I can‘t stand the guy. He is a self righteous smarmy ‘know-it-all’ who is given incredibly inflated respect by media pundits for his so called expertise about the Middle East.
I can understand why they do this. Thomas Friedman does his homework. He spends a lot of time all over the Middle East. Not only in Israel but in all the hot spots. He observes and analyzes their cultures and behavior like no other reporter.
But that doesn’t really change the bias he brings with him. To be fair, I do believe he means well. He thinks peace is attainable between Arabs and Israelis if only Israel would cooperate and see things his way. But for all his knowledge he seems to be blinded to the obvious. Israel cannot possibly make peace with people determined to destroy it. It cannot make peace in a region where the religious climate is controlled by Islamist radical states like Iran and their surrogates on Israel’s borders – Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Friedman never passes up an opportunity to criticize Israel even when defending it. He must have some sort of moral equivalency complex. I just think he is morally confused. Nonetheless the media loves him and he has become their darling. I recall one respected pundit recommending him for the position of Secretary of State. He is the go to guy for media pundits whenever the subject of the Middle East comes up in just about any context.
So like I said I can’t stand him. But when he’s right – he’s right. Even if when in doing so he once again tries to assert some sort of moral equivalence. Here is what he said in a New York Times editorial about recent events:
I have a big problem when people get so agitated by Israel’s actions in Gaza but are unmoved by Syria’s involvement in the murder of the prime minister of Lebanon, by the Iranian regime’s killing of its own citizens demonstrating for the right to have their votes counted, by Muslim suicide bombers murdering nearly 100 Ahmadi Muslims in mosques in Pakistan on Friday and by pro-Hamas gunmen destroying a U.N.-sponsored summer camp in Gaza because it wouldn’t force Islamic fundamentalism down the throats of children.
That concern for Gaza and Israel’s blockade is so out of balance with these other horrific cases in the region that it is not surprising Israelis dismiss it as motivated by hatred.
He later said this flotilla was a set up.
Israel was indeed set up by people who want to destroy it. Friedman goes on to criticize Israel too but we are beginning to see a more truthful scenario emerging in the media. It isn ‘t all condemnation like it was immediately after the raid. The truth is coming out and even some of Israel’s critics now recognize it.
The truth is that those supposed humanitarians hate Israel more than they love Gazans. As Israel’s Prime Minister put it – this was not a ‘Love Boat’, it was a hate boat! It was a boat full of people who sympathized with Jew haters who want to destroy us. How in Heaven’s name can anyone blame Israel for taking a pre-emptive action in defending itself? Vice President Biden said it best when he expressed the view that while he was concerned for the loss of life - Israel has a right to know if there were any weapons on board.
This was an ambush disguised as a humanitarian enterprise. It was filled with goods that Israel offered to distribute after asking it to dock in its port in Ashdod so it could first search it for weapons. A truly humanitarian mission would have taken them up on the offer. They refused - showing their true intent. Indeed after Israel seized the boat and searched it - they handed it over all the goods on board to the UN for distribution to Gaza! And then they freed all those ‘humanitarians’.
How humanitarian? Ask this fellow. He want’s to die for his cause. I hope we can accommodate him soon.
There is another boat being sent by this group to once again try and break the blockade. As far as I’m concerned this should be seen as an enemy attack against Israel and should be stopped by all means at Israel’s disposal. I don’t care how many cans of tuna are on board.
Along these lines here are some more editorials: The Prague Daily Monitor, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Post