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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thomas Friedman's "End of Mideast Wholesale": Road Apples

In a New York Times op-ed entitled "End of Mideast Wholesale" (, Thomas Friedman today showcases his ignorance and arrogance regarding Israel and developments in Egypt. Friedman writes:

"For the last 30 years, Israel enjoyed peace with Egypt wholesale — by having peace with just one man, Hosni Mubarak. That sale is over. Today, post-Mubarak, to sustain the peace treaty with Egypt in any kind of stable manner, Israel is going to have to pay retail. It is going to have to make peace with 85 million Egyptians. The days in which one phone call by Israel to Mubarak could shut down any crisis in relations are over.

Amr Moussa, the outgoing head of the Arab League and the front-runner in polls to succeed Mubarak as president when Egypt holds elections in November, just made that clear in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. Regarding Israel, Moussa said: 'Mubarak had a certain policy. It was his own policy, and I don’t think we have to follow this. We want to be a friend of Israel, but it has to have two parties. It is not on Egypt to be a friend. Israel has to be a friend, too.'”

Amr Moussa wants to be "a friend of Israel"? Apparently, it never occurred to Friedman that Amr Moussa is capable of saying one thing to The Wall Street Journal, intended to soothe Western sensibilities, while saying something quite different to the Egyptian media. Friedman still doesn't understand that in the Muslim Middle East, prevarication, i.e. taqiyya (see:, is sanctioned from above when seeking to vanquish non-believers.

Observe the "other" Amr Moussa speaking with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masri Al-Yawm on April 21, 2011 (

"The Camp David Accords signed between Egypt and Israel have expired and no longer govern the situation, Arab League secretary-general and potential Egyptian presidential candidate Amr Moussa has said.

Moussa, who participated in the negotiations with Israel in 1978, made the statements during a discussion with Egyptian youth.

He added, 'What governs the relationship between the two countries is the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 and the Egyptian-Israeli treaty.'"

Or in other words, Moussa is paving the way for another war with Israel.

As noted by Eric Trager in an article entitled "The Throwback" ( in The New Republic:

"Despite having represented the combined interests of the Arab world’s 22 autocracies for the last decade, he is now the frontrunner to succeed Mubarak in what could be Egypt’s first-ever truly democratic presidential election. And Moussa owes his startling political ascendance primarily to one thing: his shameless exploitation of anti-Israel demagoguery for political gain.

. . . .

As Egypt’s top diplomat, Moussa immediately projected an adversarial approach toward the United States and Israel. One of the first issues he handled was the Madrid Peace Conference, which the George H.W. Bush administration hoped would help shape a new regional order following the Persian Gulf War. When Israel insisted that the administration push for the repeal of a U.N. General Assembly Resolution that equated Zionism with racism as a precondition for joining the peace conference, Moussa demanded that the issue be tabled until after the conference, and Egypt was ultimately absent from the vote.

. . . .

He declared that U.S. support for Israel 'poisoned' the peace process, and, after the U.S. presented evidence of a Libyan chemical weapons program to the Mubarak regime, Moussa publicly denied that such evidence existed. He backed Yasser Arafat’s refusal to compromise on Jerusalem during and after the failed Camp David summit in the summer of 2000; called on the Arab world to support the Palestinian Intifada in October of that same year; and declared the Palestinians’ 'right of return' to Israel a 'sacred right,' over strong U.S. objections."

Friedman believes it is incumbent upon Israel to befriend this man? Thanks for the gratuitous advice, Tom, but you know what you can do with it.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I don't see TF saying Israel needs to befriend Moussa and Egypt anywhere in the article. As far as having peace partners in the region after the uprisings, I don't think you two are too far apart. It's just that TF circles around his point before settling down, and never really names it; you are far more direct, and perhaps reactive regarding motives across the border and potential for conflict. But then again, you live about 9000km closer to that border than he does.