A prominent US foreign policy luminary repeatedly makes false and potentially inflammatory statements about the effects of Israeli military actions in the occupied territories. It's the kind of thing that reliably generates "outrage" and demands for retraction.
Unless that person is Condi Rice. Not long ago she was claiming to have seen on TV the holes from mortar shells (implied to be Israeli) in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. An incident that never happened. In her latest round of interviews, here she is expanding the claims --
QUESTION: You said – yeah, but al-Qaida’s – its central front or where it came from is the Middle East. Now, for many Arabs, the central problem is the Palestinian-Israeli problem. You have taken that up in the past year, but –
SECRETARY RICE: ... And yes, they haven’t gotten to the establishment of a Palestinian state yet. And yes, Hamas is wreaking havoc in Gaza. But if you look at where this was in 2001, you have to remark on how far it’s come. You know, cities like Jenin. Do you remember what was going on in Jenin in 2000? Do you remember the shell that hit the Church of the Nativity in 2000 in Bethlehem? This is a very different situation now [...]
QUESTION: But we rarely hear about the –
SECRETARY RICE: I’ve talked –
QUESTION: – Arab civilians who were killed and apparently –
SECRETARY RICE: I talked about them just the other day. I talked about the fact that that period in 2001, 2002, was, yes, suicide bombings in Israel proper, and also Israeli military operations in response, large-scale military operations in response, in which many, many – probably thousands of innocent Palestinians died.
And so that’s why I say we have left this in a much better place. Because you can go to Jenin now, the site of one of the worst of those incidents,
Condi, in her haste to dump her negative legacy onto Bill Clinton, has conflated the beginnings of 2nd Intifadah in late 2000 with the peak of the Israeli response, Operation Defensive Shield, in 2002. The latter included the much-disputed events in Jenin. A UN report after Jenin estimated a death toll of 1,539 Palestinians for the entire period from the beginnings of the Intifadah and through Operation Defensive Shield, including Jenin, and not including the non-existent shell through the wall of the Church of the Nativity.
Condi's command of the facts would embarrass the most earnest of keffiyeh-wearing protestors, and yet she's allowed to repeat this stuff without a peep. Is there a standard that only those awful liberals could possibly say incorrect things about Israel?