Netanyahu vs. Netanyahu

Andrew Sullivan ran a gem yesterday, noting a joint statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, issued in November.

One line, in particular, may jump out at you.

The Prime Minister and the Secretary agreed on the importance of continuing direct negotiations to achieve our goals. The Secretary reiterated that “the United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state, based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.” [emphasis added]

So, President Obama’s “outrageous” line from last week echoes a statement issued by Netanyahu himself six months ago.

As best as I can tell, there was no outcry or controversy when the statement was issued. And to be sure, no one accused the Israeli Prime Minister at the time of being anti-Israel.

Yet, there’s Netanyahu, continuing to say that his country can’t return to mid-1967 borders, knowing full well what he said in November, and knowing full well that’s not what Obama said.

It’s almost as if the apoplexy regarding the president’s statement has no foundation in reality, and this is just the latest in a series of annoying manufactured outrages. That couldn’t be, could it?

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.