderation and goodwill on both sides. It would actually be helpful if they listened more to Friedman. Their wilful illusions bring the real and terrible plan for population removal closer, allowing it to grow and take shape without being challenged.

    • inbound39
      February 11, 2016, 9:49 am

      Friedman needs to be ignored because he is advocating rewarding Israel for illegal activities and allowing it to benefit by keeping stolen land. To hell with that. America needs to grow a pair and pull ALL Aid to Israel until it withdraws from territory occupied as American Policy requires. Israel has sterilised America and not only has circumcised it but castrated it as well. America needs to regain and take back its superpower status. Currently it too is facing gradual isolation due to its special relationship with War Criminals.

      • Elisabeth
        February 12, 2016, 7:06 am

        ‘Sterilised, circumcised, castrated…’ You equate of lack of strength or willpower with lack of male potency. As a woman I am uncomfortable with that.

      • Shmuel
        February 12, 2016, 7:17 am

        ‘Sterilised, circumcised, castrated…’ You equate of lack of strength or willpower with lack of male potency. As a woman I am uncomfortable with that.

        Well said, Elisabeth (not to mention a couple of other disturbing tropes).

      • Mooser
        February 12, 2016, 11:22 am

        “‘Sterilised, circumcised, castrated…’ “

        Yes, but I notice you don’t try to remove “circumcised” from the triumvirate of induced dysfunction. Good on ya for that!

      • Mooser
        February 12, 2016, 11:54 am

        “You equate of lack of strength or willpower with lack of male potency. As a woman I am uncomfortable with that.”

        Thank you, Elisabeth. I like to think I still have some uses, some purpose in life, even tho’ I’m out of the same old rut.

      • echinococcus
        February 12, 2016, 4:23 pm

        Elisabeth,

        All three terms fully apply to females, too, so where is the beef?
        I suppose we could all chip in to provide you with other, valid grounds for protest.

      • Elisabeth
        February 13, 2016, 4:13 am

        And, Echinococcus, I guess “America needs to grow a pair” refers to breasts? Riiight…

      • Elisabeth
        February 13, 2016, 8:32 am

        My comment got lost, so here once more:
        Echinococcus, do you want to claim that “America needs to grow a pair” refers to a pair of breasts? It is stupid to deny that all these terms are about male potency or the lack of it. The fact that these expressions, which imply that women are inherently dick/spine-less exist in the English language does not mean you have to use them.

        Mooser, Inbound puts ‘circumcised’ between ‘sterilised’ and ‘castrated’ (“Israel has sterilised America and not only has circumcised it but castrated it as well” ) so he seems to see a connection. Go complain to him, not me.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 13, 2016, 4:02 pm

        it didn’t get lost elizabeth, just scroll up.

      • echinococcus
        February 17, 2016, 4:03 pm

        Elizabeth,

        Putting words in the mouth of other people is a despicable habit.
        I said all three terms, sterilization, circumcision and castration, apply to both sexes. You don’t have to answer that, but you sure should apologize as I never mentioned pairs or any such thing.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 17, 2016, 6:01 pm

        You don’t have to answer that

        i can’t believe you’re back here 4 days later humping for an apology. consider the case closed. we are not carrying on this tit for tat any longer.

    • rugal_b
      February 12, 2016, 10:01 am

      I concur, use of such sexist and misogynistic languages are not helpful and not needed.

      • Mooser
        February 12, 2016, 11:56 am

        “I concur, use of such sexist and misogynistic languages are not helpful and not needed.”

        Yeah, people are allergic to it. It makes the “skin-folk” itch!

      • Mooser
        February 12, 2016, 12:38 pm

        “I concur, use of such sexist and misogynistic languages are not helpful and not needed.”

        Says the guy who ascribes people’s troubles to “low testosterone”.

      • inbound39
        February 13, 2016, 5:20 am

        echinococcus clarified it perfectly……all three can apply to females also so sexism is not applicable…..education is. The point being that Israel has undermined Americas strength as a superpower and damaged its moral and ethical standards.

      • Elisabeth
        February 14, 2016, 6:00 am

        Inbound39, it is disingenuous to pretend that these expressions are gender neutral. If you realise what they imply (namely, a link between having strength, moral and ethical standards and well functioning male genitalia) I hope you will think again about using them.

    • Boomer
      February 12, 2016, 11:13 am

      re “. . . the intention is to remove them, probably this time ‘with compensation’, and that intention is slowly but surely beginning to make itself known.”

      Except for the part about compensation, I think that has been the reality for a long time. Perhaps “evaporation” would be a better term. I recently read something about the campaign of intimidation waged by Texas Rangers against “Mexicans” (many of whom were U.S. citizens) living near the border 100 years ago. They were “encouraged” to leave for other states in the U.S. or to Mexico. Thus a part of the Hispanic population was “evaporated.”

      Israel has been using a similar process, but with more drastic and often deadly means of intimidation for most the past century, aimed initially at the British as well as the “Arabs.” Since 1948 the U.S. has supported and enabled this. I don’t see another alternative in the future.

      A different, happier alternative was available to the black population of South Africa, but I don’t see that happening for Palestinians as long as the U.S. elites continue to support the continued dispossession and oppression of the original inhabitants and their children. If there is ever any compensation, it will be paid by the U.S. and, perhaps, Europe. How likely is it that the countries that enabled the oppression will pay? Money would, as you suggest, be a poor consolation, but I doubt the victims will get much of that either.

      • inbound39
        February 13, 2016, 5:24 am

        Talknic has mentioned many times that the amount of compensation the Israeli’s owe the Palestinians would leave Israel totally bankrupt.

  13. Ossinev
    February 11, 2016, 9:29 am

    Read his article and was beginning to be impressed with a sense of hard hitting realism. Then got to:

    “And Hamas is the mother. Hamas devoted all its resources to digging tunnels to attack Israelis from Gaza rather than turning Gaza into Singapore, making a laughingstock of Israeli peace advocates”

    He must have had an inadvertent whiff of laughing gas to come up with this absurd mini-thesis. Zionist Israel allowing Gaza to turn into a Singapore !!! Whoops just saw a whole bunch of pigs fly by.

  14. luckygoldsmith
    February 11, 2016, 9:53 am

    It is very dangerous to speak as though “the end of the two state solution” is here, because it conveniently slides into the one state solution supported by many progressives. If palestinians cannot win the full decolonization of 1967, then they wont win a one state reality either. Israel will push for ethnic cleansing – that is the role of the settlements. We should continue to call for the full decolonization of palestine. See: link to jadaliyya.com

  15. Ramzi Jaber
    February 11, 2016, 11:47 am

    1S1P1V – that’s been obvious for several years now. With what Nutnyahoo and Herzog said recently (no 2-state), this is now confirmed even by the zios. Only question now is what’s the path to 1S1P1V going to look like??

    • a blah chick
      February 11, 2016, 12:03 pm

      “Only question now is what’s the path to 1S1P1V going to look like??”

      Well, if Herzog and his crew have anything to say it will simply be more of the same. They will attempt to ignore the situation for as long as possible. They will bank on the hope that things will remain unchanging for the foreseeable future. Anyone who has followed Middles Eastern politics know that that is NOT how things turn out.

  16. Nevada Ned
    February 11, 2016, 1:46 pm

    Friedman is a bombastic advocate of violence and aggression, and an early and enthusiastic supporter of the US invasion of Iraq.

    In a just world, Rashid Khalidi would have a regular column in the NYT, not Friedman.

    But all of this makes Friedman’s criticism of Israel and his proclamation that the 2SS is dead.

    In the past, prominent members of the foreign policy Establishment have complained about Israel’s behavior: Mearsheimer and Walt, and Jimmy Carter. Now event the NYT, “the newspaper of record,” is criticizing Israel and especially the Israel right-wing extremists around Netanyahu.

    Yes, of course, many others made some of the same points a LONG time ago: from Chomsky to Finkelstein to the activists around the Electronic Intifada, to Mondoweiss. But don’t expect Friedman to give them any credit. He’s a bigfoot pundit after all..

    • Nevada Ned
      February 11, 2016, 7:55 pm

      I forgot to mention an excellent book on Friedman:
      The Imperial Messenger, by Belen Fernandez.

  17. James Canning
    February 11, 2016, 2:17 pm

    Thanks to the Israel lobby, foolish American politicians for years have encouraged Israel to grow its illegal colonies of Jews in the occupied West Bank.

    I doubt Friedman thinks Israel will annex those portions of the West Bank with too many Muslims.

  18. JustJessetr
    February 11, 2016, 9:57 pm

    Phil,

    “[two paragraphs of blaming Palestinians for demise of Oslo.]”

    Why didn’t you just leave this part out altogether? It would have been a more accurate expression of how you really feel.

    Oh well, at least you still allow SOME acknowledgment that nobody’s totally innocent. There’s hope for you yet.

  19. MRW
    February 12, 2016, 2:57 am

    Must be nice to have a platform with which to burnish your reputation after the fact. Chicken shit Friedman is years late with this. The neocons and Pro-Israeli American Jews, whom Friedman is the public oracle for, have a lot to answer for with the wars and global instability they’ve caused using US treasure (human and gelt). Iraq, Afghanistan, then Iraq again, Libya, Syria, and the constant of Iran have decimated this country, and they are to blame. Not to mention the demonizing of an entire faith that wasn’t threatening anyone when they started.

  20. inbound39
    February 12, 2016, 7:00 am

    A One State Solution would mean an immediate end to the Jewish State. The only way to protect the Jewish State is to revert back to the Partition Plan of Two States with Israeli’s returning to within their legally declared Sovereign Borders of 1948. Those are still the only borders it is legally and globally recognised upon.

    • rugal_b
      February 12, 2016, 11:22 am

      Having two states is no big deal, but maintaining a state that has no reason to exist except to allow its citizen to be indoctrinated with supremacist beliefs is problematic, and also really difficult practically. Add in the factor of racial and ethnic heterogeneity among the Jewish Israelis, unlimited access to information through the internet and social media, and the ever-present need for peaceful diplomacy and trade with foreign nations to maintain domestic stability, this potential scenario of two states becomes pretty much impossible and utterly unimaginable.

      Two states in any form or arrangement is not going to happen. The only realistic end-game for the Israeli regime is to dissolve itself and merge with the Palestinian entity to become a single pluralistic state.

      • Mooser
        February 12, 2016, 1:12 pm

        “The only realistic end-game for the Israeli regime is to dissolve itself and merge with the Palestinian entity to become a single pluralistic state.”

        No reparations? No return-of-property? No right-of-return for Palestinians? No investigations for Zionist war crimes, and trials for perps? Gonna leave the IDF command structure as is? Are the settlers going to be moved out?? Will Zionism’s foreign supporters be barred from trying to stage a return to Zionism?

        Or are those not relevant questions, as far as forming a “pluralistic” state?

  21. MaxNarr
    February 12, 2016, 11:08 am

    He is simply a self hating Jew and a biased, unfair, and unbalanced journalist. Did he mention any ‘palestinian’ action as responsible for the current situation? Is Abbas not 10 years into a 4 year term? Is Hamas not an internationally recognized terror organization whose goal is to destroy Israel? Are Jews not stabbed on a daily basis?

    • Mooser
      February 12, 2016, 11:31 am

      “He is simply a self hating Jew”

      “MaxNarr” as one Jew to another, could you do me a favor?
      Look, “self-hating Jew” is an expression I have heard for many years, but I don’t have the slightest inkling what it means.
      Would you please explain it to me?
      I want to make sure I don’t slip into such a dreadful state. After all, I’m already one-half the recipe. How can avoid this awful “self-hate” which seems to afflict so many of us?

      Oh, and BTW, who are you referring to in your comment as the “self-hating Jew”? Tom Friedman?

    • Mooser
      February 12, 2016, 11:41 am

      “Are Jews not stabbed on a daily basis?”

      Stabbed, (presumably because we are bulletproof, and must be impaled on a cross?) just for being Jewish!
      Just standing there, in their own country, not bothering anybody, trying to give stuff to the Palestinians, and they get a shiv in the kishkas for their trouble!

    • Annie Robbins
      February 12, 2016, 12:48 pm

      Did he mention any ‘palestinian’ action as responsible for the current situation?

      max, why not do your own homework before asking questions such as these? we are not here to serve you.

    • eljay
      February 12, 2016, 1:58 pm

      || MaxNarr: He is simply a self hating Jew … ||

      …says the Jew-hating Zio-supremacist.

      || … Are Jews not stabbed on a daily basis? ||

      Meanwhile, after almost 70 years, non-Jews continue to be oppressed, tortured and killed and their lands stolen, occupied and colonized.

      I’m with you: Let’s hold accountable all responsible parties on both sides, and let’s insist on justice, accountability and equality in I-P.

    • inbound39
      February 13, 2016, 5:33 am

      Max Narr old son…you seem to conveniently forget that it was always Herzl and Jabotinsky’s plan from the start to remove all Palestinians from Palestine and take all of Palestine for Jews only. Zionist European Migrants started all this off by launching a program of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians. What were you expecting Max? For Palestinians to trot compliantly out of their homes and give you the keys and then kneel before you so you could neatly execute them? What responsibility do you take for being the instigators.

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