Media bias? (illustration)
Media bias? (illustration)Reuters

Britain's The Guardian newspaper twisted a statement made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday to make it sound as if he had referred to all Arabs in Judea, Samaria and the countries neighboring Israel as "wild beasts."

He had done no such thing.

Netanyahu's exact words were:

"At the end, in the State of Israel, as I see it, there will be a fence that spans it all. I'll be told, 'this is what you want, to protect the villa?' The answer is yes. Will we surround all of the State of Israel with fences and barriers? The answer is yes."

"In the area that we live in, we must defend ourselves against the beasts of prey. We are preparing a multi-year program to surround all of Israel with security fences in order to protect ourselves in the current Middle East. We're also preparing to fix holes in the security fence around Judea-Samaria."

Regardless of this, The Guardian's report began thus:

"Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has announced his intention to 'surround all of Israel with a fence' to protect the country from infiltration by both Palestinians and the citizens of surrounding Arab states, whom he described as 'wild beasts.'"

It went on to say:

"Describing the need for new walls and fences on Tuesday, the prime minister said: 'In our neighborhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.'"

Netanyahu's statement contains a veiled reference to a quote from former defense minister Ehud Barak, who once famously said that he sees Israel's situation in the Middle East like that of "a villa in the jungle."

However, Netanyahu's statement quite patently did not refer to "both Palestinians and the citizens of surrounding Arab states" as "beasts of prey" (or "wild beasts," as The Guardian chose to translate the term), but rather referred to the savage terror organizations that operate along Israel's borders – the most infamous of which is Islamic State (ISIS), a group that specializes in sadistic executions of human beings. It is these terrorists whom Israel seeks to keep out.

As reported by Arutz Sheva at the time, Netanyahu hinted that the fence along the Jordanian border was meant for ISIS on a previous visit to the site of the fence's construction in the Arava region of southern Israel on September 6, 2015.

“The combination of very cruel terror that is spreading along our borders,” he said then, “with work infiltrators and smugglers, as well as the loss of control in the face of a human tragedy that is taking place almost 360 degrees around us, means that we must bring back Israel's control over its borders.”