Yesterday, in an article for the NY Times, wherein he criticized Newt for calling the Palestinian’s an “invented people,” Thomas Friedman wrote:
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.
Unbelievable. This is the type of statement one would expect to find in The Israel Lobby, by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, a book Alan Dershowitz described as a “hate-filled screed against Jewish participation in American politics.” With this statement, Friedman is perpetuating the nasty anti-Semitic lie that the Jews control Congress, and by extension the world. If only!
Friedman then went on to say:
The real test is what would happen if Bibi tried to speak at, let’s say, the University of Wisconsin. My guess is that many students would boycott him and many Jewish students would stay away, not because they are hostile but because they are confused.
I hate when commentators like Friedman put forward his type of misleading idea; that the younger Jewish community as a whole is drifting away from Israel. That is not the whole truth. I’m a Jewish student at a University and I would not stay away if Prime Minister Netanyahu came to speak at my school. I would gladly cheer him. So what “Jewish students” are Mr. Friedman referring to? Obviously, he’s talking about liberal ones. Every poll shows that Republicans are more supportive of Israel than Democrats, by a wide margin. That liberal Jews would stay away from a speech by Prime Minister Netanyahu, says more about them than it does about Israel.
And all this says a lot about Thomas Friedman.