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Thursday, March 07, 2013

The 'new politics': Positively Clintonesque

Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett haven't just been jerking the Haredim and the general public around. They're also jerking around reporters. JPost's Lahav Harkov explains.
At a quarter to midnight, and I got a call from a top Yesh Atid official. The kind of official that spends hours with Lapid each day. The kind that has been feeding me and countless other reporters ostensibly accurate information for months.

"Yesh Atid, Bayit Yehudi and Kadima formed a bloc. That's 33 MKs – two more than Likud Beytenu. We want the Foreign Ministry and the Finance Ministry, and if we get it, we'll support Netanyahu as prime minister for the next four-plus years," she said.

I repeated the information back to make sure I understood it correctly, and then tried to contact a Bayit Yehudi spokesman for confirmation, to no avail. I was left with a dilemma: The newspaper was going to print at any minute. Should I run with the story or ignore it? I decided to frantically call The Jerusalem Post offices and tell them to stop the presses. After all, Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi have had an alliance for weeks now, and have steadfastly kept to it. This was new politics, as Bennett and Lapid would say. They hadn't double-crossed each other once.

It's important to note that the story that the Post ran quoted the Yesh Atid official almost word-for-word. Reporter Rina Matzliach, who wrote the story for Channel 2 News' website, did the same, but added in one little word – "ultimatum" - and then everything went haywire.

An hour later, it was too late to stop the presses a second time when the same Yesh Atid source e-mailed me Lapid's Facebook status on the issue.

"I saw the stories that Naftali Bennett and myself are giving an ultimatum to the prime minister on the issue of portfolios. It isn't true, and it isn't dignified. Netanyahu forms the government, and no one is giving him an ultimatum. This is a transparent attempt to distract from the real issues," Lapid wrote.


It occurred to me that this is all semantics. Last week, Lapid took to Facebook to say he isn't boycotting haredim; however, he does not want to sit in a government with Shas or UTJ. In this case, he wants his bloc to get the foreign and finance portfolios, or else, but he won't use the word ultimatum.
Lapid reminds me of Bill Clinton arguing that a certain sexual act isn't really 'sex' and that the answer to a question depends upon the meaning of 'is.'

Where is Barbara Bush when we need her?

Read the whole thing. The 'new politics' is actually pretty old and tired.

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At 9:40 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

I think this is nothing more than Amateur Hour.


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