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Media distorts Bibi’s statements, then claims he’s walking them back

Media distorts Bibi’s statements, then claims he’s walking them back

Obama admin threats to teach Israel a lesson based on distortion.

The distortion of Benjamin Netanyahu’s pre-election statements on a two-state solution and Arab voting was a classic Obama and media distortion.

If you take the actual text of Netanyahu said, he never ruled out a two-state solution and never discouraged Arab voting. But those were the headlines and the foaming-at-the mouth hyperbole, fomented by the Obama administration in numerous anonymous statements to the media.

Schmuel Rosner has the analysis, from earlier today, Is Obama getting ready to throw Israel under a UN bus?:

Prime Minister Netanyahu has no “newly declared opposition to a Palestinian state”. If the White House wants to use a badly framed statement by Netanyahu as an excuse for a change in American policy – if it wants, as the WH hinted, to “turn to the U.N. to help force a deal” with the Palestinians on Israel – it should not come as a great surprise. But Netanyahu’s words are the excuse, not the reason, for the change. The reason is Netanyahu’s victory and the administrations’ vindictive mood toward him and toward the country that elected him….

Netanyahu said a couple of regrettable things in the last, desperate days of his brilliant campaign. …

The second statement was just a poor call for action for the right-wing voters. Netanyahu’s record when it comes to policies aimed at integrating Arab Israelis into society is not bad.

The first statement was merely an assessment of the situation. Netanyahu did not say that he opposes the two state solution – he said that under current circumstances he doesn’t see a Palestinian State established in his coming term as Prime Minister. And he is probably right in this assessment.

The Times of Israel reports on an interview Netanyahu gave today, in which he explained that nothing had changed:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday walked back statements made during campaigning rejecting the possibility of a two-state solution, telling NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, “I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution….

“I haven’t changed my policy,” Netanyahu insisted. “I never retracted my speech at Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes a Jewish state.”

“What has changed is the reality,” he continued. “[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] the Palestinian leader refuses to recognize the Jewish state and has made a pact with Hamas that calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, and every territory that is vacated today in the Middle East is taken up by Islamist forces. We want that to change so that we can realize a vision of real, sustained peace. I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution, but for that, circumstances have to change.” …

The prime minister also dismissed allegations that he was a racist following comments about high Arab voter turnout during the election, defending his record in reaching out to the Arab community. “I will continue to do that – in my government – to have real integration of Arab citizens of Israel into the Israeli economy, Israeli high-tech, and Israeli society. My commitment is real and it will stay real.”

Completely consistent with a fair analysis of what Netanyahu actually said pre-election.

Yet the same media that distorted Netanyahu’s pre-election statements is portraying it as backtracking. The NY Times reports, Israel’s Netanyahu, Softening Pre-Election Statement, Reopens Door to Palestinian State. Yet in its article, the Times quotes Bibi’s statement on a two-state solution that is completely consistent with his interview today:

“If you are prime minister, a Palestinian state will not be established?”

“I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam against the State of Israel,” Mr. Netanyahu told the news site, NRG. “Anyone who ignores this is sticking his head in the sand.”

CNN calls it a flip-flop, while Christopher Hayes called it a “disingenuous walk back”:

The only ones walking anything back are those who distorted reality in the first place.

UPDATE: No real surprise here, the Obama admin says no matter what Netanyahu now says, it will reevaluate U.N. position.

The administration upset was fake and contrived all along, just an excuse to bring Israel to its knees to ram through Obama’s vision of a Middle East solution that drives Israel back to the 1949 armistice lines with minor adjustments at best — you know, never let a crisis go to waste.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Despite attempts by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to clarify comments made during his election campaign that a Palestinian state would not emerge under his tenure, the White House will nevertheless “still evaluate” its policy on the Middle East peace process, Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Thursday….

The prime minister’s comments, he said, call into question his commitment to the pursuit of peace and have forced the US government to reassess the the government’s stance….

“Certainly, the prime minister’s comments from a few days ago called into question his commitment to that,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Thursday.

“We believe he changed his position,” she continued. “We can’t forget about those comments.”

But somehow, the administration forgets Obama’s own comments on keeping Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel:


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Henry Hawkins | March 19, 2015 at 2:08 pm

Pure propaganda coming from American media now.

I hope Bibi knows how many Americans love and respect him.

Sammy Finkelman | March 19, 2015 at 2:35 pm

I can’t imagine what the opposition in Israel thought it was doing in distorting Netanyahu’s remarks that way. It’s not quite coming to me. I must be missing a few facts.

Whatever it was, it was a terrible miscalculation.

Sure, they got the international press a little bit more sympathetic to them, but what did that do?

Netanyahu made the statement too late for people to hear any sort of bad reaction to it, and abad reaction, and not any kind of misrepresentation of the statement, was necessary for that to mean anything.

A lot of the campaign was maybe that the world is against Netanyahu, and that that is dangerous for Israel, and so Netanyahu should be replaced.

Maybe the “Zionist Alliance” thought they didn’t have any other issue.

They had thought of calling themselved the “Peace Camp” but realized that didn’t play well, so the union of Labor and Tzipi Livni’s faction, became, of all things, the “Zionist Union!”

But people either didn’t believe Netanyahu was damaging relations in a way that mattered, or thought it was necessary for Netanyahu to stand up against the “world” whose judgment they did NOT trust, and that it would be disastrous for Israel to follow the dictates of the “international community”

Even the argument that Obama didn’t like Netanyahu’s policies was mitigated by the clear fact that Republicans, it seemed, did, so Obama was an outlier, anyway.

And I don’t know, anyway, how many Israelis are really comfortable with the idea that Israel should be, or was, a “vassal state” in Menachem’s Begin’s apt phrase at the time when he bombed the Osirik reactor in Iraq in 1981.

(He said afterwards that Israel was not a vassal state, and that tended to stop the criticism by the U.S. government, because the United States didn’t want that perception either.)

The two-state solution: Israel and Jordan, was aborted by the Palestinian leadership with a progressive war of aggression, not against Jews, but competing Arabs, and were rightfully expelled.

As for Iran, they lost their moral leverage when they presented and acted upon (through proxies) existential threats to Israel.

As for the media, they adhere to a pro-choice or selective tenet, similar to the Islamic principle of Taqiyya, and cannot as a matter of principle be trusted without independent verification.

Sammy Finkelman | March 19, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Netanyahu has long been in favor of a Palestinian state as an eventual solution (to a non-pressing problem) and he still is.

I don’t think Netanyahu said he will not facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu qualified what he said by the word “today”

As reported by the New York Times:

“I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam against the state of Israel,” he said in a video interview published on NRG, an Israeli news site that leans to the right. “There is a real threat here that a left-wing government will join the international community and follow its orders.”

How is that statement any kind of a reversal?

Was he saying before that it might happen soon?

Was he showing signs of going along with whatever the international community said?

Yet they said:

— Under pressure on the eve of a surprisingly close election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel on Monday doubled down on his appeal to right-wing voters, declaring definitively that if he was returned to office he would never establish a Palestinian state.

He didn’t say that at all.

He said you couldn’t do that now because you would give attack grounds to radical Islam against the state of Israel.

He didn’t say


He is not for annexation.

This is just formulaic.

Tell a lie.

Accuse your target of reforming respecting your lie.

Imply your target MEANT your original lie, and now is being dishonest about their reformation.

See Missouri, Ferguson.


Chris Hayes is a moron. EVERYBODY in Israel would welcome neighbors with whom they could live peacefully. That’s always been true.

What does this mean?

A New York Times op-ed makes an ingenious but frightening argument. In a provocative op-ed in the New York Times, University of Chicago law professor William Baude argues that the president has the power to sidestep the Supreme Court if it rules against him on Obamacare. In King v. Burwell, four Virginians claim they are injured by what they describe as the administration’s illegal payment of Obamacare subsidies. Baude offers an easy way out for the president. “If the administration loses in King,” he suggests, “it can announce that it is complying with the Supreme Court’s judgment — but only with respect to the four plaintiffs who brought the suit.” Baude explains that the Supreme Court’s “formal power” is limited to “order[ing] a remedy only for the four people actually before it.”
In offering this “Get Out of Jail Free” card to the Obama administration, Baude notes that “the Constitution supplies a contingency plan, even if the administration doesn’t know it yet.” Alas, the Obama Justice Department is well aware of this stratagem to bypass the federal courts — it has thrice plotted this procedural putsch.
In three high-profile cases, two involving Obamacare and one involving immigration, the Justice Department has openly challenged the power of federal courts to issue nationwide injunctions to halt unlawful executive actions. These desperate efforts to interfere with the courts in order to salvage unprecedented assertions of power have flouted the rule of law.
First, in January of 2011, a federal judge in Tallahassee, Roger Vinson, found that Obamacare’s individual mandate was unconstitutional, and he invalidated the entire law. [snip]
The Obama administration doubted that a single federal judge could throw a wrench into the lurching Leviathan. In other words, Obamacare was too big to fail. [snip]
Second, in March of 2014, the administration repeated its claim that a single federal court could not stop Obamacare. The week before oral arguments were to be held in Halbig v. Burwell in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Justice Department submitted a letter informing the judges that they were constitutionally prohibited from denying subsidies to millions of Americans. In short, the government argued that people who were not parties to the suit had a due-process right to be heard before their subsidies were extinguished — as if Obamacare were some sort of constitutionally protected property interest!
The plaintiffs shot back, incredulous that the government had an “apparent intention to lawlessly flout this Court’s binding order.” In August, the D.C. Circuit ruled for the plaintiffs, and sent the case back to the lower court with instructions to “vacate the IRS Rule” in its entirety — not merely with respect to the named plaintiffs. Again, the Justice Department had questioned the power of a federal court to put the kibosh on an illegal federal action, and the judges emphatically rejected this executive hubris.
Third, last month, a federal judge in Brownsville, Texas, found that President Obama’s most recent executive action on immigration (Deferred Action for Parental Accountability) was unlawful. The suit, brought by Texas on behalf of 26 states, sought to halt the implementation of DAPA in its entirety. Judge Andrew Hanen agreed, and issued a nationwide injunction. True to form, the Justice Department asked Judge Hanen to reconsider his ruling and limit it to Texas alone, or, at most, to the 26 states that were parties to the lawsuit. The Justice Department argued that “Nationwide injunctive relief is particularly inappropriate in the context of government programs.” In its brief to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the DOJ called Judge Hanen’s order “drastically overboard” and “manifestly excessive” as it “enjoined DHS from implementing the Guidance nationwide, barring implementation in States that do not oppose it and in States that support it.”
While Judge Hanen has not yet ruled on this motion, it should be denied. If DAPA is unlawful, it makes no sense to allow the government to grant benefits in 24 states. If an immigrant moves from California to Texas after being granted benefits under DAPA, the injuries suffered by Texas cannot be avoided. In these three significant cases, the government’s strategy has become apparent. In the first case, the Justice Department argued that Obamacare was too big to stop, and that a single federal court in Florida could not put it on hold. In the second case, it openly expressed its desire to flout the court’s ruling, on the grounds that a single federal court could issue relief only to the parties before it. In the third case, it claimed that a single federal judge, having found that the secretary of homeland security was acting unlawfully, was powerless to stop him outside his own state — or at least outside the states that were suing. The response has been emphatic: Federal courts, vested with the power of judicial review, can craft injunctive relief to ensure that the executive branch adheres to the rule of law.
While the Justice Department has, to date at least, limited these arguments to the lower federal courts, there is no logical stopping point. As Baude suggests, why not the Supreme Court? And why can’t the states make the same arguments? Imagine if, after Roe v. Wade, Texas had argued that the right to abortion applied only to Norma McCorvey (better known as Jane Roe), and other states continued to enforce their abortion laws. Or if Alabama finds itself unaffected by the Supreme Court’s upcoming same-sex marriage decision, which involves only bans in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. These cases are not class actions, which purport to bind non-parties. They sought relief only for specific plaintiffs in these states against what they claimed were unconstitutional laws. If the Justice Department’s reasoning in the lower courts is taken seriously — and if Baude is correct — then the Supreme Court should be treated no differently. The nine justices, Baude argues, have the “formal power” to “order a remedy only for the” parties before it, not the countless other couples awaiting their nuptials.
The implications of this argument are frightening. The executive branches of the states and the federal government could concoct an infinite number of technicalities to explain why a Supreme Court decision is not binding on them. This breach of the separation of powers would trigger a dangerous race to the bottom, where one state after another would find ways to ignore the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Even if legally correct, this practice should be emphatically rejected, and the Justice Department should cease making this argument. Openly and brazenly flouting the judiciary is a dangerous precedent that should be halted nationwide.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to betty. | March 19, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    Though I am not sure that this is the place for this and using the whole article as a post is a no no usually, I would say that this just saber rattling by the DOJ and Admin to try to sway the courts to decide in their favor.

“Netanyahu said a couple of regrettable things in the last, desperate days of his brilliant campaign. …”

Regrettable? Not at all. I’m surprised that his supporter used that verbiage.

William A. Jacobson: Media distorts Bibi’s statements

Interviewer: “If you are prime minister, a Palestinian state will not be established?”

Netanyahu: “Correct.”

    Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | March 19, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”.

    How many times was that uttered?

    Which is is flucking lie, Zachie?

    Which is a misstatement?

    MikeInCA in reply to Zachriel. | March 20, 2015 at 3:37 am

    It was a bogus question. There’s already a Palestinian state, it’s called Jordan. The correct question would be, “If you are prime minister, a second Palestinian state will not be established?”

    So Bibi’s answer is correct. But the anti-Israel Left (and their pals in the MSM) are furious that Israel refuses to be destroyed. And Obama is furious at Bibi. I wonder if Obama favors Hamas/Hezbollah? Gosh, seems like it.

    As Rush noted this morning, it’s not a Two-State Solution these people want, it’s a Final Solution. Well they’re not going to get it. Ever.

    Sammy Finkelman in reply to Zachriel. | March 20, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Netanyahu has long been in favor of a Palestinian state as an eventual solution (to a non-pressing problem) and he still is. And he never reversed himself on that, even temporarily.

    Benjamin Netanyahu did not make a committment against a 2-state solution.

    Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected on a mandate against any “solution” in the immediate future.

    This may be harder for Obama and company to accept than the other thing that they are accusing him of.

      Sammy Finkelman in reply to Sammy Finkelman. | March 20, 2015 at 4:01 pm
      Dear President Obama: Explain why pigs can fly

      Dear President Obama: Explain why pigs can fly
      Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA Date: 20 March 2015

      Dear President Obama,

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explains that while he would like to have a Jewish independent state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with a sovereign, independent Palestinian state that any rational realistic assessment of the situation is compelled to reach the conclusion that it is IMPOSSIBLE at this juncture to have a Jewish independent state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with a sovereign, independent Palestinian state.

Carol Herman | March 19, 2015 at 6:19 pm

The real test is who gets “portfolios.” Bibi’s playing his cards very close to his vest! And, to form a stable government he will look to reward those MK’s he can work with. I’ll bet Avigdor Lieberman gets nothing. Oh, and Livni? There’s no way Bibi gives her anything.

Herzog’s in the opposition. With 24 seats, including Livni’s.

Bibi doesn’t have to do anything for 3 weeks. It’s one reason the press is playing games. As to obama, Bibi knows he’s a lame duck. And, in the 22 months left for him in office, there are fears among democrats that he has a worse image than hillary.(When he leaves office there’s some news out there he’s moving to Hawaii.)

The other reality is that syria’s still burning. Iraqi’s have lost American protection. None of the troops that served there came back saying anything nice.

And, for Israel Iran is at least two country’s away! It would be like want to go from California to Iceland. Also, Russia gave herself some problems. Greece is still destabilizing Germany.

So it’s odd that tiny Israel can get to see so much said about their democratic election. (American money failed.) While politics in Israel remains fragmented. Why? Jews argue a lot. Obama can’t intimidate them. And, obama can’t stick American troops along their border with Jordan. Nor could troops go near syria! Bibi just doesn’t want to be caught saying anything unpleasant.

Carol Herman | March 19, 2015 at 6:24 pm

Do you know how much better Bibi did in this election when compared to last time? Last time he cobbled together the Likud to Avigdor Lieberman’s party. 23 seats plus something? This time Bibi and Likud got 31 seats. That means 31 people on their list made it into their Knesset.

While Herzog, in the opposition collected only 24 seats. And, he ran with Livni’s party, TOGETHER!

Also, now that the media lied about a “close election,” what do you think results? Fair play? Trust? Or the same old garbage, propaganda? And, Israelis can do this in a variety of languages! Besides, Hebrew, English, and Russian.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Carol Herman. | March 19, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Especially when you take into account those allies of his that are in the parties with smaller representation. If anything he will have an easier time forming a government than last time.

Instead of Junior President Obama’s idea that liberal Jews, among others, should be forced to vote, perhaps they should be forced to re-watch films about the Holocaust, and get through their skulls what is possibly coming their way again.

This from President “If you like your plan/doctor, you can keep your plan/doctor.”

This from President “The WORLD drew a red line.”

This from President “Not a smidgen of corruption.”

This from President “Al-Qaeda is on the run/decimated.”

This from President “The war on terror is over.”

This from President “ISIS is a jayvee team.”

This from President “Most transparent administration ever.”

We’re supposed to believe Obama and not believe Bibi?

Oh, please.

Obama is to Israel as Hitler was to Poland. He’s doing his best to foment an incident. The only difference is Obama doesn’t want to invade and occupy half of Israel, he’s willing to let his Islamist allies to have the whole thing.