Thomas Friedman, you’ve covered the middle east your entire life but it seems that you lack one thing… the realization that the Palestinian issue is one of theology and not land. The “land for peace” shtick has already been tried. Two years after the Oslo Accords Yasser Arafat launched the second intifada. Rocket and tunnel attacks from Gaza came out of Israel having given up land for peace.
You say that Netanyahu is a leader who is “forever dog paddling in the middle of the Rubicon, never ready to cross it”. I find it interesting that you put the onus for this intransigence on Netanyahu. What you don’t seem to understand is that the Muslim world is playing a game of “chicken” with Israel. Netanyahu knows it but you don’t seem to. In your desire for him to do something, whatever it might be, towards anything that resembles progress towards peace, what you and Obama and Kerry, et al, are really trying to do, whether you know it or not, is to force Netanyahu to flinch first. Netanyahu knows that would be fatal. I believe he knows, as do I, that the best that we can do is remain in this stalemate condition until either one side flinches or preferably the Arab world comes to the realization that Islam is at best, an entirely bankrupt world view. You accuse Netanyahu of wanting to hold on to power. I would say that Netanyahu’s primary concern is for the survival of the Jewish people. I guess that’s a judgment call.
You complain that Israel can’t win any global support under Netanyahu. Netanyahu has had his minions publicizing the good that Israel does in technological advancements, in benevolence towards Palestinians and wounded Arab Fighters in Syria. He’s worked on making alliances in Africa and elsewhere. The Palestinians also have a strong and phony propaganda network and, Thomas, give me a break… do editorial titles like “Bibi Netanyahu Makes Trump his Chump” sound like your helping his cause? You’re being just a little hypocritical!
Yes… we are not only in an undesirable situation in the Middle East but we are, as you said, in a situation that “would keep Israel in a permanent conflict with Palestinians and the Muslim world as well as many Western democracies and their college campuses.”
You assume that Obama is a friend of Israel. I assure you nothing is further from the truth. He is reputed as a chronic liar. He signed a treaty with Iran that supposedly kicks the nuclear can down the road 10 years. Have you ever heard of the Islamic principle of Hudaybiyyah? I suggest you read up on it. Ah but you say that he’s provided military support for Israel. That’s true. He’s obligated to maintain some political credibility. In the meantime he got rid of Mubarak, a peace partner with Israel, and fought with congress to make good on US promises to Egypt in order to sell F-16s to the Muslim Brotherhood. And now that he, apparently, seems to be leaving office, what you’ve interpreted as an act for good in forcing Netanyahu’s hand is really nothing more than his letting out all the stops because he doesn’t have to deal with the political consequences.
The very title of this Op Ed peace of yours not only undermines Netanyahu but Israel. In the meantime, since it seems that you don’t understand what this Middle Eastern stalemate is all about, I suggest that you study up carefully on the doctrines and history of Islam which has killed over 270,000,000 people during its history.
It has been sagaciously suggested that one should know ones enemies. I’ll be honest with you. It is Islam which is your enemy. But your apparent lack of knowledge about Islam coupled with your potshots at Netanyahu seem to tell me that Islam is not your enemy but, in fact, Israel is. I suggest that you start writing about sports or cooking or some other subject until you’ve well educated yourself on Islam and started acting like a Jew who loves his people and stopped acting like a shill for the Palestinians.