(If you don't see quotes in both blue and red backgrounds, hit refresh.)
Four days ago Sharon gave a speech that Woty and I thought was good. But what did the US government think?
I've found two articles to analyse with very different takes. Quotes from this one by the BBC will appear with a light red background. Quotes from this one by the JPost will appear with a light blue background. (Note: Both articles came out the same day.)
The United States has warned Israel against taking any unilateral measures to separate itself from Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
Oh dear, that's quite a difference. Either someone is pretty damn biased, or the US is sending mixed messages (which would be bad).
I'm going to go through the JPost article first.
The White House on Friday modified its appraisal of the speech, offsetting published accounts that focused on McClellan's admonition Thursday that Sharon should not try to impose a settlement on the Palestinians without negotiations.
The State Department echoed the White House praise, although deputy spokesman Adam Ereli also cautioned Israel against acting without consulting the Palestinians on issues that ought to be resolved through negotiations.
So far it sounds like the White House is sending mixed messages. Dammit.
The JPost article quotes Sharon's speech heavily. Skimming to find more about the US reaction now.
"We must not harm our strategic coordination with the US," he said.
Sounds good, but is it true?
Also, 'unilateral steps ... coordinated with the US'. Heh.
Wait a second. We saw the speech first! Does anyone really think they showed us the speech, we said we hated it, then they read it including claims about cooperation with the US? If we'd found the speech unacceptable, at the least it would have dropped claims of US support and coordination, if not changed more drastically.
What, then, is the BBC talking about? Well, let's see:
But the White House said the US was committed to a negotiated settlement between the two sides under the American-backed roadmap.
I loath the BBC. They twist everything. First, the "disengagement plan" does not signify the roadmap has failed; it is a temporary, reversible measure to improve security until Palestinians do their part of the roadmap. It protects Israelis from Palestinian foot-dragging.
Next, the BBC tries to play this as if Sharon was contradicting the White House ('but'), and even against a negotiated settlement. But if you read Sharon's speech this is clearly false.
This doesn't yet reveal anything about the US reaction to the speech, but it does reveal BBC bias.
Fuckers! There's really nothing else to say. They try to paint Sharon as a lone figure denounced by Palestinians and Israelis alike. But this is just Jewish settlers who are mad that Sharon is willing to dismantle any settlements at all. In other words, the Jewish settlers' opposition to Sharon (which is of the disapprove of one policy sort not the the man is thoroughly evil sort) is because he is too moderate and too willing to make concessions for peace .... which is the exact thing the BBC complains Sharon isn't.
"A settlement must be negotiated and we would oppose any Israeli effort to impose a settlement," he said.
Notably these statements don't actually contradict anything Sharon said in his speech. (Unilateral withdrawal is entirely different from imposing a settlement on the Palestinians.) But then why is the US saying them?
Is that really what the Sharon said? To get rid of militants?
Well, telling Safari to find the words 'militant' or 'militants' in Sharon's speech comes up with nothing. Damn liars.
But in the speech it actually says, "Israel will greatly accelerate the construction of the security fence." Notice how the BBC closed their quote after three words and filled in the rest with their own words that were not a fair paraphrase of what Sharon said. Damn liars.
"I am disappointed that he is threatening the Palestinians," said Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.
"We are committed to the roadmap," he added.
LOL. Sure. And why does the BBC repeat such lies, when it doesn't even like to quote Sharon for more than three words?
"These declarations represent nothing new and amount to a rejection of the roadmap.
This is worse than the previous one, but don't think it's over yet. Next the BBC asked what Hamas thought. Literally.
I can't help but wonder every time a Hamas spiritual leader is quoted: if they were close enough to ask him questions, couldn't they have shot him?
And Yassin says Sharon is delusional...
Anyway, despite the titles, neither article focussed on the US reaction all that much. From what I can tell, the US did send some mixed messages, as agreed in both articles. This is bad. The US ought to be supporting Israel unequivocally.
The JPost acknowledged the US ambiguity and pointed out the positive bits of the US reaction too, and pointed out that the US saw the speech before it was given. Mostly it just quoted Sharon, who actually gave the speech. So I'd say the JPost article was pretty fair.
On the other hand, the BBC article was biased through and through. It had nothing positive to say, mostly quoted anyone willing to say something bad about Sharon, and lied. Which isn't the biggest surprise in the world, but still... sheesh
If you liked this piece, go here for more of my thoughts about Israel (it's a category archive).
link at bottom is bad