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September 24, 2015 12:58 pm

Thomas Friedman’s Hectoring Yom Kippur Sermon

avatar by Jerold Auerbach

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Thomas Friedman. Photo: Facebook.

Thomas Friedman. Photo: Facebook.

The pundit’s hectoring sermon, appearing in the New York Times on Yom Kippur, began as a movie review. Thomas Friedman pitched a new Israeli film, “Rabin: The Last Day,” which is “quite relevant to America today.” To be sure, the last time an American president’s “last day” ended in assassination was more than half a century ago. But why quibble over dates and details?

According to Agence France-Presse, cited by Friedman, the Israeli film “revisits a form of Jewish radicalism that still poses major risks.” Produced by Israeli director Amos Gitai, it focuses on the right-wing incitement campaign that impelled Yigal Amir to murder Israel’s Prime Minister. No wonder Friedman touts its virtues and can hardly wait to see it. With the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s assassination nearing (November 4), and with evident pleasure, he quotes Gitai’s indictment of  the “hate campaign led by hallucinating rabbis, settlers who were against the withdrawal from territories and the parliamentary right, led by the Likud, already then headed by Benjamin Netanyahu.” Friedman could hardly resist lauding an Israeli film that castigates his favorite Israeli targets.

Friedman declined to mention that Amos Gitai has been a fiercely anti-Israel Israeli for more than three decades. His first film (1980), a documentary for the Israeli television corporation (which refused to show it), depicted the attachment of Palestinians to their land i.e. the biblical Land of Israel. Fixated on Palestinians, he followed two years later with a film on the West Bank. In 1983 he further demonstrated his disaffection from Israel by relocating to Paris where, appropriately, he produced a trilogy of exile.

“The Last Day,” Gitai has explained, focuses on the vanished dream of peace and normalcy that followed Rabin’s assassination. He warns that “the men that made possible the killing of our prime minister are still around. In fact, some of them are now flirting with power.” No names are mentioned, but implications were evident. In a statement outdated by some thirty years, before he became a yored, he confessed to alarm at “the growing existence of a violent Jewish religious underground in the heart of Israeli secular society.” Perhaps it is time that he returned to Israel for another look.

Friedman, whose teen-age summer romance with Israeli kibbutzim morphed into affiliation with the J Street antecedent organization Breira while he was a Brandeis undergraduate, seldom misses an opportunity to seize the opportunity to flagellate Israel. Especially, it now seems, on Yom Kippur. This time, however, it was merely a prelude to his warning against “the divisive, bigoted campaigns of Donald Trump and Ben Carson,” thereby enabling him to kill two Republican birds with the stone of Israeli extremism.

The day after Friedman committed his first journalistic sin for atonement next year, Times editors added their own epilogue to the Iran deal. They focused on “what America must do to reassure Israel and its American supporters that the agreement will not harm Israel’s security.” The obvious answer might be repeal. But the Times believes in soft power: “Increased cooperation between America and its regional partners, including the Arab gulf states as well as Israel.” Having found its mantra of linkage between Israel and the “Arab gulf states,” it twice repeated it. Linkage was crucial. The Times could not bring itself to support Israeli security alone – with, for example, the “dubious proposal” for a massive penetrator bomb that could damage Iran’s buried nuclear enrichment facility. That would be “provocative and dangerous.” It might even work.

For Times editors, “What’s most important for Israel’s security is the relationship with the United States,” which was “put at risk” by – guess what — Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to “polarize” the debate over the Iran deal. “A crucial sense of trust needs to be rebuilt.” That admonition expresses the determination of the Times to preserve its editorial embrace of the official American position on anything to do with Israel lest it be accused of divided loyalty.

Thomas Friedman found his true home, warning lest “a whole faith community [Islam] gets delegitimized,” while touting the cinematic delegitimization of rabbis, settlers and Prime Minister Netanyahu – by, of course, an Israeli filmmaker.


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  • Yehudah Posnick

    I liked this line: ” the vanished dream of peace and normalcy that followed Rabin’s assassination”. The dream “vanished” way before that, when the number of terror attack victims soared after signing the Oslo Accords, with Hamas and the introduction of suicide bombing on Israeli buses. If Rabin would not have been assassinated, and he would have run in the ’96 election versus Netanyahu, Netanyahu would have won by a landslide, because the majority of Israelis knew that these “sacrifices for peace” (=Rabin’s euphemism for terror victims) were going nowhere. The only reason why the ’96 election was close was because the Israeli media generated so much sympathy for Peres and the “peace process” after the Rabin assassination.

  • Robert Davis

    If I was the editor of an anti Israel paper such as the nyt I would use a more intelligent guy than this idiot, transparent thing!

  • Robert Davis

    friedman is an extract of all of humanity’s vices, stupidity, cowardice, opportunism which is a form of selfishness this guy is vileny personnified, a stupid ghetto jew with no ghetto.He even looks like an idiot with his mustache to make him look like a man when he is, only a rat. Anyway it is the kind of guy that fit a paper like the NYT which is not better. Further good relations with obanana does not mean good relations with the US of course and this torchon cannot take in anyone because no one is as dumb as its staff and good for nothing editor. Israel is a friend of the US people not its non American moslem president.

  • Wm. J. Levy

    Tom Friedman is a Brandeis educated self-loathing Jew who wants to share everything with everyone.

    He has no heritage or traditions and Brandeis is known for its liberalism which means they put everyone before Jews and Judaism.

    What makes us Jews so crazy to become the best friends of our haters and love those who want to destroy us.

    I wish Friedman only the worst because he is anti-Israel to a fault like all those Jewish commentators on TV such as Jake Tepper and Dana Dash on CNN.

    Give me 500 strong Jews to bring respect back to Jews. If Jews were only as numerous and as violent as blacks along with our brains there would be no Iran destroying Israel.

  • z

    @Yoel Larry:
    “So many Jews today appear to be working against the Jewish Nation by often siding with our detractors and enemies, intellectually, socially, and politically.”

    Don’t believe the gov mafia media. It lies. Much of it is sponsored holographic theater and scripted propaganda lies. There are millions of Jews around the world. The dozen or so of paid CIA propaganda hacks (like Friedman) are complete outliers and do not represent anything except their paid masters, the CIA mafia. These are not legitimate people and neither are their gov mafia organizations. As such, they should be ignored and boycotted.

  • Al Sheeber

    Nobody ever told this cheap plagiarist to shut up!

  • Reform School

    America should be so lucky!

  • Franklin Delano Paskutnik

    These New York Times anti-Israel articles and reports are now becoming so routine that they have lapsed into tediousness.Always in the background of Jewish history there is the figure of the apostate – firstly it was against the Jewish religion and now,in a more secular world,against the Jewish State.Thomas (what an unJewish first name!)Friedman now wears the anti-Israel mantle of Jew-hating Jewish-born journalist Walter Lippmann with pride.Lippmann could never bring himself to utter the word “Israel”,let alone write it. Friedman does manage to write the word “Israel” – but only to excoriate and disparage and condemn it.And this on Yom Kippur!Shame on him!

    • Robert Davis

      A couple of rats that will never become men.

  • David Kryca

    Happy Holidays!

    Dear Sir, I do not understand the word “yored”. Would you please be so kind as to translate it into English? Thank you

    • Paul

      Yored is someone who leaves Israel. Aliya is going Up, and a Yored goes down.

  • Jack HOLAN

    Words are inadequate to describes and explain Thomas Friedman. The New York time can claim as their House Jew, because in many quarters Left and Right this is how he is perceived. If a subtle or harsh hack job is needed, Tom’s their Man and he’s Jewish too! I have just one questions , what does he see each morning when he looks into the mirror; especially Yom Kippur?

    • Robert Davis

      A kapo, a rat a mustache with a round insignificant face that looks like a buttock part…As to his stupid grin it makes him even dumber.

  • art

    tom freidman a foreign service officer wannabe is showing that he would have been the pride and joy of the arabists at the state dept. He is the one who said that Israel should take the “high road” and abandon South Lebanon and the SLA then hezzbouleh would cease to exist and the world woud love Israel, he pushed for the gaza withdrawal on the same basis. He was the waterboy for the saudis puhing their plan. He has missed few opportunities to lamblast Israel.

    • Robert Davis

      He is not credible and if gets paid for his kapo service his shares are Worth nothing since he will never be listened by anyone in Israel nor anywhere.

  • John Glueck

    Thanks to Mr. Auerbach we once again see what lies Friedman can vomit out for all the reprobates to peruse. Sadly, this slow drip of insanity has poisoned many against Israel.

  • Elliot Altman

    Too bad that Thomas Friedman can’t be excommunicated. Regarding the Iran deal, isn’t it strange that the majority of American Jews support the deal, whereas the overwhelming majority of Americans are against the deal.

    • Jon Listinsky

      Too much personal riff toward T. Friedman, isn’t it part of our tradition and history to tolerate dissident views. Does being a Jew require me to absolutely agree with every political stance that has Israel or Jew attached to it. To deny the effect of extremism in Israel today is akin to denying a toothache, ignoring something will make it go away.

  • Yoel Larry

    So many Jews today appear to be working against the Jewish Nation by often siding with our detractors and enemies, intellectually, socially, and politically. Their enmity to our long traditions of Faith, Homeland, and Ancestral Tribe are perplexing especially considering the tragic history of our persecutions and long struggle to return to our longtime ancient Israeli Nation.
    In the Biblical account of the Golden Calf we read about unfaithful remnants of the Israelites building and worshipping a Golden Calf Idol after leaving Egypt. Subsequently upon seeing what these idolators had done Moses cries out “Whoever is for G-d follow me”, and with the Faithful followers of the Nation behind him proceed to slay those who had worshipped the idol thus destroying the moral and spiritually dangerous influence of the misguided rebels.
    The golden idol of today is political leftism, sometimes under the guise of ‘secular humanism’, ‘social justice’, or even ”Tikkun Olam’ and as in the Bible many religiously faithless among the Jewish people have proceeded to bow before this godless idol, spurning the Faith and Rock of our People that’s sustained us for over several thousand years, preserving us as a People during our long bitter exile.
    These idolators have grown large in number and unduly loud in influence among Jewish Communities throughout the world, and they are no doubt a major reason why the Jewish Israelites of today have recently become weak, distracted, and almost powerless against the many Nation’s that continue to besiege and oppress us militarily and politically.
    What is needed are for the Moses within every Faithful Jewish Believer to rise up declaring in their Heart “Whoever is for G-d follow me” and take the lead to vanquish those idolators among us who endanger our Nation with their folly…Only, not with spears and swords this time.

    • Robert Davis

      Excellent explanation. But the spears and Swords would be of help.