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July 29, 2015 4:00 pm

UK Paper Says Netanyahu Opposed All Negotiation With Iran, Offers No Evidence to Support Claim

avatar by Adam Levick

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: GPO.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: GPO.

In a July 28 article (Huckabee likens Iran deal to Holocaust), Times of London Middle East reporter Hugh Tomlinson claimed that Israel’s prime minister not only opposes the current Iran nuclear deal, but actually has opposed negotiations with Iran altogether.

Here’s the relevant passage, in the penultimate paragraph of the article.

Congress has two months in which to review the Vienna accord before voting to accept or reject it. Israel, which bitterly opposed negotiations with Iran from the outset, has been lobbying Congress for months in an attempt to block the deal.

Given that serious negotiations with Iran date back to 2009, Tomlinson is in effect saying that Benjamin Netanyahu has “bitterly opposed negotiations with Iran from the outset.” Indeed, Tomlinson has made this same claim on at least one other occasion.

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However, as CAMERA has demonstrated, despite some media claims echoing Tomlinson’s take on Netanyahu’s position, the fact is that the prime minister has consistently supported negotiations with Iran, albeit negotiations that would achieve ‘a better deal’ than the one the six world powers are prepared to accept.

Whilst one can argue with the merits of Netanyahu’s expectations of a good deal with Iran, to argue that he opposed all negotiations does not seem to be supported by the record.  Such a claim of course reinforces the ideologically driven anti-Israel narrative that Netanyahu and other opponents of the deal desire no outcome other than war with Iran – either a U.S.-led attack or one initiated by Jerusalem.

We’ve tweeted Tomlinson asking him to cite a source for his accusation, but have thus far received no reply.

Adam Levick is the managing editor of UK Media Watch, an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA).

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