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Thomas Friedman Saw a Movie

13 August, 2010

By Andre MOSES*


Leading US journalist's important revelation about Gaza


Abstract: Thomas Friedman has seen a documentary. This leading publicist of The New York Times and to some extent of the whole liberal journalism in the United States, writes in his recent article that this movie is a revelation; it taught him something profound about Gaza, about the Israelis and about another obstacle to peace: blind Palestinian hatred. Will this revelation have a lasting impact on Friedman's and on the liberal media's views and actions?   


For decades Thomas Friedman of the New York Times led the belief that Jewish settlements and settlers were the main obstacles to peace in the Middle East. The demonization of Jewish settlers as if they were the cause of all evil in the Middle East was promoted not only by many Arab and most Palestinian politicians but also by certain Western liberal, intellectual, academic and other circles - all from their own reasons.


But now Thomas Friedman saw this movie titled "Precious life". For the full presentation of his views you can see his whole article ‘Steal this movie' . Briefly, a Palestinian baby called Mohammed born in Gaza with a lethal illness, was saved by the compassion of an Israeli, by the money donated by another Israeli and by the medical expertise and devotion of several further Israelis in the Tel Hashomer hospital in Tel Aviv, where the lifesaving bone-marrow treatment of Mohammed took place. To which the baby's mother, Raida reflected by wishing Mohammed will "grow up to be a suicide bomber to help  recover Jerusalem".  


Thomas Friedman abruptly understood something profound about the meeting of the culture of life with the culture of death.   "There is something foul in the air" - he writes now - "It is a trend, both deliberate and inadvertent, to delegitimize Israel - to turn it into a pariah state, particularly in the wake of the Gaza war".  Certain people like Oliver Stone say  "crazy things" to this effect, says Friedman - as if  demonization, the ideological background of all genocides were merely a "crazy thing".  But all in all Friedman firmly condemns these views, he calls them "destructive criticism" and this is a very positive development.


However, Friedman still argues in this article that "Israel's colonial settlements... are suicidal for Israel".   Now, these settlements may be right or wrong, but definitely are not the suicidal or the main obstacles to peace.  It seems the question hasn't appeared to Friedman yet that, as 1.5 million Arabs can live peacefully in Israel today, with more wealth and more human rights than their Arab brothers in any of the 22 Arab countries, why could not 0.3 million Jews he calls ‘settlers' live peacefully among Palestinians, whether of wise or unwise, of personal or other reasons? Even if that area would belong to the future Palestinian state, why should this state be "free of Jews" or more authentically: ‘judenrein'?!


So, the main obstacles to peace are not the settlers, but the indoctrination of Raida, and those who indoctrinate the ‘raidas' to murderous hatred.  Friedman starts to understand at least this obstacle. Another major obstacle to peace is the limitless and unconditional Western funding, dedicated, through the UN's most generous sub-organization UNRWA, solely to the Gaza refugees and to their phenomenal growth, from 250,000 actual refugees to the present 1.4 million sons, grandsons and great-grandsons of those refugees in 60 years.  With this type of funding no wonder this challenge is never solved, only inflated without limit.


The slow and painful process of dismantling these and other real obstacles to peace should start now.  The question is whether the revelation Thomas Friedman made will have a lasting impact on his views and actions? Or, will his and his friends' past views, which earned them their reputation, swallow and digest all what they have understood anew? The uphill learning process which started with their recent revelation can lead to a better future through a true peace process, based not on illusions and on the demonization of the Israeli settlers but on the hard reality discovered now.  Thomas Friedman and his friends could contribute a lot to this true peace process if they truly want to.       Read Friedman's full article.


          * Andre Moses aka Endre Mozes is the founder chairman of Take-A-Pen http://www.takeapen.org/ ,  an international grass-roots organization and website acting for the truth about Israel and against its defamation, in 18 languages.

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