Sunday, July 18, 2010

Caught On Tape

Huffington Post: Netanyahu In 2001: 'America Is A Thing You Can Move Very Easily'

A newly released video of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could add some additional strain to the sometimes tense relationship between him and President Obama.

In the video, which is from 2001, Netanyahu -- who reportedly did not know his speech was being recorded -- speaks frankly in Hebrew about relations with the Clinton White House and the peace process.

As noted in Haaretz, Netanyahu seems to boast of his knowledge of the US by saying, "I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won't get in their way."

The video was broadcast on a TV program called "This Week With Miki Rosenthal" titled "The Real (And Deceitful) Face of Benjamin Netanyahu." In Israel's Haaretz newspaper, columnist Gideon Levy said of the video:

"These remarks are profoundly depressing. They bear out all of our fears and suspicions: that the government of Israel is led by a man who doesn't believe the Palestinians and doesn't believe in the chance of an agreement with them, who thinks that Washington is in his pocket and that he can pull the wool over its eyes. There's no point in talking about Netanyahu's impossible rightist coalition as an obstacle to progress. From now on, just say that Netanyahu doesn't want it."

-------- Good lord, so much in this Huffington blogger slop I don't know where to begin. First of all it's from HuPo - a site where progressives have blurb orgies and know-it-all comments from folks who believe they found the truth and have the ability to solve world problems, sort of like Jesus Freaks but without Jesus.

By the way, have you noticed that this sort of nonreporting rumor milling, biased hit-and-run "reporting" is now sometimes in the NYT or WaPo? Not as a legitimate article, although by some of the paper's bylined journalists, but on a blog with a grand name such as WaPo's blog Checkpoint Washington. Is that a strategy for presenting b.s. as serious journalism? Checkpoint Charlie, me love you long time.

Second, I do not speak Hebrew so have no idea what Netanyahu is saying in this supposedly "leaked" home video. I do not know who interpreted it, or if they are honest, or if the interpretation even comes close to what he says. And what the hay does "They won't get in their way" mean? Who is "they" and who is "their way" referring to? Did he boast about manipulating the US, the accords? Whaaa ... a pol who manipulates and admits it? Bibi Netanyahu's comment is not as noxious as one attributed to Ariel Sharon.

Coincidentally (wink wink), in October 2001 something very similar was all over the internet, attributed to Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio, and interpreted as "Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."

Hmmm. So devious Israeli leaders are caught on tape bashing the hand that feeds them billion$?

Third, who is the quoted Gideon Levy? Born in 1953 in Tel Aviv he's been with Haaretz since 1982 as an editor, columnist, an author, etc., who, when he discovered the truth, became an opponent of Israeli policies regarding Palestinian territory. Some call him a propagandist for Hamas, others hail him as a heroic journalist. I do not know him, but do know the Westerners who believe in him are also part of the "speaking truth to power" mimicry crowd. Levy has not, however, taken fellow journalist Helen Thomas' advice to leave Israel and go back to where he came from. His supporters claim he's "putting his life on the line" writing in Israel - I suppose if Mossad hasn't ended his long career by now they're not too worried about his politics.

(In fairness, Haaretz did report on Reuters altering of the Gaza flotilla photos. Not the first time Reuters creatively cropped photos.)

Personally, I have no problem with the US withdrawing military and economic support from Israel - how about the same time we pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq (dream on). Would heroes like Gideon Levy then be able to further the cause of peace? Would Russia or China become Israel's new BFF and Israel/Palestine continue as is?

Along with most of the world, I do not and cannot know the objective truth regarding the situation in Israel, Palestine, or Hamas (Islamic Resistence Movement), etc. I do know, at home and abroad, presstitutes are servicing both sides of the aisle. And, from experience with the wars in Central America, I do know that underdogs are not nearly as romantic as portrayed by their supporters.

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