Friedman's Clueless Middle East Advice

(Commentary) Jonathan S. Tobin - After so many years of being wrong about the Palestinians being ready to make peace with Israel, it is difficult to take New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's Middle East advice columns seriously. But his latest effort contains some whoppers. He starts out with praise for imprisoned Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouti as an "authentic leader." But what makes Barghouti "authentic" to Palestinians is his role in the murder of Israeli civilians (for which he is currently serving five life sentences). Let's remember that Barghouti's mass murder spree took place in the immediate aftermath of an Israeli peace offer that was not much different from the scheme Friedman now thinks the Palestinians will accept. PA leader Yasir Arafat turned down Ehud Barak's offers of a state in 2000 and 2001 and answered it with a terror war that cost more than 1,000 Israelis their lives courtesy of killers like Barghouti. Arafat's successor Mahmoud Abbas walked away from another such offer in 2008. Unlike Friedman, Israelis aren't prepared to ignore the results of two decades of Middle East peace processing during which they have traded land and received terror instead of peace. Netanyahu has already said he'd accept a two-state solution and the vast majority of Israelis would support him if he were presented with a deal that ended the conflict. Just as in 1977 when Egypt's Sadat went to Jerusalem, the Israelis are ready to deal. The problem is that, unlike Sadat, the Palestinians aren't actually willing to live in peace alongside the Jewish state.

2012-04-05 00:00:00

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