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The segment points out, among other things, that a New York Times report charged Israeli minister Yuval Steinitz with having “distorted” details of a planned nuclear agreement between the U.S. and Iran, because he had estimated that the deal would provide Iran with $15-20 billion in direct benefits over the course of year and up to $40 billion in indirect benefits. This was a distortion, the newspaper insisted, because the U.S. administration (which had as much interest in promoting the deal as Israel had in sharpening it) had claimed that the agreement, which covers six months, would provide Iran with direct benefits $10 billion over half a year.
The charge that Steinitz “distorted” did not belong on the news pages from the start. Extrapolation based on a reasonable assumption is not the same as distortion. As CAMERA asserted in a note to The New York Times,
One can disagree with Steintiz’s forward-looking estimate, as Dan Drezner does, or one can agree with his view that the real figures could exceed those promoted by the administration, as Mark Dubovitz and FDD do. But the idea that one view or the other is a “distortion” belongs squarely in the realm of opinion journalism, not news.
But it gets worse for The Times. The Israeli daily Ha’aretz has now reported that American officials have moved toward Steinitz’s views:
Senior officials in the administration of President Barak Obama have conceded over the past few days in conversations with colleagues in Israel that the value of the economic sanctions relief to Iran could be much higher than originally thought in Washington, security sources in Israel told Haaretz.
According Israeli security sources cited in the report, “even the Americans understand” now that the amount of sanctions relief amounts “about 20 or 25 billion dollars.”
CAMERA has again called on The New York Times to publish a correction, clarification or editor’s note retracting the newspaper’s inappropriate slur about Steinitz’s assessment.