New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren lets her imagination run wild, or maybe she’s just not capable of filtering reality out from the land of make believe, but her latest dispatch from Israel– “Israeli Response to Iran Nuclear Deal Could Have Broader Implications” — reflects complete credulousness about the Israeli government’s sense of its own importance. We learn that “Netanyahu is now in a powerful position to undermine the Iran nuclear deal.” No; actually, he isn’t, even if the Israel lobby is working overtime.
Then Rudoren goes on to try and make the case that President Obama owes some sort of compensation to Israel for not kowtowing to Netanyahu’s demands.
Granted, this story was published before Netanyahu’s most recent demand — that final details ironing out the nuclear deal with Iran have to pause to include recognition of Israel’s “right to exist” — got slapped down yesterday by State Department spokesperson Marie Harf; “This is an agreement that doesn’t deal with any other issues, nor should it”.
Still, it appears that the New York Times did not get the message that Netanyahu got knocked down, left behind and hung out to dry in Lausanne, Switzerland two days ago. He’s been demoted, not the other way around.
Check out this opening:
It took Mr. Obama about two hours to call Mr. Netanyahu after Thursday’s announcement of a framework agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, and this time it was the Israeli leader who lectured the American that the emerging deal “would threaten the survival” of his state.
Leaving aside whether it’s a dis to refer to Obama as “the American”, the operative word here in Obama calling Netanyahu after Thursday’s nuclear deal announcement with Iran is “after”.
After Obama addressed the nation announcing the deal to the American public and publicly announced to the nation he had not contacted Netanyahu yet — but would, soon. Netanyahu is still sore about this. He came last. Remember, in the olden days at the beginning of Obama’s presidency, American diplomats used to stop by Israel while they were on the other side of the Atlantic before coming home? They’d touch down and clear everything with the Israelis prior to reaching our shores.
This time Israel found out the terms of the deal by spying, informants, you name it. And a couple hours after Obama’s speech to the nation, only then did he call Netanyahu.
Just ten days ago Rudoren led a front-page story on the unhappy Obama-Netanyahu relationship by quoting Giora Eiland, saying that Obama was naive in blaming and “antagonizing” the Israeli P.M. And here’s Eiland again; Rudoren quotes the former Israeli national security adviser, claiming that Obama “rushed to call” Netanyahu– and then some:
“[B]ecause of this deal, there is a chance that the Americans will try to compensate Israel somehow if we stop fighting against this deal, and we should exploit it in a smart way,” Giora Eiland… said… noting that Mr. Obama “rushed to call” Mr. Netanyahu and “tried to be as nice as he could.”
Rushed? Compensate Israel!? That’s wishful thinking. There’s also a chance Netanyahu will negotiate a Palestinian state. Why would Obama “compensate” Israel right now? Obama owes the man who tried to block negotiations at every turn nothing, he should be taking a victory lap. Besides, he knows full well AIPAC and Emergency Committee for Israel are fighting tooth ‘n nail to bring down this deal in Congress. They’ve announced that loud and clear.
The commentators have only interpreted the deal in various ways; the point, however, is to kill it.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) April 3, 2015
Compensate? Far better to seize the advantage. Netanyahu is not in a powerful position to undermine the Iran nuclear deal. He played that card already in a big grand way and came out looking the fool. And what’s this?
Mr. Eiland was one of several Israeli analysts who said the emphasis should turn to strengthening the verification procedures in the deal and clarifying the consequences if Iran violates it. “If Netanyahu chooses this option, at least we can gain some other benefits from the situation…”
All this essentially means is that Israel/Netanyahu are trying to stick their heads in and over see what’s going on so as to pressure the US. That’s what they’ve always done. It’s wishful thinking to think they can now “gain .. benefits” by tagging on.
Rudoren dutifully reports all this BS without thinking about how it undermines the NYT’s credibility as a detached observer. Eiland says:
“The time has come to make a real reassessment in regard to the Israel-American relationship.”
Yes, they should have thought about that before Netanyahu came to Congress to try and undermine the president. Israel is now on the bottom rung of the ladder and this “analyst” thinks it’s time to reassess the relationship? Sorry, Mr. Eiland, but the U.S. beat you to it.
And maybe Rudoren thinks we have short attention spans:
Though Israeli and American officials have long denied any link between the Iranian and Palestinian issues, the two are playing out simultaneously.
Did she forget the highly publicized first White House meeting of Obama and Netanyahu– in which Netanyahu said “Iran” and Obama said “negotiations” for a two state solution. Netanyahu tried to leverage one against the other, and Obama said no. And now, Netanyahu wants to cash in on the deal because he wouldn’t play ball? Seriously, it’s crazy logic. He lost. He didn’t win. So no, he doesn’t get the US to back off on Jerusalem, the illegal settlements, or anything else. She allows Eiland to tell Americans how to handle Israel. Never pressure it!
Don’t push us to the corner in the Palestinian arena, make sure you’re not going to be against us in the U.N.
Rudoren seems to swallow the Israeli government claims hook line and sinker. Two weeks ago she quoted former Israeli ambassador Dore Gold telling Obama to get over his pique about Netanyahu and stop leaking false stories about Israel. And today she gives Gold three paragraphs to run down Obama’s deal:
“If the final agreement reflects what’s in this framework, we’re talking about something that is nothing less than a historical error.”
And she throws in a neoconservative Washington thinktank’s claims that the deal will “supercharge Iranian aggression in the region.” So she manages to cite both the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Jerusalem Council for Public Affairs in the same story. And not a Palestinian or Iranian in sight.
Rudoren’s mind-frame has become thoroughly indoctrinated into the Israeli narrative; so enveloped by that mentality that her “analysis” isn’t analysis, it’s just rightwing Israeli propaganda. I won’t go so far as to say she’s purposely manipulative. I’ll chalk it up to too much Koolaid.
Frequently prescient Haaretz journalist Chemi Shalev sees the writing on the wall. “Netanyahu faces new danger in U.S. following Iran deal: Being ignored“, is a good read. He doesn’t call Netanyahu a fool like we did, but he did take it to another level by mentioning U.S. officials debated whether Netanyahu’s nutty demand for Israeli recognition in the final P5+1 Iran deal was “more far-fetched or more pathetic”:
Add to this the serious damage that Netanyahu brought on himself with his election-eve statements on Palestinian statehood and Israeli Arabs voting – and the possibly cynical decision by the administration to amplify them in order to further erode Netanyahu’s credibility. Netanyahu hasn’t reached the level of hyperbolic hysteria of right-wing polemicist Thomas Sowell – who labelled a deal with Iran “the most catastrophic decision in human history”, no less – but he seems to be closing in fast. His new demand from deep left field to stipulate that Iran recognize Israel as a precondition to any nuclear accord was summarily dismissed in public by the State Department, but in private the officials’ reactions went from ridiculous to pathetic.
And he doesn’t stop there.
Thanks to Phil Weiss