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Thomas Friedman: Congress More Interested in Jewish Votes than Obama’s Iran Plan

November 21, 2013 7:54 am 23 comments

Thomas L. Friedman, foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times. Photo: WEF.

Thomas Friedman, in the New York Timesdefends the Obama administration’s offering concessions to Iran and has this to say about those who disagree:

Never have I seen Israel and America’s core Arab allies working more in concert to stymie a major foreign policy initiative of a sitting U.S. president, and never have I seen more lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — more willing to take Israel’s side against their own president’s. I’m certain this comes less from any careful consideration of the facts and more from a growing tendency by many American lawmakers to do whatever the Israel lobby asks them to do in order to garner Jewish votes and campaign donations.

He’s certain that members of Congress care little about Iran and are more loyal to the almighty Jewish dollar than to their own country.

Because how can any thinking person possibly believe that giving concessions to Iran is a bad deal? It must be the Jewish money that corrupts their mindset!

Of course, Friedman admits:

If you’re not skeptical about Iran, you’re not paying attention. Iran has lied and cheated its way to the precipice of building a bomb, and without tough economic sanctions — sanctions that President Obama engineered but which Netanyahu and the Arab states played a key role in driving — Iran would not be at the negotiating table. I also understand the specific concerns of the Gulf Arabs, which I’d summarize as: “It looks to us as if you want to do this deal and then get out of the region — and leave behind an Iran that will only become economically more powerful, at a time when it already has enormous malign influence in Syria, Iraq, in Lebanon through Hezbollah, and in Bahrain.”

But our greedy members of Congress aren’t thinking that deeply. Only Friedman is, just enough to dismiss it:

I get it, but I also don’t think we’d just abandon them.

You see? Friedman doesn’t think anything bad will happen, and by gosh, that’s all anyone needs! On the basis of his wonderful track record, Congress should do what he says, not what logic dictates!

There is plenty more to criticize in this column – Friedman makes a bizarre comparison between negotiating with Iran and Israel building “more settlements.” Really. He exaggerates the Israeli position in order to pompously dismiss it: “While, Netanyahu believes more sanctions will get Iran to surrender every piece of its nuclear technology, Iran experts say that is highly unlikely.” However, Netanyahu never demanded that – no one ha a problem with a peaceful nuclear energy program. And there are plenty of other factoids that Friedman knows he can get away with, because New York Times op-ed fact checkers are not exactly known to care too much about facts.

The bottom line is, though, that Thomas Friedman is insulting hundreds of democratically elected members of Congress, essentially accusing them of disloyalty to their own country. While dismissing any real concerns about Iranian nuclear weapons and how they would affect the world.  All  in order to defend a single elected president’s inconsistent and frightening Middle East policy.

And he does it using an antisemitic “Jews control America” canard.

Elder of Ziyon is one of the world’s most popular pro-Israel bloggers. His website is


  • “Never have I seen Israel and America’s core Arab allies working more in concert to stymie a major foreign policy initiative of a sitting U.S. president, and never have I seen more lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — more willing to take Israel’s side against their own president’s….”

    All very true. Maybe Friedman should ask himself why that impressive and unlikely coalition is wrong and he is right instead of making cartoonish and incoherent observations as to why that coalition exists.

  • To show you what a fool the short and dumpy Friedman is. In one of Friedman’s books he uses the symbols of the Star and the Cross in comparison to Islam’s Crescent moon.His point how foolish it seems to normal people is that the Star of David and the Cross have sharp and inflexible angles while the Crescent moon of Islam is softer and less sharp.This is type of ridiculous equations Friedman uses to get his points across.

  • Thomas Friedman has the honor and knack of invention to turn bulls%#& into a money-making commodity.

  • Fritz Kohlhaas

    Friedman is a dangerous fool!

    • Dorothy Seidel Wigod

      You have to wonder if anybody edits his column, I mean, looks at it for possible errors of logic or coherence. Possibly even Friedman himself does not reread what he has written. If he did, he might edit himself. But, alas.

  • Friedman proves, once again, how ignorant and stupid man he is. His past global analysis have always proved to be a bunch of idiotic ideas. Now he shows his ignorance in the afairs of his own country. The “Jewish vote” and the so called “Jewish money” is no longer a facctor in American politics. The real force behind Israel in the USA are the fundamentalist Christians who dominate the politics of many States. It always easy to lash at the Jews especially if you are a jew like Friedman who is always looking for an opportunity to prove how “loyal” he is to America….

  • As it happens, Friedman is enormously wealthy, has a highly influential column in the NYT – but its those other Jews who have all the money and power ….

  • Wow. This Almond Joy has really gone off the rez.

    “Never have I seen Israel and America’s core Arab allies working more in concert to stymie a major foreign policy initiative of a sitting U.S. president, and never have I seen more lawmakers — Democrats and Republicans — more willing to take Israel’s side against their own president’s.”

    I assume Tom has his strengths, but it appears math and simple logic are not among them. To begin with, if I disagree with every single person in the room, there is a strong possibility that I’M the one with his head up his rear end.

    ISRAEL and AMERICA’S CORE ARAB ALLIES oppose Ogenius’ “initiative.” What do they know, right? And given the fact that Obrainsurgeron is a “SITTING PRESIDENT,” clearly he must be right. How impossibly bizarre that Friedman would place such blind deference to a man simply because of the authority vested in him by virtue of the title he holds. “Oh, well, if it’s the SITTING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES talking, CLEARLY he’s right and everybody else is wrong. Sorry to resort to name-calling, but what an unbelievable douche.

    You know who else is wrong? Congress. Those idiots can’t get ANYTHING right. Imagine the AUDACITY of a co-equal branch of the goverment opposing the actions of their president. Sacre bleu! Mon dieu! Holy Guacamole!

    Who else is wrong? France and other foreign governments involved who Oturnover circumvented in an outrageously disrespectful manner by SECRETLY engaging with Iranian officials behind the back of these other parties. Sounds a LOT like Ofouledout ripped a page from the book of the president’s predecessor whom THIS president lambasted for going it alone in matters of foreign policy. Which leads to the reasonable conclusion that THIS “sitting president of the United States” is a shameless hypocrite of stunning proportions.

    And nice touch throwing in the irresistable influence of the all powerful “Israel lobby.” Nothing like stoking the flames of anti-Semitism (which really need it!). Like anti-Semitic zombies around the globe, this man buys into and openly promotes a belief in the almost supernatural powers of the “Jewish lobby.” I hope the editors let this through, but what an unbelievable dik.

    Talk about a fifth column. This guy has inserted himself so far into “friendly” territory that he’s able to maneuver through its very bloodstream. This wacko is more dangerous and insidious than a dozen Al Jazeera’s. The degree of extremism Thomas Friedman routinely displays is quite literally impossible to understand. I don’t know about your definition of “irrational,” but that just about captures mine. Time to take this guy into custody and trade him for one our spies captured across enemy “lines.”

    P.S. Is he SERIOUS with all that “sitting president of the United States” nonsense? No seriously… Seriously? Wow.

  • Friedman is just a self hating PUTZ!!! He dumps on his own people and motherland just to appear to be evenhanded regardless of the right or wrong of the question!!!!!

  • I wonder whether it has ever occurred to Friedman that Obama might, just possibly might be wrong on how he is addressing the Iran situation. His position is tenable only if he believes “Obama right or wrong, but since he’s never wrong, no-one has anything to worry about.”

    Let’s hope the “deal” he gets from Iran is more credible than Obamacare.

    • Having acknowledged how Iran lied and cheated, and that not only Israel – but also the Gulf States have due concerns – the sentence “I get it, but I also don’t think we’d just abandon them” comes over as rather weak and absurd… Not to mention Benghazi, Syria etc. So Mr Friedman proposes that vulnerable nations lie down and watch their populations be existentially threatened, and then look to the Obama regime to defend them? Really???????????

    • bonnie loranger

      I totally agree with you.

  • Fat boy friedman has always been a self hating Jew!

  • Friedman works for the NYTimes…he needs to go all over the Middle East…if the man overtly favors or simply writes something nice about Israel, or criticizes Hamas, El Qaida, Hezbollah or any other Muslim pistoleros…he would not survive thirty minutes after he lands in Amman, Beirut or Teheran. News reporters interested in ME affairs are well aware of this.
    After all the heck with Israel…it’s only one of many countries in the area….and if Friedman per chance lands in Tel Aviv the odds are that he will make it to his five star hotel and back to the airport alive…..

  • Odd, my reaction was the exact opposite. I have always thought that Friedman was a neocon pro-Israel right or wrong guy, and I am pleasantly surprised to learn that he has some fair journalism in him. And Israel’s true long-term interests at heart.

    • Roger…you, like Friedman, have no idea what you’re talking about. Friedman is a terrorist-sympathizing, Israel-despising, self-hating Jew.

    • Mr Green…as early as the sixties while a student at Brandeis Mr Friedman belonged to a group called Breira..It was an anti Zionist pro Palestinian org..He hasn’t changed a whit..he is reviled in Israel and rightly so because he’s what we call a self hater, wanting to be loved…that’s what happens when you distance yourself from your DNA and become “progressive”.

      Breira (full name “Breira: A Project of Concern in Diaspora-Israel Relations”) was an organization founded to express a left-wing position on Israel. Formed in 1973, it lasted until 1977.

      Breira dissented from what it saw as the hard line Jewish organizational perspective that said there is no alternative in the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War. The group took the Hebrew name Breira—meaning “alternative”—in response to the cry of ein breira, or “there is no alternative.”

      In 1973, Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf served as founding chair of the movement. In its first public statement, Breira called for Israel to make territorial concessions and recognize the legitimacy of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people in order to achieve lasting peace. David Tuilin was the vice-president, Inge Gibel was the treasurer. Rabbi Gerald Sirotta was an active member. As its national chairman, Wolf stated that the name signified, “our desire for an alternative to the intransigence of both the PLO and the several governments of Israel.” The group proposed a two state solution.[1]

      In July 1976, Spiro Agnew’s organization, Education for Democracy, labeled them dangerous and “anti-Israel”,[3] even as Agnew himself was being accused of antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment.[4] Hillel was accused of punishing employees who joined Breira.

      In December 1976, they agreed to meet with the PLO. Wolf stipulated that they meet as private individuals and that it be understood that they were not involved in any political negotiations. The initiative was supported by Jewish intellectuals Nathan Glazer and Irving Howe. Meeting representatives included Rabbi Max Ticktin and Arthur Waskow representing Breira, and the American Jewish Congress, B’nai Brith, and the National Council of Jewish Women. Waskow wrote a widely circulated opinion piece about speaking to the PLO.[5]

      Also in December 1976, the Jerusalem Post ran a story portraying the organization as supporting terrorists, whereupon many members left the group. On February 20, 1977, when Breira held its first national membership conference in Chevy Chase, Maryland, the convention was attacked by Jewish Defense League members.[6]

      In May 1977, the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism blocked two members of Breira, Wolf and Rabbi Everett Gendler, from membership in the organization’s executive council. The RA felt that the organization was giving aid to Israel’s enemies. At that time, according to the New York Times article, Breira had 1500 members.[7]

      Isaiah L. Kenen, the former American Israel Public Affairs Committee executive director, while still serving as the editor of its Near East Report, helped to label the group as “anti-Israel”, “pro-PLO”, and “self-hating Jews”. Kenen charged that Breira “undermined U.S. support for Israel”.

    • Roger, assuming that you are not being sarcastic, it is so very refreshing to hear a cool-headed remark not tinted with fanatic hate of the Jew towards another Jew. Thanks.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    Thomas Friedman has officially become an enemy of the Jews. No different than the right wing neo nazi hate speech or the insane Arab or Iranian press.

    • Amen!

    • How about when Friedman supported Sens Lieberman and
      Schumer to take on Iraq, Israel’s number one enemy.
      He wasn’t always wrong.

      • Marty:

        First of all, the Israelis didn’t consider Iraq the primary threat in 2002 and said as much. The Israelis were, howerver, gravely concerned about Iran.

        And after supporting the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, Friedman, unlike the late Christopher Hitchens, promptly changed his position.

        So, with Friedman, like a broken analogue clock, he may be right, momentarily, twice a day. Keeping him on the op-ed page is either a ploy to get lots of internet hits from angry readers or merely consistent with such practices as covering the murder of a young off-duty member of the IDF by publishing a picture of the accused murderer’s hejab and abeya-wearing mother, who is no doubt looking forward to receiving the usual stippend from the PA for her son’s murderous act.

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