By Schmoel Yitzhak
If anything is to be learned from the Gaza flotilla episode it is that deception sells.
"Aid" for "belaguered" Gazans was merely a cover for a hostile action. Only an ostrich would think otherwise.
The gambit was contrived by Turkey to embarass Israel and yet the world press fell for the ploy like a horse chomping on a sugar cube.
Turkey's full-fledged swing to the Islamic side should have convinced fair-minded journalists that Istanbul no longer can be trusted in the world political arena especially since the Turks still insist that the Armenian massacre never took place.
Instead of slamming the Erdogan government and supporting Israel, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman jetted to Istanbul where he then rhapsodized about the need for Uncle Sam to be nice to a conniving government bent on igniting a war with Israel.
Knowing Friedman’s history of sucking up to dictators, the fact that he felt a need to sweet-talk the Turks should not have surprised.
One of the best exposes of Friedman The Phony was delivered by the now-defunct New York Sun newspaper.
In a scathing editorial slamming the reigning king of journalistic pretension, The Sun compared Friedman to the disgraced Times of London editor Geoffrey Dawson prior to World War II.
Dawson counseled the course of appeasement with Adolf Hitler although the Nazi dictator had long since launched his genocide campaign against European Jews.
It required time and six million Jewish corpses to prove that Dawson was wrong and, according to many journalistic historians, his tenure stained the reputation of the Times for two generations.
For the past decade, Friedman has stained the reputation – whatever is left of it – of the Times of New York.
No surprise there since the New York Times pushed the Oslo accord which would have been a total disaster for Israel.
Friedman mocked the free government-in-exile of Iraq, the Iraqi National Congress. This after the American Congress voted to fund the democratic resistance in Iraq.
That Friedman should be romancing the Turks should come as no surprise to those who remember his expedition to Saudi Arabia, hardly a pinnacle of democracy.
This hypocritical exercise in hype occurred while suicide bombers were slaughtering Jews in Israel.
So what does the Times do? It dispatches Friedman to convene with the Saudis. He met with crown prince Abdullah after which he trumpeted a peace plan so tilted against Israel, it hardly merited repetition.
“What was its central plank?” commented The Sun. “That after the wave of suicide bombings, Israel should turn over to the enemy half of the Israeli capital of Jerusalem.
“Maybe if the Saudis had funded twice as many suicide bombings, the Times would have demanded Israel surrender ALL of Jerusalem.”
A decade later nothing has changed in the warped Friedman-Times mind. Sir Thomas still ranks among journalists foremost self-promoters, boasting of his contacts among Saudi dictators and Turkish warmongers.
Friedman’s insensitivity toward Israel merely is an extension of his newspaper’s institutional un-evenhanded treatment of the Middle East’s only democracy.
Geoffrey Dawson would have been proud of Friedman and his sweet-talking of Turkey.
The Dawsonian world-view in a nutshell was that Hitler should be appeased.
The Times-Friedman world-view is that any enemy of Israel should be appeased and encouraged.
Which explains why the New York Times reputation has been stained for at least a generation.
Then again, deception sells!