Every once in a while Haaretz publishes journalism that is garbage or let’s say that the informant it quotes is peddling garbage. This is true of this report on opposition to the Shalit prisoner deal. Are we to believe the ludicrous notion that the U.S. government would interfere in delicate negotiations between Israel and Hamas over the freedom of one of its soldiers held captive for years? If we’re to believe this unnamed clown, this is the case:
…A senior Israeli official told Army Radio on Wednesday that the U.S. administration is opposed to the emerging understandings between Israel and Hamas surrounding the deal. “The U.S. does not support negotiations with terror organizations,” the official said. “Washington knows that any release of Palestinian prisoners to the West Bank could harm Palestinian President Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and become a victory for Hamas,” he added.
Far be it from me to defend Bibi Netanyahu when he gets into a row with Aipac, but really has Josh Block, Aipac’s chief PR flack, taken leave of his senses? He has the unmitigated chutzpah to diss a right-wing Israeli prime minister in the midst of deliberate negotiations for the release of an IDF soldier held captive for over three years? Yup, here’s what Josh had to say:
The pro-Israel lobby AIPAC also voiced concern over the possible prisoner swap but refrained from explicitly criticizing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, senior AIPAC strategist Josh Block told Army Radio that the Israeli government must find a balance between the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and the protection of Israel’s long-term interests.
Israel is striking a deal with Hamas while it should be negotiating peace with the Palestinian Authority, Block said, adding that he hoped that Israel would be able to balance between the two.
Because Aipac despises Hamas the American Jewish group would tell Israel’s government not to negotiate to free Gilad Shalit? And if Josh Block or a “senior Israeli official” or the “U.S. administration” is so concerned about a prisoner swap hurting Mahmoud Abbas why don’t they just tell Abbas to free Shalit. If he can’t, who else does Israel negotiate with?