In his Wednesday New York Times column, Thomas Friedman unleashed a scathing attack against former House Speaker and GOP presidential front-runner Newt Gingrich for his statement that the Palestinians are an “invented” people. That upset New Jersey Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman, who issued a statement on Wednesday demanding Friedman’s apology.
The liberal Times columnist also took shots at Congress for applauding Israeli Prime Mininster Benjamin Netanyahu, a move he wrote was “bought and paid for by the Israel lobby.”
Rothman’s statement took issue with that characterization as well:
Thomas Friedman’s defamation against the vast majority of Americans who support the Jewish State of Israel, in his New York Times opinion piece today, is scurrilous, destructive and harmful to Israel and her advocates in the US. Mr. Friedman is not only wrong, but he’s aiding and abetting a dangerous narrative about the US-Israel relationship and its American supporters.
I gave Prime Minister Netanyahu a standing ovation, not because of any nefarious lobby, but because it is in America’s vital national security interests to support the Jewish State of Israel and it is right for Congress to give a warm welcome to the leader of such a dear and essential ally. Mr. Friedman owes us all an apology.