Into the fray: Fire Friedman – forthwith

If Tom Friedman were to employ the same derogatory innuendo that appeared in his recent NYT columns towards any other minority – gays, blacks, Hispanics – he would be unceremoniously fired.

Thomas Friedman 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Thomas Friedman 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The powerful pro-Israel lobby... can force the administration to defend Israel... even when it knows Israel is pursuing policies not in its own interest or America’s. – Thomas L. Friedman, “Israel: Adrift at Sea Alone,” September 17, 2011.The main Israel lobby, Aipac [sic], has made itself the feared arbiter of which lawmakers are “pro” and which are “anti-Israel” and, therefore, who should get donations and who should not – and you have a situation in which there are almost no brakes, no red lights, around Israel coming from America anymore. – Thomas L. Friedman, “Why Not in Vegas?,” July 31, 2012.
Never have I seen more lawmakers – Democrats and Republicans – more willing to take Israel’s side against their own president’s [policy]. I’m certain this comes less from any careful consideration of the facts and more from a growing tendency by many American lawmakers to do whatever the Israel lobby asks them to do in order to garner Jewish votes and campaign donations. – Thomas L. Friedman, “Let’s Make a Deal,” November 19, 2013.
Tom Friedman is back in Judeophobic “Elders-of- Zion-Jews-rule-the-world” mode. In his latest rant in The New York Times, “Let’s Make a Deal” (November 19, 2013), in which he berated Israel, as the Jewish state, and its US supporters for opposing the emerging appeasement of Iran, Friedman sinks to a new nadir of journalistic drivel and racist incitement –which is no mean feat, given the lows he has stooped to in the past.Potpourri of pernicious poppycock
As he is normally prone to do, when writing on Israel, Friedman has, in his column this week, penned his usual pernicious potpourri of the malicious and the mendacious, generously seasoned with logical inconsistencies and factual inaccuracies.
Of course, journalists are permitted to produce pure poppycock if the media outlet they are associated with has no objection to publishing it, or to leading its readers astray. So the claptrap that Friedman inflicts on his readers in not really a valid reason for his dismissal by the NYT – which has given ample indication that not only does it have no objection to leading its readers astray, but when it comes to Israel, it has a strong interest in doing so.
But surely, his unbridled bigotry is such a reason – especially in the pristinely politically-correct milieu Friedman is associated with.
Indeed, in recent years, there have been numerous instances of people, across the social strata–from well-known media celebrities to unknown fast-food employees– being dismissed from their jobs for racial slurs far less serious, less malevolent and less calculated than those expressed by Friedman.
The fact that Friedman’s bigoted bile is directed against his own ethnic kinfolk should make little difference.
Indeed, earlier this year a high-profile former black football star was fired from his position as a TV sports commentator for making racially disparaging remarks about his black co-host.Calculated campaign?
In past columns, I have repeatedly exposed the faulty– often blatantly self-contradictory – analysis and argumentation that Friedman employs in his frequent anti-Israel tirades.
His offering this week is no less flawed than his previous ones. However, rather than once again focusing on the almost infantile claims and glaring non-sequiturs that “grace” Friedman’s latest column, I shall turn attention to his incendiary Judeophobic innuendo; referring to his faulty logic and factual inaccuracies only when these are instrumental in shedding light on his hurtful racial slurs and his hateful racist incitement.
Indeed, in a world where you can lose your job for making remarks that are borderline offensive, expressing little more than awareness of someone’s ethnic origins/sexual preferences, the lack of outrage at Friedman’s inflammatory insinuations is remarkable.
After all, were Friedman to employ the same derogatory innuendo that appeared in his recent NYT columns towards any other minority – gays, blacks, Hispanics – he would be unceremoniously fired. But when it comes to the Jews, apparently things are different.
Clearly, this week’s blatant barb as to the iniquitous impact of Jewish plutocracy on US national interests cannot be dismissed as a momentary, unintentional slip of the pen – or a mistakenly depressed computer key.
As can be seen from the introductory excerpts, this has been a recurring theme in his columns over recent years, making it look like an ongoing vendetta against the Jewish state and its Jewish supporters in the US and very much a calculated campaign.Bin Laden would concur
Friedman’s repeated allegations point almost inexorably to an unequivocal conclusion: The Jews control US foreign policy and have reduced America to no more than a banana republic, where elected representatives are willing to sell their nation’s – and hence their constituents’ – interests to the highest bidder and can be bought by unscrupulous, conniving Judeo-plutocrats (with hooked noses?).
Mearsheimer and Walt – and subscribers to their venomous views regarding the sinister influence of the “Israel (read, “Jewish”) Lobby”– could hardly ask for a more ringing endorsement of their noxious doctrine! Indeed, much of the criticism leveled at Mearsheimer and Walt’s shoddy slander could equally apply to Friedman’s writings.
Thus, following the endorsement of their work by none other than Osama bin Laden(!), who urged his followers to read their book, David Rothkopf, chief executive and editor at large of the Foreign Policy Group wrote: “All [this] book did was weave precisely the kind of fabric of partial truths and old biases that are used to dress up the hatreds of demagogues everywhere.”
What a fitting description this would be of Friedman’s accusations that Jews in America deliberately press for policies that harm the national interest! Osama would doubtless concur.
The left-leaning The Forward, in reportedly the longest editorial in the paper’s 120-year history, aptly titled “In Dark Times, Blame the Jews,” castigated the Mearsheimer-Walt thesis.
Expressing surprised concern at “the flimsiness of their work,” it noted disparagingly, “Countless facts are simply wrong. Long stretches of argument are implausible, at times almost comically so....An undergraduate submitting work like this would be laughed out of class.”
So would Friedman’s – as will shortly be shown.What Friedman cannot fathom
Like Mearsheimer and Walt, Friedman seems totally incapable of fathoming the true texture of the Israel-US bond – at least, as it was perceived and prevailed until the advent of the current Islamophilic administration that has proved itself to be totally unmoored from the Judeo- Christian heritage, which underpinned that bond for decades.
Thus, The Forward concluded its previously-mentioned editorial with the following words: “Mearsheimer and Walt join a long line of critics who dislike Israel so deeply that they cannot fathom the support it enjoys in America, and so they search for some malign power capable of perverting America’s good sense. They find it, as others have before, in the Jews.”
This is a diagnosis that fits Friedman’s malevolent malaise like a glove.
In similar vein, Madeleine Albright, secretary of state under the Clinton administration, dismissed the Mearsheimer-Walt credo, now enthusiastically embraced by neophyte Friedman: “I think it’s very easy to get on this tack all of a sudden that it’s some kind of an overly powerful Jewish lobby. There are other lobbies that are very strong, and Washington is full of lobbyists. So I would not…stress that as much as I would stress the fact that the US does have an indissoluble relationship with Israel that is based on history and culture” –i.e. Judeo- Christian heritage which underpinned that bond for decades.‘Wrong facts, comical arguments’
“Countless facts are simply wrong. Long stretches of argument are implausible, at times almost comically so.”
This is how The Forward characterized the Mearsheimer-Walt dogma. Now watch how this pertains to what Friedman provides his readers.
With stunning gall, he writes: “Iran has lied and cheated its way to the precipice of building a bomb, and without tough economic sanctions – sanctions that President Obama engineered.... Iran would not be at the negotiating table.”
Sanctions that Obama engineered? Really? One can only wonder whether Friedman is counting on his readers’ total ignorance or total amnesia. Or whether he is suffering from them himself.
In fact the Obama administration was one of the greatest obstacles to the sanctions that brought the Iranians to the table, virtually coerced to do so by pressure from Congress (and even some Europeans).
He presumably missed this report in The Wall Street Journal (August 8, 2011): "The Obama administration has fought Congress on Iran sanctions for much of its time in office. The White House deeply opposed a bipartisan congressional effort in 2011 to impose US sanctions on Iran’s central bank, the primary conduit for Tehran’s oil exports. US officials today acknowledge that the sanctioning of Iran’s central bank, and the European Union’s oil embargo on Tehran, have probably been the most punishing measures on Iran to date."
So much for the “Obama-engineered-sanctions” canard!
'Wrong , comical ’ (cont.)
But more of the ludicrous is yet to come. As we have seen Friedman concedes: “Iran has lied and cheated its way to the precipice of building a bomb, and... without tough economic sanctions Iran would not be at the negotiating table.” Incredibly, he now recommends the US desist from the only thing that has worked (i.e. tough sanctions) and adopt what hasn’t (i.e. belief in the goodwill of those who have lied and cheated).You have to read to believe!
Friedman tries to reassure us that “the deal Kerry is trying to forge with Iran [by dialing down the sanctions] is good for us and our allies”.
Well, Tom, that line might carry a bit more weight if the Obama-Kerry duo had given even the slightest indication that they have a clue about foreign policy, in general, and in the Mideast, in particular. Sadly, quite the opposite seems to be true. They have shredded the standing of the US across the globe but especially in this region, where the wreckages of American policy initiatives (and non-initiatives) litter the horizon –in Libya, in Egypt (repeatedly), in Syria.
So should we really bet the farm that they will get it right with Iran? In his confusion, and desperation to avoid accepting that Israel and its pliable Jewish minions in their perfidious lobby are right, Friedman finds himself forced to embrace–heaven forfend–the Bush Doctrine of regime change! No kidding! He writes, “The only lasting security lies in an internal transformation in Iran, which can only come with more openness.”
He then goes on to make the totally unsubstantiated and implausible assertion that: Kerry’s deal would roll back Iran’s nuclear program, while also strengthening more moderate tendencies in Iran.”
Yeah, right, Tom. We saw how eagerly Obama seized that opportunity in 2009, when, as the moderates rose to protest a rigged election and were brutally repressed, he remarked, impotently, that it was “up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be.”Why fire Friedman forthwith
Tom Friedman has surrendered every shred of professional integrity in favor of defending an indefensible policy of an indefensible administration.
He has shown himself to be ill-informed and incoherent; either woefully misled himself or willfully misleading his readers.
But worse, he is exploiting his potent journalistic platform to incite against the Jews, to insinuate–indeed openly accuse – that they are disloyal to their country or, at least, have a greater loyalty to another.
This is as unacceptable as it is untrue. In this, he brings discredit to his profession and his paper. For this, he should be fired – forthwith!
Martin Sherman ( is founder and executive director of the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies.