For the last several days, the entire Western media has run with a false story: the story that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he no longer would, under any circumstances, endorse the possibility of a Palestinian state.

Ha’aretz, a left-wing Israeli newspaper opposing Netanyahu, reported Netanyahu’s supposed comment with this headline: “Netanyahu: If I’m Elected, There Will Be No Palestinian State.” The rest of the media quickly followed. Days later, when Netanyahu said that he had never disavowed his prior support for the possibility of a Palestinian state – support he expressed in a speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009 – the media accused Netanyahu of flip-flopping.

There is only one problem: Netanyahu never said that a Palestinian state was out of the question.

The interview in which Netanyahu expressed the much-misinterpreted remark took place with the conservative Israeli publication NRG. It also took place in Hebrew, a language virtually none of the members of the Western press read or speak; most simply took the Ha’aretz report and ran with it. Netanyahu was asked directly about whether his Bar-Ilan speech was “irrelevant.” Here is what Netanyahu actually said:

NETANYAHU: I think anyone who is going to build a Palestinian state today will be freeing up space to give an attack area to radical Islam against Israel. This is the reality created here in recent years. Anyone who ignores this sticks his head in the sand. The left does this, burying its head in the sand again and again. We are realistic and understand…

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