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July 26, 2018

Israeli Peace Offers, Palestinian Rock Throwing Are M.I.A in Post Report

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A June 28, 2018 Washington Post report, “Prince William visit Jerusalem’s holy sites, concluding historic visit,” omitted key context and details about the Duke of Cambridge’s trip to Israel and areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Prince William was the first member of the British Royal Family to make an official trip to Israel since the Jewish state was recreated in 1948. Washington Post correspondent Ruth Eglash noted the significance of the Prince’s visit and claimed that it comes “at a time when peace seems more elusive than ever for Israelis and Palestinians.”

The Post, however, failed to provide readers with details as to why that might be the case.

As CAMERA has detailed, the PA has refused numerous U.S. and Israeli offers for a Palestinian state in exchange for peace with the Jewish state. More recently, the PA refused offers in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba, and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference—as well as U.S. proposals to restart negotiations in 2014 and 2016. Yet, not only did the PA reject these opportunities, its leaders refused to so much as make a counteroffer.

The Washington Post failed to mention this history—despite its obvious relevance to their report. Indeed, Eglash reported that “some Israelis were upset that the Jerusalem portion” of the Prince’s itinerary was “billed as part of a visit to the ‘occupied Palestinian territories.’”

“Much of the world,” the reporter wrote, “does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the eastern parts of the city, which Palestinians hope will become the capital of the future state.”

Yet, the 2008 offer, among others, would have provided the Palestinians with a state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem. It is odd that The Post chose not to mention that the PA rejected precisely what they claim Palestinians “hope” to obtain.

The Post also omitted other aspects of the Prince’s visit. According to Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Israeli journalist, on June 27, 2018: “Palestinian children threw rocks at Prince William’s convoy in Jelazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah. No one was hurt and there was no damage.”

That same day, the Israeli Knesset approved a law that would deduct funds to the PA “commensurate with the amount of money the Palestinians pay to terrorists and their families,” the writer Bassam Tawil noted. The PA responded to the Israeli law by vowing that it would “not abandon the prisoners and the families of the martyrs.” The “martyrs” that the PA is talking about “are in fact Palestinian terrorists, who were killed by the Israeli army or police during attacks on Jews,” Tawil noted in a June 28, 2018 Gatestone Institute report.

The PA’s promise to pay terrorists—and the passage of an Israeli law to discourage the policy—was not mentioned in The Post’s report. Indeed, although the paper noted that the Prince “visited [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas in Ramallah,” they failed to report the Palestinian leaders comments during the meeting. On the same day that his government vowed to keep paying terrorists, Abbas told the Prince he was “serious about reaching peace with Israel” and Palestinians were “committed to combating terrorism.”

Apparently, The Post didn’t deign the PA’s duplicity—or its support for terror and rejection of peace—to be worth reporting.

Posted by seand at 01:35 PM |  Comments (0)

July 11, 2018

Media Story About Ultra-Orthodox Responsibility for Lengthy El Al Delay Disputed

Israeli journalist Sivan Rahav Meir reports in The Times of Israel today ("That Ultra-Orthodox flight delay? It didn't happen") that media claims, based on a Facebook post by Israeli rapper Chen Rotem, that a group of ultra-Orthodox men refusing to sit next to women delayed a flight for over an hour are not true. According to Meir, both a passenger on the flight and El Al dispute the claim, saying the bulk of the delay occurred even before passengers boarded, and that the seating delay lasted for approximately five minutes.

Passenger Katriel Shem-Tov wrote to Meir:

“Dear Sivan, I was on that flight from New York, the one that the media reported ‘took off an hour and a quarter late because of the Haredim.’ My wife and I celebrated our silver wedding anniversary and at 6 p.m., we were supposed to take off on our way home. However, before we even boarded, there was an announcement of a 45-minute delay and take-off would be at 6:45 p.m. The same information appeared on the screen in the departure lounge. Of course, the delay had nothing to do with any of the passengers.

“Boarding took a long time, ’till at least 7:10, I believe. My guess is that the whole business with the Haredim didn’t take more than five minutes. Of course, I am not justifying their behavior and one should not cause a delay of even one minute. I am Haredi myself, but I have never seen such behavior like theirs.

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El Al told Meir:

The details that were reported about the incident were not accurate, to put it mildly. In actual fact, the delay was totally unconnected to the incident. The plane’s journey to the runway at the airport in New York took about one hour and had nothing to do with the incident. Taking care of the two passengers who refused to sit in their allocated places occurred after the plane had already left the gate and only took a few moments. We will continue to do our best to transport our customers safely, comfortably, and according to schedule.

According to Haaretz ("El Al Flight From N.Y. Delayed 'After ultra-Orthodox Men Refuse to Sit Next to Women,'" June 23):

An El Al Israeli Airlines flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed last week by more than half an hour.

Such delays are not out of the ordinary, but the reason for this specific delay, according to an Israeli rapper who was aboard the flight, was the refusal of a group of ultra-Orthodox male passengers to sit next to women on the aircraft. . . .

Efforts by the flight crew to resolve the situation were initially unsuccessful and the men were only willing to speak to male members of the flight crew, Rotem wrote, adding that Orthodox or ultra-Orthodox male passengers expressed abhorrence at the four men’s conduct. Members of the crew threatened that if the four would not take their seats, they could disembark immediately, Rotem wrote.

"While on the El Al plane they were dealing with matters of practical theology and personal faith versus the rights of the individual and civil order, 12 planes from other carriers jumped the line ahead of Flight 002. The flight to Israel took off an hour and 15 minutes late.”

Posted by TS at 04:42 AM |  Comments (0)


One Haaretz Page-One Sentence, Lots of Errors

One sentence in a page-one article of Haaretz's's English print edition yesterday packed in multiple errors. Headlined "Netanyahu: Israel to close commercial Gaza crossing over airborne firebombs," the article erred:

Palestinians began flying the devices into Israel after many weeks of protests at the Gaza-Israel border in which over 130 demonstrators were killed by Israel Defense Forces sharpshooters and some 4,000 were wounded by live fire.

This sentence is wrong on multiple counts.

First, as Haaretz itself has previously reported, the kite attacks began less than two weeks after the "March of Return" events began on March 30, not after "many weeks of protests at the Gaza-Israel border." As Almog Ben Zikri reported April 16 ("Gazans Fly Firebombs Tied to Kites Into Israel, Sparking Several Blazes"):

Gaza Palestinians have begun flying kites with firebombs attached to them over the border fence into Israeli territory. Officials from the Eshkol region adjacent to the border informed residents on Sunday that the firebombs had caused several fires but had not caused injuries.

In the first incident last Wednesday [TS: ie April 11], a blaze was put out in the vicinity of Kibbutz Be’eri, where fire investigators found a burnt kite.

Two days later, on Friday, the Israeli army reported that demonstrators on the Gazan side of the border fence had attempted to fly a kite with a Molotov cocktail attached to it into Israeli territory. The kite fell to the ground in the Gaza Strip and caused no injuries.

On Saturday, a kite string was found in the vicinity of another fire near Kibbutz Be’eri. That was followed on Sunday by a kite in the colors of the Palestinian flag that fire investigators found at a blaze near Kibbutz Kissufim.

The Israeli army spokesman’s office said on Sunday that three kites with Molotov cocktails attached to them have been located, and that two of them started fires near the border fence.

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Second, at the time that Palestinians started launching the kite attacks, at most 33 Palestinians had been killed and some 1000 reportedly wounded; not 130 and 4,000, respectively, as reported. As Ben Zikri reported (ibid):

Thirty-four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army weapons fired near the border fence and more than 1,000 have been wounded by live weapons fire.

In last Friday’s protests, one Palestinian was killed and more than 230 wounded.

Third, even until now, it is not true that "130 demonstrators were killed," because as even Hamas acknowledges, active and armed combatants were among the casualties. Among those killed were those who attacked Israelis with firebombs, gunfire, rocks, grenades and pipe bombs. On June 21, The Los Angeles Times corrected the identical error, stating:

Gaza kites: In the June 19 Section A, an article about the use of kites as weapons in the Gaza Strip said the Israeli military has killed about 130 protesters in Gaza. Those killed include armed militants, as well as one press photographer and one medic.

The error-ridden sentence does not appear in the online version of this article. Nor does it appear in the Hebrew edition. CAMERA alerted editors about the inaccuracies. As of this writing, they have yet to publish a correction.

Posted by TS at 02:58 AM |  Comments (0)

June 26, 2018

'Fake News' Catches Up With Haaretz's Chemi Shalev

Yesterday, Haaretz ran a news analysis by veteran reporter Chemi Shalev which, in part, castigated President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for depicting "the media's reports and opinions . . . as 'fake news'" ("By Bashing the Media, Trump and Netanyahu Foster Their Tribalist, Right-wing Support"). Ironically, Haaretz today published a correction about that very column, clarifying that "a quote was attributed erroneously to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, which she did not say."

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What exactly was the quote "which she did not say"? Shalev wrote:

Reacting to allegations made last year by Police Chief Roni Alsheikh that police officers investigating Netanyahu were being harassed and followed, Shaked noted that the police commander was "the new protected darling of the left and the media."

But as Israeli journalist Amit Segal (of Channel 2 and Makor Rishon) tweeted, the quote, in fact, derives from an anonymous talkback to an article in Rotter, an Israeli news site, which mentions both Alsheikh and Shaked in the context of investigations of Netanyahu.

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That Haaretz was compelled to correct a fake quote in a news analysis, which ironically dismissed complaints about "fake news" as a deplorable political ploy, is reminiscent of a recent New York Times correction later dubbed "the correction of the year."

Haaretz deleted the fake quote from its digital article, but, contrary to standard journalistic practice, did not alert readers to the change.

Posted by TS at 05:02 AM |  Comments (0)

June 25, 2018

Media Largely Ignore Alleged Hamas Payment to Dead Baby's Family

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A New York Times caption which definitively claims that Layla Ghandour "fell ill after inhaling tear gas," despite the fact that the accompanying article itself acknowledges that the story involving tear gas was disputed

Western media outlets have largely ignored a significant development in the story of eight-month-old Layla al-Ghandour of the Gaza Strip, whose May 15 death was widely reported when her family claimed that she accidentally ended up at the border clashes and was killed by Israel's use of tear gas. According to the indictment of Layla's relative, Mahmoud Omar, Hamas paid the family to claim that tear gas caused her death though the real culprit was a blood condition, which also killed her brother the year before.

According to Haaretz ("Hamas Paid Gaza Family $2,200 to Blame Israel for Baby's Death, Indictment Says"):

Under interrogation in Israel, Omar, who is Layla al-Ghandour's cousin, said Hamas leader Sinwar paid the baby's family 8,000 shekels ($2,200) to accuse Israel of the death of the 8-month-old. The claim came despite the fact that members of the family had previously said that she died of a blood disorder, a condition that the baby's six-month-old brother apparently also died of last year.

When news surfaced of the claim that Layla al-Ghandour had died from inhaling tear gas, Israeli army officials cast doubt on the allegation, saying that the army had evidence that called the family's claim into question.

According to the indictment against Omar, on the day that Layla al-Ghandour died, Omar's mother called him while he was participating in a demonstration near the border fence and told him about the child's death. Omar is said to have been told on returning home that the baby had died of the same blood disease that took the life of her brother.

Numerous media outlets which dedicated entire stories to the disputed circumstances of Layla's death, and others which unequivocally blamed it on tear gas, despite the fact that the Associated Press had reported that a Gaza doctor noted the preexisting condition and expressed doubt that she was killed by tear gas, have ignored the new information concerning Hamas' alleged payment to the family.

Exceptions to the vast majority of Western media outlets which ignored the development, UPI and Agence France Presse did commendably report that Omar said Hamas leader Yihya Sinwar paid his family to falsely blame Layla's death on tear gas.

Posted by TS at 05:53 AM |  Comments (0)

June 22, 2018

Former PCUSA Moderator Advocates for "Activist" Who Harassed Palestinian Reformer

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This is a screenshot of a video of a June 18, 2018 meeting in an office of the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri. The meeting took place after the person recording the video, Bassem Masri, posted video of himself harassing Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid in the convention center. The man on the far right is Fahed Abu Akel, past moderator of the PCUSA. (Screenshot from www.pscp.tv.)

By now Snapshots readers are familiar with Bassem Masri’s ugly harassment of Palestinian reformer Bassem Eid at the General Assembly (GA) of the Presbyterian Church (USA) currently taking place at the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis, Missouri. (The GA, which will ratify a number of overtures condemning Israel while remaining silent about the misdeeds of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, ends tomorrow.)*

What they don’t know is how a prominent Presbyterian leader, former moderator Fahed Abu Akel, defended Masri’s “right” to stay in the convention center even after abusing Eid, who was an invited guest of Presbyterians for Middle East Peace. Nor do they know that Akel said that the victim of Masri’s abuse, had “lied” to the General Assembly’s Middle East Committee.

Here’s the rundown:

Continue reading "Former PCUSA Moderator Advocates for "Activist" Who Harassed Palestinian Reformer"

Posted by dvz at 11:09 AM |  Comments (0)

June 20, 2018

PCUSA Stands By While Palestinian Activist Harassed by Extremist

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Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid walks away from an aggressive and hostile "intersectionality" activist Bassem Masri outside the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s General Assembly taking place in St. Louis. (Screenshot from Twitter.)

Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid was harassed and accused of being a “traitor,” a “spy” and a collaborator after criticizing Palestinian elites at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, USA currently being held in St. Louis, Missouri.

These accusations, which, in Palestinian society, could be used to justify violence against Eid, were leveled by Palestinian American activist Bassem Masri, who was attending the proceedings at the invitation of the Israel-Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church, a PCUSA institution with a long history of promoting hostility toward Israel and its Jewish supporters in the United States.

Curiously enough, Masri himself videotaped himself harassing Eid and then posted the videos on Twitter. In the videos, which were posted on Twitter on Monday June 18, 2018, Masri can be heard accusing Eid of betraying the Palestinian people. In one video, Masri calls Eid, “a f-----g collaborator,” a “piece of s—t” and a “sympathizer with the Zionists.” In another video, Masri calls Eid gasus — Arabic for spy. “He speaks on behalf of the Jewish lobby,” Masri said.

These accusations could very well incite people to harm Eid, a regular speaker in the United States, upon his return home. (Eid divides his time between East Jerusalem and Jericho.) “People will watch the video where I am called a traitor. This is a clear call to kill me,” Eid said.

Despite the hostility directed at him by Masri, the videos indicate Eid kept his composure during the confrontations. At one point, Eid asks Masri to stop talking to him. Masri refused.

“I can talk to whomever I want,” Masri says in the video. “Call the police. This is America. I have freedom of speech.” At this point, Eid says, “You are threatening me. You said you are going to kill me.”

In response, Masri calls Eid a liar. “You’re a collaborator with the Israelis. You’re an Arab Zionist.” Moments later, Masri declares “You’re turning your back on your people.”

Eid says that prior to taking the videos, Masri twice threatened to kill him.

Continue reading "PCUSA Stands By While Palestinian Activist Harassed by Extremist"

Posted by dvz at 06:47 PM |  Comments (1)

June 19, 2018

AFP Whitewashes Gaza's Serial Arsonists as 'Activists'

June 20 Update: Multiple Media Outlets Amend Captions Calling Gaza Arsonists 'Activists'

Numerous Agence France-Presse photo captions in the last couple of days misidentify Gazans responsible for airborne arson attacks which destroyed 28,000 dunums of Israeli farmland and nature reserve land. The smoke from these deliberately set fires two days ago caused 1000 turkeys to choke to death. The arsonists also launched explosives-laden kites and balloons across the border, reaching a highway and even the roof of a home.

AFP captions misidentified these serial arsonists as "activists" or "protesters." A sampling of these erroneous captions follows:

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Palestinian activists fill hilum [sic] gas in a ballon [sic] that will be attached to flammable materials to be flown toward Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 17, 2018. SAID KHATIB / AFP

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A Palestinian protester holds a bag containing with flammable materials that will be attached to ballons [sic] and flown toward Israel, at the Israel-Gaza border, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on June 17, 2018. SAID KHATIB / AFP

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An Israeli man and a boy extinguish a fire in a filed next to Kibbutz Beeri reportedly caused by inflamable [sic] material attached to kites and flown across the border to Israel by activists in the Gaza strip on June 18, 2018. Kite-borne fire bombings have reportedly caused significant damage to Israeli fields. MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP

"Arson" refers to the very specific crime of purposefully setting property on fire, which is precisely what these people are doing. But AFP did not once use this clear and accurate terminology, and instead opts for the misleading and grossly inaccurate terms: "activists" and "protesters."

Haaretz's English print edition yesterday published one of the AFP captions which had referred to "A masked Palestinian activist launches a balloon with flammable material . . . " Haaretz editors went to the trouble of amending the caption: changing the wording from "activist" to "protester."

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See also: "CAMERA Prompts Improved Reuters Captions on Palestinian Arson Attacks," June 5

Posted by TS at 03:04 AM |  Comments (0)

June 18, 2018

Newsweek Headline Fail on Israeli Attacks in Syria

A grossly misleading Newsweek headline ("Israel Bombs Syria to Stop Refugees Fleeing to Europe, Netanyahu Says," June 14) falsely suggests that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel is bombing Syria in order to stop refugees from fleeing to Europe.

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He did not. According to Haaretz, he did cast Israeli attacks on Syria -- meant to prevent the flow of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah and to curb Iranian entrenchment in Syria -- "as potentially helping to stem a Syrian Sunni Muslim refugee exodus to Europe." In other words, Israel's attacks, meant to curb Iran in Syria, also may have the by-product of slowing the tide of refugees, he reportedly stated.

Haaretz elaborated:

Netanyahu accused Iran, which has been helping Damascus beat back a seven-year-old rebellion, of bringing in 80,000 Shi'ite fighters from countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan to mount attacks against Israel and "convert" Syria's Sunni majority.


"That is a recipe for a re-inflammation of another civil war - I should say a theological war, a religious war - and the sparks of that could be millions more that go into Europe and so on ... And that would cause endless upheaval and terrorism in many, many countries," Netanyahu told an international security forum.


"Obviously we are not going to let them do it. We'll fight them. By preventing that - and we have bombed the bases of this, these Shi'ite militias - by preventing that, we are also offering, helping the security of your countries, the security of the world."

CAMERA has contacted Newsweek to request clarification of the headline. Stay tuned for an update.

June 19 Update: Amended Headline is No Improvement

Newsweek yesterday amended the flawed headline, but unfortunately the newer version is neither more clear nor more accurate. It states: "Israel Bombs Syria, Stopping Refugees Fleeing to Europe, Netanyahu Says."

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CAMERA notes Haaretz's straight-forward and accurate headline on the very same subject: "Israeli Strikes on Iranian Targets in Syria Slowed Refugee Flow to Europe, Claims Netanyahu." Haaretz's reference to "strikes on Iranian targets" makes clear that Iran was the target of the Israeli strikes. In contrast, both the original and the amended Newsweek headlines mislead, falsely suggesting that Israeli bombings of Syria were directed at refugees, or at stopping them from fleeing to Europe.

CAMERA continues to call on Newsweek to clarify its headline.

Posted by TS at 02:36 AM |  Comments (0)


Los Angeles Times Errs on Argentina Cancellation

A June 15 Los Angeles Times sports article (online here, "Lionel Messi needs a World Cup while Iceland is just happy to be playing in one"), Kevin Baxter errs about the Argentinian team's cancellation of the game against Israel in Jerusalem:

First the Argentines were routed 6-1 by Spain, then starting goalkeeper Sergio Romero was sidelined because of an injury and then on their way to Russia they caused an international incident by stopping in Jerusalem to play Israel in a friendly.

That didn’t get a friendly greeting from the Palestinians, so the Argentine soccer association canceled the game.

The team never "stopped" in Jerusalem. The trip itself -- not just the game -- was canceled following Palestinian threats to the team. Moreover, the euphemistic statement that the Argentinians "didn't get a friendly greeting from the Palestinians" covers up the fact that players and their families received death threats which the Argentine foreign minister termed "worse than ISIS" ("Argentine soccer team cancels match in Israel amid death threats against Messi").

Significantly, FIFA has begun proceedings against the Palestinian Football Association chief. AFP reported June 14 ("FIFA says acting over Palestinian FA chief's Messi comment"):

FIFA said Thursday it has started disciplinary proceedings against the Palestinian Football Association's chief, after he called for protest against Lionel Messi and his plan to play with Argentina in Jerusalem.

"The FIFA disciplinary committee has opened disciplinary proceedings against the president of the Palestinian Football Association, Jibril Rajoub," a spokesman for the world body said in a statement to AFP.

Its decision, he wrote, "came as a result of his statements, widely reported in the media, with respect to the international friendly match that was scheduled to take place on 9 June 2018 between Israel and Argentina."

He said he could not elaborate while the proceedings were ongoing.

Rajoub had demanded that the Barcelona star not take part in the pre-World Cup friendly against Israel and called on fans to burn shirts bearing his name if he did.

Messi, Rajoub said at a June 3 press conference, "has tens of millions of fans in the Arab and Muslim countries... we ask everyone to burn their shirts which bear his name and posters (with his image)."

CAMERA has contacted The Los Angeles Times to request a correction. Stay tuned for an update.

See also: "CAMERA Prompts Washington Post Correction On Canceled Jerusalem Soccer Match"

June 21 Update: Stealth Correction

The Los Angeles Times has issued a stealth correction to the online article, quietly changing the false reference to the Argentinians "stopping in Jerusalem" to "planning a trip to Jerusalem." Contrary to standard journalistic practice, The Los Angeles Times has not informed readers of the change. Also, as of this writing, the article was not corrected in print. Finally, the article still does not explain that the Palestinian's less than "friendly greeting" included death threats.

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Posted by TS at 02:04 AM |  Comments (0)

June 17, 2018

CNN's Ben Wedeman Falsely Reports No Soldiers Injured in Gaza Border Violence

In a June 7 broadcast and online here, Ben Wedeman incorrectly reported that in the course of the ongoing "March of Return" violence at the Gaza border, "No Israeli soldiers were killed or injured during the protests."

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit has confirmed to CAMERA that in the course of the "March of Return" clashes, between March 30 and June 12, 11 soldiers have been injured in the violent events at the border. This figure does not include soldiers injured by rocket and mortar attacks during this time period.

CAMERA has relayed the information to CNN and urges the network to correct. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at 03:36 AM |  Comments (0)

June 12, 2018

Where’s the Coverage? Hezbollah Helps Hamas Build Terror Camps, Israel Calls for U.N. Help

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Well equipped Hamas operatives


Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based, Iranian-backed terrorist group is helping Hamas build rocket factories and terror training camps in southern Lebanon, according to a Jerusalem Post report. Hezbollah’s assistance violates several United Nations Security Council Resolutions. But it does not, apparently, merit news coverage.

A June 10, 2018 dispatch by Jerusalem Post military correspondent Anne Ahronheim noted that Israel has called for the U.N. to intervene. Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, said:

“Hamas is strengthening its ties with Hezbollah. With the approval and support of Iran, Hamas is working to establish its capabilities in Lebanese territory as well. The cooperation between Hezbollah and Hamas crosses borders. Israel does not intend to sit idly when facing new and old threats and will do whatever is necessary to protect its citizens.”

Like Hezbollah, Hamas is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. Both groups call for Israel’s destruction and are fiercely antisemitic and anti-American.

Israel noted that Hezbollah’s decision to aid the Gaza Strip-based Hamas violates UNSCR 1701 which, among other things, calls for the “full implementation of the relevant provisions of the Taif Accords, and of resolutions 1559 (2004) and 1680 (2006), that require the disarmament of all armed groups in Lebanon, so that, pursuant to the Lebanese cabinet decision of 27 July 2006, there will be no weapons or authority in Lebanon other than that of the Lebanese State.”

That is, Hezbollah’s decision—indeed the existence of Hezbollah itself in Lebanon, where it exerts de facto control of the government—is a violation of the Taif Accords, and other United Nations resolutions.

As CAMERA noted in a March 28, 2018 Washington Examiner Op-Ed entitled “Israel may be facing a five-front war,” Iran and its terror proxies, including Hezbollah and Hamas, may be preparing to attack the Jewish state from several different fronts. Yet, the media has largely ignored this growing security challenge. Many major U.S. news outlets, including The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Politico, and others, failed to report Israel’s request for U.N. intervention.

Hezbollah has a long history of working with and training Palestinian terrorist groups. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) trained Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as CAMERA documented in a May 16, 2018 Jerusalem Post Op-Ed (“How the PLO Helped Create Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards”). The IRGC itself trained—indeed, largely created—Hezbollah, which later worked with the Guards to train operatives from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and al-Qaeda in Lebanon’s Bekka Valley. As Ronen Bergman recounted in his 2018 book Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, Hezbollah passed its knowledge of suicide and car bombings—employed in Lebanon in the 1980s—to the other terrorist groups.

The head of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, declared on May 22, 2018 that his group had “excellent” relations with Hezbollah. The press—which at the time was busy omitting Hamas’s role in orchestrating violent demonstrations at the Israel-Gaza border—largely failed to report Sinwar’s comments and also downplayed Iran’s support for the violent “protests” which themselves mimicked a tactic employed by Hezbollah on Israel’s northern border on May 15, 2011 (“The Palestinian ‘Return March:’ A Futile Publicity Stunt,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, March 28, 2018).

Posted by at 03:54 PM |  Comments (1)


AFP Captions Whitewash Berlin Al Quds Rally

According to The Jerusalem Post ("Heavy Turnout at Al-Quds Rally in Berlin Calls for Israel's Destruction"), participants at the June 9 anti-Israel Al Quds march in Berlin chanted "Zionists are the perpetrators" and "Zionists anywhere, you will lose everywhere." The Jerusalem Post detailed:

A photograph of the protest showed a sign comparing Zionism to Nazis. Lebanese flags were also on display. Many of the marchers were Hezbollah supporters and members. Berlin’s domestic intelligence agency said in 2017 that 250 Hezbollah members operate in the capital city. The US, Israel, the Arab League, Canada and the Netherlands designated all of Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Germany refuses to outlaw all of Hezbollah.

A pro-boycott Israel sign was also shown at the rally, with the words: “Boycott Israel, Free Palestine.” Berlin’s total population is roughly 3.7 million.

“The law entitles the radical Muslim organization, with conditions, to assemble. A demonstration against the existence of Israel on the streets of Berlin is still intolerable,” BZ journalist Kai Ritzmann wrote on Saturday.

BILD journalist Antje Schippmann tweeted, “Also again at today’s antisemitic al-Quds march in Berlin: Ayatollah Hamidreza Torabi.”

Torabi, who heads the Islamic Academy of Germany – part of the Iranian regime owned Islamic Center of Hamburg, is a key organizer of the al-Quds. The Islamic Center buses pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iranian regime members and activists to the annual event.

Yet Agence France Presse captions about the march maintained that participants were "against the presence of Jewish settlements in Israeli-occupied territories," ignoring that they actually oppose Zionism, and thus the existence of the Jewish state in any borders, not just in the West Bank.

A sampling of AFP's erroneous captions falsely alleging that the protesters merely oppose Israeli settlements follows. (Note the sign calling for the boycott of Israel, not just the settlements. Note also the presence of the anti-Israel Jewish sect Neturai Karta with signs stating "Zionism and Judaism are extreme opposites." There is zero indication that the marchers are simply opposed to Jewish settlements in the West Bank.)

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A protester holds a sign reading "Boycott Israel, free Palestine" during a Quds-day Demonstration on the occasion of the so-called "Al-Quds day" in Berlin, on June 9, 2018. The "Quds day" (the day of Jerusalem), a commemoration first initiated by Iran in 1979 to fall on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan expresses support for displaced Palestinians and against the presence of Jewish settlements in Israeli-occupied territories. Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP

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Protesters hold signs reading "Zionism and Judaism are extreme opposites" during a Quds-day Demonstration on the occasion of the so-called "Al-Quds day" in Berlin, on June 9, 2018. The "Quds day" (the day of Jerusalem), a commemoration first initiated by Iran in 1979 to fall on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan expresses support for displaced Palestinians and against the presence of Jewish settlements in Israeli-occupied territories. Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP

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Protesters take part in a Quds-day Demonstration on the occasion of the so-called "Al-Quds day" in Berlin, on June 9, 2018. The "Quds day" (the day of Jerusalem), a commemoration first initiated by Iran in 1979 to fall on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan expresses support for displaced Palestinians and against the presence of Jewish settlements in Israeli-occupied territories. Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP

CAMERA has contacted AFP to request corrections of these captions. As of this writing, AFP has yet to set the record straight.

See also: "AFP Last to Correct Its Own Arabic Mistranslation"

Posted by TS at 02:29 AM |  Comments (0)

June 07, 2018

Palestinian Fire Kites Are No Child's Play

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Palestinians set Israeli fields ablaze with fire kites

Much of the media has been either ignoring or minimizing the incendiary kites launched by Palestinians into Israeli territory.

The New York Times, for example, describes them as "flimsy-framed sails with tails meant to carry crude incendiary devices" -- part of a "David vs. Goliath" "protest" against Israel....

Newsweek describes them as a non-lethal response by Palestinian protesters to those Palestinians who have been "shot dead by Israel Defense Forces" during "demonstrations"...

But an article by Gatestone Institute's Bassam Tawil tells it like it is:

*There are two important factors that the international community needs to notice regarding the fire kites that the Palestinians are sending to Israel from the Gaza Strip. First: those who are launching the kites are making it clear that their ultimate goal is to kill as many Jews as possible and bring about the obliteration of Israel. Second: the Palestinians see all Jews living in Israel as "settlers.

*The Palestinians are now also telling us that the terror kites they are sending to Israel accord with what the Quran orders Muslims to do in the fight against the "infidels." They apparently see the flaming kites as part of the jihad (holy war) against the enemies of Allah and Islam.

*The jihad of the Palestinians against Israel is the same jihad that ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic jihadi groups have also been waging on the "infidels" and "enemies of Islam" in the US, EU and other non-Muslim countries. We are witnessing a well-organized campaign of terror orchestrated by terrorists and activists belonging to Hamas and other Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.

Posted by RH at 12:11 PM |  Comments (0)

June 06, 2018

Where’s the Coverage? Israel Foils Assassination Plot Targeting Netanyahu and Others

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Israeli authorities uncovered and thwarted a terrorist cell that planned to murder top governmental officials, including the country’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat. However, many major U.S. news outlets have ignored the story.

On June 5, 2018, the Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency that is akin to the FBI, announced that they had arrested three member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command (PFLP-GC), in connection with the case. The three men had been indicted two days prior.

Ynet reporter Yoav Zitun noted:

“One of the suspects is Muhammad Jamal Rashdeh, 30, from the Shuafat refugee camp in east Jerusalem, who holds an Israeli identity card and has served time in prison in the past for terrorist activity. The investigation revealed that he had planned the attacks with guidance from terrorist elements abroad, including a terror operative from Syria.”

The terror cell had also “planned terror attacks against buildings belonging to the American Consulate and against a delegation of Canadian representatives staying in Jerusalem in a bid to train the Palestinian Authority forces in the West Bank.” Rashdeh was arrested on April 24, 2018, according to a Times of Israel report (“Shin Bet says it thwarted plot to assassinate prime minister, Jerusalem mayor,” June 5, 2018).

The PFLP-GC is a U.S.-designated terrorist group that is based in Damascus, Syria and receives Iranian support. The group has carried out numerous attacks against Israelis and was active in the Syrian civil war, fighting on behalf of dictator Bashar al-Assad.

A foiled terror plot to murder Israel’s prime minister and other top Israeli officials, as well as Americans and Canadians, is certainly newsworthy. However, as of this writing, many major U.S. news outlets have failed to cover the story. The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, Politico, and others have failed to cover the story. By contrast, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel, the U.K.-based Express, and The New York Post, provided coverage.

This is not the first time that the Western media ignored a story about a thwarted Palestinian plot to murder Israeli government officials. As CAMERA noted at the time, U.S. press outlets also ignored a foiled Feb. 2018 plot by Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives to murder Israeli defense minister Avigdor Liberman (“The Media Ignores Foiled Plot to Assassinate Israel’s Defense Minister,” Feb. 20, 2018).

By failing to cover advanced terror plots targeting the country's leadership, the media effectively minimizes the security challenges facing the Jewish state.

Posted by at 01:58 PM |  Comments (0)


U.S. Official: Iran’s Support for Hezbollah Greater Than Previously Thought

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Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah


The Islamic Republic of Iran’s support for Hezbollah might be greater than previously thought. Tehran gives the Lebanese-based terrorist group $700 million a year, according to recent remarks by the U.S. Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker.

Mandelker’s comments were made on June 5, 2018 at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington D.C.-based think tank. The figure supplied by the treasury official is “three times” what was “previously estimated,” according to a report by The National, a daily newspaper published in the United Arab Emirates (“Iran pays Hezbollah 700 million a year, says U.S. official,” June 5, 2018).

As CAMERA noted in its 2016 backgrounder on the terror group, Hezbollah calls for the destruction of Israel and has carried out attacks against Jewish people throughout the world. The organization exerts de facto control over the Lebanese state and has launched wars against Israel, most recently in 2006. The group is also deeply anti-American; prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks, Hezbollah was responsible for murdering more Americans than any other terror group.

Hezbollah engages in illicit activities to raise funds, including narcotics trafficking and smuggling arms, ivory, and diamonds. In a June 2016 speech, Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah stated: “We are open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, come from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Prior to Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian civil war—in which the terror group and Iran fought to keep Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in power—the group was thought to receive $200 million a year from Tehran. However, Mandelker’s comments indicate that Hezbollah is thought to receive at least three times that figure.

Joyce Karam, a reporter for The National, noted that Ms. Mandelker also "accused the Iranian regime of using shell and front companies, and forging documents to conceal its tracks in order to ‘fund terrorists, support weapons of mass destruction proliferation or exploit its own people through corruption and human rights abuses.’”

The U.S. Treasury official also stated that Iran’s Central Bank is guilty of moving funds on behalf of Hezbollah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, which is responsible for training terror groups abroad. In previous years, the IRGC Quds Force has trained operatives from Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas and al-Qaeda, among other U.S.-designated terrorist organizations.

Posted by at 12:53 PM |  Comments (0)

June 01, 2018

Where’s the Coverage? 14 Members of Congress Call to Halt PA Aid

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo


In a widely underreported move, fourteen members of the United States Congress called upon the U.S. State Department to “immediately suspend all aid payments to the Palestinian Authority.” The PA is dominated by the Fatah movement and rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

The Congressional members sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on April 27, 2018. Highlighting the PA’s policy of paying terrorists and their families for carrying out attacks, the letter requested that the U.S. cease U.S. aid payments to the authority. The representatives noted:

“In March 2018 Congress took a clear and bi-partisan stance on how aid dollars are to be used by the PA by passing the Taylor Force Act. This law prohibits U.S. taxpayer funds from being made available to the PA if they continue their practice of paying terrorists and their families. Yet, despite clear Congressional intent, media reports have stated that the PA’s 2018 budget has codified this practice. The budget sets aside 8% of its total to the so-called ‘martyr’s fund,’ which amounts to over $350 million in U.S. taxpayer funded aid.”

Further, the 14 signatories cited a report by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in eastern Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. PMW had translated a Jan. 14, 2018 speech by PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in which the Palestinian leader declared:

“There is something that the Americans are telling us to stop - the salaries of the Martyrs and the Martyrs' families. Of course, we categorically reject this. We will not under any circumstances allow anyone to harm the families of the prisoners, the wounded, and the Martyrs. They are our children and they are our families. They honor us, and we will continue to pay them before the living."

Citing these “disturbing” comments, the Congressional members wanted to know how many foreign aid dollars went to the PA “that were then used to fund terrorists prior to the passage of the Taylor Force Act,” as well as “what measures are you planning to take to enforce the law and suspend aid to the PA…?”

The PA’s policy of offering financial incentives to commit acts of terror is frequently ignored or obfuscated by major media outlets. For example, prior to the passage of the Taylor Force Act, The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” column minimized and misled about the PA’s “Pay to Slay” program—prompting a rebuttal from CAMERA in the Washington Examiner (“U.S. Media Are Covering Up Palestinians’ Pay to Slay Policy,” March 21, 2018).

A letter from more than a dozen members of Congress to a U.S. Secretary of State calling to cut aid to a nominal ally should be newsworthy. However, many major news outlets, such as The Washington Post, USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, Politico, among others, ignored it. By contrast, The Washington Free Beacon provided a full-length report (“Congress Seeks Showdown on Ending U.S. Aid to Palestinians,” May 1, 2018).

Posted by at 10:57 AM |  Comments (0)

May 30, 2018

Some Real Self-Criticism at CATC

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Activists attending the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference in the West Bank view anti-Trump graffiti on the security barrier near the checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Speakers at the conference, which began on Monday, May 28, 2018 and will last until Friday, June 1, 2018, have lamented the role American Evangelicals played in putting Donald Trump into the White House. They have been less vocal about the lack of democratic institutions in Palestinian society. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

The central problem with Palestinian Christian witness about life in the Holy Land is that its criticism is almost invariably directed at Israel and its supporters in the West. Very little is said about the misdeeds of Palestinian elites even though the decisions they have made have contributed greatly to the continued existence of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The people who are most responsible for Palestinian suffering – Palestinian leaders – are not subjected to the type of prophetic criticism that Christians are called to provide.

This problem is clearly on display at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference taking place this week in Beit Jala. At this conference, organized by Bethlehem Bible College, there has been very little criticism of the misdeeds of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip at the ongoing Christ at the Checkpoint Conference organized by the Bethlehem Bible College.

There is, however, a huge amount of criticism of Evangelicals in the U.S. for helping President Donald Trump get elected to the White House in the 2016 election. Trump's election and his decision to move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is clearly a shock to CATC conference organizers and attendees. One conference organizer, Alex Awad (a Palestinian Christian who now lives in the United States) described Trump's election as a dark cloud brought about by White Evangelicals who put him into office.

“They helped elect a president who dashed our hopes as Palestinians,” Awad said the first night of the CATC conference which began on Monday. “He brought us a nightmare.” Awad went onto encourage Evangelicals in the audience to increase their efforts to put pressure on Israel to end the occupation and to change American foreign policy in the Middle East.

The irony is palpable. Christians who are not free to speak their mind in Palestinian society and haven't been able to vote in a presidential election since 2005 are effectively telling Christians in the U.S. how they should have voted in the 2016 election.

To a certain extent, the failure of Christians to speak truth to the powers that be in Palestinian society is understandable because neither the PA nor Hamas tolerate public criticism from anyone, Christian or Muslim, in the areas they control. To confirm just how dictatorial political life is in Palestinian society, in 2017 the PA just imposed laws regarding social media. These laws make criticizing the Palestinian Authority a criminal act.

One report indicates that these new laws “gives the public prosecutor's office unlimited powers to surveil Palestinian citizens, intercept their online communications, and arrest them for airing their opinions and political views online.” People who are convicted of using the internet to undermine “social harmony” can be sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

Such tyranny in Palestinian society is a huge obstacle to peace in the Holy Land because it allows both the PA and Hamas to put Palestinian young people into harm's way without being held accountable by their parents or by the young people themselves. Palestinian elites can effectively send young men into violent confrontations with the IDF without any real public debate over whether or not it's a good idea to do so – all because the people who hold power in Palestinian society will not tolerate the humiliation of being criticized in public.

Polling data indicates that many Palestinians support a two-state solution, but because democratic institutions are non-existent in the West Bank and Gaza, rank-and-file Palestinians have no mechanism to make it happen. All they can do is worry about who will replace the ailing Mahmoud Abbas and hope that the process to find his successor does not descend into civil war. These are not subjects being discussed at the current Christ at the Checkpoint conference even though they are the most crucial issues facing the Palestinian people.

Ironically enough, one institution in Palestinian society where leaders are willing to subject themselves to public criticism is its Evangelical community.

Continue reading "Some Real Self-Criticism at CATC"

Posted by dvz at 05:24 PM |  Comments (0)


Michael Brown Exposes Double-Standard at Christ at the Checkpoint

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Michael Brown speaks at the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference on May 29, 2018. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

Every two years, the ritual is repeated. The organizers of the Christ at the Checkpoint Conference, a so-called peacemaking conference held every even-numbered year at the Orient Palace Hotel in Beit Jala, invite a Messianic Jew to defend Israel before an audience of Evangelical Christians, some of whom have come to the West Bank to hear and relate stories of Jews behaving badly and then use these stories to feed an unwholesome bitterness toward Israel.

The invitation is given by conference organizers from the Bethlehem Bible College, an Evangelical college in Beit Jala, to demonstrate that they are willing to listen to people who disagree with them. It's not as if the organizers really want to hear or acknowledge what he has to say, but instead hope to deploy the Messianic Jew as a prop to lend credibility to their anti-Zionist narrative.

It's an obvious set-up, but the the Messianic Jew, who desperately wants to be taken seriously as a believer in Jesus and as a Jew who loves Israel, says yes. He knows full well other speakers at the conference will do everything they can to counteract his defense of Israel, but the invitee concludes that if he says agree to speak, no one will speak on Israel's behalf at the conference.

During his talk, the Jewish believer in Jesus acknowledges that the Palestinians are suffering, laments this suffering and then offers an apologia of Israel's efforts to defend itself, most notably the security barrier and the checkpoint. Everyone applauds his sincerity and for a few moments, expresses sympathy for the Israelis.

But by the time the conference is over, the Messianic Jew's presence at the Christ at the Checkpoint has been forgotten, or worse, used to remind Evangelicals in attendance that Israel is the sovereign state of the people who have rejected Jesus. The message implicit in the talk is that if only more Jews in Israel accepted Jesus as their messiah, like that guy on stage, the conflict between the Israel and the Palestinians would have ended years ago.

But that's not how it happened during this year's Christ at the Checkpoint. Not by a long shot.

Continue reading "Michael Brown Exposes Double-Standard at Christ at the Checkpoint"

Posted by dvz at 12:31 AM |  Comments (2)

May 29, 2018

Why Does a NY Times Journalist Want to Suppress an Anti-Hamas Article?

A New York Times journalist thinks the Wall Street Journal shouldn't have published an opinion piece criticizing Hamas's anti-Israel propaganda campaign. The reporter, Declan Walsh, is one of the Times reporters who has covered the recent clashes along the Gaza Strip's border with Israel.

The first to suggest the article should have been spiked was Gregg Carlstrom, a correspondent for The Economist:

Walsh concurred. "Fair question," he responded on Twitter.

What arguments does the Wall Street Journal piece make that are so egregious, so beyond the pale, that they prompted these two journalists to wish editors had suppressed it? And what exactly did the author of the Op-Ed, an Israeli army spokesman, say about journalists being "naive, incompetent apologists for terror"?

In fact, the piece was almost entirely focused on Hamas, its goals, and its propaganda. It charged Hamas leaders with lying when describing the Gaza demonstrations they organized as a "peaceful protest," and lamented that "much of the world simply fell for it." And it said that "some in the media helped Hamas by publishing its lies rather than facts."

And …that's all.

The irony is striking. Carlstrom and Walsh are criticizing journalists — in this case Wall Street Journal opinion editors — because they seem to believe criticizing journalists should be taboo. How to make sense of the self-contradiction in their call for self-censorship?

In the case of the New York Times writer, Declan Walsh, it could be that the criticism in the Journal piece struck a bit too close to home. Walsh is one of the New York Times reporters who've counted Hamas gunmen that opened fire on Israelis, and Palestinians planting explosives, as supposed "protesters" killed by Israel.

So criticism of Wall Street Journal opinion editors is okay. But criticism of "some journalists" — maybe, for example, journalists who outrageously count gunmen as protesters? — is, conveniently out of bounds according to Carlson and Walsh.

You can read the piece the reporters wanted suppressed by clicking here.

Posted by GI at 05:31 PM |  Comments (0)