Video: At Recent Yale Event, Thomas Friedman Refuses To Engage Campus Rabbi, Calls His Protest “Stupid”


thomas-friedman[Video below.] New Haven, CT – At his recent Yale appearance, pundit Thomas Friedman was greeted by students, but also saw a silent protest at the hands of Rabbi Shmully Hecht, the Rabbinical Advisor to Eliezer, the Jewish Society at Yale. Hecht, who has been increasingly disturbed by Friedman’s writings on Israel stood up and unfurled a banner that read:

“With friends like Chomsky, Soros, Mearsheimer and Thomas Friedman, does Israel need enemies?”

Friedman’s response to the act? A dismissive, “That’s stupid.”

Friedman has said he is “for” for Middle East peace, so why is Hecht including him as among those openly hostile to the Jewish State?

“Friedman has no right to tell the leadership of a democratically elected government of a sovereign nation what to do regarding its delicate and hard won security,” Hecht explains. “Friedman asks the Israelis to make concessions when there is no credible partner for them to create a lasting settlement. And yet, the Chomskys and the Mearsheimers are easier to deal with, because their hostility is naked. Friedman comes to the subject cloaked in the language of moderation, neutrality and respectability.”

Undeterred by Friedman’s blasé attitude toward a heartfelt protest, Hecht maintains that he has great hopes for an evolving discussion with Friedman and others like him.

“The road to peace may look straight from Friedman’s very privileged worldview in his mansion on his huge estate,” Hecht notes, “but for Israelis everywhere, especially Judea and Samaria, every decision is one that literally tilts the State and her citizens towards either life or death.” Hecht adds that in the real world, words are so much less important than action. “Jews don’t need ‘solutions,'” adds Hecht. “Jews need safety and security in their historic homeland and reborn refuge.”

As part of his commitment to bridge the gap with Friedman and others like him, Hecht has invited Friedman to join the long list of writers and intellectuals – of all backgrounds and opinions – who have lectured at Eliezer.

“I have devoted my life to dialogue,” Hecht offers, “I would welcome the chance to discuss these important issues with Thomas Friedman.”

Click below for a video of the confrontation:

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{Noam Newscenter}


  1. Well said, Rabbi Hecht.

    His vitriol of hatred and impatience towards Israel is the backbone of all of Friedman’s editorials.

  2. I think Rabbi Hecht Shlita will be wasting his time trying to fix Thomas Friedman. Thomas, as do many other journalisits make a parnura over Israel hatred and bias. They wont be willing to surrender all because of good God fearing jews putting them in their place. Probably the best approach would be giving the likes of Thomas- who know so little about their heritage with giving them honey as most people in kiruv would tell you. The hatred to Israel and frum Jews is anything but authentic. Some Honey allows us to teach these ignorants some basics which ever our 3 year olds know.

  3. #4 Doing what is just and correct is never a WASTE of time, that is our role in this world. Changes are not in our control yet doing nothing is a bigger averiah.

  4. #5, you are right that “doing whats just and correct is never a waste of time” but that does not refute that “what is a waste of time is not just and CORRECT”. (emphasis on correct).

  5. Umm Friedman is right. Friedman may not be as friendly to Israel as he should be, but lumping him with Chomsky and Soros is being motzi shem ra.

  6. I agree with Thomas’ description of Hecht’s statement. Why does Hecht have a right to say what Israel should do and not Thomas?