Benjamin Netanyahu deliberately allowed the thousands of delegates to flock to the Fatah convention. But he was not trying to achieve a reputation for openness and meeting the enemy halfway: His main goal was to extract proof from the Palestinians – proof that would convince Israeli public opinion in particular – on whether we are really dealing with “moderates” here.
Therefore, he ordered that they be allowed to gather and bare their teeth, Israel’s real goal is to highlight that even the Palestinians’ most moderate wing is characterized by inherent aggressiveness
But the Israeli media did not fall into this trap. As longstanding and loyal Fatah supporters, they understood that the Palestinians had played into the hands of the rightist government. So, as is their wont, the media demonstrated responsibility by trying, as they have so often in the past, to play down their darlings’ warlike statements. Yet the harsh public reactions show that this time, unlike in the past, the media have not managed to tip the scales.