American ‘experts’: listen to ordinary Israelis first

I am not one who thinks that only Israelis have the right to comment about Israel. After all, I’m an American and I write about it all the time. But I do think that foreigners should at least pay attention to what Israelis think when forming their opinions, and even more so when proposing ‘solutions’. After all, Israelis are the ones who suffer the consequences of outside meddling.

Can there be a worse example than Thomas L. Friedman of the NY Times? Recently he wrote,

Israel’s friends need to understand that the center-left in Israel is dying. The Israeli election in January will bring to power Israeli rightists who never spoke at your local Israel Bonds dinner. These are people who want to annex the West Bank. Bibi Netanyahu is a dove in this crowd. The only thing standing between Israel and national suicide any more is America and its willingness to tell Israel the truth. [emphasis in original]

It’s hard to imagine a more arrogant attitude! For Friedman’s information, Israel is a democracy, and if right-wing politicians are elected, it is — gasp — because Israelis voted for them. And probably the single most important issue driving votes today — not the only issue, by any means, but the most important — is security.

Israelis have finally realized what a bill of goods they were sold in 1993, when they were suckered into the Oslo agreements. They experienced the Second Intifada, and the results of the ill-advised withdrawal from Gaza. Most of them now understand that security does not lie in surrendering territory near Israel’s population centers to those who want to kill them.

They also are coming to understand that they don’t have to allow antisemitic Europe and Saudi-influenced America to to define the borders of the Jewish state and its capital. Some even believe that the 19-year Jordanian occupation of Judea and Samaria, including eastern Jerusalem, did not magically render these areas forbidden to Jews. And the fact that “Palestinians want these areas for their future state,” as we constantly read in news reports, is not an argument for giving them up.

Friedman and other ‘friends’ of Israel believe that they know better, recycling the ideology of the Israeli Left that Israelis themselves have rejected out of harsh experience. They are either ignorant of reality, or their objective is not that Israel should survive and thrive — but something else.

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2 Responses to “American ‘experts’: listen to ordinary Israelis first”

  1. Shalom Freedman says:

    It is almost as if Thomas Friedman and a whole host of other Leftist Media Jews have closed their eyes to what has happened since Oslo, since the withdrawal from Gaza, since the so- called ‘Arab Spring’. They do not want to understand the new security challenges Israel faces. Nor are they willing to honestly look at the intentions of Palestinian leaders. Nonetheless with all their ignorance and arrogance one point they insistently make speaks to me, though I do not need them to make it. A Jewish democratic state with a too large minority Jewish population has an unbearable threat within. The answer ideally would be a massive Aliyah but I do not see two or three million American Jews coming to Israel. But that is just idle dreaming.

  2. Robman says:

    There is no way that someone of Thomas Friedman’s education, intelligence, and experience could be unaware of the history of the last twenty years. I’ve read some of his other work that is not related directly to Israel, and there is no question of his abilities to analyze many things in an insightful manner…but just somehow – dang it all! – he seems to get Israel COMPLETELY wrong. Just like soooo many other otherwise well educated, intelligent people in the media, important government positions, and the media!

    This has got to be the most incredible coincidence in history, that so many people who abundantly ought to know better….DON’T. Amazing how they are all so wrong, all at once, on this SAME issue, in the SAME direction.

    I only wish it was because they were merely stupid or blind. But if it were mere stupidity, then the law of averages would dictate that at least some of the time, they’d make mistakes in Israel’s favor. Funny how that never seems to happen…

    The knowing, cynical output of garbage is the same, aiming at the same result (i.e., undermining Israel), but depending on the individual, the motives may differ.

    My take on Friedman himself is that he is an out-and-out paid frontman for Obama, Saudi interests, or both. He knows very well what he is doing, and behind the scenes, I have not the slightest doubt that he is paid handsomely for it. He is a classic sellout; next to the term “sellout” in the dictionary, his picture ought to be there.

    There are other Diaspora Jews who are uncomfortable with Israel because defending Israel makes them feel vulnerable and outnumbered (just like Israel, except without the IDF nearby to defend them). So, they rationalize their fear by jumping on the “bash Israel” bandwagon. This way, they believe they are buying safety/acceptance for themselves. I’m sure this is particularly true in academic environments.

    Israel needs to make it clear to the U.S. that the U.S. cannot take Israel for granted. Israel needs to cultivate relationships with other powers (e.g., China) that put teeth in that stance. This will not be like turning on a light switch, but it needs to be done.

    The U.S., under Obama & Co., is in the process right now of trading in an ally in the Middle East that is the economic, technological, and military crown jewel of the region, for “allies” in the form of the piles of camel dung that surround said crown jewel.

    I remember what a coup we all thought it was here in the U.S. back in the 70s when we managed to pry Egypt away from the Soviets; today, I doubt that Russia would even want broke, starving, rabid Islamist Egypt back in their camp. Who wants to be responsible fro them? Obama, apparently….

    U.S. elites in power right now perhaps believe they can have it both ways. We appease/kiss up to the emerging Islamist regimes, but also keep Israel, since she’s got nowhere else to go, so they believe.

    What U.S. leaders may not understand – or perhaps some of them do – is that this game means that the U.S. must ultimately abandon Israel. That is what the Islamists want, and they will keep demanding this. Not outright; they are too clever for that. No no, all of their demands are made in the context of requiring that the U.S. be “evenhanded” and an “honest broker”…which is increasingly defined by them as tilting increasingly against Isreal, while Israeli resistance to this is portrayed as “intransigence” and the product of “extreme right-wing leaders” who must be humiliated into “responsible” behavior by Washington, their “only” friend in the whole wide world.

    The intended endgame is a binational state that ceases to be Jewish, that ends right of return preference for Jews, and that becomes yet another de-facto Arab/Moslem state.

    Uncle Tom Friedman does not care; he has no intention to live there and again, I’m sure is compensated handsomely for his treachery. He’s just the handy Jewish mouthpiece for what Obama & Co. intend to accomplish as I outline above.

    A massive aliyah would be neat but of course, as noted in the post above, is unlikely. An argument can be made that the U.S. Diaspora Jewish community serves an important function as a key element of the “glue” that binds Israel to her most important major power ally. However, in practice, sadly, the timidity and ignorace of the U.S. Jewish community as a whole has made them next to useless – even harmful in some cases (e.g. Uncle Tom Friedman) – to Israel in this capacity.

    Hence, Israel needs to seriously explore other options.

    At least the Chinese aren’t anti-Semites….

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