Golda Meir, Rabbi Meir Kahane and Louis Brandeis, true to life American Zionists, must be spinning in their graves. New York bankruptcy attorney David Friedman, recently selected to become America’s ambassador to Israel, dropped all of his traditional Orthodox Jewish values to apologize for a lifetime of avid support on behalf of Israel. Typical lawyer.
Mr. Friedman has been a man who was not afraid to confront Palestinian evil and its ties to terrorism through his articles and speeches. He was passionately pro settlements, against radical Islamic evil and has properly criticized left wing liberal Jews who wish to sell out the Jewish state. Yet, in only one session before the United States Congress, Friedman recanted all of his fervid pro-Israel convictions.
It was absolutely pathetic to see this former believer in a Greater Israel, apologize for decades of work on behalf of the Jewish state, and somehow, go down the path of a moral equivalency argument on behalf of the Palestinians.
Had Counselor Friedman upheld his lifetime of Jewish principles in congressional testimony, he probably would have a much easier time getting confirmed. Instead, Friedman took every opportunity to tell members of the US Senate that he deeply regretted his comments and accusations—without considering the idea that it may not be wrong to compare some J Street members with Kapos. Of course that is a truism.
Friedman should have stood by his words, explaining that J Street is an organization that actively lobbies the US Government to undermine the policies of the democratically elected government of Israel, just like Kapos who conspired with Nazi German government officials against fellow Jews. At a recent J Street conference, members applauded Fatah spokeman Husam Zomlot’s call for Israel to give “formal recognition of the Nakba” and Zomlot’s call for all Arab refugees right of return to Israel. And yet Mr. Friedman continued his expressions of contrition.
After a lifetime of being on the “No Palestinian State” train, Mr. Friedman suddenly thinks that a two state solution remains “the best possibility for peace.” What a coincidence that he saw the light on such a big issue, right after being selected by President Trump as the nominee for Israeli ambassador. Friedman should have explained to the senators that all former ambassadors and politicians who believed in the concept of a 2 state solution, have failed miserably to bring about peace.
Perhaps what is actually needed here is someone who thinks about the problem differently—that a 2 state solution will never work and that settlements are actually an important lesson for the Palestinians to learn how to build “communities” of their own. Jewish settlements in Israel are the absolute best thing for Palestinians to see and learn from, in order to build their own communities, under the protection and nurture of the Israeli umbrella state.
Anyone who has been to Judea and Samaria, otherwise known as the West Bank, can readily see how Jewish settlement communities have risen out of dirty swamps and dry sand to construct communities akin to some of the wealthiest, most successful suburbs in America. Schools, stores, malls, synagogues and many other institutions glisten in the sunlight, while children play with each other in the park or school yard. The only disturbing sight is the IDF military which has to guard these areas from Arab attacks.
And yet David Friedman “repudiated everything he wrote and said” about the current situation between Israel and its Arab enemies. Why would Mr. Friedman apologize for something he had written in a recent article about Jonathan Greenblatt of the ADL, who along with some of his members, have indeed behaved like “morons?” There are many nasty words that indeed, have a real purpose at times. To say that these harsh words should never be used about an individual’s character, makes no intellectual sense. This prohibition only shows that the American Left has had a negative effect on both American society and the US Congress–by focusing our moral judgments on feelings/words rather than good and bad behavior.
If David Friedman were truly a talented representative with outstanding ambassadorial skills, he would have instead shown the confirmation hearing senators that his passion for American and Israeli values may sometimes require rather strong incendiary language. However, just like in the old schoolyard, these harsh words may actually help and not hinder solving the problems in the rough and tough neighborhood called the Middle East.
Irwin N. Graulich is a motivational speaker and columnist on ethics, morality, Judaism, religion and politics. He is also president of Bloch Graulich Whelan Inc., a leading marketing, communications and branding company in New York City.