You will recall that in a March 31, 2015 Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Deal or no deal, the Iran talks have borne fruit," David Ignatius wrote:
"Whatever the endgame produces, it’s useful to focus on the process of negotiation itself, which is nearly as important as whether there’s a sustainable deal.
First, there is the fact of U.S.-Iranian engagement. For more than 18 months, Iran has been in direct talks with a power it once demonized as the 'Great Satan.' Iranian hard-liners certainly remain, but the nation that chanted in unison 'Death to America' is probably gone forever."
When I sent emails to Ignatius and provided evidence that he was wrong, he wrote back to me and declared:
"You miss my point entirely. What I said was that the NATION will never again chant it in UNISON. There will still be fanatical hardliners but they are beginning to be outliers."
Well, as we were informed last month by Majid Rafizadeh in a Gatestone Institute article entitled "Iran to Trump: Death to America Will Live On":
"Ideologically speaking, Iran's hardliners, primarily Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and senior officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who enjoy the final say in Iran's domestic and foreign policies, have made it clear that Iran will not change the core pillars of its religious and revolutionary establishment: Anti-Americanism and hatred towards the 'Great Satan' and the 'Little Satan', Israel.
Supporters of Ayatollah Khamenei and the IRGC enthusiastically shouted 'Death to America' in response to a recent speech that Khamenei gave, applauding the 1979 hostage-taking and takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran.
Iran's major state newspapers carried anti-American headlines this week, quoting the Supreme Leader. In his latest public speech to thousands of people, which was televised via Iran's state TV, Khamenei made it clear that Trump's presidency will cause 'no difference' to Iran-US relationships. Khamenei pointed out that, 'We have no judgment on this election because America is the same America'. In his speech, Khamenei attacked President-elect Donald Trump and the American people. The Ayatollah called the US election 'a spectacle for exposing their crimes and debacles.'"
I missed Ignatius's point entirely? Yeah, right.
In any event, Ignatius is back again today with more rubbish in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "What does Israel want from America?" Ignatius would now have us know:
"President Trump’s embrace of Israel poses an unlikely dilemma for leaders of the Jewish state: They have to decide what they want from America, and on that question, there’s sharp disagreement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved to seize the Trump moment Tuesday by announcing that Israel plans to construct 2,500 housing units in West Bank settlements. Just two days before, he and Trump had what the new president called a 'very nice' phone conversation. 'We’re building — and will continue to build,' an emboldened Netanyahu proclaimed Tuesday."
But what isn't Ignatius telling us? As reported today in a Jerusalem Post article entitled "Israel Announces Plans to Build 2,500 New West Bank Housing Units" by Herb Keinon:
"Most of the new units will be inside the major settlement blocs, with [Israeli Defense Minsiter Avigdor] Liberman saying that only 106 are outside the blocs.
. . . .
Liberman said that, in parallel to these moves, he will bring for the security cabinet’s approval plans to establish a Palestinian industrial zone near Tarkumiya, south of Hebron. According to the statement, this will be one of the largest industrial areas in the territories."
Or stated otherwise, the overwhelming majority of the new units are inside existing settlement blocs that will remain with Israel in any deal involving land swaps.
And then there is that small matter of a new Palestinian industrial zone, which Ignatius fails to mention.
Yes, I know, these are inconvenient truths, and I am hardly surprised that they don't find expression in Ignatius's op-ed.