Yedioth Ahronoth's front-page headline on Monday was state-of-the-art hypocrisy. "The molehill turned into a mountain," it read [referring to U.S. President Barack Obama's decision not to immediately attack Syria despite its violation of his red line]. Inside, the paper's most senior analyst, Nahum Barnea, criticized Obama, saying his indecisiveness would result in "the chemicals in Syria being projected on the Iranian nuclear program."
"If the U.S. president can't obtain international legitimacy and rally domestic support for an attack on Syria, how could he deliver on his promises when it comes to Iran?" Barnea asked. Good question.
There is only one problem with Barnea's piece: For the past several years, Yedioth Ahronoth lectured us time and again, admonishing us that we should trust the American president -- yes, the very same Obama -- to handle the Iranian issue. According to the Nahum Barneas in the paper, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was caught up with messianic fervor and could not be trusted to make the responsible choice: letting the existential threat posed by Iran stay within the purview of that super-talented and responsible American president.
Yedioth Ahronoth, as you may recall, kept running headlines from the "responsible people": former Mossad chief Meir Dagan and former Israel Security Agency head Yuval Diskin, as well as their co-workers, who cried foul over the irresponsible behavior of that premier who would not relinquish responsibility to others. They did that because they wanted to undermine a simple premise, "We have no one to trust but ourselves."
And now, oops. Turns out that Israel may not be able to trust the United States of Obama after all. It also turns out that you cannot trust the headlines in Yedioth Ahronoth either. On Aug. 29, the paper's headlines declared that an attack on Syria was fast approaching. These bombastic headlines were carried in a font befitting World War III. "It is imminent, as of tonight," one headline read (let's hope no one read it with baited breath). The analyses offered by the distinguished Barnea were front and center, the same Barnea who on Sept. 1, in the wake of Obama's about-face on Syria, was still awed by "the tone of Obama's speech, which was forceful and full of vigor, while exuding authority and leadership."
But on Monday Barnea changed his view, calling on Obama to stop "belaboring the point." "How will he be able to make good on his pledges when it comes to Iran?" Barnea lamented. This is indeed a valid question. Problem is, the answers provided by Yedioth, as well as by Barnea and other pundits working for the paper, were probably wrong. Very wrong.
For the past several years the paper opted to trust Obama and, for whatever reason, go on the offensive against the man who turned the Iranian threat into Israel's over-arching concern. That person is Netanyahu.
Judging from Barnea's recent comments, would you ever buy a used car from him? The answer is, it depends on the day he wanted to make a transaction.
The obsessive anti-Netanyahu crusade waged by Yedioth Ahronoth reached a new low on Monday. The paper ran a story saying 200 people attended film producer Yoram Globus' birthday bash on Saturday. The event was held at a seaside restaurant in Hadera's Givat Olga neighborhood. Netanyahu and his wife were also present. But why is that important? Well, according to the paper, the restaurant had no business license and was thus operating illegally. How could the prime minister fail to verify this fact before he RSVP'd?
Why, does Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon (Noni) Mozes (who also serves as its most senior editor) verify the licensing status of an event hall before he confirms his attendance? Do Yedioth Ahronoth reporters always ask to see the permit of an establishment when they go out for a meal? Three reporters were on that story, which spanned the entire page. Oh my! Another "scandal."
Actually, this was Yedioth Ahronoth's own goal. A very impressive one.
But this is just what Yedioth Ahronoth's agenda is all about. This is part of its modus operandi. How else can you explain the bizarre story it ran on Monday with the headline: "Right under their noses."
According to the paper, a scooter was stolen on the same street where Israel Police Commissioner Insp. Gen. Yohanan Danino resides. This should not have happened, lamented the paper.
The fact that the paper ran this piece is just unbelievable. The guards stationed at the Danino residence should have been on the lookout and spotted the thieves. No, actually, Danino himself should have been patrolling the street with a knife in his teeth, implies the accusatory tone of the article. These are the very basics of his job description, right?
There might be another explanation for this article. Israel Hayom ran an interview with Danino in its Rosh Hashana supplement last week. This was an exclusive. He did not let Yedioth do the same. Is this how Noni Mozes' paper settles scores? Perhaps. His people are just wired to reward and punish. It's all about the stick and the carrot.
When a once-dominant paper, which used to have the state wrapped around its little finger, fails to grasp that times have changed, this is what happens. No one seems to be taking the paper's threats seriously. Similarly, its about-face punditry by Barnea and some of his colleagues at the paper, has lost its effect.
Stop belaboring the point!