Netanyahu Goes Left? Only in Haaretz

Posted: February 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: elections, In the News | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

I woke up late this Saturday morning, only to find Netanyahu droped a bomb during his first interview since the elections (to “The Washington Post”, of all places). As reported in the main headline of Harretz’s Hebrew web site, Netanyhu told WP that “in principle, I believe in two-states for two people”.

Benjamin Netanyahu supporting a Palestinian state? Wow.

After all, his objection to the idea was Livni’s reason not to enter his government, even when offered complete partnership. Is it a new spin, intended to cause tension within “Kadima” and force Livni into the coalition? And what will his partners on the right say? Could we be headed for a Netanyahu-Liberman-Livni coalition? No doubt, this could change everything.

But after a couple of hours, when I was getting ready to write a post on the matter, a funny thing happened: the headline changed. It no longer said that Netanyahu accepts the two-state solution; just that he declares that “(the) Palestinians should govern their own lives”. No big news there. It was even stated that the intended PM was careful not to mention the “two-state solution”, which, if you read the WP interview, is true. Netanyahu didn’t say anything new.

Here is the screen shot of the article after the headline was changed (click on the picture to see it in full size). It now says “Netanyahu: Palestinians should govern themselves”. But those of you who read Hebrew can notice the browser’s headline still shows the old version: Netanyahu: “in principle, believes in two-states for two people”.


What happened here?

The first option is that someone in Haaretz noticed that they took Netanyahu’s words out of context, and fixed the headline. But there could be another option: that they got a call from one of Netanyahu’s people, complaining that he didn’t say those words, and after re-checking the facts, they corrected the headline. In that case – which is very probable from my experience in the way the media works, especially on Saturday mornings – it is clear that Netanyahu is most afraid to lose his majority on the right. He will give Kadima any cabinet post they want, but won’t make the one statement that can force Livni into the government. So it’s clear we are headed to a narrow right-wing government.

And here is the real conspiracy theory: what if it was one of Livni’s people who called Haaretz to complain about the headline?

3 Comments on “Netanyahu Goes Left? Only in Haaretz”

  1. 1 Topics about Humoristic and Funny stuff » Archive » Promised Land: Netanyahu Goes Left? Only in Haaretz said at 5:09 pm on February 28th, 2009:

    [...] Christian Research Net put an intriguing blog post on Promised Land: Netanyahu Goes Left? Only in HaaretzHere’s a quick excerptBut after a couple of hours, when I was getting ready to write a post on the matter, a Bfunny/B thing happened: the headline changed. [...]

  2. 2 Richard Silverstein said at 1:31 am on March 1st, 2009:

    Hey, by the way thanks for linking to my blog. I’ll have to return the favor.

    Regarding Bibi, his approach to the issue of a Palestinian state reminds me of that ridiculous Bill Clinton testimony in one of his depositions over his sexual escapades: “It all depends what ‘is’ is.”

    Well, it all depends what a “state” is. In Bibi’s definition it’s not really a state, but he’s calling it one. It will have no military, no ability to control its own airspace. Not a state, but Bibi thinks he can finesse this by calling it one.

    He’s really dumb if he thinks Obama’s going to fall for that. Bush would have. But Obama’s no fool.

  3. 3 noam said at 2:16 pm on March 1st, 2009:


    I don’t really know what Bibi wants to achieve. I didn’t hear a clear vision of the Israeli-Palestinian future from him. Ever. I honestly think he doesn’t have one. I was in one of his press briefing, where he offered some version of the Alon plan from the 70′s – a Palestinian state without the Jordan Valley, no Jerusalem, etc. As you said, not really a state.

    Now, I don’t think Netanyahu is a fool. He knows that there isn’t one Palestinian who would take such a deal. But I think Netanyahu, like Barak, is not a person who thinks a vision is necessary to lead. The way I see it, he believes the leader needs to have strong moral principles and a clear ideology, that will help him steer the ship through the rough waters. Destination – unknown.

    And in that sense, Liberman is very different. He is the true visionary of the Right. I elaborated this a bit here:

    that’s why I’m not too worried about Netanyahu. Liberman is a different story.