Neocons generally don’t mind playing fast and loose with the facts, but this one is embarrassing, even for them.
The Washington Post’s blogger Jennifer Rubin reports that the neoconservative Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) has a new ad accusing President Obama of “siding with the Palestinians” in his May 19 speech, where he stated that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”
Asked about the ad, ECI board member Bill Kristol told Rubin, “We’re the Emergency Committee for Israel. So it’s appropriate for us to thank friends of Israel for stepping up for the Jewish state at this time of testing — even when a president of their own party is unfortunately stepping away.”
Now, as has now been well documented, Obama’s line mirrors that taken not only by all modern U.S. presidents, but also Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu himself. To pretend otherwise is shameless hackery.
But Matt Duss drives the point home by quoting Noah Pollak who explained that President Obama’s line is “basically identical” to that of the Bush administration, adding in response to the president’s remarks, “I don’t think there’s anything in this speech that Netanyahu will find surprising or even disagreeable.”
And who’s Noah Pollak? He’s the executive director of the Emergency Committee for Israel.
This is one of those extraordinarily rare instances in which a right-wing attack ad is debunked by the head of the organization airing the right-wing attack ad.
The fact of the matter is, Pollak, Kristol, Rubin, and even Netanyahu know they’re playing a deceptive, childish game. They realize Obama isn’t “siding with the Palestinians,” just as they understand that there was nothing objectionable in the president’s vision of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
But for the sake of partisan political and ideological grudges, they’re hoping the public won’t know the difference. As Matt Duss said, “You really couldn’t ask for a better demonstration of bad faith.”