Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Don't leave Tom Friedman in charge of the signs

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman has some advice for the Palestinians:
Announce that every Friday from today forward will be “Peace Day,” and have thousands of West Bank Palestinians march nonviolently to Jerusalem, carrying two things — an olive branch in one hand and a sign in Hebrew and Arabic in the other. The sign should say: “Two states for two peoples. We, the Palestinian people, offer the Jewish people a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders — with mutually agreed adjustments — including Jerusalem, where the Arabs will control their neighborhoods and the Jews theirs.”
A few questions: Is it physically possible to march with an olive branch in one hand and a 80-word sign in the other? Can you even fit 500 characters on a protest sign? And is Tom Friedman the worst writer in the history of humankind or just a deftly performed caricature of the banal, passing-off-received-idiocy-as-insight American Newspaper Columnist?

(via Matt Bors)


  1. Dave Seldon11:10 AM

    He actually had a simple and easy to remember slogan in the first sentence. Afflicted with diarrhea of the pen & incapable of self-editing. And don't forget, he wants it in 2 languages, so 80 words! Gonna be a big ol' sign ...

  2. And don't forget, he wants it in 2 languages, so 80 words!

    Damn, you're right, which raises the question: Does anyone at the NYT even read Friedman's columns before they're published?

  3. And does Friedman actually believe that Israel would EVER agree to withdraw to its 1967 borders or even remove a substantial number of settlements in the West Bank? Does Friedman actually believe that the Palestinians would EVER agree to an indefensible Bantustan state where all the water is controlled by Israel?

    Aren't we at the end of the road for the 2-state solution?

  4. Everythings Jake12:43 PM

    "I was talking to a Palestinian goatherder whose folksy modesty made me realize I've had another brilliant insight I must share with the world. (I know, again right? I'm just lucky that way). Wait for it.

    The Separation Wall isn't flat.

    BOO-YAH! Go with me on this. Graffiti goes on walls. Goatherders can't build walls (one day, when Israel is no longer forced to defend itself against unarmed protestors on fishing boats throwing themselves in front of Israeli weapons being inadvertently discharged, Gaza will have concrete again).

    But until then, in the golden age of post-modern entrepenuerial internet zeitgeist capital financialization, the vast majority of you will be truly blessed to have only the illusion of food, shelter, and the basic necessities (fantasy is so much better than reality - you can't imagine how hard the upkeep on my wife's mansion is, so much time wasted that could be spent talking to Tunisian hotel clerks). And that's why the bi-lingual verticality of protest signs carried by people at all times will help bring the walls down. The Palestinians will, of course, need a good workout regimen emphasizing upper body strength. Jack Lalane had a flat stomach, you see.

    When Charlie Rose fellates me on his show next Tuesday night (curiously I'll be erect and not horizontal at the time) I'll have spoken to a few chambermaids at the Sofitel and really honed the marketing message for my book ont his subject - Charlie's not a peasant, but I'm still blessed with brilliance when he asks me questions. I really hope that Palestinian fruit-stand girl I was talking to to in the bazaar will be watching (she was nicely curvy in a flat kind of way) - she really got what I was saying and nodded (off) vigorously while I explained to her for two hours why she didn't need to charge me for the apple.

    It's all a sign of the times."

    From "The Unpublished Thomas Friedman" coming in July 2011 to a group of Palestinians holding posterboards near you.