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Iran is ‘congenital cheating’ ‘Islamic power bent on world domination’ — Netanyahu tells US media

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Benjamin Netanyahu was all over US TV yesterday (I saw him on CNN), trashing our president’s negotiations with Iran. The PM released this trailer of his best lines to American media.

He was Islamophobic:

Iran is a great deal more dangerous than North Korea. It’s a militant Islamic power bent on regional domination, in fact bent on world domination, as it openly says so.

Has Iran ever said it is bent on world domination? That is surely a lie.

Notice Netanyahu’s references to “congenital cheating” in Iran:

This is not a personal issue now between me and the president… We do have a difference of opinion. This is a difference of policies, not a clash of personalities….Iran is shown to be completely distrustful. It’s not a country that you can place your trust in. And it’s not a country that you are going to resolve its congenital cheating– you’re just not going to resolve it by placing more inspectors there.

Do the Iranians get to counter these claims? When will our media give Hassan Rouhani the megaphone?

The Guardian fact-checks some of Netanyahu’s statements here. Yesterday we mentioned Senator Dianne Feinstein’s advice to him to bug out, it’s backfiring.

Thanks to Annie Robbins.

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84 Responses

  1. John O
    John O
    April 6, 2015, 3:39 pm

    “Iran is shown to be completely distrustful.”

    And can you blame them?

    • RoHa
      April 6, 2015, 7:25 pm

      I suspect he doesn’t know the difference between “distrustful” and “untrustworthy”.

    • FreddyV
      April 9, 2015, 7:52 am

      has anyone found the source of the “Israel’s destruction is non negotiable” quote Bibi says came from Iranian General Mohammad Reza Naghdi?

      The only place I seem to be able to find it is from Bibi himself, but nowhere leads to an original source.

      Its not Iran that’s distrustful, its the Israelis and in particular everything that comes out of Netanyahu’s mouth, by all appearances.

  2. annie
    April 6, 2015, 3:46 pm

    cnn had a 7 minute interview (SEVEN MINUTES!!! ) up on their website yesterday plus another 3.5 minute video, both from their “State of the Union” sunday morning talk show. i mean please!!! does the american public need to hear these words again so soon? or look at that face? i swear, does the media have to give him this kind of attention? we don’t do this for putin or merkel or rouhani any other world leader. enough with it!

    • Kathleen
      April 7, 2015, 4:54 pm

      MSM keeps giving BB platforms to undermine the deal. Does anyone know if France, U.K. Germany provide such media platforms to BB so that he can undermine the deal? U.S. MSM outlets roll out the red carpet for his efforts to destroy the agreement

      • Kay24
        April 7, 2015, 5:21 pm

        Kathleen, you should read this article by Prof. Juan Cole, it addresses your point perfectly.

      • Kathleen
        April 8, 2015, 11:13 am

        Thanks K24. Informed Comment generally a stop for me everyday for years now. Wondering why Maddow etc do not have him on. She had him on years ago. Not since. Gives he has too many facts and undermines her efforts for years to inflame the situation with Iran. She has changed her tune a bit over the last year.

  3. just
    April 6, 2015, 3:48 pm

    I’ve seen his adherents try to peddle his latest Easter Sunday morning ‘bunny hop away from the truth’ shtick on sites everywhere today.

    They keep getting shot down.

  4. HarryLaw
    April 6, 2015, 3:56 pm

    I think the reason we have these hysterics from Netanyahu is because of Iran’s growing regional power, economically, militarily, and its soft and hard power influence throughout the region. A deadly combination for Israel. It is the major component of the arc of resistance to Israel, GCC and US hegemony. Israel knows Iran cannot acquire nuclear weapons capability with all the safeguards now in place, so it wants do do the next best thing, keep the sanctions in place, try and stymie the Iranian economy in any way they can, short of a direct assault on it. Of course the Israelis could not do this on their own in any case, the Iranian response would be devastating, some estimates are of 150,000 rockets [confirmed by Israeli intelligence] and aimed at the vital economic areas in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan area by both Iran and Hezbollah. These rockets could be called in conventional weapons terms, mutual assured destruction [MAD]. This is why Israel is so wary of attacking Hezbollah, with Iran, more so.
    They need a willing executioner, unfortunately Obama’s Chiefs of Staff have told him Iran would be no pushover, and that not only would the region go up in flames, the economies of Western Europe would go with them.

    • catalan
      April 6, 2015, 4:58 pm

      Iran’s growing regional power, economically,”Harry
      Iran nominal GDP per capita is 4.7k.or 98 place in the world. Inflation is 18 percent, people below poverty line 18 percent. Exports are almost exclusively oil – 80 percent and some fruits.
      This is a third world country with virtually no competitive companies in the growing sectors such as IT, biotech, entertainment, or retail.
      Like Venezuela, Egypt, or Argentina, they are loud and have a big army. However, they have no human capital to compete in the 21 century. Their economy is less than half that of the Netherlands, which has 14M people.
      I cannot speak as to Netanyahu’s emotional state, but facts are facts.
      Talking a big game doesn’t pay the bills. The geeks rule in the grown up world.

      • just
        April 6, 2015, 5:21 pm

        “However, they have no human capital to compete in the 21 century.”

        They have one of the highest literacy rates.

        (wiki): “Education in Iran is highly centralized and is divided into K-12 education and higher education. K-12 education is supervised by the Ministry of Education and higher education is under supervision of Ministry of Science and Technology. 85% of the Iranian adult population is now literate, well ahead of the regional average of 62%. This rate increases to 97% among young adults (aged between 15 and 24) without any gender discrepancy.[1] By 2007, Iran had a student to workforce population ratio of 10.2%, standing among the countries with highest ratio in the world.[2]”

        They also have nearly 60% women enrolled in Universities.

        Just a snippet from wiki:

        “Sharif University of Technology also located in Tehran is nationally well known for taking in the top undergraduate Engineering and Science students; and internationally recognized for training competent under graduate students. It has probably the highest percentage of graduates who seek higher education abroad.

        K.N.Toosi University of Technology and Amirkabir University of Technology are among most prestigious universities in Tehran. Other major universities are at Shiraz, Tabriz, Esfahan, Mashhad, Ahvaz, Kerman, Kermanshah, Babol Sar, Rasht, and Orumiyeh. There are about 50 colleges and 40 technological institutes.[7]

        In 2009, 33.7% of all those in the 18-25 age group were enrolled in one of the 92 universities, 512 Payame Noor University branches, and 56 research and technology institutes around the country. There are currently some 3.7 million university students in Iran and 1.5 million study at the 500 branches of Islamic Azad University.[1] Iran had 1 million medical students in 2011.”

        One more: “Iran hosts some of the most prestigious universities in the Middle East such as Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran University, Sharif University, and Tarbiat Modares University (all three rank among the top 1,000 universities of the world according to SCImago international rankings). Shiraz University, Isfahan University of Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, and Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran) are other prominent higher education institutes in the country. See also: List of Universities in Iran”

        Your comment is pathetically bigoted and wrong, catalan. No surprise there.

      • Mooser
        April 6, 2015, 5:50 pm

        Gee, “catalan”, you keep talking like that, you should have no problem being accepted by the “mainstream”.

      • straightline
        April 6, 2015, 6:43 pm

        I can vouch for what “just” wrote about Iranian universities. Graduates of Sharif and Tehran, in particular, are very highly regarded in the West in areas of science and and engineering. In terms of quality of graduates they rank much better than “top 1000” would suggest.

      • tree
        April 6, 2015, 7:06 pm

        Funny how Netanyahu thinks they are geeky enough to build a nuclear weapon (and that’s pretty darn geeky!) as well as geeky enough to aim for “world domination”, but now you think they have no “human capital” worth mentioning. Your argument is negating everything that Netanyahu is saying. Which one of you should we believe? And if Iran’s such a backward country why is Netanyahu so afraid of them?

      • RoHa
        April 6, 2015, 8:44 pm

        “they have no human capital to compete in the 21 century. ”

        No technical knowledge or skills at all. And yet, if you don’t keep a close eye on the sneaky buggers, they are capable of whipping up a bunch of nuclear weapons, and the missiles to deliver them, in a matter of minutes.

      • Sycamores
        April 6, 2015, 8:59 pm


        you said Iranian citizens below poverty line is 18 percent with all the crippling sanctions are you surprise.

        yet what should be surprising with Israel’s booming economy and Americn aid

        one in five Israeli families continues to live below the poverty line. That’s the key finding of the National Insurance Institute’s “poverty report”

        Dec. 21, 2014!

        over 1.7 million Israeli citizens living in poverty or 22%

        The Knesset marked the Fight Against Poverty Day on Wednesday. This served as another painful reminder of the government’s neglect of 1,755,000 people living in poverty and of the disregard for the recommendations of the Elalouf Committee on Reducing Poverty, submitted a few months ago. This would have been the perfect opportunity to bring up yet again the recently released gloomy UNICEF report, which showed that Israel now ranks fourth among developed nations in the incidence of child poverty.

        Nov. 20, 2014!

      • Marnie
        April 7, 2015, 8:20 am

        “Exports are almost exclusively oil – 80 percent and some fruits.” – Catalan

        Whereas the borderless zionist state exports roughly 10% nuts, 40% fear and loathing and about 50% whine.

      • Egbert
        April 7, 2015, 7:16 pm

        You forgot about pistachios. Israelis just love Iranian pistachios so there is a nice sanction-busting scam via Turkey to allow Israelis to get their fix. The US has even asked Israel to stop busting sanctions against Iran but Israel effectively to it to pound sand.

      • piotr
        April 8, 2015, 5:39 am

        According to Catalan, Iran is an economically feebly country, so the loud fear of Iran in Israel is basically a bad case of vapors and paranoia.

        On the other hand, the metrics chosen by Catalan are misleading. Because of sanctions, Iran had to conserve foreign currency, resulting in low exchange rate. On PPP basis, GNP/person in Iran is about 1/2 of Israeli level. Iran also produces many industrial products and has decent agriculture so it can survive the slump in oil prices without a major crisis. Before the slump, Iran’s exports were 3 times larger than that of Israel, now perhaps twice larger (and the share of non-oil export is of course nearly doubled).

        Sanctions were a “mixed curse” because the unrestricted access to the global financial system and free trade is a “mixed blessing”: ask Greece.

      • just
        April 8, 2015, 6:52 am

        “Waiting for a prime minister to embrace an anti-poverty program

        …Historic step needed

        Whom did you meet with?

        We met with Isaac Herzog and Manuel Trajtenberg from Zionist Union, Moshe Kahlon and Eli Alalouf from Kulanu, Orli Levi-Abekasis from Yisrael Beiteinu, Meir Cohen from Yesh Atid and Zehava Galon from Meretz.

        What about the others?

        We also approached [Habayit Hayehudi’s] Naftali Bennett, Likud and Shas, but they wouldn’t meet with us. We chased them quite a bit. Apparently they had different priorities. We set up a meeting with the Joint List [of Arab parties], but that didn’t happen due to a scheduling conflict.

        Were you surprised?

        When Likud, Habayit Hayehudi and Shas didn’t want to meet with us, I think that illustrated their take on the issue. Likud didn’t even publish a platform, which is wrong from a democratic perspective, but the public made its choice and our expectations of any government won’t change.

        I’m not arguing that Likud isn’t a socially conscious party, but I have serious misgivings about the previous government. Netanyahu has been prime minister since 2009, but he’s not the only one. Before him no prime ministers embraced a program to reduce poverty.

        …Maybe politicians feel they have more important things to deal with?

        During the election campaign the public was asked what their most urgent problem was, and most people talked about poverty and social issues. According to the National Insurance Institute, one-fifth of Israeli families live in poverty and distress, but actually many more people do. There’s a sense that in the OECD we’re competing for last place in terms of poverty, and there are still no well-defined policies in this area.

        Why not?

        Apparently the poor don’t interest anyone. They have no political clout. There is no one to represent them in the Knesset — maybe it’s convenient for some people this way. I have no other explanation; things are chaotic.

        When children don’t get the food they need or the help they need at school, their self-confidence decreases and their chances of reaching higher education are slim. Maybe this is the reason recent NII reports show increasing numbers of young poor heads of families. This is the result of policies that produce generations of poor people. Four governments have changed since we petitioned the High Court and none took responsibility. …

        Netanyahu said the greatest challenge is Iran — life itself.

        Life itself also means ensuring that your child has something to eat at school. Life itself means ensuring that an old person doesn’t live on handouts and scraps he finds in the garbage. I know very few people who don’t want to be independent and obtain their food on their own. This topic should be a high national priority. If it means cutting elsewhere, I think it’s worthwhile.

        The latest report indicated a slight reduction in poverty rates.

        True, but we don’t feel it on the ground. Even the NII had reservations about some of the data, saying they don’t reflect the full impact of the cuts in child allowances. I have no doubt that the 2014 report will show continued growth in poverty rates. I think Israel doesn’t want to be a third-world country, but we’re headed that way. Even with a slight dip, poverty rates in Israel are twice the average in OECD countries.

        According to your report, 1% of those receiving aid from food agencies have master’s degrees and even more have bachelor degrees.

        These are the new poor, coming from the middle class. This is one more indication that we’re becoming a weak society. A strong society has a strong middle class, but here we have a small middle class with a polarization toward rich and poor extremes.

        According to the NII, 78% of poor people of working age actually work — this covers poor households in which at least one adult works, even part-time. When one earns minimum wage with no enforcement of labor laws, that’s what you get.

        Most people I’ve met became poor following illness, a change in family status, a sudden death, divorce, a wrong financial decision such as a failed small business, or even mortgage payments that became overwhelming. Ultimately, people want to extricate themselves from such a situation and live independently. I haven’t met anyone who enjoys waiting in line for a food package.”

        Nice picture @ the link to confirm Israel’s ‘human capital’. Never mind that Israel receives billions and billions of dollars from the US and others. Never forget that they treat the indigenous Palestinians worse than their own.

        This is not a first- rate state by any stretch of the imagination.

      • talknic
        April 9, 2015, 12:17 pm

        @ catalan ” Iran nominal GDP per capita is 4.7k.or 98 place in the world. Inflation….etc etc etc …Their economy is less than half that of the Netherlands, which has 14M people”

        The Netherlands under sanctions is it?

      • catalan
        April 9, 2015, 12:39 pm

        “The Netherlands under sanctions is it? Talknic
        I was just pointing out some facts. The interpretation of the facts is a different matter. Clearly, having sanctions against you doesn’t help. That said, there are no sanctions against Egypt for instance and they are doing way worse than Iran. So the sanctions alone don’t explain why some countries do better than others in ensuring prosperity. Nobody owes anyone anything.
        Ultimately the Iranian people and their leaders have to make the choices to secure a better future. That means more compromising and less blame throwing. I am simply not an expert on Iran at all (to put it mildly) and therefore would not recommend solutions. However, economic data is now available for all to see.

      • annie
        April 9, 2015, 1:21 pm

        Clearly, having sanctions against you doesn’t help. That said, there are no sanctions against Egypt for instance and they are doing way worse than Iran. So the sanctions alone don’t explain why some countries do better than others in ensuring prosperity.

        do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound catalan?

        Clearly, having cancer against you doesn’t help. That said, there’s no cancer against a victim of gun violence for instance and they are doing way worse than the cancer patient. So the cancer alone don’t explain why some people do better than others in ensuring proper health.

    • just
      April 6, 2015, 5:03 pm

      “I think the reason we have these hysterics from Netanyahu is because of Iran’s growing regional power, economically, militarily, and its soft and hard power influence throughout the region”

      Yes, but when has he not been given to hysterics, histrionics, and hyperbole? Iran does not threaten Israel nor does it threaten the US. Iran should be a regional power and it should be respected. He’s been warning everybody who’ll listen about Iran since the early 90’s.

      Iran is incredibly mature, respectable, and civilized compared to Israel.


    • Kathleen
      April 7, 2015, 4:55 pm

      Very similar to what the Leveretts have been saying for years.

    • ivri
      April 7, 2015, 5:33 pm

      Mr. Law
      Don`t get carried away by manufactured appearances and media hypes (including what Netanyahu said here). The specter of an omnipotent Iran, which “dominates” Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen and what not, is sheer nonsense. Just look at what goes on in these countries – anybody who is ready “to own” that mess (and an indefinite one) is more than welcomed. In a world with the US, China, Russia, the EU, just to name some, Iran can never even approach “dominance”.
      The only real worry here, which is indeed serious, is an Iran with nukes (and for that matter any other rogue country too) and it is this grave danger that troubles Israel (and others) greatly.
      As for Hezbollah it does not matter how many missiles it has because its stronghold is merely a neighborhood of Beirut – that practically means that a real war is a neighborhood fighting a country. It took the Shia forever to rise to prominence in Lebanon (they used to be the lowest socioeconomically) – would they risk all that in a hopeless war (one that they can never win)? And do that while engaged in an indefinite war with a real fierce enemy and danger – the Islamic State?
      Add one to one to one and draw the conclusions

      • just
        April 7, 2015, 9:19 pm

        Why do you label Iran a “rogue country”, ivri?

        The term is bs and only useful for warmongers, primarily in the US. It’s in the same bs category as “axis of evil” and the “war on terror”.

        But if you want to use it, then the US and Israel fit the bill, too.

        P.S. They both have nuclear weapons.

      • Mooser
        April 7, 2015, 9:25 pm

        “Add one to one to one and draw the conclusions”

        Okay, we will start with Israel in possession of an illegal nuclear arsenal, and the means to deliver them, and no safeguards or controls at all. Some field commander or sub capt. gets a message over the Kaballah board, and he starts chucking nukes around.

      • eljay
        April 7, 2015, 9:49 pm

        || ivreee: … The only real worry here, which is indeed serious, is an Iran with nukes (and for that matter any other rogue country too) and it is this grave danger that troubles Israel (and others) greatly. ||

        An Iran with nukes is a hypothetical worry. The real and proven worry here, which is indeed serious, is a belligerent, intransigent, colonialist, expansionist and nuclear-armed Israel with hegemonic ambitions. This grave danger troubles Iran (and others) greatly.

      • ivri
        April 8, 2015, 5:48 am

        @just: why do label Iran a “rogue country”?
        Well, in today`s world terms a regime that is a combination of a military dictatorship and theocracy is called rogue

      • just
        April 8, 2015, 10:39 am

        Well, that’s your definition, ivri.

        And, it fits Israel to a “T”!

  5. just
    April 6, 2015, 4:13 pm

    O/T, though loosely related.

    “A Tel Aviv family was barred from entering a public park in Afula over Passover because their bags contained chametz, the leavened bread that Jewish tradition prohibits over the festival.

    “People who went there with rolls, they didn’t let them in, and they had to eat them at the entrance” of Afula Park, said Barak Avivi, a lawyer who said he was considering filing a class-action lawsuit after he, his wife Michal, their daughter and other children in the family, were among many visitors told they could not enter on Saturday because their food was not kosher for Passover.

    Michal Avivi’s Facebook post on the family’s experience was shared thousands of times. Everyone who wanted to enter the park Saturday “underwent a meticulous search for chametz in all their bags,” she wrote. “When I asked the security guard at the entrance why he wasn’t letting them in, he said he received this ‘democratic’ directive from the park manager, who told him not to give in to anyone – Jews, Arabs, everyone!”

    The Afula municipality defended the policy, citing 2008 Interior Ministry guidelines saying the purpose of Israel’s so-called Chametz Law, which prohibits businesses in Jewish parts of the country from publicly displaying chametz products for sale or consumption, is “to prevent the display of chametz in the public sphere, to avoid insulting the public and maintain the character of the holiday.”

    “The Afula municipal park is a public facility that serves the residents of the city and its environs, and so the public is asked to refrain from bringing chametz into it during the holiday, as is customary in many other public institutions,” …

    The city went beyond the chametz prohibitions set forth in Israeli law, “which only talks about selling and businesses, not about parks or private individuals,” said Barak Avivi. “That means the Afula municipality decided to take the law into its own hands, to interpret it as it wants, to discriminate between those who keep kosher and those who don’t.””

    A theocracy, not a democracy. Let me help Netanyahu out with a suggested meme for next Sunday:

    ‘~Israel is a great deal more dangerous than Iran. It’s a militant Judeocentric, apartheid, Occupying power armed with nuclear weapons that is bent on regional domination, and I am a proven liar and congenital cheater. Just ask any Palestinian or American President!~’

    • John O
      John O
      April 6, 2015, 4:38 pm

      Dear God! And I thought the signs on a children’s playground in Lewis in the Outer Hebrides (Scottish Christian fundamentalist territory) urging parents not to let their children play on the swings on the Sabbath was bad. At least they’ve stopped chaining the swings up these days.

      • RoHa
        April 6, 2015, 7:23 pm

        “At least they’ve stopped chaining the swings up these days. ”

        They’ve stopped? But ye’re still no’ permitted tae whustle on the Sabbath, I hope. Or has the De’il dragged the whole Isle doon intae a pit of moral corruption?

      • amigo
        April 7, 2015, 1:17 pm

        “Or has the De’il dragged the whole Isle doon intae a pit of moral corruption? -“RoHa .

        Och, dinna ask me jumma, I dinna ken what yer on aboot.

    • piotr
      April 8, 2015, 8:19 am

      Well, there is time to weep, and there is time for laughter. Sometimes Israeli police sees nothing wrong with group sex on a city beach, and sometimes they test if your matso sandwitches were made of matsos that are proper for Passover. And what is it? Pastrami AND cheese in your lunch box?

      However, the city fathers of Afula have a real problem. Before Passover you are suppose to sweep away all crumbs of chametz, and then G..d fearing citizens go to the city part to enjoy nice weather and rest after all that pre-Passover cleaning. And their shoes get contaminated with chametz crumbs that are subsequently carried home. So it is not like eating chametz in a public park during Passover is a victimless activity.

      However, what I found truly interesting is that benevolent Interior Ministry impose Chametz Law solely on “Jewish parts of the country”, so perhaps there are maps of those parts.

  6. surewin
    April 6, 2015, 5:37 pm

    Iran’s chances of achieving world domination are slim, as we all know. But every culture imagines itself to be the best in the world and deserving of dominance. Other cultures have better chances than the Iranians, such as the Jews, the Nordic Protestants, the Jesuits et al, and perhaps others. Some have had higher hopes in the past, including the Mongols, the Muslims, the early Bolsheviks, the later Soviets, the Japanese, and so on.

    By the way, Thierry Meyssan has just published an interesting take on the Iranian deal:

    • RoHa
      April 7, 2015, 7:55 pm

      Personally, I expect to see the world dominated by Australian unculture. (Unless those Kiwi buggers get in first.)

      But I didn’t know the Iranians had hopes or plans for world domination. It seems to me that their ambitions are for their own security and local influence.

  7. JLewisDickerson
    April 6, 2015, 5:58 pm

    RE: “Iran is shown to be completely distrustful. It’s not a country that you can place your trust in. And it’s not a country that you are going to resolve its congenital cheating– you’re just not going to resolve it by placing more inspectors there. “ ~ Benjamin Netanyahu’s “psychological projection”*

    “How Israel Out-Foxed US Presidents”, By Morgan Strong (A Special Report),, 5/31/10

    [EXCERPT] ● Secret Nukes and JFK
    . . . Even as it backed down in the Sinai [following its invasion in 1956], Israel was involved in another monumental deception, a plan for building its own nuclear arsenal.
    In 1956, Israel had concluded an agreement with France to build a nuclear reactor in the Negev desert. Israel also signed a secret agreement with France to build an adjacent plutonium reprocessing plant.
    Israel began constructing its nuclear plant in 1958. However, French President Charles de Gaulle was worried about nuclear weapons destabilizing the Middle East and insisted that Israel not develop a nuclear bomb from the plutonium processing plant. Prime Minister Ben-Gurion assured de Gaulle that the processing plant was for peaceful purposes only.

    After John F. Kennedy became President, he also wrote to Ben-Gurion explicitly calling on Israel not to join the nuclear-weapons club, drawing another pledge from Ben-Gurion that Israel had no such intention.
    Nevertheless, Kennedy continued to press, forcing the Israelis to let U.S. scientists inspect the nuclear reactor at Dimona. But the Israelis first built a fake control room while bricking up and otherwise disguising parts of the building that housed the plutonium processing plant.
    In return for allowing inspectors into Dimona, Ben-Gurion also demanded that the United States sell Hawk surface-to-air missiles to the Israeli military. Kennedy agreed to the sale as a show of good faith.
    Subsequently, however, the CIA got wind of the Dimona deception and leaked to the press that Israel was secretly building a nuclear bomb.
    After Kennedy’s assassination, President Lyndon Johnson also grew concerned over Israel’s acquiring nuclear weapons. He asked then-Prime Minister Levi Eshkol to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
    Eshkol assured Johnson that Israel was studying the matter and would sign the treaty in due course. However, Israel has never signed the treaty
    and never has admitted that it developed nuclear weapons. [For details, See “Israel and The Bomb” by Avner Cohen.] . . .


  8. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Maximus Decimus Meridius
    April 6, 2015, 6:09 pm

    I see that in their desperation, the Israelis are resorting to the nastiest, cheapest Orientalist slurs. Just a few days ago, Michael Oren caricatured the Iranians as duplicitous carpet merchants who will happily swindle you over a few glasses of sweet tea:

    ”Want to purchase a carpet in the Middle East? If so, the first question the merchant will ask you is, “How much do you want to spend?” Seasoned buyers never answer. They know that whatever amount they cite will become the baseline for the negotiation. They understand that the merchant’s smiles, the many cups of tea he serves, his invitations to stroll along the riverbank, are all part of his selling tactic. So, too, are his protests — in response to any offer — of wounded pride. Veterans of Middle East carpet markets expect the give-and-take to be lengthy, even exhausting, but are always willing to leave the shop”

    I mean, seriously? Could you imagine if Time magazine published an article caricaturing Israelis as tight fisted money lenders with hook noses? We’d never hear the end of how ‘antisemitic’ it was, and this time they might even be right. But of course it’s fine when it’s Iranians, or Muslims or Arabs, being nastily stereotyped. And this man is a ‘diplomat’?

    • Kay24
      April 6, 2015, 6:25 pm

      They are so hypocritical. They are indeed nasty and vicious too. They do not have the spine to take any criticism against themselves, but boy, they are so liberal when showing their hatred and take sly jabs at other ethnicities. Remember this cartoon, and the howls of outrage claiming it was anti-semitic, until the Sydney Morning Herald had to “apologize”?

      Despite the accusation from the pro war zionist crowd that Iran threatens Israel, most of the threats, criticism, and warnings of bombs being dropped over Iran, comes from Israel and it’s merry band of war mongers.

    • amigo
      April 7, 2015, 1:24 pm

      “I mean, seriously? Could you imagine if Time magazine published an article caricaturing Israelis as tight fisted money lenders with hook noses? We’d never hear the end of how ‘antisemitic’ it was, and this time they might even be right. But of course it’s fine when it’s Iranians, or Muslims or Arabs, being nastily stereotyped. And this man is a ‘diplomat’?” MDM

      He is a Zionist diplomat.It,s part of his job description to be a racist bigot.Why he is allowed to get away with it, is all down to zionist control of the media .

    • piotr
      April 8, 2015, 7:28 am

      This story of carpet seller is not entirely baseless, what I see that it does not support the point at all.

      Should we renounce purchase of carpets, and bomb the merchant (who may be an Armenian, but Jews tend to loath the Armenians so it is fine)? Or invade and take the carpets?

      And how it differs from Israel as a negotiator? The main difference is boorishness, totally uncivil behavior toward the other party (Palestinians) and even the “honest broker”, hapless American diplomats badmouthed for “being obsessed” etc. just for attempting to make the negotiations look a bit less like a mockery. Forget about the caps of tea, or ever getting anything, except for a grudging agreement that is promptly broken.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        Maximus Decimus Meridius
        April 8, 2015, 7:58 am

        ”Should we renounce purchase of carpets, and bomb the merchant (who may be an Armenian, but Jews tend to loath the Armenians so it is fine)?”

        Probably more likely to be Azeri. The Azeris are very prominent in Iranian business circles, and are also very well represented in politics – Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei is of Azeri background, as are several high ranking clerics and politicians. The Azeris make up about 2O% of the Iranian population, as do the Palestinians in Israel. Contrast the level of integration.

        But I take your point. Sleazy Orientalist cliches aside, what’s wrong with being a shrewd negotiatior? I thought that was generally considered a good thing? And perhaps because he comes from one of the rudest, most arrogant countries on earth, Oren does not understand that it’s the norm in high level negotiations to have a bit of ‘give and take’, and that no one party to the talks gets everything they want. Hence ‘negotiations’. But Israel has a rather different interpretation of the term ‘give and take’. They take, and everyone else gives.

      • just
        April 8, 2015, 8:01 am

        +1. piotr!

        As for liars, “congenital cheaters”, tea, and carpets, I will let Joe Conason take it away (2007):

        “McCain’s Magic Carpet Ride

        Both Iraqis and Americans were stunned by the audacity of Sen. John McCain’s heavily publicized (and heavily armed) excursion through Baghdad’s Shorja market last weekend. There was the leading proponent of the war on Capitol Hill, setting out to confirm his recent claim that the escalation of U.S. forces is greatly improving conditions on the ground, accompanied by a handful of congressional colleagues. He seemed to think nobody would notice that their little shopping trip included a platoon of soldiers, three Black Hawk choppers and two Apache gunships.

        Neither the Iraqi merchants used as props in this strange exercise nor the American voters who were its intended targets could have been deceived by such a charade. So the question that inevitably arises is whether McCain and company are still attempting to dupe us—or whether they have finally duped themselves.

        Consider the happy talk from Rep. Mike Pence, an Indiana Republican who has visited Iraq on several occasions. At the press conference that inevitably followed the Shorja photo op, Pence said he had been inspired by the opportunity to “mix and mingle unfettered among ordinary Iraqis,” drinking tea and haggling over carpets. To him, the Baghdad shops were “like a normal outdoor market in Indiana in the summertime.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, McCain sidekick and Republican of South Carolina, boasted of buying “five rugs for five bucks,” marveling that “just a few weeks ago, hundreds of people, dozens of people were killed in the same place.””

      • RoHa
        April 8, 2015, 7:03 pm

        I don’t see anything sleazy about polite negotiation over a cup of tea. Quite the opposite of sleazy, in fact.

  9. pabelmont
    April 6, 2015, 7:10 pm

    Duplicitous? The Persians? Really? No evidence? But it’s OK, because, you know, cosi fan tutti (Italian for “every one does it”). They must be duplicitous. It’s in human nature. And if they must be duplicitous, why not say so?

    Who built nukes and pretended not to? Israel. Who claimed peace process and stalled for 24 years? Israel. Who said they accepted UNGA-181 in 1947 and then started a war to capture the whole thing (didn’t get the whole thing, but not for want of trying) ? Israel. That whole lie about “Nakba, what nakba, you gotta be kidding!” Israel. One lie after another.

    Would you buy a used peace process from Netanyahu? Of course not. He’s duplicitous. It’s in the Israeli nature. Hooked noses are not the point. Duplicitous from the beginning.

    i think he’s digging himself a deeper and deeper hole. He wants to get all those fence-sitters in Congress on his side. We’ll see if the American people are sufficiently “patiotic” or sufficiently tired of big unwinnable wars yet.

    And so will he.

    • pabelmont
      April 6, 2015, 9:19 pm

      Oops, forgot. Israel is congenitally duplicitous. Was lying and myth-making from before it was born. “The Jewish People” lie. “The Jewish Homeland” lie. read shlomo sand’s books.

  10. Mayhem
    April 6, 2015, 10:09 pm

    Do the Iranians get to counter these claims?

    Are you serious Phil? Haven’t you signed up for Iran TV? Don’t you listen to Iranian official broadcasts or keep up-to-date with the propaganda that they spout in their other state-sponsored media channels?

    Has Iran ever said it is bent on world domination?

    Maybe not world domination but to be a major power player in the Middle East is certainly at the very top of their agenda.

    Why are you so enamored by a framework that is full of vagaries and inconsistencies?

    How does Iran get away with having illegally built the underground Fordow facility?

    Why is nothing in the agreement to stem the Iranian support for their terrorist functionaries in the region?

    Plainly Netanyahu and the rest of the ‘free’ world has good reason to express serious concerns over a framework that seems to be just serving Obama’s wish to get the Iran issue off the table so he can spend more time playing golf.

    • annie
      April 7, 2015, 12:52 pm

      Are you serious Phil? Haven’t you signed up for Iran TV?

      but unlike iranian press airing congress objections and obama’s ptv the american public doesn’t hear much iranian opinion on the american press. especially when you compare it to how much foreign opinion we hear wrt israeli opinion.

      framework that is full of vagaries and inconsistencies?

      what specific vagaries and inconsistencies are you referencing? source.

      How does Iran get away with having illegally built the underground Fordow facility?

      How does Israel get away with having illegally built dimona? what should we do about it. aren’t you concerned about the arms race in the ME?

  11. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    April 7, 2015, 4:01 am

    Let me present my overall reaction to the story of the proposed framework:
    1. I think it is natural for the Israelis to fear Iran. Obama agrees with me. (I am assuming that Obama was not lying when he spoke to Tom Friedman.)
    2. The US shot its wad in 2003 on the stupid war against Iraq. If not for the natural fatigue that has followed that debacle, if instead the US would have garnered its strength and anger after 9/11 and focused on Iran, then there might have been a much better agreement with Iran.
    (My definition of a much better agreement is a first phase of 20 to 30 years instead of a first phase of 10 years.)
    3. It is not clear what the Congress can do to block the agreement. (The agreement is not a 100% done deal, but it has to be given an 80% likelihood to be signed approximately on July 8th.)
    4. The Iranian regime is not nearly as apocalyptic and dangerous as it was in its early stage when Khomeini was alive. (Nonetheless their rhetoric is still in the cesspool too much of the time and it is difficult to prove to those who have valid fears that the words of Iran’s imams are innocent, when in fact, they are not.)
    5. I do not have sufficient knowledge to allay my own fears vis a vis Iran’s nuke, let alone to compete with Ari shavit and Jeffrey Goldberg who know more than I do about nukes and war games and balance of power. I did not sit at the Passover seder with people who are to my left, but with people who watch Fox news and who consider Obama an enemy to Israel and there is no way that my dependence on Barak Ravid’s “it’s not such a bad agreement” can allay their fears.

    6. There is a wide gap between the interests of the US vis a vis the Iranian nuke and the interests of Israel vis a vis the Iranian nuke. If I felt those interests were identical I would be willing to fight the agreement, but I will not do so because if it is in the US interest, but against Israel’s interest, I don’t feel right lobbying my congressman and senators to fight for Israel’s interest rather than the US interest. I envy neoconservatives who consider the US and Israel interest as identical, because they are free to fight this agreement without reservation, but I cannot.

    7. I am not sure what role American Zionists who are opposed to the settler movement should play in the Iran context. Peter Beinart seems rather sure of himself and whereas on the issue of settlements and resolution 242 I am not far from Beinart, I have nowhere near sufficient self confidence on this issue to go full steam ahead and say that this is the best possible agreement.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      Maximus Decimus Meridius
      April 7, 2015, 2:25 pm

      ”The Iranian regime is not nearly as apocalyptic and dangerous as it was in its early stage when Khomeini was alive.”

      Funnily enough, Israel got on quite well with Iran – not officially of course – during the very period when Iran was at its most radical and aggressive. What Israel fears much more is an Iran which is independent yet integrated into the global economy and power structure.

      ” Ari shavit and Jeffrey Goldberg who know more than I do about nukes and war games and balance of power”

      Then clearly you know very, very little indeed.

    • marc b.
      marc b.
      April 7, 2015, 5:12 pm

      if instead the US would have garnered its strength and anger after 9/11 and focused on Iran

      good god, what casual war mongering. who/what in Iran should have suffered the wrath of US strength and anger? maybe blow up a few nuclear facilities scattering radioactivity through out the region. and what did iran have to do with ‘9/11’? so instead of inventing meetings between Atta and Iraqi intelligence agents in Prague, someone should have fabricated ties between Atta and the IRG? and military intervention in Iran would have gone much more smoothly than in Iraq or Afghanistan? how about after 9/11 the US reevaluated its relationship with SA, or reevaluated its policy of arming and supporting jihadists against secular regimes, or something else related to 9/11?

      • Mooser
        April 7, 2015, 6:38 pm

        “good god, what casual war mongering. who/what in Iran should have suffered the wrath of US strength and anger?”

        “Marcb” you are getting a look at Yonah’s idea of “dialogue”. Seems to pretty much look like wishing death on people, encouraging the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people.

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        April 7, 2015, 6:51 pm

        marc b. – It’s theoretical at this point, but the US squandered a lot of good will from European allies and others by attacking Iraq. Making an effort to curtail the Iranian nuke program would probably not have involved an attack, but sanctions are a form of aggressive policy and that policy might have yielded better results if the US had not already expended its energy on a war with Iraq.

      • marc b.
        marc b.
        April 7, 2015, 7:29 pm

        Mooser, it’s the Roger Cohen school of foreign affairs, every atrocity an opportunity for score settling, or at the very least to settle an upset stomach or mild psychological discomfort.

        I am shaking with rage at the attack on Charlie Hebdo. It’s an attack on the free world. The entire free world should respond, ruthlessly.

        Quick, kill someone, anyone, if only to calm Roger’s nerves.

      • just
        April 7, 2015, 7:37 pm

        Thanks marc b. and Mooser.

        You nailed it.

      • RoHa
        April 7, 2015, 8:05 pm

        Marc, what do you expect from some one who either cannot or will not learn the grammar of conditional sentences, and insists on writing “if instead the US would have garnered its strength”, instead of “if instead the U.S. had garnered its strength”?

      • Mooser
        April 7, 2015, 9:32 pm

        “2. The US shot its wad in 2003 on the stupid war against Iraq.”
        “It’s theoretical at this point, but the US squandered a lot of good will from European allies and others by attacking Iraq.”

        Gee, I don’t want to bring up any old scores or anything, but isn’t it just a leeeetle hypocritical for Zionists to start kvetching about what a bad mistake the War on Iraq was? As I remember, they were all for it! Up to their eyeballs in advocating for it.
        Especially since the same people advocating for war on Iran are the same ones that wanted War on Iraq.

        Fail, Yonah, big fail.

    • Mooser
      April 7, 2015, 7:00 pm

      “if instead the US would have garnered its strength and anger after 9/11 and focused on Iran”

      So that’s why you were camped out in front of the Marine Corp recruiting station in New York, Yonah. You were ready to be the first to go, and if necessary, die for the sublime cause of destroying Iran!

  12. Qualtrough
    April 7, 2015, 5:53 am

    Congenital means present from birth. So in other words Iranians are born liars. You know, it’s just in their blood. You would think that kind of talk would ring a bell with him.

  13. just
    April 7, 2015, 9:46 am

    “Israeli journalists have long been frustrated that their prime minister appears to regard himself as more accountable to the US press than his own.

    So it was at the weekend, as Binyamin Netanyahu, who has generally avoided serious interrogation by Israeli reporters during his years in office, was to be found bouncing from one US talk show to another, denouncing President Obama’s tentative nuclear deal with Iran.

    Netanyahu claimed to be doing no more than defending Israel’s interests in the face of what he characterised as a terrorist state intent on Israel’s obliteration.

    But with Republicans using the agreement as another opportunity to rally against the president and even turn it into an election issue, Netanyahu once again allied himself with Obama’s opponents.

    The Sunday talk shows, with their deferential questioning – the Israeli prime minister was not questioned about his country’s own undeclared nuclear weapons, and his alarmist claims about Palestinian intent went unchallenged – provided the platform for Netanyahu to lay out the case the Republicans are already pushing to try and scupper the deal.”

    more @

  14. just
    April 7, 2015, 10:12 am

    This is “big”:

    “3:46 P.M. Report: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard chief backs nuclear talks

    Iranian state television is reporting that the chief of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard has offered his support to Iranian nuclear negotiators.

    …..State TV’s website quoted Jafari as saying: “With God’s grace, the revolutionary children of Islamic Iran have succeeded in defending the rights of the Iranian nation and the Iranian nation and the Guard appreciate their honest political efforts.”

    He also said Iran as a nation supported the diplomatic efforts.

    The Revolutionary Guard is the single most powerful institution in Iran. It exerts a strong behind-the-scenes role in Iranian affairs. (AP)”

    • Walid
      April 7, 2015, 12:04 pm

      Just, not surprising since nothing moves in Iran without the Ayatollah’s blessings. If the negotiations reached this point, it was because the Ayatollah willed it and if he did, so did the Guard.

  15. Sam905
    April 7, 2015, 11:35 am

    “Iran is ‘congenital cheating’ ‘Islamic power bent on world domination”. Netanyahu nails it, just replace ‘Iran’ with ‘ Israel’ and ‘ Islamic’ with ‘Jewish’

  16. amigo
    April 7, 2015, 1:33 pm

    We need one of those yearly BBC polls on which is the most hated nation on earth.

    My guess would be Israel will sail into first place unseating North Korea, Pakistan –aaaaand–Iran who will slip down to 10th position.

    We all know Israel is better than any other nation so why not be the most hated as well.Israel has worked hard for decades to achieve this illustrious position.Why not give them recognition for their efforts.

    • catalan
      April 7, 2015, 2:36 pm

      My guess would be Israel will sail into first place unseating North Korea, Pakistan –aaaaand–Iran who will slip down to 10th position. – Amigo
      Friend, it’s about being happy, not about being liked. The two frequently contradict each other. Who is happier – the teenage girl with a body dismorphic disorder or the one eating to her heart’s content? One can please others, but it’s more important to please oneself. Why should either Pakistanis or Israelis worry so much what the snobs think of them?

      • Mooser
        April 7, 2015, 9:44 pm

        “Friend, it’s about being happy, not about being liked.”

        You think the Israelis are happy in their 60 year occupation? You think Israelis are happy living in illegal settlements? Being drafted, year after year? Do you think Israelis are happy living in constant existential hysteria?

        My God, “catalan”, your opinion of the Israelis must be really low! Even lower than mine. You think what they do makes them happy? Wow, you must loathe them. I’ve said some really mean thing about Israelis and Zionists, but I hope I never sunk to that!

  17. lysias
    April 7, 2015, 4:14 pm

    A big shift in the Mediterranean balance of power may be about to take place, as Tsipras flies to Moscow, where Putin is apparently promising him the financial assistance that the West has been denying Greece. Alexis Tsipras flies to Moscow amid speculation of bailout from Putin: Greek prime minister to sign accords with Russia, including gas price discount and possible loans in return for Greek assets, that would alarm EU creditors.

    • lysias
      April 7, 2015, 6:57 pm

      The New York Times doesn’t like Tsipras’s move. Greece Should Be Wary of Mr. Putin. They say Russia can’t afford to give much financial aid to Greece, because of the drop in the price of oil, but at the same time they say that the EU sanctions against Russia will soon lapse if Greece doesn’t go along with them. Seems to me Greece’s vote against the sanctions would be worth quite a lot of money to Russia.

    • RoHa
      April 7, 2015, 7:17 pm

      Tsipras should be careful. Putin made those sorts of offers to Yanukovich, Yanukovich accepted, and the US staged a coup against him and started a civil war in Ukraine.

      • lysias
        April 8, 2015, 5:14 pm

        Greece had enough of a coup regime with the rule of the colonels. If the U.S. tries to inspire another such coup, the Greeks are likely to resist it with guerrilla war, if they have no other choice.

      • RoHa
        April 8, 2015, 8:15 pm

        “If the U.S. tries to inspire another such coup, the Greeks are likely to resist it with guerrilla war, if they have no other choice.”

        So they would still get a civil war. Given Tsipras’ high popularity, and the general pissed-offness of the Greeks with the current world order, I think it would be tough to mount a coup against him. It would have to be the colonels again.

  18. JimMichie
    April 7, 2015, 7:31 pm

    This sociopathic megalomaniac needs to be heavily medicated, restrained in a straight jacket, fitted with a Hannibal muzzle, and institutionalized for life before he has another tantrum, starts another war, unleashes his undisclosed nuclear arsenal, and massacres thousands more, in Palestine and elsewhere in the world!

    • just
      April 7, 2015, 8:50 pm

      The most bizarre thing is that he’s given not one, not two, but multiple platforms in the US from which to spew!

      The other day I was watching one of my favorite movies and was struck by one of my favorite scenes, and it occurred to me who the Monster/ Creature reminded me of…

      Then there was Igor admitting that he got the wrong brain~ a.b. normal, and then the pitchforks and torches.

      (RIP Peter Boyle)

      • Bornajoo
        April 8, 2015, 2:45 am

        Brilliant Just!
        One of my favourite films of all time.

  19. just
    April 7, 2015, 8:12 pm

    From the Department of Huh?:

    “Israel next week will host a convention of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, as the group seeks to build on the progress made at a field exercise in Jordan in November. There, the group said it was hopeless to try to hide a nuclear explosion.

    The meeting in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv would come less than two weeks after the signing of the nuclear framework agreement between Iran and the P5+1 powers in Lausanne, Switzerland. …

    …Currently, 183 countries are signatories to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, which has led to the establishment of a global inspection and verification system to identify nuclear tests.

    Israel signed the treaty in September 1996 but did not ratify it. The treaty has yet to go into effect because not all of the 44 countries listed in the addendum have ratified it.

    The countries besides Israel that have not ratified the treaty are China, Egypt, the United States, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan and India. The latter three have not signed the treaty either.

    The first part of the IAEA’s workshop will be held in Ramat Gan next week; the second part will be held in Vienna in June.

    In the wake of the Lausanne framework agreement, Israel has said it will lobby the U.S. Congress to pass legislation that would make it hard to approve a comprehensive deal.”

  20. Veti
    April 8, 2015, 4:15 pm

    Shut up Netanyahu, you evil murderous creep. Cant wait for justice to be served your way.

  21. catalan
    April 8, 2015, 4:16 pm

    I mentioned that Iran is a country with a low nominal GNP per capita. I prefer that metric because I think the gdp adjusted for purchasing power (PPP) has significant problems as it tends to smooth the differences between countries. Nominal GNP measures output according to a standard measure, e.g. dollars. Could be gold, euros or whatever. PPP claims to adjust these numbers for purchasing power, for instance how many eggs or milk you can buy with it. Inevitably, agricultural products tend to be cheaeper in poorer countries and therefore the PPP calxulation makes them look better. However, the more advanced the product is, e.g. autos, software, medical instruments, or similar technologies, the less price flexibility there is. What happens is that PPP hides overreliance on basic products and lack of access to advanced technology. It is tempting to use it to diminish actual differences.
    As to the human capital comment, I never said that Iran has lack of good education or intelligent people. The problem is that there are skills that cannot be learned in schools no matter how good the education. I work in IT and finance and find that schooling is a good indicator of knowledge and intelligence, but true potential can only be reached if there is access to the most advanced technologies. Sad but true.

    • Mooser
      April 9, 2015, 10:54 am

      “but true potential can only be reached if there is access to the most advanced technologies”

      Are you done? You headed back to the 19th Century now? So long, see you.

  22. just
    April 9, 2015, 2:13 pm

    It appears that the BBC is continuing its race to the bottom along with US msm:

    “BBC hands airwaves over to Israel’s minister for war

    The writer and journalist, Karl Sabbagh, posed an interesting question this month.

    Writing on the current affairs website, Al Araby, Sabbagh asked: “British journalists are among the best and most skeptical in the world. Why then, with a few honorable exceptions, do they fail to be skeptical when comes to Israel?”

    The question was especially pertinent in light of an egregious interview conducted by senior BBC presenter, Sarah Montague, just two weeks earlier, with Israel’s “defense” minister Moshe Yaalon.

    Montague was interviewing Yaalon on the BBC’s flagship radio news program, Today, in the week of Benjamin Netanyahu’s election victory, a victory which followed his very public declaration that there would be no Palestinian state if he was returned to power.

    But Montague didn’t probe and challenge Yaalon on whether his prime minister’s declaration has highlighted Israel’s contempt for international law, for the so-called peace process, and revealed a desire to remain indefinitely as an illegal occupier of Palestinian land. She didn’t ask him if Netanyahu’s admission means that Israel can no longer be viewed as a “partner for peace” by its Western allies.

    Instead, this senior BBC presenter exhibited the precise behavior noted by Sabbagh, abandoned all her journalistic skepticism and allowed Yaalon to recite a series of lies and propaganda dispatches, uninterrupted and unchallenged. …

    …Montague’s interviewing – if it can be called that – went beyond Sabbagh’s pointed observation about journalists’ lack of skepticism when confronted by Israel’s spokespeople. This particular broadcast verged on complicity, on collusion, on a collaboration with Israel to put across its point of view when the chips are down.

    Whatever you want to call it, you can’t call this journalism. It was shameful, and it marked a new low for the BBC in its already sub-standard coverage of Israel and the occupation.”

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