It sounds great in theory. Six hundred thousand uninsured New Yorkers (half of whom are illegal aliens) will get guaranteed free health care, through a “compassionate vision” put forth by Sandinista sympathizer Bill de Blasio. They’ll even get a dedicated membership card and a hotline!Read More
Iran’s leaders only have themselves to blame for their current troubles.Read More
Last January, six days after anti-government protests erupted across Iran, the European Union's high representative for foreign affairs equated Iranian protesters with the regime forces arresting and killing them. "In the spirit of frankness and respect that is at the basis of our relationship," said Federica Mogherini, "we expect all concerned to refrain from violence and the right of expression to be guaranteed." Mogherini's statement was a slap in the face to the Iranian people, who were demonstrating against the regime that oppresses them so brutally.
It is painful to watch the remarkable lengths to which the EU will go to appease Iran. Sometimes these efforts are shameful, such as Mogherini's response to the protests, and sometimes they are embarrassing, such as when she dons hijabs in Iran. In recent months, the Europeans have tried another ill-advised form of appeasement, working to undermine American sanctions against Iran. The EU has tried to circumvent the penalties, even attempting to create new channels to facilitate payments between Iran and Europe.
So when the EU actually takes coercive action against Iran, the Islamic Republic must have done something so outrageous, so flagrant that even Brussels could not ignore it. Such was the case on Tuesday, when the EU imposed its first sanctions against Iran since the nuclear deal was implemented in January 2016. The new sanctions add Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security and two senior Iranian officials to the EU's terror list over suspicions that they helped organize multiple assassination plots in Europe—specifically plots to bomb a rally of an Iranian opposition group in Paris last year, to kill an Iranian opposition leader in Denmark last year, and to murder two Iranian dissidents in the Netherlands in 2015 and 2017.
Iran had the Europeans in the palm of its hand, and could have continued to use Brussels' naivety and cowardice to its advantage in an attempt to isolate Washington diplomatically. But the ayatollahs could not help themselves—because of their paranoia, because of their twisted Islamist, anti-Western ideology. They had to attempt terrorist attacks and assassinations in Europe—not even the Middle East—to kill dissidents and others who speak out against their oppressive rule. Beyond their troubled psychology and ideology, Iran's leaders are clearly nervous about their regime's future. Otherwise, there would be no need to launch these plots.
Another new development helps illustrate the clerical regime's growing brittleness, as well as its leaders' palpable worries about an uncertain future.
On Sunday, in an unprecedented speech in parliament, an Iranian lawmaker said that Iran's foreign policy has "a lot of unnecessary costs" that can "leave us paralyzed on the streets of Tehran." Jalil Rahimi Jahanabadi, a reformist politician, even cited the collapse of the former Soviet Union as a potential risk to the regime.
Iran's government does not have to go on imperialist adventures throughout the Middle East. Frankly, if it did not seek regional preeminence, the regime could probably enjoy dictatorial power at home, with the world little concerned about the Iranian people's terrible suffering. But the Islamic Republic's foreign policy is, at its core, based on ideology, which sees America and Israel as the great enemies.
As Jahanabadi noted, the Iranian people are fed up with the regime's aggressive foreign policy, which takes away much needed resources from domestic needs. There is a reason countless Iranians have been heard chanting for months "No to Gaza, no to Lebanon" and "Leave Syria and think of us."
The U.S. can exploit this unrest by seriously challenging Iran in the region, forcing it to invest more resources into various hotspots. In Syria, for example, Kenneth Pollack has written that "the Iranians are caught in a war that is more costly than they want to bear, but is too important for them to want to leave." Washington does not have to provide many dollars or soldiers—just the will to persevere and a commitment to allies—to make Iran struggle more to achieve its goals. This will further enrage the Iranian people and heighten internal pressure on the regime, which will have to choose between internal stability and foreign-policy goals.
There is evidence that this approach can work. Maj.-Gen. Tamir Heiman, head of the Israel Defense Forces' Intelligence Directorate, said last month that Iran is reducing its presence in Syria due to its unpopularity at home.
This approach, plus politically supporting certain opposition forces and imposing crippling sanctions, is how to push Iran to renegotiate the nuclear deal, the Trump administration's apparent short-term goal—or how to bring down the regime altogether.
Iran can avoid this fate. It does not have to be a serial human rights violator within its own borders or wage unnecessary wars abroad. But the regime, an ideologically driven entity, cannot help itself. Iran's leaders blame Western culture and pressure, internal meddling and imperialism for their current troubles. That is wrong. To find the real culprits, they need to look in the mirror.Read Less
I regret to inform you, but late last night, fact checking passed away.Read More
I regret to inform you, but late last night, fact checking passed away.
The media's response to President Trump's oval office address, where he advanced his arguments for border security and an end to the government shutdown, officially killed fact checking.
After hours of cable news hosts and pundits questioning whether they should even air the first oval office address of a sitting president of the United States, the networks relented. But they would be ready—armed with a team of fact checkers, ready to triumphantly call out Trump's "lies."
Well, it turns out, the mainstream press doesn't really know what a fact is. Or how arguments work. Let me try to explain: One can use facts and figures to try to persuade others to an argument. It's called a nuanced debate.
Despite the fact Trump didn't say anything false, our arbiters of The Truth™ had to "fact check" him anyway. And … it didn't go well.
The New York Times summarized Trump's address as "Inaccurate Claims and Finger Pointing Over Border Security." Inaccurate typically means false. But nothing Trump said was factually wrong, so the best the Times could come up with is "This is misleading" and "This needs context." Also known as, "this needs Democratic talking points."
But let's take a closer look at the statements declared "False" by the Times.
"Here's what the president said, and how it stacks up against the facts," the Times scolded.
Trump: "The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security."
The Times: "False."
Sadly, the Times doesn't know the difference between fact and opinion. Next time, they should consult with The Dude.
You see, President Trump, in his opinion, thinks the shutdown is the fault of the Democrats because they aren't willing to spend 0.11 percent of the budget toward a barrier on the border that they themselves have voted for before. Democrats, in their opinion, say the shutdown is Trump's fault because he said he would take ownership of a shutdown and because the wall was a campaign promise.
(Note to the Times: This article, published in the Editor's Blog, is opinionated.)
The Times also declared Trump's statement that the wall will be paid for indirectly by the new trade agreement with Mexico as "False," because "this is different" than comments Trump has made before. You'll notice that is not checking the fact of what was said last night.
"Every day, Customs and Border Patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country," Trump said.
Somehow this was "misleading" to the Times, which concluded Customs and Border Protection apprehend 1,700 people trying to cross the border illegally per day and additional hundreds who are deemed "inadmissible" into the country.
The fact that Chuck Schumer voted for a border fence before, along with other Democrats, also needed "context," like, "twenty-six Senate Democrats—including Mr. Schumer" voted for the border fence in 2006.
The Times also said more "context" is needed for Trump's argument (that word again) that America welcomes lawful immigrants, "but all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration" by lowering wages and straining public resources.
The Times once again had to agree that some economists say "immigrants drive down available jobs and wages," but had to add "context" of the tired argument that illegal immigrants are "seeking jobs that American citizens do not want to do."
Trump said 90 percent of heroin floods across the southern border. Again the Times agreed with the actual fact, saying, "Most heroin smuggled into the United States does come through the southwest border."
The Washington Post fact check wasn't any better. The Post claimed Trump did not "accurately describe" that 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought to the United States last month because the Post says there could have been more than 20,000 children detained.
The Post fact checkers also apparently don't read their own paper, which only last week declared there is "a bona fide emergency on the border." Three days later, when Trump says there is a crisis, the fact check declares, "There is no new crisis at the border."
But the fact checkers couldn't get in the way of the facts. The facts once again aligned with Trump's statement: "In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records."
The Times' response: "In the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested over 210,876 people with previous criminal convictions, and another 55,233 people with pending criminal charges."
Math was never really my forte. However, if it checks right, the total arrests of aliens with criminal records should equal 266,109.
The Times' ruling: "This needs context." Criminal aliens commit "a range of offenses," the Times explains. Many were "nonviolent," like one of the most common, "possessing or selling drugs," and "illegal entry."
Not to be outdone, the Washington Post fact check ruled, "The number is right but misleading."
Let's put it in terms the mainstream media would understand. ICE arresting 266,000 illegal aliens with criminal records over the past two years is an apple. Some people at the Times and the Post might tell us it's a banana. You might start to think that it's a banana. But it's not.
It's a crime to illegally cross the border. Fact check: true.Read Less
If the Trump administration is basing its withdrawal from Syria on Erdogan’s promises to replace Washington’s leadership role, which includes protecting the Kurds, it better come up with a new plan.Read More
It is no coincidence that President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw from Syria last month after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The two men evidently reached some sort of understanding, even if the details remain murky. One thing is clear, however: an American withdrawal will cede more power to Turkey in Syria. Some people may shrug their shoulders in response, or even applaud another country taking a burden off of America's strained shoulders. But, if the Trump administration's responsibility in Syria is to protect America's security interests and be a moral actor on the world stage, then trusting Erdogan is sure to backfire.
When Trump's decision on Syria became public, it appeared that the withdrawal was imminent. Since then, however, the timeline appears to have been extended, and top officials in the Trump administration have put conditions on America's departure. Most recently, Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, said Monday during a trip to Israel that the U.S. will not leave Syria until the Islamic State is defeated and Washington receives guarantees that Turkey will not attack its Kurdish allies. Bolton has also said that the U.S. will not withdraw its forces from Syria until Iran withdraws its own soldiers, a demand that other administration officials have echoed in recent days.
Apparently Erdogan took great offense to Bolton's demand about the Syrian Kurds, who have fought and bled alongside American soldiers fighting ISIS. Speaking at the Justice and Development Party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Erdogan said that "Bolton's remarks in Israel are not acceptable," and called them a "serious mistake."
Turkey considers the People's Protection Units, also known as the YPG (along with other Kurdish groups), to be a terrorist organization. The YPG makes up the core of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the main U.S. partner fighting ISIS on the ground. The Kurds control swaths of northern Syria near the Turkish border, a situation that Ankara views as a severe threat.
"YPG cannot represent the Kurds," Erdogan said in his speech. "Turkey cannot accept the U.S.' condition of ensuring the safety of YPG terrorists in Syria."
Following Erdogan's remarks, the Turkish president, in an apparent snub, did not meet with Bolton, who was in Turkey to have discussions with senior officials after leaving Israel. Bolton did meet with his Turkish counterpart, Presidential Adviser Ibrahim Kalın.
Erdogan's speech came one day after he penned an opinion piece in the New York Times in which he argued that, as the Times later reported, Turkey, with the second largest standing army in the NATO alliance, is "the only country with the power and commitment to replace United States forces in northeastern Syria, to fight terrorism and ensure stability for the Syrian people." Erdogan also wrote in the article that Turkey has "no argument with the Syrian Kurds," despite fears that he will order his troops to slaughter them once the U.S. leaves Syria.
Anyone who believes Erdogan's Turkey only targets terrorists in Syria and not Kurds in general probably also buys the ridiculous claims from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies that they only fight terrorists. The problem is that anyone who opposes these autocrats is labeled a terrorist, and some 500,000 Syrians have been slaughtered in the Assad regime's bid to combat its "terrorist" opponents.
Turkey does have legitimate security concerns regarding the Kurds, but large-scale military action will make the situation more chaotic. Moreover, the Kurds in Syria have been Washington's most effective partner in fighting ISIS, dying to help the U.S. defeat the caliphate. As I wrote last year: "How often can the United States abandon the Kurds and get away with it? Beyond the moral question of ditching the Kurds if Trump decides to leave Syria, Washington will lose significant influence in its ability to mediate between the Kurds and Turkey."
On Tuesday, Erdogan also declared his opposition to two other key American interests in the Syrian conflict: combatting Iran's malign expansion and supporting Israel's security. The Turkish president rejected the notions that Turkey will side with the U.S. to confront Iran in Syria and the broader Middle East, and that Turkey will ensure Israel's security is protected in Syria.
At what point will the U.S. realize that Turkey, despite being a NATO ally, has different interests? Erdogan is an Islamist, anti-Semitic dictator who is remaking Turkey for the worst, purging those who oppose his increasingly authoritarian rule. He purchased an S-400 air defense system from Russia, NATO's chief adversary, and supports terrorist groups like Hamas. He is a friend to the Muslim Brotherhood and has strong economic ties with Iran.
Turkey is an important country because of its size, geography, and economic and military power. But, under Erdogan, Turkey is no longer a friend of the United States. If the Trump administration is basing its withdrawal from Syria on Erdogan's promises to replace Washington's leadership role, which includes protecting the Kurds, it better come up with a new plan.Read Less
BY: Andrew Kugle
Do cable news anchors and pundits read the Washington Post or the New York Times?
It would appear not, judging by their coverage of the situation along the southern border.
Anchors and pundits are quick to denounce President Donald Trump as a liar when he claims there is a national security and humanitarian crisis at the border.
"Let's be as clear as we possibly can be, there is no national security crisis at the border," declared Willie Giest, co-host of "Morning Joe."
"The reality is, you are absolutely correct, there is no crisis at the border," MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff stated.
"There really is no border crisis," said Jess McIntosh, a CNN political commentator and former Clinton campaign staffer.
A Washington Free Beacon SUPERcut shows the "no crisis" talking point has been popular amongst cable news anchors, pundits, left-wing activists, and even a few Democratic lawmakers.
While all in agreement, these individuals must not read the Washington Post or the New York Times. Both publications published stories at the beginning of the year that detail a dire situation at the southern border where an already stressed border patrol tries to manage an increasing number of migrants trying to cross.
"After years of Trump’s dire warnings, a ‘crisis’ has hit the border but generates little urgency," the Post headline reads. The report states that a record number of migrant families are pouring over the border, at a time when detention centers are already filled.
"With parts of the federal government shut down over what has morphed into the defining symbol of Trump’s presidency, administration officials are clamoring louder than ever. Only this time, they face a bona fide emergency on the border, and they’re struggling to make the case there’s truly a problem," the Post wrote. "Record numbers of migrant families are streaming into the United States, overwhelming border agents and leaving holding cells dangerously overcrowded with children, many of whom are falling sick."
The New York Times also paints a picture of a growing crisis at the border in a piece headlined, "The Price of Trump’s Migrant Deterrence Strategy: New Chaos on the Border."
The Times reports:
A crisis of the kind President Trump has long warned of is beginning to take shape along the country’s 1,900-mile border with Mexico. A border security network built over a period of decades to handle large numbers of single men has in the past several years been inundated with women and children, and as the number of families has peaked in recent months, the system has increasingly been unable to accommodate all of them.
Meanwhile, the contributors and hosts on cable news like to comment on how illegal border crossings are at a historic low in recent years and fail to note there has been an increase in the number of illegal crossings in recent months.Read Less
Many progressives are either too ignorant or too dishonest to acknowledge what the BDS movement is: nothing less than a form of economic warfare against Israel meant to destroy the Jewish state.Read More
As the partial government shutdown continues, Senate Republicans have introduced a package of four bills that concern American foreign policy in the Middle East. The legislation includes measures that strengthen America's strategic relationships with Israel and Jordan, that impose sanctions on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for its atrocities during the Syrian conflict, and that combat the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. The package, which congressional insiders described to the Washington Free Beacon as a "mega" pro-Israel bill, should pass easily—after all, it received broad bipartisan support in previous congresses and advances American interests in a dangerous region. That is not the case, however. Times have changed for the worst.
Supporting the Jewish state, a moral and strategic ally of the U.S., and especially countering the BDS movement, is offensive and unconstitutional to progressives. "It's absurd that the first bill during the shutdown is legislation which punishes Americans who exercise their constitutional right to engage in political activity," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) said in a tweet, including a link to a news article on the legislation. "Democrats must block consideration of any bills that don't reopen the government. Let's get our priorities right."
Sanders was referring to a provision of the bill that gives state and local governments across the U.S. more flexibility to limit their own business relationships with entities that support the BDS movement.
"In effect," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), "this provision allows jurisdictions to ‘boycott the boycotters,' and make sure they don't send taxpayer dollars to companies who embrace this anti-Israel posture."
Supporting Sanders' tweet, first-term Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.), a Palestinian-American, invoked an anti-Semitic canard, saying that people who support measures to penalize boycotters of Israel "forgot what country they represent." For millennia, anti-Semites have accused Jews of dual loyalty. For the past several decades, this attack has taken the form of accusing Jews outside of Israel of putting the Jewish state's interests above those of their own country.
"This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality," Tlaib added. "Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away."
No wonder more centrist Democrats, such as Sens. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Ben Cardin (Md.), have opposed a vote on the pro-Israel legislation. Sources told the Free Beacon that Democratic leaders fear putting their newly elected members' positions on Israel on the record, "particularly in light of a newfound support in Congress for the Israel boycott movement."
Sanders, Tlaib, and other like-minded progressives are either too ignorant or too dishonest to acknowledge what the BDS movement is: nothing less than a form of economic warfare against Israel meant to destroy the Jewish state. Read or listen to any prominent BDS supporter and this truth becomes painfully obvious. They may not always advocate Israel's destruction through force like, for example, Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist organization that so many progressives and BDS supporters admire for their "resistance" against Israel. But through BDS, people like Tlaib, who do not believe in Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state, seek to undermine Israel to the point that it effectively ceases to continue as we have come to recognize it, despite—or perhaps because of—the implications for Israeli Jews, who live in a region in which most governments have shown no qualms about slaughtering Jews, or watching them be slaughtered by others.
Opposing the BDS movement is a moral imperative, but it is also smart national-security policy, combatting hostile efforts to attack an ally.
It is easy to dismiss Tlaib as an over-zealous freshmen member of Congress who has no real influence. One can even dismiss Sanders as just one senator who does not reflect the views of the Democratic Party's leadership. Why get too hung up on what they say about Israel? The problem is that their voices are the loudest in the Democratic Party, and while they may not be the most influential yet, they will be soon. The party's progressive base, which almost carried Sanders to a presidential nomination in 2016, is only gaining more control of the political left in America, and its hatred of so-called establishment Democrats, like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), continues to grow.
Before we know it, the Democratic Party may turn into the United Kingdom's Labour Party, which, under the leadership of the ultra-progressive Jeremy Corbyn, has institutionalized anti-Semitism and deep hatred of Israel—the two always come together. That is why British Jews, generally members of the Labour Party, have become genuinely fearful about their situation. It would be unwise to think that the same thing could not happen in the United States.Read Less
BY: Victorino Matus
It’s the new year so of course I’m standing in line at Sweetgreen waiting to order my salad. This despite a story in the Weekend section of the Washington Post warning us that many of those salads are rather unhealthy.Read More
It’s the new year so of course I’m standing in line at Sweetgreen waiting to order my salad. This despite a story in the Weekend section of the Washington Post warning us that many of those salads are rather unhealthy.
"The biggest pitfall at these restaurants is the amount of sodium lurking," writes Casey Seidenberg. "It’s widely accepted that we should limit the element to 2,300 to 3,000 mg a day. But one serving of Mexican chicken soup at Chop’t has 1,030 mg of sodium, and a grain bowl at Cava can quickly reach 2,000 mg."
I’ve often pondered that Mexican chicken soup, wondering if it’s worth it. Glad to know it’s not—besides, the sandwich shop in my building has a New England clam chowder that’s amazing!
Aside from sodium, Seidenberg reminds us about portion size, citing a nutrionist who suggests "the bowls can quickly become more than one serving, especially at Cava, where there isn’t a set menu with balanced combinations." Says the nutrionist: "The serving sizes are large especially for people who are getting older and may not be able to digest that much food. Consider taking half home for dinner."
I’m usually famished after eating one of those Cava bowls, and now I’m supposed save half for dinner? I’m pretty sure I would not make it to dinner.
My favorite three words on a menu: fried seafood platter. But there were three words in this article that sent chills down my spine: plant-based proteins. Apparently this is the healthier route. "You can’t lose when you stick to a base of dark leafy greens or a whole grain and then pile on the vegetables," writes Seidenberg. "Kale, spinach or the other heartier mixes at Cava and Chop’t provide broader nutrition than romaine. The addition of quinoa or lentils delivers a boost of balanced protein."
Notice how romaine is no longer fashionable. It’s not a dark, leafy green—it might as well be iceberg. It also doesn’t help that the country was in a panic about romaine because of the recent E. coli outbreak. Remember when romaine was the darling lettuce? Someone should write a piece about the Rise and Fall of the Romaine Empire (sorry!).
As I get to the front of the line at Sweetgreen, I decide on the fish taco, featuring a steelhead fish mixed into the arugula (Seidenberg is a fan of the steelhead for its omega-3). It’s also got shredded cabbage, cilantro, and warm quinoa (delish!) drizzled in a lime cilantro jalapeño vinaigrette. The downside: tortilla chips (double trouble because of sodium and carbs). Yet I am fairly certain the salad guy grabbed only two chips’ worth.
Another downside: The salad cost $12.93.
While I was waiting for my fish taco salad, my phone received a text notification from McDonald’s: "The Wizards led through the first quarter! Get a FREE Large Fries with any purchase."
It’s a cruel start to the new year.Read Less
BY: David Isaac
“Boom!” read the headline of a supplement in Israeli weekly Makor Rishon, after two leading politicians, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, announced on December 29 that they were jumping ship from the Jewish Home Party to create the New Right Party. The question Israeli pundits are trying to answer now is whether that boom—or “blast” as most of the press characterizes it—is an explosion or an implosion. Will it strengthen the national camp or will it bring it to its knees?Read More
"Boom!" read the headline of a supplement in Israeli weekly Makor Rishon, after two leading politicians, Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, announced on December 29 that they were jumping ship from the Jewish Home Party to create the New Right Party. The question Israeli pundits are trying to answer now is whether that boom—or "blast" as most of the press characterizes it—is an explosion or an implosion. Will it strengthen the national camp or will it bring it to its knees?
The ruling Likud Party wasted little time in slamming the New Right as a threat to the entire right. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "It will break the right into slivers of slivers. Parties won't make it past the electoral threshold." Netanyahu referred to the 3.25 percent of the vote a party must win in order to enter the Knesset. Passing that threshold gives a party four seats. Failing to pass means the loss of all the votes that had gone to that party.
Netanyahu counts on those slivers to build his government. In Israel's parliamentary system, a government must have a majority of at least 61 votes in the 120-seat Knesset. How does Likud fare in the polls? Much better than the others, but still with only 30 seats.
Netanyahu has repeatedly raised the specter of 1992, when a plethora of right-wing parties caused two of them to fail to make it into the Knesset, wasting their votes. The result was a Labor government led by Yitzhak Rabin, which brought about the Oslo Accords, long viewed as a disaster by the right. (It's a view now held by most of Israel's electorate, judging from the fact that no party outside of the extreme Meretz wants to be identified with it.)
Likud fears are more than mere scare-mongering. Polls place two to three right-wing parties perilously close to the abyss, and some analysts estimate that even the loss of one right-wing party is enough to hand the reins of government to a center-left coalition.
In an effort to ensure all of the (now seven) right-wing parties make it into the Knesset, the Likud has launched a campaign to lower the electoral threshold. Ironically, if successful, it would reverse a decades-long process in which that threshold has been gradually raised in order to reduce factionalism. Irony of ironies, Avigdor Liberman's Israel Beiteinu Party ("Israel is Our Home"), which led the charge to raise the threshold, has joined the effort to lower it now that it faces elimination.
Disparate poll results make it hard to judge if Bennett and Shaked made a smart move. With the party only just established and three months to go before the elections, it's impossible to predict, although the Israeli weekly Makor Rishon did just that with its latest poll showing the New Right winning 10 seats. According to Makor Rishon‘s analysis, Bennett and Shaked have "rolled the political dice well" since their former party, Jewish Home, would retain five seats (it currently has eight). Makor Rishon sees Bennett and Shaked effectively doubling their seats, basing this judgment on rumors of a planned reunification of the two parties after the April 9 election.
Bennett and Shaked created the New Right in order to broaden their appeal. Although Jewish Home had hoped to unite secular and religious Jews on a nationalist platform, in practice it became a religious-Zionist party, attracting relatively few secular Jews. What's not clear is exactly where the new party's voters will come from. It's likely the new party will be nibbling votes from all the right-wing parties. But what Bennett and Shaked have really gambled on is that their new party will also take votes from the so-called center parties based on popular personalities, like Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid ("There is a Future") and new parties Gesher and Hosen L'Yisrael ("Israel Resilience"), led by political newcomer and former IDF chief of staff Benny Ganz. (Polls show Israel Resilience winning 13 to 17 seats, a remarkable showing given Ganz's extraordinary campaign strategy thus far of remaining mute on every issue.)
Should April's election lead to a right-wing collapse, Netanyahu loyalists are already laying the groundwork for whom to blame. Likud minister Ofir Akunis put it bluntly: "If, God forbid, this thing happens, all the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Ministers Shaked and Bennett."
In the short term, perhaps, Akunis will be right. But Dr. Ofir Haivry, vice president for academic affairs of the Herzl Institute in Jerusalem, notes that all the heads of the small, right-wing parties hail from the Likud. Naftali Bennett, Moshe Kahlon, Avigdor Liberman, Moshe Ya'alon, he writes, "came to the conclusion that they weren't wanted there and went their independent way in the hope they would cross the electoral threshold." The reason they left is that their ambitions were thwarted by Benjamin Netanyahu, who apparently views all competitors as a threat to his leadership.
Haivry left off the list Moshe Feiglin, who also heads a new party. If the polls are accurate, Feiglin's party won't cross the threshold and will waste right-wing votes. Feiglin, despite winning a realistic 20th spot in the Likud primaries in 2008, was pushed to 36th due to Netanyahu's intervention.
It only makes Haivry's point more salient. Should the right fail in the coming elections, the ultimate responsibility will fall not on the shoulders of Bennett and Shaked, but ironically on the man who now warns of the danger of so many parties—Netanyahu himself. It was he who propelled all those who showed promise from the Likud and into forming the splinter parties he now so fears.Read Less
The U.S. needs to stop providing aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces, which collaborates closely with Hezbollah and is not a check on the terrorist group’s influence inside Lebanon.Read More
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" is the most overused cliché out there, but it is appropriate to describe American policy toward Lebanon. The Trump administration is providing the Lebanese Armed Forces, or LAF, with more than $100 million in upgrades to tanks and attack helicopters. The package includes "training for pilots and maintenance crew on MD-530G light scout attack helicopters provided by the Pentagon last year, as well as laser-guided rockets … sniper rifles, night-vision devices, and mortars for infantry units," Al-Monitor reported Thursday. Lebanon will receive the equipment through the Defense Department's Section 333 program, which helps partners of the U.S. military fight terrorism and handle border security. A Pentagon spokeswoman told Al-Monitor that "strengthening the [LAF] advances a range of U.S. interests in the Middle East that includes not only countering the spread of violent extremisms but also stemming the influence of Iran and Hezbollah." This logic continues to motivate American policy, even under the Trump administration. The insanity must stop. The U.S. needs to halt its aid to the LAF.
Washington's approach to Lebanon is straightforward. American policy is to build up Lebanese state institutions with money and other forms of support to act as a bulwark against the influence of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist organization in effective control of Lebanon. The crown jewel of this strategy is the LAF, which the U.S. provides with massive amounts of aid in order to extend Lebanese government control over the entire country and make the army the sole military force in Lebanon.
The U.S. has provided about $1.7 billion to the LAF since 2006. Curiously, the Trump administration has continued this failed policy from the Bush and Obama years, despite the president's hostility to many of the foreign-policy establishment's orthodoxies. In August 2017, for example, the Trump administration gave the LAF $100 million worth of aid, and four months later, announced that it would provide the Lebanese army with attack helicopters for the first time. Last year, the U.S. sent more than $90 million worth of military equipment to help the Lebanese army protect its borders and said it would complete the delivery of a $340 million aid package. Washington, especially the Pentagon and State Department, billed these moves as part of an effort to enable the Lebanese government to "provide civilian security and assert its authority throughout all of Lebanese territory"—in other words, to counter Hezbollah.
The sad and obvious irony is that the exact opposite outcomes have resulted from American support. Lebanon and Hezbollah have now become synonyms, with Iran's chief proxy force becoming increasingly entrenched in the country's political system. Indeed, Hezbollah, together with allied parties and politicians, controls 70 of the 128 seats in Lebanon's parliament. Additionally, Lebanese President Michel Aoun is allied with Hezbollah, as are other key government officials. Furthermore, Hezbollah is set to take effective control of the Ministry of Public Health.
More importantly, Hezbollah has become more powerful than the LAF—in large part due to Iran's support, which includes about $700 million a year and increasingly advanced rockets. Worse still, the LAF is actually allied with Hezbollah, closely collaborating with the anti-American terrorists while enjoying Washington's support. Yossi Mansharof, an Israeli researcher at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security who focuses on Iran and Shi'ite networks in the Middle East, recently published a must-read, detailed analysis on coordination between the LAF and Hezbollah. It is dismaying to read just how extensively they collaborate. For example, Western intelligence sources revealed this summer that Iran used a civilian airliner, known for its ties to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, to fly weapons and advanced systems to Beirut International Airport, which the Lebanese army controls. To give another example, the Israeli military revealed in September that Hezbollah and the LAF are operating together in south Lebanon and that Hezbollah operatives even sometimes wear Lebanese army uniforms.
Despite what American officials say, providing money to the LAF is providing money to Hezbollah. At the very least, it should be clear that giving aid to the Lebanese army has done nothing to counter Hezbollah's influence. Why continue the same course and expect a different result after more than a decade?
The bottom line is that when—not if—the next war breaks out between Israel and Hezbollah, which seeks the Jewish state's destruction, the Israelis will likely need to regard the LAF as hostile, not as neutral. In order for Israel to wage war as effectively as possible, the U.S. should give Jerusalem its blessing to target the LAF as necessary in a third Lebanon war. The first step to start that process is for Washington to halt its aid to the LAF. The aid has achieved none of its goals, and is actually making the situation worse by bolstering Hezbollah indirectly.
Or the Trump administration can continue arming the Lebanese army and hope for the best. Insanity is hard to shake.Read Less
One side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does use policies to achieve ethnic cleansing. It’s just not Israel.Read More
Anti-Israel activists and commentators often say the Jewish state commits ethnic cleansing, if not outright genocide, against the Palestinians. Even senior officials at the United Nations—but I repeat myself—have accused Israel of such crimes, as have prominent figures in Western media and academia. These voices are actually correct in a general sense: one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict does use policies to achieve ethnic cleansing. It's just not Israel.
On Monday, a Palestinian court in Ramallah sentenced a Palestinian-American to life in prison with hard labor, after just a one-week trial. What was the heinous crime? Issam Akel, a resident of east Jerusalem and a U.S. citizen, was found guilty of selling property to Jews, specifically a house in the Old City of Jerusalem to a Jewish Israeli organization. The Palestinian Grand Criminal Court said he attempted "to cut off a part of the Palestinian land and [add] them to a foreign country." Now the Palestinian Authority (PA) is planning to extradite Akel to the U.S. amid heavy pressure from Washington to release him, according to reports. But many details of the possible extradition remain unclear.
Akel's sentencing came a week after the PA announced that it had foiled attempts to sell lands and houses in the West Bank and east Jerusalem to Jewish buyers. The PA's security forces said they arrested 44 Palestinians involved in the transactions, adding that at least three of the suspects had already been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor.
Under Palestinian law, selling or attempting to sell land to Jews is a crime, punishable by hard labor, imprisonment, and even execution. In recent weeks, Palestinian religious authorities have repeatedly warned that anyone who engages in such deals will be accused of "high treason."
The PA not only forbids selling land to Jews, but also encourages murdering Jews. Indeed, the PA rewards terrorists who carry out attacks against Israelis, allocating hundreds of millions of dollars of its budget each year to pay these criminals and their families. According to a report by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the PA set aside $330 million in its 2018 budget to pay security prisoners and their families, as well as so-called "martyrs," those killed while perpetrating an attack. For those imprisoned, the more severe their crime, the higher their financial reward.
Palestinian leadership also refuses to accept Jews' right to self-determination. The PA does not recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, and therefore does not view Israel as a legitimate state. On numerous occasions, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has said that the Palestinians will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, thus rejecting the basic premise of a two-state solution: two states for two peoples, one Arab and one Jewish.
Taking a step back, ethnic cleansing is, generally speaking, an organized attempt by an ethnic or religious group to remove a different ethnic or religious group from a given area or territory through expulsion or murder. The PA forbids the sale of land to Jews, encourages and rewards the murder of Jews, and refuses to accept the existence of a Jewish homeland. It endorses attacks, both physical and political, against Jewish civilian communities in the West Bank (i.e., Israeli settlements), and has refused multiple peace offers from Israel to become a state. The clear logical conclusion is that the PA wants no Jews in a future Palestine. How is this not an attempt at ethnic cleansing?
Accusations of ethnic cleansing against Israel, however, would be laughable if they were not so vile, so full of visceral hatred. Such claims are also obviously false and easily refuted. First, 1.878 million Arabs currently live in Israel, 20.9 percent of the country's total population. These Arabs enjoy full rights as Israeli citizens, living in a thriving democracy. Many even take to the streets to protest Israel's policies toward the Palestinians, without fear of punishment. Moreover, recent polls indicate that the Arabs will again have the third largest party in the next Knesset, Israel's parliament. Ethnic cleansing would mean expelling or killing Arabs, not embracing them.
In the West Bank, Palestinians effectively run and control their own government. Yet many Palestinians still try to work in Israel, where they earn much higher wages. Furthermore, by all estimates, the Arab population in the Palestinian territories has skyrocketed since the founding of Israel in 1948—in other words, literally the exact opposite of ethnic cleaning or genocide. In fact, the Palestinians themselves claim that Arabs will soon outnumber Jews in the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Regardless of the truth of such claims, victims of ethnic cleansing would not make them in the first place.
So next time someone accuses Israel of committing ethnic cleansing, ask a very simple question in response: What about the Palestinians?Read Less
BY: Victorino Matus
South Koreans are really into mokbang. (I knew that line would get you to read on.) But it’s not what you might think—mokbang is a foodie video, in which people record themselves eating.Read More
South Koreans are really into mokbang. (I knew that line would get you to read on.) But it's not what you might think—mokbang is a foodie video, in which people record themselves eating. That seems to be it. But it's taken South Korea by storm.
"The mokbang shows first exploded in South Korea five years ago and top stars can now earn millions of dollars a year," writes Timothy W. Martin in the Wall Street Journal. "They have won an audience primarily with younger South Koreans, who face grim job prospects and tend to live alone." The government now fears the videos will contribute to the obesity rate among these unemployed lone youths—not exactly an ideal combination. The health ministry is proposing guidelines, in effect regulating mokbang (so you're only allowed to record yourself consuming 9 packages of ramen noodles instead of 10?).
The gastroporn defenders are pushing back. Concerning the videos' supposed link to obesity, one mokbang celebrity told WSJ , "That’s like saying watching murder scenes on TV becomes a motive for crime." (South Korea's obesity rate is 1 in 20 whereas in the United States it's 2 out of 5.) Still, there's something weird about millions of viewers tuning in to see people eating in front of a camera—no cooking demo necessary!—and apparently making millions of dollars in the process.
In one video, 23-year-old D.H. Lee eats four fried chickens. Mind you, not a four-piece dinner, but four plates of chicken:
(FULL DISCLOSURE: A college buddy and I once split a KFC Family Meal Deal—we should've filmed that!)
This next video was practically in real time. A woman manages to get 10 packages of noodles down her gullet:
She looks petite, which makes it all the more impressive. My concern for her is the sodium—a friend of mine once tried going on a Ramen Cup Noodles diet, and the results were disastrous.
This next video is not for the faint of heart. Unlike some mokbang featuring a variety of musical interludes, this particular post is known as a Sound Video. You don't even see the woman's entire face—just her mouth as it slurps down oysters:
Is it just me or do you also suspect a portion of viewers were watching that naked?
All of this leaves us with the question of why? "More Koreans live alone than ever before," says Ethan Epstein, a journalist at the Washington Times and longtime Korea watcher. "This simulates communal dining for people crammed by themselves into tiny apartments." And yes, there is that element of subversion: "Traditionally, there has been a huge taboo in Korea against anything that smacks of ‘playing' with your food," says Epstein. "Obviously this dates to the very, very long history of poverty and hunger in Korea. So making food ‘fun,' as in mokbang, is kind of edgy."
Edgy and weird. But frankly I wouldn't be surprised if it catches on here in the States.Read Less
BY: Brent Scher
Freshman Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib used her first day in the House to quietly propose the creation of a new state of “Palestine” near the Egyptian capital city of Cairo. The foreign policy proposal was spotted by Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Allam, who tweeted out a picture of a post-it added to the world map in …Read More
Freshman Democratic congresswoman Rashida Tlaib used her first day in the House to quietly propose the creation of a new state of "Palestine" near the Egyptian capital city of Cairo.
The foreign policy proposal was spotted by Buzzfeed reporter Hannah Allam, who tweeted out a picture of a post-it added to the world map in Tlaib's new congressional office.
Someone has already made a slight alteration to the map that hangs in Rashida Tlaib’s new congressional office. pic.twitter.com/mwyshIog4r
— Hannah Allam (@HannahAllam) January 3, 2019
A close Washington Free Beacon examination of the proposal found that Tlaib's proposed state would be centered just northwest of Cairo.
Tlaib's chief of staff Ryan Anderson did not respond to an inquiry on the proposal, and whether she believes the new state should extend beyond Israel's border.
Tlaib has expressed support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, better known as BDS, which aims to destroy the Jewish state through economic warfare.
She also recently defended Marc Lamont Hill for comments he made calling for Israel to be eliminated and replaced by "a free Palestine from the river to the sea," a frequent rallying call made by terrorist group Hamas.Read Less
BY: Alex Griswold
A Wednesday op-ed in the Atlantic by Warton School professor Eric W. Orts claims the current trendy liberal constitutional gripe—the disproportionality of the U.S. Senate—can be fixed with one easy law. All you have to do is pass one statute and big states like California can have twelve senators and small states like Vermont only one. This …Read More
A Wednesday op-ed in the Atlantic by Warton School professor Eric W. Orts claims the current trendy liberal constitutional gripe—the disproportionality of the U.S. Senate—can be fixed with one easy law. All you have to do is pass one statute and big states like California can have twelve senators and small states like Vermont only one. This constitutional shortcut has been hitherto undiscovered, but journalists on Twitter declared it a "fascinating argument," "so good and reasonable," and perhaps less charitably, "some real galaxy brain shit but I dig it."
Alas, I do not dig it. Orts actually explains pretty well the reason you can't really change the Senate's makeup, so I'll just quote him:
The obvious reply is, "This is impossible! The Constitution plainly says that each state gets two senators. There’s even a provision in the Constitution that says this rule cannot be amended." Indeed, Article V, in describing the amendment process, stipulates that "no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate." This seems like a showstopper, and some scholars say it’s "unthinkable" that the one-state, two-senators rule can ever be changed.
I mean, yes, this is the obvious reply, because it's obviously correct. Sadly, he continues:
But, look, when conservative lawyers first argued that the Affordable Care Act violated the Commerce Clause, that seemed unthinkable, too. Our Constitution is more malleable than many imagine.
First, consider that Article V applies only to amendments. Congress would adopt the Rule of One Hundred scheme as a statute; let’s call it the Senate Reform Act. Because it’s legislation rather than an amendment, Article V would—arguably—not apply.
The first point is more of a temper tantrum than an actual argument. Conservatives once made a case liberals thought was highly implausible, they prevailed at the Supreme Court on that point, therefore "unthinkable" constitutional arguments are fair game and the Constitution is "malleable." Never ye mind that the originalist justices ruled the way they did because they believe the meaning of the Constitution isn't malleable. The real argument is in the subtext; conservative jurists make it up as they go along, right guys? Why shouldn't we?
It's the second point where it becomes clear Orts is dishonest or inexcusably ignorant. It is true the Article V protections only apply to amendments, but that's because an amendment is the only way to change the Senate's apportionment. Article I and the Seventeenth Amendment (neither of which he quotes anywhere in piece) both state, "the Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State." There's no need to invoke Article V when the law blatantly violates the text of the Constitution elsewhere. No judge alive would rule otherwise.
It gets dumber:
Second, the states, through the various voting-rights amendments—the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-Fourth, and Twenty-Sixth—have already given their "consent" by directing Congress to adopt legislation to protect equal voting rights, and this delegated power explicitly applies to "the United States" as well as the states. The Senate Reform Act would simply shift seats according to population. No state or its citizens would lose the franchise.
Given that literally no one has forwarded this idea before today, I will go out on a limb and say no one in any of the states intended to concede their right to equal representation in the Senate through those amendments. So now a state can unknowingly give "consent"? When the states that "consented" also later passed the Seventeenth Amendment, reasserting the two-senators rule? When for centuries every other instance of "consent" in the Constitution has been interpreted to require explicit consent through formal votes? Should Brett Kavanaugh have simply declared the Senate inadvertently and secretly "consented" to his appointment a century ago?
I'm a guy who's read through a pocket Constitution, like, a few times? Eric W. Orts is the professor of Legal Studies at an Ivy League school, a member of the New York and D.C. bars, with law degrees from Michigan and Columbia, who has taught at Harvard, NYU, and UCLA law schools. I have to believe he realizes his argument is nonsense. Surely an Atlantic editor did.
Why write/post it then? Well the same reason someone might argue a 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could and should run for president, or Hillary Clinton can still be elected president in a special election, or the Grand Marshall of the Supreme Court will soon impeach Trump. There’s a market for liberal constitutional fan-fic, fairy tales that will make all your fantasies come true if you just believe hard enough.
I’m sure those hawking these fantasies see them as harmless means of self-promotion. But they all have the same implicit premise and feed the same instinct: when the rule of law and liberal policy goals come to a head, rule of law can be wished away. It's a dangerous idea, even if it's couched as no more than a plea for attention.Read Less
BY: David Isaac
The Netanyahu government is projecting calm about President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, but no one in Israel, from politicians to pundits, thinks it is good news. Israel’s main fear is that the withdrawal of U.S. forces will create a vacuum into which Iran will expand, affording it greater freedom …Read More
The Netanyahu government is projecting calm about President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria, but no one in Israel, from politicians to pundits, thinks it is good news.
Israel’s main fear is that the withdrawal of U.S. forces will create a vacuum into which Iran will expand, affording it greater freedom of action. Iran’s ultimate goal is to build its long-dreamed-of land bridge to the Mediterranean—a corridor stretching through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.
That scenario is unacceptable from Israel’s point of view. Since 2017, it has launched over 200 bombing strikes against Iranian targets in Syria, mainly to prevent Hezbollah from obtaining advanced precision missile capabilities.
Noam Amir, defense commentator for Israel’s Channel 20, summed up the general feeling: "It’s a wonderful gift for Putin, a wonderful gift for Assad. And to our great sorrow, it’s a magnificent gift to the Iranians, who are themselves in complete shock that Trump is doing this at all."
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former research division head of IDF military intelligence, similarly warned in Israel’s most widely circulated daily that the White House decision would "open the way to Iran, to transferring equipment by way of land through Iraq to Syria and Lebanon. It should definitely worry Israel."
The harshest criticisms came from Netanyahu’s own government, albeit anonymously. A senior minister in Israel’s government called the American withdrawal "a spoiled opportunity, because Russia has been demanding for a long time that the U.S. pull its forces out of Syria. It would have been possible to demand of the Russians the pullout of Iranian forces from Syria, at least partially, in exchange for American forces leaving."
An anonymous senior diplomatic official on Israel’s Channel 10 was still less sparing. "Trump threw us under the wheels of the half-track of the Russian army, the one that transfers weapons to Syria and Hezbollah."
"This step doesn’t help Israel. It strengthens Erdogan, an anti-Semitic war criminal who carries out massacres of the Kurdish people," Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on the record. She tempered her criticism by adding that "Donald Trump is a great friend of Israel, and this administration is I think the friendliest administration there’s ever been."
Most Israelis agree that the biggest losers are the Kurds, who have successfully fought off ISIS in Syria’s northeast with American support.
"The greatest damage from an American exit is first and foremost the Kurds, who the Americans cooperated with the whole way," Kupperwasser said. "The Turks understand this as an opportunity to close accounts with the Kurds, and the Kurds are rightly worried."
Unfortunately, it does not appear Israel can do much to help them.
The Kurds themselves called Trump’s decision "a complete betrayal." Their umbrella group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, said that despite Trump’s claim, "The war against ISIS in Syria isn’t over and the American retreat will create a military vacuum in the area."
Trump was not wrong when he said ISIS had been defeated, a fact even National Security Advisor John Bolton had to admit while listening in to the pivotal conversation between Trump and Erdogan, if reports about that phone call are accurate.
However, warnings that ISIS could return are not far-fetched, especially as the Kurds have said they may need to release 3,200 captured fighters as part of a general retreat to avoid clashing with the Turks. Israeli media describes these ISIS fighters as extreme Islamists who could very well serve as the nucleus for a revival of the organization.
Still, neither Russia nor Turkey wants a revival of ISIS and so will work to prevent it. Perhaps that is the reason Israeli analysts are not emphasizing this issue.
The greatest threat may be a resurgent Syria. Today, Israel still flies its sorties to bomb Iranian targets on Syrian soil. But as Channel 20’s Noam Amir warned in his assessment, "The more Syria becomes a state—and the retreat of the Americans makes it more of a state—the more Israel’s range of action shrinks until eventually it’ll be closed off completely."
A revived Syria, tight with Iran, which helped it take back the country during its civil war—that may be what paves the way to cementing the land bridge Israel so fears.Read Less
BY: Alex Griswold
For those not versed in Twitter lingo, a “ratio” occurs when very few people retweet or like a tweet, compared to a far larger number of people who quote-tweet or respond to the tweet. It’s generally a good barometer for how much Twitter agrees or disagrees with a sentiment. The higher the ratio, the more …Read More
For those not versed in Twitter lingo, a "ratio" occurs when very few people retweet or like a tweet, compared to a far larger number of people who quote-tweet or respond to the tweet. It's generally a good barometer for how much Twitter agrees or disagrees with a sentiment. The higher the ratio, the more people are mocking, rather than sharing, a take.
But for too long we Twitteratti have lacked a precise unit of measurement for just how bad a tweet is. Which is why I bring you the Ioffe, measured as the number of mentions divided the number of retweets. The namesake of this new unit is of course GQ correspondent Julia Ioffe, famed for racking up a series of very bad ratios in the span of a few days this October.
To demonstrate why Ioffe deserves such a dubious distinction, here are a few of her most famous takes, complete with the ratio at the time of publication.
"Don't wish me Merry Christmas"
265 RTs, 5.4K mentions. 20.4 Ioffes. The impetus for this piece, in which Ioffe (who's Jewish) demands holiday well-wishers stop wishing her a "Merry Christmas."
People, please stop wishing me a merry Christmas. It’s wonderful if you celebrate it, but I don’t and I don’t feel like explaining that to you either.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 20, 2018
The Christmas double-down
15 RTs and 122 mentions, 13 RTs and 232 mentions, and 17 RTs and 175 mentions. 10.2, 17.8, and 10.3 Ioffes.
The replies to my Christmas tweet are the religious version of "you should smile more."
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 20, 2018
(For the record, I always say "Thank you. You, too." But the omnipresence of Christmas for a whole month is deeply wearying and alienating to some of us who do not celebrate. If you want me respect you, please respect me, too.)
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 20, 2018
Also, I find the assumption that someone could only not be made merry by Christmas because they are a bad, angry, or unhappy person deeply…interesting.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 20, 2018
The ISIS apology/non-apology
396 RTs, 3.1K mentions and 641 RTs, 2.1K mentions. 7.8 and 3.2 Ioffes. In a CNN appearance following the Pittsburgh synagogue terror attack, Ioffe told host Jake Tapper that "This president has radicalized so many more people than ISIS ever did." Ioffe then apologized on Twitter, only to immediately make it clear she wasn't sorry.
I clarified and apologized on air, but I’ll say it again here. This has been a very emotional and painful time, but I absolutely should not have gone with such hyperbole on the air. I apologize.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) October 29, 2018
I will add, though, that it is not a coincidence that the number of anti-Semitic attacks has jumped nearly 60% in 2017—the biggest one-year increase in recent history—while this administration has systematically pulled back resources from countering domestic extremism.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) October 29, 2018
Trump-supporting Jews are responsible for the synagogue shooting
4751 RTs and 10K mentions, and two RTs and 48 mentions. 2.1 and 24 Ioffes.
And a word to my fellow American Jews: This president makes this possible. Here. Where you live. I hope the embassy move over there, where you don’t live was worth it.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) October 27, 2018
Was supporting an anti-Semitic man for president, someone who emboldened and played footsie with the alt-right, a reasonable trade for his allegedly pro-Israel policies.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) October 28, 2018
The MS-13 tweet
85 RTs and 1.6K mentions. 18.8 Ioffes. In which Ioffe accused Trump of using MS-13 as a bogeyman.
I guess now that Trump defeated ISIS he needs a new group to scare his constituents with: MS-13.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) June 22, 2018
The U.S. feels "less safe" than Russia for a journalist
4823 RTs and 6.1K mentions. 1.3 Ioffes. (Alright, this one wasn't badly ratio'ed. But it should have been, damn it.)
I have to say, I feel less safe as a journalist in America these days than I ever did in Russia. A lot less safe.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) October 29, 2018
The Ivanka Tweet
Ioffe was fired from POLITICO for a tweet implying Donald Trump was sleeping with his daughter Ivanka. Alas, the tweet was deleted, so we have no way of knowing what the ratio was. But her apology tweets (sent after doubling down) received 202 Rts and 3.1K mentions and 95 Rts and 881 mentions, registering at 15.3 and 9.3 Ioffes respectively.
All that said, I do regret my phrasing and apologize for it. It was a crass joke that I genuinely regret.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 14, 2016
It was a tasteless, offensive tweet that I regret and have deleted. I am truly and deeply sorry. It won't happen again.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) December 14, 2016
Did I miss a good one? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll update the piece when I feel like it*.
*I'll probably never feel like it.Read Less