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article imageThe Onion accidentally breaks story on U.S. weapons to Israel

By Caroline Leopold     Jul 23, 2015 in World
A satirical website, The Onion, has accidentally broken a real news story — by revealing that the U.S. offered Israel weapons to try to appease anger at the Iran nuclear deal.
A spoof news story in The Onion, which ran under the headline “US Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles”, appeared 24 hours before reports emerged that this had actually happened in real life.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz noted the similarity to its own story, published the following day on July 15, which carried the headline, “After Iran deal, Obama offers military upgrade to help Israel swallow bitter Iranian deal.”
In the real world news story, President Barack Obama offered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immediate talks to upgrade the Israel’s offensive and defensive capabilities in the wake of the deal on Iran’s nuclear program, a senior U.S. official told Haaretz.
The Onion's version quotes a fake State Department flack saying: "“Bibi always gets a little cranky when he sees us talking to Iran, but a few dozen short-range surface-to-surface missiles usually cheer him right up.”
“Of course, we try not to spoil him by giving him a whole new tactical ballistics delivery system every single time he throws a fit, but our guy’s pretty good at getting his way.”
Later, Haaretz graciously admitted in a follow up op-ed that: “There’s no other way around it: the fake newspaper broke the story.”
The real story is different from the satirical story in that Israel turned down the missile offer. According to Haaretz, Netanyahu did not accept Obama’s offer because this deal would be construed as Israel having come to terms with the Iran nuclear deal.
Relations between the U.S. and Israel around the Iran nuclear deal are tense. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is on a trip to the Middle East this week.
Pentagon officials said that Carter was not traveling to Israel to change Netanyahu's mind about the Iran deal, but to talk about security challenges and regional threats, according to CNN.
More about The onion, Iran deal, Haaretz, Netanyahu, ashton carter
 
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