Israel-Hamas: Thomas Friedman Confirms Biden's Lack of Seriousness
Late Thursday night I wrote about President Biden’s lack of seriousness about Israel-Hamas, as evidenced by his dog whistling to terrorists via his Oval Office address. I cited his reference to discussions with the Palestinian Authority and the possibility of a two-state solution, and his condescending pat-on-the-head to Israel telling them they need to “operate by the laws of war” and “not be blinded by rage.”
New York Times opinion columnist Thomas Friedman confirmed Biden’s lack of seriousness in an October 19 column that has been “updated to reflect new developments,” presumably Biden’s speech the evening of Friedman’s publish date.
Friedman leads off with:
“I have great admiration for how President Biden has used his empathy and physical presence in Israel to convince Israelis that they are not alone in their war against the barbaric Hamas, while trying to reach out to moderate Palestinians.”
From the standpoint of an Israeli populace that just underwent a 9/11 event orders of magnitude worse than the United States experience, one might ask: “Did the US seek to reach out to moderate Muslims in Afghanistan prior to launching its attack on Al-Qaeda?”
Biden pleaded with Israel to learn from the US lessons of 9/11:
“While the president expressed deep understanding of Israel’s moral and strategic dilemma, he pleaded with Israeli military and political leaders to learn from America’s rush to war after Sept. 11, which took our troops deep into the dead ends and dark alleys of unfamiliar cities and towns in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s become quite popular to use the US experience in the wake of 9/11 to justify speaking down to Israel…just two weeks post-attack. Forget the fact the entire Western world should have Israel’s back full-stop no questions asked right here and now, trying to talk Israel off the line with false information is just tripling down on the insult to Israel. Iraq had nothing to do with the US’s immediate reaction to 9/11 and the full-scale assault on Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Iraq was one of the great foreign policy blunders of all time, but it had little to nothing to do with America’s fully justified post-9/11 rage.
Biden failed to get Israel to hold back:
“…from everything I have gleaned from senior U.S. officials, Biden failed to get Israel to hold back and think through all the implications of an invasion of Gaza for Israel and the United States.”
I repeat the question on Israel’s mind: “Did the US hold back and think through all the implications of an invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11?”
Now to the truly appalling stuff. The true colors of many who are looking to hold Israel back from fulfilling their sworn duty to their citizens.
Twice, Friedman refers to the political Right in Israel as “Jewish supremacists”:
“There will be no one to extract Israel and no one to help Israel pay the cost of caring for more than two million Gazans — not if Israel is run by a government that thinks, and acts, as if it can justifiably exact its revenge on Hamas while unjustifiably building an apartheidlike society run by Jewish supremacists in the West Bank. That is a completely incoherent policy.”
“Netanyahu should not allow this, but he has trapped himself. He needs those right-wing extremists in his coalition to keep himself out of jail on corruption charges. But he is going to put all of Israel into the jail of Gaza unless he breaks with those Jewish supremacists.”
Friedman can’t even help himself. He blames Israel’s set-course to invade Gaza on Netanyahu and the “Jewish supremacists”, but then goes on to write the following:
“Unfortunately, the senior U.S. official told me, Israeli military leaders are actually more hawkish than the prime minister now. They are red with rage and determined to deliver a blow to Hamas that the whole neighborhood will never forget.”
Ohhhhhh, so it’s not the Netanyahu and his band of MAGA Jewish supremacists leading the charge into Gaza. That’s lovely. Inserting his political bias into the middle of a live war on terror.
Why does all of this matter? Because it oozes weakness and lack of seriousness. Friedman’s opinion is not just his own, it is almost verbatim what Biden detailed to the world on Thursday evening. It confirms Biden’s lack of seriousness.
From the perspective of Iran and its proxies, the principal supporter of Israel, and the single entity that could end this war tomorrow with a “whatever it takes” commitment, the United States, is trying to get Israel to back off. Think about that.
Can you imagine if the United States told its allies to back off on attacking Hitler in order to preserve German lives to the greatest extent possible and negotiate with moderates in the German government?