Op-ed: Thomas Friedman, Court Jew
In his New York Times columns, Thomas Friedman the Jewish columnist, carries on an ongoing feud with the Jewish state. His articles on the current Egyptian crisis are no exception.
It doesn’t take much intellectual prowess or professional psychological training to realize that Mr. Friedman is actually attacking and denying his very own Judaism. Playing the role of the negative exemplars of the stereotypical Diaspora court Jew, he is filled with self-loathing, ashamed of his origins - and aims to ensure that this is common knowledge.
From his position, this is understandable. The steady Jewish population growth of 6% in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, presently nearing 650,000, actively threatens his hopes to shrink the Jewish state to narrow ghetto proportions. Those borders were aptly described by Israel’s eloquent foreign minister and UN ambassador, the late Abba Eban, who said that the pre-1967 state in its narrow borders “has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz."
Facts, such as the recent political developments in the Middle East, including the overthrow of regimes and the obvious fragility of Arab leaders, do not confuse Thomas Friedman. Had we hearkened to this prophet’s exhortations over the years, we would have put our futures in the hands of these same Arab rulers. That may be what Mr. Friedman is hoping for, a continuation of the Diaspora life led by our forebears for thousands of years.
Friedman attempts to call on the world to force the Jewish people and its state to return to the atmosphere of the days of submission and oppression in the ghetto. After all, he makes his home in the ghetto of a foreign land, lives as a Diaspora Jew, and perhaps would like to get us to join him.
The Jewish people, however, have healthy instincts, an inherited survival wish. A people who knew how to go from the valley of the shadow of death into light, from exile to redemption, and succeeded in building an independent, democratic state after 2,000 years of Gentile persecution, is wise enough to ignore the deleterious advice of Thomas Friedman, court Jew.
However, when the day comes that Mr. Friedman joins us in our mutual homeland—and if he doesn’t, perhaps his children will—I promise to welcome him with open arms, and to help him make his home in our ancestral land, near Hevron, Shechem, or Ramallah.