Thomas Friedman: PM leads Israel's most inept gov't ever

'NY Times' columnist pens another rebuke of Netanyahu, says he's incapable of conducting proper diplomacy; has "do nothing" strategy.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 18, 2011 11:48
1 minute read.
'NY Times' columnist Thomas Friedman

'NY Times' columnist Thomas Friedman 311 (R). (photo credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

New York Times columnist and former Middle East correspondent Thomas Friedman wrote Sunday that the current Israeli government, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is "the most diplomatically inept and strategically incompetent" in Israel's history and has put the country in a "very dangerous situation."

The latest in a number of columns critical of Netanyahu's policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians published in the past year, Friedman accuses the prime minister of having a "do nothing" strategy in order to avoid going against right wing elements in his coalition.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
PA to US: Veto at UN would 'destroy' two-state solution
'US-Palestinian ties strained over statehood campaign'

In addition, the former NY Times Jerusalem bureau chief echoes statements attributed to Robert Gates last week, in which the former US defense secretary said that Netanyahu is an "ungrateful ally" to the United States.

The prime minister, Friedman writes, calls upon the US to "stop Iran's nuclear program and help Israel out of every pickle, but make[s] sure that [US President Barack] Obama can't ask for anything in return - like halting Israeli settlements."

Netanyahu, he suggests, has engaged in a mobilization of US Congressional Republicans and American Jewish leadership to publicly "suggest that Obama is hostile to Israel," all-the-while getting the Israel lobby "to hammer anyone in the administration or Congress" that is critical of the prime minister.

Engaging in internal American political battles, he writes, is Netanyahu's strategy.



Although expressing "great sympathy for Israel's strategic dilemma" and saying he has no delusions about its enemies, Friedman says that Israel is not helping its friends like Obama with any tools to help defend it.

Israel should, he writes, make "a peace overture that fair-minded people would recognize as serious, and thereby reduce its isolation."

In perhaps his strongest rebuke, however, Friedman concludes that Israel "does not have a leader" capable of making such moves.

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN