Shmuel Rosner, Tom Friedman — keeping it real


Shmuel Rosner, at the Jerusalem Post, is surprised by Tom Friedman’s assessment, at the New York Times, that Obama administration officials were "disgusted" with their Israeli counterparts for "telling the president he must not abandon Pharaoh."

Rosner comes away with a more nuanced U.S. assessment of how the Obama administration regarded Israeli reactions to the Egyptian uprising and its successes:

Israel gets high marks for its restraint in public during the Egyptian crisis – and much lower marks for the way it was behaving and the things it was saying behind closed doors.

I’m betting Shmuel has it more right — but I’d also note that Israeli fears expressed off the record have a way of getting into the public record through proxies.

On one thing, though, Shmuel is dead wrong:

Maybe I’ve been talking to the wrong people – maybe those "disgusted" with Israel feel more comfortable talking to Friedman (he also has more readers, and is more handsome).

Does Friedman have better access? Probably. Are people more likely to tell him they’re disgusted? Well, read his output.

But when it comes to the punim factor? Come on. Shmuel every time.

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