Doubting Thomas Friedman



“President George Bush has not yet said in the loudest volume what he has to say to Sharon. For now he confines to private quarters the spells of anger attributed to him – including four-letter words, according to reliable sources.”

Gideon Samet, Haaretz, Nov 2, 2001

You wouldn’t even know there was tension in the air between the Bush Administration and Ariel Sharon.  Not if you have been reading the New York Times which loves to join in the chorus of Likudniks rantings about the need for higher Palestinian body counts.

Thomas Friedman, aka Thomas Fraudulent, has had little time to pay attention to the IDF’s recent week of carnage in Bethlehem and surrounding villages.  The murder of 60 Palestinians is not something they get worked up about in Sulzberger’s publishing house.  Whatever excuse Sharon has for his latest killing spree is good enough for the New York Times.

Of late, Friedman has taken to assailing Muslims and Arabs for their failures to be modern internet savvy consumers.  He is constantly writing the ‘right’ words he wants to hear from Arab lips, with a proper Yiddish accent, no less.  Of Course, the  small number of Arab intellectuals who bother to follow Friedman, consider him a barker in the Israeli public relations circus.

Doubting Thomas Friedman comes naturally to most Arabs who bother to notice his existence.  Although he is the ‘Foreign Policy’ correspondent for the New York Times, the only globe on his desk has Israel, America and England.  A rough estimate is that three out of four Friedman articles are all about Israel and his hero Ariel Sharon, the serial arsonist who participated in the slaughter at Qibya and Sabra and Shatila.

The New York Times is aware that the United States government is waging a vital public diplomacy campaign to win the hearts and minds of the native people of the Middle East.  And the publisher of this ‘national’ paper of record, Sulzberger, is apparently not convinced that the Bush administration should have a foreign policy that might diverge from the Israel First agenda.

The Yiddish supremacists want to escalate the war, the sooner the better.  While Tony Blair laments the gulf between the Arab world and the West, Sharon and Sulzberger are busy finding ways widen the gulf.

I will continue doubting Thomas Friedman until he stops preaching to Arabs and Muslims and starts challenging his own belligerent constituency of Yiddish supremacists.  They are, after all, his natural audience.  He should tell them that it will be good for the Jews to stop maligning Palestinians. He should tell them to stop teaching their kids that they are ‘Chosen People’ and start recounting the atrocities committed by Begin, Shamir and Sharon.  Maybe next Passover, he can tell them to stop pitching that ugly story about a tribal god who would waste the first born of every Egyptian family to allow the Hebrews to follow Moses out of Egypt.  It is a hideous story and it makes every Egyptian mother cringe.

Friedman would also do well to confess to his repeated attempts to sanitize the criminal war record of his idol, Ariel Sharon.  Just once, I would like Fraudulent Thomas to tackle the subject of Sharons atrocity in Qibya.  As for Sabra and Shatila, Friedman was there on site and filed a series of stories that allowed Sharon plausible deniability.  But Friedman knows the real score and can do us all a favor by publicly denouncing Sharon as a war criminal.  He could then go about the business of convincing other ‘Jewish’ community leaders to join him in condemning Sharon for his vicious assaults on innocent Palestinians.

Now, all this would be a nice beginning to ending the state of belligerency that exists between the New York Times and the Palestinians.  Once Friedman gets past these essential first steps, he can take on his publisher, Sulzberger, and demand that the New York Times stop all attempts to derail the coalition. After all, Friedman did promise in a recent article that “it was time to tell the truth”. Imagine the journalistic coup if Thomas Fraudulent went clean and decided to honorably practice his craft.  There is a good chance that Sulzberger would show him the door.  But then, Friedman could write a comprehensive study on the history of the Israeli lobby.

If Friedman was a bona fide American, as opposed to an insular ethnic,  he must have noticed that the 911 atrocities have changed the world.  It will take just one of these prominent Israel Firsters to break publicly with the lobby and the whole deck of cards will collapse. The chances of that are zip to nil.

So, we will have to just keep on doubting Thomas Friedman. A few of the articles below will explain the reason for our doubts.

Mr. Ahmed Amr is Editor of in Seattle and a regular contributor to Media Monitors Network (MMN).