by Elyakim Haetzni
Well-known columnist Thomas Friedman summed up his recent article, Reality Check, in the New York Times as follows:
"The most important thing President Obama and the Secretary of State...can do now is...to simply get out of the picture...America
to get off the road...".
Putting aside our reservations about the way Friedman arrives at the above conclusion- his insulting style, the familiarity bordering on condescension (can it be due to his Jewish origins?) and skewed judgment--every Israeli patriot agrees with him. He is right when he says "you cannot desire peace more than the sides themselves do, and that is what America is doing. The people running Israel and Palestine today have other priorities. The time has come for us to leave them to their own devices--to let them live with the results."
Friedman, arrogant and full of self-importance, would be surprised to know that the "silent majority", whom he claims to represent in his article, sees American intervention as a problem, not a solution.
Friedman terms the rejection of America's demand for another freeze "an irresponsible choice" made by those who receive unconditional aid, something akin to drug users who "think that they can challenge the laws of history, geography and democracy" and ask for money to agree to do what is in their own best interest.
It is worth noting how America managed to serve her own best interests in Vietnam, and why Iran and and Al-Quaeda may be taking America's place in Iran and Afghanistan. U.S. soldiers are thousands of kilometers from home, whereas for Israel it is all happening right next door.
"Laws of history"? Do the Palestinian Arabs have a history? And what do the laws of geography have to say about the range of a pistol shot between the two parts of a divided Jerusalem, about a country surrounded by enemies with a width of less than 14 kilometers at its narrowest point? As far as demography goes, Friedman added 1 million unborn children to the PA population (citing "2.5 million"!!?) and about 300,000 to the count of Israeli Arabs.
And how does he know that the "silent majority" of Jews and Arabs want to divide the country, in clear contradiction to election and survey results--certainly among the Arabs?!
Take another insulting sentence: "Israel, when America--a nation that showered you with billions and protected you in infinite international forums--asks you to freeze settlements for 3 months...there is only one correct answer, and it is not 'how many?' but 'yes, whatever you want, because you are the only friend we have in the world'".
Aside from the anti-Semitic nuance ("how many?"), Friedman is right: accepting humiliating largesse results in dependence, however: America certainly would not call anyone who wished to take the birthplace of her nation,Washington D.C. and the 13 colonies, from her in the early years of her independence, her "only friend".
In addition: Israel has given America a significant return on her investment, mostly etched in blood. In order to serve American interests, Israel was forced to give most of the fruits of her military victories back to the hands of her defeated enemies. In the Yom Kippur war, at America's request, Israel refrained from striking first and paid a huge price in loss of life, Israel also freed Egypt's Third Army from encirclement and retreated. In return, America succeeded in adding Egypt to the Western bloc. America still has no one else but Israel on whom to rely. How much does it cost America to have this kind of base in other places?
Friedman's slap-in-the-face article warns: "He who hates gifts will live." It is enough for us to have a healthy, give and take friendship with the United States based on mutual interests alone: global strategy and the war on terror, shared values and culture, the connection with millions of our nation and tens of millions of our spiritual friends who share the Book of Books with us. Forget about anything beyond that.
It is worth giving up billions to avoid Friedman and his newspaper's humiliations as well as those of Obama and his liberal (read supercilious and elitist leftists, as is usual everywhere) minority friends. We are not referring to the U.S. Congress, (which recently passed a resolution calling upon the President to veto any proposition tabled in the Security Council recognizing unilateral declaration of Palestinian independence) or the American public, that supported friends of Israel in the recent elections.
Why is it so hard for Friedman to understand that a normal nation would prefer to live on bread and water rather than sell its homeland and future for gold? Besides, Israel's economy will do just fine without the funding, if there is any, that America gives us beyond what she deems to be in her own best interest.
(translated with the writer's permission)
Atty. Elyakim Haetzni is a lawyer and former Knesset member who resides in Kiryat Arba.
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.