No, this is not a joke. It is a real headline in Ha'aretz
But at least the readers are not buying it. The comments ranged from: 1) Where did you get your numbers? 2) Fudged the numbers? 3) Which Israelis are you polling? Arab Israelis? Meretz? My comment was (never made it): Are these complex numbers? ( For those of you who have forgotten your high school math, complex numbers are of the form a + bi , where a and b are real whereas i is imaginary.)
The last time I've read this kind of Orwellian inversion of the truth was when I lived in the USSR and read the daily Pravda with its standard 4 different type of front page: steel worker/ combine on the wheat fields/ Politburo at tarmac / Party Congress in session, and completely devoid of any relevance to the real world. To see this kind of report in Ha'aretz was shocking.
The swings in the Obama administration's approach were remarkable and they too reminded me of Orwell:
On March 11 we had Biden's Tel Aviv speech which took place after the announcement of the building of 1,600 housing units:
I am here to remind you, though I hope you will never forget, that America stands with you shoulder-to-shoulder in facing these threats.
There is no space -- this is what they must know, every time progress is made, it's made when the rest of the world knows there is absolutely no space between the United States and Israel when it comes to security, none. No space.
On March 12, according to the Washington Post
Clinton called Netanyahu "to make clear the United States considered the announcement a deeply negative signal about Israel's approach to the bilateral relationship and counter to the spirit of the vice president's trip," Crowley said. Clinton, he said, emphasized that "this action had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process and in America's interests."
On March 16, Gen. David Petraeus:
"Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations, Gen. David Petraeus, the chief of the U.S. Central Command (Centcom), told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel," he added
On March 17: Obama: No crisis in Israel-US ties. Now you can compare the above to Chapter 9 of George Orwell's 1984:
The speech had been proceeding for perhaps twenty minutes when a messenger hurried on to the platform and a scrap of paper was slipped into the speaker's hand. He unrolled and read it without pausing in his speech. Nothing altered in his voice or manner, or in the content of what he was saying, but suddenly the names were different.
Without words said, a wave of understanding rippled through the crowd. Oceania was at war with Eastasia! The next moment there was a tremendous commotion. The banners and posters with which the square was decorated were all wrong! Quite half of them had the wrong faces on them. It was sabotage! The agents of Goldstein had been at work! There was a riotous interlude while posters were ripped from the walls, banners torn to shreds and trampled underfoot. The Spies performed prodigies of activity in clambering over the rooftops and cutting the streamers that fluttered from the chimneys. But within two or three minutes it was all over.
The orator, still gripping the neck of the microphone, his shoulders hunched forward, his free hand clawing at the air, had gone straight on with his speech. One minute more, and the feral roars of rage were again bursting from the crowd. The Hate continued exactly as before, except that the target had been changed.
The thing that impressed Winston in looking back was that the speaker had switched from one line to the other actually in midsentence, not only without a pause, but without even breaking the syntax.