Appearing on CNN with Anderson Cooper, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has spent his career attacking the Israeli right wing, astonishingly ripped into Hamas for the violence along the Israeli-Gaza border and the Palestinians who were killed, saying Hamas had committed “an act of human sacrifice.”
Cooper precipitated Friedman’s response by assuming Friedman would buy into the media’s false narrative of the correlation between the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem and the Hamas riots, ignoring that Hamas had been rioting every week for weeks: “Tom, it was striking yesterday to watch members of the Trump Administration celebrating the unveiling of the new embassy and at the same time Palestinians were being killed on the Israeli-Gaza border.”
Shockingly, Friedman ignored Cooper’s attempt and targeted Hamas instead, saying:
You know, the whole thing, Anderson, is just like diplomatic pornography from beginning to end. Let’s start with Hamas and Gaza. I mean, it was an act of human sacrifice. I’m sorry, when you throw thousands of your youth, the flower of your youth against an Israeli fence, supposedly to get into Israel, some of them surrounded by armed Hamas fighters, it was inevitable that a lot of people were gonna get killed. Israel was not going to open the border to them and Hamas knew that, and this was entirely designed by Hamas to distract the attention of the world, not to mention the Middle East.
Cooper commented, “And Hamas controls what happens in Gaza.”
Friedman answered, “Absolutely. They’re totally in control. And this is their answer to failed leadership, to turn Gaza into some kind of decent flourishing state, which they could have done. They had the choice to do that before all these blockades began and they chose not to. They have a lot to answer for.”
But Friedman couldn’t help himself, positing that Hamas was the “bad Palestinian leadership” while the Palestinian Authority (which pays the families of terrorists who murder Israelis), is the “good Palestinian leadership”:
On the other side, I don’t begrudge the Israelis defending themselves against people charging their border… but at the same time you have to ask Israelis: Hamas is the “bad Palestinian leadership,” what have you been doing with the “good Palestinian leadership” in the West Bank. Mahmoud Abbas? Where is the Israeli peace initiative there? Where is the Israeli imaginative, creative solution? What is Bibi’s peace plan? Neither Hamas nor Bibi have a peace plan on the table right now.
Yet Friedman is the same guy who said in 2014 that he had “no idea whether Israel has a Palestinian partner for a secure peace,” insisting that “given Israel’s predicament, it should be doing everything it can to test, test, test, and test again, whether it has such a Palestinian partner …”
Friedman has been railing against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for years; he has denounced the concept of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria (the so-called “West Bank”), calling Israeli settlements a “cancer for the Jewish people.”
After President Trump announced last December that he was going to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, Friedman slammed the decision, saying the United States should have demanded concessions from Netanyahu before committing to the move.
Still, his rhetoric regarding Hamas was spot-on.