Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Quote Of The Day: On Netanyahu Speech, Congress Says ‘Hail Bibi’ While Tom Friedman Says ‘Rubs Me the Wrong Way’
Netanyahu got 22 standing ovations from Congress yesterday, which made Times columnist Tom Friedman a bit testy today. In his concluding paragraph Friedman wrote:
I still don’t know if I will support this Iran deal, but I also have a problem with my own Congress howling in support of a flawed foreign leader trying to scuttle the negotiations by my own government before they’re done. Rubs me the wrong way.
As blunt as this sounds, in the context of what he has said before, Friedman is actually being kinda tame. In 2011 after Netanyahu’s second appearance before a joint session of Congress drew 29 standing ovations, Friedman said that the applause was “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.” Elliott Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations said Friedman’s remark was ”ugly” and should be withdrawn. Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin wrote that Friedman was insinuating "that the entire U.S. Congress is bought and paid for by a cabal of Jews.”
They’ll be those who may pushback against Friedman and defend Congress for inviting Netanyahu. But the anti Semitism charge has lost almost all of its sting, at least in terms of acknowledging the role that the Israel lobby played in yesterday's spectacle. Anyone making it just looks either clueless, intentionally deceptive, overly given to "straw man" argumentation, lacking in national pride, or a combination thereof.