{Originally posted to the author’s website, CAMCI, The Center for Analyzing Media Coverage of Israel}

Hillary Clinton claimed that Donald Trump was ISIS’ “best recruiter.” Trump fired back  that Clinton and President Obama were “ISIS’ co-founders.”


When Trump claimed that he was being sarcastic, the New York Times editor’s blog ridiculed him.

The only reason that the media covered these remarks was to show how outrageous the campaign rhetoric had gotten. The media “fact-checked” the accusations and concluded that neither candidate was central to the terrorist group’s founding or recruitment.

The media understand that the Islamic State smear is nonsense. ISIS does not need either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to recruit followers to its murderous cause. Hatred of the West is enough for them to attract a large following of violent discontents.

Maybe they need Israeli settlements

A New York Times editorial, Israel’s Alarming Settlement Bill, argues against a proposal in Israel to legalize certain settlements.  The editorial says that expanding settlements reduces the possibility of a Palestinian state.

Fair enough.

Yet the Times goes further by claiming that the expansion of settlements would be “dangerous” for the United States.

Why would it be so “dangerous? ”

Because U.S. support for Israeli settlements is ISIS’ most effective recruiting tool.

It’s a ridiculous claim to make. ISIS does not need any help from Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or Israeli settlers to recruit followers. Yet the Times uses Senator Patrick Leahy, who has been a harsh critic of Israel for decades, to make its case.

Throwing credibility to the wind, here is his argument against the bill:

One of the most effective ways that ISIS and other terrorist groups have attracted recruits is by tarring the United States with Israel’s expanding occupation of the West Bank… This legislation to retroactively legalize illegal settlements will be welcomed by those murderous groups as further evidence that America’s closest ally in the region is bent on destroying a peaceful solution, including the possibility of a Palestinian state.

Israeli settlements are now ISIS’ “most effective” recruitment tool?

If that were true, wouldn’t attacking the U.S. and Israel be at the top of ISIS agenda?

Neither Leahy or the Times present any evidence of the claim.

Where did all those “fact-checkers” go?

I guess the Times doesn’t want to fact-check its own editorials. 

While ISIS is not a fan of Israeli settlements, the issue is hardly at the top of its agenda. ISIS has terrorized hundreds of thousands of Muslims who do not agree with its extreme philosophy. ISIS has launched terror attacks around the world. In this list of 70 ISIS terror attacks, none are related to Israeli settlements.

In fact, the group has targeted both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. (Although there is also some evidence that some factions of Hamas work with ISIS.)

Claiming that your opponent is a recruiting tool for ISIS has become the latest smear. The New York Times dismissed claims that either Clinton or Trump were involved with the ISIS. Yet the same paper editorializes  that Israeli settlers are at the heart of the reason people join the terror group.

It’s inconsistent for the Times to give Leahy’s comments legitimacy.

You can ask the Times’ Public Editor the reason for the inconsistency. Write to her at: [email protected].

For more, check out CAMCI, The Center for Analyzing Media Coverage of Israel.


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Yarden Frankl is the Executive Director of CAMCI, the Center for Analyzing Media Coverage of Israel. He was a senior editor for HonestReporting for 11 years. He made aliyah in 2005 and now lives in Neve Daniel. He has been published in various media internationally.