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Tom Friedman says he would have demanded something from Palestinians in return for moving the embassy to Jerusalem (!)

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Two days ago Tom Friedman was on CNN promoting his new book and laying into Donald Trump as “demented” when Wolf Blitzer asked him about Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, and Friedman made a revealing gaffe.

Look there is a case, Wolf, for actually withdrawing from Syria and withdrawing from Afghanistan. But what would I have done? The art of the deal. I would have come to the Russians and the Syrians and the Iranians and said, Well maybe you want us out, but here’s the conditions we need. I wouldn’t have just pulled out.

I wouldn’t have just moved the embassy to Jerusalem and not asked for something in return from Netanyahu or, or the Palestinians. This is the problem with Trump. He’s an ignoramus, OK. He doesn’t understand the subtleties of any of these policies so he keeps giving stuff away. That’s what’s scary to me. With Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia– he gave him a complete pass, when the choice was not to just give him a pass or break relations with Saudi Arabia. You could have made demands on him. He keeps giving stuff away cause he doesn’t understand things.

Did you catch the gaffe? Friedman said that Trump could have gotten something from the Palestinians “in return” for moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

But Friedman doesn’t mean that. It’s why he stumbles. If he thought about it for a second, he’d reflect that moving the embassy to Jerusalem was no gift to Palestinians, it was a giant kick in the gut. Moving the embassy has resulted in a lot of turmoil and death in Palestine, from the long detention of Ahed Tamimi to the slaughter of 62 unarmed protesters at the Gaza fence on May 14 and so on.

If the embassy move had truly been a bargaining chip, as Friedman suggests, Trump would have said, I’m not going to move the embassy unless you do thus-and-such. But the Palestinians were never a consideration at all and Trump was determined to go through with a radical move– as a gift to Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson, Trump’s biggest donor (even the Times will tell you that).

Friedman has to add “the Palestinians” for one reason and one reason alone: anytime he knocks Israel, he wants to blame the Palestinians equally for the impasse to the peace process. That’s his reflex reaction, the Palestinians are always to blame.

h/t James North

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46 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    January 13, 2019, 1:31 pm

    … Tom Friedman …

    … This is the problem with Trump. He’s an ignoramus, OK. …

    It’s also the problem with Friedman, OK.

  2. amigo
    amigo
    January 13, 2019, 2:52 pm

    Geez Friedman , why stop there!!.

    Demand something in return for every dunam stolen and every house demolished.

    Why not get something in return for every Palestinian murdered .Clearly Israel invested heavily both financially and militarily in complying with Palestinian demands.

    Why should Israeli Jews pay for all that ammunition/bombs/White Phosphorous/Skunk Juice etc etc if the Palestinians are unwilling to give something in return.

    Friedman is a verifiable nutcase.

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      January 14, 2019, 9:53 am

      @eljay, et al

      Friedman is and always has been a Zionist toady.

    • Elizabeth Block
      Elizabeth Block
      January 14, 2019, 10:42 pm

      I was in Palestine in 2016 with Christian Peacemaker Teams. (You don’t have to be a Christian! Who knew?) Amos Gvirtz, the writer, was our guide and translator when we visited Al Araqib, the Bedouin village that has been demolished 100+ times.
      He said that during Kristallnacht there were some Christian-owned houses and shops that were damaged – “collateral damage” – and that the German government made the Jews pay for it. The parallel with the Israelis getting Palestinians to pay for the demolition of their homes was obvious.

  3. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    January 13, 2019, 5:20 pm

    Off topic- I want to thank (sarcastic) all those who saw Hillary as a worse or equal danger as Trump. This government shutdown belongs to you as it does to our idiot president.

    • annie
      annie
      January 13, 2019, 6:05 pm

      why thank you yonah, perhaps you have us to thank no one is selling slaves on the streets of syria either, as they are in libya, thanks to clinton. hopefully none of our government workers will be forced into slavery as a result of the shutdown, but it seems fitting it should be members of our own communities paying the price, and not even more people in the middle east (i didn’t vote for trump either btw).

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 13, 2019, 6:23 pm

      “all those who saw Hillary as a worse or equal danger as Trump” “WJ”

      Yeah, those were the people who claimed Hillary would never move the Embassy to Jerusalem, and said Hillary disliked Netanyahoo and Israel. And worst of all Hillary would be sure to stick to Obama’s Iran treaty!
      Yes, I remember those who saw Hillary as more of a threat than Trump very well.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 14, 2019, 12:34 am

        Mooser, who promised us in the runup to November 2016 that Trump didn’t stand a chance. And now we have to listen to you preach?! Take a long walk off a short pier.

      • annie
        annie
        January 14, 2019, 1:45 am

        it was always a sophie’s choice mooser. syria was at risk. jerusalem fell already. do we wait another 70-100 yrs to rescue damacus? it was always a sophie’s choice.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 14, 2019, 2:49 pm

        “Take a long walk off a short pier.” “The utterly unique and original WJ”

        Where the water is shallow and tendentious?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        January 15, 2019, 7:48 am

        Yonah is just trying to drive you into the sea, Mooser.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 15, 2019, 2:07 pm

        “Yonah is just trying to drive you into the sea, Mooser.”

        He’s just playing the percentages. It’s all about the percentages. But it’s too late for Zionism, it’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Trump Inc. now.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 13, 2019, 6:46 pm

      “…our idiot president.”

      “Yonah” this is too much! How can you talk bad about a President who constantly points to Israel’s success with walls (90%!) and thrifty use of the 4.7 billion dollars (pace Trump) a year the US gives them? And this in Presidential Tweets to the entire nation!

      Just imagine what would be happening now if Ms. Clinton was President! Can you see her moving the Embassy? Imagine Clinton’s reaction to the March of Return murders? She may very well have brought the Occupation to a standstill! Would she have any kind of relationship with Netanyahoo?

      Who would be better for Israel, Trump or Clinton? So count your blessings, “Yonah” you got everything you wanted in Trump, and then some. Oh, that’s right, Jared’s big deal to fix it all hasn’t come through yet. So there’s even more to look forward to.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 13, 2019, 7:29 pm

      || wondering jew: Off topic- I want to thank (sarcastic) all those who saw Hillary as a worse or equal danger as Trump. This government shutdown belongs to you as it does to our idiot president. ||

      It’s interesting how you so easily assume that every person who didn’t like Hillary must have voted for Trump and is therefore responsible for his actions.

    • RoHa
      RoHa
      January 13, 2019, 8:15 pm

      I saw Hillary as a worse danger than Trump, because I thought that she would be enthusiastic about starting a war with Russia, while he would only do so reluctantly.

      But I didn’t vote for either of them.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        January 14, 2019, 12:31 am

        NonAmericans are not responsible for their opinions on the Trump vs. Hillary contest. Any American who didn’t vote for Hillary gave Trump 1/2 a vote. That’s the outcome.

      • Donald
        Donald
        January 14, 2019, 10:46 am

        “NonAmericans are not responsible for their opinions on the Trump vs. Hillary contest. ”

        Illogical. Foreign influence tilted the election, or so we are told, though recently the Washington Post poured cold water on the idea that Russian internet activity was targeting voters in swing states.

        But nobody has investigated RoHa’s influence. His comments might have plunged potential Hillary voters into existential despair, causing them to stay home. Not me—I voted for the warmongering Clinton as opposed to Trump. Lesser evil. But it didn’t matter where I lived.
        Anyway, our clear moral duty is to watch what we say and do and think and never do anything that might ever lower a Democrat’s vote totals. This applies to foreigners as much as anyone.

        Snark aside, a lot of liberals really do seem to think that way. They think people have an absolute moral duty above all others to vote for the Democrat, while Democratic politicians have no moral duty to do anything except be the lesser evil. Not joking. I once saw someone at another blog ferociously blaming Nader voters for the Iraq War and then without any sense of irony urged people to vote for Clinton, who voted for the Iraq War.

        I have family members out of work because of Trump, btw, so if you are angry about the shutdown we have that in common ( along with voting choices in 2016).

      • echinococcus
        echinococcus
        January 14, 2019, 11:21 am

        Donald,
        -quote-

        so if you are angry about the shutdown…

        -end quote-
        -paragraph-
        Being angry about a government shutdown is exactly like being angry about the snow every year in the winter, if you live in the Midwest, or the hurricanes in the right season is you’re careless enough to go live in Florida, or traffic getting blocked at every rainfall on the sunken road below the badly-made bridge.
        -paragraph-
        Last I remember Mr O’Bama shut down the government so tight it looked like it wasn’t going to get up again.
        -paragraph-
        MW, Why can’t you just bring the web site layout back to the good-enough state it was in befor eyou had to revamp it at any price?

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 14, 2019, 4:07 pm

        DONALD- “They think people have an absolute moral duty above all others to vote for the Democrat, while Democratic politicians have no moral duty to do anything except be the lesser evil.”

        Indeed, the logic of this is that “progressives” have a moral duty never to hold the Democrats accountable for their actions, including being the more aggressive warmongers. This is what democracy looks like?

      • amigo
        amigo
        January 14, 2019, 4:35 pm

        “Any American who didn’t vote for Hillary gave Trump 1/2 a vote. That’s the outcome.” WJ aka Yonah fredman.

        That the outcome of a Two Party system.

        But why would an ardent Zionist such as yourself be concerned .Trump or Clinton are shills for the zionist entity, so why screw with the status quo.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 14, 2019, 5:33 pm

        “Trump or Clinton are shills for the zionist entity”

        At the time, Clinton was presented as problemmatic for Israel, Trump a slam dunki.

      • Mooser
        Mooser
        January 14, 2019, 5:34 pm

        “Trump or Clinton are shills for the zionist entity”

        At the time, Clinton was presented as problematic for Israel, and Trump a slam dunk, Netanyahoo’s special friend..

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        January 14, 2019, 6:22 pm

        Good point, Donald. I must remember that, where politics are concerned, the population of the USA hangs on my every word, and even a casual quip can sway elections.

        I just wish they were so easily swayed in matters of grammar.

    • amigo
      amigo
      January 14, 2019, 2:51 pm

      “Off topic”WJ aka Yonah Fredman.

      Yup Yonah , .lets change the subject .Too awkward to find a way to justify Friedman,s comments but more awkward to condemn them.

      Sure Yonah , you only comment on what interests you or should we say what is convenient.

      Hypocrisy , anyone.

      Don,t bother responding Yonah , my comments are not directed at you.

  4. Mooser
    Mooser
    January 13, 2019, 6:51 pm

    ” he wants to blame the Palestinians equally for the impasse to the peace process”

    I’m not sure the description “peace process” is anything more than a term of convenience, if nothing worse, these days. It’s much closer to a ‘war process’ on the part of the Israelis.

  5. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    January 14, 2019, 12:36 am

    A man fumbles for words and mw mocks him for it. That’s the upshot.

    • annie
      annie
      January 14, 2019, 1:33 am

      fumbles. really. interesting.

    • eljay
      eljay
      January 14, 2019, 8:16 am

      || wondering jew: A man fumbles for words and mw mocks him for it. That’s the upshot. ||

      MW mocks a man who “fumbles for words”. Zionists will mercilessly slander him with accusations of anti-Semitism and “Jew hatred”. That’s the upshot.

    • Mooser
      Mooser
      January 14, 2019, 3:00 pm

      “A man fumbles for words and mw mocks him for it.”

      And what locution would you use in place of “peace process”, “Yonah”? Seems to be the standard term.

  6. John O
    John O
    January 14, 2019, 4:28 am

    The usual Friedman I, I, I’d have done …. He is a classic example of what you Americans call a “Monday morning quarterback”.

  7. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    January 14, 2019, 7:36 am

    @Mooser
    “Oh, that’s right, Jared’s big deal to fix it all hasn’t come through yet. So there’s even more to look forward to”

    I think Amigo has given the game away on Jared`s ” deal ” in his post viz:
    “something in return for every dunam stolen and every house demolished.

    Why not get something in return for every Palestinian murdered .Clearly Israel invested heavily both financially and militarily in complying with Palestinian demands.

    Why should Israeli Jews pay for all that ammunition/bombs/White Phosphorous/Skunk Juice etc etc if the Palestinians are unwilling to give something in return”

    Oh and Trump in law will likely demand of the Palestinians payment of the cost of the US Embassy relocation to Jerusalem.

    And papa in law will claim it as his own and call it the greatest “deal” in the history of “deals”.

    • amigo
      amigo
      January 14, 2019, 4:21 pm

      “Oh and Trump in law will likely demand of the Palestinians payment of the cost of the US Embassy relocation to Jerusalem.”0ssinev

      0ssinev , you seem to be suggesting that Trump came up with that plan himself.

      I am confident that Trump has by now been convinced by his Zionist handlers that Israel is the victim, and this Occupation has been forced on the one and only “Historic homeland of the Jewish People” so therefore the Palestinians must be made to pay for that Occupation.

      Clearly , the Zionists , bless their peace loving hearts, would much prefer it , if the Palestinians would just disappear into thin air and stop trying to drive all the Jews into the sea or worse still , kill them all, given all those hi tech military assets the Palestinians are hoarding in their terror Tunnels just waiting to destroy Israel.

      We all know that the Zionist/Trump approach to the Palestinians is to keep punishing them until they learn to submit , ie , cutting off life sustaining aid .

      What they haven,t learned from history is that you can,t kill an idea or vanquish those with a legitimate cause.

      Tick , tick .

  8. Tom Suarez
    Tom Suarez
    January 14, 2019, 10:18 am

    Why does Mr. Friedman think it’s too late? I think Bibi+Trump should threaten to move the Embassy back to Tel Aviv … unless the Palestinians agree to concessions.

    • Vera Gottlieb
      Vera Gottlieb
      January 14, 2019, 12:01 pm

      Why should Palestinians agree to any concessions??? It is the Jews who are making their lives miserable. A bit biased???

      • Tom Suarez
        Tom Suarez
        January 15, 2019, 9:50 am

        Vera, to be sure, I was of course being facetious (probably your comment was as well, but just to be sure…)

    • Keith
      Keith
      January 14, 2019, 5:08 pm

      TOM SUAREZ- ” I think Bibi+Trump should threaten to move the Embassy back to Tel Aviv…. “

      And open the possibility of impeachment by violating the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995?

      • Tom Suarez
        Tom Suarez
        January 15, 2019, 9:56 am

        (re: Keith) Yes, absolutely. The 1995 J E Act violates all standing international law, which is why all presidents until Trump kept signing the waiver.

      • Keith
        Keith
        January 15, 2019, 11:09 am

        TOM SUAREZ- ” The 1995 J E Act violates all standing international law, which is why all presidents until Trump kept signing the waiver.”

        My main point is that moving the embassy to Jerusalem was MANDATED by Congress in 1995, therefore, Congress should be held accountable for their part in the move, which they haven’t been. Twenty-three years of Presidential waivers? How long could this go on? And why isn’t Congress being held accountable? As for violating international law, when has the empire NOT violated international law?

      • Talkback
        Talkback
        January 15, 2019, 11:10 am

        Security Council Resolution 478 (1980:
        “Reaffirming its determination to examine practical ways and means, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, to secure the full implementation of its resolution 476 (1980), in the event of non-compliance by Israel,

        1. Censures in the strongest terms the enactment by Israel of the “basic law” on Jerusalem and the refusal to comply with relevant Security Council resolutions;

        2. Affirms that the enactment of the “basic law” by Israel constitutes a violation of international law and does not affect the continued application of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since June 1967, including Jerusalem;

        3. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the recent “basic law” on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith;

        4. Affirms also that this action constitutes a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

        5. Decides not to recognize the “basic law” and such other actions by Israel that, as a result of this law, seek to alter the character and status of Jerusalem and calls upon:

        (a) All Member States to accept this decision;

        (b) Those States that have established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City;”
        https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/DDE590C6FF232007852560DF0065FDDB

  9. James Canning
    James Canning
    January 14, 2019, 11:33 am

    A Fascinating display of “reflex reaction”, by Tom Friedman. One must not forget to blame the Palestinians.
    I continue to think Trump is doing the right thing, in pulling US troops out of Syria.

  10. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 14, 2019, 12:00 pm

    We all know Friedman has been an Israel lobbyist for decades. Spinning, spinning. His comment is like saying hey Palestinians we keep kicking you in the guts while you are down because it is good for you.

    Clearly it is critical that Mueller as well as Congress get to the bottom of whether Trump or anyone else in the Trump administration colluded with Russia to interfere in U.S. elections and National Security.

    Joy Reid and other msm host have brought up how the American public and others may becoming “desensitized” in regard to outrage towards these serious issues.

    “Desensitization” has taken place for decades towards Israel’s influence on U.S. elections via AIPAC, Jinsa and other I lobby groups that should be required to sign up under the FOREIGN AGENTS REGISTRATION ACTFARA and U.S. National Security. If only the msm actually really focused on this “Desensitization” asking the FBI and the CIA how many times they have tried to conduct investigations into Israel’s interference in our elections and foreign policy. How many times those investigations have been shut down over the decades.

    US government to drop espionage charges against Aipac officials | US …

    https://www.theguardian.com

    AIPAC Says U.S.-Israel Ties Are Under Attack (washingtonpost.com)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com › Nation › National Security › Intelligence

    Prosecutors to End Secrets Case Against Aipac Lobbyists – The New …

    https://www.nytimes.com/200

    Justice Department seeks to drop charges against former AIPAC officials

    articles.latimes.com › Collections

    Jane Harman’s interference in the AIPAC espionage investigation

    Spy Story: Harman, Saban, and AIPAC | The Nation

    https://www.thenation.com/a

    What To Make Of The Alleged Jane Harman/AIPAC Quid Pro Quo : It’s …

    https://www.npr.org/section

    Israeli intervention in US elections ‘vastly overwhelms’ anything …

    https://www.independent.co.uk › News › World › Americas › US politicsCached

    • Boomer
      Boomer
      January 14, 2019, 2:45 pm

      re ““Desensitization” has taken place for decades towards Israel’s influence on U.S. elections ”

      Yes, aided by the self-imposed censorship of the U.S. media.

  11. Vera Gottlieb
    Vera Gottlieb
    January 14, 2019, 12:00 pm

    Why, oh why, do we continue suffering this idiot Freedman? Is this his way of annoyingly and continuously seeking his ‘five minutes’ (a day) in the spotlight?

  12. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    January 14, 2019, 12:10 pm

    Got in another request on Cspan’s Washington Journal for them to have Phil Weiss on their program. Was a program about George Washington. My comment at 28:19. My request (have asked at least five times over the years for them to have Phil on) Have asked them to have Max Blumenthal, Noura Erakat, Omar Barghouti on Please pile on at CSpan’s fb page. It’s always worth a try

    Cspan has been hammered down by CAMERA’sz” CSpan ‘s Watch” (took down their website) to tamp down the coverage and comments about the I/P conflict

    January 13, 2019

    Last Aired January 13, 2019

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  13. amigo
    amigo
    January 14, 2019, 2:43 pm

    Friedman , the Liberal Zionist.

    Sure makes a joke of the myth of Liberal Zionism.

    There is no such person as a “Liberal Zionist.They all think in unison with Friedman.If they could find a way to make all non Jews disappear from the so called “only Democracy in the ME” , they would happily support it.

  14. Boomer
    Boomer
    January 14, 2019, 2:43 pm

    re “Friedman has to add “the Palestinians” for one reason and one reason alone: anytime he knocks Israel, he wants to blame the Palestinians equally for the impasse to the peace process. That’s his reflex reaction, the Palestinians are always to blame.”

    Exactly! Well observed, well diagnosed.

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