I really shouldn't, because all it does to me is make me shake my head and wonder about the world he inhabits, and why he's getting a paycheck for this. Take today's column, for instance. Hell, take the first paragraph:
As a friend of both Turkey and Israel, it has been agonizing to watch the disastrous clash between Israeli naval commandos and a flotilla of “humanitarian” activists seeking to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Personally, I think both Israel and Turkey have gotten out of balance lately, and it is America’s job to help both get back to the center — urgently.Sounds reasonable, except for those snarky, sarcastic scare quotes around the word "humanitarian." Why put those in, unless your motive is to suggest to supporters of a two-state solution that you're anti-Israel? The scare quotes are there to suggest that the supplies headed to Gaza weren't really aid at all, but we're all going to pretend they are for the sake of this conversation. John Cole has provided a graphic with a partial list of what's forbidden by the blockade--take a look at it and then tell me if Friedman's scare quotes are anything other than a dick move.
It's not Friedman's last, either.
I have no problem with Turkey or humanitarian groups loudly criticizing Israel. But I have a big problem when people get so agitated by Israel’s actions in Gaza but are unmoved by Syria’s involvement in the murder of the prime minister of Lebanon, by the Iranian regime’s killing of its own citizens demonstrating for the right to have their votes counted, by Muslim suicide bombers murdering nearly 100 Ahmadi Muslims in mosques in Pakistan on Friday and by pro-Hamas gunmen destroying a U.N.-sponsored summer camp in Gaza because it wouldn’t force Islamic fundamentalism down the throats of children.Of the four instances he mentions, the first two were criticized loud and long by many of the same people who want the Gaza blockade lifted, and I'm not exactly sure what the last two have to do with this discussion, other than to try to link opponents of the blockade with Muslim extremists. Note to Friedman--it's entirely possible to be a supporter of Israel's nationhood and the two-state solution, and acknowledge that Hamas is a terrorist organization. Supporting an end to the Gaza blockade is not equal to supporting Hamas, no matter how much you would like it to be so.
I'm also curious as to exactly how Friedman thinks this flotilla was a "setup." Israel's done a pretty good job on its own of making itself look bad in recent years. To treat this situation as though Israel is the victim of crafty opponents is insulting to anyone who's followed this story. It's offensive.
Labels: thomas friedman