Roger L. Simon

Obama and the Jews: Friedman's Missing Elephants

As a non-subscriber, I don’t keep up with NYT op-eds the way I used to, so I didn’t read Thomas Friedman’s thumbsucker “Obama and the Jews” until today. And I don’t read Friedman much anymore anyway, finding his unchanged (for decades) views so predictable my head falls onto the page (or computer screen) in near sleep by the time I have read the second paragraph.

But several people have written asking me to comment on the above article, so I cruised on over. The first few graphs were, as usual, mega-predictable. Friedman sets up the straw man of a whisper campaign among Jews about what Obama truly thinks about Israel (by “tricking” us by reciting Bush’s views). Ho-hum. Although there’s not much in this oh-so-coventional-wisdom I would disagree with, I didn’t quite see the point (other than slavish fealty to the Democratic Party and its nominee). Furthermore, I haven’t heard much of this supposed whisper campaign, but maybe I’m not on the right mailing lists.

What was missing from Friedman’s piece… and amazingly and glaringly so… was the subject of many emails I have received from Jews and Jewish organizations – Jeremiah Wright. Although the fuddy-duddy Friedman titles his op-ed “Obama and the Jews” there is not one word about the Democratic candidate spending twenty years in the pew of and taking the title of his book from an anti-Semitic admirer (even idolater) of the racist Louis Farrakhan. There is nothing more abhorrent to me as a human and as a Jew than racism. Evidently, it doesn’t mean much to Friedman. Or not enough. Now almost habitually disingenuous, the New York Times columnist tries to pretend the real (and justifiable) reason many Jews will not vote for Obama isn’t there. Shame on him.