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March 04, 2015

AFP Rewrites Netanyahu's Speech

Netanyahu Congress.jpg
Netanyahu called for a "better" deal in Congress yesterday. AFP falsely claims he called for an end to talks (Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Days after the Gaza flooding fiasco, Agence France Presse trips up badly again in its Israel coverage.

This time, AFP flubs Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech yesterday in Congress. An article about continuing negotiations between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, filed today in Switzerland, begins ("Kerry, Iran FM in new nuclear talks"):

The US and Iran ignored a passionate plea from the Israeli prime minister to ditch their nuclear negotiations. . . .

Further down, the article reiterates:

In a dramatic speech to the US Congress on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the US administration to halt the talks . . . .

In fact, Netanyahu did not urge the sides to halt or ditch their talks. Rather, he urged the US to abandon this particular "bad deal" in favor of a "better deal."

In his speech, he indicated what this better deal, which he supports, would look like:

Now we're being told that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That's just not true. The alternative to this bad deal is a much better deal: a better deal that doesn't leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure and such a short breakout time; a better deal that keeps the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program in place until Iran's aggression ends; a better deal that won't give Iran an easy path to the bomb; a better deal that Israel and its neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally. And no country has a greater stake -- no country has a greater stake than Israel in a good deal that peacefully removes this threat. . .

History has placed us at a fateful crossroads. We must now choose between two paths. One path leads to a bad deal that will at best curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions for a while, but it will inexorably lead to a nuclear-armed Iran whose unbridled aggression will inevitably lead to war. The second path, however difficult, could lead to a much better deal, that would prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, a nuclearized Middle East and the horrific consequences of both to all of humanity.

You don't have to read Robert Frost to know. You have to live to know that the difficult path is usually the one less traveled, but it will make all the difference for the future of my country, the security of the Middle East and the peace of the world, the peace we all desire.

Where exactly in his speech does AFP see him calling for an end to talks?

Furthermore, as reported today by AFP's own Jerusalem bureau, Netanyahu again today, upon arriving back in Israel, called for the P5+1 to negotiate a different deal which would condition the lifting of restrictions to the end of Iranian "aggression" ("Netanyahu rejects Obama criticism of Iran speech"):

"I also called on the P5+1 (world powers negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran) to insist on a deal that would link the lifting of those restrictions to Iran's ceasing its sponsorship of terrorism around the world, its aggression against its neighbours and its calls for Israel's destruction," he said on his return to Israel.

March 8 Update: After CAMERA contacted AFP on March 4 about the false claim that Netanyahu had called for an end to talks with Iran, subsequent articles dropped the erroneous wording. The later articles instead reported:

Netanyahu warned in his dramatic speech to the US Congress Tuesday that an agreement that was "supposed to prevent nuclear proliferation would instead spark a nuclear arms race in the most dangerous part of the planet."

Posted by TS at March 4, 2015 07:41 AM


AFP is not the only news outlet that offered this spin on Netanyahu's speech.

PBS Newshour's Judy Woodruff's voiceover introduction on March 3rd claims Netanyahu opposed ANY deal:

But, later in the broadcast, in the interview with Stephen Hadley and Vali Nasr, Gwen Ifill
does indeed review Netanyahu's outline of a better deal:

Posted by: EricS at March 4, 2015 10:06 AM

American papers seem to believe that because Netanyahu's speech can not effect any change in the direction Obama has taken the USA in his wide embrace of Islamic fundamentalism as a social disease correctable with jobs ignoring the many and all proofs to the contrary because he is under the sway of the Muslim brotherhood aka ISNA. Americans are not getting the facts. An Iranian heavy Hizballah presence on the Golan does not represent a existential threat, Netanyahu would do better to avoid characterizing the threat in those terms Americans by and large do not understand anyways.
This is a nation that has already forgotten 9-11 put to sleep by the media and party politics. until the next 9-11 which may be soon in coming the giant is still sleeping. deceived by the false agents of influence under the spell of Islamic Revolutionaries they prefer to believe are unhappy unemployed workers.

Posted by: jeb stuart at March 6, 2015 10:46 AM

Here in America, our media has been utterly, strangely, and completely silent about this deal. If not for Netanyahu making this historic speech, 95% of this country would never hear of these meetings and wonder what is happening behind closed doors.

Posted by: Craig at March 8, 2015 05:10 PM

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