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Sunday, March 08, 2015 

Dennis Ross debunks latest Yediot Achronot attempt to smear Netanyahu

The awful leftist paper Yediot Achronot is now trying to claim Netanyahu made a secret concession agreement to the PLO. But former US envoy Dennis Ross has refuted that whole smear:
Dennis Ross, the man allegedly behind the "concessions document" published by Yedioth Ahronoth over the weekend, told Israel Hayom that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "never agreed to Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders, dividing Jerusalem or the right of return."

The document, which the Likud party claims is part of an orchestrated campaign to topple the current leadership, purports to have been presented in August 2013 and appears to detail the framework for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, suggesting a willingness by the Netanyahu-led government to make dramatic concessions.

According to Ross, the American diplomat who mediated the talks between Israeli negotiator Isaac Molho and Palestinian negotiator Hussein Agha, which included the document in question, "I always felt the best way to [negotiate] would be in a brainstorming set of discussions that could be informal. To that end, starting before I left the administration and continuing after I left, I worked with two long-time friends of mine, Isaac Molho and Hussein Agha, with the aim of coming up with a U.S. proposal for a framework. The idea was that both sides would agree to negotiate using the U.S. proposal, while making clear that they had reservations about provisions that ran counter to their positions."

"Over the years of our discussions, we came up with many drafts both before and after August 2013 but there was not an August 2013 draft. In any event, to my regret the exercise did not succeed," Ross added.
On that note, I think it's good such exercises in futility didn't succeed. If Ross is hinting he wanted concessions, then it's good there weren't any. As Dr. Haim Shine notes, it's just an attempt by Yediot Achronot to divide the right:
Yedioth began realizing that the "Anyone but Bibi" campaign was not very convincing, given the tumult taking place in the Middle East these days. A wise nation understands that the leader of the most complex country in the world must have real skill, such as macro-political vision, an ability to delve into details, a determined mindset, the power to persuade and, above all, a true vision for the future of the Jewish state.

In its distress, Yedioth has been attempting, as it did in the previous elections, to divide the Right and drive a wedge between its components. Under the bold title "Expose," Yedioth reporter Nahum Barnea revealed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's supposed "concessions document." This is a baseless document, and the best proof of this is the Netanyahu's continued insistence over the years on saying no to a return to the 1967 borders, no land swaps and no to ceding control of the Jordan Valley to the Palestinians.

Yedioth, with blatant cynicism, is attacking Netanyahu from the right to give Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett ammunition against the prime minister, hoping Bennett will use the story to draw some votes away from Likud.
And Bennett, to be honest, just isn't as impressive as he could be, so I think most votes would best be cast for Likud.

Mati Tuchfeld also says there's several signs Barnea's propaganda is just phony spinning, and explains well why the paper isn't worth reading.

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