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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘news’

Faking the News

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

It’s official. “Fake” news is a dangerous trend that must be stopped.

Many believe that fake stories attacking Hillary Clinton had a major impact on the US presidential election. So suddenly, everyone is talking about how important it is to stop the spread of false news reports.

Almost every day in November, the New York Times has published an article on fake news, along with an editorial decrying the phenomenon.

fake-screen

 

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg posted how seriously the social media giant takes its responsibility to stop the spread of fake news. Google announced that it would ban websites that promote false stories from using its advertising tools.

President Obama claimed that fake news is such a problem that it “threatens our democracy.” In a major speech in Germany, he said:

If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not — and particularly in an age of social media where so many people are getting their information in soundbites and snippets off their phones — if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.

Great. It’s about time that something was done so that the public would be able to tell fact from fiction in the news.

What is troubling is that all this concern is due to the fact that many believe false news stories attacking Hillary Clinton had an impact on the US presidential election.

But Israel has been the victim of fake news stories for years. Where has all the outrage been?

Ample proof shows that Palestinians have staged major news stories. These fake news productions are so common that they are referred to as “Pallywood.” Google the word if you want to see just how bad the problem is. Yet why don’t news companies like “60 Minutes” investigate before using the footage?

Remember when Hamas claimed that Israel had opened up dams and flooded the Gaza Strip? As I wrote at the time, all it would have taken was a few minutes and a Google search to see that the dams in question did not exist.

In the midst of a wave of terrorist attacks, Mahmoud Abbas claimed that a Palestinian child had been “executed in cold blood” by Israeli settlers.

Yet the boy was alive. He has been saved by Israeli paramedics after committing a terror attack. This information was readily available as a video of the boy resting in an Israeli hospital was circulating on the internet along with video of the terror attack he had committed.

Many of the major news companies covering the story reported it as “Israel accuses Abbas of Lying” rather than using their own voice to tell readers that the story was fabricated.

The New York Times story gives readers the impression that the issue of whether the boy was alive was up for debate.

lying-screen

Israel has accused the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, of lying about a video of a 13-year-old Arab boy bleeding profusely on an East Jerusalem street on Monday that has provoked outrage in the Arab world.

Strangely, it was one of the Times’ tabloid competitors, the New York Post, that got the story right.

nypost-screen-shot

So now readers are expected to believe the tabloids over one of the leading newspapers in the world?

Whenever Israel tries to respond to an accusation — even with evidence — many people will not believe it. After all, Israel is hardly a disinterested partner.

According to the New York Times:

By some estimates, bogus news stories appearing online and on social media had an even greater reach in the final months of the presidential campaign than articles by mainstream news organizations.

I am glad that the Times and others are finally waking up to the problem. Yet they should be alarmed at all fake news stories.

Why should bogus articles about Hillary Clinton be given attention while false accusations about Israel are ignored? 

I am not one to demand that every article about Israel support Israeli claims. But it is reasonable to expect that the media conduct impartial investigations themselves so that they can present readers with the facts.

Yarden Frankl

Shiloh Musings: Latest News: Fires are New Arab Terror Tool

Monday, November 28th, 2016

At first it seemed like the fires that had begun all over Israel were just more of the periodic late summer, pre-rain fires that are almost spontaneous in climates like Israel. A month ago, after a very long dry summer, there was a bit of rain, but since then the humidity has been summer-like low, so the first fires were considered “expected.”

But then the experts began to notice that the spread of new fires wasn’t of “natural causes” or patterns, and on the spot investigations showed them to have been set by Arab terrorists, some who have already been caught.

Stand With Us put out a map:

fire-map

Terrible fires raging in Israel that have now been confirmed by the spokesman of the fire department Yoram Levi as arson attacks. The perpetrators of these crimes have endangered thousands and caused immense damage to people’s homes, lives, and of course the environment. We strongly condemn them. Praying for a swift end to the fires and the safety of all those affected.These fires, like the peculiar lunar calendar of the Moslems, is further proof that they neither own nor love the Land. How can they destroy the flora, fauna and homes here in the Holy Land? They celebrate terror and murder, and this is just another terrorist tool for them.The ray of true light during this terrible time is that Israel is being helped by other countries, which is so rare:

Countries send aid to fight fires across Israel
Countries that have dispatched aid so far are Greece, Italy, Croatia, Russia, Cyprus, and Turkey. The aid amounts to 10 planes. (Arutz 7)

May Gd speedily send rain to douse the flames.

Batya Medad

BREAKING NEWS: First Direct Battle Between Israel and ISIS on the Golan

Monday, November 28th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Israel Rising website}

In what is being billed as the first direct clash between Israel and ISIS, the the Shuhada al-Yarmouk organization, which has pledged allegiance to ISIS, lost a number of fighters after exchanging fire with the IDF. The terror organization fired on IDF soldiers and after an exchange of gunfire, Israel’s airforce destroyed the gunman’s vehicle, killing all of the assailants.

The escalation, although minor in scope presents the first time affiliates of ISIS entered into a direct confrontation with Israel.  Either this was a trial balloon or the collapsing caliphate has decided to open a front against Israel. Given the fact that it is strethced thin due to increasing Russian bombardments and Srian government forces pushing back its fighters, it would be strange that it would want to waste fighters on a much more formidable Israeli arm.

Then again, Israel is a perfect target to distract from ISIS’s weakening position. By attacking Israel it may be able to rally the Sunni street to its side.

One senior officer stated: “We don’t know all the outcomes of the event. There is great probability there are four dead and the heavy machine gun was destroyed. The terrorists are from Shuhada al-Yarmouk, with all the significance that organization’s name carries. The Israeli forces didn’t lie in ambush by chance.”

The Israeli government wasted no time showcasing the incident and the army’s response.

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu said, “I want to commend our soldiers who pushed back against the attack carried out against us. We are prepared against any enemy that threatens us on our northern border, and do not give ISIS a foothold for their war in Syria.”

Will Shuhada al-Yarmouk attack again? Was this is a test ballon? It is too early to give a clear answer to these questions. However, one thing is for sure, ISIS is not going to sit back and be destroyed nor will it be wished away as if it is the bogey man. Sooner or later as Syria continues to sprial out of control, Israel will have to root out and defeat ISIS with or without intenational help.

 

Israel Rising

Holiday News: Police Arrest Jew on Temple Mount

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

An 18-year-old Jewish man was arrested Wednesday morning on the Temple Mount on suspicion of bowing before the King of the Universe, Honenu reported. The young man was taken for police interrogation, and Honenu, a legal aid society, is pursuing his release. Rumor has it that the same man also broke the law by reciting the Shema Israel, a radical text introduced in 1248 BCE.

David Israel

Danger Zone – Dangerous News [audio]

Monday, September 19th, 2016

This week Gadi discusses three different news stories, Jews converting to Islam in France, three terror attacks in the United States that for some reason weren’t “terrorism” and lastly,blaming the deaths of terrorists in Israel, on Israel. All three fall into the ‘Dangerous News’ category and Gadi will break it down.

Danger Zone 19Sept2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

A Prudent Approach To Following The News

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

In the age of the Internet and vast, easily accessible databases, it has become relatively easy for news stories to suddenly emerge as “gotcha” moments regardless of their provenance. This is especially true in the throes of a fiercely competitive presidential election campaign. To be sure, first impressions, even if not ultimately accurate, are often the ones that linger, but that is the nature of modern communication and an important facet of our lives today.

One such story surfaced this week involving the claim by a former defense department employee, David Meyer, that Joseph Schmitz, one of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s senior foreign policy advisers, had boasted about having caused the firing of Jewish employees while he served as inspector general of the Pentagon. Mr. Schmitz is also alleged to have questioned commonly held facts about the Holocaust.

The claim against Mr. Schmitz was contained in a formal charge against the Department of Defense for unlawful discharge. It should be noted that Mr. Schmitz was not alleged to have been directly involved in Mr. Meyer’s discharge.

For his part, Mr. Schmitz denies the story and e-mailed a statement saying he was “quite proud of the Jewish heritage of my wife of 38 years,” later clarifying that his wife’s maternal grandmother was Jewish.

If true, the story is a serious matter. The point, though, is that while countless people are undoubtedly familiar with the story, no one knows if the charges have merit. Time will tell.

Another such story involves the discovery of a new trove of approximately 15,000 e-mails evidencing a close relationship between officials of the Clinton Foundation and officials at the State Department under former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee. Some of them would seem to indicate that a number of individuals, including from foreign countries, regularly went through the Clinton Foundation to secure appointments with State Department decision-makers and in the process made large contributions to the foundation.

Again, this story has dominated the news for days and is doubtlessly known to a wide audience. Yet, for all its potentially serious import, it has still to be fully explored.

Prudence dictates we should seek more information before making snap judgments about what we think we know.

Editorial Board

Quick Takes

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

State Department Won’t Answer Questions On $400 Million Cash Handoff

 

After refusing to divulge how the payment was transferred, the State Department has now refused to answer repeated requests about when it sent Iran a sum of $1.3 billion, which was part of the same settlement for which the Obama administration delivered $400 million in pallets of foreign currency flown aboard an unmarked jetliner in January. The cash was flown the same day five American hostages were released from Iranian custody.

The details about how and when the additional funds were sent are relevant to determining whether President Obama needed to pay Iran on the same day the hostages were released and whether the payment needed to be made in cash because the two countries had no banking relationship, as the president has said.

If the additional $1.3 billion were transferred around the time of the $400 million, it could raise questions as to why the $400 million needed to be sent separately. And if the $1.3 billion was not delivered in cash, it could raise further questions about the need for a cash drop off a mere hours before the hostages were set free by Tehran.

It has been widely reported that the $400 million was part of a dispute that arose after Iran in the late 1970s had purchased U.S. fighter jets while Tehran was still an American ally. After the country turned into an enemy in 1979, the U.S. halted delivery of the military equipment, thus triggering an international case in which Iran was asking The Hague arbitrators for $10 billion.

Following years of negotiations, the Obama administration finally agreed to settle the case for $1.7 billion – the initial $400 million plus another $1.3 billion in interest.

On Thursday, Breitbart Jerusalem reported that the State and Treasury Departments both told this reporter that the U.S. government transferred the remaining $1.3 billion but, despite numerous requests, neither State nor Treasury would provide an answer on how the Obama administration allegedly transferred the remaining $1.3 billion to Iran.

The latest twist in the saga came on Friday, when, after refusing to provide the method of transfer for the payment, a State Department spokesperson refused to tell Breitbart Jerusalem when the $1.3 billion was sent.

“We are not going to get into the tick-tock of specifics regarding the Hague Tribunal settlement payments,” the spokesperson stated.

A spokesperson for the Treasury Department did not respond to a request about the timing of the alleged payment.

The State Department’s refusal to comment on the timing stands in contrast to an August 4th press conference in which State Department spokesman Mark Toner was repeatedly asked about the timing of the $1.3 billion payment and Toner told reporters that he did not know and “can try to find that out.”

At issue is not simply the curious timing of the $400 million cash handoff, which took place hours before the hostages were released and was described as a ransom payment in Iranian media reports that cited senior Iranian defense officials. The Obama administration has denied the ransom claims, and has said that when the delivery was made in January, the White House publicly acknowledged the full payment amount.

Another issue is the need to transfer the $400 million in foreign cash pallets delivered to Iranian guards, a detail that was not disclosed by the administration until its revelation last week by the Wall Street Journal.

Regarding the need for cash, Obama has explained that the U.S. does not have a banking relationship with Tehran.

A spokesperson for the Judgement Fund confirmed that the payment for the compromise that was reached on interest, of approximately $1.3 billion, has indeed been provided out of the Fund.

The Fund spokesperson refused to comment on the mechanics of how a settlement payment was made or when the payment was transferred. The spokesperson did not reply to a follow-up question about whether the remaining $1.3 billion was transferred in cash or by any other means.

When asked about how the remaining $1.3 billion was transferred, a spokesperson for the State Department replied that the agency had “nothing to add beyond what the President and Secretary have already said on the subject.”

While refusing to comment on the timing, the spokesperson confirmed that the remaining $1.3 billion was indeed paid in full to Iran. The spokesperson also refused to provide comment to two separate requests about how the money was transferred.

 

Report Details ISIS Cover-Up

A damning investigation by House Republicans released on Wednesday has found that the intelligence arm of the U.S. Military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) routinely produced intelligence that “distorted, suppressed, or substantially altered” the results of the campaign against ISIS.

The 10 most troubling finds in the eyes of this reporter, who reviewed the House report, follow (in no particular order).

  1. Top CENTCOM leaders modified intelligence assessments to present an “unduly positive” assessment of combating ISIS and training Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
  2. Intelligence analysts declined to be interviewed, possibly out of fear of reprisals from CENTCOM leadership, while the interviews that did take place were under the watchful eyes of DOD officials.

Additionally, the Joint Task Force requested interviews with four more analysts whose positions provided them with potential knowledge regarding the allegations. These analysts declined to be interviewed. Although they did not express their reasons for declining, the Joint Task Force is concerned that some of the analysts may have done so out of fear of potential reprisals for their testimony.

  1. CENTCOM intel agents operated within a “toxic” leadership environment.
  2. General Austin’s claim to Congress that ISIS was in a “defensive crouch” did not reflect the data possessed at the time by CENTCOM senior leaders.
  3. CENTCOM established an intelligence “fusion center” for ISIS-related intel, but kept out analysts whose views conflicted with senior intelligence leaders.
  4. Restrictions were implemented for analysts whose views dissented from the mainstream inside CENTCOM.
  5. Analysis was minimized in favor of details from coalition forces while intelligence was skewed to be “optimistic.”
  6. Shocking survey results showed analysts believed data was “distorted, suppressed, or substantially altered” by their supervisors.
  7. Even after whistleblower complaints and the “alarming” internal survey last year, the Pentagon took no steps to correct its allegedly distorted intelligence process.
  8. Mirroring the Benghazi House Committee’s complaints against the State Department, the Joint Task Force writes it “did not receive access to all the materials it requested” and details a process of denying information and records.
Aaron Klein

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/aaron-klein/quick-takes/2016/08/17/

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