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September 27, 2017

The Washington Post Cites—Then Removes—A Tweet From an Antisemite

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A Washington Post report on U.S. comedian Conan O’Brien’s recent trip to Israel initially cited an antisemitic Twitter user. Following contact from CAMERA, The Post removed the offensive tweet from the online article (“How Conan’s Israel episode confronted the ‘polarizing’ political issues,” Sept. 20, 2017).

Post reporter Bethonie Butler detailed O’Brien’s trip, noting comedic moments as well as the entertainers’ encounters with “activists near the separation barrier in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria].”

Quoting O’Brien’s televised show, The Post’s dispatch informed readers that the security barrier is “a measure built to protect against terrorist attacks and has resulted in a dramatic drop in Israeli deaths.”

Bizarrely, the article also initially included a tweet ostensibly meant to show negative reaction to O’Brien’s show. Twitter user “MagSec” said, “Conan O’Brien’s trip to Israel is the most shameless bit of propaganda that I’ve ever seen. He even has an Israeli doctor treating a Syrian.” Of course, Israeli doctors have been treating victims of the Syrian civil war—a fact that is seldom noted by many media outlets. It’s hard to see how this qualifies as “shameless propaganda”—unless one is an antisemite.

Screenshots taken by CAMERA Senior Research Analyst Gilead Ini show that the same Twitter user also thinks “The Jews at CNN are trying to get blacks to murder whites again” and “Never forget that CNN anchor Rick Sanchez said CNN & all the news networks were run by Jews.” In addition to being a purveyor of antisemitic tropes, the individual’s bigotry extends elsewhere, and includes attacking transgender people and praising assaults against journalists.

Following contact from CAMERA, The Washington Post commendably removed the tweet from its online report and noted that the post “has been updated.” Nonetheless, its initial inclusion does raise the question of why this particular Twitter user was cited in the first place.

The dispatch also presented information in a manner that could mislead readers, stating that O’Brien listened to activists who “described attending the funeral of an eight-year old Palestinian girl, who was run over by an Israeli settler in the West Bank.” In fact, as CAMERA affiliate UK Media Watch has noted, the girl who is likely being described, Aseel Abu Oun, was killed in what police described as a “regular road accident.” However, The Post presented her death in a manner that could lead readers to think that the death was intentional.

By using a questionable source and ambiguous phrasing—even if unintentional—The Post’s story could misinform readers.

Posted by SD at 01:29 PM |  Comments (0)

Journalist Harassed by PA in 2014 Now in Facebook Jail

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Brian Schrauger, editor and publisher of The Jerusalem Journal. (Photo: Dexter Van Zile)

Brian Schrauger, editor of a pro-Israel website The Jerusalem Journal, has, along with a number of his friends and supporters, been placed in Facebook’s equivalent of jail, blocked from posting articles to groups on the social media giant’s network. Details are a bit sketchy, but Schrauger, along with a number of other pro-Israel bloggers who have attempted to post articles from Schrauger’s Chaim Report, a news aggregation section on The Jerusalem Journal.

“The Chaim Report is a kind of Israel-centered version of the Drudge Report,” Schrauger says. “Like Drudge, it provides a daily aggregation of third party stories from mainstream news and government sources.”

Folks who have tried to post articles from The Chaim Report into Facebook groups have gotten messages that state “Action Blocked.” The messages go onto state that the writers in question have been “temporarily restricted from joining and posting to groups.” The restrictions or punishments appear to be about 10 days in length.

“Eleven of us have been put in prison,” Schrauger says. “So far the release date is from 3-6 October.”

Schrauger has his suspicions as to what’s happening.

“I am convinced the most likely reason is because a malicious person, or persons, have engaged in a campaign to report all Jerusalem Journal posts as spam,” Schrauger says.

In 2014, Schrauger, a vocal critic of Palestinian elites, was harassed by PA police who told him it would be a good idea if he left Bethlehem. They took his passport on the way to the police station.

Three years later, the harassment has shifted to Facebook.

Posted by dvz at 11:58 AM |  Comments (1)

September 26, 2017

The Washington Post Pushes ‘Despair’ Excuse for Palestinian Terrorism, Again

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas


A Washington Post report on a Sept. 26, 2017 Palestinian terror attack pushed the narrative that “despair” and “frustration” over the lack of a Palestinian state was a motivating factor in anti-Jewish violence ("Palestinian shoots dead 3 Israelis at settlement near Jerusalem").

The dispatch, by Post reporter Ruth Eglash and Jerusalem bureau chief Loveday Morris, provided details about the attack in which a 37-year-old Palestinian named Nimr Mahmoud al-Jamal murdered an Israeli policeman and two security guards at the entrance to Har Adar in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Al-Jamal, who worked in Har Adar, opened fire shortly after 7 a.m., murdering the three men and wounding another Israeli.

In an otherwise informative article, The Post uncritically repeated the claim that “Palestinians say such attacks are caused by frustration stemming from 50 years of occupation.” However, as CAMERA has frequently noted, Arab anti-Jewish violence—including terrorist attacks—predates Israel’s acquisition of disputed territories in the 1967 Six Day War (for example, see "Anti-Jewish Violence in Pre-State Palestine," Aug 23, 2009).

According to CAMERA's BBC Watch, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) encourages the media to push the narrative that “despair” and “frustration” over the lack of a Palestinian state are the motivating factor behind terror attacks. (see “Reviewing BBC compliance with PLO media guidance,” Dec. 8, 2015). The Post, and others, frequently seem to follow these PLO-approved talking points.

Some Palestinian leaders, however, have refuted the idea that frustration over a “military occupation” is the motivating factor behind anti-Jewish violence. For example, Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, declared in a speech at a rally on Jan. 19, 2016, at the very height of the so-called “stabbing intifada”:

“This intifada [violent uprising] is not the result of despair. This intifada is a jihad, a holy war…only a holy war will drive the occupier out of Palestine.”

Indeed, if “despair” over the lack of state is to blame, than Palestinians should be attacking their leadership, which has rejected U.S. and Israeli offers for a state in exchange for peace with the Jewish nation in 2000 at Camp David, 2001 at Taba and 2008 after the Annapolis Conference, among other occasions.

Both Fatah, the movement that dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Hamas, the U.S.-designated terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, praised the September 26th attack. Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), a non-profit organization that monitors Arab media in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and eastern Jerusalem, noted that Fatah called the attack “an operation” and al-Jamal a “Shahid” (martyr) on its official Facebook page. As PMW pointed out:

“Fatah’s referring to the terrorist murderer as a Shahid is the highest praise that Fatah could give…[it] means that he ‘died for Allah.’ Fatah is telling Palestinians that murdering Israelis is something that their god, Allah, desires, and for which the ‘Martyr’ will be rewarded in Heaven.”

In other words, it's not "despair," but a twisted idea of the divine, that helps motivate anti-Jewish violence.

Indeed, PA President Mahmoud Abbas—who is frequently called a “moderate” by the press and policymakers—has praised such acts. His advisor on religious affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, stated on official PA TV “there is no status Allah has exalted more than Shahada (Martyrdom),” in a 2013 sermon translated by PMW.

As with other Palestinian terrorists who have murdered Jews, the family of al-Jamal will receive payments from the PA—a practice enshrined in law as CAMERA noted in a recent Op-Ed in The Hill. Unsurprisingly, this also went unmentioned by the Palestinian leadership—and The Post that often uncritically quotes them.

Posted by SD at 01:11 PM |  Comments (0)

Where’s the Coverage? U.S. Establishes a New Base in Israel

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The United States has established a new base in Israel. And many major U.S. news outlets have failed to report the event.

On Sept. 18, 2017, the U.S. announced that it was creating a permanent U.S. Army base to be co-located at the Israel Defense Forces Air Defense School near Beersheba. The base will have dozens of American soldiers and will be operating under an American flag.

A dispatch by Defense News reporter Barbara Opall-Rome (“U.S. breaks ground for new permanent base in Israel,” September 18) noted that the location will “house U.S. operational systems to identify and intercept a spectrum of aerial threats, along with barracks, recreational and other facilities required to support several dozen American air defenders.”

The IDF’s air commander, Israeli Air Force Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, stated that the U.S. presence would be permanent and was part of “an American task force that will be stationed here.”

“The purpose of their presence is not for training or for exercises, but rather as part of a joint Israeli and American effort to sustain and enhance our defensive capabilities,” Haimovich said.

U.S. Maj. General John Gronski took part in the September 18 ceremonies to announce the base. In his remarks, Gronski—who is the deputy commanding General of the Army National Guard in U.S. Army Europe—pointed out that the base “signifies the strong bond that exists between the U.S. and Israel.”

Plans to open the base have been in the works for two years. It’s not the first U.S. military presence in the area; an independent facility has been operating in the same area of Israel’s Negev desert for almost a decade. That facility, however, is not a joint U.S.-Israeli one. Rather, it is U.S. only but with Israeli search and track radars to provide an early warning in the event of a missile attack from Iran.

By contrast, the new facility, referred to as Site 883 Life Support Area, “represents the first ever stationing of a U.S. Army unit on Israeli soil,” Gronski noted. The U.S. General stated:

“The U.S. and Israel have long planned together, exercised together, trained together. And now, with the opening of this site, these crucial interactions will occur every day. We’ll have Israeli airmen, US soldiers living and working side by side.”

However, many major U.S. news outlets failed to cover this significant event. The Washington Post, for example, only carried an AP dispatch (“Israel and U.S. open first American military base in Israel,” September 18). USA Today and The Baltimore Sun didn't report it at all.

The Post’s failure to provide original coverage of a development that might have huge ramifications for the United States, Israel and the rest of the Middle East, stands in stark contrast to other items that they choose to prioritize. As CAMERA has highlighted, in recent months the paper has run dispatches on Palestinian pigeon ownership (“An old pastime thrives in a Palestinian enclave,” August 13) and a school trip for Gazan Arab school children (“Children from Gaza visit Jerusalem for the first time,” August 20).

Posted by SD at 11:04 AM |  Comments (0)

AFP Fails to Correct IDF Fatalities in Jenin

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Oct. 15 Update: AFP Corrects Number of IDF Fatalities in Jenin

Agence France Presse, an influential news agency, on Sunday understated the number of 13 Israeli soldiers killed in Jenin in April 2002. The Sept. 24 article ("Israel minister wants probe of Arab filmmaker over Lebanon remarks") erred, stating that Israeli filmmaker Mohammed

Bakri enraged the Israeli establishment and Jewish public with his documentary film "Jenin, Jenin" about April 2002 clashes in which 52 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed.

As AFP itself repeatedly reported at the time, 23 Israeli soldiers were killed during those battles. An April 24, 2002 article, for example, accurately reported ("Israeli president tells world to stop using 'double standards'"):

Israel lost 23 soldiers in the nine-day battle which broke out on April 3 when the army invaded the camp in search of hardline militants and suicide bombers.

CAMERA notified AFP editors of the error yesterday. As of this writing the wire service has yet to issue a correction despite the fact that the first of the agency's "Ten guiding principles" states:

AFP journalists are expected to provide accurate, balanced and impartial news coverage, and to correct errors quickly and transparently.

Posted by TS at 03:32 AM |  Comments (0)

September 14, 2017

"Palestine" Enters Popular Culture on Jeopardy!

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Jeopardy! -- the popular television quiz show that began in the 1960's -- is premised upon contestants formulating a question to a clue presented by the host in the form of a statement/answer. The clues are chosen from a variety of categories (within history, geography, literature, science) that tests contestants' general knowledge.

The term "Palestine" to ostensibly describe a modern-day entity has recently been the subject of Jeopardy! clues. For example, the September 13th show included the following clue and answer:

Clue: A land divided by Jordan, Egypt & Israel, or the seat of Anderson County, Texas.
Answer: "What is Palestine?"

The implication seems to be that "Palestine" is also the current name of a modern country in the Middle East (referring to disputed territories).

In the November 18, 2016 show, there was a similar clue:

Clue: It's a small New Hampshire town as well as an ancient name for Palestine.
Answer: What is Canaan?

The implication again seems to be that Palestine is the modern-day name of the country. But references to a current "Palestine" in the West Bank and Gaza are incorrect. Those areas should accurately be referred to as "Palestinian" or "disputed" territories, depending on which areas are being discussed, or as the West Bank and Gaza. If Jeopardy! clues are trying to suggest that Palestine is a modern-day state, the program should take a cue from the numerous media outlets that have corrected this error. For example:

Correction (National Geographic,12/15/16): A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to a barrier between Israel and Palestine. The barrier is between Israel and the West Bank.

Correction (Washington Post, 9/25/14): The Sept. 23 obituary for religious scholar Gerald A. Larue inaccurately reported that he participated in archaeological digs in Egypt, Palestine and other parts of the Middle East. He took part in digs in Egypt, Israel and the West Bank, not Palestine.

Correction (Wall Street Journal, 7/11/08): Salam Fayyad is the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority. An item in Thursday's World Watch column incorrectly gave his name as Falam Fayyad and indicated he was prime minister of Palestine.

Correction (LA Times, 5/5/2007) An article in Friday's California section included a subhead saying former President Carter urged students to travel to Palestine. The area referred to is the Palestinian territories.

Correction (LA Times, 12/23/2005) An article in the Dec. 11 Calendar section about an international art exhibition included Palestine in a list of nations from which artists had contributed works. It should have said the Palestinian territories.


Posted by RH at 12:47 PM |  Comments (1)

Vox: Don't Say "Radical Islamic Terrorism," But Definitely Say "Jewish Terrorism"

On our main site yesterday, we wrote about Vox's false claim that West Bank settlements are dotted with world-class hospitals that Palestinians can't go into.

While looking into that, we noticed something else. Across multiple articles, Vox reporter Zack Beauchamp has championed the argument that use of the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" is problematic in that, even with the qualifier "radical," it broadbrushes all Muslims.

Here, for example, is Beauchamp approvingly citing the view that the phrase targets "the entirety of the Muslim religion":

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And again later in the piece:

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In another article, Beauchamp writes,

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And here, Beauchamp treats the concept as one that should be obvious:

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Okay. But if that's what Beauchamp and Vox believe, why do they use the phrase "Jewish terrorism" with such relish?

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In one article, variants of the phrase appear 18 times: in the title, in headings, approvingly in quotes, and in the reporter's own words.

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Does Beauchamp think attacks by extremist Jews speak for "the entirety of the Jewish religion"? Does he not care about "alienating Jewish allies"? Or "misidentifying the cause of the problem as one of Jewish theology"? Is it fine, in his view, to "insult mainstream Jews to boot"? That seems to be the conclusion from his language.

Posted by GI at 10:54 AM |  Comments (0)

September 13, 2017

In New Yorker, Diana Buttu Fabricates About 'Fauda'

Diana Buttu, a lawyer and former legal advisor for the Palestine Liberation Organization who has infamously and repeatedly insisted that Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza "do not carry explosive heads," and has repeatedly and falsely maintained that no Israelis died in suicide bombings from 1997 to 2000 inside Israel (in fact, 24 Israeli civilians were killed in six bombings during that time period), has now turned her fact-defying denials to fiction: the popular television series "Fauda."

In a New Yorker review of "Fauda," editor David Remnick writes ("How Do You Make a TV Show Set in the West Bank," Sept. 4):

Diana Buttu, a lawyer who has worked as a legal adviser to the P.L.O., watched the series recently and told me that she found the experience disturbing. She did not share Shamni’s ambivalence, and when we spoke she made a compelling critique of “Fauda.” “In ‘Fauda,’ we do not see the occupation,” she said. “It is invisible, just as it is in the minds of Israelis. In fact, we never even hear the word. We don’t see a single checkpoint, settlement, settlers, or home demolitions. We don’t see any homes being taken over, or land being expropriated or anything of the sort. We see a nice brick wall, not the ugly eight-metre-high one, as the only sign that we are in the West Bank.

While Buttu's critique may be "compelling," it's also false. Contrary to Buttu's claim, the word "occupation" is heard in "Fauda" and checkpoints do appear. For instance, in the very first episode, during the key wedding scene in which undercover Israeli forces carry out a failed attempt to kill arch-terrorist Taufiq Hamed and end up killing the groom, the groom's uncle gives a speech, stating before these dramatic events (23:06): "Despite all that the occupation has done to us, we still bear children. We're successful, we raise families, have children and prosper."

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Likewise, in the very first episode (19:55), a checkpoint appears, not for the only time in the season.

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A very dramatic scene takes place in episode 8, in which Nassrin Hamed (far right, first picture below), Taufiq's wife, arrives at a checkpoint to cross into Israel to visit her daughter in the hospital, and is strip-searched in a small building at the checkpoint.

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CAMERA has contacted The New Yorker to request clarification of Buttu's false information about the show. Meanwhile, Haaretz has covered The New Yorker review of "Fauda," likewise carrying Buttu's quote without notifying readers that she fabricates. Stay tuned for an update.

Hat tip: Erika Dreifus. With research by CAMERA Fellow Natalie Segev and Lia Lands.

Posted by TS at 02:37 AM |  Comments (1)

September 12, 2017

LA Times Gives New Meaning to 'Speaking Out'

The Los Angeles Times gives new meaning to the term "speaking out," extending it to students who violated university policy by loudly disrupting a pro-Israel event at the University of California Irvine last May with chants including: "These colonizers and occupiers! You should not be on our f****** campus"; . . . "F*** you!" . . . "Israel, Israel you can't hide, we charge you with genocide!" . . . "Long live the intifada!" . . . "Israel, Israel what you say? How many people did you kill today?"

As Snapshots noted last week, The Times' online article about SJP's appeal protesting the administration's sanctions gave voice only to those who drowned out others' voices, dedicating three out of seven paragraphs to SJP statements, while failing to publish even one sentence reflecting the views or statements of the pro-Israel groups which ran the disrupted event or pro-Israel students who attended.

Meanwhile, The Times has compounded the problem on Friday by running the same skewed article in print and adding the egregiously misleading headline: "UCI group fights discipline; University punished students who spoke out at event featuring Israeli veterans." (Emphasis added.)

For comparative purposes, here is how The Times used the term "spoke/speak out" in recent weeks in other contexts:

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also spoke out against lowering the standard of proof required in sexual misconduct cases.

Ran [of the Cambodia America Alliance] said it's important that Cambodians outside the country speak out [against the imprisonment of Cambodian political leader Kem Sokha].

"That's the only reason" the automakers would want a new review, said U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego), who spoke out against the plan [to consider cutbacks in pollution and fuel economy standards for automobiles and light trucks.]

The original lawsuit was filed by former employee Brandon Charles, who said he was fired because he spoke out against a SoFi manager for openly discussing sexual acts with two younger, female subordinates at the company's Healdsburg, Calif., operations office.

But [Michael Bradley] feels a responsibility to speak out, in words and deeds, on issues that go beyond sports, which he did last summer by wearing a rainbow captain's armband after an attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and later when he called for national unity in the wake of the presidential election.

Trump neither tweeted nor spoke out about NAFTA during the first session of negotiations, which lasted five days.

[A group of clergy and activists from across the country] also spoke out against the president, placing much of the blame for a rise in white nationalist fervor on his shoulders.

[West Hollywood] Mayor Pro Tem John Duran said he spoke out only after hearing Horvath encouraging people to come forward and said he felt a responsibility to let people know they should not incriminate themselves.

Should LAPD test drones? Critics speak out

The Laguna Beach protests came after a weekend in which prominent leaders spoke out in Los Angeles against racism and violence.

Clearly, depicting students who shouted down others at an organized, authorized student event with chants of "You should not be on our f****** campus! F*** you!" is a departure from The Times' traditional usage of the term "speaking out." The headline also implies that UCI punished the students for "speaking out," which it did not. UCI sanctioned the students who "disrupted a portion of the question-and-answer period, in violation of university policy."

CAMERA has requested a clarification to the headline. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at 06:51 AM |  Comments (0)

September 11, 2017

Politico Whitewashes Linda Sarsour’s Record

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Linda Sarsour is a New York-based, Palestinian-American anti-Israel activist who has latched on to so-called progressive political causes in the United States. According to Politico magazine, she’s also one of “50 ideas blowing up American politics (and the people behind them).”

Sarsour, Politico tells readers, is number forty-six.

Reporter Taylor Gee called Sarsour a “lightning rod of the resistance” and “the picture of defiance.” The article noted that Sarsour is an advocate for “intersectional progressivism” and that “her insistence on Palestinian rights as part of the progressive package has met vociferous opposition from pro-Israel Democrats, who label her exclusionary and anti-Semitic.”

This, however, is a vague—and misleading—description. As CAMERA’s Ricki Hollander noted in a May 23, 2017 report, Sarsour has a history of silencing “those who shed light on misogynic practices and to avert criticism from the societies that tolerate or encourage them ("Who is Linda Sarsour?").” The self-styled progressive activist even threatened Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born feminist and former Muslim, calling to take her ‘vagina away,’ in a crude 2011 tweet that Sarsour later deleted. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a victim of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Indeed, ugly and exclusionary statements are Sarsour’s specialty. She has called Zionism—the belief in Jewish self-determination—as “creepy” and a form of “racism.” This echoes Soviet-era propaganda which sought to paint the Jewish state of Israel as being unnatural and unworthy of existence.

Politico does not specify what sort of “Palestinian rights” their awardee advocates for. But Sarsour has been clear on this point via her support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement (BDS) that seeks to single out Israel for opprobrium. As CAMERA has noted, BDS leaders like Omar Barghouti have explicitly called for the destruction of Israel. U.S.-designated terrorist groups like Hamas—whose charter quoted Adolf Hitler—are also BDS supporters. Sarsour, however is a BDS defender—despite studies that show BDS to be economically harmful to Palestinians.

In fact, Sarsour is noticeably quiet about the abuses Palestinian people endure at the hands of their autocratic leadership in the form of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, or Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority (PA), which rules the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). It’s a revealing omission.

As Hollander noted, what Sarsour really advocates is “the replacement of the Jewish state with a Palestinian one.” Politico should have told its readers about this fact—and the rest of Sarsour’s history—when the publication offered its whitewashed portrait.

Posted by SD at 04:59 PM |  Comments (1)

Iranian Proxy Threatens U.S. Troops, Media M.I.A.—Again

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani


Iranian-backed proxies in Iraq have “vowed to start killing Americans again once the Islamic State is expelled,” The Washington Times has reported (“Ruthless Iranian militia vows to turn against U.S. troops once Islamic State is defeated in Iraq,” Sept. 7, 2017). However, many major U.S. news outlets have failed to cover this story.

Jafar al-Hosseini, a spokesman for Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH), told Iran’s Fars News Agency that the U.S. must leave Iraq or be confronted with a new war. Washington Times correspondent Rowan Scarbarough observed that al-Hosseini’s “scripted messages on Beirut’s al-Mayadeen Arab-language TV station suggest” that Kata’ib Hezbollah “is not bluffing.”

Scarbarough detailed that the group has about 5,000 operatives and was organized in 2007 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, which trained them in the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other tactics. IEDs were used to kill approximately 500 U.S. personnel.

KH was designated a terrorist organization in 2009 by the U.S. State Department, which noted:

“KH has ideological ties to Lebanese [Hezbollah] and may have received support from that group. KH gained notoriety in 2007 with attacks on U.S. and coalition forces designed to undermine the establishment of a democratic, viable Iraqi state. KH has been responsible for numerous violent terrorist attacks since 2007, including improvised explosive device bombings, rocket propelled grenade attacks and sniper operations. In addition, KH has threatened the lives of Iraqi politicians and civilians that support the legitimate political process in Iraq.”

Iran uses proxies, many of them Quds Force-trained, in Tehran’s quest for regional domination. As Scarbarough pointed out, the U.S. presence in Iraq stands in the way of the mullah’s desire to turn Iraq into a vassal state.

Many Iranian-backed militias, also known as Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) have strong ties to, or even already hold positions in, the Iraqi Government. Indeed, as the Middle East analyst Ali Khedery noted on Twitter, KH operative Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis—a U.S.-designated terrorist—has been photographed chairing a meeting of Iraqi generals.

Jafar al-Hosseini’s exhortations are but the most recent threats against the U.S. by Iranian-supported groups. As CAMERA highlighted, in April 2015, PMUs threatened to target “the American interests in Iraq—even abroad,” if the U.S. House Armed Services Committee voted to arm Kurdish Peshmerga forces (“Where’s the Coverage? Iran Threatens U.S. Troops,” Dec. 11, 2015). Al-Hosseini issued a similar sort of threat against U.S. troops in March 2017, Scarbarough noted.

Yet, the media has routinely failed to cover either the atrocities committed by PMU’s or their threats against U.S. forces, as CAMERA detailed in a Sept. 16, 2016 report (“The Washington Times Covers Underreported Iran-Backed Shi’ite Militias”).

Michael Pregent, an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, and a former intelligence adviser to U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus (ret.) told CAMERA that some news outlets don't know who many of the militias are. Further, the coverage that does occur often obfuscates the reality of what is happening in Iraq. For example, he noted that it's common to hear media reporting “Iraqi security forces retook an area today,” but omit that, in fact, those forces often are PMUs—some of which are led by U.S.-designated terrorists like al-Muhandis.

KH’s most recent threats went unreported by USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, and other major U.S. news outlets.

Posted by SD at 10:59 AM |  Comments (0)

Haaretz English Edition Conjures Palestinian 'Political Prisoners'

In an article about the possible loss of state funding for Jaffa Theater, Haaretz's Judy Maltz conjures up "Palestinian political prisoners." Online and in print (Thursday, page 1), Judy Maltz wrote that a June production included the reading of letters penned by Palestinian "political prisoners":

Finance Ministry’s legal adviser, Asi Messing, said representatives of the Jaffa Theatre would be summoned to a hearing in connection with two specific events held on their premises: a performance in June based on the recital of letters written by Palestinian political prisoners . . . (Emphasis added)

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According to the U.S. State Department 2016 Human Rights Report for Israel: "There were no reports of civilian political prisoners or detainees" (page 16).

On what basis does Haaretz identify the prisoners in question as "political prisoners"? Political prisoners are (see, for example, the definition by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly) are imprisoned "for purely political reasons without connection to any offence." (Emphasis added.)

The play does not identify the prisoners by name or their offenses. If Haaretz editors knows the identity and specifics of these prisoners allegedly held only the basis of their political activity, they haven't said so.

In a Hebrew article published the same day as Maltz's piece, Yair Asheknazi refers to the letter of a "security prisoner":

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Ashkenazi's Hebrew article stated (CAMERA's translation):

In the production "Prisoners of the Occupation," produced by Einat Weizman, in early June at the Jaffa Theater, letters recited included correspondence between a security prisoner and his childhood friend, in which he described the daily life of prisoners.

Haaretz's English version of Ashkenazi's article omits mention of the security prisoner.

See also "Haaretz, Lost in Translation"

Posted by TS at 02:59 AM |  Comments (1)

September 06, 2017

After UCI Sanctions for SJP, LA Times Gives Voice Only to Those Who Drowned Out Other Voices

On May 10, Students for Justice in Palestine disrupted a pro-Israel event at UC Irvine with hateful shouting and vitriolic chants, preventing IDF reservists from continuing with the panel until the group left. As a result, the campus administration slapped SJP with a two-year probation and affirmed the university's commitment to "protect everyone’s right to express themselves without disruption."

Meanwhile, a Los Angeles Times article about the university's decision to sanction the group for its attempts to drown out others' voices in violation of university policy gave voice to only one side: Students for Justice in Palestine.

The one-sided Sept. 4 article (online only) entitled "Pro-Palestinian UCI students appeal sanctions after Israeli event protest" dedicated three out of seven paragraphs to statements provided by SJP. It reported:

In a statement, representatives for the group said that their clapping and chanting at the event -- sponsored by Students Supporting Israel -- was in response to aggressive behavior by a member of the soldiers' group.

"It's outrageous that the university is punishing us, students, instead of protecting us from aggressive foreign military agents on campus," Daniel Carnie, a Jewish UCI students, said in a statement. "We're a diverse group of Palestinian, black, Latino and Jewish students who attended the soldiers' speaking event and asked critical questions." . . .

Students for Justice in Palestine said its members have been harassed and cyber-bullied since the event; the group said it has filed a discrimination complaint.



In contrast, Los Angeles Times reporter Hillary Davis devoted not one sentence to panelists representing Reservists on Duty, or to representatives from Students Supporting Israel, which hosted the event. Nor did she convey the views of pro-Israel students who attended. Had she done so, she might have spoken with panelist Jonathan Elkhoury, an Israeli Arab from Reservists on Duty, who reported to CAMERA:

We were yelled and cursed at, and one of our female delegation participants was spat on by an SJP member. They came to our event to shut it down, an SJP representative said it herself while yelling into a microphone the next day. We had to have them escort us off campus because the SJP students made it impossible for us to leave the class safely.


[Full disclosure: CAMERA has brought Elkhoury on campus tours in the past. Also, CAMERA joined up with other several other organizations to urge the university to take action against SJP.]

Moreover, Davis failed to give readers any information about the nature of the vitriolic chanting by SJP members. Plenty of video documentation of the disruption is available exposing the ugliness of the SJP's chants ("These colonizers and occupiers! You should not be on our f****** campus"; . . . "F*** you!" . . . "Israel, Israel you can't hide, we charge you with genocide!" . . . "Long live the intifada!" . . . "Israel, Israel what you say? How many people did you kill today?")

CAMERA has contacted The Times, urging editors to add comment from representatives from Reservists on Duty, from Students Supporting Israel and/or pro-Israel students who were subjected to the hateful SJP demonstration. CAMERA also called on The Los Angeles Times to add video of the demonstration, enabling readers to decide for themselves who exactly engaged in "aggressive behavior."

Sept. 10: LA Times Runs One-Sided Article in Print Publication

As of this writing, The Los Angeles Times has failed to add in any comment or information from the pro-Israel side and has not added video of the disruption to the Web article. Moreover, on Friday, The Los Angeles Times ran the one-sided article in the print paper, once again completely omitting any comment from the pro-Israel groups or students. The incredibly misleading print headline was: "UCI group fights discipline; University punished students who spoke out at event featuring Israeli veterans."

Posted by TS at 01:50 AM |  Comments (2)

September 05, 2017

Palestinian Terrorist Group Runs for German Parliament

PFLP.jpg
PFLP operatives


The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S. designated terrorist group, is “campaigning as a political party in the September general election to the Bundestag,” according to a Jerusalem Post report by Benjamin Weinthal (“Germany to Permit Palestinian Terror Group to Run for Parliament,” Aug. 31, 2017). The European Union also considers the PFLP to be a terrorist organization.

A spokeswoman for Germany’s Interior Ministry told Weinthal “candidates from parties and candidates in Germany cannot be banned or allowed by the Interior Ministry in Germany.” The PFLP is running on a joint list with the Marxist-Leninist Party.

The Interior Ministry noted that Article 21 of Germany’s constitutional law prevents the PFLP from being considered a political party—accordingly the group cannot campaign independently.

As CAMERA has pointed out, the PFLP is responsible for dozens of terrorist attacks that target the Jewish state and its citizens. Indeed, in Nazi-like fashion, the PFLP has a history of murdering Jews worldwide, irrespective of their citizenship. In one infamous instance, on Oct. 7, 1985, PFLP terrorists hijacked a cruise ship named the Achille Lauro and murdered a 69-year-old American Jewish man, Leon Klinghoffer, who was confined to a wheelchair.

As the Middle East analyst Barry Rubin noted in his 2005 biography Yasser Arafat, one of the PFLP terrorists involved in that operation was a “British neo-Nazi skinhead” who was working for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an umbrella group dominated by the Fatah movement. Both Fatah and the PLO are currently led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas—a man often described by media outlets as a “moderate.”

Weinthal, a research fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, asked if the Interior Ministry planned on outlawing the PFLP. He was told that the Ministry “does not, in general, comment on bans.”

Several German lawmakers and the Israeli political party Yesh Atid have sent a letter to Interior Minister Thomas de Maizere requesting that Berlin ban the PFLP and Hezbollah, another U.S.-designated terrorist group whose operatives are permitted free reign in Germany’s borders. A 2016 German intelligence report indicated that there are at least 950 active Hezbollah members operating in the country. Like the PFLP, Hezbollah, a Lebanese-based, Iranian-proxy, is responsible for murdering Jews throughout the world, including during the 1992 and 1994 bombings in Argentina of the Israeli embassy and the AMIA Jewish community center ("Hezbollah Backgrounder 2016," CAMERA).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called it a “national duty” for Germans to remember the “Holocaust shame.” However, some Germans seem content to allow antisemitic terrorist groups to operate in their country and, like the Nazis, to mask themselves as a legitimate political party.

Many major U.S. news outlets have ignored this story. A Lexis-Nexis search showed that The Washington Post, USA Today, The Baltimore Sun, and others, failed to carry it. By contrast, in addition to Weinthal’s report in The Jerusalem Post, Fox News also detailed Germany’s decision to allow the PFLP to run for elections (“Palestinian terror group allowed to run in German parliament elections,” Sept. 2, 2017).

Posted by SD at 10:52 AM |  Comments (1)

AFP Dissembles: Palestinian Clown Incarcerated for Activity in 'Leftist' Group

Well, I'll put it on, and I will dissemble myself in't; and I would I were the first that ever dissembled in such a gown. I am not tall enough to become the function well, nor lean enough to be thought a good student; but to be said an honest man and a good housekeeper goes as fairly as to say a careful man and a great scholar.

-- Feste the Clown, Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"


According to Agence France Presse photo captions last week, Israel had imprisoned a Palestinian clown for 20 months for alleged involvement in a "banned leftist group." In fact, Israel's Shin Bet security agency accused him of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated as a terror organization by the European Union, the United States, Canada and Israel. A sampling of the numerous captions follow:

AFP clownmom.jpg

Palestinian clown Mohammad Abu Sakha poses with his mother at his family home in the West Bank city of Jenin, following his release on August 31, 2017 from administrative detention, the controversial measure under which Israel detains suspects without trial for periods of several months, renewable indefinitely. The 26-year-old circus teacher was accused by Israel of membership in a banned leftist group and held without charge for 20 months.

He had been part of the Palestinian Circus School in Bir Zeit in the occupied West Bank since 2008, first as a student and later as a clown and teacher.

afp clownflags.jpg

Palestinian clown Mohammad Abu Sakha poses under a national flag near his family home in the West Bank city of Jenin, following his release on August 31, 2017 from administrative detention, the controversial measure under which Israel detains suspects without trial for periods of several months, renewable indefinitely. The 26-year-old circus teacher was accused by Israel of membership in a banned leftist group and held without charge for 20 months.

He had been part of the Palestinian Circus School in Bir Zeit in the occupied West Bank since 2008, first as a student and later as a clown and teacher.

afp clownsign.jpg

Palestinian clown Mohammad Abu Sakha poses next to a banner bearing his picture at his family home in the West Bank city of Jenin, following his release on August 31, 2017 from administrative detention, the controversial measure under which Israel detains suspects without trial for periods of several months, renewable indefinitely. The 26-year-old circus teacher was accused by Israel of membership in a banned leftist group and held without charge for 20 months.

He had been part of the Palestinian Circus School in Bir Zeit in the occupied West Bank since 2008, first as a student and later as a clown and teacher.

Israel did not incarcerate Abu Sakha because of his membership in a "leftist" group. Rather, Israel incarcerated him because his membership in a terror group. Why do the captions dissemble?

While the captions fail to accurately portray the cause for Abu Sakha's incarceration, they do include the wholly irrelevant biographical details that "he had been part of the Palestinian Circus School in Bir Zeit in the occupied West Bank since 2008, first as a student and later as a clown and teacher."

The AFP article from Thursday likewise highlights the irrelevant fact that he was a Palestinian clown ("Israel frees Palestinian clown held without charge for 20 months") over the relevant fact that he is active in the PFLP terror group. The first sentence says he is "A Palestinian clown accused by Israel of membership in a banned leftist [sic] group" and the fifth paragraph includes detail not germane to his incarceration:

Abu Sakha had been part of the Palestinian Circus School in Bir Zeit in the occupied West Bank since 2008, first as a student and later as a clown and teacher.

Only in the seventh paragraph does the article finally mention PFLP (and even here it downplays PFLP's status as a terror group), ie the reason for his imprisonment:

Israel's Shin Bet security agency accused him of being a member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which the Jewish state considers a terrorist group because of its armed wing.

As previously noted, it's not just the Jewish state which considers PFLP a terrorist group -- also the European Union, the United States and Canada have bestowed this inglorious status on the organization. Notably, the organization pioneered numerous international airlines hijackings in the 1970s. (On his Facebook page, Abu Sakha includes a photograph of notorious PFLP hijacker Leila Khaled.)

According to the organization's "Editorial Standards and Best Practices," AFP journalists are "expected to provide accurate, balanced and impartial news coverage." In other words: no dissembling.

See also: Independent 'Reveals' Israel's Secret War on Palestinian Clowns

Posted by TS at 02:59 AM |  Comments (0)