Sunday, June 6, 2010


Today's NY Times Op-Ed by Thomas Friedman is for the most part right on.

It is worthwhile to discuss for a moment his anecdote regarding over-association. People who do not live in/are not from a region and who have no ties to there political situation there, yet also seek to be politically active and liberal often attach themselves to hot-button topics. Don't get me wrong, activism as a principle is extremely important. However, it frequently occurs that some of these activists tend to over attach or associate with one side, leading in turn to extreme views on a topic that tend to be far removed from facts on the ground. I see this all over my college campus, I see it in Israel, and I see it in Palestine. It's very annoying.

The one caveat I would add here is that Friedman conflates American Jewish donors who fund settlement activity with the over-associaters of the U.S. and Europe. While I cannot justify settlement building on what will be a future Palestinian state, there is a definite distinction to be made between religiously motivated right wing moves and extremist left wing liberalism based on chic social trends (everyone knows it's cool to hate Israel, right?) and over-association. Again, although they shouldn't be confused and meshed into one, Friedman is correct that they both often do fuel the worst of both sides--a shame indeed...

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