Right-wing media have claimed that President Obama attacked Israel in his recent restatement of U.S. policy that a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 borders with agreed upon swaps. These criticisms follow a long series of falsehoods, distortions, and smears advanced by the right-wing media to claim that Obama and his administration are anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.
In a May 23 Washington Times column, Frank Gaffney Jr. wrote that President Obama "has helped catalyze the next Middle East war by declaring that Israel must return to the 1967 borders." Gaffney further stated: "It is in America's vital interests to deter more wars in the Middle East, not invite them. If Mr. Obama persists in the latter, his already checkered record as commander in chief may make him best remembered as the man who elected to precipitate World War III." However, as Media Matters has noted, Obama's comments were in line with those of President George W. Bush, who also supported a two-state plan based on pre-1967 borders.
From Gaffney's column:
Beyond his embrace of the ascendant Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Obama has helped catalyze the next Middle East war by declaring that Israel must return to the 1967 borders, whose indefensibility induced the Arab nations to precipitate the Six-Day War of that year. However much the president may deny it and point to others as supporting a "two-state solution" based on such borders, the Jewish state cannot survive without the high ground, strategic depth and aquifers of the Golan Heights and West Bank. Period.
It is in America's vital interests to deter more wars in the Middle East, not invite them. If Mr. Obama persists in the latter, his already checkered record as commander in chief may make him best remembered as the man who elected to precipitate World War III.
Glenn Beck continues to push the lunatic theory that recent events show that the left and the Obama administration are laying the groundwork for military action against Israel. In fact, Beck's theory rests on utter falsehoods and wild distortions.
As a Senate subcommittee is poised to begin a hearing on Muslim civil rights, several right-wing media outlets are attacking Farhana Khera, a witness at the hearing and the executive director of the Muslim legal advocacy group Muslim Advocates, for urging American Muslims to have an attorney present when speaking to law enforcement. But this is standard advice given by many legal rights advocacy groups, including the American Bar Association and the Naval Legal Service Office.
As the United States participates in a multilateral effort to establish a no-fly zone over Libya, the conservative media fearmonger that the Obama administration may use the "Gadhafi Precedent" to use military force against Israel. However, Obama has said "[t]he United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel's security" and his administration has repeatedly showed support for Israel.
What do you get when you combine the wits of ridiculous conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney and ridiculous conspiracy theorist Andrew Breitbart? You get a wild, obviously baseless theory that, using the precedent of the United Nations Security Council resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya, President Obama may one day order a military strike on Israel.
Writing on Andrew Breitbart's website Big Peace, Gaffney states: "There are many reasons to be worried about the bridge-leap the Obama Administration has just undertaken in its war with Muamar Gaddafi. How it will all end is just one of them. What I find particularly concerning is the prospect that what we might call the Qaddafi Precedent will be used in the not-to-distant future to justify and threaten the use of U.S. military forces against an American ally: Israel."
As best I can make out, Gaffney's theory is that Obama will soon agree to a Security Council resolution recognizing Palestine as an independent state. If Israel does not immediately dismantle its settlements in Palestine, Obama will threaten "U.S.-enabled 'coalition' military measures aimed at neutralizing IDF [Israel Defense Forces] forces on the West Bank - and beyond, if necessary." Gaffney then foresees the possibility of "the United States ... actually raining down cruise missiles on Israeli targets in the West Bank, as it has done on Libyan ones at the behest of the Arab League and UN Security Council."
Consistent with long-standing U.S. policy, the Obama administration has criticized the building of new Israeli settlements on the West Bank. But the administration also recently vetoed a U.N. resolution seeking to condemn Israel over its settlements and, in doing so, garnered the thanks of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. So, would the Obama administration really make an about-face and authorize the use of force against Israel?
Of course not. Except in the fevered minds of Gaffney and Breitbart.
In a March 7 Washington Times column headlined, "King of the hill; Lawmaker intends to pull back the curtain on Shariah in the U.S." Frank Gaffney wrote that it "is hard to imagine a more timely and more urgently needed inquiry" than Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) upcoming hearings on Muslim radicalization. Gaffney further stated: "If Thursday's hearing takes the nation to school on the source of such extremism - Shariah - and the role played in promoting it by the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al Qaeda, every patriotic American, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, will owe Mr. King an enormous debt of gratitude."
From Gaffney's column:
On Thursday, Republican Rep. Peter King of New York will convene in his House Homeland Security Committee one of the most anticipated - and controversial - hearings in memory. The subject? "The extent of radicalization in the American Muslim community and that community's response." It is hard to imagine a more timely and more urgently needed inquiry.
For these among other reasons, Mr. King's hearings provide an invaluable opportunity to examine not just the threat of "extremism" posed by al Qaeda, but also that arising from the Muslim Brotherhood's operations at home and abroad. Absent the latter, it will be impossible to understand either the source of much of what has been dubbed "extremism" in the Muslim-American community or the reason that community has been so deficient in systematically, comprehensively and consistently responding to extremists in its midst.
If Thursday's hearing takes the nation to school on the source of such extremism - Shariah - and the role played in promoting it by the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as al Qaeda, every patriotic American, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, will owe Mr. King an enormous debt of gratitude.
From the March 7 edition of Fox News' America Live:
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In a Washington Times op-ed, right-wing pundit Frank Gaffney claimed that President Obama's "record suggests he must be seen as a 'friend of Shariah.'" In fact, Gaffney bases this claim, in part, on the administration's support for an initiative that began under President Bush, as well as the Obama administration's ties to an American Muslim group that the Bush administration also promoted.
Recently, The Laura Ingraham Show hosted Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to make his oft-repeated claim that "80 percent of the mosques in this country are controlled by radical Imams." This claim has been repeated in various iterations by numerous right-wing media figures and anti-Islam activists for more than a decade, and the statistic appears to be entirely based on a single, unsubstantiated claim made by a Californian Muslim cleric in 1999. The cleric later admitted that his criteria of an "extremist mosque" was one that was "focus[ed] on the Palestinian struggle."
From the February 2 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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On Fox News' Fox & Friends, right-wing pundit and former Assistant Secretary of Defense Frank Gaffney baselessly claimed that "Muslim Brotherhood front organizations" are influencing the U.S. government and are pushing "subversive techniques" to impose Sharia law in the U.S. Gaffney has a history of using Fox News to push his conspiracy theories about Sharia law.
From the January 31 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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In arguing against New START, Frank Gaffney falsely suggested the treaty is being pushed through Congress without "rigorous vetting." In fact, there have been about twice the amount of questions asked for the record about the new treaty than the original; moreover, there have been at least 20 Senate hearings on New START - comparable to the amount held to discuss the original treaty.
You know how Dick Morris is almost always wrong about almost everything? Apparently that's a quality the conservative movement appreciates in its water-carriers: Morris and his (presumably) better half, Eileen McGann, are set to receive an award from Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy:
The Center for Security Policy New York Board of Regents cordially invites you to celebrate the important work of DICK MORRIS and EILEEN McGANN and present them with the 2010 Mightier Pen Award at the National Security & New Media Conference and Mightier Pen Luncheon
The Center for Security Policy's Mightier Pen Award was inaugurated in 2001 in recognition of individuals who have, through their published writings, contributed both to the public appreciation of the need for robust U.S. national security policies and the perpetuation of military strength as indispensable ingredients in international peace.
I'm guessing Morris first caught Gaffney's attention when he declared that the "crazies in Montana who say, 'We're going to kill ATF agents because the U.N.'s going to take over'" are "beginning to have a case."