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Israeli Media: 2 US Jewish Groups Attack Yaalon’s Comments; True?

How did Haaretz and YNet both quote a month-old press release criticizing Ya'alon's comments made last week?

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Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon (R) with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem.

Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon (R) with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem.
Photo Credit: Matty Stern/US Embassy/Flash90



NATIONAL JEWISH DEMOCRATIC COUNCIL’S STATEMENT NOT ON ITS SITE

The other American Jewish group which was reported to have blasted Ya’alon for his remarks this week is one that is explicitly aligned with the Democratic party, the National Jewish Democratic Council.

The head of that group, Rabbi Jack Moline, according to Haaretz, said that Ya’alon “crossed a line with these absurd and over-the-top attacks against Israel’s strongest ally. His remarks are simply inappropriate for someone of Ya’alon’s stature, and we condemn these counterproductive and damaging statements.”

The NJDC statement also allegedly rejects “any intimation that there is a lack of support from the United States or President Obama. Despite his tepid apology, we expect better from Ya’alon in the future.”

Oddly, this “statement” does not appear on the NJDC website section which contains the group’s NJDC press releases. Not only that, but there is no evidence that Rabbi Moline made the quoted statements anywhere other than in the YNet and Haaretz articles, or sites quoting or reproducing those two articles.

Yet Haaretz re-cycled the month-old IPF press release and the otherwise invisible NJDC statement as evidence of the “extent of Americans rage with Ya’alon” as shown by “unusual public statements made by two Jewish groups with close ties to the Obama administration who blasted the Israeli defense minister.”

UNNAMED SENIOR OFFICIAL QUOTED

There is still another similarity between the Haaretz and YNet articles. Each mention statements made Wednesday night from an unnamed “senior administration official.”

According to Haaretz, the senior official said Ya’alon had not offered a sufficient apology for his “offensive and highly disappointing comments, which do not reflect the depth of our security cooperation and the enduring relationship between the United States and Israel.”

YNet quoted an unnamed senior official as having said Wednesday night, that Ya’alon is “determined to undermine US-Israel relations.”

It is possible an NJDC statement will turn up that contains the exact language quoted by both Haaretz and YNet. But there really is no good explanation for using quotes condemning Ya’alon’s comments last week, from a press release issued a month ago.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


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