Tom Friedman correction necessary

Leo Rennert
Columnist Tom Friedman has his facts all wrong when he wrote yesterday that the Obama administration is "begging Israelis to stop building more crazy settlements." 

There's no need for the U.S. to beg Israel to build more settlements -- crazy or otherwise -- because it's been the explicit policy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to build more settlements -- a stance that also reflects the policy of his predecessor, Ehud Olmert.

Netanyahu not only has put a total brake on more settlements, but also decreed that there will be no further land appropriation to enlarge current settlements.  Thus, all Israeli settlements have been frozen within their existing boundaries and construction of "more settlements ,"  as Friedman alleges, has been ruled out.

The only disagreement between Netanyahu and Obama is that the White House wants Israel to also halt all construction within existing settlments -- a demand that the Israeli leader has rejected.

It's quite understandable that the Times gives its columnists the widest possible latitude to express their opinions .  But the paper  at times also has  boasted that it has a practice of not allowing factual errors to creep into their writings.

In any event,  the Times  needs  to run a correction so as not to allow Friedman, touted as its premier foreign-policy maven, to mislead readers by pumping the wrong facts into his column.
Columnist Tom Friedman has his facts all wrong when he wrote yesterday that the Obama administration is "begging Israelis to stop building more crazy settlements." 

There's no need for the U.S. to beg Israel to build more settlements -- crazy or otherwise -- because it's been the explicit policy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to build more settlements -- a stance that also reflects the policy of his predecessor, Ehud Olmert.

Netanyahu not only has put a total brake on more settlements, but also decreed that there will be no further land appropriation to enlarge current settlements.  Thus, all Israeli settlements have been frozen within their existing boundaries and construction of "more settlements ,"  as Friedman alleges, has been ruled out.

The only disagreement between Netanyahu and Obama is that the White House wants Israel to also halt all construction within existing settlments -- a demand that the Israeli leader has rejected.

It's quite understandable that the Times gives its columnists the widest possible latitude to express their opinions .  But the paper  at times also has  boasted that it has a practice of not allowing factual errors to creep into their writings.

In any event,  the Times  needs  to run a correction so as not to allow Friedman, touted as its premier foreign-policy maven, to mislead readers by pumping the wrong facts into his column.