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Ed Driscoll

Thomas Friedman Drops the Mask

December 21st, 2011 - 9:39 pm

“For decades New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman balanced his substantively anti-Israel positions with repeated protestations of love for Israel, Caroline Glick writes. “His balancing act ended last week when he employed traditional anti-Semitic slurs to dismiss the authenticity of substantive American support for Israel:”

Channeling the longstanding anti-Semitic charge that Jewish money buys support for power-hungry Jews best expressed in the forged 19th century Protocols of the Elders of Zion and in John Mearshimer’s and Stephen Walt’s 2007 book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Friedman denied the significance of the US Congress’s overwhelming support for Israel.

As he put it, “I sure hope that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”

It would be nice if Friedman is forced to pay some sort of price for finally coming out of the closet as a dyed-in-the-wool Israel hater. But he probably won’t. As he made clear in his column, he isn’t writing for the general public, but for a very small, select group of elitist leftists. These are the only people who matter to Friedman. And they matter to him because they share his opinions and his goal of indoctrinating young people to adopt his pathologically hostile views about Israel and his contempt for the American public that supports it.

Then there are such earlier utterances from Friedman as:

“One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century.”

Thomas Friedman, September 9th, 2009.

“Yup, I gotta confess, that now-famous picture of a U.S. marshal in Miami pointing an automatic weapon toward Donato Dalrymple and ordering him in the name of the U.S. government to turn over Elian Gonzalez warmed my heart.”

Thomas Friedman, April 25, 2000, in a post titled “Reno for President.”

Added together, that’s quite a nasty case of radical chic-cum-punitive liberalism Thomas Friedman is carrying around in his cerebellum. In a post titled “Ron Paul’s Dangerous Campaign, and the New Anti-Semitism of Paul, Joe Klein and Tom Friedman,” Ronald Radosh explores an increasingly fashionable anti-Semitism amongst a pair of elite “liberal” journalists (actually three left-wing journalists by the time Radosh is done) and a GOP presidential candidate with a rabid fan base:

I suspect that Leon Panetta’s 60 Minutes interview, on which I posted earlier today, makes the Defense secretary as well a secret neo-conservative. So Abrams is right. Tom Friedman and Joe Klein, two prominent Jewish journalists, are as Abrams puts it, “spreading the two major themes of contemporary American anti-Semitism.” Evidently, Abrams’ sharp words have offended Klein. Good. What he needs to hear is more of the same, from as many people as possible. Already, Friedman has offered a very weak apology to the Jewish Week, in which he now explains himself this way:

In retrospect I probably should have used a more precise term like “engineered” by the Israel lobby — a term that does not suggest grand conspiracy theories that I don’t subscribe to. It would have helped people focus on my argument, which I stand by 100 percent.

So  Friedman wants to have his cake and eat it too. He believes what he says, but only now says Congress was not “bought and paid for” by the Israeli lobby but only had their thoughts “engineered” by them. Some apology, Tom!

Of course, the enthusiasm for Paul is shared by the self-proclaimed conservative acolyte Andrew Sullivan, who writes  that “it’s so heartening to see a candidate who’s been ignored, condescended to and caricatured by both the liberal media and the Fox Propaganda machine emerge as a viable candidate to win the Iowa caucuses.”

Rather than being ignored or caricatured, the media — until Kirchick’s report — has all but given Ron Paul one great pass, as supporters like Sullivan praise him as a valid conservative alternative. Sullivan sees “fascistic strains” in Rick Perry, but somehow fails to notice those even more apparent in Ron Paul than in any other candidate now running for president. Sullivan is not Jewish, and his animus towards Israel and its defenders has long been apparent. In his case, his support for Paul does not come as a surprise.

Do Joe Klein and Thomas Friedman really want to end up in the same corner as Sullivan, a writer who few take seriously any longer? Are we about to see a new interview in Jewish Week with Klein, who will conjure up some new words to try and get out of his current columns, joining his friend Friedman in trying to save his argument by rephrasing it?

No wonder they are both running scared. When they foolishly put their own real thoughts in print, they are immediately bombarded with the wisdom of their critics, who cry out: enough already! It is too late for either of them to get out of what they are saying. The next step is to bombard both Time, where Klein appears, and the New York Times, Friedman’s home, with letters telling their editors that the public does not appreciate their pages being used for the new anti-Semitism now becoming so fashionable.

Of course, perhaps Time magazine is onto something when they posit that, “Studies suggest that the richer people are, the less compassion they show.” That would explain much in Friedman’s case.

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