"THESE were the main regional news headlines in The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday: 'Home Front Command simulates missile strike during drill.' Egypt’s President 'Morsi opts for safety as police battle protestors.' In Syria, 'Fight spills over into Lebanon.' 'Darkness at noon for fearful Damascus residents.' 'Tunisian Islamists, leftists clash after jobs protests.' 'NATO warns Syria not to use chemical weapons.' And my personal favorite: ''Come back and bring a lot of people with you' — Tourism Ministry offers tour operators the full Israeli experience.'"
Regarding the "full Israeli experience," which, according to Friedman, consists of "failed or failing state authority on four of its borders — Gaza, South Lebanon, Syria and the Sinai Desert of Egypt" (no mention of persistent threats by Iran to exterminate Israel), Tom next observes the purported manner in which Israelis respond to this uncertainty:
"There are two major schools of thought here. One, led by Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, comprises the 'Ideological Hawks,' who, to the question, 'Do you know what neighborhood I am living in?' tell Israelis and the world, 'It is so much worse than you think!' Bibi goes out of his way to highlight every possible threat to Israel and essentially makes the case that nothing Israel does has ever or can ever alter the immutable Arab hatred of the Jewish state or the Hobbesian character of the neighborhood. Netanyahu is not without supporting evidence. Israel withdraws from both South Lebanon and Gaza and still gets hit with rockets."
Friedman, of course, is more attuned to what he informs us is the "other major school of thought," dedicated to seeking out "a Palestinian partner for a secure peace."
Well, as long as we are playing the Jerusalem Post headline game, I think Friedman would do well to go online now and read "Mashaal vows Hamas will not concede land" (http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=295124). This article by Khaled Abu Toameh begins:
"Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal Saturday reiterated his movement's refusal to 'give up one inch of the land of Palestine.'
Mashaal, who arrived in the Gaza Strip for the first time ever on Friday, said: 'Palestine from the river [the Jordan River] to the sea [the Mediterranean], from the north to the south, is our land and we will never give up one inch or any part of it.'
Mashaal was speaking to hundreds of thousands of Hamas supporters during a rally in Gaza City marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of Hamas.
Behind him was an emblem of an M75 missile and a large portrait of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin.
As Mashaal spoke, the crowd chanted slogans calling on Hamas's armed wing to launch rockets next time at Haifa."
Yup, Israel should just go on courting those peace-loving Palestinians dedicated to killing civilians and putting an end to the State of Israel.
Thank you as always, Tom, for your profound understanding of the Israeli experience. Where would Israel possibly be without friends like you?