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Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Fake News: WND's 'New Scandal' Is A Very Old Non-Scandal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer really tries to ramp up the meaning in a Jan. 17 article headlined "New scandal in Obama's war against Netanyahu":

Democrats in Washington have expressed outrage over still-unproved allegations the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to defeat their candidate, Hillary Clinton.

But Democrats and their media allies have been virtually silent regarding evidence of interference by Democrat Barack Obama in Israel’s elections.

Last October, WND CEO Joseph Farah pointed out the Obama administration sent money in 2015 to a non-profit U.S. group that sought to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a coalition government to remain as prime minister.

A probe by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that the Obama State Department gave $349,276 in U.S. taxpayer-funded grants to a political group in Israel called OneVoice to build a campaign operation that, subsequently, was used to try to persuade Israelis to vote against Netanyahu.

Now there’s new information, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, that the Obama administration’s intervention was even worse.

ACLJ said that in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, it “uncovered a startling revelation.”

“Yasser Mahmoud Abbas, son of Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the terrorist-allied Palestinian Authority, was also a senior leader and advisor to OneVoice – and, as demonstrated by the contents of the documents themselves, the Obama administration knew this,” ACLJ said in a report Wednesday.

“In short, the Obama State Department gave U.S. taxpayer dollars to a terrorist-affiliated organization (the PA recently united with the terrorist group Hamas) to unseat the democratically elected leader of the only free democracy in the Middle East and a vital U.S. ally.”

Just one problem, and WND would have known it if it bothered to do a basic Google search, like we did: This isn't "new information" at all.

Abbas was publicly listed as a member of OneVoice as far back as 2003, when OneVoice was founded to encourage a negotiated settlement to Israeli-Palestinian violence. When someone tried to make an issue of this in 2015 -- more evidence that this is not "new information" and that ACLJ is lying -- OneVoice issued a statement:

"Mahmoud Abbas' son is a member of the Advisory Council of OneVoice in the Palestinian Authority, which is working toward a diplomatic agreement and two states for two peoples. Just as Michi Ratzon, who ran in the Likud primaries, served on the Advisory Council in Israel, and David Azoulay, Avraham Michaeli, Yitzhak Vaknin and Yitzhak Cohen from Shas serve in the movement's lobby in Knesset, as do MK Elazar Stern, MK Rabbi Dov Lipman and many others.

"Any attempt to tie his influence to the movement in Israel is foolish and untrue. We do not recall any such claims or complaints about the issue when OneVoice led a campaign in support of Prime Minister Netanyahu when he was considering the option of a diplomatic arrangement."

Likud is the political party to which Netanyahu belongs.

as we've previously documented, there isn't a scandal here, despite Farah's fervent wish to create one. OneVoice received a $350,000 grant for a project unrelated to the Israeli election, and it was later revealed that OneVoice later used intrastructure that grant paid for in its campaign against Netanyahu in the election. A Senate subcommittee found that OneVoice fully complied with the terms of the original grant, no grant money was used in the election, and the State Department placed no limitations on the post-grant use of those resources.

In other words, WND is lying about the intent of the grant money because it has never been proven that it was given with the ultimate goal of being used against Netanyahu.

Despite that, Farah used his October 2017 column to insist that "The U.S. government, in the hands of Barack Obama, intervened in a foreign election with the express purpose of impacting the results."

With such reporting that credulously promotes false claims it could fact-check if it wanted to, is it any wonder WND is circling the drain right now?


Posted by Terry K. at 6:09 PM EST

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