Here we go again! Netanyahu disputes Trump administration, urges him to ‘shatter Palestinian fantasy’ about Jerusalem

US Politics
on 45 Comments

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released his harshest statement yet to the Trump administration yesterday, correcting the president on Jerusalem and urging him to shatter “the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”

Netanyahu’s remarks were made after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Donald Trump is still considering the effects of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Tillerson questioned if the move is “helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps a distraction.”

The statement did not go over well in Israel.

“Israel’s position has been stated many times to the American administration and to the world,” Netanyahu said. “Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem would not harm the peace process. On the contrary, it would advance it by correcting an historical injustice and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel,” Netanyahu said this morning.

 

Tillerson was interviewed by “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. The embassy question came towards the end, at the 12-minute mark. Todd asked Tillerson if the embassy move “is going to be one of those things we’re always going to contemplate moving”—to which Tillerson said a final decision would be part of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

The comment is a walk-back from a campaign promise to move the embassy, a promise Trump made after he had gotten booed in 2015 at the Republican Jewish Coalition when he refused to call Jerusalem the “undivided capital” of Israel.

Netanyahu upped the ante over the issue today when he corrected Fox News correspondent Conor Powell, who had posted on social media:

“Everyone I’ve spoken to in DC that has been briefed on embassy move says told not to move embassy at this time.”

Netanyahu’s office sent reporters a fact sheet of quotes on the prime minister’s hope for a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem and had this to say about Powell: “The claims posted by a Fox News correspondent are false.”

The latest iteration on Israel from Tillerson is a middle ground for Trump, who is facing pressure from the conservative arm of the GOP. It could signal the “laws of political gravity” have set in, as Aaron David Miller likes to say. 

Israel’s view is that the issue of Jerusalem was buried decades ago after it seized control of the eastern half of the city during the June 1967 war. Jerusalem was formally annexed by the Knesset in 1980. However, no country recognized the annexation. Under international law the expansion of territory through acts of war is unlawful.

Trump is traveling to Israel on May 22, as part of his first trip abroad, which will also include a stop in Saudi Arabia. The visit is shaping up to be potentially rocky.  When pressed by Netanyahu’s office whether Trump would stop at the Western Wall located in East Jerusalem, a U.S. official in the delegation told Netanyahu’s office, “What are you talking about? It’s none of your business. It’s not even part of your responsibility. It’s not your territory. It’s part of the West Bank,” the Times of Israel reported. 

While in Israel he is expected to announce confidence building measures for brokering a peace deal under new terms, where the U.S. would recognize all of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in exchange for throwing support behind the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

While the terms of the agreement are more generous to Israel that offers from previous U.S. administrations, reluctance to move the embassy has made heavyweight Republican funder Sheldon Adelson “furious,” according to Axios. 

“The sources say the Las Vegas billionaire doesn’t buy the argument that the embassy move should be contingent on the peace process. He has told Trump that Palestinians are impossible negotiating partners and make demands that Israel can never meet.”

Trump was not Adelson’s first pick during the Republican primaries in 2016, but he did give Trump’s inauguration committee a record-breaking $5 million dollars, the New York Times reported in mid-April. Among the issues of importance to the casino mogul and owner of the pro-Netanyahu daily paper in Israel, Israel Hayom, are moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and a crackdown on online gambling.

Netanyahu’s chilly warning follows the creation of a new Republican caucus last month, whose co-chairs oppose the creation of a Palestinian state and favor moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The “Israel Victory Caucus” seeks to end the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict by having the U.S. undertake measures to pressure the Palestinians to “accept defeat.”

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Mondoweiss.net. Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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45 Responses

  1. eljay
    May 15, 2017, 2:45 pm

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released his harshest statement yet to the Trump administration yesterday, correcting the president on Jerusalem and urging him to shatter “the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.” …

    Zionism: Jewish supremacism in/and a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

    Bibi: King of All Zionists*.
    ___________________________
    (*Zionists like JeffB will anti-Semitically tell you he’s King of All Jews.)

  2. AddictionMyth
    May 15, 2017, 3:35 pm

    Trump doesn’t have an opinion about moving the embassy other than what Bannon and Flynn told him and now they’re gone and he’s completely lost. I think it’s hilarious that Israelis take him seriously on these issues. Far more important what Kushner thinks. This is going to become a real shyte show and I’m pulling up a front row seat.

    • Citizen
      May 15, 2017, 5:32 pm

      Me too: seems the only consultant/”expert” Trump trusts is Kushner. And Ivanka, but Jared has the Israel policy job.

  3. John O
    May 15, 2017, 3:43 pm

    Netanyahu corrects the precedent. That’s going to go down well with the Orange Shitgibbon.

  4. gingershot
    May 15, 2017, 3:57 pm

    Trump team ‘shattering Israeli/Jewish fantasies’ today – wow

    Trump team today: ‘…Western Wall … site is in the West Bank, and therefore the Israeli government has no authority over it.’ SNAP!

    THE ANGRY TRUMP DONNYBROOK HAS HIT ISRAEL!

    ‘U.S. diplomats snub Israeli offers to help with Trump’s Western Wall visit: It’s in West Bank, you have no authority’= TOI
    Diplomats stationed at the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem refused to hold talks with Israeli officials about arrangements for U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned visit to the Western Wall during his trip to Israel next week, claiming that the site is in the West Bank, and therefore the Israeli government has no authority over it.

    NO REPORTS IN US MEDIA SEEN YET

    Bibi, Israel, and Trump are in freefall down the crevasse … faster, please

  5. Annie Robbins
    May 15, 2017, 4:08 pm

    here’s the article gingershot, similar to the TOI article allison linked to:

    U.S. Diplomats Snub Israeli Offers to Help With Trump’s Western Wall Visit: It’s in West Bank, You Have No Authority
    read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.789404

    Netanyahu ordered Israel’s ambassador in D.C. to demand an explanation from the White House after the embarrassing diplomatic incident

    Barak Ravid May 15, 2017 10:06 PM

    Diplomats stationed at the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem refused to hold talks with Israeli officials about arrangements for U.S. President Donald Trump’s planned visit to the Western Wall during his trip to Israel next week, claiming that the site is in the West Bank, and therefore the Israeli government has no authority over it.
    The embarrassing diplomatic incident was first reported by Channel 2 television.
    For the past few days, an American delegation has been in Israel to prepare for Trump’s arrival. It has mainly dealt with security arrangements, logistical preparations and media coverage for the visit. The delegation – headed by the White House’s deputy chief of staff for operations, Joe Hagin – has held meetings with personnel from the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office and toured the sites Trump is expected to visit.

    On Monday, the Americans toured the Western Wall. Trump’s planned visit to the Wall has been defined as private, and he will not be accompanied by any Israeli government representatives. But two employees of the PMO’s public relations department accompanied the preparatory tour to see if the Americans needed any help with arranging media coverage, such as preparing places for journalists and photographers or arranging for live broadcasts of Trump’s visit to the holy site.
    A senior Israeli official who was involved in the incident, but asked to remain anonymous, said that when the PMO employees asked the Americans what help they needed, diplomats from the American consulate in Jerusalem, which is responsible for relations with the Palestinian Authority, told the U.S. delegation that it couldn’t discuss this issue with Israeli government officials.

    The consular diplomats asserted that the Western Wall is part of the West Bank, implying that Israel has no sovereignty over the site. The PMO employees responded furiously, terming the diplomats’ statements unacceptable, the senior Israeli official said. The PMO staffers then announced that they will no longer have anything to do with this part of Trump’s visit.
    “We said we don’t intend to give any assistance with regard to media and logistics for Trump’s visit to the Western Wall,” the senior Israeli official said. “We made it clear that their position is unacceptable to us, but the head of the American delegation just stood there and didn’t intervene.”
    The PMO employees quickly reported the incident to their superiors. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was briefed on the matter and ordered Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, to demand an explanation from the White House.
    “For American diplomats to say that the Western Wall is part of the West Bank astonished us,” a senior official in the Prime Minister’s Bureau said. “We’re convinced that this statement contradicts President Trump’s policy, as expressed in his forceful opposition to the recent UN Security Council resolution.”

    oh my goodness!

    • gingershot
      May 15, 2017, 5:01 pm

      Got to love it!

      1- Incoming indictment of Bibi
      2- Freefalling Trump
      3- gearing up for 1P1V1S and the dismantling of Apartheid

      • Annie Robbins
        May 15, 2017, 6:20 pm

        i wish gingershot! however i think it’s much more likely this is just some rollercoaster set up. who knows! trump, or his administration, seem to just fly by the seats of their pants. did you hear that today the state department accused syria (or assad or both) of building a crematorium at a prison and hanging 50 people a day and burning their bodies? i mean please! but the last time they bombed syria it went so swimmingly with the talking heads and no one even mentioned russia for at least a week so why not try going after syria again? no evidence to speak of — of course. anyway…

      • eljay
        May 16, 2017, 9:19 am

        || Annie Robbins: … trump, or his administration, seem to just fly by the seats of their pants. … ||

        Stephen Colbert recently offered an excellent description of Trump:

        “One thing we’ve learned from the last two years of Donald Trump is that what it seems like he’s doing is exactly what he’s doing,” Colbert said … “There’s no grand strategy. He’s not some puppet master, he’s not some wizard playing three-dimensional chess. He’s playing Hungry Hungry Hippos — he’s just slapping until he gets all of the marbles.”

      • Annie Robbins
        May 16, 2017, 2:18 pm

        eljay, that’s about my assessment too.

    • MHughes976
      May 15, 2017, 5:07 pm

      I understand that Mr. Spicer has announced that ‘wall in WB’ is ‘not the President’s position’. Perhaps just a diplomat snapping under the strain. It does happen sometimes, I believe, when you are expected to look benignly on massive injustice day in, day out. If it really is the President’s position then something big is happening.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 15, 2017, 6:28 pm

        I understand that Mr. Spicer has announced that ‘wall in WB’ is ‘not the President’s position’.

        so has anyone ever heard of “TheWrap”? http://www.thewrap.com/sean-spicer-backpedals-western-wall-flub-that-is-not-the-position-of-this-administration/

        “That is not the position of this Administration,” Spicer told TheWrap in an email…..

        The prime minister’s office told TheWrap in a statement that “the comment that the Western Wall is part of the West Bank was received with astonishment” and that “Israel is certain that the comment contradicts President Trump’s policy as expressed in his fierce opposition to the latest UN Security Council resolution” — a reference to United Nation Security Council’s Resolution 2334, which rejected Israel’s rights in Jerusalem and which Trump has opposed.

        “Israel has asked the US to clarify this,” the official in the prime ministers’ office added.

        TheWrap got the scoop! i predict this will not be covered by the western press at all until such time as the entire episode has been walked back in a big way.. ‘clarified’.

    • Misterioso
      May 16, 2017, 10:46 am

      In accordance with the UN Charter, Israel’s 1980 annexation of East Jerusalem was rejected by the UN Security Council in Resolution 476 (June 30, 1980): “all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the OCCUPYING [my emphasis] Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention”.

      Contrary to what Netanyahu and his fellow thugs believe, there is no special provision in hard won international law that enables Israel to violate it with impunity.

  6. amigo
    May 15, 2017, 4:11 pm

    “Palestinian Fantasy about Jerusalem.”.

    Ye Gods , the rest of the world is on the same side as the Palestinians and it is the Israelis that are not fantasizing.

    Self Delusion San Frontieres.

  7. amigo
    May 15, 2017, 5:22 pm

    Nietandyahoo needs a feel good moment.

    Better talk to Paul Ryan and demand a speech before the full house.Bring maps, copies of the Talmud.Show E mails and texts from God proving he /she/it gave all of Jerusalem to the Jews.

    Bring Adelson along and Haim Saban , oh and the Dersh for a relevant legal opinion.Show this upstart Trump who is really running USA Inc.Don,t let these Jew haters get in the way of the Greater Israel plan.

    • JWalters
      May 16, 2017, 4:39 am

      Such a luminous assemblage of dignity and probity, gathered in the Chamber of Congress to cheer on their Royal Leader and Dispenser of Campaign Cash, bobbing up and down with his stirring calls to Righteousness, will surely impress upon the mind and emotion of the American TV audience the nobility and moral clarity of such an august Gang.

    • Misterioso
      May 16, 2017, 10:51 am

      For the record:

      The Jebusite/Canaanites, ancestors of today’s Palestinians, founded Jerusalem around 3000 BCE. Originally known as Jebus, the first recorded reference to it as “Rushalimum” (or “Urussalim”) appears in Egyptian Execration Texts of the nineteenth century BCE, nearly 800 years before it is alleged King David was born. No archaeological evidence, or more importantly, writings of contemporaneous civilizations, prove that Solomon or David actually existed. To quote the renowned Jewish Israeli writer/columnist, Uri Avnery: “[David and Solomon’s] existence is disproved, inter alia, by their total absence from the voluminous correspondence of Egyptian rulers and spies in the Land of Canaan.” (“A Curious National Home,” by Uri Avnery, May 13/17 –
      http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1494589093/)

  8. HarryLaw
    May 15, 2017, 5:49 pm

    “Who the fuck does he think he is?” Bill Clinton said. It was the summer of 1996, and the president had just met Benjamin Netanyahu for the first time. Clinton thought they would talk about advancing the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords, but the newly elected Israeli prime minister used the occasion to lecture him about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    “Who’s the fucking superpower here?” Clinton fumed”. http://www.newsweek.com/netanyahu-israel-obama-311209

    Some things never change.

    “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released his harshest statement yet to the Trump administration yesterday, correcting the president on Jerusalem and urging him to shatter “the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel.”
    Time for Netanyahu to tell Trump who the real President of the US is. Netanyahu has 100 Senators on his side, how many has Trump?
    One thing Trump will face on his trip to the Middle East is a united front between Saudi Arabia and other GCC states and Israel on the need to attack Iran. Some in his administration do not need convincing of that imperitive.

  9. gingershot
    May 15, 2017, 9:09 pm

    This is yet another windfall opportunity for the forces of good, lightness and blue sky as Trump focuses the world on the Hair on Fire Apartheid

    The Bald Angry Man has taken off his mask and Israel is as jumpy as Trump’s lid during today’s speech!

    The Israeli Right* is spooked and hardening up fast against Trump quicker than Krazy Glue – Kristol is telling them ‘I told you so’ and they are going to PENCE after they brush Trump aside

    Israel is in chaos and on the brink of ‘The Inevitable Israeli Civil War’/says Rogel Alpher, Haaretz

    We’re going to get down to the VERY untelegenic, frothing, obscenity spouting Anti-American Settlers PDQ and THEN watch American public opinion –

    Americans are SEEING and LEARNING as these public relations catastrophes are caught under Klieg lights and exposed

    What Amb David Friedman thinks of the ‘kapos’ is the level of how much the tolerance the Settlers have with Americans. Venomous

    WAPO’S motto ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’ is exactly what happens when Israel and the Israeli Lobby get what they want.

    It’s time to drag the Nightflower out into the sunlight and let the sun shine in and out of every orifice of AIPAC and the Apartheid

    *Including:
    *Kristol and his NeverTrumper Neocons angling for their hail mary PENCE
    *Adelson who just Jumped the Trump with his hareem of Lindsay Graham, McCain
    *’Hillary’s Neocons’ – The Kagans and the Other Kagans, etc, and The Nightflower herself

  10. catalan
    May 16, 2017, 10:18 am

    “… trump, or his administration, seem to just fly by the seats of their pants. … -”
    I can’t visualize flying by the seat of my pants (like if a bird holds my pants in the air?) or the relevance of Trump’s flying skills. But he has been good to investors all over the world. Yesterday Germany’s stock market hit an all time high.

    • amigo
      May 16, 2017, 1:51 pm

      “Yesterday Germany’s stock market hit an all time high. ” catalan

      Unlike your stock which took a nose dive after a half dozen posts here and is barely hanging in here by the seat of your pants.

      Sell , sell , sell , before your stock is completely worthless.

      • Mooser
        May 16, 2017, 6:12 pm

        “Sell , sell , sell , before your stock is completely worthless.”

        “amigo” don’t worry about “catalan”. He hasn’t got a penny invested in Israel, and has no intention of supporting Zionism in any material way.

      • catalan
        May 18, 2017, 11:11 am

        just google stocks plunge. there’s a lot more where that came from – annie
        No point in arguing about stocks. If you feel that you understand in depth the reasons for market moves, make investments on that basis, become rich, and then you can make huge donations to Gaza. The thing about money is, you either have it or you don’t (it’s a number after all), arguing about it is futile. At any rate, I have decided to vote for Bernie in the next election. I have enough money to retire early, but what stops me is the cost of healthcare (and possibly college for my son). Since Bernie will make these things free (and apparently many others), I could theoretically retire in my forties and spend my time reading and travelling (rather than fixing accounting systems). So we are on the same page on that too. I wish you luck in making money, as the people of Gaza need it more than us.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 18, 2017, 12:51 pm

        thanks, but i don’t need luck to make money.

        speaking of stocks, has anyone been following brazil’s ongoing scandal? it’s really radical. they temporarily shut down the plunging stock market today. it follows a leaked tape with the president re hush money to cover up a scandal (160k a week!), the same president who forces a coup on the democratically elected president Dilma Rousseff.

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/18/brazil-explosive-recordings-implicate-president-michel-temer-in-bribery

      • Mooser
        May 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

        “The thing about money is, you either have it or you don’”

        What in the hell is your problem, “catalan”? It always comes back to you having some money, and really, really, really needing to tell us about it. Why here of all places? What’s the point?
        If you’re so rich, why ain’t you smart?

    • Annie Robbins
      May 16, 2017, 2:32 pm

      he has been good to investors all over the world. Yesterday Germany’s stock market hit an all time high.

      as a result of trump? how fabulous!

      I can’t visualize flying by the seat of my pants (like if a bird holds my pants in the air?) or the relevance of Trump’s flying skills.

      the term is an idiom, best understood not by visualization, but by understanding the origin and meaning of the phrase.

      • Mooser
        May 16, 2017, 2:40 pm

        “Catalan” if you want to understand the expression ” by the seat of your pants”, go drift an FRS.

      • catalan
        May 16, 2017, 5:52 pm

        “as a result of trump? how fabulous!”
        Not the only reason, sure, but a lot of money has been made since he became president. What is your explanation for markets being 20 percent up since his election?
        Either way, I don’t think it is Trump the man but his policies. I just have to imagine, what if Bernie had won? The horror. Hoping he runs again in 2020.

      • Mooser
        May 16, 2017, 6:49 pm

        Yeah, yeah, you keep getting richer, but you can’t get your pitcher on the cover of the Rolling Stone.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 18, 2017, 2:57 am

        What is your explanation for markets being 20 percent up since his election?

        Stocks plunge as investors fret about Trump; Dow dives 373 points

        POSTED: 05/17/17, 4:10 PM EDT UPDATED: 2 HRS AGO

        The brewing political crisis in Washington rattled Wall Street Wednesday, knocking the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 370 points and giving the stock market its biggest single-day slump in eight months.

        …..

        Financial stocks, which had soared in the months since the election, declined the most as bond yields fell sharply. Bonds, utilities and gold rose as traders shunned riskier assets. The dollar fell.

        “When you are at these valuations, the market has to reassess whether or not the agenda is actually going to be implemented,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. “What you’re seeing is a classic run toward safety.”

        http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20170517/stocks-plunge-as-investors-fret-about-trump-dow-dives-373-points

        just google stocks plunge. there’s a lot more where that came from

    • RoHa
      May 16, 2017, 8:10 pm

      “Flying by the seat of his pant” is an aviation phrase. It means that pilot ignores his instruments and gets his information about the status of the plane from the variations in the pressure of the pilot’s seat against his bottom and back. It is used as praise for a successful fighter pilot, but it is frequently used metaphorically as a criticism, and certainly would be if applied literally to the pilot of an A380.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cf2oJjUoG0I

  11. Ossinev
    May 16, 2017, 12:18 pm

    “reluctance to move the embassy has made heavyweight Republican funder Sheldon Adelson “furious,”

    I hope one of his eunuchs has told him to ” calm down”and ” keep your hair on” – no wait a minute perhaps not the latter.

    As for who is the “superpower here” scenario I think it might be slowly dawning on the Yahoo and his own Zioeunuchs that Trump gets uppity to put it mildly when people challenge his decisions – and definitely pretentious narcissistic little leaders of a “state” the size of New Jersey.

  12. amigo
    May 16, 2017, 1:39 pm

    Trump pisses off the King of the Jews by not inviting him to share a prayer at the Wall –no , not the Apartheid Wall , the other separation Wall.

    This follows a remark by one of the of the Trump officials in which he told some Israeli officials to mind their own business , and that the Prayer Wall is not in Israel.

    This will make for an interesting visit when Trump prays at the wall without the King of the Jews being present.We all know Trump loves to live on the edge but who guessed he is suicidal.

    Don,t have a link yet.This subject matter arose at the MC Master Press briefing today .

    • amigo
      May 16, 2017, 2:01 pm

      Further to above post !!.

      ““No Israeli leaders will join President Trump to the Western Wall,” National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told reporters at a press briefing, where he outlined Trump’s schedule for his upcoming visit to the Middle East and Europe. Trump will hold talks and a private dinner with Netanyahu.

      In addition to Trump’s stop at the Western Wall — where McMaster said he would “say a prayer” — the president will visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also in the Old City of Jerusalem. Trump will also go to Bethlehem, in the West Bank, where he will meet for the second time this month with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

      When asked, McMaster would not clarify on Tuesday whether the administration considers the Western Wall to be part of Israel. He said that question “sounds like a policy decision.”

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/white-house-trump-will-visit-western-wall-without-netanyahu/

  13. Kay24
    May 16, 2017, 3:08 pm

    Something else to add to this on going tension between Israel and the Trump administration.
    MSNBC says that the “ally” involved in classified information blabber mouth Trump revealed to Russia, was none other than Israel……I suspected as much because Dirty Dershowitz was so outraged yesterday, mentioning Hamas and Hezbollah as taking advantage of the situation.
    A quick stab at those fighting against them, to poison minds. Dersh is always the opportunist.

    • chocopie
      May 16, 2017, 4:36 pm

      Haha, was just coming to post about this. Trump exposed Israeli intelligence. Pass the popcorn.

      • Mooser
        May 16, 2017, 5:51 pm

        “Pass the popcorn.”

        Reports that Trump pressured Comey to halt Flynn investigation.

      • Kay24
        May 17, 2017, 6:53 am

        “When you elect a clown expect a circus.”

        100+ days of investigations, hearings, insults, lies, nepotism, twitter tirades, firings, unethical practices, sinister connections to Russia, and Jared Kushner’s sister using this Presidency to sell real estate in China.

        Making America great again????

    • RoHa
      May 16, 2017, 8:23 pm

      Assuming Trump did pass on classified information. It would be as foolish to believe what US newspapers say about Trump as it would be to believe what the US State Department says about Assad.

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