Monday, March 5, 2012

Reuters quotes as expert on Israeli security concerns, individual who believes "Israel ain't a very good idea"

It's always amusing when Reuters correspondents cherry-pick and quote "analysts" and other "experts" in an effort to advance their personal editorial agendas under the guise of independent and impartial reporting.

In today's illustration, Matt Spetalnick, whose traditional reporting agenda has been to pit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against U.S. President Barack Obama and play up differences between the two, calls attention to the current debate between Israel and the U.S. on how best to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions:
Still, Obama - in an Atlantic magazine interview published on Friday - insisted that Iran "is not yet in a position to obtain a nuclear weapon without us having a pretty long lead time in which we will know that they are making that attempt."
And Obama warned in Washington on Sunday against "loose talk" of war with Iran, saying such "bluster" was counterproductive because it has been driving up global oil prices and boosting demand for Iran's oil exports.
That may have been a message to Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders, whose have engaged in a strident exchange of recriminations with Iranian officials in recent months.
Daniel Levy, an analyst at the New America Foundation think tank, said Obama had "offered clarity and commitments on mainstream Israeli concerns without capitulating to the Netanyahu narrative, which is far more dismissive of diplomacy."
Speaking in Ottawa, the right-wing Israeli leader ignored Obama's appeal to let sanctions run their course and focused on the president's insistence on keeping the military option open and backing Israel's right to defend itself.
Spetalnick cites a "strident exchange of recriminations" between Netanyahu and Iranian officials in recent months.  Hmm, let's see... the Reuters correspondent must be referring to that even-handed exchange between Netanyahu and Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei where the former stated:
"As for Israel, like any sovereign country, we reserve the right to defend ourselves against a country that calls and works for our destruction."
in response to Khamenei's suggestion that:
"It is legally and morally justified to commit genocide and wipe Israel off the map."
Because after all, Spetalnick is constitutionally unable to distinguish between threats of genocide by one party, and assertions to the right of self-defense by the other.

But what truly exposes Spetalnick as a dishonest hawker of anti-Israel propaganda is, on the one hand, his stale approach of labeling Netanyahu as "right-wing" in order to dismiss the Prime Minister's focus on the need for a credible military threat to dissuade Iran from consummating its nuclear weapons program, and on the other, the correspondent's employ of "analyst" Daniel Levy to suggest that Obama had put to rest Israeli concerns without committing to that military threat.

Because beyond what little Spetalnick wants his audience to know, Levy is someone who believes that if Israel should have to resort to military force to defend its survival, then perhaps the country "ain't a very good idea".

Certainly a chap whose assurances on behalf of Obama Israelis can believe in.

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