An Israeli university presented an honorary degree to The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem bestowed an honorary doctorate in philosophy on Friedman and seven other notables Sunday. Friedman, who has written extensively on the Middle East as well as 21st century popular technologies, said in an address that Israel is a “dream factory for imagination.” Expanding on that theme, Friedman said it was crucial for Israelis to be in a position to take advantage of opportunities that exist.”The country that is most responsive, most flexible” will be the country that will be a leader in world progress, he said. Friedman, who once studied at the Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School, joined The New York Times in 1981 and has served in several positions at the newspaper, covering the globe in his reporting. He was Beirut bureau chief during the first war in Lebanon in 1982 and covered the first intifada while serving as Israel bureau chief from 1984 to 1988. He is a three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.