Thomas Friedman NYT.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
"Israel today really is behaving like a spoiled child," wrote Thomas Friedman in the New York Times on Tuesday.
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In an op-ed titled "Just knock it off," Friedman both defends and blasts Israel for behavior past and present, but says that ultimately, the US request for an extended settlement construction moratorium should be honored, especially in light of the "billions of dollars of US aid" the country has received. If America asks Israel to "do something that in no way touches on its vital security but would actually enhance it," he writes, "there is only one right answer: “Yes.”
The writer also defends US President Barack Obama, who has come under fire for his requests and views regarding Israel and the peace process, saying, "Please spare me the nonsense that President Obama is anti-Israel...He’s doing his job."
This is not the first time Friedman has written about the subject, his opinions on building in the settlements, or the peace process. In March,
following US Vice President Joe Biden's visit and the unfortunately
timed announcement regarding approval of 1,600 new housing units in east
Jerusalem, he wrote:
"Israel needs a wake-up call. Continuing to build settlements in the
West Bank, and even housing in disputed East Jerusalem, is sheer madness."
Referring in Tuesday's op-ed to Netanyahu's leadership, Friedman says
"Netanyahu is strong and acts weak," and of the Palestinian leadership,
"Abbas is weak and acts weaker." It is time, he writes, "for both to
step it up."