web analytics
May 26, 2016 / 18 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Friedman’

One-Third of Americans in Israel Live in Judea and Samaria

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Approximately 60,000 Americans, one-third of those who have moved to Israel, live in Judea and Samaria, according to a new book whose conclusions were reported by Haaretz.

The Americans also comprise approximately 15% of all Judea and Samaria Jews, otherwise known as “settlers” by most of the world and “illegitimate” and “illegal” by President Barack Obama.

The conclusions of the book, “City on a Hilltop: Jewish-American Settlers in the Occupied Territories Since 1967” by Oxford University Prof. Sara Yael Hirschhorn, are not surprising to anyone living in Israel but may come as a bit of a shock to the foreign policy “experts” at the U.S. State Dept.

They also might surprise some “expert” media stars, such as Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, who once wrote that settlers are Israel’s answer to Hezbollah.

As late as last December, in a rant during the Israel election campaign. Friedman wrote:

The Israel right….is dominated by West Bank settlers and scary religious-nationalist zealots.

Hirschhorn, in her book to be published later this year, wrote:

“Something like 10 percent of American settlers in the occupied territories hold PhDs; they’re upwardly mobile, they’re traditional but not necessarily Orthodox in their religious practice, and most importantly, they were politically active in the leftist socialist movements in the United States in the 1960s and 70s and voted for the Democratic Party prior to their immigration to Israel.

So much for the “Wild West zealots” in the West Bank.

Much to the surprise of Friedman and the State Dept., Hirschhorn also wrote:

They’re not only compelled by some biblical imperative to live in the Holy Land of Israel and hasten the coming of the messiah, but also deeply inspired by an American vision of pioneering and building new suburbanized utopian communities in the occupied territories. They draw on their American background and mobilize the language they were comfortable with, discourses about human rights and civil liberties that justify the kind of work that they’re doing.

Yes, Americans in Judea and Samaria – or the occupied territories, the West Bank, or over the Green Line – are inspired by the Bible, and, no, they are not wild-eyed cowboys waiting around every bend to kill Arabs.

Her study does not cover the other 85 percent of Israeli settlers, most of whom live in Judea and Samaria for the simple reason that housing is cheaper than in most other areas and that “settlements” have clean air and are a great place to raise a family.

And some Americans, like myself, also live in the West Bank for practical reasons. When we left a kibbutz 26 years ago with three toddlers, our community in the Southern Hebron Hills was the only place close to a hospital where my wife, a nurse, did not have to work every other Shabbat.

Cheap housing is less available today in Gush Etzion, where Americans compromise a huge proportion of the population and where housing prices have soared. It used to be said that Efrat is not totally American, but on one Shabbat, it was all-American because the Israeli family went away for Shabbat.

That is no longer true, but Americans still account for approximately 40 percent of the city’s residents.

The image of the American cowboy arises because a large percentage of the minuscule number of crazies who have attacked Arabs in the past are from the United States.

The article in Haaretz on the book did not mention if Hirschhorn’s book also refers to the extremely large number of Americans living in neighborhoods in Jerusalem that the United States government and the United Nations also consider “occupied.”

President Obama does not realize how many “illegitimate” Americans live in Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama: ‘Don’t Judge Me on Whether Deal Ends Iran’s Aggression’

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

President Barack Obama told Thomas Freidman in an interview that he is confident Bibi will not be able to convince Congress to torpedo the agreement with Iran but also admitted that the deal has nothing to do with Iran’s aggression towards Israel.

Friedman, The New York Times columnist who is President Obama’s favorite spokesman, talked with the President for 45 minutes after the agreement was announced Tuesday.

The interview reveals inherent contradictions between President Obama’s understanding of foreign relations and his solutions for them. It shows that the President, like his predecessors, sees Israel’s security through its own eyes even though he believes he can put himself momentarily in the shoes of Iran.

He also likes to think he can pull strings that will determine how other countries will act, just like he encouraged the Arab Spring rebellion in Egypt to bring about democracy and respect for human rights, which still is waiting in the wings along with 72 virgins.

President Obama told Friedman that by helping Iran strengthen economically, perhaps – in his wishful thinking – the Iranian people will be able to influence the regime that “it’s not necessary for them to be great to denigrate Israel or threaten Israel or engage in Holocaust denial or anti-Semitic activity.”

Obama also thinks that once one of Iran’s neighboring countries is strong economically and militarily, it makes it more unlikely that Iran will attack it.

He was referring t Muslim countries. The Jewish State of Israel is a different matter.

President Obama said:

[Iran] has an authoritarian theocracy in charge that is anti-American, anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic [and] sponsors terrorism.

Hezbollah has tens of thousands of missiles that are pointed toward Israel. They are becoming more sophisticated. The interdiction of those weapon flows has not been as successful as it needs to be…

Iran is acting in an unconstructive way, in a dangerous way in these circumstances. What I’ve simply said is that we have to keep our eye on the ball here, which is that Iran with a nuclear weapon will do more damage, and we will be in a much worse position to prevent it.

That is going to be one of Obama’s loudest arguments when defending the agreement in Congress, but if he lived in Israel, he would not be so blasé about the ability of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah army to bring Israel to its knees with a massive missile attack.

The agreement may or may not stop Iran from getting its hands on a nuclear weapon, but by all accounts, it will pump $150 billion into Iran’s coffers. Not much of that money is going to be used to implement equality for women or for opening up an embassy in Israel.

By fueling terrorism, Obama is allowing himself, or his successor, to force Israel to beg for American help to prevent a threat it created, so Prime Minister Netanyahu better think twice when he tried to fight against the bill in Congress.

Obama stated:

Perhaps he thinks he can further influence the congressional debate, and I’m confident we’re going to be able to uphold this deal and implement it without Congress preventing that.

But after that’s done…we then ask some very practical questions: How do we prevent Hezbollah from acquiring more sophisticated weapons? How do we build on the success of Iron Dome, which the United States worked with Israel to develop and has saved Israeli lives?

First, he creates a greater threat to Israel be fueling Iranian-backed terror and then he wants to ask Israel how “we” can solve it.

Do you want money for an Iron Dome? Be nice. Maybe freeze settlements.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

ISIS, the Joker, and Tom Friedman

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

“I warn you, he may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you: He really is an idiot!” — The Joker, Arkham Asylum

A friend drew my attention today to a recent column by New York Times resident joker and professional stuffed shirt Thomas Friedman, in which Friedman cites a scene from Chris Nolan’s The Dark Knight as a metaphor for the fight against Islamic terrorism.

As I read the column, I grew intrigued — because for a brief moment, it seemed as though the generally clueless Friedman had experienced a genuine epiphany. But by the time I reached the end of the column, I realized that it was a false alarm: The metaphor that he cited (which he says was referred to him by Orit Perlov) was indeed strikingly apt, but Friedman himself completely failed to grasp its meaning.

Here’s the scene that Friedman quotes:

This scene is actually an excellent analogy to the situation of the West vis-a-vis ISIS et al.

Alfred is telling Batman to stop imagining that he can defeat the Joker by trying to discern the Joker’s motivations, because this is an enemy whose way of thinking is utterly alien to our own, and is simply evil. Such an enemy, says Alfred, cannot be dealt with through reason or negotiation, but only through utter destruction. That’s why Alfred and his colleagues had failed to buy the loyalty of the Burmese tribal chiefs, as long as the bandit was out there in the forest. Success only came once they “burned the forest down”, and destroyed the bandit.

Chris Nolan’s message in the film (and the rest of the trilogy) was, in fact, an intended reference to Islamic terrorism.

Nolan was saying that the West will never defeat the terrorists as long as we go on thinking that the Islamists are essentially like ourselves, and can therefore be reasoned and negotiated with. Furthermore, he was saying (in this scene) that it is useless to try to win by paying off Arab governments with “precious stones”, because those will simply be taken by the “bandit”.

The only way to defeat an enemy like that is to wipe it out.

The irony is that all of this flies way over Friedman’s head.

After citing the scene, Friedman then proceeds to completely ignore what it says. Instead — and incredibly — he calls upon America to go on pursuing their same tired old failed policies in the Mideast, imagining that the US can counter the terrorists by “strengthen[ing]” Arab governments “with financial and security assistance”.

How completely obtuse.

What’s sad and frightening is that this joker is actually a major factor in the Obama administration’s policy making decisions.

Moshe Matitya

A Response to Thomas Friedman: We Need More Sheldon Adelsons

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

In Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, Thomas Friedman wrote a scathing column against Israel’s foremost supporters and lovers. Friedman’s column is a hit piece meant to serve as fodder for some of the NY Times’ anti-Israel and left-wing readership. But instead of delving into the author’s motives for writing the piece, I’d like to examine the various claims he makes.

The thesis of his column is that Sheldon Adelson’s “loving Israel to death” serves Iran’s interests and makes Adelson “Iran’s Best Friend.” What an absolutely pathetic and fallacious claim.

I have the great privilege of knowing Sheldon Adelson personally. There is nobody in the philanthropic arm of the Jewish community that has been a more vocal opponent of Khameini and Iran than Sheldon.

We in the Jewish community know that there are few things Khameini and his ilk hate more than the idea of promoting Jewish continuity and preserving the memory of the Holocaust. On that note, there is nobody who has invested more dollars into both of these initiatives than have Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

When it comes to promoting Jewish continuity, the Adelsons have served as the principal supporters of Birthright Israel – thereby responsible for sending over 350,000 young Jews from across the world to experience their birthright firsthand. Surely we can agree that Khameini and his adherents seek more than just the delegitimization and destruction of Israel; but also the destruction of the Jewish people.

Then there is the Adelsons’ investment of tens of millions of dollars toward preserving the memory of the Holocaust. They have done this to not only ensure that members of my generation never forget about the slaughtering of 6 million Jews, but to also educate the senseless and intellectually dishonest Jew-haters about the Holocaust, many of whom are found in the Iranian leadership.

It’s no secret that Rouhani is a Holocaust denier. Perhaps Mr. Friedman could please explain how Mr. Adelson’s gift of $25 million to Yad Vashem, the largest in the museum’s history, makes Adelson “Iran’s best friend.” I would instead posit that these two major philanthropic endeavors that the Adelsons have proudly taken upon themselves make Khameini and Rouhani cringe – as they should.

Friedman goes on to talk about the so called “occupied territories” and how the continuation of such a policy under the auspices of the Israeli government is what is truly responsible for the BDS campaign and the world’s increased hostility toward Israel. This is evidence that what Mr. Friedman needs more than anything else is a history lesson.

The West Bank or Judea and Samaria were not lands that Israel conquered through a war of its own choosing. Instead, Israel captured these lands from the actual illegal occupiers of it, the Jordanians, the ones who attacked Israel and forced her into battle there in 1967. The term “occupied territories” is therefore a farce, one designed to delegitimize Israel, much like the BDS campaign and its proponents.

Perhaps Friedman should reassess which team he belongs to; is it the Adelson camp? One that supports and loves Israel to the point of courageously standing against its enemies even when it means being subjected to the wrath of some in the mainstream press. Or instead, does Friedman belong to the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign camp, a camp that does not include supporters of Israel? Should Friedman be counted amongst those working vociferously to delegitimize Israel by continuing to harp on the fallacious claim that the Israelis are “occupiers?”

Mr. Friedman, as a current student of your Alma Mater, Brandeis University, I can tell you with full confidence that the BDS campaign has little to do with the reality of life in the so-called “occupied territories” and is instead rooted in pure Jew hatred. I urge you to visit some college campuses next year during Israel Apartheid Week so that you can witness this first-hand. The folks behind the BDS effort aren’t looking for peace. They are merely anti-Semites trying to conceal their genuine motives through a campaign that folks of your stature have deemed to be, and thereby appear to make, credible.

Joshua Nass

Crazy Jews Libel Israel with Price Tag Attack in Jerusalem

Monday, March 24th, 2014

“Price Tag’ vandals struck it rich Monday morning, puncturing tires on 45 vehicles in the Arab Beit Hanina neighborhood in Jerusalem.

Graffiti in Hebrew on walls and a bus declared, “Gentiles in the country=enemies,” and “Arabs=thieves.”

Some drivers woke up shortly before dawn to drive to work and discovered that all four wheels of their cars had been slashed.

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency quoted one resident as stating, “Five settlers stormed the al-Samah square at around 2:30 a.m. coming from the direction of Pisgat Ze’ev settlement…Two of them positioned themselves at the main entrance to watch as the rest assaulted properties in the neighborhood.”

Foreign news agencies broadcast to the world the resident’s message that Pisgat Ze’ev “is built on lands of Beit Hanina.”

Associated Press reported to millions of people around the world, “Extremist Jewish settlers have been carrying out acts of vandalism in recent years, in retaliation for Palestinian attacks and to protest what they perceive as the Israeli government’s pro-Palestinian policies.

The “extremists” have succeeded to a certain extent in creating in image that all “settlers” not only hate Arabs but also attack their property and sometimes run wild in their villages.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri told The Jewish Press, “We are investigating. It is too soon to say report on any progress.” It has been nine months since vandals went on a spree in June in the same neighborhood. So far, no one has been arrested.

When the price tag attacks began more than two years ago, nationalists immediately blamed the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) for being behind the vandalism in order to slander Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria.

Dozens of attacks later, is clear that most of the damage is being caused by a handful of Jews who no doubt are really proud of themselves this morning for having caused so much misery to so many Arabs.

They must be sure that they are messengers of God, Who told them that hate attack will teach U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a lesson, will make Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu think twice about destroying another outpost and will convince the Arabs to pack up and buy a one-way ticket to Jordan.

The extremists have given ammunition to journalists such as Thomas Friedman, who once called settlers “Israel’s answer to Hezbollah.”

If the police can finally find, arrest and indict the idiots and the judge lock them up, it will not only protect the Arabs but also will protect the rest of us.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

The Question the Palestinians Aren’t Being Asked

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Almost all the focus in the mainstream media on the Middle East peace process tends to be on the decision taken by only one of the parties involved in the negotiations.

The perennial question from pundits and even veteran kibitzers like The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman is whether Israelis are ready to take risks in order to achieve peace. That was the conceit of a column he wrote last week titled “Israel’s Big Question,” and if it seemed familiar to readers, it was no accident. Friedman has been writing the same column for decades in which he asks Israelis whether they will leave the West Bank in order to retain both the Jewish and democratic identities of their nation. If they don’t, and Secretary of State Kerry’s initiative fails, Israel’s doom is, he says, sealed.

But of course Israel has already tried to trade land for the promise of peace and failed. The Palestinians turned down three offers of statehood and there is every indication they will turn down a fourth offer of up to 90 percent of the West Bank that is being mulled by the Netanyahu government.

Friedman’s assumption – as well as that of many of Israel’s critics – is that if the Israelis are sufficiently forthcoming those problems will disappear. They should instead be asking what it is about the political culture of the Palestinians that makes their intransigence not merely possible but inevitable. The answer comes in two separate stories that touch on what it is that both the PA’s negotiators and Hamas believe.

In Gaza, the Hamas government has apparently rejected the textbooks provided for schools by UNRWA, the United Nations agency that serves Palestinian refugees and their descendants. UNRWA has hired Hamas terrorists as staffers and has been rightly accused of helping to perpetuate the conflict by not seeking to resettle refugees so as to keep them in camps as props in the long Arab war against Israel. But while the textbooks UNRWA has published for Gaza schools apparently accept the Palestinian narrative of victimization and the illegitimacy of Israel, they also encourage non-violence. The Hamas education ministry is particularly angry since the books emphasize the examples of peaceful protests.

Education Minister Mu’tasim Al-Minawi had the following objections: “The vast majority of examples [in the books] refer to [Mahatma] Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Helen Suzman, the Soweto Uprising, the Magna Carta and Apartheid, even though Islamic-Arab-Palestinian alternatives exist. There are many models which could be used which are closer to the students’ understanding.”

This tells us Hamas is educating the children of Gaza not just to hate Israel and Jews but also to reject the Western frame of reference about human rights, even in the context of support for anti-Israel activism, which was clearly the intention of the UNRWA curriculum.

Also instructive is the mini-controversy inspired by Saeb Erekat, the man who represents the Palestinians in peace talks. Earlier this month at the Munich Security Conference, Erekat told his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni that asking him to recognize the Jewish state was impossible since it would force the Palestinians “to change their narrative” about their history. He also claimed his family – as well as the rest of the Palestinians – has a claim to the land prior to that of the Jews since they are descended from the biblical Canaanites and were there when Joshua Bin Nun “burned my hometown Jericho.”

Suffice it to say that there is no evidence that Palestinian Arabs have any connection with the inhabitants of the country prior to the Arab conquest that occurred in the seventh century CE.

But if even Erekat – whom we are told by the media and the U.S. government is a man of peace – is determined to cling to a historical narrative that is based in rejection of Jewish rights to any part of the country, then what hope is there for peace?

Both Fatah and Hamas continue to educate their peoples in a culture that is not only steeped in hatred of Jews and Israel but in a worldview in which the rejection of Zionism is integral to Palestinian identity. The question Kerry, Friedman, and others who continue to hound Israel should be asking is this: When will the Palestinians give up their culture of hate and embrace one that would give peace a chance?

Jonathan S. Tobin

The 10 Plagues of John Kerry

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has struck Israel with a host 10 plagues since he reincarnated the dead and deadly peace process last July.

He still has one last malady left before he runs out of ammunition, blames the Jews and Arabs for not making peace for the first time in 100 years or so, and scuttles back home to make trouble elsewhere in the world.

The first sign and wonder that the self-honorable Secretary offered was none other than John Kerry himself.

“I will come upon you for nine months until you let my people – er, the Arabs – go free from the Occupation,” he in effect announced. One would think that he was living in a time tunnel because the Arabs were freed from their Egyptian and Jordanian occupiers in 1967, but the State Dept. does not know that since there is nothing in its archives on Israel between the 1948 and 1967.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was not so impressed with Kerry’s first miracle and he turned to his wise men, who came up with Israel’s own sign and wonder, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. He is the man who stood on principle, when there was such a thing, when he was IDF Chief of Staff in the Expulsion Government of Ariel Sharon. He paid the price of being snubbed for what is usually an automatic extension of the term of office, and Kerry knows that.

So Kerry and his boss, President Barack Obama, brought out their next miracle whitewash of lies, also known as J Street and the host of Jewish armchair diplomats who think that because they live in the United States and are Jewish, or call themselves Jewish, they know how to run and defend Israel better than the ignoramuses who live in Israel.

The White House closed its doors to AIPAC and rabbis who actually believe that the Torah was given to Jews by God and is not subject to interpretation by every shrink and fink, and it opened them for J Street, Jews and even non-Jews who call themselves rabbis because they have been ordained to be politically correct.

They suddenly became the voice of Americana Jewry, who joined John Kerry to berate the government of Israel on how to conduct its affairs and to teach them a lesson that every home for Jews in Judea and Samaria endangers the national security of the United States of America.

But Netanyahu’s heart remained Jewish and Israeli and he refused to free the People of Israel from the threat of extinction.

Kerry then huffed and puffed and screamed, “Settlements!” to scare Jerusalem. “You are illegitimate,” President Obama told the settlers. “You are illegal,” Kerry scolded them. “You are an obstacle to peace.”

The settlers answered, “We are an obstacle to war,” and Kerry followed up with the plague of the boycott.

“If Israel does not agree to remove every settler from the Biblical heart of Israel where Jesus, the first Palestinian was born, I will inflict on you the Boycott. I will not drink anything that comes from SodaStream, even if Scarlett Johansson tempts me.”

Israel responded that if Jesus, born Jewish, was a Palestinian, then every Jew in Israel is a Palestinian, too, and also should be able to vote for who heads the Palestinian Authority.

Without warning, Kerry waved his staff – the wise men of the State Dept. – and told the People of Israel that if they do not agree to live in the ghettos of Tel Aviv, he will bring on them the refugees – 5 million Arabs who will swarm the land of Israel from Eilat to Kiryat Shmona, and from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/the-10-plagues-of-john-kerry/2014/01/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: