Posted by: Dr. Aaron Lerner
July 14, 2017

Israel’s Sanitized Report of Netanyahu – Abbas Conversation Makes Abbas Look Better

A comparison of the official Palestinian and official Israeli reports of the Netanyahu-Abbas conversation finds that the sanitized report issued by Israel puts Abbas in a far more favorable light than he deserves. As the official PLO news agency WAFA notes, Abbas indicated that he considers Israel’s closure of the al-Aqsa mosque to be just as deserving of “strong condemnation” as the “fatal Jerusalem shootout”.

Please note that in the WAFA report, Abbas doesn’t actually even condemn the Arab attackers.  Instead he condemned “the fatal shootout” – leaving open that the Israelis engaged in the shootout somehow also bear responsibility for the incident. In sharp contrast, the press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser makes no mention of what Abbas said about Israel’s closure of the al-Aqsa mosque. The Israeli press release also leaves the impression that Abbas relates to the incident as a  “terrorist attack” = the attackers are clearly to blame, rather than a “fatal Jerusalem shootout” which leaves open the possibility for Israel, in the eyes of Abbas, to share the blame.