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U.S. Evacuates Tripoli Embassy Personnel by Land to Tunisia

The Defense Department was called in to evacuate all staff from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli in what the State Department called a “temporary staff relocation” to Tunis.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said “at the request of the Department of State, the U.S. military assisted in the relocation of personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli” today. There were reportedly 150 staff there including 80 Marines.

“All embassy personnel were relocated, including the Marine security guards who were providing security at the embassy and during the movement,” Kirby said. “The embassy staff was driven in vehicles to Tunisia.”

“During movement, F-16′s, ISR assets and an Airborne Response Force with MV-22 Ospreys provided security. The mission was conducted without incident, and the entire operation lasted approximately five hours.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the U.S. is “grateful to the Government of Tunisia for its cooperation and support” and that the staff would travel “onward” from there.

“Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya,” Harf said in a statement this morning. “We are committed to supporting the Libyan people during this challenging time, and are currently exploring options for a permanent return to Tripoli as soon as the security situation on the ground improves. In the interim, staff will operate from Washington and other posts in the region.”

“Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top Department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly. Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions,” she continued.

“We will continue to engage all Libyans and the international community to seek a peaceful resolution to the current conflict and to advance Libya’s democratic transition. We reiterate that Libyans must immediately cease hostilities and begin negotiations to resolve their grievances. We join the international community in calling on all Libyans to respect the will of the people, including the authority of the recently-elected Council of Representatives, and to reject the use of violence to affect political processes. Many brave Libyans sacrificed to advance their country toward a more secure and prosperous future. We continue to stand solidly by the Libyan people as they endeavor to do so.”

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon simply said “as Americans evacuate from Tripoli, I want to express my deep gratitude for the U.S. forces who have been on standby alert there.”

“My thoughts and prayers are with all Americans in Libya,” McKeon added. “I wish them a safe return, and for the safety of American troops watching over them.”

Libyan airspace has largely been closed due to the violence. The Libya Herald reported that Libyan Airlines planes were being hit on the tarmac in missile attacks on Tripoli International Airport.

A Maltese oil worker was abducted in recent days and Turkey told all of its citizens to leave the country.

The ongoing violence threatens to derail a meeting of Libya’s House of Representatives planned in Benghazi on Aug. 4.

 

 

 

Posted at 7:15 am on July 26th, 2014 by

Good News on Pennsylvania Hospital Shooting

Yesterday, the Tatler posted about Dr. Lee Silverman, the psychiatrist at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pennsylvania, who was forced to defend himself against an armed attacker. The outstanding issue was the defender violating hospital policy that required anybody but law enforcement to be disarmed on premises. This is a reasonable concern, considering incidents like the Walgreens pharmacist who likely saved lives by shooting at two armed robbers, and was then fired for violating company policy.

Today, Associated Press reports that the hospital stands behind their heroic doctor:

The hospital said Friday it was thankful for the “brave and difficult action” taken by Silverman and his colleagues. It said he remains a full member of the medical staff and “we look forward to Dr. Silverman’s return to serving patients at our hospital.”

There’s more back story about the attacker, too. He has a “lengthy history of gun arrests, violence and mental health problems.”

[The attacker] also had at least four gun arrests, along with assault and drug charges, according to police and court records. And he has been barred from at least one residential shelter because of his violent history, Upper Darby police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

He had 39 more rounds of ammunition on him when stopped by Dr. Silverman. The attacker had just killed Silverman’s associate and wounded Dr. Silverman, such a clear case of self-defense that local law enforcement was quick to support Silverman’s actions.

“If the doctor did not have a firearm, (and) the doctor did not utilize the firearm, he’d be dead today, and I believe that other people in that facility would also be dead,” [Delaware County District Attorney Jack] Whelan said.

Whelan also stated it was Silverman who was the intended target.

Dr. Silverman deserves our good wishes for a speedy and complete recovery, and hopes that Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital amends its firearms policy to include people like Dr. Silverman, responsible armed citizens who can stop mass murderers before authorities arrive to stabilize the situation.

Posted at 7:08 am on July 26th, 2014 by

McKeon: White House Request That Congress Repeal Iraq Force Authorization ‘Past Absurd,’ ‘Dangerous’

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee ripped into the White House for trying to lobby House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on a vote today regarding the authorization of military force in Iraq, noting “if the administration fought terrorists with half the tenacity they fight straw men, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

The resolution from Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Walt Jones (R-N.C.) directed President Obama “pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove United States Armed Forces, other than Armed Forces required to protect United States diplomatic facilities and personnel, from Iraq.”

It passed 370-40, with 37 Republicans and three Democrats voting against the resolution.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice sent Boehner a letter before the vote stressing that Obama has “made clear that if American interests are threatened, ‘we will be prepared to take targeted and precise military action if and when we determine that the situation on the ground requires it.’ The President has made exceedingly clear that he will consult closely with Congress and leaders in Iraq and in the region.”

“While we understand the House of Representatives will consider this resolution that supports the President’s position, we believe a more appropriate and timely action for Congress to take is the repeal of the outdated 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq (P.L. 107-243),” Rice continued. “With American combat troops having completed their withdrawal from Iraq on December 18, 2011, the Iraq AUMF is no longer used for any U.S. government activities and the Administration fully supports its repeal. Such a repeal would go much further in giving the American people confidence that ground forces will not be sent into combat in Iraq.”

Armed Services chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said when Boehner told him about the Rice letter, “I thought he was joking.”

“Obama Administration officials are warning us daily that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is ‘worse than al-Qaeda’ and an extreme threat to the American people. The American people aren’t worried that the president will send the military back to Iraq. They’re worried about a deadly terrorist state that can hit us from Wall Street to Main Street. They’re worried that this president refuses to do anything, at anytime, in any way, to stop the flood of national security crises that are popping up around the globe,” McKeon said.

“Why on earth is the president’s national security advisor pleading with Congress to help build Americans’ confidence that the president will not confront a clear and present danger to the United States? He needs no help there. Where is her plan to stop this looming threat? Where is her request for additional intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets to monitor the situation? Why isn’t she over here, building support to stop a common enemy? Why is she fighting Congress instead of ISIS? Why on earth is she refighting the 2003 Iraq War in 2014?”

McKeon said Rice’s move “isn’t just absurd.”

“We’re past absurd. This is dangerous. This administration is fiddling while the world burns, and now they’re demanding Congress play with them,” he said.

“If the administration fought terrorists with half the tenacity they fight straw men, we wouldn’t be in this mess. It is my sincere hope that someone comes to their senses on Pennsylvania Avenue, before something worse happens.”

Posted at 3:47 pm on July 25th, 2014 by

Kerry on Release of Sudanese Christian: ‘Their Concerns Were Our Cause’

Secretary of State John Kerry lauded the U.S. role in promoting religious freedom worldwide after the release of Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim.

Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli helped arrange Ibrahim’s departure from Sudan to Rome, according to Vatican Radio. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi welcomed her at the airport; she then met with Pope Francis at the Vatican for about half an hour along with her husband, American citizen Daniel Wani, her son Martin and baby Maya, born in prison two months ago.

Before her death sentence was overturned, Ibrahim faced capital punishment for marrying a Christian man. Her father was Muslim.

“Around the world, supporters of religious freedom celebrate the arrival of Meriam Ishag and her family in Rome. I am grateful to the Government of Italy for its role in working with the Government of Sudan to enable Ms. Ishag and her family to depart Sudan,” Kerry said in a statement today.

“I want to acknowledge the many individuals in the United States and the international community who expressed their concern at Ms. Ishag’s plight. Their concerns were our cause,” he continued. “I am especially proud that our diplomatic efforts through the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum helped secure Ms. Ishag’s and her family’s release. The United States will continue to be an unwavering advocate for the right to freedom of religion worldwide.”

“I extend my personal best wishes to Ms. Ishag and her family as they rebuild their lives and restore hope for a future where all people can live their faiths fully and freely.”

The House today sent to President Obama’s desk a bill, originally introduced in the Senate by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and passed July 10, to encourage the appointment a special envoy to promote religious freedom among religious minorities in the Middle East.

“As we continue to witness disturbing violence against religious minorities in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, I’m pleased both chambers of Congress have passed this bipartisan bill to demonstrate that the U.S. takes religious freedom very seriously,” said Blunt. “I urge the President to sign this bill into law quickly and appoint a special envoy to promote religious freedom among all persecuted religious communities in these critical regions.”

“It is a tragic fact that in much of this region, the freedom to worship in keeping with one’s conscience is in doubt,” Levin said. “Passage of this legislation strengthens America’s role in protecting religious minorities from violence, persecution and fear.”

Posted at 3:10 pm on July 25th, 2014 by

Self-Defense Story With a Twist

ABC reported:

A psychiatric outpatient opened fire Thursday inside a psychiatrist’s office at a hospital near Philadelphia, killing his caseworker and slightly wounding the doctor, who shot the gunman with his personal firearm, authorities said.

However, what should be a clear-cut case of self-defense may run afoul of that well-meaning but dangerous myth: The Gun-Free Zone.

The hospital has a sign at the entrance to check weapons when entering. ABC says their official policy is that only on-duty law enforcement can carry on the premises.

Here are the problems with pretend-gun-free zones.

Another staff person heard arguing and saw the attacker with a gun. They closed their office door and called 911. This is reasonable. However, it took many minutes until SWAT arrived, and the first thing they did was to evacuate the area and lock it down to make sure there wasn’t another gunman. Fine, they don’t want to be shot, and that’s well and good. I don’t want cops getting shot, either. But the minutes needed to secure the area equate to many shooting victims when an active shooter is present.

The Supreme Court case Castle Rock v. Gonzales proves that police have no duty to protect you, and like any reasoning human being, police entering a danger zone may be inclined to protect themselves first. This is reasonable, because a dead cop can’t protect you.

What ABC conveniently left out was this gem provided by the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Donald Molineux, chief of the Yeadon Police Department, said that if Silverman returned fire and wounded Plotts, he “without a doubt saved lives.”

But the Inquirer also reported that it’s against hospital policy for “anyone other than security guards to carry weapons.”

So, now what happens to the man who risked everything to stop a potential mass murder?

Posted at 3:01 pm on July 25th, 2014 by

Dallas County Has Its Priorities Right Wrong

Fellow Tattler Bryan Preston reported that Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price was arrested by the FBI on numerous counts of using his position for personal gain. Another news item puts Dallas County in even better perspective.

According to Dallas Morning News, Dallas County fails “to enforce laws that forbid certain domestic abusers to have guns.” State and federal laws allow the disarming of certain persons adjudged to have committed, or to be a threat of, domestic violence. Some application of these laws are suspect, but that’s for another column. It’s true that some people are a danger to spouses and family members, and the law should allow some due process for rendering them less of a threat.

As the gun banners will tell you: If it saves a life, it’s worth it. On that note, let’s look closer at Commissioner Price. He’s reported to have called one person a “fat boy” in public, and told white people to all go to hell.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice:

We define domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone…

Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual’s sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one’s abilities, name-calling, or damaging one’s relationship with his or her children. [Emphasis added]

Price is documented to use his position as a county commissioner to threaten, name-call, and psychologically intimidate people who disagree with him. He does this in order to gain or maintain power and control over his alleged constituents. Now, the FBI agrees that he has also used his power to enrich himself at the People’s expense.

Politicians offer a clear and present threat of domestic violence, and should be licensed and registered. After all, if it saves one life…

Posted at 2:13 pm on July 25th, 2014 by

US Releases Armed Mexican Police Who Strayed Into Texas

Sharyl Attkisson reports that the US Customs and Border Patrol has released three Mexican police officers who strayed into Texas while pursuing cop killer suspects. The officers were armed with AR-15 rifles and Beretta 9-mm pistols.

The three claim to have had “tunnel vision” during the pursuit, when they walked across a dry section of riverbed from Juarez to El Paso. They were pursuing suspects who had shot and killed a police officer and wounded another during an ambush close to the border. A 16-year-old girl was also wounded in the firefight. The officers strayed into Texas Wednesday, and have already been released. The suspects have apparently not been caught.

Attkisson notes how differently the US treated the armed Mexican police officers, versus how Mexico continues to treat a US Marine.

Their prompt release contrasts with the case of U.S. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a 26-year old Afghanistan war veteran, who has been held in a Mexican jail since March after he reportedly took a wrong turn and was stopped at the San Ysidro border crossing in Mexico while carrying three registered guns in his pickup truck.

Tahmooressi was not on duty or in uniform, but also did not intend to break any laws. He did not even intend to enter Mexico. He alerted Mexican authorities immediately after he made the wrong turn into Mexico, and was quickly jailed.

According to Rep. Duncan Hunter, Wednesday’s incursion by armed Mexican officers into the United States is one of about 300 that occur each year.

Mexico’s violent drug war frequently spills over into Texas. There is no corresponding violence that spills over from the US side into Mexico.

Posted at 1:45 pm on July 25th, 2014 by

CNN Libels Israel, Promotes Hamas Propaganda Line

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Israel to try to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Neither side wants a cease-fire at this point, and neither side agreed to one — at any point.

Here’s how CNN reported the lack of any cease-fire deal.

 

That’s an impressive amount of propaganda to pack into one image. The crying, wounded child juxtaposed with that chyron is no accident. It puts Israel in the position of “rejecting” a deal and putting that child and others in the crosshairs.

There was never a deal.

It’s Hamas that is intentionally targeting children, and intentionally putting Palestinian children in harm’s way. Not Israel. Hamas hides its weapons in schools. Not Israel.

There never was a deal. Hamas rejected a cease-fire every bit as much as Israel did. More, really, since Hamas started the war in the first place.

So, CNN, what’s your excuse here?

Posted at 1:22 pm on July 25th, 2014 by

Netherlands, Australia Sending Troops to Secure MH17 Crash Site In Ukraine

The interests of both countries in securing the MH17 site are clear: The plane was flying from the Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur and many of the 298 victims were Dutch citizens. Not all of the victims’ bodies have been recovered yet. There were Australians and British citizens on the flight as well. Australia is close to hammering out a deal with Ukraine’s government to get its forces, mostly police personnel, in to help secure the site.

The Dutch are looking at sending combat-ready special forces in to secure the site, which is understandable but raises the stakes — the area around the site is still under the Russian rebels’ control and those so-called rebels have every interest in stifling the investigation. The rebels are even now reportedly using the credit cards and cell phones of the victims that were recovered from the crash.

The Netherlands is poised to send its most elite soldiers to secure the crash site of Malaysian Airways MH17, the Telegraaf reports on Friday.

The paper says all leave for the commandos of the 11 Luchtmobiele Brigade based in Schaarsbergen and Assen has been cancelled and that soldiers will leave for eastern Ukraine this weekend.

In addition, Dutch special forces currently in Mali are being recalled and sent on to the area around Donetsk, the paper says, without quoting sources.

The aim of sending troops is to ensure the 23 Dutch crash investigators and 40 unarmed military police officers can do their job, the paper says.

With Russia now firing on Ukraine military targets inside Ukraine from Russian territory, it’s not hard at all to see how this may escalate into a full blown world war.

Add to that, the British are considering sending in their forces to secure the site, too. One hit on troops from any NATO ally from Russia or its proxies and things could spiral out of control quickly.

Posted at 12:37 pm on July 25th, 2014 by

Rumsfeld an Alien Wizard? Cuba Faked Moon Landing? Congress Banned from Editing Wikipedia

Critics have slammed Wikipedia, the crowdsourced online encyclopedia, saying its lack of professional editors makes it an unreliable source.

Well, that’s true when Congress gets involved.

It seems our hardworking representative(s) and/or their hardworking staffer(s) devoted time, on the public dime, to altering Wikipedia pages to accuse the Cuban government of faking the moon landings (when everyone knows it was the U.S. government that did that), and to name Donald Rumsfeld as an alien wizard.

It seems that those edits were the final straw for Wikipedia’s administrators, who implemented a 10-day ban on any changes coming from one particular IP address within the US Congress, “due to disruptive editing originating from that address”.

Don’t expect a Congressional investigation into this misuse of public funds, because…

a) It’s Congress, and

b) there’s no physical evidence, because government hard-drives never survive these sorts of incidents.

And stop laughing at us, Great Britain. Your MPs have been caught doing the same…a lot.

Posted at 11:41 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Gallup: If You Oppose Israel, You’re Probably an Uneducated Democrat

Gallup has released a new poll on Americans’ opinions of the conflict in Gaza. It’s no surprise that Republicans tend to side with Israel, and Democrats tend to believe that Israel’s military actions against Hamas are unjustified. Fully 47% of Democrats take that view, compared with just 31% who back Israel. That, plus independent voters’ ambivalence toward Israel, helps explain why the Obama administration is not backing Israel more strongly than calling for a (now rejected) cease-fire. Their base does not back Israel.

The educational differences on the issue are found in this chart.

gallup-israel-education

 

The more educated one is, the more likely one is to believe that Israel is taking justified action against Hamas terrorists.

Younger Americans tend to go left on everything from socialism to redefining marriage, and lack of support for democratic Israel against Hamas terrorists is no exception. This is despite Israel’s long history of supporting women’s and minority rights, while the Palestinians side with extremism that denies women and non-Muslims their rights.

This poll is a warning: If the rising millennial generation doesn’t change its attitudes in a hurry, Israel cannot count on American support for more than few more years.

Posted at 11:38 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Stupid and Lame: Wealthy Actress Kristen Bell Begs for Minimum Wage Increase (Update: Reason Rebuttal FTW)

According to CelebrityNetWorth, actress Kristen Bell is worth $16 million. It’s fair to say that she make far more than a “living wage” for pretending to be other people in movies and on TV.

The actress is lending her looks and voice to the Democrats’ campaign to increase the federal minimum wage, on Funny or Die. Bell stars as a Mary Poppins knock-off. Take a look.

Funny or Die has gone all in for the minimum wage campaign, mocking House Speaker John Boehner over the issue in this ad video starring Harry Hamlin. Is the Obama administration or the Democratic National Committee paying Funny or Die for these clearly political ads videos that border on in-kind donations?

Liberals find Bell’s video persuasive, or at least politically useful. Democrat Rep. Diana DeGette is flogging it on Facebook.

In the video, Bell slams her boss for not paying her a “living wage,” despite the fact that as a live-in nanny, Poppins got full room and board in addition to pay for caring for the boss’ kids. Bell quits, mocks her boss, and curses in front of the children she is supposed to be raising, but never seems to figure out that if she is still making minimum wage, the problem may not be with her boss, but with her and her own job performance and her ability to stand up for herself.

Bell/Poppins never mentions the CBO study that found that raising the minimum wage will cost about half a million jobs.

In short, the unfunny video that barely scrapes the surface of the minimum wage issue and works in a slam on the Tea Party deserves to die.

Update: Reason rebuts with a win.

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Posted at 11:12 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Speak-O! More Audio of Obamacare Architect Jon Gruber Touting State-Based Exchanges Emerges

Today, Obamacare architect Jon Gruber claimed to be at a loss as to why he said in 2012 that the Obamacare subsidies were directly tied to the state exchanges. It’s quite a mystery, a typo, Gruber claims about his own statements.

It’s “unambigious that it’s a typo,” Gruber tells Chris Matthews.

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It can’t be a typo, though, because Gruber said on video that the subsidies are tied to the exchanges, which is at the heart of the Halbig case against Obamacare. Call it a “speak-o,” then as is moving on Twitter.

If it’s a speak-o, it’s a recurring one. John Sexton has found more audio of Gruber saying that the Obamacare exchanges are tied to the state exchanges — that the exchanges are integral to Obamacare itself.

In addition, it’s worth pointing out that on this occasion, unlike the one revealed last night, Gruber’s statement was not in response to a question. During both speeches, Gruber listed three possible threats to the implementation of Obamacare. In both cases the third “threat” was that states would not set up exchanges. In the January 10th speech (above) he simply went into more detail about the nature of that threat. In the January 18th speech that detail wasn’t mentioned until the Q&A.

The exchanges and subsidies are at the heart of the Halbig case:

In brief, these cases claim the IRS has exceeded its statutory authority in authorizing tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies on federal exchanges because the PPACA only authorizes tax credits for the purchase of insurance on an exchange “established by the State under Section 1311.”  Section 1311 instructs states to create exchanges.  Federal exchanges are established under Section 1321 of the Act.

At one level these cases present a straightforward statutory interpretation question.  The text is clear and does not contradict any other provisions in the Act.  That would seem to settle the matter.  On the other hand, the PPACA is a complicated and poorly drafted statute and, because over 30 states refused to set up their own exchanges, invalidation of the IRS rule could have a significant effect on its implementation.  So the federal government has pushed back hard and has sought to argue that what the statute says cannot be what it means.

The administration is arguing that the plain text of the law does not mean what it says. Gruber has tried to make that case too, but his own words keep coming back to argue against him.

Update: Gruber lied in court.

Posted at 10:52 am on July 25th, 2014 by

First Howard Stern, Now Joan Rivers Fires Up Passionate Support for Israel

Radio jock Howard Stern went off on a listener who took Hamas’ side against Israel earlier this week. “If you’re anti-Israel, you’re anti-America!” Stern said, which is both true and probably doesn’t bother Hamas’ staunchest defenders.

Now Joan Rivers is coming to Israel’s defense too. TMZ asked Rivers about the ongoing fight in a street interview. Rivers pulled no punches, saying repeatedly that Hamas started the war, that it hides its weapons in civilian homes, schools and hospitals, and Israel has to defend its people.

“Palestinians, you cannot throw rockets and expect Israel not to defend themselves,” Rivers said. TMZ asks about civilian casualties, and Rivers responds “Don’t you dare put weapons stashes in private homes.” Rivers also slams Selena Gomez for her pro-Palestinian tweet. Rivers goes on to hammer CNN, the BBC and other media who have played up Palestinian casualties without noting that Hamas started the war by firing rockets at Israeli civilians.

Watch.

Posted at 10:06 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Terrorist Tycoons: Meet Hamas’ Richest Men

The Palestinians project an image of poverty and powerlessness to the world. While most Palestinians do live in poverty, especially when compared to their Israeli neighbors, Globes profiles several Hamas leaders who have used their positions to amass incredible wealth while their own people suffer.

Hamas’ terrorist tycoons include Dr. Musa Abu Marzook. He was a US-based Hamas fundraiser who was arrested for supporting terrorism in 1995. After serving two years in prison, he was freed and allowed to leave. Marzook kept the money he raised for Hamas, left the US and resides in Gaza. He is estimated to be worth $2 to $3 billion now and maintains numerous ties to terrorists including al Qaeda, according to the Globes report.

Marzook is followed closely in wealth by Khaled Mashaal, who is estimated to be worth about $2.6 billion.

Following them is one of Hamas’ most public faces, Ismail Haniyeh. He is said to be worth about $4 million, which he has registered in the names of various family members to conceal the true size of his fortune.

According to Globes:

The question of where these officials got their money exposes the corrupt system used by Hamas through its control of the money pipelines in the Gaza Strip. They treated the money as their own personal possession. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market, which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that. The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater. His connection with Hamas was ostensibly for Islamic religious purposes, but they actually built a prosperous business, which earned phenomenal profits,” Elad says.

The Arshaq Al-Awsad (Middle East) newspaper, one of the most prestigious in the Arab world, recently reported that at least 600 millionaires were living in the Gaza Strip – the same people sitting on the money pipelines there.

Elad describes how the system worked and to how much money (huge amounts) Hamas leaders were exposed: “Senior Hamas leaders charged a 25% ‘tax’ and $2,000 on every disassembled vehicle coming through the tunnels. There are hundreds of smuggling tunnels from Egypt to Gaza, and these are the types of tunnel Israel has been less busy in destroying, because Egypt has destroyed many of them. From June 2007 until 2010, $800 million in cash was transferred in tunnel deals (according to information from Hamas money traders). Hamas also taxes Gaza merchants on everything traded, from boxes of vegetables to luxury cars, and the leaders scoop the money into their pockets.”

In summary, Elad says, “This is corruption at the highest level… What has united the Palestinian leaders all throughout the years is the saying, ‘We have to get rich quick.’ This is how the regime sees it. Their leaders have no shame.

The PLO’s Yasser Arafat was reportedly worth $1 billion when he died.

In addition to its graft, oppression and corruption, Palestinian leaders also live on money provided to them by the United States and Europe. The US and Europe pay hundreds of millions in aid to the Palestinians every year, mostly through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Some of that aid ends up in the hands of the Palestinian government, including Hamas, despite US law against supporting terrorism and despite the fact that Hamas is still a designated terrorist organization. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel this week pledging $47 million more aid to the Palestinians, while calling for a cease-fire as Israel pounds Hamas forces, tunnels and weapons caches.

Posted at 9:39 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Why Not Set Up Refugee Kiosks in Honduras? Can We Consider Any Idea from Obama, McCain?

A plan to evaluate refugee status for Hondurans in Honduras currently makes the rounds in D.C. – apparently backed by some in the Obama administration, it resembles a recent bill from Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona. The idea is to protect people, especially youth and children, from a dangerous trek across coyote-infested lands.

No one knows the details of this plan to set up, in effect, refugee immigration kiosks in Honduras, and the White House says no decision has been made, but already there’s pushback. This raises the question: Do Republicans, conservatives and libertarians need to shoot it down immediately because…

1) It might increase immigration from Honduras, and

2) might spread to other countries, and/or

2) it’s backed by McCain and Obama?

After all, we’re talking about facilitating legal immigration, and this might keep potential immigrants from piling up in U.S. border towns, jeopardizing public health and straining social services.

Regardless of the eventual shape of this plan, it’s time for folks on the Right to take the moral high ground on immigration. Oddly enough, if we’re serious about that, we’ll find that the issue isn’t immigration at all.

I know that even in whispering this, I may run afoul of my friends who think that it is the tide of immigrants — some unwilling to assimilate — that’s destroying our country. They’re stealing American jobs, or bearing contagions, including radical Islam. Seal the border.

Before our knees jerk in opposition to the latest proposal, we need to ask: Will the tide stop anytime soon under any plan which can actually pass Congress, and be implemented efficaciously?

No. The tide will stop when America stops being the beacon of liberty. I contend that one who wishes to stem the tide of immigration, inadvertently wishes American demise.

The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus

Posted at 8:57 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Entire Firefly/Serenity Cast to Reunite. Sort Of.

Shiny news from Comic-Con: The entire cast of Joss Whedon’s 2002 cult sci-fi series Firefly and movie Serenity have signed on to reunite.

They’re not coming back to TV, though, to extend the series from its original 14-episode run. And they’re not making a movie sequel to Serenity. Which is too bad, because that movie was one of the best sci-fi films of the century so far.

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The cast — Captain Mal, Inara, River Tam, Jane, the whole gang — are reuniting for Firefly Online, the long-promised MMORPG that carries the ‘verse to PC, Mac, iOS and Android. Even characters who were killed off in the movie have come back for the game set in the Firefly ‘verse.

The news seems to have crashed the game’s site.

Getting the cast together for a full series might be impossible, since most of the originals have gone on to have longer running hit series or promising new series including Homeland (Morena Baccarin), Castle (Nathan Fillion) and The Last Ship (Adam Baldwin). Baldwin also has a solid gaming career going, with voiceover work in major titles including Injustice: Gods Among Us and Batman: Arkham Origins.

Firefly Online will let players captain and outfit their own ships, hire crews, run from Alliance heavies, smuggle stuff, explore worlds and aim to misbehave. With the entire cast reprising their roles, FO is about as close as we’re ever likely to get to more true content. If it follows the lead of other MMORPGs like Star Wars: The Old Republic and DC Universe Online, the series characters will turn up in downloadable content including new storylines.

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Posted at 8:49 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Campaigning with the Rich and Richer, First Lady Wants the ‘Biggest, Fattest Checks’

While crises build from Ukraine to the Middle East to the Texas-Mexico border, President and First Lady Obama have checked out on the presidency to continue their manic fundraising tour. Last night they stopped in Chicago, and Mrs. Obama made no secret of why they were there.

“We need you to write the biggest, fattest check that you can possibly write,” Mrs. Obama told a crowd of donors in Chicago, her hometown. “Writing those checks is the single-most impactful thing that you can do right now.”

The president and first lady, along with Vice President Joe Biden, have stepped up their fundraising schedule in recent weeks as November’s congressional contests approach. Democrats’ chances of taking control of the House appear slim, and Republicans badly want to pick up the six Senate seats they’ll need to take over that chamber.

While Obama’s approval ratings hover at record lows — leaving many incumbent Democrats wary of campaigning alongside him — the President remains a draw at high-dollar fundraisers, which he’s attended in New York, Texas, Colorado, Washington state and California just in the past month.

His journey west this week included two stops in Seattle, two in San Francisco, and two in Los Angeles, including a star-studded afternoon event at the home of “Scandal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes.

It takes fat cats to write fat checks. Fat cats don’t write fat checks without expecting something in return.

The Obamas are spending more and more time among the left’s fat cats even as they denounce right-leaning donors like the Koch brothers, accusing them of “buying democracy.”

Posted at 8:16 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price Arrested (Updated)

Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, Democrat, once demanded an apology because a fellow commissioner used the scientific term “black hole.”

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Today Price finds himself in a hole of an entirely different kind, jail, with the probability of heading to federal prison.

The loudmouth commissioner who answers just about every inquiry into his outrageous conduct with versions of “That’s racist!” was taken into custody by the FBI early this morning. Charges will be announced today.

WFAA TV in Dallas reports that Price’s arrest means that the federal grand jury that has been investigating him for years has completed its work, handed down indictments and now the commissioner will stand trial. Other defendants are being arrested around Dallas today, ahead of the 11 AM news conference the FBI has called.

Price has been under FBI investigation since 2011, on myriad corruption charges. The FBI searched his home that year, and turned up $229,000 in cash and expensive watches. One bag of cash that was allegedly found in Price’s home was full of $100 bills, and marked “cheerleaders.” Let’s hope the FBI tells us what that was about.

Price has been in office since 1984, becoming one of the most powerful politicians in north Texas over the years.

2011 was an auspicious year for Commissioner Price. That’s the year that the FBI started taking a close look at him, and it’s also the year that he told constituents to “all of you are white, go to hell.” He also called one constituent a “fat boy.”

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“Go to hell”? How about “go to jail”…

Update: The Dallas Morning News sheds some light on the charges Price faces.

Conspiracy to Commit Bribery Concerning a Local Government Receiving Federal Benefits

Deprivation of Honest Services by Mail Fraud and Aiding and Abetting

Conspiracy to Defraud the Internal Revenue Service

Subscribing to a False and Fraudulent U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Hm, tax fraud. Perhaps Price will be the first to try claiming that his hard drive crashed on the IRS. And then shout “That’s racist!” when the IRS doesn’t buy its own excuse.

 

Posted at 7:20 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Stephen King’s Immigration Idiocy

 

From the world of social media, controversy trended earlier this week around comments (seen above) by horror writer Stephen King. The author of best-selling novels like The Shining and Pet Sematary challenged the convictions of Christians and Tea Partiers when it comes to helping children in need. The Christian Post reports:

An aggregation of King’s tweets by Twitchy, however, revealed some pointed rebuttals casting him as a hypocrite, including a few from conservative radio host Dana Loesch.

“Didn’t see you amongst the Christians ministering to the hungry in McAllen last weekend, @StephenKing. Full calendar?” Loesch noted on Twitter.

“Hey @StephenKing, look at this MEDICAL TRUCK provided privately BY A CHRISTIAN,” she added in another tweet.

Journalist Lachlan Markay also found King’s tweet particularly odd.

“Very odd tweet, @StephenKing, given the lengths to which many prominent Christians have gone of late to help refugee kids at the border,” he tweeted.

The nature of King’s hypocrisy deserves note. Those Christians, conservatives, and Tea Partiers who have rallied charity to meet the needs of illegal immigrant children held in Texas have done so in pursuit of their own values. Their personal beliefs and convictions motivate their actions, and they act with their own resources. By contrast, King assigns others the task of caring and providing. He stands eager to see Christians and Tea Partiers sacrificed for what he regards as a greater good.

It’s the difference between egoistic charity and altruistic sacrifice. Unfortunately, our language largely confuses these concepts. Caring for others is regarded as altruism, when it’s actually an egoistic chosen value. And human sacrifice is justified by appeals to caring, as if sacrificing someone could ever be a caring act.

(Today’s Fightin Words podcast is on this topic available here. 38:23 minutes long; 36.91 MB file size. Right click here to download this show to your hard drive. Subscribe through iTunes or RSS feed.)

Posted at 6:21 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Obamacare’s Architect Admitted in 2012 That Only State Exchanges Get Subsidies

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In a video discovered by the Competitive Enterprise Institute from January of 2012, one of the chief architects of Obamacare says the Affordable Care Act provides no tax credits for citizens in states that do not set up their own exchanges.

Speaking to an audience at Noblis, a nonprofit scientific and engineering research organization in Falls Church, Virginia, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber urged states to set up their own insurance exchanges so citizens could take advantage of the tax credits. An audience member commented, “It’s my understanding that if states don’t provide [exchanges], then the federal government will provide them for the states.” Gruber responded,

What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this. [emphasis added]

At the time, states were being pressured to set up their own exchanges instead of leaving the federal government to manage them.

Gruber’s remarks at Noblis came five months before Halbig v. Burwell was filed. Halbig claimed exactly what Gruber is saying in the video: that Obamacare’s subsidies for private health insurance were limited to state-run health exchanges. Earlier this week, the D.C. Circuit Court agreed, striking down the Obama administration’s implementation of the federal subsidies under an Internal Revenue Service rule. The IRS had expanded the meaning of  the “established by the state” language in the Affordable Care Act to include the federal exchanges after only a handful of states set up their own state-based exchange.

Jonathan Gruber, who helped design the Massachusetts law that was the model for Obamacare and was paid almost $400,000 to consult with the Obama administration on the new law, made no attempt to conceal his feelings about the new health care law in the 2012 speech. “I’m biased, I’m in favor of this type of law, I won’t hide that,” Gruber told the Noblis audience. In the years after the passage of Obamacare, Gruber worked as a busy consultant on the issue, with several states hiring him for his expertise in the area of health insurance markets.

Gruber has since evolved on the issue of subsidies for federal exchanges.

In January 2013, he called the idea that Congress only intended the subsidies and tax credits to be available through state exchanges a “screwy interpretation” of Obamacare. In an interview with Mother Jones, Gruber huffed, “It’s nutty. It’s stupid…it’s essentially unprecedented in our democracy. This was law democratically enacted, challenged in the Supreme Court, and passed the test, and now [Republicans] are trying again. They’re desperate.”

Posted at 1:30 am on July 25th, 2014 by

Rice Lauds Freedom of Sudanese Christian Without Mentioning Christianity

The White House lauded the freedom of Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese Christian sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her faith, without mentioning Christianity.

Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli helped arrange Ibrahim’s departure from Sudan to Rome, according to Vatican Radio. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi welcomed her at the airport; she then met with Pope Francis at the Vatican for about half an hour along with her husband, American citizen Daniel Wani, her son Martin and baby Maya, born in prison two months ago.

Before her death sentence was overturned, Ibrahim faced capital punishment for marrying a Christian man. Her father was Muslim.

“The United States is delighted that Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag is now safe and free and will soon be traveling to the United States. For months, Americans of all faiths kept Ms. Ishag in their thoughts and prayers as Sudanese authorities sentenced her to death for the alleged crime of apostasy,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said in a statement. “Today, she and her family have left Sudan on their journey to freedom. Her departure with her immediate family—including her infant daughter, born in custody—is a testament to her unyielding faith and the support she received from friends and allies, including our Embassy in Khartoum and the broader U.S. government.”

“On behalf of the American people, I am proud to celebrate the arrival of Ms. Ishag and her family in Rome. We look forward to the day when they arrive in America,” Rice added. “In addition to heralding the tireless efforts of my U.S. government colleagues to ensure her safety, I also want to extend my profound thanks to the Italian Government for its dedicated efforts on their behalf.” Ibrahim’s death sentence was overturned last month but Sudanese officials kept her from leaving the country by questioning her travel documents.

“Ms. Ishag’s freedom, while meaningful in its own right, also serves as a reminder that all countries, including Sudan, must uphold the universal right to freedom of religion. The United States has and will continue to support those denied this freedom, drawing strength from Ms. Ishag’s example.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said today that the family does have the proper documents to enter the U.S. “She and her family will make the determination on their travel to the United States. It’s really up to the family,” Harf said, adding that she didn’t know if the Vatican interceded in Ibrahim’s case.

Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, noted chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), “have been extensively engaged in efforts to secure her release,” including a hearing to draw publicity to her case the day before she was released to the Italians.

“She and her family deserve an opportunity for a new chapter,” Royce said. “…While Meriam and her family escaped Sudan’s religious persecution, apostasy is still on the books in Sudan, leaving the chances open for other reprehensible cases like hers.”

Posted at 5:21 pm on July 24th, 2014 by

Deli Food for Thought

Israel hasn’t been feeling the love lately. Not only are they in the midst of a literal war with Hamas, but also a PR war. I already wrote about how long it took President Obama to even make a phone call to Prime Minister Netanyahu, but his failure to lead has gotten worse, and has dictated another response from me.

This FAA debacle is indicative of an Administration that is throwing around its political leverage to bully Israel into succumbing to their harmful cease-fire demands. They prohibited all US flights from landing at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. They haven’t even prohibited flights to Moscow, Kiev, or anywhere near Ukraine—and we just witnessed a plane shot out of the sky there! But Israel gets flights canceled?!?

John Kerry’s lobbying hard for a cease-fire arrangement, which would be more restrictive and harmful to Israel than the Egyptian one…which Israel accepted. Think about that: Egypt, a country that has traditionally not gotten along with Israel, is promoting a less-harsh cease-fire than the US Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, a coincidence—Israel gets flights banned. I think it’s more than a coincidence.

Israel relies heavily on tourism. In 2013, Israel had 3.5 million visitors, which propelled the market to a $12 billion industry. The situation in Israel has already slammed its tourism profits. According to a Yahoo Travel article: “’It is devastating us economically,’ said Leon Avigad, the developer of Brown Hotels, a small collection of boutique hotels in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. ‘We are losing tons of money by the minute. The entire profit from the summer is wiped out.’” And Avigad said these things in the days leading up to the flight ban.

So the FAA, under Obama, really hit Israel where it hurts. An already suffering tourism trade, and they ban flights… Doesn’t seem like how we should be treating one of our top allies.

Obama is flexing his muscles, likely because he can’t seem to get away with it against Putin. Israel, he thinks, is one situation he can dominate. His egotistical and radical nature leads him to assert himself into this problem, not on Israel’s side, but by condemning them with bad cease-fire proposals and by essentially threatening them economically.

It’s no wonder why Marc Schulman, of Newsweek, reports, “On a number of different levels, there is a growing sense of frustration with the Obama administration among average Israelis.”

So, rather than stay in Washington and deal with these problems, Obama went on another fundraising trip these past couple days. This time, he came to my neck of the woods—Los Angeles. Probably to get some of that big-time Hollywood money for the Democrats.

As an aside, his motorcade has been mucking up the traffic here pretty badly, even getting the nickname “Obamajam.” They even closed down a street, keeping a woman from crossing while in labor. He wasn’t even at the scene while this was going on.

But back on topic, the Jewish community here, in LA, is very close to the events in Israel, with pro-Israel rallies going on often and with much fervor. I, personally, attended New Community Jewish High School in the San Fernando Valley area of the city, and just found out that a fellow alumnus has been hospitalized after a bomb went off near him in Gaza. Max Levin was serving as a part of the Israeli Defense Forces, when the incident occurred. He is in stable condition, but wounded. I don’t know him, as he graduated several years after I did, but it touches the community. Out of my small private high school alone, 26 alumni currently serve in the IDF.

So with Obama being seen as a hindrance to Israeli needs, or maybe even a counterforce, what did he do while here?

Our photo-op-in-chief went to the famous Canter’s Deli, a Jewish deli that’s been in the predominantly Jewish Fairfax district for almost 85 years. The patronizing President figured he would show his support for the Jewish community by eating a rye bread sandwich and schmoozing.

I cannot believe the condescension he is exposing here, especially just after telling Governor Perry that he doesn’t participate in photo-ops.

We need a leader, not a schmoozer, and we need a President who will stand up for our allies.

Oy gevalt!

Posted at 3:47 pm on July 24th, 2014 by

Caliphate Adds Tourism Sector with Passport-Free Travel

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The Islamic State has added a tourism sector to lure the ummah to the large swath of territory ISIS seized in Syria and Iraq:

Running twice-weekly tours from Syria’s Raqa to Iraq’s Anbar, ISIS buses fly the group’s black flag and play militant songs throughout the journey.

One of the first clients was Chechen militant Abu Abdel Rahman al-Shishani, aged 26, who took his new Syrian wife on honeymoon, according to activist Hadi Salameh.

“Just after they got married, he took her to Anbar. These militants are very romantic,” Salameh joked.

But the two weren’t able to sit together, because “women sit in the back, and men at the front. The bus driver plays militant songs all through the ride, and the ISIS black flag flies over the bus.”

ISIS proclaimed a “caliphate” last month straddling Iraq and Syria. According to a rebel from eastern Syria, the tours started operating immediately afterwards.

…Salameh said the group’s tour buses “start their journey in Tal Abyad (on Syria’s Turkish border) and end in Iraq’s Anbar. You can get off wherever you want, and you don’t need a passport to cross the border.”

The activist, who lives in Raqa and uses a pseudonym to avoid retribution from IS, told AFP via the Internet the company is for profit.

“Of course it’s not free. The price varies, depending on how far you go on the bus,” Salameh said.

Clientele has primarily been foreign fighters who speak English; a translator on board points out the sights. Tours run on Wednesdays and Sundays.

No word on whether this is one of the caliphate’s tour guides:

 

Posted at 3:35 pm on July 24th, 2014 by

Is Tech Site Mashable.com Siding with Hamas Terrorists?

Mashable.com, one of the largest tech and culture websites on the planet, appears to be taking a side in the ongoing war in Gaza.

The site best known for posts about things buried in software user agreements and happy photo ops with the president who claims that he isn’t interested in photo ops is taking a decidedly pro-Hamas editorial point of view as it and Israel fight in Gaza.

That war started when terrorists linked to Hamas, which is itself categorized as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department and the European Union, kidnapped three Israeli teenagers and later executed them. One of those teenagers, 16-year-old Naftali Frankel, also had American citizenship.

On June 14, when Mashable reported on the boys’ kidnapping, in describing Hamas it put “terrorist group” in scare quotes.

Even after the boys’ bodies were discovered, Mashable made sure to distance Hamas from the murders.

Hamas soon began to launch some of its estimated 10,000 to 20,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. Israel has responded with an air, land and sea campaign to destroy Hamas’ tunnels and its rocket arsenal.

Israel is going out of its way to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas places civilian casualties at the center of its strategy. Hamas targets Israel’s civilians, and it places its weapons close to Palestinian schools and hospitals to force Israel to choose between risking killing Palestinian civilians to destroy those weapons, or leave its own civilians at risk if it does not destroy those weapons. If Palestinian civilians die in Israeli attacks, they become part of the group’s propaganda. If Israel decides not to strike Hamas weapons caches near civilian targets, then some Israelis will be attacked with those very weapons.

Mashable’s coverage of the conflict has tilted away from Israel, the Middle East’s sole democracy and one in which Arabs can become full citizens, and toward Hamas terrorists. Where Hamas rules, as in much of the Islamic world, Christians and Jews are at best second-class, are systematically persecuted and are often subjected to pogroms.

In an Associated Press story on the “disappearance” of rockets that Hamas hid in UN schools to which Mashable contributed reporting, the AP and Mashable hide the lead down in the sixth paragraph, and even then avoid calling Hamas what it is.

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. secretary-general on Wednesday said he was “alarmed” to hear that rockets were placed in a U.N.-run school in Gaza, and now “have gone missing.” He also demanded a full review of such incidents.

A spokesperson for Ban Ki-moon expressed the U.N. chief’s “outrage and regret” at the placement of weapons at a site run by the global organization. This has happened at least twice so far in the current conflict, according to the U.N.

“Those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets, and endangering the lives of innocent children,” U.N. staff and anyone seeking shelter, the statement said.

The rockets had been placed at one of the schools run by the U.N. refugee agency for Palestinians, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza (UNRWA).

Once they were found, “in accordance with standard practice, UNRWA handed them over to the local authorities. Since then, they have gone missing,” Ban’s deputy spokesperson, Farhan Haq, said in an email Wednesday evening.

The Islamic militant group Hamas controls Gaza. The U.S., Israel and the European Union all consider Hamas a terrorist organization, but the U.N. does not.

The entire story is written to hide what Hamas was doing — hiding its rockets in UN-run schools, rockets it uses against Israel’s civilian population. Both of those acts are war crimes.

In the most biased story Mashable has run on the conflict to date, the site takes cues from Pallywood and puts a dying Palestinian child front and center. This is the kind of propaganda story Hamas hopes comes from Israel exercising its duty to defend its people.

In “‘Am I Going to Die, Daddy?’ The Child in Gaza Asked,” reporter Jon Snow states that “If the Israelis have proved anything, it is that there is no such thing as a forensic strike.” Snow never allows for the fact while Israel tries to avoid civilian casualties, while Hamas feeds on them.

After chronicling several heart-breaking cases of kids caught up in the crossfire, Snow rhetorically asks “Can they really be the acceptable collateral damage of targeting militants?”

The tone of the entire piece puts the moral responsibility for all casualties in Gaza not on Hamas, the terrorist group that is still dedicated to destroying Israel and which started the current conflict, but on Israel.

Snow ends his piece with this:

I was amazed to find a small sachet of shampoo as I went to a cold shower tonight — salty again. Obviously, you cannot make bombs out of shampoo and so there is no embargo on it. But clearly you can make bombs from paint because there isn’t any. This is the most wretchedly unpainted urban place I have ever been.

And beyond it all, why won’t they talk? This cannot go on. It is the children, tomorrow’s Palestinians, who are paying the price.

Today’s and tomorrow’s Israelis are paying a price too, are they not? You wouldn’t know it from reading Jon Snow, or indeed anything published at Mashable.

Snow’s piece fits well within Hamas’ anti-Israel propaganda. Why is a tech site like Mashable publishing it?

The closest that the site gets to fair reporting is probably this piece on Jews and Arabs who are making friends and more despite the conflict. Even this piece, though, plays up Arabs’ peaceful intent and ignores the anti-Semitism that pervades Arab culture and communications around the world.

The fact is, whether Mashable is aware of it or not, Palestinian voters elected Hamas to power knowing full well that that would mean war with Israel. And polls find that Palestinians continue to want to destroy Israel.

In the current war, Hamas and the Palestinians who still support Hamas are getting what they want.

Posted at 3:31 pm on July 24th, 2014 by