For decades New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman balanced his substantively anti-Israel positions with repeated protestations of love for Israel.
His balancing act ended last week when he employed traditional anti-Semitic slurs to dismiss the authenticity of substantive American support for Israel.
Channeling the longstanding anti-Semitic charge that Jewish money buys support for power-hungry Jews best expressed in the forged 19th century Protocols of the Elders of Zion and in John Mearshimer's and Stephen Walt's 2007 book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Friedman denied the significance of the US Congress's overwhelming support for Israel.
As he put it, "I sure hope that Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, understands that the standing ovation he got in Congress this year was not for his politics. That ovation was bought and paid for by the Israel lobby."
It would be nice if Friedman is forced to pay some sort of price for finally coming out of the closet as a dyed-in-the-wool Israel hater. But he probably won't. As he made clear in his column, he isn't writing for the general public, but for a very small, select group of elitist leftists. These are the only people who matter to Friedman. And they matter to him because they share his opinions and his goal of indoctrinating young people to adopt his pathologically hostile views about Israel and his contempt for the American public that supports it.
It doesn't matter to Friedman that overwhelming survey evidence, amassed over decades, show that the vast majority of the American public and the American Jewish community support Israel. It doesn't matter to him that the support shown to Netanyahu in Congress last May was a reflection of that support.
As he put it, "The real test is what would happen if Bibi tried to speak at, let's say, the University of Wisconsin. My guess is that many students would boycott him and many Jewish students would stay away."
Embedded in this statement are two key points. First, Friedman assesses that the prevailing view on US college campuses are his own radical views. And he is convinced that college students share his views.
As he sees it, if college students share his views, then it doesn't matter that Congress supports Israel today. Through the youth, he and his anti-Israel colleagues will own the future.
The key question then is is Friedman right? Do he and his friends on the Israel bashing Left own the future? Are their efforts to convince young Americans in places like University of Wisconsin to embrace leftist dogmas, including rejection of Israel's rights working? Is support for Israel diminishing?
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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