Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
In his silly and more-dishonest-than-usual column for December 5, “Intifada 11 is Over” the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman (for not the first and probably not the last time) blames Yassar Arafat and the Palestinian Authority for rejecting a so-called unprecedented “peace offering” in the form of a Palestinian state. This grand offer supposedly occurred […]

Does Tom Freidman Read the New York Times?

by Jack McCarthy

In his silly and more-dishonest-than-usual column for December 5, “Intifada 11 is Over” the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman (for not the first and probably not the last time) blames Yassar Arafat and the Palestinian Authority for rejecting a so-called unprecedented “peace offering” in the form of a Palestinian state.

This grand offer supposedly occurred during negotiations in the waning days of the Clinton administration. At the time Clinton made a lot of news by claiming Arafat wouldn’t budge on anything.

But as the Times itself reported not long ago, based on diplomatic reports, the record shows that if anything it was the Israeli Prime Minister Barak, and not Arafat, who was obstinate and unyielding.

Why then does Friedman continue to parrot this blatant falsehood? Why does Freidman never provide “context” for the current round of violence?

As Freidman is well aware, the current intifida was ignited by matches lit by both Ariel Sharon and Barak in the midst of the election for Prime Minister. Barak pissed away the Oslo Accords during the Clinton round of negotiations to prove his mettle with Israeli hardliners and Sharon did his infamous waddle/swagger across Muslim holy ground in Jerusalem.

Friedman never mentions this.

It’s not unreasonable conclude that Freidman is using his perch at the Times for his own personal agenda–call it Bin Friedmanism. Like that other preppie news dweeb, Jonathan (“Tortureboy”) Alter at Newsweek, Friedman is vicariously flexing his muscles by cheering loudly for Sharon as he supposedly mops up Palestinian “bin ladenism.”

Freidman, however, doesn’t mention that it’s not Hamas and Islamic Jihad (who Friedman says has hijacked the Palestinian cause) who are being attacked today. It’s Arafat and company.

In his December 5 column Osama Bin Friedman can be found parroting the Sharon line and all but calls on the Palestinians to kill Arafat. He warns that Sharon shouldn’t go after Arafat. “Leave that for the Palestinians.”

One wonders who Friedman thinks Hamas and Jihad hijacked the Palestinian movement from?

As he this sleaze weasel always does, Freidman makes a quick feint toward the root cause of the conflict:settlements and occupation. Friedman briefly urges that the U.S. pressure Israel on these issues but then, israeli bombs strapped to his brain, Friedman opens up fire again on Arafat for not taking advantage at the Clinton round.

In the end the question remains:

Does Thomas Friedman read the New York Times?