Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter all Work With the Left-Wing SPC

Daily Caller, by Peter Hasson, June 7, 2018:

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center helps Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter determine what organizations are “hate groups”
  • Amazon gave the SPLC the most direct authority while pretending to remain unbiased
  • The SPLC has been plagued by inaccuracies

Four of the world’s biggest tech platforms have working partnerships with a left-wing nonprofit that has a track record of inaccuracies and routinely labels conservative organizations as “hate groups.”

Facebook, Amazon, Google and Twitter all work with or consult the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in policing their platforms for “hate speech” or “hate groups,” a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.

The SPLC is on a list of “external experts and organizations” that Facebook works with “to inform our hate speech policies,” Facebook spokeswoman Ruchika Budhraja told TheDCNF in an interview.

Facebook consults the outside organizations when developing changes to hate speech policies, Budhraja said, noting that Facebook representatives will typically hold between one and three meetings with the groups.

Citing privacy concerns, the Facebook spokeswoman declined to name all the outside groups working with Facebook, but confirmed the SPLC’s participation.

Budhraja emphasized that Facebook’s definition of “hate group” is distinct from the SPLC’s definition and said that Facebook consults with groups across the political spectrum.

The SPLC accused Facebook in a May 8 article of not doing enough to censor “anti-Muslim hate” on the platform. That article did not disclose the SPLC’s working partnership with Facebook.

“We have our own process and our processes are different and I think that’s why we get the criticism [from the SPLC], because organizations that are hate organizations by their standards don’t match ours,” Budhraja said.

“That doesn’t mean that we don’t have a process in place, and that definitely doesn’t mean we want the platform to be a place for hate but we aren’t going to map to the SPLC’s list or process,” she said.

Of the four companies, Amazon gives the SPLC the most direct authority over its platform, TheDCNF found.

While Facebook emphasizes its independence from the SPLC, Amazon does the opposite: Jeff Bezos’ company grants the SPLC broad policing power over the Amazon Smile charitable program, while claiming to remain unbiased.

“We remove organizations that the SPLC deems as ineligible,” an Amazon spokeswoman told TheDCNF.

Amazon grants the SPLC that power “because we don’t want to be biased whatsoever,” said the spokeswoman, who could not say whether Amazon considers the SPLC to be unbiased.

The Smile program allows customers to identify a charity to receive 0.5 percent of the proceeds from their purchases on Amazon. Customers have given more than $8 million to charities through the program since 2013, according to Amazon.

Only one participant in the program, the SPLC, gets to determine which other groups are allowed to join it.

Christian legal groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom — which recently successfully represented a Christian baker at the Supreme Court — are barred from the Amazon Smile program, while openly anti-Semitic groups remain, TheDCNF found in May. (RELATED: Christian Baker Prevails At Supreme Court In Same-Sex Wedding Cake Dispute)

One month later, the anti-Semitic groups — but not the Alliance Defending Freedom — are still able to participate in the program.

Twitter lists the SPLC as a “safety partner” working with Twitter to combat “hateful conduct and harassment.”

The platform also includes the Trust and Safety Council, which “provides input on our safety products, policies, and programs,” according to Twitter. Free speech advocates have criticized it as Orwellian.

A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment on the SPLC specifically, but said the company is “in regular contact with a wide range of civil society organizations and [nongovernmental organizations].”

Google uses the SPLC to help police hate speech on YouTube as part of YouTube’s “Trusted Flagger” program, The Daily Caller reported in February, citing a source with knowledge of the agreement. Following that report, the SPLC confirmed they’re policing hate speech on YouTube.

The SPLC and other third-party groups in the “Trusted Flagger” program work closely with YouTube’s employees to crack down on extremist content in two ways, according to YouTube.

First, the flaggers are equipped with digital tools allowing them to mass flag content for review by YouTube personnel. Second, the groups act as guides to YouTube’s content monitors and engineers who design the algorithms policing the video platform, but may lack the expertise needed to tackle a given subject.

The SPLC is one of over 300 government agencies and nongovernmental organizations in the YouTube program, the vast majority of which remain hidden behind confidentiality agreements.

The SPLC has consistently courted controversy in publishing lists of “extremists” and “hate groups.” The nonprofit has been plagued by inaccuracies this year, retracting four articles in March and April alone.

The well-funded nonprofit, which did not return a request for comment, deleted three Russia-related articles in March after challenges to their accuracy followed by legal threats.

All three articles focused on drawing conspiratorial connections between anti-establishment American political figures and Russian influence operations in the United States.

The SPLC removed a controversial “anti-Muslim extremist” list in April, after British Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz threatened to sue over his inclusion on the list. The SPLC had accused the supposed-extremists of inciting anti-Muslim hate crimes. (RELATED: SPLC Pulls Controversial ‘Anti-Muslim Extremist’ List After Legal Threats)

Somali-born women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali also made the list.

Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation who now advocates against the practice, is an award-winning human rights activist. But according to the SPLC’s since-deleted list, she was an “anti-Muslim extremist.”

Ali criticized Apple CEO Tim Cook in August 2017 for donating to the SPLC, which she described as “an organization that has lost its way, smearing people who are fighting for liberty and turning a blind eye to an ideology and political movement that has much in common with Nazism.”

Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon who is now the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was surprised to find out in February 2015 that the SPLC had placed him on an “extremist watch list” for his conservative beliefs.

“When embracing traditional Christian values is equated to hatred, we are approaching the stage where wrong is called right and right is called wrong. It is important for us to once again advocate true tolerance,” Carson said in response.

“That means being respectful of those with whom we disagree and allowing people to live according to their values without harassment,” he continued. “It is nothing but projectionism when some groups label those who disagree with them as haters.”

Following a backlash, the SPLC apologized and removed him from their list. Carson was on the list for four months before the SPLC removed the “extremist” label.

Floyd Lee Corkins, who attempted a mass shooting at the conservative Family Research Center in 2012, said he chose the organization for his act of violence because the SPLC listed them as a “hate group.”

The SPLC has faced tough criticisms not just from conservatives, but from establishment publications, as well.

“At a time when the line between ‘hate group’ and mainstream politics is getting thinner and the need for productive civil discourse is growing more serious, fanning liberal fears, while a great opportunity for the SPLC, might be a problem for the nation,” Ben Schreckinger, now with GQ, wrote in a June 2017 piece for Politico.

Washington Post Reporter Megan McArdle, while still reporting for Bloomberg, similarly criticized the SPLC’s flimsy definition of “hate group” in  September 2017. Media outlets who trust the SPLC’s labels, McArdle warned, “will discredit themselves with conservative readers and donors.”

Also see:

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At the Washington Post, None Dare Call It a Conspiracy

The American Spectator, by Christopher C. Hull, June 4, 2018:

Islamic jihadists haven’t been out to get us from the inside? A list.

As the late, great novelist Joseph Heller wrote in his hilarious, terrifying novel of World War II’s insanity Catch-22, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”

Or, as Andrew C. McCarthy III, former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against the “Blind Sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman 11 other defendants convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, once put it, “you can’t have a conspiracy without a conspiracy theory.”

Both come to mind given the Washington Post’s Abigail Hauslohner chargein her unprofessional smear piece against my former colleague Fred Fleitz, that the Center for Security Policy, where I serve as Executive Vice President, “propagates the conspiracy theory that Islamists have infiltrated the U.S. government.”

Conspiracy theory?

Would Ms. Hauslohner like to explain Abdurahman Alamoudi, founder of Pentagon’s Muslim chaplain program and State Department civilian ambassador, convicted of operating on behalf of foreign intelligence agencies and later identified by Treasury Department as a top Al-Qaeda fundraiser, who is still in prison for his terrorist activities — while to my knowledge not a single one of his chaplains has been removed from our military?

How about Al-Qaeda security chief Ali Mohamed, who infiltrated the Army Special Forces and double-crossed the FBI?

Or Anwar al-Awlaki, who was feted at a luncheon inside the still-smoldering Pentagon following the 9/11 attacks hosted by the Army’s Office of Government Counsel, and led prayers for congressional staffers inside the U.S. Capitol, before being outed as an Al-Qaeda cleric who ultimately was made subject to a kill-or capture order signed by President Obama in 2010 and was killed by a U.S. airstrike on September 30, 2011?

Or Hesham Islam, one-time senior advisor for international affairs for Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England and the Pentagon’s point-man for Muslim outreach, who invited representatives from terror-tied Islamic groups into the Pentagon, as well as a Lebanese ambassador who was a known proxy of the Syrian government in violation of U.S. policy — until an investigation determined that he had “embellished, if not fabricated, major elements of his official biography” and he resigned?

Or Omar Alomari, whom the Obama Administration named to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group, who it turned out was spreading “Islamist propaganda,” and was ultimately fired after lying to investigators about a previous job firing and failing to disclose his former position with the Jordanian government?

Or U.S.-based Hamas operative Kifah Mustapha, who got a guided tour of a top-secret National Counterterrorism Center and partnered with the FBI-Chicago Field Office?

Or U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan, a military psychiatrist, who shot and killed 14 people at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Processing Center in Texas in 2009, and was sentenced to death in August of 2013?

Or Louay Safi, who lectured deploying troops at Fort Hood weeks after the deadly attack there, authorized “preemptive strikes” against troops attacking Muslims, and was ultimately named an unindicted co-conspirator in a Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror support trial?

Or Imad Hamad, an attendee of the January 2010 summit then-Department of Homeland Secretary (DHS) Janet Napolitano held with American Muslim leaders, who is linked to the Marxist-Leninist terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, has supported the Islamist terrorist group Hezbollah, and in a television interview in 2002 on Fox’s Detroit affiliate, supported a Palestine Authority TV program that urged children to become suicide bombers, calling the program “patriotic”?

Or Salam Al-Marayati, another Napolitano summit attendee, who according to press reports has long been criticized for extremist views and statements, whose nomination to the National Commission on Terrorism in 1999 former House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo. withdrew because of Al-Mayarati’s extremist politics, and who once said, “When Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death,’ that statement epitomized jihad?”

Or the Afghan national army officer wearing a suicide vest who infiltrated Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province and exploded it, killing seven CIA agents including the CIA base chief, a mother of three, the biggest loss of life suffered by the U.S. intelligence agency since an attack in Beirut in 1983?

Or the Spring 2010 Countering Violent Extremism Working Group that followed, which according to a whistleblower within DHS, included six individuals linked to Egypt-based Jamāʻat al-Ikhwān al-Muslimīn, commonly known as the Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest and largest Islamist group in the world — and which likely as a result recommended that “discussions regarding how to improve local law enforcement crime reduction efforts should be delinked from the current academic and policy discussions on ‘radicalization’ and ‘countering violent extremism’ until such time that the understanding of these phenomena matures” — that is, that DHS should cease to investigate even a sanitized version of jihad?

Or Seddique Mateen, the father of the Orlando shooter Omar Mateen, who served as an FBI informant, and persuaded the FBI that his son was not a threat, leading to the largest mass shooting in American history?

These examples are facts. Attempts by reporters like Ms. Hauslohner to dismiss them as a “conspiracy theory” only helps those who wish to harm her and her family — and yours.

Remember, Ms. Hauslohner: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.

Mueller Year One: The Real Heroes in Journalism

Photo credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

American Greatness, by Julie Kelly, May 16th, 2018:

Part one of a two-part series.

The American media are broken.

After eight years of feeding the Obama cult of personality—swooning over his suave personal traits, covering for mistakes and misconduct, applying little if any scrutiny to his policies or performance—the news media suddenly developed a keen interest in presidential accountability and integrity on November 9, 2016.

Since the day Donald Trump won the election over their strenuous objections, the media have been out to get the man they deem unworthy of the presidency. They have teamed up with the Left of and the NeverTrump Right to campaign for his removal from office. (Victor Davis Hanson recently documented #TheResistance’s full list of tactics.) Trump’s family, aides, and cabinet members have been harassed and reviled in despicable ways.

Reporters eagerly transcribe salacious stories pitched by unnamed sources to incite an already inflamed body politic. Events are twisted in grotesque ways to fuel the anti-Trump hysteria. (Look no further than this week’s reporting on the Hamas-led “protest” during the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.)

At the same time, the American media arrogantly portray themselves as martyrs—even heroes—for acting as bulwarks against a purportedly devious, inept and cruel administration. The self-puffery on display at last month’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner sounded like war veterans commending each other for bravery on the battlefield, although veterans are far more modest than your average cable news anchor or political pundit.

But it took the self-assured comfort that comes from getting too comfortable with such puffery to draw the media out, unwittingly perhaps, at that very event. For it was at the White House Correspondents dinner that they acknowledged their sycophancy to #TheResistance, their gullibility in being snookered by Obama loyalists, their flat-on-their-back willingness to be used by anti-Trump pimps.

CNN won an award for its January 2017 report about President-elect Trump being briefed on the bogus Steele dossier. While we now know the story was improperly leaked by former Director of National Intelligence (and virulent Trump foe) James Clapper to shotgun the Trump-Russia collusion plotline days before the inauguration—and the celebrated CNN reporters did little more than regurgitate talking points spoon-fed to them by political operatives (one is known to have close ties to Fusion GPS)—the network was applauded for its “depth of reporting.”

The reality is that there are only a handful of reporters bravely bucking the media’s status quo and conducting real investigative journalism to expose what, quite possibly, is the biggest political scandal in U.S. history: How top officials in an outgoing administration colluded with a presidential candidate’s campaign and a major political party for the purpose of  discrediting the rival presidential candidate and then stage a soft coup against him after he won.

Out of thousands of reporters in the United States, fewer than a dozen journalists have dared to cover the ways in which the world’s most powerful law enforcement and intelligence apparatus leveraged its authority to try and destroy Trump’s candidacy, then his presidency. The courageous group includes NRO’s Andrew McCarthy, The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway and Sean Davis, Tablet’s Lee Smith, The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel, Washington Examiner’s Byron York, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, and independent journalist Sara Carter.

Unlike the self-proclaimed heroes in the mainstream media who either have willfully ignored or purposefully diverted coverage away from this scandal, these writers have not squandered their integrity or credibility in order to make nice with the ruling political class.

While each one deserves accolades and yes, legitimate awards, for their work, let’s focus on a few here first:

Andrew McCarthy: The former federal prosecutor who once worked for ex-FBI Director James Comey is arguably the most influential writer in this group, and has risked the most in terms of jeopardizing personal and professional relationships. “In the eyes of many of my former colleagues, I’m one of the bad guys. I’m sad about that, because I know things never really go back to the way they were,” he told me via email.

McCarthy, 59, is a Bronx native with a solid record of fighting organized crime and international terrorists. A law-and-order Republican, McCarthy contributed to National Review’s “Against Trump” issue where he wrote, “the [terrorist] threat against us has metastasized in our eighth year under a president who quite consciously appeases the enemy. But the remedy is not a president oblivious of the enemy.” His scrutiny of the Trump-Russia scheme is by not rooted in a deep affection for the president.

But his legal expertise and working knowledge of Justice Department protocols have been an invaluable guide, as the average person (like me) attempts to make sense of the various investigations and indictments. McCarthy also acknowledges that his bias toward law enforcement and some people at the center of this scandal have influenced his approach.

“I’ve been validly criticized for giving him [Comey] the benefit of many doubts that I would not give to others whom I don’t know well, or at all. It’s been a good—if excruciating—lesson in humility,” he told me.

He detected as far back as December 2016 that the Russian collusion story was a farce. He opposed both Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal and the appointment of a special counsel, although he applauded the choice of Robert Mueller (while predicting his probe “could be wrapped up within a few months.”)

Since then, he has been a fierce critic of the Mueller team, particularly of the prosecutions of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. And he has plenty of harsh words for Comey, someone for whom he has “genuine affection.” In his latest piece, he takes a deep dive into the text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and once more questions why his former colleagues are concealing information from the public.

Mollie Hemingway and Sean DavisThe Federalist has been a major target of #TheResistance for its unflinching coverage of the Trump-Russia scandal and exposure of an Obama Administration rife with corruption. (Even though publisher Ben Domenech was also a contributor to NR’s “Against Trump” issue.)

Hemingway was the first to suggest in great detail—just days after the award-winning CNN story—that Obama’s intelligence community had declared war against Donald Trump. “Far from discrediting Trump, [the allegation of Russian election interference]  paints a worrisome portrait of the deep state gone rogue, desperate to stop a man who, whatever his considerable flaws, is an outsider to Washington.” She started to piece together how the politically sourced Steele dossier was used to obtain FISA warrants on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page, and gave extensive coverage to the work of the House Intelligence Committee.

After the Comey memos were released last month, Hemingway suggested the January 6, 2017 briefing orchestrated by top Obama intelligence officials was designed to set up the incoming president: “This briefing, and the leaking of it, legitimized the dossier, which touched off the Russia hysteria. That hysteria led to a full-fledged media freakout.” And she’s spared the media no criticism for burying huge developments in the emerging corruption scandal.

Hemingway has taken her battle to the airwaves. A regular Fox News contributor, Hemingway has become fan favorite by going toe-to-toe with anti-Trump journalists to raise serious questions about the veracity of the Trump-Russia investigation. (I personally admire her smackdowns of National Review’s Jonah Goldberg.)

Sean Davis (if you don’t follow him on Twitter, do it now), the site’s co-founder, had one of the past year’s most explosive scoops when he reported that Obama’s PAC paid nearly $1 million in 2016 to the law firm that was funneling money to Fusion GPS, and that the husband of one of Obama’s top communications advisors went to work for Fusion shortly after the 2016 election.

Just last month, Davis outed a former staffer to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) who has raised $50 million from a few wealthy Democratic donors to continue Fusion GPS’s dirty work against the Trump Administration. He also amplified an overlooked conclusion in the House Intelligence Committee report: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress when he testified that he did not discuss the dossier with any journalists when in fact he leaked the information to CNN’s Jake Tapper for the “award-winning” story. (Clapper, naturally,  is now a CNN intelligence analyst.)

Lee Smith: Few writers wield the literary blowtorch that Smith does. An expert on the Middle East, Smith noticed that the election collusion story sounded familiar: “The Russia story is a replay of how the former White House smeared pro-Israel activists in the lead-up to the Iran Deal,” he wrote in April 2017.

Most of his work is published in Tablet, a liberal, Jewish publication, but he views this scandal as nonpartisan. “We are now starting to understand more clearly, this is not simply a Democratic scandal, it’s a scandal that in many ways ties together both political establishments,” he told me by email. “Thus it threatens voters who tend to vote for Democrats as much as it does Republicans.”

He’s been a frequent critic of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson and routinely blasts the media for their self-serving complicity in pushing the phony Trump-Russia story. “Buy into a storyline that turns FBI and CIA bureaucrats and their hand-puppets in the press into heroes while legitimizing the use of a vast surveillance apparatus for partisan purposes, and you’re in. Dissent and you’re out, or worse—you’re defending Trump.”

But it was his withering takedown of Robert Mueller in March 2018 that scorched the ruling class. Smith called the Mueller investigation a cover-up to “obscure the abuses of the U.S. surveillance apparatus that occurred under the Obama administration.” He disassembled the Washington narrative that Mueller is above reproach, an unimpeachable public figure who should be allowed to conduct his investigation untethered.

Mueller, according to Smith, is the prototypical swamp creature, a hanger-on who’s been held unaccountable for his egregious failures. “The problem is that by using the justice system as a political weapon to attack the enemies of the country’s elite, Robert Mueller and his supporters in both parties are confirming what many Americans already believe. That in spite of all the fine rhetoric, we are not all equal under one law.”

Smith takes an almost patriotic approach to his reporting. “What all of us want is the restoration and rehabilitation of the key American institutions that have inflicted so much damage on the American public as well themselves with Russiagate—I am thinking primarily here of the media,” he told me. “Left and right, we need a free and honest press in order to debate and discuss how we best live together and influence others abroad.”

PART TWO: The rest of the Trump-Russia truth-tellers and media influencers.

***

Also see:

Fox News Channel Airs Geraldo Rivera’s Anti-Israel Disinformation

Camera, by Myron Kaplan, April 21, 2018:

When Fox News Channel’s Geraldo Rivera (the G is pronounced like H) discusses Israel, typically he poses as a friend of Israel while adhering to his long-time theme that Israel is at fault in the conflict, victimizing the Palestinians. This is what happened March 30/31, 2018 on the network. Geraldo’s perception of the conflict may have been influenced by his long-time friend, Hanan Ashrawi, an articulate, persuasive Palestinian propagandist (more below).

The Five indulge Geraldo
On The Five broadcast of Friday March 30, Geraldo was provided a platform for an unchallenged, uninterrupted diatribe prompted by Greg Gutfeld’s question: “Did you ever regret a story that you did?” Geraldo replied, “… I regret in 2002 backing down from backing the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel, the Second Intifada …” Thus, he sides with murderous terrorists who committed numerous bombings and shooting attacks killing more than 1000 Israeli civilians and maiming thousands more. Furthermore, as has been documented, Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Authority led the planning, funding and execution of that Intifada. None of this seems to concern Geraldo or any of his Five broadcast colleagues – Gutfeld, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Juan Williams, Jesse Watters or Dana Perino.
Geraldo continued, “I saw first hand what an awful life that they live under – constant occupation and oppression. And people keep saying, ‘Oh! they are terrorists’ and oh! this and oh! that… and we just had 14, 15 Palestinians killed in Gaza by the Israeli forces – [the people of the Gaza Strip are an] occupied people …”
 Occupied
However, Geraldo ignores the fact that Israel has not had any occupation personnel in the Strip since September, 2005 when shortly thereafter it came under frequent and continuous attack by Hamas by mortars and rockets and more recently, also by attempted infiltration by way of numerous terror tunnels. Meanwhile, Israel has continued to allow large quantities of food, medicine and other humanitarian aid into Gaza despite Hamas’ aggression. The Palestinian leadership of the Strip, however, has refused to abide by the first requirement of international law – non-aggression against neighbors.

Likewise, Geraldo ignores evidence that the “protest” was organized by Hamas in cooperation with other terror groups. Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Yehya Sinwar announced that this operation was a step in “liberating all of Palestine, from the river to the sea” meaning the elimination of the Jewish state.

Geraldo’s portrayal of an oppressive Israeli army mowing down peaceful civilian demonstrators at Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip – is at odds with the evidence. He failed to mention that it seems that at least 10 of the persons killed have been identified as known Islamist terrorists. He also ignored evidence that some protesters fired on troops and attempted to break through the border fence, This is further corroborated. Geraldo avoided such possibilities, preferring instead to vilify Israel.

The “occupation” and “oppression” myths

Geraldo’s phrasing, “constant occupation and oppression,” is disinformation. The “occupation” is a myth. Communities of Jews have continuously lived in their ancestral home in the Holy Land including the entirety of Jerusalem and the West Bank (Judea and Samaria). Furthermore, scholars (Joan Peters in “From Time Immemorial,” among others) have shown that most of those who today identify as “Palestinians” descend from relatively recent migrations from surrounding territories. In fact, it’s likely that the Arab population began to blossom only well after the beginning of substantial Jewish immigration in the 19th century.

In 1948, the Jewish nation of Israel, as authorized by the United Nations in 1947 and by previous international rulings, was re-established with the capacity of caring for Jewish refugees form Nazi horrors. Israel had sought to accommodate the Arabs but was immediately rebuffed by Arab Armies that attempted to annihilate the Jewish state. And thereafter Arab forces attacked, or gathered to attack, Israel several times in order to destroy it.

The West Bank is disputed land. Israel is the obligatory and legal military authority of the West Bank, having taken the territory from Jordanian occupation in self-defense in the 1967 Six-Day War. The land is not “Palestinian.” It is disputed. Hence the need for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations according to U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian interim agreement.

But the Palestinian Authority insists on various conditions unlikely to be accepted by any Israeli government before peace negotiations can take place, including Israel abiding by Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state (evidently 22 Arab Muslim states is fine but one Jewish state is one too many) and Israel’s acceptance of a “right of return” (that does not exist in international law) for millions of Arabs (nearly all of whom have never lived in Israel), which would inevitably result in the Jewish state becoming unviable.

As to the alleged “oppression,” the Palestinian Authority (PA) governs the daily lives of the Palestinian population in the West Bank, while Israel controls the borders and polices the settlements, only entering Palestinian communities to pursue terrorists. Apparently this alleged “constant occupation and oppression” is unable to prevent PA encouragement of murderous attacks on Israeli citizens by generously rewarding the Palestinian terrorist perpetrators and their families. The United States has been providing financial aid to the PA but Congress passed legislation on March 23, 2018 (The Taylor Force Act) to prevent American tax dollars from being used to encourage Palestinian terrorism.

Meanwhile, while it’s true that the residents of the Gaza Strip are “oppressed,” that oppression is perpetrated by its Hamas dictatorial rulers who allow no opposition to their Islamist rule.
Fox & Friends

Geraldo’s next vilification of Israel occurred the next day, March 31, on Fox & Friends at 9:24 a.m. (Eastern) when he joined Abby Huntsman, Pete Hegseth, and Ed Henry. Only Hegseth challenged Geraldo. Hegseth responded appropriately, “The keepers of the concentration camp are Hamas not Israel,” to Geraldo’s description of the Gaza Strip as “the world’s largest concentration camp,” implying Israel was responsible for hardships suffered by residents of the Gaza Strip. Hegseth responded, “You can’t negotiate with Hamas. They’re a terrorist organization that says they want to wipe Israel off the map,” to Geraldo’s allegation that due to Israel, for the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, “Their lives have been controlled since the 1967 war.”

Here, Geraldo repeats erroneous assertions, again ignoring the fact that Israel pulled all its troops and all Israeli residents out of the Gaza Strip in September 2005 while continuing since then to allow large quantities of food, medicine and other humanitarian aid into Gaza while blocking various dangerous incoming materials that could be used to attack Israel.

Hanan and Geraldo 

In his March 30/31 castigation of Israel, Geraldo revisited a familiar role. Among previous such Geraldo propaganda bursts are these: In 2012, he fawned over West Bank Palestinian Hanan Ashrawi in a “Geraldo at Large” Fox News Channel special, “Israel Caught in the Crossfire,” filmed in Israel and the Palestinian territories, that aired July 8, 2012 (10 PM Eastern). The hour-long documentary – with Geraldo reporting mainly from Israel and his brother Craig reporting from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank – dealt with several issues including the chances for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs leading to a “two-state solution.” Describing Ashrawi as “a friend I have known for decades,” Geraldo indulged her anti-Israel disinformation. This long-time Geraldo friend has been a long-time anti-Israel propagandist and continues as such.

Ashrawi has discredited herself a number of times – for example, as the only known professing Christian in the otherwise Muslim leadership of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Ashrawi gave a press conference in 1991 in which she replied to a question in self-righteous indignation, “I find your reference to ‘Judea and Samaria’ a statement of extreme bias, and rather offensive. I am a Palestinian Christian, and I know what Christianity is. I am a descendant of the first Christians in the world, and Jesus Christ was born in my country, in my land. Bethlehem is a Palestinian town. So I will not accept this one-upmanship on Christianity. Nobody has the monopoly.” (Washington Post, “The Practiced Palestinian,” Caryle Murphy, Nov. 4, 1991)

But if Ashrawi is in fact a “descendant of the first Christians in the world,” as she describes herself, she would be a descendant of ancient Israeli Jews not the descendant of Arabs as she is presumably. Furthermore, although Ashrawi denies the existence of Judea and Samaria, Israel’s names for the West Bank, the names are mentioned in the Christian New Testament in well known passages Matt. 2:1 and Acts 1:8 in the context of land resided in by Israeli Jews (this was perhaps a thousand years before the establishment of the first Arab communities in the Holy Land which happened well after conquering Muslim Arab armies had swept across the continent from the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century C.E.). Evidently, Ashrawi is either ignorant or deceitful about all this. This is Geraldo’s long-time friend whose influence is likely to have led to his misperception of the conflict with the Palestinians.
Interestingly, Geraldo is not the only highly visible American newsman who was likely to have been influenced by Ashrawi  to mislead viewers about Israel. Former ABC News anchor Peter Jennings, when he was head of the ABC bureau in Beirut in the 1970s, had a serious relationship with Ashrawi in Beirut, Lebanon where she was a graduate student in literature at the American University. This relationship was reported by U.S. News & World Report in 1991, Washington Post of Sept. 17, 2001 and Daily Mail (London) of Sept. 20, 2001. Jennings frequently misreported and fabricated information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict beginning in the 1970s and continuing through his career as an anchor for ABC’s World News Tonight.
In March 26, 2010, Geraldo launched verbal assaults on Israel in an appearance on Fox and Friends in which he accused an allegedly anti-peace, obstructionist Israel of focusing on the Iranian threat in order to divert attention from its own supposed intransigence. His tirade also included the baseless allegation that Israel is responsible for American difficulties vis-a-vis the entire Middle East and the Muslim world.

Conclusion

Geraldo Rivera is a persuasive speaker on issues he is passionate about and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is one of those issues. Therefore, in accord with the network’s mottos of “fair and balanced news” and “most watched, most trusted,” Geraldo’s on air statements about the issue should immediately be balanced on air with factual information. This is necessary because even one instance of his unchallenged disinformation is one too many in terms of planting seeds of antipathy toward Israel in the minds of vulnerable individuals among the potentially millions of FNC viewers.

***

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See also:

Two New Totalitarian Movements: Radical Islam and Political Correctness

Gatestone Institute, by A. Z. Mohamed, August 23, 2017:

  • The attempt in the West to impose a strict set of rules about what one is allowed to think and express in academia and in the media — to the point that anyone who disobeys is discredited, demonized, intimidated and in danger of losing his or her livelihood — is just as toxic and just as reminiscent of Orwell’s diseased society.
  • The main facet of this PC tyranny, so perfectly predicted by George Orwell, is the inversion of good and evil — of victim and victimizer. In such a universe, radical Muslims are victimized by the West, and not the other way around. This has led to a slanted teaching of the history of Islam and its conquests, both as a justification of the distortion and as a reflection of it.
  • Thought-control is necessary for the repression of populations ruled by despotic regimes. That it is proudly and openly being used by self-described liberals and human-rights advocates in free societies is not only hypocritical and shocking; it is a form of aiding and abetting regimes whose ultimate goal is to eradicate Western ideals.

Political correctness (PC) has been bolstering radical Islamism. This influence was most recently shown again in an extensive exposé by the Clarion Project in July 2017, which demonstrates the practice of telling “deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them in order to forget any fact that has become inconvenient” — or, as George Orwell called it in his novel, 1984, “Doublespeak.”

This courtship and marriage between the Western chattering classes and radical Muslim fanatics was elaborated by Andrew C. McCarthy in his crucial 2010 book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

Since then, this union has strengthened. Both the United States and the rest of the West are engaged in a romance with forces that are, bluntly, antagonistic to the values of liberty and human rights.

To understand this seeming paradox, one needs to understand what radical Islamism and PC have in common. Although Islamism represents all that PC ostensibly opposes — such as the curbing of free speech, the repression of women, gays and “apostates” — both have become totalitarian ideologies.

The totalitarian nature of radical Islamism is more obvious than that of Western political correctness — and certainly more deadly. Sunni terrorists, such as ISIS and Hamas — and Shiites, such as Hezbollah and its state sponsor, Iran — use mass murder to accomplish their ultimate goal of an Islamic Caliphate that dominates the world and subjugates non-Muslims.

The attempt in the West, however, to impose a strict set of rules about what one is allowed to think and express in academia and in the media — to the point that anyone who disobeys is discredited, demonized, intimidated and in danger of losing his or her livelihood — is just as toxic and just as reminiscent of Orwell’s view of a diseased society.

These rules are not merely unspoken ones. Quoting a Fox News interview with American columnist Rachel Alexander, the Clarion Project points out that the Associated Press — whose stylebook is used as a key reference by a majority of English-language newspapers worldwide for uniformity of grammar, punctuation and spelling — is now directing writers to avoid certain words and terms that are now deemed unacceptable to putative liberals.

Alexander recently wrote:

“Even when individual authors do not adhere to the bias of AP Style, it often doesn’t matter. If they submit an article to a mainstream media outlet, they will likely see their words edited to conform. A pro-life author who submits a piece taking a position against abortion will see the words ‘pro-life’ changed to ‘anti-abortion,’ because the AP Stylebook instructs, ‘Use anti-abortion instead of pro-life and pro-abortion rights instead of pro-abortion or pro-choice.’ It goes on, ‘Avoid abortionist,’ saying the term ‘connotes a person who performs clandestine abortions.’

“Words related to terrorism are sanitized in the AP Stylebook. Militant, lone wolves or attackers are to be used instead of terrorist or Islamist. ‘People struggling to enter Europe’ is favored over ‘migrant’ or ‘refugee.’ While it’s true that many struggle to enter Europe, it is accurate to point out that they are, in fact, immigrants or refugees.”

To be sure, the AP Stylebook does not carry the same weight or authority as the Quranic texts on which radical Islamists base their jihadist actions and totalitarian aims. It does constitute, however, a cultural decree that has turned religious in its fervor. It gives a glimpse, as well, into the intellectual tyranny that has pervaded liberal Western thought and institutions.

The main facet of this PC tyranny, so perfectly predicted by Orwell, is the inversion of good and evil — of victim and victimizer. In such a universe, radical Muslims are victimized by the West, and not the other way around. This has led to a slanted teaching of the history of Islam and its conquests, both as a justification of the distortion and as a reflection of it.

As far back as 2003, the Middle East Forum reported on the findings of a study conducted by the American Textbook Council, an independent New York-based research organization, which stated:

“[Over the last decade], the coverage of Islam in world history textbooks has expanded and in some respects improved…. But on significant Islam-related subjects, textbooks omit, flatter, embellish, and resort to happy talk, suspending criticism or harsh judgments that would raise provocative or even alarming questions.”

Thought-control is necessary for the repression of populations ruled by despotic regimes. That it is proudly and openly being used by self-described liberals and human-rights advocates in free societies is not only hypocritical and shocking; it is a form of aiding and abetting regimes whose ultimate goal is to eradicate Western ideals. The relationship between the two must be recognized for what it is: a marriage made in hell.

A. Z. Mohamed is a Muslim born and raised in the Middle East.

Tech Blacklisting of Counterjihadists Is What Muslim Brotherhood Seeks: Sabotage by Our Hands

Ein Fachbesucher testen am 22.08.2017 in Köln (Nordrhein- Photo by: Oliver Berg/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

PJ Media, by Ben Weingarten, Aug. 22, 2017:

When one thinks of the embodiment of “hate,” modern-day jihadists are perhaps without equal.

They murder those who refuse to submit to their totalitarian theopolitical belief system in the most vile and horrific ways, from stabbings and shootings to beheadings, bombings, and vehicle crashings.

They revile non-believer “infidels,” from Jews and Christians to atheists and gays, and mercilessly persecute all who fall under their clutches.

They engage in sex slaverymass rape and pillaging.

But when today’s sophist Left thinks of “hate,” it focuses its sights not on jihadists, but on those who forthrightly discuss the jihadist threat, among other advocates of non-leftist views.

That is the sad reality in light of the emerging story of the blacklisting of such individuals and organizations by major technology platforms.

The most notable early casualty is Robert Spencer, who headlines a list of other opponents of the global jihad.

Spencer has dedicated his life to exposing Islamic supremacist ideology and the goals, tactics, and strategies of its peaceful and violent foot soldiers. He has published several bestselling books, and through his Jihad Watch website catalogues daily the global jihad’s advance and the tragic aiding, abetting, and enabling of the movement by Islamophiliac dupes, useful idiots, and fellow travelers.

For his long rap sheet of thought crimes, he’s paid a physical price. In May of 2017, Spencer was poisoned by a leftist while in Iceland to deliver an anti-jihad speech.

Now he is paying an economic one.

The online payment system service PayPal has booted Jihad Watch from its serviceunder the guise of a user agreement violation, meaning that its financial supporters can no longer easily contribute to the site online. These contributions support Spencer’s public appearances and website operations.

This comes on the heels of a campaign in which the purported “independent, non-profit,” but heavily leftist-funded investigative journalism website ProPublica blasted out an email to various groups and individuals – including Spencer — fingered by the Leftist Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and American Defamation League (ADL) as “hate” or “extremist,” asking them to in essence prove their innocence while simultaneously chilling their efforts.

It bears noting that the SPLC has previously lumped in conservative nonprofits of all stripes with neo-Nazis, effectively smearing its ideological adversaries.

The questions posed by ProPublica’s Lauren Kirchner included:

1) Do you disagree with the designation of your website as hate or extremist? Why?

2) We identified several tech companies on your website: PayPal, Amazon, Newsmax, and Revcontent. Can you confirm that you receive funds from your relationship with those tech companies? How would the loss of those funds affect your operations, and how would you be able to replace them?

3) Have you been shut down by other tech companies for being an alleged hate or extremist web site? Which companies?

4) Many people opposed to sites like yours are currently pressuring tech companies to cease their relationships with them – what is your view of this campaign? Why?

Is Google Working with Liberal Groups to Snuff Out Conservative Websites?

(Shutterstock)

PJ Media, by Paula Bolyard, Aug. 19, 2017:

See below for an important update.

Google revealed in a blog post that it is now using machine learning to document “hate crimes and events” in America. They’ve partnered with liberal groups like ProPublica, BuzzFeed News, and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to make information about “hate events” easily accessible to journalists. And now, there are troubling signs that this tool could be used to ferret out writers and websites that run afoul of the progressive orthodoxy.

In the announcement, Simon Rogers, data editor of Google News Labs, wrote:

Now, with ProPublica, we are launching a new machine learning tool to help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting.

The Documenting Hate News Index — built by the Google News Lab, data visualization studio Pitch Interactive and ProPublica — takes a raw feed of Google News articles from the past six months and uses the Google Cloud Natural Language API to create a visual tool to help reporters find news happening across the country. It’s a constantly-updating snapshot of data from this year, one which is valuable as a starting point to reporting on this area of news.

The Documenting Hate project launched in response to the lack of national data on hate crimes. While the FBI is required by law to collect data about hate crimes, the data is incomplete because local jurisdictions aren’t required to report incidents up to the federal government.

All of which underlines the value of the Documenting Hate Project, which is powered by a number of different news organisations and journalists who collect and verify reports of hate crimes and events. Documenting Hate is informed by both reports from members of the public and raw Google News data of stories from across the nation.

On the surface, this looks rather innocuous. It’s presented by Google as an attempt to create a database of hate crimes — information that should be available with a quick Google search, it should be noted. But a quick glance at the list of partners for this project should raise some red flags:

The  ProPublica-led coalition includes  The Google News Lab,  Univision News, the  New York Times,  WNYC,  BuzzFeed News,  First DraftMeedan,  New America Media,  The Root,  Latino USA,  The Advocate100 Days in Appalachia and  Ushahidi. The coalition is also working with civil-rights groups such as the  Southern Poverty Law Center, and schools such as the  University of Miami School of Communications.

ProPublica poses as a middle-of-the-road non-profit journalistic operation, but in reality, it’s funded by a stable of uber-liberal donors, including George Soros’s Open Society Foundations and Herb and Marion Sandler, billionaire former mortgage bankers whose Golden West Financial Corp. allegedly targeted subprime borrowers with “pick-a-pay” mortgages that led to toxic assets that were blamed for the collapse of Wachovia. The Southern Poverty Law Center, of course, is infamous for targeting legitimate conservatives groups, branding them as “hate groups” because they refuse to walk in lockstep with the progressive agenda. And it goes with out saying that The New York Times and BuzzFeed News lean left.

A perusal of the raw data that’s been compiled thus far on hate stories shows articles from a wide array of center-right sites, including The Daily Caller, Breitbart News, The Washington Times, National Review, and the Washington Examiner. It also includes many articles from liberal sites like BuzzFeed News and The New York TimesOne story from PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson is included in the list. It’s a report about a Sikh ad campaign aimed at reducing hate crimes against members of their faith community. Many of the articles are simply reports about alleged hate crimes from sources running the gamut of the political spectrum.

ProPublica vows to diligently track “hate incidents” in the coming months. “Everyday people — not just avowed ‘white nationalists’ — intimidate, harass, humiliate and even harm their fellow Americans because of the color of their skin, how they worship or who they love.” [Emphasis added] Note that they’re not just focusing on hate “crimes.”

It’s easy enough to figure out the direction of this project by taking it for a test drive. A search for “Scalise” returned four results, one of which didn’t even mention Steve Scalise, the congressman who was shot by a crazed leftist in June. A search for “Trump” during the same time period yielded more than 200 results. A search of the raw data resulted in 1178 hits for Trump and not a single mention of Scalise.

Note that Google, which recently fired an employee for expressing his counter-progressive opinions, thinks this information could be used to “help journalists covering hate news leverage this data in their reporting.” What do they mean by “leverage this data”? They don’t say, but an email sent to several conservative writers by a ProPublica reporter may give us some indication. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer along with some others received this from ProPublica “reporter” Lauren Kirchner:

I am a reporter at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative newsroom in New York. I am contacting you to let you know that we are including your website in a list of sites that have been designated as hate or extremist by the American Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center. We have identified all the tech platforms that are supporting websites on the ADL and SPLC lists.

We would like to ask you a few questions:

1) Do you disagree with the designation of your website as hate or extremist? Why?

2) We identified several tech companies on your website: PayPal, Amazon, Newsmax, and Revcontent. Can you confirm that you receive funds from your relationship with those tech companies? How would the loss of those funds affect your operations, and how would you be able to replace them?

3) Have you been shut down by other tech companies for being an alleged hate or extremist web site? Which companies?

4) Many people opposed to sites like yours are currently pressuring tech companies to cease their relationships with them – what is your view of this campaign? Why?

In other words, nice website you’ve got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it.

To summarize: Liberal ProPublica, working with the smear merchants at SPLC — powered by Google — sent a reporter out to issue not so veiled threats against conservative websites. It’s blatantly obvious that the goal here is to tank websites they disagree with by mounting a campaign to pressure their advertisers and tech providers to drop them as clients. This comes on the heels of Google, GoDaddy, CloudFlare, Apple, and others singling out alt-right sites for destruction in the wake of the Charlottesville riots.

Robert Spencer (who also writes for PJ Media) responded to the threat on his Jihad Watch blog:

The intent of your questions, and no doubt of your forthcoming article, will be to try to compel these sites to cut off any connection with us based on our opposition to jihad terror. Are you comfortable with what you’re enabling? Not only are you inhibiting honest analysis of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, but you’re aiding the attempt to deny people a platform based on their political views. This could come back to bite you if your own views ever fall out of favor. Have you ever lived in a totalitarian state, where the powerful determine the parameters of the public discourse and cut off all voice from the powerless? Do you really want to live in one now? You might find, once you get there, that it isn’t as wonderful as you thought it would be.

Spencer has recently criticized Google and the SPLC here at PJ Media for their attempts to squelch dissent, so it’s not surprising that they’ve decided to target him. Only instead of fighting Spencer’s words with words of their own, they’re lashing out with actions designed to silence him.

William A. Jacobson, writing at Legal Insurrection, explained the seriousness of this recent spate of blacklistings:

 Companies like Cloudfare and others who provide internet infrastrucure will come under increasing pressure, and it won’t be limited to the Storm Fronts of the world. We know from history that the “hate” label is broadly applied for political purposes, and will be used only against right-of-center websites.

Being cut off from domain registrars and other aspects of the internet backbone is something we expect from totalitarian governments. Now that power is in the control of almost-uniformly left-wing corporate managers.

He went on to warn that the threats he highlights have gone way beyond mere politics. “They are about our liberty — on the street exercising our free speech rights, accessing the internet to communicate our ideas, and preserving the protections of the First Amendment and free speech,” he writes. “It’s a dangerous time.”

Robert Spencer wrote, “Authoritarianism in service of any cause leads to a slave society despite the best intentions of those who helped usher it in.”

We’re on a very slippery slope. Be assured that the left won’t stop at taking down alt-right sites. They’ve tasted blood with their recent successes and they won’t quit until we are all silenced.

UPDATE August 19 5:43 p.m.: ProPublica came out today with the expected hit piece on Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, and others they disagree with, repeating the Southern Poverty Law Center’s smears and legitimizing the dishonest group’s hate list. In the article titled “Despite Disavowals, Leading Tech Companies Help Extremist Sites Monetize Hate,” Lauren Kirchner along with two fellow journalistsactivists documented the recent blacklisting of “hate websites” by tech companies and, although they didn’t come right out and say it, strongly implied that this should be the norm. They accept without question the hate designations bestowed by the SPCL and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). The article leaves no doubt that ProPublica — which is working with Google, remember — wants to see more blacklisting. They will not rest until every one of the names on SPLC’s dubious 900-member hate list is purged from the Internet. Make no mistake. They are marshaling forces to pressure advertisers and tech providers to take conservative sites down. Just take a look at this list of Christian groups that made the listbecause they haven’t jumped on the LGBTQ bandwagon.

ProPublica explained what they’re doing with excruciating duplicity under the guise of “journalism”:

We supplemented the SPLC list with a list of top extremist websites provided to us by the Anti-Defamation League. The ADL does not publish this list and supplied it to us for research purposes. [Wasn’t that super helpful of the ADL?] 

See the list of websites we investigated. Download the data.

We located websites associated with the SPLC hate groups and combined it with the ADL’s list of hate sites. [Because 917 isn’t enought — they want more scalps.] We then compared the combined SPLC/ADL lists with the Alexa’s Top Million websites and filtered our list to use only websites that had enough traffic to appear in the top million sites worldwide.

We then wrote software to automatically browse to each website and collect a list of external domains contacted by each website. In the wake of Charlottesville, some popular white nationalist websites, such as The Daily Stormer, were shut down and we removed them from our list. Others, such as Richard Spencer’s National Policy Initiative, were shut down after we finished collecting data and so we included them in our results.

In order to identify which domains loaded advertisements or provided payment forms for the hate sites, and to eliminate domains that only provided basic functionality, we checked the external domains we found on those sites against the AdBlock Easylist. This crowdsourced list is used by ad blocking software to hide ads when users are browsing the internet.

[…]

In order to verify our results, we visited every website and clicked on the payment links to determine if a working credit card form was loaded, and we visually inspected each site to ensure that the ad networks were actually delivering ads when we loaded the page.

Note what they didn’t do? They didn’t actually read the sites to verify they were “hate sites.” It continues:

We then contacted all the websites and the tech companies and asked them to verify whether our results were correct. In some cases, such as Google Custom Search, the company clarified for us that although some websites were using the technology, none were being paid for its use.

If the SPLC and ADL, with their (growing) list of “hate groups” is going to be the arbiter for approved online speech, we have reached a very scary place in this country. It will be the end of the Internet as we know it and America will be no better than totalitarian China and N. Korea.

Follow me on Twitter @pbolyard