A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, June 18, 2010

George Orwell, Call Your Office

Binyamin Netanyahu's office issued two press releases yesterday after Cabinet meetings Wednesday and Thursday. Ha'aretz:

Two official statements came out of the Prime Minister's Office in regard to the security cabinet meeting – one in Hebrew for the Israeli media and another in English for the foreign media and foreign diplomats. The English version said that "It was agreed to liberalize the system by which civilian goods enter Gaza [and] expand the inflow of materials for civilian projects that are under international supervision." The Hebrew version addressed mainly remarks made by Netanyahu, but failed to mention any decision or agreement.

The Hebrew version also failed to mention whether the prime minister's position was formally approved. "Israel will alter the system in order to allow more civilian goods into Gaza," the Hebrew statement read.

In addition to the English statement, word was sent to foreign consulates and embassies indicating that the decision made by the security cabinet will be implemented immediately. However, according to the officials charged with the actual monitoring of the transfer of goods into Gaza, they have not been notified of any change in policy as a result of the cabinet meeting.

Ha'aretz, of course, is no fan of Netanyahu's, but this Israeli government has already seemed to be giving assurances to the West (when they're not outright insulting Joe Biden) whilre winking and smiling at their domestic hardline constituency, but this seems to verge on the Orwellian.

Does anyone remember how Israelis used to complain that Yasir ‘Arafat said one thing in his English speeches to the West and another in Arabic to Palestinian audiences?:

Do you suppose that's where they got the idea?

No comments: