Friedman Slams 'Diplomatic Pornography' of Embassy Move to Jerusalem

May 21st, 2018 2:08 PM

On his Sunday show on CNN, as Fareed Zakaria presided over a segment discussing the week's news on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only the left and the far left were included as liberal New York Times columnist Tom Friedman slammed President Donald Trump's Israel policy as "diplomatic pornography," and Palestinian activist Hanan Ashrawi claimed that all of Jerusalem is "occupied" and tried to downplay the culpability of Hamas in the violent Gaza protests and attacks on the Israeli border fence.



At 10:09 a.m. Eastern, as the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem was being discussed and after Ashrawi made her claim that all of Jerualem is "occupied," Friedman complained that President Trump had recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital without demanding Israel make any concessions in return, and complained about the move tying in with domestic Republican politics:

What Trump did is the art of the giveaway. He actually gave away one of the most valuable leverage tools in American Middle East diplomacy for free. Actually, Fareed, it was worse than free. It was actually for a bit of diplomatic pornography because when you bring in a bunch of far-right evangelical speakers to inaugurate this new embassy -- when you bring in a bunch of far-right ultraorthodox, really outside the American mainstream Jewry.

You're actually moving this embassy as part of a midterm election drive. Sheldon Adelson wrote a $30 million check to the GOP shortly before this embassy move. This was diplomatic pornography basically designed to advance the Republican midterm agenda.

A bit later, once Zakaria asked if Hamas was to blame for the violent protests on the border between Gaza and Israel, instead of making the more obvious point that Hamas is a terrorist group that has a long history of trying to provoke Israel into killing civilians for propaganda purposes, he tepidly criticized Hamas's actions, and then hinted at a moral equivalency with Israel as he declared that "the world is fed up with both sides." Here's Friedman:

All I know is, you do have to ask Hamas: "What are you doing? You're throwing these people up against this Israeli fence. You know what's going to happen." To me, it was a cover for Hamas's utter failure not just this year or last year but well over a decade of producing some kind of decent governance and opportunity in Gaza."

He soon added: "It's quite striking to me how little protest this death of scores of Palestinians engendered in the Arab world -- even in the West Bank, let alone in Europe -- and I think people are fed up with this kind of agenda, and I think the world is fed up with both sides."

It still has not been mentioned on CNN that Hamas has claimed 5/6 of the Gazans killed by the Israeli military last week were members of the terror group. The discussion also did not mention that there have been reports that Hamas paid people to approach and break through the border fence and risk being shot.

When Ashrawi had her turn, she tried to downplay Hamas's involvement and complained that "this is nothing short of a massacre" and claimed that Israel is "given a pass" to do what it wants.

In the next segment, Friedman appeared as a guest on his own and trashed conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of alienating American Jews, and cracking that he would need National Guard protection to speak on an American college campus --as if the Israeli leader had done something wrong to deserve hostility from the left.