So former WorldNetDaily reporter Aaron Klein has been named an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Most outlets have ignored Klein's extremist past, but the Times of Israel did a mostly balanced story noting his anti-Obama and anti-Hillary activism.
WND, meanwhile, did its own (anonymously written) article on Klein's new job, doing a surprisingly lame job of rehashing his WND history:
Since late 2015, Klein has been the Jerusalem bureau chief for Breitbart.com.
Before that, he covered major developments in the Mideast – as well as in the U.S. – for WND since shortly after the turn of the millennium. In 2005, for example, Klein was embedded by WND as a reporter with Israeli residents of Gush Katif as the Israeli government carried out its controversial Gaza evacuation. Klein, literally on the front lines, reported daily on developments.
“I didn’t leave until the last Jewish resident was evacuated,” said Klein.
Actually, Klein's coverage of the Gaza evacuation was quite biased, portraying Israelis who fought having to leave Gaza as merely "activists" and only years later admitting they were extremists, and also playing up sob stories about the Israelis who left as allegedly being "lost and homeless" while burying the fact that the Israeli govermnent paid families handsomely to leave.
Most reporting, though, has ignored just how far-right Klein is. As we've documented:
- He portrayed an AWOL Israeli soldier, Eden Natan-Zada, who had -- unprovoked -- shot and killed four Arabs on a bus in Gaza in 2005, as a victim because Palestinians who witnessed the cold-blooded shootings killed him before authorities could step in. Klein declared that Natan-Zada was "murdered" by a "mob of Palestinians"; Klein never described the soldier's victims has having been "murdered."
- Klein regularly whitewashed the violent leanings of the far-right Kach/Kahane Chai movement -- outlawed in Israel for their links to extremism -- once describing movement leader Meir Kahane only as among "politicians who in the past raised the possibility of expelling the Palestinian population" who were "largely sidelined by the mainstream Israeli media and general population" without noting that it was a Kahane follower, Baruch Goldstein, who massacred 29 Muslims in Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994.
- Klein sympathetically portrayed one extremist as benign while hiding the fact that he was once a leader of Kahane Chai. Klein also did an interview with him under his Hebrew name (Yekutel Ben Yaacov) and a separate one under his Western name (Mike Guzovsky) without ever explaining the two were the same person.
- A favorite extremist source for Klein was David Ha'ivri, whom he usually portrayed merely as a West Bank settler; in fact, Ha'ivri is a Kahanist who has organized numerous protests at Jerusalem's Temple Mount, one of which was attended Eden Natan-Zada, the AWOL soldier who slaughtered four people on a bus in Gaza.
You'd think that a man who has repeatedly expressed sympathy for a violent movement that has been outlawed in Israel -- which, by the way, he admitted on his radio show in 2010 -- wouldn't be given an opportunity to rise so far in the Israeli government. Perhaps Netanyahu can explain.