Wednesday, August 01, 2012
You know, you have admire Tom Friedman, in a way.
No matter how often he's been proven wrong by events, no matter what has happened in the interim, he still thinks it's 1992 and the Oslo Accords are brand new and untested.
And not only does he remain clueless, but he feels the need to double down on his mistakes.
His latest op-ed in Pravda-on-the-Hudson is an absolute scream, and proof that Mitt Romney may have made some significant in roads into the Jewish vote by his Israel stance. So Obama's number one shill has been deputized to herd them back into the corral.
You see, only President Obama and Democrats are allowed to get Jewish votes, and anyone like Sheldon Adelson who strays off the plantation is to be considered a renegade and demonized.
Take a look at this .There is literally not a factually correct sentence in it:
Much of what is wrong with the U.S.-Israel relationship today can be found in that Romney trip. In recent years, the Republican Party has decided to make Israel a wedge issue. In order to garner more Jewish (and evangelical) votes and money, the G.O.P. decided to “out-pro-Israel” the Democrats by being even more unquestioning of Israel. This arms race has pulled the Democratic Party to the right on the Middle East and has basically forced the Obama team to shut down the peace process and drop any demands that Israel freeze settlements. This, in turn, has created a culture in Washington where State Department officials, not to mention politicians, are reluctant to even state publicly what is U.S. policy — that settlements are “an obstacle to peace” — for fear of being denounced as anti-Israel.
Add on top of that, the increasing role of money in U.S. politics and the importance of single donors who can write megachecks to “super PACs” — and the fact that the main Israel lobby, Aipac, 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. No wonder settlers now boast on op-ed pages that the game is over, they’ve won, the West Bank will remain with Israel forever — and they don’t care what absorbing all of its Palestinians will mean for Israel’s future as a Jewish democracy.
Let's start from the very beginning. It was the Democrats who decided to make Israel a wedge issue,and they needed to do it because they nominated someone for president with far more anti-Semitic and 'anti-Zionist' close associations and baggage than any other presidential candidate in history. They did it because they needed to make Barack Obama's questionable views and history on Israel mainstream and acceptable. That's why George Soros created J-Street, and why Jews like Ed Koch, Sarah Silverman, Dennis Ross and Alan Dershowitz were deputized to perform in one of the greatest political con jobs in history.
And let's remember..it wasn't Barack Obama who shut down the so-called peace process, it was Palestinian unelected Gauleiter Mahmoud Abba. And Abbas did it because President Obama did something Friedman has advocated for years and that no U.S. president had ever done before. he made any Israeli building in Judea and Samaria or in all of Jerusalem a major, toxic issue.
Not only did he and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton outright lie and repudiate written assurances and guarantees President Bush made Israel as part of the Road Map, but coming into office with an animus against Israel nurtured by long time associates like Edward Said, Reverend Wright, Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi, the president was convinced that Israel was the problem and that pressuring them was the solution. So the president not only created a hostile climate with the Israelis but gave assurances to Abbas and the 'Palestinians' that he could deliver the Jews on a platter.
Of course, after that Abbas refused to negotiate anything unless all his demands were met in advance, and naturally Abbas consistently vowed he would not make a single concession to Israel.
So when President Obama couldn't deliver the Jews as he had promised, Abbas turned intransigent, and accused President Obama of leaving him 'up a tree'. After which he and his minions declared the Oslo Accords dead , thus nullifying the entire basis of the agreement between Israel and the 'Palestinian' Authority.And then, doubling down, Abbas signed a unity agreement with the genocidal Hamas.
While Abbas may never have actually had any serous intent on negotiating anything, it was President Obama who created the preconditions that now hold things up, at least according to the 'Palestinians'. As Mahmoud Abbas himself related, it was President Obama's idea to make a building freeze a major issue when it wasn't before, even to the point of creating a major diplomatic incident between the US and Israel over what was essentially a local zoning issue and then harshly criticizing Israel for rejecting an offer to resume the freeze that the US never made in the first place.
Friedman has boasted before that President Obama 'listens' to him on Middle East policy. I can well believe it.
The bit about AIPAC could just as well been written by Mearshimer and Walt, but the myth of the all-powerful 'Jewish Lobby' is the mother's milk of the left today, so of course he had to repeat it. Actually, the Arab Lobby here in America is far more powerful, funded as it is by petro dollars and baited with the building of presidential libraries, business investments, six figure speech and consulting fees and the endowing of university chairs.
But wait, there's more:
While Romney had time for a $50,000-a-plate breakfast with American Jewish donors in Jerusalem, with Adelson at his elbow, he did not have two hours to go to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, to meet with its president, Mahmoud Abbas, or to share publicly any ideas on how he would advance the peace process. He did have time, though, to point out to his Jewish hosts that Israelis are clearly more culturally entrepreneurial than Palestinians. Israel today is an amazing beehive of innovation — thanks, in part, to an influx of Russian brainpower, massive U.S. aid and smart policies. It’s something Jews should be proud of. But had Romney gone to Ramallah he would have seen a Palestinian beehive of entrepreneurship, too, albeit small, but not bad for a people living under occupation. Palestinian business talent also built the Persian Gulf states. In short, Romney didn’t know what he was talking about.
On peace, the Palestinians’ diplomacy has been a fractured mess, and I still don’t know if they can be a partner for a secure two-state deal with even the most liberal Israeli government. But I do know this: It is in Israel’s overwhelming interest to test, test and have the U.S. keep testing creative ideas for a two-state solution. That is what a real U.S. friend would promise to do. Otherwise, Israel could be doomed to become a kind of apartheid South Africa.
Again, there's hardly a true sentence here.Actually Mitt Romney did meet with a 'Palestinian' leader while he was in Israel, and oddly enough, it's someone Friedman keeps shilling for as 'reasonable Palestinian leadership' - Abbas' unelected Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. And guess what? Fayyad was criticized bitterly by the 'Palestinians' , including Abbas for doing it!
As far as Romney's remarks on culture influencing prosperity, I've already gone into detail about this here. To put it bluntly, it's Tom Friedman who doesn't know what he's talking about, not Mitt Romney. Because 'Palestine', like almost every other Arab State is essentially a kleptocracy.
As ousted Fatah official Muhammad Dahlan admitted, Abbas personally stole at least $1.3 billion from the Palestine Investment Fund, money Yasser Arafat skimmed off humanitarian aid and 'taxes' paid to Fatah from 'Palestinian' businessmen as a price for being allowed to operate. Abbas' sons Yasser and Tareq have similarly benefited, as have a number of other well connected Fatah cronies, like Saeb Erekat, the man who accused Governor Romney of 'racism' simply for speaking a truth that's obvious to anyone. Sufa Arafat still lives in her chic apartment in the best part of Paris on her 'allowance' from the PA of $100,000 per month.
'Occupation' has nothing to do with it. What's Friedman's excuse for the same sort of culture of corruption in the rest of the Arab World? And I absolutely love the way he writes that Israel's prosperity is due to 'massive US aid' ( 80% of which is spent right here in America, by the way) while what he terms 'Palestinian entrepreneurship' is actually nothing of the kind, since it actually is funded by massive, direct aid - more per capita than any developing country in history. And at that, a good deal of any 'profits' get stolen by Fatah apparatchniks and leaders.
Friedman even threw in the bit about comparing Israel to South Africa and apartheid. Apparently he's pefectly OK with the apartheid of a Jew free reichlet in all of Palestine.
The thing is, at this point the Israelis have nothing whatever to gain from a two state solution.
Fatah's stolen money is squirreled away in Europe and the Emirates, and Fatah's old guard and their families will relocate there, or to Jordan as things unravel, since most of them have Jordanian citizenship. The remainder of the 'Palestinians' who are not well connected or monied will likely come under Hamas rule, which the majority of them favor anyway.
And rather than 'absorbing' the Palestinians, as Friedman blithly posits, the Israelis have a number of options. They can simply annex area C, where most Israelis live and the strategic parts of Area B, send the Arabs who are non-Israeli citizens over the border to 'Palestine' and simply call it a day. The non-Israeli Arab population of these areas is only about 50,000 or so, as opposed to the almost 500,000 Jewish refugees Friedman and his ilk want to displace in Judea and Samaria.If the Israelis choose to deport Arab non-Israeli citizens from Israel proper, that still only amounts to another 250,000.
Or they can count on outnumbering the Arabs, as analyses of birth rates and the actual population numbers by demographers like Yoram Ettinger have shown.
Or as Dani Dayan mentioned in his op-ed last week, they can simply ride the status quo.
One thing they'd be absolutely stupid to do is to follow in POresident Obama's footsteps and listen to an 'anti-Zionist' like Tom Friedman.
This is the end result of a shockingly bad idea of President Clinton's , that signing the Oslo Accords and bringing a thug like Yasser Arafat and his friends over from Tunis to rule over the 'Palestinians' would somehow end up as peace.
It's a mistake a lot of people have paid in blood and anguish for, and while Tom Friedman may not be capable of seeing that and moving on, the Israelis do, and they're going to act on it whether he likes it or not.
Crawl back under the rock, Mr. Friedman.