New York Times opinion columnist Thomas Friedman, who regularly rails against the Jewish state and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is now urging President Joe Biden and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to halt all efforts to reach a Saudi-Israeli normalization deal.
In a column published on Tuesday entitled You Can’t Normalize Relations With a Government That Isn’t Normal, Friedman has the temerity to address the leader of Saudi Arabia, a country guilty of grievous human rights offenses, and Biden, saying: “Do not let Netanyahu make you his useful idiots. You cannot have normalization with an Israeli government that is not normal. It will never be a stable U.S. ally or Saudi partner.”
Friedman continues by railing against the Israeli government, claiming that it includes extremists on the level of the Klu Klux Klan.
Friedman then claims that an Israeli-Saudi normalization deal is not in America’s interest. Why? “The [deal] that is definitely not in our interest is the one that Netanyahu will try to sweet talk the United States into,” he writes. “He is trying to pull off a four-corner shot — undermine the power of Israel’s Supreme Court to restrain his extreme government, while making himself a domestic hero by pulling off a peace deal with Saudi Arabia without having to give the Palestinians anything of significance, thereby advancing his coalition’s dream of annexing the West Bank — all while getting Saudi Arabia to pay for it and Joe Biden to bless it. That deal Biden and M.B.S. must reject out of hand.”
Friedman continues by prattling on about a two-state solution, which even the Biden administration has admitted is not a viable option in the near future. Friedman justifies his demand for a two-state solution as a condition for a Saudi deal not with facts but with another meaningless statement, saying: “That is what all previous U.S. presidents have committed to — and also what King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia insisted upon in his 2002 interview with me announcing the Saudi peace initiative, which later became the Arab Peace Initiative.”
“For now, the only thing I’m certain of is what has to be stopped: This Israeli coalition has to be stopped. And, even more important, a bad deal — one that enables Netanyahu to crush the Israeli Supreme Court and win normalization from Saudi Arabia and pay such a small price to the Palestinians that the right-wing zealots in his cabinet can continue driving Israel over a cliff — absolutely has to be stopped.”
If Friedman’s lies about Israel aren’t enough, he continues by making a laughable statement, calling Biden “One of America’s best foreign policy presidents ever.”
“That’s not a deal that Biden — one of America’s best foreign policy presidents ever — should want as part of his legacy, and it’s not a deal that would be a stable foundation for the Saudi-Israeli strategic partnership that M.B.S. seeks.
Just say no. To do otherwise would be shameful,” Thomas concludes.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)