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For your perusal, my latest INTO THE FRAY column:


Inane …Again! Tom Friedman on Gaza
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New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman

Tom Friedman’s last piece on Gaza is a “masterful” blend of personal bile & bias, liberally laced with logical inconsistencies, factual inaccuracies and even blatant non-sequiturs

It appears this week on the following sites (in alphabetical order):

ISRAELI FRONTLINE:  http://www.israelifrontline.com/2018/05/into-the-fray-inane-again-tom-friedman-on-gaza.html
ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS: https://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/22204
ISRAPUNDIT: https://www.israpundit.org/into-the-fray-inane-again-tom-friedman-on-gaza/
ISRAEL RISING:   https://www.israelrising.com/tom-friedman-gaza/

JERUSALEM HERALD :   https://www.jerusalem-herald.com/single-post/2018/05/28/INTO-THE-FRAY-Inane-Again-Tom-Friedman-on-Gaza
JEWISH PRESS: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/into-the-fray-martin-sherman/into-the-fray-inane-again-tom-friedman-on-gaza/2018/05/27/
JNS:   https://www.jns.org/opinion/inane-again-thomas-friedman-on-gaza/
J-WIRE (AUSTRALIA):  http://www.jwire.com.au/inane-again-thomas-friedman-on-gaza/#comment-306855
JEWS DOWN UNDER:   https://jewsdownunder.com/2018/05/25/into-the-fray-inane-again-tom-friedman-on-gaza/

MEDIUM:  https://medium.com/@martinsherman/into-the-fray-inane-again-tom-friedman-on-gaza-3b1432306521

Several short excerpts:   

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. – Thomas L. Friedman, Hamas, Netanyahu and Mother Nature, New York Times, May 22, 2018.

 

 …the American conduct of the peace process bears an unhappy resemblance to the custom of treating diseases by placing leeches on the body of the afflicted person: It was based on an inadequate understanding of the pathology it attempted to cure, it did not solve the problem it was intended to fix, and it sometimes made it substantially worse. – Michael Mandelbaum, The Peace Process Is an Obstacle to Peace, Commentary, April 14, 2016.

 

 The really disconcerting thing about the New York Times columnist, Tom Friedman, is that, at times, he can actually produce some sensible and insightful articles—as long as he is not writing (or more precisely, ranting) on Israel. Or Trump. Or the Palestinians. Or Barack Obama…

Sadly however, whenever he makes one of his far-too-frequent forays into any of these “touchy” topics, his journalistic output invariably degenerates into patently partisan pamphleteering.

 

Lip-service to “balance”

 

But even compared to his past inanities, his latest column, “Hamas, Netanyahu and Mother Nature”, is a real doozy—a “masterful” blend of personal bile and bias, liberally laced with logical inconsistencies, factual inaccuracies and even blatant non-sequiturs.

Friedman begins his column feigning journalistic impartiality and paying perfunctory lip- service to “balance”, with some cursory condemnation of Hamas  …

 

 Moderate, secular Palestinian Authority??

 

Head of Palestinian Authority: Mahmoud Abbas

Head of Palestinian Authority: Mahmoud Abbas

…Friedman has of course, been long been captive to the seductive deception of two-statism. At the base of this dogma is the belief that, among the Palestinian-Arabs, there is a leader sufficiently reasonable to cut a deal acceptable to Israel and sufficiently authoritative to ensure its implementation…Accordingly, in order to sustain their political credo, (or rather, “cult”), two-state adherents have to conjure up imaginary Palestinian-Arabs and an imaginary Palestinian-Arab society, significantly different from those that actually exist on Planet Earth.

 

Favoring fantasy over facts

 

Wilson Center's David Aaron Miller

Wilson Center’s David Aaron Miller

 

 

Indeed, Friedman would do well to heed the somewhat contrite confession of yet another dogged advocate of two-statism, Aaron David Miller, ..Miller acknowledged: “I would draw from my own experiences that when we failed in diplomacy, and particularly in the pursuit of Arab- Israeli negotiations, it was almost always because Americans – let’s forget the Israelis and the Palestinians for a moment—chose to see the world the way they wanted it to be,

rather than the way it actually was.”

 

 

 

 

 

Friedman: Favoring fantasy over facts

… Friedman … embarks on a flight of fantasy into the realm of “what if”.

Wistfully, he asks: “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, ‘…:We, the Palestinian people of Gaza, want to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish people …’”…Well, perhaps the question Friedman should ask himself is: Why don’t they??

 

Scant regret over Hamas?

 

…Underscoring just how detached Friedman’s prescription is from reality is another finding in the poll: Almost 70% of Gazans support a return to an armed intifada. Moreover, Gazans chose “Armed Resistance” by about 2 to 1 over “Negotiations” and “Popular Non-Violent Resistance” as the preferred course of action against Israel.

 

Banking on amnesia or ignorance?

 

Friedman empathizes (at least partially) with the Gazans’ rage: “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?”…Of course, unless Friedman is woefully misinformed, he is wildly—perhaps even willfully—misleading!… one can only shake one’s head in puzzlement and wonder whether Friedman is banking on the ignorance or the amnesia of his readers.

 

Infuriating and disingenuous

 

2005 Disengegement: Israel demolishing Israeli homes

2005 Disengegement: Israel demolishing Israeli homes

 

…Of course to accuse Israel of showing insufficient endeavor in searching for ways to “separate” from the Palestinians is both infuriating, and disingenuous. Indeed, Israel has gone to incredible—even recklessly irresponsible —lengths to try and foist self-governance on the Palestinians…he real problem is not achieving “separation”—as the Gaza episode clearly shows. The real problem is to ensure that the post-separation realities will not be those that arose following the separation in Gaza

 

Blatant Bibi-phobic bile

 

But oblivious to all this—to past precedents, present realities and future probabilities— for Friedman, the real culprits are easily identifiable: Netanyahu and Trump!… Clearly then, drivel is drivel, even when it appears in the purported paper of record—leaving one to wonder how this stuff gets published!

As usual your talkbacks/comments/critiques welcome,

Best wishes,

MS

 

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