Israel’s ambassador to the US Michael Oren told JTA – the global news service of the Jewish people – that the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman “strengthened a dangerous myth’ when he said in a recent column Congress was “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”
“The 29 standing ovations that Prime Minister Netanyahu received from both houses of Congress, and from representatives of both parties, reflected the deep support of the American people for the State of Israel,” Oren went on to say. “That commitment is not — and never has to be — purchased.”
It’s not often diplomats of Ambassador Oren’s rank break their code of polite silence. In this case, it should be all the more telling because Oren is a fine writer himself – far better than Friedman, whose ultra-conventional views are often presented in a ragged literary style. The ambassador’s remarks should have stung the NYT columnist. Unfortunately, Friedman, who lives like a pasha in a 10,000 square foot house while urging the rest of us to reduce our carbon footprints, seems impervious to criticism.