Times of London

Can @TheTimes cite examples of Bibi saying he ‘opposed’ Iran negotiations? #IranDeal


In a July 28th 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 Binyamin Netanyahu has “bitterly opposed negotiations with Iran from the outset”. Indeed, Tomlinson has made this same claim on at least one other occasion.

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 one which achieved ‘a better deal’ than the one the six world powers have been prepared to accept. 

Whilst one can argue with the merits of Netanyahu’s expectations of a good deal with Iranto 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 US-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. 

13 replies »

    • A. It’s the Times
      B. Netanyahu opposed the talks because he wanted the sanctions to continue.

      • A. You are correct, my mistake, it is the Times, but “the same shit” characterization is standing.
        B. Bullshit. He wanted different results from the negotiations and certainly would have supported the lifting of the sanctions if Iran changed its openly declared goal to annihilate Israel and the route to an Iranian nuclear bomb would have been blocked.
        Why would he wanted to keep up the sanctions if his conditions have been met?

          • Why? Is he a Jewish monster wanting the blood of Iranian children? Is he crazy? Why would he do this?
            How do you know what he would do if…? Are you some kind of clairvoyant or only a field version of a Jew-hater?

            • No, he’s an Israeli prime minister who invents new conditions. It’s what he does. He does it every time. Don’t need to be a clairvoyant. And as for his religion, I couldn’t give a flying toss.

              • Thank you Coen for proving your credentials. Being a Jew is being a believer in a certain religion – the well known crap of the leftist anti-semites. Based on this definition of Jewishness the national rights of Jews can be easily denied.
                You are not a clairvoyant Coen, you are something else entirely.

              • Dear Jonathan you appear to be unaware of the facts of life, more particularly the realities of negotiation and diplomacy.

                Are you seriously suggesting that during negotiations when the situation changes, or events happen, or new facts or intelligence comes to light, then you should not change your negotiating position, even if horror of horrors it means insisting on new conditions?

                Do you belive that the only way to negotiate is by each side sending the other a set of conditions etc. carved on a tablet of stone that must be adhered to in spite of events, or the situation changing, or new facts or intelligence coming to light?

                Or is it that you are aware of the above you just want to vent your spleen on the current Prime Minister of Israel and its Government?

  1. It is false and misleading to state that Netanyahu “bitterly opposed” negotiations with Iran from the outset. It would have been futile to take such a position given Israel’s diplomatic weakness and inability to influence the great powers. Given the increasingly significant one-sided concessions made in the course of previous negotiations – up to the almost complete diplomatic capitulation which the current deal represents – it is unlikely that he was happy that such negotiations were going on.

    It is therefore overstating things to say that Netanyahu “consistently supported” these

  2. @Adam Levick –

    You (and CAMERA) might like to consider that at least two Israeli mainstream newspapers have interpreted Netanyahu’s stance on negotiating with Iran in much the same way The Times does – i.e, as being opposition to TALKING to Iran, and not merely objecting to the nuclear deal’s terms:

    1. A Jerusalem Post story on April 1 (@ http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Netanyahu-accuses-West-of-giving-Iran-unconscionable-path-to-nuclear-bomb-395810 ), which is headlined “Netanyahu: ‘Unconscionable’ that world talks with Iran as Tehran calls for destruction of Israel”.

    2.Times of Israel story same date (@ http://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-laments-unconscionable-deal-with-murderous-iran/ ) headlined, “Netanyahu voices outrage that nuclear talks go on while Iran vows to destroy Israel”.

    Both these headlines are arguably misleading, but I’d suggest a lot less out of kilter with Netanyahu’s true position than your assertion that he has “consistently supported negotiations with Iran”. All you have to do is study Netanyahu’s persistently unyielding language on the nuclear issue to see that he’s prepared to settle for nothing less than total capitulation from Iran to “demands”. Negotiation is simply not POSSIBLE in such an uncompromising framework – and Netanyahu knows this full well.

    • It’s amazing how often anti-Israel posters on here, like you, are more interested in sparring with Adam Levick rather than analysing, rebutting and challenging the ANTI-ISRAEL PROPAGANDA that he and UK Media Watch consistently engage in confronting.

  3. @Miranda, the Times of London piece was a straight news article (not an oped), and it made a specific claim that Israel “opposed negotiations from the outset”. The onus is on them to prove this assertion per the accuracy clause of the Editors’ Code. If the reporter simply believes Bibi doesn’t support negotiations, he has the duty to make it clear to readers that this is his opinion, not a fact.