October 24, 2010 Friedman Column Impacts Israel, Wiki Leaks Cause Outcry Against Iran

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

October 24, 2010 Friedman Column Impacts Israel, Wiki Leaks Cause Outcry Against Iran

Thomas Friedman' s article last week, in which he compared Israel to a spoiled child, continued to attract a great deal of attention in Israel. Over the weekend, Friedman was interviewed on the major interview show of Israel Channel 2. In the interview Friedman repeated his call for the Israeli government to agree to the additional two-month settlement freeze, just because the US is asking. Friedman stated that was enough of a reason for Israel to agree. He was clear that he does not know if the Palestinians want, or are capable of reaching a final peace agreement with Israel. However, Friedman added he wants to and Israel needs to test the Palestinians. He further went on to say that Israel should be concerned that Americans are tiring of the conflict. Finally Friedman made a key observation. He fears that the Middle East is heading for a period of tremendous turmoil and as a lover of Israel (something he has made clear he has been since he was a kid) he would love to see Israel at peace behind a wall when the rest of the Middle East is engulfed in that turmoil. 

Speaking of that turmoil, the Wiki leak of American military files from Iraq is having an unexpected response from the Middle East. Instead of an outcry aimed at the Americans, the leaked files have instead resulted in an outcry against the Iranians. The files are full of information on the various actions Iran took in Iraq during the past few years, trying to stir the pot and undermine the American and moderate efforts there. The result has been wide spread condemnation of the Iranians, including by Al Jazeera, who has usually been supportive of the Iranian position. The Shite Sunni schism is clearly deepening. From an Israeli vantage point, it can be looked at from two very different perspectives. The first, is that this occurance is something to exploit; the second, is that we do not want to be collateral damage from such a conflict.

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