NYT’s Friedman: Netanyahu’s acceptance of Congress invite an ‘act of disloyalty’ to Biden

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman — often seen as a mouthpiece for messages from US President Joe Biden’s administration  — calls Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of an invitation to address a joint session of Congress “such an act of disloyalty to Joe Biden — who flew all the way to Israel to hug him in the days after Oct. 7 — that it simply takes your breath away.”

“Pushed into a corner,” writes Friedman in his column, “the top Democrats in the Senate and the House signed on to the invitation, but the unstated goal of this Republican exercise is to divide Democrats and provoke shouted insults from their most progressive representatives that would alienate American Jewish voters and donors and turn them toward Donald Trump.”

He also contends that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken should refuse to return to Israel “without Israel and Hamas agreeing to a clear war-ending plan.”

Friedman urges Israel to accept what he describes as Hamas’s demand to end the war and withdraw all troops in exchange for the return of all hostages.

According to Friedman, if Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar tries — after a ceasefire deal is reached — to start another fight against Israel or to smuggle weapons into Gaza, “it will all be on him.”

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