Indyk lie about Netanyahu’s Rabin remarks

Former US Middle East envoy Martin Indyk kicked off a storm of controversy earlier today, after issuing a slew of allegations and personal insults against Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during a PBS interview Wednesday.

Among the most serious of those accusations are comments Indyk alleged Netanyahu made during the funeral for assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, deriding the former PM at his own funeral. At the time, Netanyahu was leader of the opposition and had been a political nemesis of the left-wing PM.

“Netanyahu sat next to me when I was ambassador in Israel at the time of Rabin’s funeral,” Indyk alleged. “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.'”

“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%.”

Netanyahu’s office has denied the claims outright, but opposition figures have already relished the opportunity to slam him for his alleged behavior.

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Where’s Marty? Screenshot/Amit Segal

Yet there appears to be one major flaw with Indyk’s account: footage from the funeral dug up by veteran Israeli reporter Amit Segal shows Netanyahu actually sat nowhere near the then-US Ambassador.

Segal posted a screenshot from video footage of the ceremony, with Indyk nowhere to be found in the vicinity of Netanyahu. How he then overheard the alleged remarks – which Netanyahu’s office insists “never was and never happened” – is unclear.

“‘I remember when I sat next to Netanyahu at the funeral,’ Indyk said, and told what was said,” Segal tweeted. “There’s just one problem: Where’s Martin?”

Indyk’s appointment by the Obama administration as an “honest broker” in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was always a point of controversy, both due to his affiliations with far-left anti-Israel groups, as well as his hostile attitude towards the Israeli government even during the talks.