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January 15, 2009

Ho-Hum, Our Entire Political Class Caught Lying About Incredibly Important Matters Of Life And Death Again

As we know from reading America's fine newspapers, Ehud Barak made Yasser Arafat an incredibly "generous offer" at Camp David in 2000. Arafat turned it down because he had always been negotiating in bad faith. Then Arafat launched the second intifada to try to destroy Israel. At this point Israel had no choice but to defend itself, as it had no partner for peace. And so on until today.

Or...that's all complete bullshit:

[T]he conception that left room solely for unilateral moves and a policy of brute force did not originate with Sharon. Since the failure of the Camp David summit in July 2000, when Ehud Barak adopted the "no partner" theory, the [Israeli Military Intelligence] research unit, then under Amos Gilad, supported describing Israel's response to the intifada as a "war of no choice," a war preplanned by Arafat for ideological reasons...

The 2008 internal investigation [of Israeli Military Intelligence] contradicts this view. On August 29, 2000, shortly after the Camp David summit, the research unit stated in its situation appraisal that Arafat continued to prefer the negotiations as the way to advance his strategic goals, and he was convinced that violence would not help his cause at that stage. On August 30 the unit advised that Arafat was restraining the crisis and continued to adhere to the Oslo process. In an unprecedented step he also issued instructions to prepare public opinion to accept an agreement that would include compromises. On September 19 the MI suggested that in the coming period the Palestinians would not try to challenge bluntly the validity of the interim agreements, as they wished to play out the negotiations.

On September 27, 2000, when Prime Minister Barak allowed Sharon to visit the Temple Mount, the research unit urgently submitted an "intelligence compendium" in which it warned that in light of the religious and political sensitivity of the site, "violent confrontations are liable to develop with our forces." Three days later the intelligence researchers stated: "Arafat is not interested in an all-out confrontation, which is liable to pull the ground from under him." A 2004 investigation of "Ebb and Tide" (the official name for the operation to quell the second intifada), conducted by MI's Palestinian desk, found unequivocally that the second intifada erupted as a "popular protest" because people wanted to let off steam and vent the anger that accumulated due to the failure of negotiations and the inability to extract political achievements from Israel...

In a November 2003 document, Lavie wrote: "In General Staff think-team discussions, headed by the chief of the strategic division and with senior representatives of General Staff bodies, it was understood that defining Arafat and the PA as 'terrorist elements' was the directive of the political echelon, even if it did not declare this explicitly and did dictate this to the army."

He emphasized that while any government policy vis-a-vis the Palestinians was legitimate, the research unit's oral backing for government policy was faulty both professionally and ethically, and noted that the unit's written analyses were presenting completely different assessments...Lavie described this as "biasing intelligence research and adjusting it for the leadership." No less.

Of course, anyone paying any attention knew all this was true eight years ago.

It's also interesting, though not surprising, that Israel's intelligence services work exactly like the ones here—ie, they just tell the politicians whatever the politicians want.

Or as Henry Kissinger put it in his 1995 book Diplomacy:

What political leaders decide, intelligence services tend to seek to justify. Popular literature and films often depict the opposite--policymakers as the helpless tools of intelligence experts. In the real world, intelligence assessments more often follow than guide policy decisions.

Anyway—good work, America's elites! You've once again gotten thousands of people killed with your lies, with thousands more waiting for the scythe in the on deck circle!

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 15, 2009 06:52 AM

And see this link for as straightforward a layout of the years past as one can find, from an Israeli scholar (obviously a self-hating Jew, just as Jimmy Carter, whom he references, is a self-hating peanut farmer/former U.S. president).

But facts have no coin in the world view of the Israelis, or the Americans (ruling classes and supporters of both).

Posted by: catherine at January 15, 2009 11:31 AM