I’ve stopped paying attention to Thomas Friedman. His failed analysis of the so called “Arab Spring”, his blatant disregard and dismissal of Israeli public opinion and open hostility to Israel’s democratically elected government, his potty-mouth in writing about Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his nonsensical “solutions” to the various problems of the Middle East… enough is enough.
So I was mildly surprised to read his latest op-ed in the NYTimes where he called the American administration to cease evading the real issue and call it like it is: We are locked in a conflict with Radical Islam. Not all Muslims, but those who interpret their faith in the most violent and radical way, ” [which] drives, and is driven by, the dysfunctionality of so many Arab states and Pakistan. It has left these societies with too many young men who have never held a job or a girl’s hand, who then seek to overcome their humiliation at being left behind, and to find identity, by “purifying” their worlds of other Muslims who are not sufficiently pious and of Westerners whom they perceive to be putting Muslims down” and are responsible – in the name of that faith – for the murder of innocents.
But I didn’t have to read long. Already in the second paragraph Friedman does not disappoint. While listing a few locations of radical Islamists’ theaters of operation (Nigeria, Pakistan, Paris, Yemen, Iraq) he strangely omits Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Sderot or Kiryat Shmona. Just one of them would suffice. Conspicuously missing from the short list of Boko Haram, Taliban and Al-Qaeda are Hamas or Hizbullah, not your ordinary minor league Jihadists.
Is Friedman’s omission intentional? Only he can answer with certainty. But I believe it is. Because the events of the last few weeks have made things crystal clear – while the world declares its unity, shoulder to shoulder, with millions of French citizens in their stand against terrorism, it is not the Jewish victims of terrorism that pushed them to the street.
There is terrorism against which the West it outraged, and there is terrorism against which it is not. It so happens that when the same Jihadists in the name of Islam slaughter Jews as we experienced just this morning in Tel Aviv, the world and its opinion shaping media megaphones such as Thomas L. Friedman justify it by their silence or at the very least excuse it away as par for the course.
It is amazing how far some media outlets will go in this self-deceiving game. CNN tried to convince viewers that the attack on the Kosher market was not directed at Jews. BBC correspondent Tim Willcox actually argued with a French woman that it was the Jews’ own fault (as a collective) that they had been attacked because “Palestinians had suffered hugely at the hands of the Jews”. So eager to give the Palestinians a pass they are at the BBC that even the anti-Charlie Hebdo demonstrations by Palestinians in Jerusalem were not reported and little to no attention was given in the main stream media to the burning of French flags on The Temple Mount in Jerusalem and in Gaza.
Friedman quotes conservative columnist Rich Lowery saying: “The administration has lapsed into unselfconscious ridiculousness…” Indeed a theater of the absurd. But it is not just the US administration Mr. Friedman. Remove the beam from your own eyes! You too are complicit in this absurdity. By omitting terror attack on Israelis and Jews, by excusing Palestinian and Shiite Iranian Jihadists bent on Israel destruction you are justifying their actions and continuing to uphold the moral travesty of the double standard against Israel.
Yes, it is indeed time to call it what it is. Hypocrisy. Cowardice. Anti-Semitism.