Thomas Friedman NYT.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
New York Times opinion columnist Thomas Friedman said that many Americans are becoming "fed up" with Israel. Friedman's comments came in an interview with Channel Two reporter Dana Weiss aired on Saturday.
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Friedman stated that while the American public was by no means anti-Israel, they no longer care about the Israeli-Arab conflict and this could eventually hurt Israel's national security interests, as the US is Israel's only friend.
Friedman added that he believes Israel is not doing the utmost to
promote renewed peace talks with the Palestinians. Friedman derided
Israel's calls for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish
State in exchange for a renewed freeze on construction in the
settlements that could revive peace talks. He jokingly said that Israel
is asking for "Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas]
to sing Hatikva [Israel's national anthem] in perfect Yiddish."
The New York Times columnist also lamented the fact that young American Jews are drifting away from Israel.
Friedman's comments followed a controversial op-ed entitled "Just Knock it Off" that appeared in Tuesday's New York Times
in which he said "Israel today really is behaving like a spoiled child."
In the column, 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.”
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