The brilliant newspeak term “alternative facts” that Kellyanne Conway coined in a Jan. 22 interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” rocketed George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel “1984” to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list. What, after all, did US President Donald Trump’s counselor say? She found her own way, albeit strangely, to explain the gap between what White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said regarding the number of people who attended her boss’ inauguration and the facts and photos of the event reported by the media.
In Israel, contradictions between media reports and versions of events told by those in power are routine stories: The same person says one thing and within a second says the exact opposite. That person is none other than the honorable Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — the premier himself, not a spokesman or an adviser. Netanyahu not only lets loose alternative facts using mere words, he creates them even before the ink has dried on press releases issued by his office. Take, for example, his emotional Dec. 16 appeal to the squatters of the illegal Amona outpost in the West Bank.