Daily Israel Report

Embassy Falsfied Netanyahu Speech?

Watchdog group complained that embassy in Washington falsely claimed Netanyahu endorsed 2-state solution in Knesset.
By Arutz Sheva
First Publish: 6/15/2013, 10:30 PM

Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin
Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin
Flash 90

An Israeli watchdog group has complained that Israel's embassy in Washington falsely published that Netanyahu endorsed the "two-state solution" in the Knesset earlier this month.

The false statement appeared in the Embassy's June 7 email update, according to the watchdog group, Mattot Arim.

In fact, Mattot Arim said, the reported event never happened. The Prime Minister had refrained from mentioning the term “2-state solution” when speaking in the Knesset, the group said.

"If PM Netanyahu had spoken of the 2-state solution, all sorts of duly elected officials would not of course have been able to participate in the approval vote for the prime minister at the end of the speech," said Mattot Arim, citing campaign promises of many ministers to oppose a Palestinian state.

The watchdog group, Mattot Arim, said it was "disgracefully unprofessional for the embassy to be falsifying delicate political facts in this way.”

Netanyahu endorsed a "demilitarized Palestinian state" in a 2009 speech at Bar Ilan University. He has not retracted this position since then.

Mattot Arim complained that this was not the first time that "unelected" Foreign Ministry officials "chose to act like the proverbial tail which wags the dog rather than discharging their diplomatic duties in a professional manner.” In 2009, the group said, an unnamed Foreign Ministry official gave a media interview in which he “demanded that the newly elected government of that time support the two-state solution". Unelected officials "should implement policies, not dictate” them, the group said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin, Mattot Arim said, should "be taking steps to prevent recurrences of this type of anarchy and sloppiness in the Foreign Ministry and diplomatic corps. Mr. Elkin gave the Israeli voting public clear campaign promises that he would oppose Palestinian state."