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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

October 16, 2002

Thomas Friedman Sucks as Usual


I began reading Thomas Friedman's most recent piece (also see Fred's post below) optimistically as a result of the title "Campus Hypocrisy" but deep down I knew that the ghosts would be there. Friedman can not write a piece about the Middle East, and practically on any subject, without smacking around Sharon and the settlements. He could be talking about the human rights situation in China and he will somehow analogize it to the settlements.

He began the article well basically blasting the divestiture from Israel campaigns in the first six paragraphs
You are also hypocrites. How is it that Egypt imprisons the leading democracy advocate in the Arab world, after a phony trial, and not a single student group in America calls for divestiture from Egypt? (I'm not calling for it, but the silence is telling.) How is it that Syria occupies Lebanon for 25 years, chokes the life out of its democracy, and not a single student group calls for divestiture from Syria? How is it that Saudi Arabia denies its women the most basic human rights, and bans any other religion from being practiced publicly on its soil, and not a single student group calls for divestiture from Saudi Arabia?

Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction — out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East — is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.


But, of course, in the third paragraph he throws in a gratuitous crack at Sharon. After he finished with the students who seem to have been reading Friedman's columns too literally over the last ten years as he demonized Israel, Friedman has some extra column space so he lobs four paragraphs at the settlements, beginning with some total bull:
The settlement policy Israel has been pursuing is going to lead to the demise of the Jewish state. No, settlements are not the reason for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but to think they do not exacerbate it, and are not locking Israel into a permanent occupation, is also dishonest.


Why Friedman can not talk about any subject without always turning to the settlements and Sharon needs to be analyzed. The simplest explanation would be that Sharon or someone looking like him sodomized Friedman (against his will, in this case) in a settlement and Friedman is getting back at his villains. Perhaps more work needs to be done on this theory.