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Ron Radosh

The “Wisdom” of Fareed Zakaria: Time he Gets a New GPS

June 1st, 2011 - 10:23 am

Zakaria, however, should read The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, who once again revealed how Zakaria, like others earlier, distorted the actual record and got everything wrong. While Netanyahu appeared to say something similar to President Obama in the joint statement cited by Zakaria of Nov. 11, 2010, Kessler points out that this statement, cited as well to make the same point by his other anti-Israeli journalistic pundits- Andrew Sullivan and Joe Klein, “this is not the same thing as Obama’s statement last week.”

Kessler explains in the following in his invaluable “Fact Checker” weekly column:

As mentioned in our original post, Clinton first said this carefully worded statement in 2009, and then repeated it many times. This phrasing mentions “the 1967 lines” and “agreed swaps” in the context of a “Palestinian goal.” This is then matched with a specific “Israeli goal,” which included reference to “subsequent developments” (i.e., Jewish settlements on the West Bank.)

When Obama last week dropped the reference to “Palestinian goal,” he made it official U.S. policy. That’s the difference. Such nuances, arcane as they may seem, loom large in diplomacy.

Moreover, if you read the full joint statement closely, you will see that Netanyahu does not even endorse Clinton’s phrasing. This sentence is framed as a quote by Clinton, as in: “The Secretary reiterated that ‘the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations….”

“It is incorrect to claim,” Kessler adds, that Netanyahyu “ever used this formulation in the past. If they had, the language would not have been attributed only to Clinton.” This, of course, did not stop Zakaria, Klein or Sullivan from incorrectly citing it to make their frivolous argument.

So it seems that we are in for a steady diet of blaming Israel for the continued failure of the Palestinians to opt for peace, and for the Arab neighbors of Israel to do the same. Zakaria claims Israel is strong and with a nuclear arsenal, which he interprets to mean it is invincible and can ignore the threats made against it. As for Iran and Hezbollah and Hamas, their names never seem to cross his desk. Evidently, their threats against Israel are also to be ignored, since Israel is strong.

It’s time, I think, for Mr. Zakaria to get a new GPS.

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