Martin Indyk Caught Lying About Binyamin Netanyahu (Updated)

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A storm has arisen around a two-hour-long PBS “Frontline” documentary on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s relationship with the US administration, which paints him in a bad light. Specifically, comments by former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk have generated much controversy.

martin indykNetanyahu sat next to me when I was ambassador in Israel at the time of Rabin’s funeral. … I remember Netanyahu saying to me: “Look, look at this. He’s a hero now, but if he had not been assassinated, I would have beaten him in the elections, and then he would have gone into history as a failed politician.”

So I think even at that moment of tremendous support, a tragic moment of support for Rabin, Netanyahu was thinking, well, politically he was on the ropes before he was assassinated. He exploited that and ran against Oslo in the [1996] elections and beat [Shimon] Peres, but he only beat him by something like a half of 1 percent. …

The Prime Minister’s Office has called BS.

The Prime Minister’s Office accused former US Mideast envoy Martin Indyk of fabricating a conversation he said he had with Benjamin Netanyahu at Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral in 1995, when Netanyahu was head of the Opposition.

Indyk, who in various speeches and interviews over the last few months has been sharply critical of Netanyahu and his policies, said in a PBS Frontline program on Netanyahu that aired Tuesday evening that he sat next to Netanyahu at Rabin’s funeral. Indyk at the time was US ambassador to Israel.

“I remember Netanyahu saying to me: “Look, look at this,” Indyk said. “He’s a hero now, but if he had not been assassinated, I would have beaten him in the elections, and then he would have gone into history as a failed politician.”

Indyk continued: “So I think even at that moment of tremendous support, a tragic moment of support for Rabin, Netanyahu was thinking, well, politically he was on the ropes before he was assassinated. He exploited that and ran against Oslo in the [1996] elections and beat [Shimon] Peres, but he only beat him by something like a half of 1 percent.”

The Prime Minister’s Office issued a “blanket denial,” saying that what Indyk said “never happened.”

The Likud issued a response to Indyk’s statement saying that “this is another blatant lie by Indyk, who never stops discrediting and defaming” Netanyahu.

I’m with the PMO on this one.

Journalist Amit Segal has tweeted the following photo from the Rabin funeral. Note who is not sitting near Netanyahu.

As journalist Lahav Harkov tweeted, if you’re going to lie, don’t have it be about a widely televised & photographed event.

Some have suggested Indyk did not mean he sat next to Netanyahu at the funeral.

Read Indyk’s words again – that’s a hell of a stretch.

It looks like Martin tried to burn Netanyahu, but has ended up being caught with his pants on fire.

Update: Indyk has responded.

First step: does anyone have a photo or footage from the ceremony?

Update: According to Amit Segal, in the 6 minutes of the Knesset ceremony, there is no record of Netanyahu and Indyk together. The photos show only family allocated seats.

Update: This might explain it.

Martin Indyk, the man who ran John Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, whose failure in turn set off this summer’s bloody Gaza War, cashed a $14.8 million check from Qatar. Yes, you heard that right: In his capacity as vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at the prestigious Brookings Institution, Martin Indyk took an enormous sum of money from a foreign government that, in addition to its well-documented role as a funder of Sunni terror outfits throughout the Middle East, is the main patron of Hamas—which happens to be the mortal enemy of both the State of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party.

Update: Via Wikileaks, here is what Indyk had to say on Nov 5th, 1995 – the very same date he claims he heard the comments from Netanyahu (hat tip: David Shor).

LIKUD LEADER BINYAMIN NETANYAHU TOLD POLOFF LAST NIGHT THAT THE ASSASSINATION OF RABIN IS A “DISASTER FOR THE JEWISH PEOPLE, A DISASTER OF ISRAEL AND A DISASTER FOR THE RIGHT WHICH WILL BE DECIMATED IF ELECTIONS ARE CALLED SOON.”

No mention of the other comments he claimed he personally heard Bibi make.

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