Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why Hamas loves HuffPost: 2011 Flotilla edition


Background & Summary

In June 2010, HuffPost looked at the reality of what transpired in the "Flotilla of Terror" and published an inflammatory anti-Israel narrative that could have been written by Hamas. It pathologically ignored a growing mountain of evidence that showed its headlines were either false, grossly misleading or incomplete.

For example, when the first Flotilla of Terror was intercepted by the IDF, whose soldiers were ambushed and nearly murdered by those "peace" activists, we documented here, here, here and here how HuffPost systematically published one blaring headline after another that depicted the attackers as the victims, and the victims as the attackers. We further documented how, even after the truth was revealed, HuffPost either ignored it, or continued to accept the Hamas-Flotilla version of events, thus twisting the knife it plunged into Israel's back. This including allowing one of its top "reporters" to claim, in splash headline story, that Israel wants "to exterminate Palestinians... through starvation," and a blogger to compare the militant Islamists aboard the Flotilla to Holocaust survivors.

All these acts and omissions stand in sharp contrast to HuffPost's repeated public claims that it is a "nonpartisan" newspaper, dedicated to "ferreting out the truth, consequences be damned" --- and that it prohibits "inflammatory claims" and conspiracy theories.

Starting in late June 2011, HuffPost decided to continue acting as Hamas's PR spin machine, in regards to the second "Flotilla of Terror."

It did so this time by:
  • Deliberately manipulating a headline to falsely claim, as fact, that Israel "sabotaged" a ship --- when it knew that there was absolutely no proof to support this allegation (here).
  • Presenting only the most benevolent pictures and accounts of the Flotilla and its participants, and maintaining the lie that its purpose is to bring "humanitarian aid" to Gaza (see below; even one of the organizers admits this is not its purpose --- yet HuffPost refused to report that).
  • Refusing to post crucial, readily-available information that revealed the fact that a Hamas operative was coordinating the Flotilla, and that even radical leftist anti-Israel activists and journalists were deciding to no longer participate in it. HuffPost even flatly refused to publish an expose' by the head of one of America's leading Jewish organizations, one of its long-term bloggers, that exposed the reality of the Flotilla, and Hamas. In response, he sent the article and his complaint to a conservative blog.
  • Choosing instead to devote its front page to publishing obscure "news" stories from around the world, including a "singing penis bug," a French couple who adopted a gorilla that sleeps in their bed, a man who was caught having sex with his dog... etc. HuffPost also chose to publish five stories about Arianna on its front page during the same period.
  • Reviewing, approving and deciding to publish a torrent of "comments" containing anti-Semitic hate, libels, conspiracy theories and implied threats --- from its users and even Community Moderators --- even though its Comment Policy claims such material is prohibited. Some of the many published comments we document include:
    "Nuke Israel!"

    "Jewish Bankers... caused their financial burdens... Justice in this world will only prevail when the slaves of this world rise up against Zionists... and let the heads roll where they may."

    "Once again, 5% of the worlds population causing 70% of the worlds problems."

HuffPost's acts and omissions could serve only two complementary purposes: (1) To continue its pathological incitement and tolerance of hatred against Israel and Jews --- thereby catering to the radical leftists, Islamists and cyber-jihadis who flock to the site, and whom it actively enables and protects (see section 6.1 here), and (2) To continue protecting Hamas, and acting as its PR spin machine.

The Flotilla-related "news" stories and pictures that HuffPost decided to publish

On July 1, HuffPost published the following headline at the very top of its World page:

On July 2, it posted this headline on its front page:

These were the only stories HuffPost published about the Greek boat during this period.

published no headline stories about the troubling reality of the Flotilla, and the fact that even activists and reporters began pulling out of participating after discovering that it was being coordinated by a Hamas operative.
As documented below, HuffPost's acts and omissions incited the wrath of the radical leftists and Islamists who flock to the site, an their outpouring of anti-Semitic hate comments and conspiracy theories, which it reviewed, approved and decided to publish.

HuffPost flatly refused to publish an article by long-term blogger David Harris, president of the American Jewish Committee, denouncing Hamas and revealing the reality behind the Flotilla; "It's not for us"

For two years, based on our massive archive of documentation, we have been alleging that Arianna and HuffPost have effectively been acting as Hamas's PR spin machine.

Last week, HuffPost itself proved the accuracy of our allegation, when
it flatly refused to publish an article by David Harris. In fact, Harris --- a Democrat and a long-term HuffPost blogger --- was so furious that he emailed the following to the conservative blog Powerline; soon thereafter, it began showing up at numerous conservative websites, starting on June 23:
Nearly two years ago, I was invited by The Huffington Post (HuffPo) to become a blogger on their site. I was honored. It is one of the most heavily trafficked news sites anywhere, and it reaches an influential audience. Since September 2009, I have published nearly 50 articles there, and look forward to publishing many more. This week, for the first time, I was told by HuffPo that an article submitted was “not for us.” It’s below. I ask you to read it and decide for yourself. Apropos, the same article was published on my Jerusalem Post blog earlier this week.
Here is the article Harris wrote. Excerpt:
The International Solidarity Movement, Free Gaza Movement, U.S. Boat to Gaza, and kindred spirits want the world to believe there is a strip of land called Gaza that, left to its own devices, would create the Shangri-La of the Middle East.All its residents want are peace, harmony, coexistence, and tranquility. Some spokesmen acknowledge that Gaza has a governing authority. A very few even mention its name, Hamas, but hasten to add that it was elected democratically, so end of story. The rest don't give it a name, as it might muddy the waters.

According to this narrative - a word particularly popular in Middle East discussions- the residents of Gaza face a neighboring oppressor, Israel, which, for diabolical reasons of its own, wants to inflict maximum harm on people whose only dream in life is to live and let live. For these spokesmen, the wealth of vocabulary in the Oxford English Dictionary fails to capture the true nature of Israel's venality.
Enter, then, the self-described, modern-day Freedom Riders. They're boarding flotilla ships, they suggest, to bring aid, relief, and attention to those trapped in Birmingham, Alabama, circa 1963.

George Orwell, where are you? You could have a field day with this story.

HuffPost rejected Harris's article, presumably because it fell outside its "standards.

Yet as documented in this special report, HuffPost has decided that bloggers who call for the murder of VP Cheney, who are photographed while dressed up as Hitler, standing before an oven, eating burnt Jewish "people cookies," who claim Hitler was more moral than George W. Bush because at least he thought he was doing the right thing by exterminating Jews, are perfectly appropriate to feature --- on the front page.

Here are some of the many stories that documented the disturbing reality about the second "Flotilla of Terror" --- every one of which HuffPost refused to publish

Publishing these stories would have pulled back the veil of lies concerning the Flotilla. We contend this is precisely why HuffPost ignored them.
June 25: "Analysis (by Flotilla organizer): Of course the Flotilla is a political provocation --- not a humanitarian operation"
By Joe Catron, and Palestine News Network
Excerpt: "Prominent flotilla activist Joe Catron admits publicly that the Flotilla is not a humanitarian operation, rather, in his words, it is “of course a political provocation.” In an article published on Palestine News Network and in several other media, he quotes Ran Curiel, whom he describes as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, as saying “In our view, the flotilla is clearly a political provocation ... since there's no need for a flotilla to aid Gaza”. Catron, a member of the International Solidarity Movement – Gaza Strip, writes, “his [Cureiel’s] conclusion is sound, if self-evident. The Freedom Flotilla is indeed a political provocation. Why shouldn’t it be? And when has it pretended to be anything else?” (For the record, Ran Curiel is not Israel’s ambassador to the UN. He is ambassador to the EU)."

June 29: "Parting with the Gaza Flotilla: Why I am not sailing aboard the Dutch ship after all"
By Hasna El Maroudi in Joop (Netherlands); h/t and translation @ JihadWatch
Excerpt: "When I decided to subject myself to the sail and the long list of preparatory engagements and training sessions it entailed, I presented the organizers with one single crucial demand: I wanted to know exactly who would sail with me on the Italian-Dutch ship and requested to have the opportunity to meet them all in advance before embarking on the trip.

June 29: "Dutch journalists jump ship"
By IsraelNurse, CIFWatch
Excerpt: "Via Honest Reporting we hear that a number of Dutch journalists, despite being sympathetic to the cause, have abandoned ship due to disagreements with the flotilla organisers. 'Yesterday morning I had a final meeting with the participants. I told the activists that given everything that had happened, they shouldn’t trust the organisation leading this mission'.”

June 29: "Who Is Behind the Second Gaza Flotilla?"
By Ehud Rosen, Jewish Center for Public Affairs
Excerpt: "The second flotilla is coordinated by Muhammad Sawalha, a senior UK-based Muslim Brotherhood figure connected to Hamas. Many of the participating organizations can be directly linked with the Union of Good (UoG), a coalition of European charities affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which in 2008 was designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. Treasury for transferring funds to Hamas. The UoG was initiated by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood on a global scale, shortly after the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000."

June 30: "Hamas leader is brain behind Dutch flotilla"
The Jerusalem Post
Excerpt: "Hamas leader from Holland Amin Abu Rashid has been seen in recent days training with a Gaza-bound flotilla crew in Greece, according to a report by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on Thursday. Rashid, described as the "brain" behind the flotilla, helped arrange the purchasing of the Dutch boat expected to be used in the expedition, De Telegraaf reported. Rashid also allegedly organized the majority of the funding for the flotilla, the report said."

July 4: "How the Dutch Gaza Flotilla Backfired Politically: A fascinating tale of contemporary political warfare"
By Yochanan Visser, Pajamas Media
Excerpt: "The Dutch blog KeesjeMaduraatje was one of the first to publish material about extremist elements in the second Gaza flotilla, revealing that Free Gaza Holland’s chairman, Rob Groenhuizen, was a convicted communist extremist who used to be a member of Dutch groups affiliated with the German terrorist Rote Armee Fraktion. Groenhuizen’s group also had ties with the Palestinian terrorist organization PLFP and members participated in a terrorist training camp in Yemen in 1976. In an e-mail exchange, Groenhuizen’s wrote about the second flotilla’s real goal:
'This game about humanitarian aid is part of a tremendous plot — something that Israel tries to postpone as long as possible — but with every uprising in the Arab world and each mistake Israel makes, the end is coming nearer. Everybody knows Israel is not sustainable'."

Why did HuffPost ignore all these articles and many more, that presented the facts? Perhaps one day, someone in a position of influence will ask HuffPost to explain itself, especially considering Arianna's repeated public statements, like these, which have helped her to attract a roster of top-flight advertisers:
“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”
- July 29, 2008

“We are aiming to go beyond just facts, to create a narrative... [W]e think bringing journalism to a new level is exactly what people are looking for.”
- October 20, 2009

“The editorial stance of the Huffington Post is to debunk the right-left way of thinking, which has become completely obsolete."
- November 14, 2007

For a deeper analysis of these public statements --- and the reality behind them --- see this article.

So what kinds of "news" did HuffPost publish on its front page, instead of stories that revealed the truth behind the second "Flotilla of Terror" --- and Hamas's organization of it?

Is it really possible that this was an honest mistake by HuffPost's army of "hundreds of editors and reporters"? No. HuffPost scours the world for news it determines should appear on its front page.

As proof, here are some of the stories that HuffPost published on its front page during the same period as it refused to publish all the above articles --- most of which remained posted for at least three days straight:

HuffPost also published five front-page cover stories on Arianna, its Editor in Chief, between June 28 and July 6 --- continuing to cater to her narcisstic personality disorder:

So what kinds of user comments do you think HuffPost incited through its acts and omissions concerning the second "Flotilla of Terror" --- which it reviewed, approved and decided to publish? Pretty much exactly what you'd expect.

Below is a small sampling of the comments that we captured. Note that HuffPost's
Comment Policy claims it prohibits, and will not publish comments containing anti-Semitism, religious slurs, or off-topic content. Also, keep in mind that as documented in this special report, the only comments that appeared on the thread were those that HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish:
"Our comments on the news site were originally post-moderated (i.e., objectionable comments were removed only after our moderators were alerted). We eventually decided that it was worth the substantial effort and expense to have human pre-moderation on both blogs and news."
--- Arianna Huffington, July 2008
Lastly, note that most of these users are not hit-and-run "trolls"; they are some of the anti-Semites and anti-Israel propagandists that HuffPost has been enabling and protecting for years --- note how many have 500-1,000 or more "fans":
Bob Dionysus
8 Fans
Nuke Israel!

3730 Fans
The only thing Israel is, is the worst violator of human rights in the last 6 decades, stealing everything from land to people's dignity. Your day is coming soon Oh Isreal!

Marian Walas
0 Fans
First the Greek Fascist government forces extreme austerity measures against its own citizens for the sake of the Jewish Bankers who caused their financial burdens, now they pander to the Jewish state of Israel and arrest this captain whose only interest is to help the people who are being persecuted by Israel through genocide.
Justice in this world will only prevail when the slaves of this world rise up against Zionists Corporate/­Fascist/Ba­nker government­s of this world, in the style of the French Revolution­, and let the heads roll where they may.


366 Fans
Greece joins America as a country that has sold out to Israel and thereby shares responsibi­lity for the terrible crimes against humanity that Israel is committing­.

732 Fans
So is the Greek government­, by claiming the Captain is endangerin­g the lives of the passengers­, recognizin­g that the Likud regime is composed of a bunch of criminals with little or no regard for most human life? By tortuous logic, it will probably deny this. Ah, isn't servitude to usurious debt wonderful? Permalink

Tim Fletcher
2 Fans
It's time to cut Israel off from the rest of the world! The Rothschild Regime and Zionism will die soon!

507 Fans
Lord surely moves in mysterious ways. Specially when he receives his marching orders from Mos.sad.


177 Fans
The Ghetto of Gaza is a reminiscen­ce of Poland 1941. This time the Zionists are the perpetrato­rs.
Arresting the captain is clearly a political ploy of Israel putting pressure on the corrupt government of Greece.

47 Fans
Israel, you murderous, thieving regime, give that land back to the Palestinia­ns!

John RD Kidd
24 Fans
As the tentacles of the conspiracy to vilify those human rights activists from around the world, stretch ever deeper into Greek and other ports worldwide to prevent peaceful protest, it has become all too obvious that the malign influence of the Likud government extends even further than the most pessimisti­c opinion.
[...] Government­s backing down and acquiescin­g to Israeli demands to prevent free passage. The list increases day by day. Where it will end is a matter for conjecture because these events, apparently controlled and financed by the US lobby, are unpreceden­ted. All we know is that they should strike fear into democratic societies around the globe. These events do not reflect the will of the people, only the will of Likud.

20 Fans
Jews control Greece too? Thats weird, I thought they were all Greek Orthodox.

Magic 62
277 Fans
Jews control the money, and Greece is broke and needs a financial bailout.

131 Fans
isnt it about time to get a sermon from [Abe] Foxman....­on way all humanity should imprisoned and the tribe should be in control...­of everthing

Bob Dionysus
8 Fans
What's the difference between Israel and a pancake? A pancake won't get nuked by Iran!

472 Fans
Once again, 5% of the worlds population causing 70% of the worlds problems.

0 Fans
Helen Thomas was right, get the hell back to where you came from and get out of Palestine. [...]

That's just a small sampling that we captured, on an intermittent, momentary basis, on these two threads. A close analysis of these threads will reveal much, much more, along the same lines --- but do it before HuffPost sanitizes them, which it almost invariably does after one of our exposes.

And again keep in mind --- HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish every one of these "comments," in direct violation of its own "policies."


What makes HuffPost's acts and omissions so dangerous, and destructive, is the fact that it is the #1 most-read blog on Earth, and a top-ten U.S. “news” site. HuffPost is shaping global perceptions of vital issues --- and we contend that our vast archive of documentation shows that it is now the world's #1 inciter and tolerator of hate against Israel and Jews on the Internet.

Perhaps that's why HuffPost now has 700,000* unique monthly visitors who originate in Muslim-majority nations --- up from 350,000 six months ago, 250,000 per month of whom are from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan --- the world's three primary incubators and exporters of anti-Semitic hatred.

If you believe HuffPost should start living up to its repeated claims of nonpartisanship in its coverage of Middle East affairs, and are opposed to its persistent pro-Hamas, anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias, we urge you to do three things:
(1) Make your voice known to HuffPost's senior management here

(2) Consider writing or calling one or more of HuffPost's top advertisers, to let them know your thoughts on what their ad dollars are enabling.
An easy way to approach this is to scan our easy-to-use directory and find one or two corporations that you are a customer of, or have stock in.
Your concerns will automatically be given considerably more weight. Also, request a follow-up after they've had a chance to review the evidence; don't let them off the hook, or sweep this under the rug.

(3) Forward the link to this story along to others who support Israel and Jews




  2. Wow, thanks Silverdog. Just doing our part for a better America. :)

    With all your enthusiasm, though, I would ask that you please consider contacting some of HuffPost's advertisers. They're the ones who write the checks that make this madness possible.