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Tom Friedman has advice for Palestinians: Embrace Zionism

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on 117 Comments

One of the advantages of being a liberal Zionist is that you never have to take responsibility for what Zionism does.  You can blame Palestinians for their own demise, maintain a sense of righteousness while people die, and defend Israel no matter what it does.  And you can state emphatically that you know what Palestinians need to do, though you’ve never considered their experience.  They exist, for you, only in a theoretical sense.

“Just what are we going to do about the Palestinians,” you and your liberal Zionist friends can ask over lattes and chai teas at coffee shops.  And when you write about them, you can consider the Palestinian people only as a theory–something abstract to be grappled with–rather than human beings who deserve the dignity and freedom that you have.  You don’t ever have to acknowledge Palestinian history or experience.

Take, for example, Thomas Friedman’s May 23, 2018, opinion piece in The New York Times, “Hamas, Netanyahu and Mother Nature.”  Friedman’s critique–which shakes its finger at the Palestinians who have screwed up again–is yet another liberal Zionist apology for Israel’s recent massacre of 62 people at the Gaza border.  “If Hamas had chosen to recognize Israel and build a Palestinian state in Gaza modeled on Singapore,” Friedman writes, “the world would have showered it with aid and it would have served as a positive test case for the West Bank.”  Using an “If-X-then-Y” equation, Friedman knows what’s best for what ails Palestinians.  If they just behaved better, he declares, Israel’s treatment of them would improve.

Like many other Zionist apologists, Friedman blames Hamas for using the Great Return March as a coverup for not providing Gazans a decent life.  Hamas facilitated “the tragic and wasted deaths of roughly 60 Gazans by encouraging their march,” he writes.  His claim falls in line with liberal Zionist thinking that dictates what Palestinians should do.  The Gazans should have marched to the border together, and, recognizing Israel, declared their desire for peace:

What if all two million Palestinians of Gaza marched to the Israeli border fence with an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other, saying, ‘Two states for two peoples: We, the Palestinian people of Gaza, want to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish people–a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed adjustments.’

If they had just done it my way,  then the end result would have been different, Friedman asserts.  The Gazans should have held olive branches while being shot at, and they should have worked on their community-organizing skills, too.

If they had followed Friedman’s suggestion–“one that almost certainly would lead to an improved life for Gazans”–then they would have elicited a positive response from Israel and the rest of the world, too:

“That would have stimulated a huge debate within Israel and worldwide pressure–especially if Hamas invited youth delegations from around the Arab world to launch their own marches, carrying the Arab Peace Initiative. That kind of Palestinian movement would make Israelis feel strategically secure but morally insecure, which is the key to moving the Israeli silent majority.  Hamas chose instead to make Israelis feel strategically insecure and therefore morally secure in killing scores of Hamas followers who tried to breach the border fence.”

Friedman’s liberal Zionist thinking puts all the responsibility on Hamas and none on Israel.  The bully Hamas made the victim Israel feel insecure–follow Friedman’s italicized wordplay–and the intellectual banter proves, for him, that it’s never Israel’s fault.

Friedman is so convinced he knows what the Palestinians need to do, he links to a piece he wrote in 2011, “Lessons From Tahrir Sq.,” proposing almost exactly the same solution:

May I suggest a Tahrir Square alternative? Announce that every Friday from today forward will be ‘Peace Day,’ and have thousands of West Bank Palestinians march nonviolently to Jerusalem, carrying two things–an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other. The sign should say: ‘Two states for two peoples. We, the Palestinian people, offer the Jewish people a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders–with mutually agreed adjustments –including Jerusalem, where the Arabs will control their neighborhoods and the Jews theirs.’

Here, too, the onus is all on the Palestinians, as Friedman links their plight to the grass-roots activism they’ve failed to initiate. But the two articles reveal the limitations of liberal Zionist discourse: you never have to shift your thinking, even over an eight-year period of Palestinian misery. Despite worsening conditions in Gaza, and the global implications of the recent U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem–not mentioned once in his latest– Thomas Friedman quotes Thomas Friedman almost verbatim.  Liberal Zionists remain stagnant; you can dig your heels into the dirt–and brag about it with a hyperlink, without ever putting yourself in Palestinian shoes.

Were Friedman to acknowledge the collective punishment of Palestinians, he might remember that good behavior doesn’t work for Palestinians.  Israel still punishes them.  Friedman could recall 2008, when Israel refused to grant permission to several Palestinians who had won Fulbright awards to leave Gaza.  Of course, Palestinians shouldn’t have to win a Fulbright to be able to study, but Israel denying them travel shows that Israel doesn’t reward “good” and “civilized” behavior.  Like the U.S. which prohibited slaves from learning to read and write, Israel uses a similar systemic tactic to try to keep Palestinians down. Because an educated people becomes a threat to the system that is oppressing them.

Liberal Zionist thinking, however, doesn’t allow for institutional and systemic awareness.  And it also demands that any criticism of Israel be under the guise of protecting Israel.  Friedman condemns Israel, for example, only because of the threat the settlements pose to Israel’s Jewish democracy:

But I find it a travesty that a country with so much imagination in computing, medicine and agriculture shows so little imagination in searching for secure ways to separate from the Palestinians in the West Bank to preserve its Jewish democracy.

The “travesty,” for Friedman, is the possibility of not having a Jewish nation.  He considers the West Bank in terms of what this means for Israel’s future.  “If current birthrate trends continue,” Friedman warns, “the Jews will likely become a minority, with all of the negative governing consequences that will entail.”  Palestinians only exist in liberal Zionist discourse as background, as an inconvenience, a nuisance, to Israel’s colonial project of ethnically cleansing Palestine.

A good liberal Zionist also tells Palestinians to “get over it” while attempting to sympathize.  Friedman writes that he appreciates Gazans’ frustration, but come on, he says, it’s enough already:

I appreciate the Gazans’ sense of injustice. Why should they pay with their ancestral homes for Jewish refugees who lost theirs in Germany or Iraq? The only answer is that history is full of such injustices and of refugees who have reconciled with them and moved on–not passed on their refugee status to their kids and their kids’ kids. It’s why so few Arabs, so few Europeans, so few anybody, rose to Hamas’s defense. People are fed up with it.

Here again, Friedman blames Palestinians for being refugees.  Shame on Palestinians, Friedman wails, for passing on their occupation to their children.  The world is a cruel place, and these things just happen.  Zionists were justified in taking Palestinians’ land, and liberal Zionists have moved on.  The Palestinians should, too.  It’s the only answer, he writes.

Ari Shavit, another good soldier of liberal Zionist discourse, wrote similarly in his 2013 My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel.  What happened to the Palestinians was terrible, he writes, but these things just happen. Palestinians exist, for Shavit, too, only to defend Israel’s actions:

I’ll stand by the damned, because I know that if not for them the State of Israel would not have been born. If not for them, I would not have been born. They did the filthy work that enables my people, my nation, my daughter, my sons, and me to live.

Like Friedman, Shavit doesn’t consider the Palestinian point of view of that “filthy work”.  He attempts to sympathize with Palestinians, but then stops short.  “But the Jewish State cannot let them return,” Shavit writes. “Israel has a right to live.”

Even while liberal Zionists describe horrific conditions in Gaza, it’s never from the perspective of those who actually live there.  It’s the Gazans who are dumping raw sewage–100 million liters a day, Friedman writes–into the Mediterranean Sea.   This sewage is flowing north to the Israeli city Ashkelon, and the desalination plant “has had to close several times to clean Gaza’s gunk out of its filters.”  Friedman only mentions the humanitarian sewage crisis so he can  defend Israel.  Friedman backs up his position that Gaza’s existence is only a nuisance for Israel by quoting Gidon Bromberg, the director of EcoPeace Middle East, an organization that “promotes peace through environmental collaboration.” Bromberg, too, speaks about Gazans as an inconvenience, an obstacle to Israel’s survival.  “‘So this idea that we can just get out of Gaza, throw away the key and forget about it is a total illusion,’” Bromberg said.  It would behoove Israel to solve the problem of Gaza, for Bromberg, only because of the trouble it creates for Israel.

It’s possible for liberal Zionists to change, of course.  They could write about the Palestinians without condescension.  Even Friedman, if he could imagine what life is really like for those living in Gaza–if he could, for once, listen to what Palestinians are saying–he could write about the march without mocking it as a Hamas circus. He would stop himself from condescending lectures:

In a few years, the next protest from Gaza will not be organized by Hamas, but by mothers because typhoid and cholera will have spread through the fetid water and Gazans will all have had to stop drinking it.

Maybe, if Friedman stopped imposing his own standards on a life he can’t even imagine, he would stop blaming Hamas and begin holding Israel responsible.

Liberal Zionists can also visit villages in the West Bank and stand in Palestinians’ shoes and watch the shit flow down from Jewish settlements, for it does–I have seen it–and it doesn’t only flow northward into Jewish Israeli cities, as Friedman suggests.  They can read about the march, too, and learn that young Palestinians are creating oral history projects and interviewing their families, and building models of the Palestinian villages that Israel destroyed.  They could begin to question Israel’s motives, as Natalie Portman and others have, and develop a sense of empathy–a quality required if one wants to see the world from another’s perspective.

But liberal Zionist thinking needs to remain limited, finite, and constrained. And those who keep going down its path of control and restraint, like Friedman, will continue to completely erase Palestinian history and experience.  They will not have to look at the Great Return March as anything except a failure of Hamas’s imagination. They will not, under any circumstances, pause to honor those who gave their lives to expose the fact that Israel has no desire to respond to Palestinian demands for freedom and sovereignty.

And The New York Times will keep publishing their op-ed pieces.

 

Liz
About Liz Rose

Liz Rose is a Chicago teacher.

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117 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    May 28, 2018, 2:14 pm

    “Liberal Zionists” like Friedman are “kinder, gentler” supremacists but – just like their hardier co-collectivists – they want Israel:
    – to remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
    – to keep as much as possible of what it has stolen (and occupied and colonized);
    – to be absolved of its obligations under international law (incl. RoR); and
    – to be absolved of responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

    Zionists – including “liberal” types like Friedman – are hateful and immoral hypocrites who have no use for justice, accountability or equality…when it comes to I-P.

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      May 28, 2018, 4:42 pm

      I’m more than a little embarrassed to say that I once thought quite highly of Thomas Friedman.
      Mea culpa!

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        May 28, 2018, 6:38 pm

        Changed opinion of TF:

        you are not alone; we started out knowing less, and being misled. Older and wiser now.

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        May 28, 2018, 8:38 pm

        P.S.
        Opinion | “Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last” – By Thomas Friedman, The New York Times
        Nov 23, 2017 – RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — I never thought I’d live long enough to write this … I found the country going through its own Arab Spring, Saudi style.
        LINK – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/23/opinion/saudi-prince-mbs-arab-spring.html

        “Can bin Salman’s PR spin doctors fix Saudi’s image?” | The Listening Post
        Al Jazeera English
        Published on May 28, 2018
        Ever since last year’s palace coup in Saudi Arabia left Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, commonly known as MBS, in control of every important arm of the state, his promise of reforms has had many in the international media putting a new face on the kingdom.
        As the global media were busily churning out “good news” stories of Saudi women preparing to take the wheel, it begs the question why the government choose to arrest 10 activists, seven women and three men, accusing them of being traitors and colluding with unspecified foreign powers to “destabilise the kingdom”. . .

      • Misterioso
        Misterioso
        May 29, 2018, 11:08 am

        As we all know, the image of the entity known as “Israel” is taking a major worldwide hit as a result of its slaughter and mass wounding of imprisoned, long suffering Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, including children, demonstrating for their human rights. Also, of major concern to the entity known as “Israel” is that increasing numbers of young Jews around the world are abandoning Zionism. Furthermore, Jewish immigration to the entity known as “Israel” is plummeting and emigration is soaring as its economy continues to deteriorate: “Israel has one of the highest poverty rates and levels of income inequality in the Western world. It also has one of the highest costs of living. Tel Aviv ranks ninth among the world’s most expensive cities, higher than New York and Los Angeles; five years ago, it ranked 34th. The situation is so dire that a 2013 survey by the financial newspaper Calcalist (the most recent Israeli study conducted on this topic) found that 87 percent of adults—many with children of their own—depend on substantial financial support from their parents.” (NEWSWEEK – 5/10/18) Meanwhile, the Palestinian Arab population continues to grow between the River and the Sea and already outnumbers Jews.

        Hence, true to form, along with other obedient Zionist media lackeys (see: https://thenib.com/new-york-times-warsaw-ghetto-edition), Thomas Friedman blames the ghettoized Gaza Palestinians and Hamas for their deaths and horrible plight. He writes: “If Hamas had chosen to recognize Israel and build a Palestinian state in Gaza modeled on Singapore,….” and “[w]hat if all two million Palestinians of Gaza marched to the Israeli border fence with an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other, saying, ‘Two states for two peoples: We, the Palestinian people of Gaza, want to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish people–a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed adjustments.’”

        Not only is Friedman a gutless, unprincipled Zionist toady, he also blatantly misrepresents the truth by omission.

        To wit:
        On 16 June 2009, after meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Ismail Haniya, prime minister of Hamas’s Gaza Strip government, announced that “If there is a real plan to resolve the Palestinian question on the basis of the creation of a Palestinian state within the borders of June 4, 1967 [i.e. 22% of historic Palestine] and with full sovereignty, we are in favour of it.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/isra…
        “‘We accept a Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital, the release of Palestinian prisoners, and the resolution of the issue of refugees,’ [**] Haniyeh said, referring to the year of Middle East war in which Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Palestinian territories. ” (Haaretz, December 1, 2010) No response from the entity known as “Israel.”

        ** By calling for a “resolution of the issue of refugees,” Haniyeh was in accordance with Res. 194, which calls for financial compensation as an option rather than their “Right of Return.”

        In its revised Charter, April, 2017, Hamas again agreed to a Palestinian state based on the 4 June 1967 borders. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Israel promptly rejected the Hamas overture instead of using it to open a dialogue.

        https://www.haaretz.com/isr
        “Senior Hamas Official: ‘I Think We Can All Live Here in This Land – Muslims, Christians and Jews.’” By Nir Gontarz. March 28, 2018, Haaretz. No response from the entity known as “Israel.” Still no response.

      • genesto
        genesto
        May 29, 2018, 1:14 pm

        —- and I’m much more embarrassed to say that I was once a liberal Zionist quite a number of years ago, who used to argue the Zionist narrative while debating my Arab uncles. When they told me, over 40 years ago, that the Yahuds stole Arab land, I objected strongly. When I finally ‘got it’ some years lare, I went back and humbly apologized to my uncles for my foolishness.

        Anyway, just another example of the power of the Israel lobby in shaping the narrative in this country heavily in its favor.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      May 29, 2018, 9:13 am

      Just another Minister of Propaganda for The Fatherland.
      A little trim away from the proper ‘stache.

  2. edwardm
    edwardm
    May 28, 2018, 3:00 pm

    As near as I can tell, what Palestinians are “supposed” to do – is die.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      May 28, 2018, 6:38 pm

      Yes, or just leave, if they can manage it.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      May 28, 2018, 7:00 pm

      As soon as possible. But we’ll let them off if they’ll just shut up and go away and never bother us again.

    • Kathleen
      Kathleen
      May 29, 2018, 11:15 am

      Or be willing to be Israeli slaves, cleaning houses, building their illegal settlements, etc etc

  3. Boomer
    Boomer
    May 28, 2018, 4:32 pm

    Thanks for this response to the ubiquitous Friedman. I’ve expressed similar ideas, including observations about that column, but not so eloquently and passionately. Actually, he has been at it for much longer than 8 years, as you know. He has long bemoaned the violence of Palestinians, saying that they could achieve “peace” if only they would adopt the nonviolent tactics of blacks in Jim Crow South,, or Indians in British-ruled India. He has a long record of writing stuff that pleases his audience (and his own ego) at the expense of reality and morality. At times he does tip his hat to reality, enough to show that he understands what he prefers to ignore or distort.

    Back in 1989 I was still ignorant about the Middle East, I still looked to people like Friedman for knowledge about the topic. So I read “From Beirut to Jerusalem.” I recall a passage in which he acknowledges that many Israelis fear and hate Palestinians precisely because they (the Israelis) know what they have stolen from the Palestinians, and they know that they (the Israelies) would never forgive or forget such a crime against them. So he was capable of being honest once upon a time, but he has, like many successful people, gotten comfortable, and unwilling to risk his comfort.

    I’m a broken record, I know, but it seems to me that the best of the reasonably plausible options available to Americans now is to welcome and help resettle those Palestinians who wish to come here. It isn’t a perfect solution, but perfection isn’t an option. As for those who wish to stay, God help them: Israel won’t.

    • genesto
      genesto
      May 29, 2018, 1:22 pm

      I like your idea of resettling Palestinians in this country, although I fail to see how it could ever happen to the extent that it would help reshape the narrative in this country. Bringing victims of war, particularly those who have suffered because of us, to this country does, over time, humanize these victims so they eventually become like you and I in Americans’ views. The Vietnamese are a good example of that.

      Regardless of how the conflict continues to play out, I would more than welcome Palestinians coming in large numbers to America. After all, we certainly owe them that opportunity for decent lives here after all the harm we have caused them with our unquestioning support for Zionist Israel.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 29, 2018, 7:15 pm

        You’re putting us before a hard choice: either resettle the Zionist invaders (lots of them Americans anyway) and so free Palestine but lose our country to the point of our being forced to emigrate, or settle the Palestinians here and agree to their losing their country.

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        May 30, 2018, 4:23 pm

        re: “You’re putting us before a hard choice”

        It’s how I’ve come to perceive the choice presented by reality, seen in light of my own preferences. Others may see things differently. I may be wrong, but I concluded years ago that Israel won’t voluntarily give Palestinians a decent break, and nothing politically feasible will force Israel to do so.

        Sanctions might do so, if the U.S. government endorsed them, but I can’t imagine that happening during the lifetime of most Palestinians who are alive today. Israel and its lobby control Congress. About half the states have passed anti-BDS laws that may be largely symbolic, but show who controls American policy and discourse. And no President since Bush the Elder has even tried to rein in Israel with more than a few words.

        As you say, the Vietnamese are examples. We never adequately acknowledged what we did to that country, in my opinion, but we did accept about a million refugees here. The rest of the world took a similar number. As I assess what is politically feasible regarding the Palestinians, it seems to me that the most we might hope for is something similar. Not a grand statement that we owe them that (though we do) but a policy and practice of accommodating those who want to come. Obama could have done more in that regard, had he wanted to do and had the courage. Perhaps Trump’s successor will actually do it, and perhaps Congress will let him (or her) do so. At least that’s the most I hope for.

        As for the Israelis leaving Israel and moving here or to Europe, no doubt some will do so for their own reasons, but I don’t see that happening on a large scale. Certainly they aren’t going to empty out the country and give the keys back to the Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 30, 2018, 6:34 pm

        “As for the Israelis leaving Israel and moving here or to Europe, no doubt some will do so for their own reasons…”

        And their “own reasons” of course, will have nothing to do with what’s going on in Israel

        “but I don’t see that happening on a large scale. Certainly they aren’t going to empty out the country…”

        Okay then, what is the minimum number of Zionist Jews needed to keep Israel chugging along on it’s present course?

        You want to stick around Israel when people are leaving, and find out at which number Israel collapses? I don’t think anybody else will either.

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        May 31, 2018, 6:32 am

        re Mooser: “You want to stick around Israel when people are leaving, and find out at which number Israel collapses? I don’t think anybody else will either.”

        I must admit that I can’t predict the future reliably. Your vision of the future may be more accurate than mine. Societies do change, of course, and sometimes change seems to come quickly. At least it can appear quick, though usually it has been developing for some time under a seemingly stable surface.

      • jackal
        jackal
        June 4, 2018, 3:14 am

        Perhaps, if you had welcomed all the Jews into the United States after WWII, all of the problems in Palestine would never have had to happen. Perhaps if Britain had not promoted the Balfour Declaration all of the problems we have today would never have had to happen.
        Perhaps….

      • Bumblebye
        Bumblebye
        June 4, 2018, 9:17 am

        @jackal – then perhaps the french one, written in June 1917, would have come into play. Balfour was the last of many.

    • Emory Riddle
      Emory Riddle
      May 31, 2018, 6:26 pm

      How about if America instead shuts off the welfare spigot for Israel and stops protecting/enabling them? Why should the Palestinians have to leave their homeland?

      • catalan
        catalan
        May 31, 2018, 7:13 pm

        “How about if America instead shuts off the welfare spigot for Israel and stops protecting/enabling them?” Emory
        I agree that we should stop paying them, all the more so that they seem to live longer, be happier, travel more and have a much better quality of life than most of the EU countries. Also, I support free healthcare, free college, universal basic income, subsidized housing for us Americans. Indeed, I think I support anything that’s free (e.g. why not food and housing?). Why not use the money we send to Israel to provide all these free things for the 350M souls who are barely making it now in the USA?

  4. just
    just
    May 28, 2018, 4:45 pm

    I am dismayed that this charlatan/warmonger/racist-cum-journalist is still given a platform anywhere. He’s never been proven correct in his preposterous navel- gazing and ponificating wrt MENA. Thanks for the analysis, Liz. The Palestinians have already tried his approach numerous times to no avail… Israel denies them respect and acknowledgement every. single. time. Thanks to the illegal settlers and their vicious agricultural violence, there are many fewer olive branches available at this time.

    It is the Israelis who should adopt Friedman’s approach. They’ve never wanted peace & justice with the Palestinians of Palestine, though. It’s always been a charade and fraud.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      May 28, 2018, 6:40 pm

      “It is the Israelis who should adopt Friedman’s approach. They’ve never wanted peace & justice with the Palestinians of Palestine, though. It’s always been a charade and fraud.”

      Well said.

  5. Kay24
    Kay24
    May 28, 2018, 4:46 pm

    Another zionist supporter, who keeps blaming the victims. It was ironic that Jared Kushner stood outside the new US embassy in Jerusalem, declaring that just like the US, Israel wants peace in the world (what a joke), and it was the Palestinians who did not, all while the brutal Israeli killing machine were massacring and injuring unarmed civilians, with deadly weapons. This conflict has always been unfair and unjust, with the occupier holding power, the weapons, and vicious military, versus unarmed, and helpless civilians.

    These zionist supporters have no shame, nor any conscience. All the violence is always blamed on the unarmed Palestinians, while the most “moral”military in the world, keeps slaughtering innocent civilians by the thousands, and of course, they are ALL branded “terrorists” just to justify the violence. What kind of world are they living in? It makes no sense.

    Tom Friedman has always been on the side of his beloved Israel , and has occasionally allowed the better part of his conscience to be revealed, but that is just for few seconds, when he says something that sounds neutral, and then it is gone.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      May 28, 2018, 6:42 pm

      “Tom Friedman has always been on the side of his beloved Israel , and has occasionally allowed the better part of his conscience to be revealed, but that is just for few seconds, when he says something that sounds neutral, and then it is gone.”

      Yes. Doesn’t want to make his fans uncomfortable, or himself.

  6. just
    just
    May 28, 2018, 5:26 pm

    “… You don’t ever have to acknowledge Palestinian history or experience. …”

    Somewhat O/T, I was ‘shocked’ via The Guardian this morning:

    “The next Homeland? The problems with Fauda, Israel’s brutal TV hit

    The Netflix smash – about a ruthless Israeli unit hunting down terrorists – has been praised for its evenhanded portrayal of the Palestinian conflict. But are there glaring omissions?…

    … But none of that gets away from it being overwhelmingly narrated from an Israeli viewpoint, focused on the Israeli protagonists. More so than in the first series, the Israeli occupation is nowhere to be seen – there’s no wall, no settlements or settlers, no house demolitions, only a few small checkpoints and none of the everyday brutalities of life under occupation. Yes, it shows that Palestinians love their mothers, but it also renders them as violent fanatics without a political cause.

    Fauda’s creators have said they want to show that everyone living in a war zone pays a price, but such portrayals of an equality of suffering are ripe for criticism in the midst of an asymmetric conflict, in which one side is under occupation. This is more acutely obvious at a time when international media has focused on Israel opening fire on unarmed protesters near the Gaza border earlier this month, killing 58 Palestinians, including children, and wounding over 1,000 in a single day.

    Diana Buttu, a Palestinian-Canadian human rights lawyer and former spokeswoman for the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, points to another problem with Fauda. “If you’re not careful, you find yourself drawn into the assassinations, you get lured into the cat and mouse,” she says, of a series that essentially depicts targeted killings. “The concept of right and wrong gets erased, the illegality gets erased … It just becomes this action-packed show.”

    This kind of blurring brings to mind US war-on-terror films such as Zero Dark Thirty, with its depiction of Osama bin Laden’s capture serving as a PR exercise for the use of torture during interrogations. Meanwhile, Fauda’s Isis storyline stretches credibility, at the same time feeding the worst stereotypes. “It’s a bit lazy. Isis is not really active in Gaza or the West Bank,” says Stern. Buttu adds that the effect is to reinforce the absence of a Palestinian cause. “We don’t have any legitimate grievances. It’s all Islamic-driven,” she says, noting that it “turns Palestinians into irrational figures who want only to kill Israelis”. …

    For its second series, Fauda’s publicity campaign has ramped up claims of authenticity and popularity among Palestinians as well as the wider Arab world. Columnist, author and TV sitcom writer Sayed Kashua slammed such efforts earlier this year: “You already have military victories and cultural control in marketing the Israeli occupation policy: at least give the Palestinians the option of hating Fauda. Are Netflix, worldwide success, economic growth and serving Israeli PR not enough for them?” …”

    more @ https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2018/may/23/the-next-homeland-problems-with-fauda-israel-brutal-tv-hit

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      May 28, 2018, 6:36 pm

      Thanks for the quote and link to Guardian. A needed corrective. NYT has repeatedly written favorably about the show.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 28, 2018, 11:32 pm

      I’ve not seen Fauda, but I’ve read a review evidencing that the series is a testament to portraying the Israelis as shooting and crying, while the Palestinians just shoot, essentially. In other words, the Palestinians have a lesser soul than the Jews.

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        May 29, 2018, 9:25 am

        As we’ve always been taught, animals don’t have self-awareness.

  7. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    May 28, 2018, 5:56 pm

    Friedman fits comfortably into the category known here in the UK as “smarmy git”.

    “The only answer is that history is full of such injustices and of refugees who have reconciled with them and moved on–not passed on their refugee status to their kids and their kids’ kids. It’s why so few Arabs, so few Europeans, so few anybody, rose to Hamas’s defense. People are fed up with it”

    No mention of the Zio Law of Return and the de facto “refugee status” and “rights” of Jews anywhere anyhow in the world and their multi generation offspring.

    And as for the “People are fed up with it” he no doubt he believes like the good Zio he is that”people” just can`t get enough of the Holocaust and the Biblical “exile” narrative being shoved down their individual and collective throats 24/7 and aren`t in the least “fed up with it”.

    Worst of all is probably the fact that that this creep knows full well that Zioland will never allow mass peaceful protests such as the “Tahrir Square Alternative” which he so glibly describes.Each and every protest would be violently broken up with the Zios subsequently blaming the protestors and Hasbarising any resistance shown by the protestors as evidence that the Palestinians simply wan`t to ” drive Jews into the sea” and are unwilling to “reach out for peace”. Oh and their seriously moral IDF (inc medics) would be able to grab the opportunity for ongoing live practice.

    10 out of 10 on the Pukometer for Mr Friedman I`m afraid.

  8. Boomer
    Boomer
    May 28, 2018, 6:43 pm

    “smarmy git”

    I wasn’t familiar with the term, but evidently it is highly pejorative. Too bad I can’t use it, since most Americans would understand.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 29, 2018, 10:41 am

      “I’m so tired, I’m feeling so upset
      Although I’m so tired, I’ll have another cigarette
      And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
      He was such a stupid get”

      • G. Seauton
        G. Seauton
        June 2, 2018, 4:37 am

        Beatles.

        And that’s “stupid git.”

  9. lonely rico
    lonely rico
    May 28, 2018, 8:11 pm

    > Thomas Friedman –

    If Hamas had chosen to recognize Israel and build a Palestinian state in Gaza modeled on Singapore,the world would have showered it with aid and it would have served as a positive test case for the West Bank.

    If Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943 had chosen to recognize Nazism, built a state on the model of Liechtenstein, the world would have been different, I guess.

    Warsaw Jews, failed their test case.

  10. Nathan
    Nathan
    May 28, 2018, 9:10 pm

    “His claim falls in line with liberal Zionist thinking that dictates what Palestinians should do”.

    Here’s reality: No one is dictating what the Palestinians should do. What we have in the NY Times article is simply CRITICISM. Someone is trying to tell the Palestinians that it might be better policy to seek an end of conflict (and to strike a deal with Israel). The author of the article should calm down, knowing that Hamas has no intention whatsoever of ending its conflict with Israel, and all their inventive energy will continue to be invested in new ideas of how to strike at Israel (and some of the ideas are quite impressive).

    It’s really strange to find out that a thinking person believes that no one should object to the policies of Hamas. However, it should be noted that people who care about others criticize them. It’s good and proper. If someone is a reckless driver, you should tell him/her to slow down and to be careful. It’s not a dictate as Liz Rose would have it; rather, it’s a constructive suggestion for bettering life.

    I don’t think that anyone here really cares about the Palestinians. The real motivation here is animosity towards Israel; hence, it is unthinkable to suggest that Hamas agree to end the conflict. Tom Friedman doesn’t share this animosity towards Israel, so he is able to think in revolutionary terms: Maybe it’s better to live in peace.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      May 28, 2018, 11:45 pm

      Nathan: “I don’t think that anyone here really cares about the Palestinians. The real motivation here is animosity towards Israel.”

      I could respond by making a claim about what your real motivation is for your comment. Instead, I will just ask you, what is or would be, evidence to you that anyone here really cares about the Palestinians? You recommend the Palestinians strike a deal with Israel, rather than being reckless. What deal do you suggest?

      • Nathan
        Nathan
        May 29, 2018, 2:59 pm

        Citizen – Constructive criticsm is generally a good indication that one cares about someone else. In your own private life you can see the phenomenon when you tell your son that you think that he doesn’t take his school work seriously. You could repeat your son’s grievances that “his teacher is unfair” or that “school is a waste of time” – but in so doing you are working against his best interests (and in essence you don’t really care about his future). His best interest is being told that his performance is poor, and that he should shape up.

        When reading the various pro-Palestinian sites, you can’t help but notice that the writers simply repeat the Palestinian grievances and make excuses for all of their decisions. For a classic example, you can read that “the Partition Plan of 1947 was unfair and illegitimate. The UN had no right to give a land to foreign immigrants…” Those who regard themselves to be pro-Palestinians should be able to tell the Palestinians that “it was a mistake to have rejected the Partition Plan. How can thinking adults, who know that they are not prepared for war, insist on going to war? One doesn’t knowingly bring such a disaster on one’s people…” But, alas, the issue is not pro-Palestinianism. The issue is hostility to Israel. Criticizing the bad decisions of the Arab side might be understood as an acceptance of the Partition Plan and the legitimacy of the Jewish state – and that is a big “no-no” in the anti-Israel world. So you prefer to re-enforce the Palestinian behavior, identify with the “all-or nothing” approach – instead of giving them good advice, saying: “Sometimes painful compromising is the right course of action”.

        A more recent phenomenon is the suicide bombings of the first decade of this century. Everywhere you would hear pro-Palestinians repeat the mantra of “frustrated and desperate people”. It was simply impossible for anyone to tell them that “one doesn’t do such things”. Alas, the issue is in reality about hostility to Israel. Condemning actions of the Palestinians might be understood as expressing sympathy for the Israelis or justifying their security concerns – so, the pro-Palestinian makes excuses (not even caring what is the impact of the culture of death on Palestinian society, because the Palestinians aren’t the topic of concern).

        Anyway, Citizen, in today’s reality, a person who really cares should be able to tell Hamas that something is wrong with their approach. “Don’t send massive demonstrations to the fence knowing that it will end in disaster. Life is very important”. But, alas, the issue is hostility to Israel, so all we hear is “how terrible the Zionists are”.

        Here in Mondoweiss, there was a very long series of articles about the Balfour Declaration. Why? Well, the Palestinians were busy with the 100th anniversary, so all the pro-Palestinians were busy as well. Again the real agenda was anti-Israelism (“the State of Israel should not have come into existence, and it shouldn’t exist”). It would have been a breath of fresh air (and an act of concern for the Palestinians) if someone (besides me) would have expressed some criticism, saying: “Enough belly-aching over things that can’t be changed. What’s the point of it all? Let’s talk about a solution to the conflict”. But, sadly, “solution” is a no-no in the anti-Israel world, because it means accepting Israel’s existence as final.

        You asked about a suggestion for a deal with Israel. For the purpose of a debate here in the comments’ section, it would be enough to leave the issue at the level of the most basic principle: Is there a willingness to end the conflict with Israel? If so, the details of the peace arrangement will be worked out eventually. Perhaps, there will be two states for two peoples, perhaps there will be some form of confederation. It doesn’t really make any difference. The only real issue at this moment is the principle of finality (of conflict). My suggestion to Hamas would be to declare its willingness to reach an end-of-conflict deal with Israel. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen. And, sadly, no one in the anti-Israel world is going to express any criticism. Too bad for the Palestinians that they don’t have any real friends (BTW, they know that the motivation of their “friends” in the west is really about hostility to Israel).

      • just
        just
        May 29, 2018, 3:48 pm

        ““Sometimes painful compromising is the right course of action”.”

        That is ALL the Palestinians have done with zero “compromising” from Israel. Yet still you wish for more “painful compromising” from your victims. They will not succumb to Stockholm syndrome courtesy of the Zionist state nor will they disappear from their land and heritage because you wish it.

        “Too bad for the Palestinians that they don’t have any real friends (BTW, they know that the motivation of their “friends” in the west is really about hostility to Israel).”

        I guess you’ve polled all of your Palestinian friends, eh? How many have you visited with recently? Have you broken bread and shared tea with them while eliciting their true feelings about ‘us’ ? Please share, Nathan. I am so curious.

      • annie
        annie
        May 29, 2018, 5:43 pm

        (BTW, they know that the motivation of their “friends” in the west is really about hostility to Israel)

        ah yes, jew hatred being the great motivator. these hasbrat arguments propped up by ad hominems, logical fallacies, know no bounds. because deep in his heart he knows we know what he knows, that palestinians are not flesh and blood, not people worthy of love, liberty, justice, equality or anything else normal people strive for and generally take for granted. because deep in his heart he knows we know what he knows, that palestinians are lessor beings (than jews of course!), terrorists, deeply flawed and dangerous beings. and thus, there’s just no way anyone in their right mind could possibly defend the, oh no, everyone is motivated by hatred of your people?? is that your contention nathan? poor you, everyone just hates you for who you are. my heart weeps at the thought of your eternal victimhood.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 29, 2018, 4:50 pm

        Nathan

        I guess your stuff makes sense in Hebrew. It’s delusional in English. Jews can’t run apartheid and get away with it, nukes or no nukes.

      • annie
        annie
        May 29, 2018, 5:57 pm

        mag, this is particular:

        In your own private life you can see the phenomenon when you tell your son that you think that he doesn’t take his school work seriously. You could repeat your son’s grievances that “his teacher is unfair” or that “school is a waste of time” – but in so doing you are working against his best interests (and in essence you don’t really care about his future). His best interest is being told that his performance is poor, and that he should shape up.

        note the inherent racism in “father son scenario”. he being the father of course, who one presumes cares most about his flock of children — the palestinians! because only israel knows what’s best for them. and when the zionists beat and kill and imprison and torture palestinians, he knows it is in palestinians best interest, to improve their “poor performance”!

        and why does he do it? in essence, he really cares about the future for palestinians!

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 29, 2018, 9:28 pm

        ” In your own private life you can see the phenomenon when you tell your son that you think that he doesn’t take his school work seriously.” “Nathan”

        “Nate” , just remind him that his grades will have a lot to do with what kind of duty he’ll get when he’s chucked into the IDF at 18.
        The better the grades, the further from the ugly occupation.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 30, 2018, 12:36 am

        Annie

        Nathan’s starting point is that Israel is forever.
        And it isn’t .
        Apartheid is doomed.

        Lambchop have a song called “up with people”
        One of the lines is “we are screwing up our lives today”

        Zionism is a car crash.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 30, 2018, 1:50 am

        Nathan,

        Two very important points.

        1. You keep talking about a deal to end the conflict with Israel.

        But Israel will not end the conflict.

        The Palestinians are desperate to end the conflict. The Palestinians have tried compromise. They have tried negotiation. They have offered to agree to a 78% – 22% deal in Israel’s favour. They tried the Oslo agreements.

        But Israel will not keep the agreements.

        Israel wants all of Palestine, and wants the Palestinians to die, or, at least, just shut up and go away and never bother them again.

        What deal can the Palestinians make with Israel?

        2. The correct form for a counterfactual conditional in English is:

        If [past perfect tense] then [would have + past participle]

        So you should write

        “It would have been a breath of fresh air … if someone … had expressed some criticism…”

        You do not need to give up your Zionist principles to get it right.
        Zionist William Safire (of the NYT) gave his imprimatur to the correct form while fulminating about the incorrect forms he saw.

        And it is quite easy.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        June 1, 2018, 3:30 am

        Nathan,
        Two points of lesser importance.
        1. To fit the I/P situation, your school analogy has to be that the teacher really is unfair and biased against the pupil. The pupil’s parent then has to say “You can’t change the teacher, and he’ll never give you an A. Face up to that, and try to do so well that even this teacher will grudgingly give you a C-. “

        2. I know you don’t want to see excuses for all the decisions of the Palestinians, and I will say that I think they do make mistakes.
        Nonetheless, it is not right to accuse them of insisting on war when they were not prepared for it. War was forced upon them.
        They had good reason to believe that accepting the partition plan would lead to war, not avoid it. When the Peel partition plan was proposed, Ben Gurion wanted to accept it on the grounds that the proposed Peel Jewish state would be a base from which the Zionists could then conquer the rest of Palestine, and made it clear that the Arab population of the Peel state would be expelled.
        So obviously the Zionists would do the same with the state proposed in the 1947 partition plan. (And they did. They started expelling the Arabs and expanding the Jewish state straight away. )
        Rejecting the partition plan, and repeating the call for an independent state of Palestine, “with protection of all legitimate Jewish and other minority rights”, offered at least the slight hope that the UN would re-think the matter and find a way to avoid the violence.
        They were wrong about that. The Zionists did not wait for a re-think, but set about their war.

    • jon s
      jon s
      May 28, 2018, 11:54 pm

      Well said, Nathan

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 29, 2018, 12:06 pm

        “I don’t think that anyone here really cares about the Palestinians. The real motivation here is animosity towards Israel.”

        Is there a law which says everybody has to like Israel? This is the game of states you want to play, “Jon s”, and “Nathan”!

        Maybe people want to get rid of Israel for no better reasons than there were for starting Israel. But I doubt taxing them with their “animosity” will make much difference.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 30, 2018, 2:35 am

        How can anyone who isn’t Jewish approve of what Israel does 24/7 ? How can anyone Jewish approve of brainwashing, torture and state sanctioned execution ?

      • lonely rico
        lonely rico
        May 30, 2018, 10:57 am

        > Mooser

        … his grades will have a lot to do with what kind of duty he’ll get when he’s chucked into the IDF

        Top grades will get you one of those nifty sniper rifles,
        with the exploding bullets,
        protecting the “homeland”,
        far, far away from the vermin Arabs.

        Maybe having a great deal of money, like Sheldon Adelson,
        is enough to get your son a posting as a sniper in the IDF …

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9jX7a9DFJE

        a source of great pride for Adelson.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 30, 2018, 12:22 pm

        “Top grades will get you one of those nifty sniper rifles”

        Somehow, I doubt it. But I could be wrong.

    • chris_k
      chris_k
      May 29, 2018, 3:28 am

      However, it should be noted that people who care about others criticize them. It’s good and proper. If someone is a fast runner, tell them to slow down so the IMF can shoot him in the back.

    • Naftush
      Naftush
      May 29, 2018, 6:07 am

      And the animosity towards Israel originates in Diasporic fear and outrage over Jews’ asserting their nationhood. The folks here would oppose even a decision by Israel to liquidate itself because such a decision would be an Israeli one. It’s got to be the product of Palestinian “resistance” and/or action by other countries and the “real,” not-my-Judaism Jews of the chattering class and the neo-Stalinist claque.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 29, 2018, 8:19 am

        || Naftush: And the animosity towards Israel originates in Diasporic fear and outrage over Jews’ asserting their nationhood. … ||

        Yup, and the animosity toward the rapist originates in Testosteronic fear and outrage over Jeb’s asserting his manhood.

        || … The folks here would oppose even a decision by Israel to liquidate itself because such a decision would be an Israeli one. … ||

        The sillier you get, the funnier you are.  :-)

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 29, 2018, 12:56 pm

        “And the animosity towards Israel originates in Diasporic fear and outrage over Jews’ asserting their nationhood.”

        ROTFLMSJAO!!! And have you got a plan to deal with that, “Nathan”? It is turning out to be inimical to our interests.
        So that’s what it’s come to, “Nathan”? The Gentiles support Zionism, it’s the Jews who are against it? Ho-kay! Gee, maybe if “Diasporic” Jews converted to Christianity Zionism would get more support.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 30, 2018, 2:36 am

        Naftush, your stuff probably looks great in Hebrew but in English it is paranoid.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 30, 2018, 12:26 pm

        “Naftush, your stuff probably looks great in Hebrew but in English it is paranoid.”

        “Mag”, that’s why “Naftush” is here, at a site which has no investment in making Zionism look good.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      May 29, 2018, 6:58 am

      re: “I don’t think that anyone here really cares about the Palestinians.”

      You are wrong.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 29, 2018, 11:38 am

        Very wrong.

      • chris_k
        chris_k
        May 29, 2018, 1:36 pm

        Nathan’s tactic is to appropriate the language of caring to construct an entirely false case that he cares about the Palestinians, and since by his logic the people filmed in the bleachers laughing at the kids being shot are the most caring people in the world, then everyone else must care about the Palestinians less and his actual uncaring gets projected on them. This is not his idea, it is the same words being repeated over and over for decades by Zionists.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 29, 2018, 2:59 pm

        “This is not his idea, it is the same words being repeated over and over for decades by Zionists.”

        Yeah, like a brocha.

    • eljay
      eljay
      May 29, 2018, 7:23 am

      || Nathan: … I don’t think that anyone here really cares about the Palestinians. … ||

      That’s pretty rich coming from a pro-“Jewish State” supremacist (Zionist).

      || … Maybe it’s better to live in peace. ||

      Of course it is. A Zionist “peace”:
      – allows Israel to remain a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
      – allows Israel to keep as much as possible of what it has stolen (and occupied and colonized);
      – absolves Israeli of its obligations under international law (incl. RoR); and
      – absolves Israel of responsibility and accountability for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

      No need to bother with justice, accountability or equality when you can have “peace”.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      May 29, 2018, 9:59 am

      You are as delusional as TF, Nathan.

      By all means, a ‘realistic’ solution would be to somehow suspend the laws of human nature.

      The Palestinians should just lay down in the sand and wait for for the Israeli’s to notice how peaceful and deserving of compassion they are.

      They should lay there with a cork in their @$$ so they don’t offend Tom and his friends…with the illnesses brought on by raw sewage flowing in the streets everytime the IDF drops a bomb on a UN school.

      They should just park their boats so they don’t catch a turd instead of a toxic trout gasping his last because the IDF bombed the treatment plant, won’t let replacement parts in, or allow the power to run more than 4 hours a day.
      Doesn’t really matter tho, the IDF only lets Palestinians have 10% of the water Jews get, so they can’t process it anyway.

      No Nathan, I think you and your buddy Tom are onto something.
      Palestinians should just kiss the boot you have on their throat…and stop stealing Israeli air…so at long last there will be peace.

  11. Spring Renouncer
    Spring Renouncer
    May 28, 2018, 10:08 pm

    “A Palestinian State in Gaza modeled on Singapore”… This is absolutely delusional!!

    • oldgeezer
      oldgeezer
      May 29, 2018, 7:14 am

      More of a lie than a delusion. Israel strangled all trade from/to Gaza, including preventing trade with the West Bank which means internal trade to the Palestinian territory.

      There was no chance to build anything and it was intentional. Israel is a criminal state.

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      May 29, 2018, 7:16 am

      re: “A Palestinian State in Gaza modeled on Singapore”… This is absolutely delusional!!

      Reminds me of the “proposals” for an Israel “like Switzerland,” with separate “cantons” for Jews and non-Jews. I’ve seen such “proposals” at least since Oslo, in the early 90’s. Possibly they have been around even longer. Perhaps something like that might have been implemented back then, if Jewish Israelis had really wanted it, though I have serious doubts. It certainly doesn’t seem realistic now.

      I put “proposal” in quotes because the ones I saw generally seemed vague and confusing . I liked the idea of finding a “solution,” but it wasn’t clear to me just how this work. Eventually I realized that the “proposals” that were clearer amounted to describing something like the status quo, but dressed up to make the surface look prettier for those people who like the idea of a “democratic, Jewish state” that does not give up any land or meaningful control to Palestinians and does not permit equal voting rights. To my surprise, a quick web search reveals that there are people still making such proposals, sometimes even describing them as “new.”

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      May 29, 2018, 7:23 am

      An idea based on idle imagination, surely. It is the Israeli position of maintaining the status quo, making no proposal of anything different, which gives Palestinians no options except exchanging idle and imaginary ideas with liberal Zionists or engaging in desperate protests. If there are to be other options in the near future, while the present balances of power exist, the first step has to be for Israel, the greater power, to say what its idea of a fair and final settlement would be,

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 29, 2018, 12:46 pm

        Why would the Zionists do anything as long as they are part of US imperialism and not threatened by serious resistance?

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 29, 2018, 4:08 pm

        A very good question, echino. I’m not cherishing much hope but I think that success in getting Israel to show its true objectives is somewhere just within the outer bounds of possibility. Just.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 29, 2018, 7:01 pm

        Hughes,

        The Zionists have shown their so-called “true colors” from the get-go by announcing their objectives, including the colonization, the extended borders, the land theft, the racial supremacist regime, the only-Jews land (with a maximum 15% slave quota) and their unavoidable need for a genocide, in so many words by at least 1937.

        Not only we have it all from the horse’s mouth –it’s all obvious from their actions to a majority of ordinary people the world over –except perhaps in the Anglophone Puritan countries, period.

        A measure of that is in the standing votes the US vetoes are always reliably getting: US and some 4-5 colonial palm-leaf kingdoms, with UK, Australia, Canada abstaining. Other participants vary according to the amount of blackmail.

        The mask is entirely off –current fronts are not likely to change before the fall of the house US: the distribution right now represents the utter limit possible for bad faith.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 30, 2018, 3:40 am

        I agree echi. Zionism is not going to change. It is a paranoid ideology and the only support it has internationally is paid for.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 30, 2018, 5:09 am

        Rafeef Ziadah describing the inspiration for Shades of Anger :

        We were at York University doing a creative action …a Zionist came by.. as I was lying on the floor he kicked me right in the gut really hard and said “You deserve to be raped before you have your terrorist children”, and that really stuck with me… The only way I could deal with it was to write back my poem and the poem is… I may be angry but what I’m going to produce is your next rebel and you won’t be able to stop us.

      • Boomer
        Boomer
        May 31, 2018, 6:49 am

        re: “We were at York University doing a creative action …a Zionist came by.. as I was lying on the floor he kicked me right in the gut really hard and said “You deserve to be raped before you have your terrorist children”, and that really stuck with me… The only way I could deal with it was to write back my poem and the poem is… I may be angry but what I’m going to produce is your next rebel and you won’t be able to stop us.”

        Powerful. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    May 28, 2018, 11:03 pm

    Ari Shavit writes, “I’ll stand by the damned, because I know that if not for them the State of Israel would have been born. If not for them, I would not have been born. They did the filthy work that enables my people, my nation, my daughter, my sons, and me to live.”

    Just read this horse-waste. What’s he writing here? something like this (my rendition) “… The murderous gangs that killed or ran off hundreds of thousands of Palestinians committed terrible crimes, they are guilty, what they did was wrong, it was “filthy work” and that work continues today … ” Okay, for a half normal human being what comes next? Something like, “We must make amends. We must make it as right as we now can.” But no, amends are nowhere, in its place are me and me and more me (my children, my nation (what nation?)). Poor Ari. I think he really wants sympathy because the suffering of the Palestinian people has forced him to stand by, and be one of, the filthy people. He’s writing something like, “If those Palestinian … okay, people, there I’ve said it, they are people, had only had found a way not to suffer under the slaughter then I and my daughter and son could stand with the righteous instead of living life indebted to the “filthy ones” the “damned.” He’s really saying that he’s a victim. Why? Because circumstances have forced him to be unjust.
    When I first read this I couldn’t get my brain around it. I thought, “He couldn’t be writing this nonsense.” but he was and did. It’s pathetic and twisted.

  13. mondonut
    mondonut
    May 28, 2018, 11:15 pm

    Somehow or other being a teacher in Chicago offers more insight into the Palestinian experience than a journalist in New York.

    • John O
      John O
      May 29, 2018, 11:44 am

      It’s not complicated. If the teacher is a well-informed individual and the journalist is a pompous ass – no contest.

  14. jon s
    jon s
    May 29, 2018, 1:46 am

    Spring renouncer,
    Why not, actually? Like Singapore, Gaza is small and densely populated, with many educated and talented people. If only they had a leadership which really cared about their own people…

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      May 29, 2018, 11:24 am

      And like Singapore – like medieval Hamburg, like Gaza in 1000 BCE – they are very advantageously placed for international trade. But this is all coming out of thin air at the moment – and for ever, I thiink. If Israel chose to offer a Singaporean future to Gaza the offer might seem, not that I can speak for anyone there, to present a better way forward than the current situation of blockade and defiance. But Singapore has independence and sovereignty, as is normal for areas receiving international investment. I would reverse the call attributed to Friedman: it’s not so much that the Palestinians should embrace Zionism as that the Israelis should embrace the legitimacy at very least of the claims of the Palestinians to be rightfully in Palestine and to have no less right than others to be enfranchised citizens of a sovereign state. But I think that they can’t do that: or that only the liberals who compromise their Zionism can.
      If Friedman had said Hong Kong that might have been a better analogy, since sovereignty is lacking, for what he has in mind. But the essentially temporary nature of HK’s situation makes it too a poor model for a settlement or a solution.

    • Spring Renouncer
      Spring Renouncer
      May 29, 2018, 7:54 pm

      jon s: Singapore was forced to become an independent state after being expelled from Malaysia; sovereignty was thrust upon it regardless of its people’s will. Gaza on the other hand – though its populace yearn for freedom – is being cruelly deprived of its sovereignty by an occupying force, Israel. If Israel gave Palestinians freedom and justice, Palestinians would no doubt be better off in every way. Until the occupier changes its ways, the comparison is ridiculous and stupid.

      Any mediocre middle school student could provide a more logical and accurate assessment of the conflict, and provide more interesting and useful solutions to it than Tom Friedman ever has.

      • jon s
        jon s
        June 1, 2018, 3:47 am

        Gaza is not at present occupied by Israel, although some Israelis may wish it was.

        There’s a naval blockade, and a partial siege. That’s a different situation.

  15. chris_k
    chris_k
    May 29, 2018, 3:34 am

    Max Blumenthal tweeted two weeks ago that Freidman had already wrote that a peach march would lead to a peace process in Israel and then called the march a ‘human sacrifice.’ The article is Friedman’s way of finessing this, raising the bar for the Palestinians.

    “https://twitter.com/maxblumenthal/status/979750915895910401

    I have come to the belief that ethics is only discussed in the New York Times in hypocritical fashion, and this is the only way their readers are exposed to it unless they go to other texts on the subject.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      May 29, 2018, 11:53 am

      If it’s a sacrifice then who are the priests doing the immolation? Even on this showing ‘Hamas’ is, even if the worst is said of it, only in the position of those bringing the victim to the altar. But a sacrifice cannot be completed except by the one who wields the deadly weapon in what (s)he thinks is a sacred cause. If the cause is not so sacred then something demonic is afoot.

  16. Naftush
    Naftush
    May 29, 2018, 6:00 am

    Rose puts the discrediting of Friedman as a “liberal Zionist” over the possibility of validity in any part of what he’s written. In fact, true to the MW narrative, she legitimizes only one solution: eradicating Jewish nationhood. That this offers her beloved Palestinians nothing but further fatalities does not appear to bother her; perhaps that’s the whole point.

    • MHughes976
      MHughes976
      May 29, 2018, 11:46 am

      Is Jewish nationhood to be considered as a reality throughout the ages or only since the establishment of modern Israel? If the former, it cannot be eradicated simply by some new dispensation in Palestine. If the latter, does it imply that Palestinians have fewer human rights than the rest of us? If so, then there must be some moral case for its eradication, or at least for its major transformation. If not, then its eradication may not at all be necessary for Liz Rose to be satisfied with the outcome.

      • Naftush
        Naftush
        May 29, 2018, 4:12 pm

        Unpack the components of nationhood and you find all but one of them for centuries in the Jewish case. The cruciality of the missing one, control of territory, blinds people’s eyes to the lastingness and strength of the others. Dubnow in particular lauded Jewish nationhood as the most exalted type because it sustained itself without territorial sovereignty. I haven’t read up on the possibility that he changed his mind (1) when his “autonomism” model collapsed under antisemitic tsunamis and (2) Nazis or Lithuanians (it’s disputed) shot him to death during a murder-Aktion.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        May 29, 2018, 10:31 pm

        “Unpack the components of nationhood and you find all but one of them for centuries in the Jewish case. ”

        As a matter of technical interest, I would like to see those components unpacked, so that I can know what “nationhood” means. And then I would like to see a demonstration that they apply to the Jews.

        But, more importantly, I will point out that no account of “nationhood” will serve as a justification for the evil the Zionists have committed. Their conduct is simply inexcusable.

      • Maghlawatan
        Maghlawatan
        May 30, 2018, 3:51 am

        The project to build and run a “Jewish” country has been a failure.
        There is no decent experience there. Proper countries are sustainable. Israel is not.

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 30, 2018, 7:43 am

        || RoHa: … As a matter of technical interest, I would like to see those components unpacked, so that I can know what “nationhood” means. And then I would like to see a demonstration that they apply to the Jews. … ||

        This should be interesting.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 30, 2018, 12:32 pm

        “Unpack the components of nationhood and you find all but one of them for centuries in the Jewish case. ”

        Would that one missing component be the number of people required and the resources to make the colonial exploit a success?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 30, 2018, 12:46 pm

        Say, “Naftush”, when you “unpack” that portmanteau full of components, make sure you dust them off, shine them up, and make them look good. They seem to have lost their attraction.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 30, 2018, 1:47 pm

        It seems to me that on Naftush’s analysis Jewish nationhood did not exist during the centuries when that one component was absent, just as (say) gunpowder would not exist wherever saltpetre was absent. Yet Judaism, non-religious expressions of Jewish culture and the people identifying themselves via this culture did exist, just as they exist in many places outside Israel now. I would like to ask whether there is no way of retaining all these things in a situation where the human rights of the Palestinians are restored?

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 30, 2018, 3:37 pm

        “I would like to ask whether there is no way of retaining all these things in a situation where the human rights of the Palestinians are restored?”

        You bet, the answer is in your preceding sentence:

        “Yet Judaism, non-religious expressions of Jewish culture and the people identifying themselves via this culture did exist, just as they exist in many places outside Israel now.”

        All those things can exist outside Israel, and not hurt the Palestinians at all.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 30, 2018, 4:46 pm

        non-religious expressions of Jewish culture

        May we have just one example of that, please?
        Beware of doing part for the whole, though.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 30, 2018, 8:29 pm

        “May we have just one example of that, please”

        Sure, no problem. Bagels.

        “Beware of doing part for the whole, though.”

        I was including bially’s, too.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 31, 2018, 1:06 am

        Mooser,

        I bet you a case of good wine that the Mayhem & Abu Bakr brothers will adopt the Beigel as their universal cultural emblem after reading you. No straw too thin.

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        May 31, 2018, 7:03 am

        I would regard a non-religious expression of any historic culture as any activity, including works of literature, art or music, which involves no explicit call for respect for the authority of a divine being or a sacred text but which calls attention to the traditions of a community or family, including religious traditions, to which the creator of the work belongs or belonged. One does not have to look far such.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        May 31, 2018, 11:38 pm

        Hughes,

        That doesn’t make sense to me at all: it means trying to make something coexist with its diametrical contrary coexist. Perhaps what you wrote sounds natural to religious people trying to imagine religion-free minds; I wouldn’t know. At least one spiritual bone in the body would sure be a requirement.

      • jon s
        jon s
        June 1, 2018, 3:58 am

        Mhughes,

        “I would like to ask whether there is no way of retaining all these things in a situation where the human rights of the Palestinians are restored?”

        My answer is, yes, through the two state solution.

        “I would regard a non-religious expression of any historic culture as any activity, including works of literature, art or music, which involves no explicit call for respect for the authority of a divine being or a sacred text but which calls attention to the traditions of a community or family, including religious traditions, to which the creator of the work belongs or belonged. One does not have to look far such.”

        There are many examples of non-religious Jewish culture, in literature, art, philosophy…

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 1:58 pm

        “There are many examples of non-religious Jewish culture, in literature, art, philosophy…”

        What the f’ is your problem, “Jon s”? Too aidel gepochket for bagels? They’re not good enough for you?

        And no, a croissant is not a “Gallic Bagel”.

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        June 1, 2018, 2:27 pm

        Johnny S figured Johnny S figured he would contribute some more inane wisdom.

        There are many examples of non-religious Jewish culture, in literature, art, philosophy…

        Yes, Johnny, we’ve heard that bullshit since way before you were born. But nobody is ever able to come with even a single (=1) concrete example of any cultural element that is non-religious/liturgical and common to Germans, Poles, Bukharans, Bessarabians, Ethiopians, Arabs, Spaniards or Martians nominally of the “Jewish” persuasion.

        Not only that, you tribals can’t even understand what this means for the “ethny / nation” hoax.

  17. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    May 29, 2018, 7:51 am

    There is no such thing as a “liberal Zionist”

    A complete contradiction in terms.

    One would think Noam Chomsky would havewritten a whole paper on this contradiction in terms.

    “Liberal can be traced back to the Latin word liber (meaning “free”), which is also the root of liberty (“the quality or state of being free”) and libertine (“one leading a dissolute life”). However, we did not simply take the word liber and make it into liberal; our modern term for the inhabitants of the leftish side of the political spectrum comes more recently from the Latin liberalis, which means “of or constituting liberal arts, of freedom, of a freedman.”

    ox·y·mo·ron
    ˌäksəˈmôrˌän/
    noun
    noun: oxymoron; plural noun: oxymorons

    a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction (e.g., faith unfaithful kept him falsely true ).

  18. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    May 29, 2018, 8:18 am

    Friedmann’s stance on the Israel Palestine conflict has always been what Zogby stated in his interview with Phil Weiss. Zogby brought up how decades ago there was an absence of a “forthright and courageous stance” by Jews back in the 60’s, 70’s on this critical issue. Still to this day Friedmann cannot put the responsibility for the crisis where it belongs.

    Friedman has helped maintain the apartheid state of Israel through his obfuscations and his inability to call Israel’s war crimes “war crimes.” Friedmann has been acutely aware of the human rights crimes that Israel has been committing. Acutely aware.

    We read he is still blaming Palestinians for the theft of their lands, homes, lives.

    • CigarGod
      CigarGod
      May 29, 2018, 10:11 am

      A guys gotta make a living…
      And a trip to The Hague seems unlikely.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        May 29, 2018, 11:40 am

        “and a trip to The Hague seems unlikely” What is up with MSNBC and CNN having Bill “bloody” Kristol on to talk about foreign policy decisions and domestic issues having to do with morality etc. This is person who pushed the invasion of Iraq so hard based on lies and continues to push for a military confrontation with Iran. Talk about someone who should be on trial at the Hague for being complicit with war crimes. Why are MSNBC and CNN so willing to give proven lying war hawks a national platform. One would think Kristol’s complicity in war crimes would be enough for these outlets to take him off of their alleged “experts” list. WTF.

        Lawrence O’Donnel (has Max Boot on regularly too)l, Andrea Mitchell regularly have him on. Joy Reid seems to have stopped doing so. Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes do not have the bloody war hawks on their programs. Giving up a bit of relief from these war thugs

      • CigarGod
        CigarGod
        May 29, 2018, 8:33 pm

        Kathleen,
        Why?
        They are all in the tank for Iz…always have been.
        They are all just part of the same mouthpiece.
        No need to wonder about a thing.
        We are occupied.

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        May 30, 2018, 12:08 am

        I know CG however still think it is important to call them out. Normalizing war hawks upsets my stomach,

      • Kathleen
        Kathleen
        June 7, 2018, 10:05 am

        Friedman does not need to make a “living” He has to maintain his position to run defense for Israel no matter what they do and support the PNAC’s vision for the middle east. “Creative destruction” and all.

  19. Ampro
    Ampro
    May 29, 2018, 8:34 am

    Israel, in its Declaration of Establishment, legally defined itself as a state for all of the inhabitants of the land of Israel regardless of their religion, race, sex or politics. Israel actualized its founding beliefs when it granted citizenship to 25% of its inhabitants who were non-Jewish. They did this with the confidence that they would control the demographics of their new state. In retrospect, the Jews never returned to their promised land in the numbers projected and the Palestinians never were driven off their ancestral land in the numbers planned.
    For seventy years Israel has been expending huge amounts of energy, money and political good will in suspending the reality of this fundamental miscalculation.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 29, 2018, 10:44 am

      “They did this with the confidence that they would control the demographics of their new state.”

      And they did, they did! The Laws of Family Purity were strictly enforced.

  20. John Fearey
    John Fearey
    May 29, 2018, 10:46 am

    Friedman is so preposterous I can’t read him. Based on the quoted references, your spot on analysis reaffirmed my opinion of him and was infinitely more interesting than just reading him, which, as I said, I no longer have the stomach for. Thanks.

  21. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    May 29, 2018, 11:41 am

    When Friedman writes as a journalist he can be interesting . When he writes as a Zionist he is sub New York Post. He isn’t even National Enquirer.
    He is smart enough to know that Zionism faces a grim future . He will not admit it.

  22. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    May 29, 2018, 1:12 pm

    @Naftush
    “And the animosity towards Israel originates in Diasporic fear and outrage over Jews’ asserting their nationhood. The folks here would oppose even a decision by Israel to liquidate itself because such a decision would be an Israeli one. It’s got to be the product of Palestinian “resistance” and/or action by other countries and the “real,” not-my-Judaism Jews of the chattering class and the neo-Stalinist claque”

    Wow you must have used up a couple of rolls unburdening yourself of that lot.”Asserting nationhood” – why not assert it in Greenland or Namibia you know lands really without a lot of people for a people who covet another peoples land and no problems in building third fourth fifth sixth in fact hundreds of “Temples”. “A decision by Israel to liquidate itself” – difficult call that one but Ziocide is a possibility as in the Samson option and Zios must be getting more and more frustrated at losing their eternal victimhood status. Life may simply not be worth living if they can`t whinge and whine about what the goys have been doing to them though the ages.
    “not-my-Judaism Jews of the chattering class and the neo-Stalinist claque”. Ah that would be the old self denying,self hating refrain repackaged – and real honest to goodness Jews simply don`t chatter except when they are frantically reciting to themselves verses of the Quran whoops sorry slip of tongue meant to say Torah . I wonder – do you think that Monsieur Friedman chatters too much and maybe is flirting dangerously with Neo – Stalinist Claqueism?

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      May 29, 2018, 4:32 pm

      “And the animosity towards Israel originates in Diasporic fear and outrage over Jews’ asserting their nationhood.” “Naftush”

      Gosh, the way we Jews consistently fail Zionism is a shame. Do we even deserve Zionism? We can’t seem to live up to it.

      • annie
        annie
        May 29, 2018, 5:29 pm

        originates? i don’t think anyone would give a hoot if they weren’t asserting themselves all over somebody else, diaspora or otherwise. and to assert that’s where it originates, w/the diaspora, is so blind it buggers the imagination. the animosity originates w/the people being maimed, killed and displaced, obviously. nobody (as in NOBODY) would give a hoot if palestinians said, “please, take my home! take my land! bury my past, present and future in your so called self determination!” but quite predictably .. they didn’t.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        May 30, 2018, 8:32 pm

        “the diaspora, is so blind it buggers the imagination”

        Well, like Phil’s Mom’s best friend in Jerusalem said “When we moved here [in 1968], we went up. You in the Diaspora we call yoredim. You are lower.”

  23. just
    just
    May 29, 2018, 1:43 pm

    TF’s “liberal zionist” buddies are whining to the other Friedman:

    “Democratic Lawmakers Say No Democrats Were Invited to Jerusalem Embassy Ceremony

    Six lawmakers sent a letter to the U.S. ambassador to Israel saying he was incorrect in saying Democrats were invited

    The Democratic members of the influential House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a letter to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman expressing concern of a “dangerous effort to politicize the U.S.-Israel relationship.” …

    The six committee members said in the letter that contrary to statements Friedman gave in an interview with Axios last week, no Democratic members of Congress were invited by the White House to participate in the U.S. Embassy transfer ceremony in Jerusalem earlier this month.

    “We believe it is essential that you, as an American diplomat, have the full set of facts so that your interactions with your Israeli host government don’t leave them with a mistaken impression,” the letter said. “We would deeply regret if the government of Israel was left with the mistaken impression that Democratic lawmakers chose not to attend the event.” …

    It was signed by Jewish Reps. Eliot Engel, Ted Deutch, Brad Sherman and Brad Schneider, as well as Albio Sires and Tom Suozzi. …”

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/democratic-lawmakers-say-no-dems-invited-to-jerusalem-embassy-opening-1.6132570

    waaaaaaaaaah! We wuv Israel more!

    I guess they all support the illegal move to Al-Quds/Jerusalem… no big surprise there.

  24. Brewer
    Brewer
    May 30, 2018, 3:11 am

    They know they’ve lost the justification battle. The History is out there. It is quite rare, around the blogs these days, to hear the old fables. The current thrust is at changing the dialogue into “Aww shucks, past is past, we’re willing to make a deal”.

    Of course the deal will be one the Palestinians could not possibly accept so the radicals will get testy and fire a few rockets (there have been few in the last few years).

    Another mowing of the lawn, a little more cleansing in the occupied territories – a step closer to annexation.

    All with barely a tut tut from the likes of Friedman.

  25. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    May 30, 2018, 11:00 am

    Friedmann’s opinion piece should be called

    “Learning To Love Apartheid…Or Else”

    Waiting for an addition to the books for “dummies” series.

    “Apartheid for Dummies” Mondo could put it together and either get buried or make some real money. Although it would be banned from the chain bookstores.

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