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Wednesday, January 25, 2023
CNS' Chapman Ignores Facts To Peddle Right-Wing Legal Group's Narrative
Topic: managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote what is effectively a press release for a right-wing pro-Trump legal group in a Dec. 8 article:

The America First Legal Foundation filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the State Department seeking all records of what it asserts is the Biden administration's "practice of attacking the State of Israel's democracy through direct election interference" and "covert" activities. 

In its Dec. 6 letter to the State Department, America First Legal says, "Without Congressional authorization, the Biden administration has continued the Obama administration’s policy and practice of attacking the State of Israel’s democracy through direct election interference, information actions, and covert financial and other activities."

"Most recently, the Biden administration dispatched the U.S. ambassador to demand the disenfranchisement of Israeli citizens who voted for the Religious Zionism party," reads the letter.  "Learning of this action, the Religious Zionism party noted its 'appreciation for our US ally' but cautioned that 'the Biden administration should also respect Israeli democracy and not interfere in the establishment of an elected government."

The Religious Zionist party, which essentially is an orthodox Judaic party, very conservative, came in third place with 10.83% of the vote, gaining 14 seats in the Knesset. The party is headed by Bezalel Smotrich, who is married and has seven children. 

Note that eupemistically vague description of the Religious Zionism Party as "essentially is an orthodox Judaic party, very conservative." In fact, it is a coalition of far-right parties cobbled together by Benjamin Netanyahu to help him win a majority. Further, Smotrich's status as a father is completely unrelated to his far-right activism, which involves living in an illegally built house in the occupied West Bank and who has incited hate against Arabs in Israel.

America First Legal's claim that the U.S. ambassador to Israel somehow demanded "the disenfranchisement of Israeli citizens who voted for the Religious Zionism party" -- which Chapman did not otherwise elaborate on -- is an apparent reference to a much more minor incident: the ambassador vaguely suggested that Smotrich shouldn't be appointed defense minister. (He was eventually named finance minister.)

Chapman went on to try and revive an old, bogus Obama-era controversy:

In 2015, the Obama administration interfered in Israeli elections to defeat Netanyahu and the Likud party.

As the Jerusalem Post reported in February 2015, "The Obama presidential election team has set up camp in Tel Aviv with the mission to defeat Netanyahu in our upcoming election.

"The “Anyone but Bibi” mission is headed by Jeremy Bird, Obama’s National Field Director in his successful presidential campaigns.

"Under Bird, a group called 'Victory 15' has been set up. It has recruited the young activists from Israel’s 2013 social protest movement and will man a massive social network and personal contact campaign to defeat Bibi.

"V15 is financed by an NGO called 'One Voice' whose motto is to be 'the voice of mainstream Israelis and Palestinians.' Research finds that One Voice is funded by John Kerry’s State Department.

"In its press release, V15 calls itself 'non partisan,' which is clearly a lie. Its aim is solely to defeat Bibi."

As we documented way back when WorldNetDaily tried to make this a thing, Bird was not working for Obama and had no connection with his administration, the OneVoice existed years before that election, a Senate report found that the grant money the group received from the State Department was not spent on its political activism, and there were no restrictions placed on the use of resources paid for by the grant once the grant agreement ended.

In other words, everything Bird and OneVoice did was completely legal -- not that Chapman will tell you that because he's pushing a right-wing narrative, not reporting facts. Some managing editor he is.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:53 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2023 5:57 PM EST

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