(Update below regarding possible mistranslation from Hebrew~A.R.)
Wading through all the chickensh*t over the last few days Netanyahu’s “grassy knoll” comeback somehow missed out on all the action, but what the hoot guys? Where I come from that terminology only means one thing, as far as I know, that applies to the lexicon anywhere in America, if not the world. Hey, even Google agrees with me. And what are the chances Netanyahu and/or his speechwriters don’t know this? Nada. Impossible.
Why would Netanyahu make a reference to one of the most alarming chapters in American history, the assassination of a beloved American president? And for many, an assassination still shrouded in mystery and deceit? I just thought it was very weird. Where is our press?
Winding down after scrutinizing, dissecting and eviscerating Goldberg’s now infamous Chickensh*t article, Justin Raimondo, in The Chickenshit Lobby Is Mad As Hell– but just how mad are they? makes the argument had a leader of Iran slipped “grassy knoll” into a message to an American president the press would have gone bonkers. I agree.
What’s surprising is how Netanyahu, in a speech to the Knesset, took the opportunity to answer his critics in the Obama administration: “Netanyahu angrily insisted he was ‘under attack simply for defending Israel,’ adding that he ‘cherished’ Israel’s relationship with the US.”
The famously combative Israeli Prime Minister went on to say:
“When there are pressures on Israel to concede its security, the easiest thing to do is to concede. You get a round of applause, ceremonies on grassy knolls, and then come the missiles and the tunnels.”
Bibi, who spent many years in the United States, is surely cognizant of what his “grassy knoll” reference connotes. You can argue it was just an infelicitous phrase, or that Bibi was referring to himself, not Obama. Maybe so. But what if, say, an Iranian official, even a low-ranking one, had said such a thing? The uproar would be deafening. And so the question must be asked: was Bibi threatening the President of the United States?
If we take seriously Goldberg’s depiction of the poisoned relationship between Bibi and Obama, the possibility can’t be completely dismissed.
Do you think anyone at the White House noticed Netanyahu’s phraseology? Me too. So why the silence from the press? Grassy knoll, it only means one thing here in America:
Netanyahu is widely faulted for helping to incite Rabin assassination, marching in a rally where guys were holding up a coffin for Rabin.
— David Sheen (@davidsheen) November 1, 2014
Several of our commenters indicated to us the translation of Netanyahu’s speech at the Knesset was a mistranslation and the accurate translation from Hebrew is “lawn”. The terminology in the translation (“grassy knoll”) reported at the Guardian, embedded at Raimondo’s article as well as our article, matches that used by Barak Ravid and Jonathan Lis in their coverage of Netanyahu’s Knesset speech in Haaretz , published on October 29. Although the Haaretz link became unavailable when I tried to access it yesterday after publication of our article, it is currently still accessible:
Speaking to Knesset hours after a senior U.S. official was quoted calling him a “chickenshit prime minister,” Netanyahu told Knesset: “When there are pressures on Israel to concede its security, the easiest thing to do is to concede. You get a round of applause, ceremonies on grassy knolls, and then come the missiles and the tunnels.”
Moreover, the terminology “grassy knolls” was heavily replicated and repeated (thousands of times) over the last 3 days in numerous articles:
If this is in fact, a mistranslation of the words used by Netanyahu in his speech, we apologize for adding to any confusion generated by the terminology of “grassy knolls”. We will be following up on this story and expect a retraction from Haaretz and the Guardian if a mistranslation is in fact the case. ~AR
Haaretz has now edited their article altering the translated part of Netanyahu’s speech that previous read “grassy knolls” and replaced it with “well-kept lawns”:
Netanyahu told Knesset: “When there are pressures on Israel to concede its security, the easiest thing to do is to concede. You get a round of applause, ceremonies on well-kept lawns, and then come the missiles and the tunnels.”
However, there was no retraction, explanation nor reference to an altercation of (mis)translation.
(H/t David Doppler)