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Joe Klein Caught Making Things Up

4:12 PM, Dec 17, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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And of course, stories that Joe Klein makes up get recycled in Palestinian propaganda. Ben Smith reports:

U.S. and Israeli officials are dismissing an eyebrow-raising claim from a prominent Palestinian activist and official, Mustafa Barghouti, in today's International Herald Tribune.

"The Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, stands up and walks out on the U.S. envoy, George Mitchell, every time the American envoy mentions East Jerusalem," Barghouti wrote in an op-ed deploring "U.S. and European inaction" in the face of Israeli intransigence.

Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, through a spokesman, dismissed the claim as "nonsense."

"I have never heard such a thing," added the spokesman, Jonathan Peled.

A senior U.S. official who has attended meetings with Lieberman and Mitchell called the claim "absurd" and "patently untrue."

"Never happened," said the official.

Joe Klein had initially written that "The Israelis have been difficult, as always: whenever Mitchell raises East Jerusalem in talks with the Israeli Foreign Minister, the Israeli stands up and walks out of the room."

You know, it kind of reminds me of the time Joe Klein declared, in an item titled "Hamas Wants to Talk," that "the release of the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit is a triumph of diplomacy." That was in June. Six months later Obama has no diplomatic triumphs to show for his first year in office, and Gilad Shalit is still wasting away in a Hamas dungeon somewhere in Gaza. But Joe Klein keeps attacking the Israelis, and making things up.