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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Tom Friedman calls for revolution in Israel

At the lofty-sounding Aspen Ideas conference, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has called for a revolution in Israel.
Friedman’s remark at an Aspen Institute event was tweeted by an Arab journalist but not denied by him.

“Mubarak had 30 years to reform Egypt, then he tried to do it all in six days. Netanyahu is Mubarak of Israel”

In fact, Friedman went on to see similar and worse things on the Charley Rose show. The theme he was pushing (and was introduced by President Obama) has been picked up by others: Israel is stupid, stubborn, and has no understanding of its own interests. What is in Israel’s interests is to turn the West Bank over to the Palestinian Authority as fast as possible; accept an independent Palestinian state right away, and then (after having surrendered all of its leverage) some day in the future the end of conflict, recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, the future of Jerusalem, and that of Palestinian refugees can be discussed.

The likely result? Palestine becomes an independent state, then declares that Israel has not really made peace and go back to demanding all of Israel, letting cross-border terrorist attacks, inciting to murder Israelis, demanding a “right of return” for all Palestinians any of whose family members or ancestors ever lived within what is now Israel’s borders, etc., etc.

So in other words Netanyahu should be overthrown because he won’t agree to this plan? President Barack Obama should call for Netanyahu to be gone right away? Or merely has Israel failed to change its policies in several decades?

Friedman’s new theme seems to echo a favorite Obama claim and to be the new anti-Israel line: Those Israelis are stupid and stubborn. If only they knew their own interests they would do whatever Obama wanted and accept a Palestinian state right away (for virtually nothing in return). Oh yes, and in the words of the ever-elegant Friedman, saying Obama is anti-Israel is “Crap.”

Actually, I think the word “crap” best describes the Obama administration’s perceptions of the Middle East, policies toward the region, and handling of Israel-Palestinian issues. The difference is that I can prove my case and Friedman can’t prove his.
Hey Tom - revolutions usually require popular support (unless what you have in mind is a coup d'etat by the army) and Netanyahu is far more popular than any of his rivals today. Maybe Tzipi Livni (who is also there) put him up to saying that. Heh.

Read the whole thing.


Welcome Ace of Spades readers.

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At 9:50 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The problem is Tom Friedman has no real idea of what's going on in Israel.

He was last in the country in the mid 80s and hasn't visited it since.

He's not qualified to write about a man he has never interviewed personally and whom he doesn't know. And the notion he knows better than Israelis do what's best for them is the height of chutzpah.

The notion that somehow peace could be made if Netanyahu wasn't Israel's Prime Minister has been refuted several times in the last eleven years. Its not Israeli intransigence that's the obstacle to peace in the Middle East. Its the other way around!

But don't look for Friedman to tell the truth and as Barry Rubin noted about him in the past, to stop lying for peace. What you see in the Twitter tweets is the real Friedman.

Israelis are better off ignoring him altogether and keep on pursuing a policy that serves the country's interests instead of pandering to Friedmanite fantasies of a Middle East that never was and will never be.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Ashan said...

Friedman needs to be firmly in his place and told to shut the hell up.

We're all so sick of this Kapo.

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Eliana said...

Tom Friedman is lazy.

He's tired of the Arab-Israeli conflict not being solved and he's frustrated that he can't solve it. Rather than being willing to think about what's really going on, he wails and cries because he's lazy.

He keeps lashing out like a kid who threatens to hold his breath until he turns blue. He wants the conflict solved RIGHT NOW or he's going to keep screaming.

Maybe 8 to 10 years ago, his favorite description of what to do with the "peace process" was to say that the international community should get into a room with the Israelis and the "Palestinians" and KNOCK HEADS TOGETHER.

"KNOCK HEADS TOGETHER" as if the whole thing is just so simple if only someone would slap the two sides up against each other so that they would say, "Oh, okay. We'll make peace right this minute."

Viewing peace as a "KNOCK HEADS TOGETHER" process is a lazy view.

Tom Frieman is a very, very lazy man.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

The two-state solution is kaput. Israel has two choices: remain an apartheid state, or become one bi-national secular state with equal rights and the vote for both Jewish and Palestinian citizens.

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not revolution..A military coup in Israel may be the best way forward.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger Chrysler 300M said...


worse than Hamas, Hisbollah, Iran & co. are the leftie "Jews" worldwide. The kapos and pest from within.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

Connecting to Chrysler 300M's comment, here's a very informative article by Jeff Dunetz at blog Hot Air. Dunetz is pretty blunt. Entitled "Obama Forming an 'I Really Love Israel' PR Squad To Try To Rescue Jewish Vote". Plus, Jewish donation$, of course. Some of The Usual Suspects for the PR Squad include Alan Solow, Mel Levine, Bob Wexler, Penny Pritzker.

The mindset of the intended audience, brainwashed liberals getting more and more uncomfortable from the mental conflict between programmed mindset and contradictory undeniable facts, reminds me of the quote from The X Files, "I Want to Believe". I know enough brainwashed American liberals -Jews and non-Jews- to conclude most of their votes for Obama & Co. in 2012 can still be counted on. They didn't come to their Pavlovian support of Democrats by reason and facts, so they can't be persuaded by reason and facts to change that habit. As Carl says, "What could go wrong?"

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Chrysler 300M says, "unfortunately..... worse than Hamas, Hisbollah, Iran & co. are the leftie "Jews" worldwide. The kapos and pest from within."

I don't think the leftie "Jews are worse... they are not firing rockets. I do think the marxist wing of the Jewish community, the part that David Horowitz departed in horror, has ended up subsuming the "progressive" communal organizations. And a major influence on this state of affairs are the leftist Israelis who have moved in and out of the U.S.

I wonder who might be a credible person to write a short book on the economic system presented in the Torah - the field (no limit on size) with the edges left for charity (the poor come harvest it in dignity for themselves, with charity for those who can't even do the basics), with part rendered to Caesar, but the principal land not confiscated just to make it fair and not run by Caesar in some weird dictatorship... We need a resource (or maybe an online course?) for the kids/teens/young adults who have been raised by the U.S. public schools and the Jewish communal organizations.

I mean, look at this, we are here evaluating Tom Friedman, who ADMIRES the commie dictatorship in China... we need to go back to the other source.

At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Diane, no Arab state is secular and democratic--Islam and subordinate rights for non-Muslims permeate their societal and legal structures. The only democratic state is Israel. Even should Israel annex Yesha and grant autonomy to the local Arab population that would not be apartheid. Israeli jews would remain the majority population between the Mediterranean and the Jordan--an autonomous Arab sector would not be apartheid which was an intricate race based classification system for exploiting minority labor while denying the natural majority its natural residential rights. Israeli Jews are not themselves racially pure if that's what you think, they are internationally multiethnic, of all hues. And Arabs on the West Bank remain in their residential home bases and flourish. Nor is Arab labor sought for the Israel labor market.

Equating Arab autonomy with apartheid is a cheap rhetorical ploy, and the "secular democratic state", which has never and will never be the norm for any Palestinian-founded entity, is a cheap rhetorical euphemism for liquidating the Jewish state since the PLO came up with it under Soviet Comintern tutelage.

Things can remain exactly as they are indefinitely if it comes to that.

Tom Friedman's call for Israel to give up its national and historical and religious rights, say, in Jerusalem now in exchange for what? promises to maybe have negotiations before the inevitable return to Palestinian violence from expanded geographical reach? is, as noted, as stupid as it is contemptible.

Tom does not spew this gunk from a moral high ground. LIke Obama he is just weary of the conflict and wishes to try more appeasement of the Arabs by wringing out unilateral Israeli concessions. Unlike Obama, he is also a very rich Jew and feels socially isolated amongst the upper class liberals he socializes with and is ashamed to be a Jew in their company.

His problems and Obama's problems cannot be Israel's problems.

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chayma, a military coup with the IDFs history of respect for israel's religious heritage, and the vigorous participation of the national religious camp in its officer corps may not turn out the way you hope. And no revolution can happen in the summer anyways, Tel Aviv has better things to do in the cafes and the beaches.

At 7:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The balance of power will shift in the Middle East. It’s not if, it’s when. The IDF military generals, are more in tune with the reality and what needs to be done, than the politicians are. If the national religious camp are astute they will be aware too..and you’re assuming they wouldn’t be purged themselves huh?

IDFs history of respect for israel's religious heritage

Oh please…don’t say this to me, we had control over the land longer than anyone. It’s meaningless!

And no revolution can happen in the summer anyways, Tel Aviv has better things to do in the cafes and the beaches.

How about winter then :)

All that said, what do you mean by “may not turn out the way you hope”. ?

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Robertcw72 said...


In the words of Chevy Chase, "you're an ignorant slut."

If you are going to try to go after a cheap 70s and 80s era slur..then we shall dish them right back at you..and at least Saturday Night Live was funny back then.

At 2:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chamya--3500 years of Jewish history is not meaningless--though the Palestinian's base their very flawed historical claims on a consistently anti-Semitic denigration, distortion, and erasure of Jewish history and culture.

Palestinian moral claims to anything, notwithstanding Arab inflow and outflow into Eretz Yisroel's geographical boundaries over the centuries, is outweighed by the Palestinian alliances first with Hitler, then with the Soviet Union to further depredation against Jewish civilians starting seriously from 20's, the 30's, the War of Independence and the Al Asqa intifida--and by their official embrace of Jew-baiting incitement.

Winter may be boring enough for the rev, but I seriously doubt it.

As far as the IDF going on its own, there are left-liberal elements in it so, who knows, a Kadima style military coalition might crystallize, but to give into President Obama's demands, highly unlikely, as Kadima has already stated that it strongly rejects the 1967 borders as indefensible and strongly backs a united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty.

So for all the noise from Kadima, given that Obama (and Tom Friedman) are marginal to Israeli public opinion it's hard to know what the point of a "progressive" coup would be--to shoulder Bibi's burden of deflecting Obama and the European dhimmi's constant maneuvers to appease the Arabs and perceived Islamic power by throwing Israel to the wolves?

However, though a right-wing nationalist coup is a more likely military takeover since it is not the conceptual self-contradiction (impossibility) of a Meretz-style coup --the center of gravity in the IDF as in Israel generally is opposed to the Meretz-J-Street-academic line of self-disgust and surrender--it could provoke a catalyzed resistance on the other side.

So, a left-wing coup is a contradiction in terms as Tom Friedman J-Street loving lefties don't have substantial toe-holds in the military to begin with outside of the disc jockeys in Radio Zahal.

A right wing coup makes sense and could conceivably hold. There would be some interesting changes afterwards, no doubt. Tom Friedman probably wouldn't like them.

At this time, however, such a move would probably be way premature and result not in consolidation of the religious national camp, but in a civil war.

At 8:23 AM, Blogger Bob said...

latma, the Israeli satire program, has a great take on Friedman. go to

At 8:26 AM, Blogger Bob said...

Latma, the Israeli tv show, has a hilarious take on Friedman, that is, he is nuts. see the link.



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