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Unauthorized Power

 

How readily do you assume that a person in charge is
actually authorized to be there and approved to have that responsibility?

 

Canadians will not soon forget the 2020 mass murders
perpetrated by Gabriel Wortman.  He
killed 22 people in Nova Scotia and injured 3 others before he was shot and
killed by RCMP. What added to the shock of it all was his masquerading as a
police officer, complete with an RCMP uniform and a replica patrol car.
Clearly, he had seized unauthorized power to fulfill some horrible purpose that
caught people unaware.

 

The province was on high alert as his evil scheme unfolded
and a trail of devastation traumatized many Maritimers. Authentic police
services warn against impersonators and criminalize those that get involved in
this type of scam. People who use false pretenses can cause a world of harm to
those in their path.

 

In an analogous way, the Bible warns repeatedly about false
prophets, false teachers, and false Messiahs. The fact is that there are
imposters and those that capitalize on the willingness of listeners to empower
them in their selfish agenda.

 

There are multiple strategies and motivations operating in
those who make false claims to God’s power. Rather than naively being swayed by
every convincing persuader, a Jesus’ follower needs to learn to discern truth
from error.


Colossians 2:
(NIRV)

Make
Sure No One Controls You. They Will Try To Control You By Using False Reasoning
That Has No Meaning. Their Ideas Depend On Human Teachings. They Also Depend On
The Basic Spiritual Powers Of This World. They Don’t Depend On Christ.

 

There are several red flags to indicate that you need to
proceed cautiously when certain patterns emerge.

 

 

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Ramadan Violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque: Palestinian Riots & the Israeli Response

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As Muslims around the world begin to observe the holy month of Ramadan, many media outlets have been particularly focused on connecting Ramadan to the ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza as well as the possibility of rising tensions surrounding prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Some outlets have referenced incidents of violence between Israeli police and Palestinian rioters that have occurred in the mosque and its environs during Ramadan over the past few years.

However, these reports fail to properly convey what led to these disturbances, either leaving out who started the melee or placing the blame solely on Israeli security forces.

For example, The Washington Post described the 2021 violence as “fighting between police and Palestinians” and the 2023 disturbances as “an Israeli police raid last spring to clear protesters who had locked themselves inside.”

Contrary to The Post’s description, the Israeli police were not simply fighting “Palestinians” or mere “protesters.”

Similarly, The Guardian referred to the 2022 and 2023 eruptions of violence simply as “police raids on the mosque,” while The New York Times has described them as “raids into the Aqsa compound by baton-wielding police forces firing tear gas and sponge-tipped bullets who have clashed with Palestinians throwing stones and setting off fireworks.”

As will be seen below, in the violent eruptions that occurred on the Temple Mount during Ramadan in recent years, each incident was initiated by Palestinian rioters and instigators and was responded to with force by the Israeli police, working to protect innocent worshipers, fellow security officers, and innocent bystanders outside the holy compound.

Related Reading: ‘Al-Aqsa Is in Danger’: The Anatomy of a Lie

Although there had been violent disturbances between Palestinian rioters and the Israeli police throughout Ramadan in 2021, the violence peaked in the last weekend of the holy month (May 7 to 10).

On the night of May 7, following the last Friday prayers of Ramadan, Israeli police were compelled to respond with force after officers stationed on the Temple Mount were attacked with stone slabs, rocks, bottles, and firecrackers. In order to stem the violence and disrupt the rioters, Israeli security forces were forced to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque itself.

According to Israeli authorities, these projectiles had been stockpiled in previous days throughout the holy complex in anticipation of that Friday’s disturbances and were reportedly meant to be used against Israeli security forces as well as against Jewish worshipers at the Western Wall below.

Following that Friday’s violence, intermittent disturbances continued throughout the weekend and into Monday, May 10 at the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex and the surrounding area.

That rioting included the barricading of the mosque as well as attacks against Israeli security forces with rocks, firecrackers, and other projectiles. It was only on that Monday that Israeli police were finally able to restore peace and order to the Temple Mount compound.

[embedded content]

In 2022, Ramadan violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque was once again instigated by a minority of Palestinian rioters and hooligans.

On Fridays April 15, April 22, and April 29, Israeli police were forced to enter the compound in order to disrupt riots that included the throwing of rocks, firecrackers, and other projectiles at security forces and toward the rear of the Western Wall, as well as the barricading of rioters within the mosque, preventing proper access to worshipers.

On April 29 (the last Friday of Ramadan that year), the rioting in the morning was so bad that at least one projectile landed in the Western Wall compound below. However, by that afternoon, order was restored and Ramadan prayers were able to end relatively peacefully.

Related Reading: Ramadan in Israel: There’s More Than Meets the Eye

In 2023, violence was instigated at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the night of April 4/early morning of April 5, when rioters barricaded themselves within the mosque and attacked Israeli security forces with explosive devices, fireworks, and rocks.

In order to quell the disturbances, Israeli police were forced to enter the mosque and use riot dispersal methods while arresting those responsible for the violence.

During the melee that unfolded following the entry of Israeli forces into the Muslim holy site, social media erupted with context-free videos of Israeli police using violence against Palestinian agitators, inciting violence within the region and driving a false narrative of Israeli aggression around the world.

[embedded content]

Every year, before Ramadan, the Israeli police undertake intensive preparations to “enable the freedom of worship while maintaining security and public order.”

So, too, this year, the Israeli police have released guidelines for the upcoming month of Ramadan, detailing the traffic changes, regulating of crowds, reinforcement of security forces, and restrictions that are in place (which are similar to past years’ guidelines).

However, despite all the police preparations, there is the possibility this year that some Palestinians will seek to take advantage of the large crowds at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the tense atmosphere due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas War in order to disrupt prayers and instigate violence against Israeli security forces.

If disturbances do erupt at Al-Aqsa Mosque during this year’s Ramadan, will the media report correctly on how the violence erupted, or will they only start the story with Israel’s response?

Liked this article? Follow HonestReporting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to see even more posts and videos debunking news bias and smears, as well as other content explaining what’s really going on in Israel and the region.

Photo Credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

Honest Reporting is a website that seeks to bring balance to the left slant in the major news media.

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Thoughts

I’m NOT A Liberal

I have to chuckle at how badly people can take something you say and mangle it beyond recognition. I recently had occasion to be a “victim” of misunderstanding on a recent post I wrote as a guest-blogger on another site. I wouldn’t have even written this post, perhaps, except an article that I wrote for Eagle Rising got over 13,000 shares on Facebook. And so, it seemed perhaps I should take some of the comments into consideration here and respond.

I’m NOT a liberal, no matter what they say…

The post basically was an opinion piece, stating that Donald Trump is saying some things that the public connects with, and that we really do need to consider some of his points – especially when it comes to things like immigration and border security.

Besides, for all his failings, Trump’s stunning popularity is not merely because of his “showman” personality. He is popular because he is saying what a lot of people on the street believe is true. He is saying what the career politicians seem reluctant to say, and what the media seems to avoid like the plague (perhaps, because much of the senior staff in the media are married to staffers or are former staffers themselves). People are tired of the constant race-baiting from the current administration – the double-standards about white-on-black crime vs. black-on-white crime and the like. People are tired of the constant pandering to special interest groups. Yes, I do believe this is it.

And I might have to go so far as to say I agree with Trump when he says we should build a wall.

I often say it’s everybody’s lot in life to be misunderstood once in a while. And I suppose, if I think about it, maybe the misunderstanding is partly my fault. But if people were paying attention to what I actually said, they would have realized that some of the accusations they made were kind of baseless. But once someone calls me a liberal, they’ve hit below the belt. So let’s clear this up once and for all:

I’m NOT A Liberal

This isn’t so much about defending myself or clearing my name as it is a concern that some stupid comments were made, and I’d hate to think that people can get away with not thinking clearly. Some of these comments betray either a lack of clear thinking or a short attention span (or both). And I like the idea of thinking CLEARLY. Check my web site and you’ll see that thinking CLEARLY is what that is all about.

The article was about Donald Trump’s stance on building a wall along the Mexican border. Now, I don’t REALLY think the U.S. should build a wall, necessarily. Not a REAL wall. The idea is good in theory; but there are tunnels, too. And a wall would be so blasted expensive. The POINT is that the southern border needs to be a lot less porous. And I think THAT is a great idea to implement. And not even for the illegal Mexicans coming in so much as for the radicals that are coming across the border every day and night. THEY have plans to harm us. That is a bad thing. In case you were not aware of a recent interview between Greta Van Susteren and Representative Duncan Hunter, it went like this:

Van Susteren: Hold on. Stop for one second.

Hunter: They are going to be bombing American cities coming across from Mexico.

Van Susteren: Let me ask a question. You say that they are coming in the southern border, which changes all the dynamics Do you have any information that they are coming in through the southern border now?

Hunter: Yes.

Van Susteren: Tell me what you know.

Hunter: At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.

Van Susteren: How do you know that?

Hunter: Because I’ve asked the border patrol, Greta.

Van Susteren: And the border patrol just let’s ISIS members come across the border?

Hunter: No. They caught them at the border. Therefore, we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them, you know that there are going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol. That’s how you know. That’s where we are at risk here, is from ISIS and radical Islamists coming across the border. Once again, they don’t have a navy, air force, nuclear weapons. The only way that Americans are going to be harmed by radical Islam — Chairman Dempsey said the same thing. He said that’s where the major threat is here, that’s how these guys are going to infiltrate through America and harm Americans. 

Ya know, most of the stuff that the politicians promise when they’re debating is stuff I seriously can’t see they have power to enforce. The fact is, though, that one thing the president has is the ability to affect the frame and the tone of the debate. And we sure do need to be talking about this. These people are not a “J V” team.

I’M NOT A LIBERAL. REALLY. For the record, let me state my positions on a few key points. And after that, if you STILL want to insist I’m a liberal because you MISUNDERSTOOD what I said, you’re still entitled to be wrong; but you’ll have to live with that.

FOR THE RECORD:

I’M PRO-LIFE: the woman’s right to choose ends with the baby’s right to live. Period. Look, I realize there are (relatively rare) cases of rape and incest; but two wrongs don’t make a right. And we, as a society, have probably fallen down badly when it comes to making a place for these little ones when they show up, and showing love, support and compassion for the mothers who carry them to term. But killing them is not the answer. For the record, I will say that I think abortion done for the profit of the clinic is one of the biggest abuses of women going, all in the name of “helping” them. It just exchanges one problem for another.

I’M PRO-2ND AMENDMENT: I don’t pack a pistol, and don’t have any intent to do so. In fact, where I live, it’s illegal right now anyway. But I’m thinking about how the idea is appealing with all of the nonsense that the government is pulling lately. Look. I realize that letting everyone carry one is letting the criminals have them too. But they have them anyway. (I know, I know, it’s a weak argument… maybe. But access to arms doesn’t translate into crime by itself. Lawlessness does. If you have a lawless society because of an unrealistic sense of entitlement, THAT might be the biggest contributor to the gun violence problem. And THAT is taken care of as a byproduct of a good spiritual revival.) Guns are hard to come by in Mexico; they are easily obtained in Switzerland, and nobody gets hurt. And the 2nd amendment is to protect people from an overreaching GOVERNMENT. You’ve got an overreaching government NOW.

I’M PRO-REPBULICAN: Jeez, Louise, when I said I was an “undecided voter,” it DIDN’T mean that I was torn about whether, given an opportunity, I would vote REPUBLICAN or DEMOCRAP. FOR CRYIN’ OUT LOUD. In the context, the remark was about not knowing whether Trump or Cruz would ultimately be the better candidate to DEFEAT Hillary. The WHOLE POINT is that either one is a whole lot better than HILLARY. My concern was about which one could do it. (Read the article again, if you missed that, ok? For your own good.)

By the way, on the Trump vs Cruz gig, you have the added benefit with Trump that he’s already said if he’s elected, he will prosecute Hillary. That’s gotta be worth something right there.

I’M PRO BORDER SECURITY: NO deals on illegals, ESPECIALLY until AFTER you secure the border. THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE ARTICLE. It WASN’T about building an actual, physical wall. (It might be a great idea, but somebody’s gotta PAY for the stupid thing, right?) Look, Trump said we’ve got to slow the flow through the border until we know what’s going on. And Cruz is saying we need to increase police patrols and police presence in these neighbourhoods. They’re BOTH getting flack from the bleeding hearts. And they’re both RIGHT. PROFILING isn’t always a bad thing (unless you’re a liberal).

I don’t know that I would normally write an article like this one, except that it will be a handy reference point for future posts when I need to explain my positions on things.

And like I said, in case you missed it, I’m not a liberal. Hope I cleared that up.

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A Tale of Two Narratives: English-Language & Arabic-Language Reports Differ on Palestinian-American Teen’s Death

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On Friday January 19, 2024, a Palestinian-American teenager, Tawfic Abdel Jabbar, was killed in the West Bank, allegedly following an altercation with armed Israelis.

The Israeli inquiry into this matter is still ongoing.

However, an investigation by the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) has found that the narrative surrounding the circumstances of Abdel Jabbar’s death in the English-speaking media is very different from that being put forward in several Arabic-language reports.

In various English-language reports by such media outlets as The Washington Post, The New York Times, the BBC, Reuters, the Associated Press, and others, Tawfic Abdel Jabbar is portrayed as a quintessential American teen who moved to the West Bank in order to improve his Arabic and to gain a deeper connection to the area where his Palestinian family is from.

By all accounts, from the media reports, Abdel Jabbar was fun-loving and outdoorsy, loved basketball and cars, and was planning on going to college to study engineering (or business administration, depending on the report).

While the circumstances surrounding his death are unclear, most reports have Tawfic Abdel Jabbar being shot to death by an Israeli settler and IDF soldier while out with friends (depending on the report, he was either having a picnic, attending a barbeque or simply driving around).

Although some reports do carry the Israeli claim that the shooting occurred within the context of a reported rock-throwing incident by Palestinians against Israeli vehicles travelling on the main highway that bisects the West Bank, most of these reports only include this information as tangential or include Abdel Jabbar’s father’s rebuff that his son was not throwing rocks and even if he was, “So what? If they were throwing rocks 150 meters to the street, what is it going to do to a tank? Or to a jeep? Or to a car full of soldiers? You’re gonna shoot the car 10 times because a guy threw a rock?”

It should be noted that there have been Israeli civilians (including children) killed in incidents where Palestinians threw rocks at passing vehicles.

Most of these reports about Tawfic Abdel Jabbar’s death also sought to contextualize his death with descriptions of rising tensions in the West Bank, an alleged surge in settler violence against Palestinians, and supposed Israeli heavy-handedness following the October 7 Hamas attack.

In sum, the narrative produced by the English-language media about Tawfic Abdel Jabbar’s death is that he was a typical American teenager who became another victim of continuing Israeli aggression against the West Bank’s local Palestinian population.

Related Reading: Media Fabricate Palestinian Deaths To Push ‘Settler Violence’ Smear

However, this may not be the whole story.

According to an investigation by JNS, Arabic-language media reports present quite a different picture.

In the London-based Al-Araby Al Jadeed, it’s reported that on the fateful night of Tawfic Abdel Jabbar’s death, he “was participating with boys and young men in throwing stones at the occupation vehicles…”

In that same article, Abdel Jabbar’s father is quoted as saying that “I was keen throughout their lives to consolidate the danger of the occupation in my son’s mind, and the necessity of resisting it.”

Similarly, his mother is quoted, “Since our return, Tawfic had been telling me that he loved the town and did not want to return to the United States, and he was always talking about martyrdom, but I thought he was joking with me.”

From his mother’s description further on, it appears that Tawfic regularly joined local youths in throwing rocks at passing Israeli vehicles.

The Palestinian news outlet Ultra Palestine also reported that Tawfic Abdel Jabbar was engaged in rock-throwing when he was shot and killed.

Related Reading: In Contextualizing Palestinian Terrorism, Media Miss the Big Picture

As the Israeli police continue to investigate this matter and as more details emerge, it is clear that the narrative being produced by the mainstream English-language media about this incident is incomplete and not wholly accurate.

Liked this article? Follow HonestReporting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to see even more posts and videos debunking news bias and smears, as well as other content explaining what’s really going on in Israel and the region.

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The Observer Covers For Israeli Who Was Arrested For Allegedly Justifying Hamas Rapes

Just a week after criticizing the entire Israeli media for emphasizing Israel’s pain following the October 7 Hamas attack and not emphasizing enough the Palestinian suffering in the Gaza Strip, journalists Emma Graham-Harrison and Quique Kierszenbaum have followed up with another worryingly skewed article published in The Guardian’s sister newspaper, The Observer.

Headlined, “‘It is a time of witch hunts in Israel’: teacher held in solitary confinement for posting concern about Gaza deaths,” the piece focuses primarily on Meir Baruchin, who, readers are told in the subheading, was “fired and jailed for criticising the military” and claims that “many who agree with him are afraid to go public.”

The piece explains that the “grey-haired, softly spoken history and civics teacher” was placed in solitary confinement in a Jerusalem jail in early November after he was charged with intent to commit treason over what Graham-Harrison and Kierszenbaum describe vaguely as a “series of Facebook posts he’d made, mourning the civilians killed in Gaza, criticising the Israeli military, and warning against wars of revenge.”

Indeed, just one message that Baruchin posted online on October 8 — as the scale of the unprovoked massacre of Israeli civilians was clear — is reprinted in the article:

‘Horrific images are pouring in from Gaza. Entire families were wiped out. I don’t usually upload pictures like this, but look what we do in revenge,’ said a message on 8 October, below a picture of the family of Abu Daqqa, killed in one of the first airstrikes on Gaza. ‘Anyone who thinks this is justified because of what happened yesterday, should unfriend themselves. I ask everyone else to do everything possible to stop this madness. Stop it now. Not later, Now!!!’”

What readers are not told, however, is about the other comments Baruchin allegedly posted online that dark day in October.

Among other things, Baruchin is said to have justified Hamas terrorists raping Israeli women and also accused the IDF of perpetrating sexual attacks against Palestinian women ever since the State of Israel was established.

Had Graham-Harrison and Kierszenbaum reprinted the alleged posts, the fact that Baruchin was initially arrested for incitement would have at least made some sense.

It is later reported that — despite what’s stated in the headline — Baruchin is technically no longer working as a teacher after making what they call “similar criticism at a less volatile time” that led to his sacking from a school in Rishon LeZion three years ago.

But again, the actual contents of Baruchin’s incendiary posts are glossed over: readers are not told that in January 2020 following a terrorist attack, he uploaded a photo of the Palestinian terrorist and “eulogized him and described his deeds as acts of desperation,” according to Adnan Zada, the Israel Police representative.

In another post written in the aftermath of a car-ramming, Baruchin allegedly said the attacker could not be called a “terrorist.”

Finally, the very reason for his losing his job is incorrectly stated in the Observer piece, which states that Baruchin has an employment tribunal hearing this month because, under Israeli law, municipal authorities have “no right to fire a teacher whose performance has always been excellent.”

Going back to reports from three years ago, it is clear that Baruchin was not simply fired for expressing his personal opinions.

What actually happened was Baruchin described the IDF as “murderers” and he was called into a meeting with the school principal Dr Sophie Ben Artzi, who told him his comments were not appropriate. “I asked him into my office and just said that I am not prepared for him to call IDF soldiers murderers. He said that he will call them whatever he wants and I responded with ‘meeting over’,” she explained about the incident.

Read More: Canceled: How Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Silence Israel Online

Yet, full details of the allegations that led to Baruchin’s arrest aren’t the only thing absent from this Observer feature.

The case of another teacher, Yael Ayalon, the head of a Tel Aviv high school, is also briefly touched upon, with readers told that she was summoned by authorities after sharing an article by Haaretz that claimed the Israeli media is hiding how Gazan civilians are being impacted by the war:

Her students rioted in the school after news of the post spread; she took her employers to a tribunal and was reinstated, but when she returned to school she was attacked again by students chanting ‘go home’. She declined to speak to the Observer.”

But in an ironic twist, it is Haaretz that went into the circumstances of the case, with sources telling the publication that Ayalon was summoned to the hearing “due to her problematic conduct, which also includes various administrative issues, and not due to her Facebook posting.”

Graham-Harrison and Kierszenbaum’s latest feature is a masterclass on how to spin the truth.

One can agree or disagree with Baruchin’s treatment by Israeli authorities but it is clear that Graham-Harrison and Kierszenbaum have told only half the story in an attempt to portray Israel as being in the grip of McCarthyism when it comes to criticism of its military and the current war against Hamas.

While Meir Baruchin may benefit from this bias, hopefully, some readers will Google his name and read the full story.

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The Eight Categories of Media Bias

1. Misleading Terminology

“If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” – George Orwell

Language can be used to promote an agenda. The media must exercise caution when consciously choosing to adopt (or avoid) certain terms.

When it comes to Israel, there are many phrases that have been weaponized. Below is a small sample that downplay realities on the ground, are emotionally charged, or deliberately manipulate international law. The inclusion of any of them within a broadcast, article, or post should immediately raise a red flag:

a. “Cycle of violence” or “tit-for-tat”

b. 1967 borders, or Green Line

c. Genocide, ethnic cleansing

d. Military wing vs. political wing

e. Tel Aviv (when discussing the seat of government)

f. IOF: Israeli Occupation Forces

Passive language also serves to de-emphasize a significant event and/or downplay negative actions.

The Holocaust did not see people die. It was an active genocide of the Jewish people by Nazi Germany. October 7 did not lead to deaths. It was the worst massacre since the Holocaust. The language describing those events should convey their enormity.

2. Imbalanced Reporting

Journalism distorts news through disproportionate coverage, presenting only one side of the story, misrepresenting fringe views as mainstream, or burying important contextual information.

A casual reader of this New York Times article would not be able to easily understand that the “Palestinian Detainee” was, in fact, the leader of Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization. The headline and teaser are written in a way to whitewash him, and the relevant information is not mentioned until the 5th paragraph of the article.

This is a purposeful obfuscation of facts.

3. Opinions Disguised as News

A journalist’s job is to report facts without infecting their own opinion or interpretation of events. Even properly labeled commentary (in the op-ed section or sidebars labeled as analysis) requires a modicum of objectivity. Opinions must be based on accurate information, sound logic, and expressed respectfully.

The West Bank and “settlements” are lightning-rod topics. How you refer to the West Bank, and one’s support for settlements or lack thereof, is a litmus test of politics. But “settlements” are not a monolithic group, and their location within the West Bank varies. To use the blanket statement of “settlements are regarded as illegal under international law” is incorrect. Similarly, the West Bank is “disputed” under international law, not occupied.

4. Lack of Context

Context describes the conditions in which something happens. Without a frame of reference for readers, journalists can dramatically distort the true picture.

During Operation Iron Swords, Israel bombed Hamas leaders who were sheltering inside a tunnel complex built beneath the Jabaliya Refugee Camp.

One might ask why Palestinians in Gaza live in a “refugee camp” or why a neighborhood of apartment complexes is referred to as a “refugee camp.”

But there is no question that the way this Washington Post columnist phrased her tweet was purposefully misleading.

5. Selective Omission

By choosing to report certain events over others, or withholding key details, the media control access to information.

In the aftermath of Hamas’ October 7 massacre, waves of protests swept across America. At one protest in California, a pro-Palestinian protester hit a pro-Israel protester over the head with a megaphone. That man ultimately died of his wounds.

Yet, news outlets across the world minimized the event. To someone who didn’t know the facts, they could believe that the Jewish man simply tripped over his own feet. Or passed out from dehydration and hit his head. Instead of the truth – that the man was killed in a violent interaction with another person.

6. Using True Facts to Draw False Conclusions

Even if all the facts are accurate, it’s still possible for journalists to draw illogical conclusions.

In this example, The New York Times equates Israeli Arabs with Palestinians living in the West Bank. The former are full citizens of Israel. They vote, serve in Knesset, sit on the Supreme Court, and hold leadership positions across every Israeli industry.

The latter are not citizens. They are eligible to vote in Palestinian elections – however infrequently those are held. Nevertheless, it is the Palestinian government that has disenfranchised them, not the Israeli one.

So, while it is technically true to say that Palestinians in the West Bank “have no vote in Israeli elections,” it is dishonest.

7. Distortion of Facts

Getting the facts wrong. Sometimes this is a result of the 24-hour news cycle and the need to be first to publish. But not always.

The “journalism of assertion” is the idea that reporters can ease up on independent verification of facts if information is directly attributed to someone. But even the most well-meaning of eyewitnesses (which in and of itself isn’t always a given) can have faulty memories or an incomplete understanding of what they witnessed.

Another worrying trend is mistranslation. Arabic has words for Israel and Zionist, yet Western translators frequently cover for antisemitism by translating “Yahud” as “Israeli” instead of “Jew.”

We saw this when a mob stormed an airport in Russia looking for Jews on a flight landing from Israel. They were misrepresented as “anti-Israel protestors” despite their chants specifically targeting Jews. We’ve also seen it in the past with a BBC documentary on Palestinians in Gaza.

8. Lack of Transparency

Failing to be open and accountable to readers.

Reporters are human. They have biases. That’s to be expected. Which is why disclosures matter. A simple editor’s note that holds a prominent place within an article can build trust with a reader, allowing them to better judge the veracity of what they are reading.

When CNN journalists were embedded with the IDF in Gaza during Operation Iron Swords, this is how they presented the article.

Yet, when journalists report from Gaza, where there is no freedom of the press, there is never any such disclaimer. There is no disclosure that Hamas rules with an iron fist and controls the flow of information.

This lack of uniformity and transparency tricks readers into believing that all information is equally valid, as opposed to helping them understand when some information should be treated with caution.

BONUS – Beware of  ‘The Halo Effect’

Reporters commonly cite international agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), activists, and academics as authoritative sources beyond reproach. Their expertise needs to be balanced against a journalist’s duty to independently verify facts.

Just recently, a Human Rights Watch senior employee accused her organization of “years of politicization of its Israel-Palestine work that has frequently violated basic editorial standards related to rigor, balance, and collegiality, when it comes to Israel.”

It is imperative that journalists understand and explain that expertise can exist alongside agenda, and account for that within their reporting.

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From Vegas to Jerusalem: Global Violence Continues with Silence

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When a person is physically distanced from a terror attack it is easy to mentally disconnect and think, “That could never happen to me.”

Over the past year, global terror has intensified.

Israel has witnessed it all year, not just on October 7 when Hamas terrorists breached the border between Israel and Gaza to commit heinous acts of terror against innocent civilians including murder, rape, and kidnapping. On January 27, a Jerusalem synagogue was attacked. On April 7, three British nationals visiting Israel to celebrate Passover were murdered. Time and time again, Israel has faced terrorist attacks and much of the world has turned a blind eye, chalking it up to a geopolitical issue from which they can detach.

But terror attacks can happen anywhere.

I have lived in Las Vegas for eight years, and I decided to spend a year in Israel before enrolling in university. Until the Hamas attack on October 7, I had never felt physical danger.

On December 6 my home city’s college, University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), faced a shooting. While I was not physically present, my father and many of my close friends were. Fortunately, no one I knew was injured or physically harmed by the perpetrator, but the mental toll is evident.

The threat of violence exists everywhere and complacency ensures that it will never end.

When the Israel-Hamas war began, many of my fellow program participants left the country as fast as they could, and I initially did as well. I stayed in England with my grandmother for more than a month.

While there, my friends and I were forced to hide our Judaism for fear of violence. This has been a common experience for my Jewish friends across the world.

On college campuses, including UNLV, there have been antisemitic graffiti, threats of another intifada (wave of violence), and extreme anti-Israel rhetoric. There have been incidents of violence committed against Jews globally.

Despite this, many people who had previously advocated against violence remained silent. This includes the Black Lives Matter movement, which garnered heavy progressive support due to its positions on police brutality and racism against black people. However, after the October 7 attack, a Chicago chapter of BLM veered away from the organization’s purported mission by posting a picture of a Hamas paraglider, appearing to celebrate the October 7 atrocity.

Additionally, top-ranked colleges Harvard, MIT, and UPenn failed Jewish students when they did not condemn calls for Jewish genocide. There is a double standard regarding violence as it pertains to Jewish people. The silence and support in response lead to a global society where the murder of innocent people is perceived as justice.

When I decided to return to Israel in late November, many people cited the inherent risks due to the ongoing war. People asked me to come home to Las Vegas to ensure my safety. Now many of those people were caught on campus during the recent shooting incident.

Shootings on college campuses have been prevalent throughout the past year, including at many institutions that my friends attend. UNC, Michigan State, and Georgia State to name a few. While they may pale in comparison to the October 7 massacre, there is a pattern to much of this violence that shows parallels to the Hamas attacks: the perpetrators have sought to cause maximum damage.

If this isn’t recognized, the cycle will continue.

The lesson must be: Stand up to hatred and violence even when it doesn’t directly affect you. Because it soon might.

Amber Lovat, who resides in Las Vegas, is currently interning at HonestReporting during her Masa-run Aardvark gap year in Israel program.

Liked this article? Follow HonestReporting on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to see even more posts and videos debunking news bias and smears, as well as other content explaining what’s really going on in Israel and the region.

Featured image: randy andy via Shutterstock

Honest Reporting is a website that seeks to bring balance to the left slant in the major news media.

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YouTube’s Gaslighting About Las Vegas Mass Murderer Stephen Paddock, Explained by Someone Who Investigated

Reprinted from NOQ report.

Recent revelations have shown that YouTube does not want anyone to know the truth about Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas mass murderer. Considering that he’s been out of the news cycle for so long, briefly reappearing after a bogus statement by the FBI, one has to wonder why YouTube is going to such pains to keep the conversation under control.

Mises Caucus took to Twitter to expose the shenanigans:

Conservative documentary maker Mindy Robinson did an in-depth review of everything that happened before, during, and after the attack. Her video is below. Here’s her post on Twitter with many of the questions YouTube doesn’t want people asking:

Why would they build algorithms to suppress everything but the official lone gunman narrative for the Las Vegas shooting, you ask? 🧐

I spent half a year reading every FBI and police report from that night, listening to every 911 call, and talking to everybody I knew that was there. Let’s see what they don’t want people talking about:

  • Who were the 3 other people registered to Paddock’s room that night other than him and the girlfriend? We only know about them because their names were redacted on police body cam footage that took multiple lawsuits and a year and a half to get. Why won’t the FBI investigate or even name these 3 people?
  • Why did 3 helicopters hovering above Mandalay Bay turn their transponders off minutes before the shooting…and didn’t put them back on until the minute it was over?
  • Why did hundreds of people report seeing and hearing other gunmen that night on the Strip long after Paddock was dead?
  • Why did the media mysteriously drop the story after only 2 weeks?
  • How did Paddock’s computer hard drive walk off the crime scene?
  • How did Paddock lock one room from the inside, and transport himself to the other side of the door to die on the floor?
  • Why do electronic door locks prove that at least 2 other people were in those rooms that night? Why was the room service ticket for two entrees?
  • Why were officers ordered to remain in the stairwell for over an hour allowing anyone in those rooms to escape? Why did they say they were waiting for SWAT…when SWAT never showed?
  • How were they unable to identify one of the gunman seen running around the Strip that night with a gun…when they had a description of his truck and his license plate number?
  • Why was MGM allowed to bribe the security guard by gifting him 2 condos for his silence? What was his explanation for running off to Mexico and only ever doing one very controlled Ellen interview?
  • Why did the corrupt Vegas Sheriff force his officers to sign NDA’s about what they saw that night?
  • Why were officers told multiple times to turn off their body cams that night?
  • Why were they running mass shooter drills all week causing confusion at the hospitals? Who ordered them?
  • Why were so many fatalities shot with perfect parallel trajectories? Why did so many people hear gunshots come from the ground behind the stage?
  • Why was Paddock’s house left “unlocked” and allowed to be ransacked while the investigation was ongoing?
  • How are there only 2-3 pics of Paddock? He previously worked for the military industrial complex and had a pilot’s license…was he a government spook?
  • Why was the girlfriend let off so easily? What about the anti-gun Australian nut Brian Hodge who did interviews knowing certain things that had not been released to the public yet?
  • Where did the millions of dollars collected by former Governor Sisolak through the Gofundme go?
  • Why are we relegated to body cam footage we had to sue for and citizen cell phone footage? Where is all the security camera footage from the casinos that night?
  • It’s also worth mentioning that the same corrupt RINO Sheriff who was hated by his own party for being anti-gun, pro-red flag, pro-force vaccination, and tried to claim Paddock was a “Trump supporter” was fully funded by dark money groups and casinos and “won” the primary against a visibly more popular America first candidate and eventually installed as Governor. He was the same guy that lied on the stand about the Bundy Ranch.

The FBI covered this up…and poorly. I can’t think of a reason why unless they either screwed up, or orchestrated the whole thing…it sure wouldn’t be the first time. Is there a particular reason the government doesn’t think the public deserves answers for any of this? It’s looking like the Feds killed 58 people to do a gun grab as well as something funny with the Saudi Prince which is a whole other rabbit hole.

We want answers for this @JoeLombardoNV

This conspiracy goes both deep and wide. There are many things being covered up and a whole lot of people involved. Was/is this part of a government operation to bring forth gun control? Was it actually far more nefarious than that?

Here’s Robinson’s documentary:

The post YouTube’s Gaslighting About Las Vegas Mass Murderer Stephen Paddock, Explained by Someone Who Investigated appeared first on NOQ Report – Conservative Christian News, Opinions, and Quotes.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in the NOQ REPORT are not necessarily those of "Cogny Mann." But it is certain that we share a lot of overlap in our philosophies and worldviews.

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As U.S. Bank Deposits Resume Outflows, How Quickly Will The U.S. Dollar Collapse?

Reprinted from NOQ report.

While it has been a relatively quiet week in the financial sector, it may not be long before the economy takes over headline news again.

ZeroHedge News reported today that U.S. banks are experiencing more runs on deposits.

US Bank Deposits Resume Outflows, Led By Large Institutions; Small Bank Loan Growth Slumped

It’s late on a Friday afternoon, but there’s still more things to worry about as The Fed’s H.8 (commercial bank deposit data) just dropped.

After yesterday’s report showed the Fed balance sheet shrinking but bank bailout facility usage higherUS commercial bank deposits (ex-large time deposits) unexpectedly resumed their freefall (during the week-ending 4/12), tumbling $68.66 billion to the lowest since April 2021…

Pam Martens of Wall Street on Parade addressed the current “credit crunch” that was revealed this week with the release of the Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book” report.

Fed’s Beige Book: The Credit Crunch Has Arrived in New York, California and Texas

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released its Beige Book, a compilation of current economic conditions in each of its 12 Federal Reserve districts. The information that was collected in each of the regional reports was gathered on or before April 10 – so it is relatively current.

It is not a good sign that three of the Fed districts that pump out a significant chunk of U.S. GDP reported that bank credit had tightened noticeably, ostensibly as fallout from the banking collapses in March and depositor runs.

The New York Fed reported that credit conditions in the Second Fed District, which includes New York state, the 12 northern counties of New Jersey, Connecticut’s Fairfield County, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, “deteriorated sharply.” It summarized the situation as follows:

“Conditions in the broad finance sector deteriorated sharply coinciding with recent stress in the banking sector. Small to medium-sized banks in the District reported widespread declines in loan demand across all loan segments. Credit standards tightened noticeably for all loan types, and loan spreads continued to narrow. Deposit [interest] rates moved higher. Finally, delinquency rates edged up on residential and commercial mortgages.”

Almost everyone now in the corporate news media financial sector is admitting that the U.S. Dollar’s decline is a foregone conclusion in the future.

The only question left is, how quickly will it collapse?

Alasdair Macleod of Goldmoney has written the best analysis of the current U.S. Dollar situation that I have read so far, and it was republished on ZeroHedge News as well.

This is a bit of a long read, but it is well worth it to understand what is probably in store for the U.S. Dollar in the future, as he tackles the question: “How quickly will the dollar collapse?”

If you want a spoiler statement from this article, it would be this:

Assuming that foreign holders reduce their dollar exposure and at the margin buy renminbi (Chinese currency), the fall in the dollar relative to the renminbi could be unexpectedly sudden and substantial.

How Quickly Will the Dollar Collapse?

This article looks at the factors behind the growing rejection of the dollar for trade settlement purposes by non-aligned nations around the world. They no longer fear political or economic reprisals from America.

The dollar’s monopoly was notably challenged by Saudi Arabia, which removed itself from the US’s sphere of influence to that of China and Russia. Consequently, peace has broken out throughout the Arab lands.

But rising interest rates have destabilised western banking systems, which have added to the attractions of payment in China’s renminbi relative to maintaining bank deposits and investments in the currencies of the western alliance — particularly of the dollar. Foreigners hold $7 trillion of deposits and short-term bills and $24.5 trillion in bonds and equities. These balances are becoming surplus to their needs.

The outlook is for US bank credit to contract further, which will drive interest rates even higher. More banks can be expected to fail. Foreigners are bound to become increasingly reluctant to hold dollars, which they will sell. Therefore, the question now is not how much will the dollar decline, but how rapidly. 

Introduction

We know that the Russia and China’s desire to do away with the dollar is coming true, due to factors beyond their immediate control. Increasing numbers of nations are now committing to accepting payment for cross border trade in currencies other than the dollar, despite US insistence that the only currency for pricing commodities, settling international trade, and therefore the reserve currency must be its own.

We also know that since the Second World War, the US Government has acted robustly against dissenters to enforce its currency monopoly. Libya’s Ghaddafi and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein both proposed new currencies to free themselves from the dollar and came to a sticky end. But all monopolies eventually fail. Encouraged by signs that the dollar’s has now run its course, increasing numbers of nations are abandoning it.

When the US was the world’s policeman, very few countries would have dared to challenge the mighty dollar. American foreign policy was driven by its battle against communism, protecting economic freedom for nations in its sphere of influence. But for the ruling elites around the world, America created distrust and resentment. These are the world policeman’s legacy.

A seminal event, which westerners have mostly forgotten about, was the Asian crisis of 1998. China believes it was planned by the Americans for their own benefit. Here is an extract from an important speech by Major General Qiao Liang, strategist for the Peoples’ Liberation Army, to the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee in April 2016, when he laid down what has become China’s version of events:

“What was the hottest investment concept in 1980s? It was the “Asian Tigers.” Many people thought it was due to Asians’ hard work and how smart they were. Actually, the big reason was the ample investment of U.S. dollars.

“When the Asian economy started to prosper, the Americans felt it was time to harvest. Thus, in 1997, after ten years of a weak dollar, the Americans reduced the money supply to Asia and created a strong dollar. Many Asian companies and industries faced an insufficient money supply. The area showed signs of being on the verge of a recession and a financial crisis.

“A last straw was needed to break the camel’s back. What was that straw? It was a regional crisis. Should there be a war like the Argentines had? Not necessarily. War is not the only way to create a regional crisis.

“Thus, we saw that a financial investor called “Soros” took his Quantum Fund, as well as over one hundred other hedge funds in the world, and started a wolf attack on Asia’s weakest economy, Thailand. They attacked Thailand’s currency Thai Baht for a week. This created the Baht crisis. Then it spread south to Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Then it moved north to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and even Russia. Thus, the East Asia financial crisis fully exploded.

“The camel fell to the ground. The world’s investors concluded that the Asian investment environment had gone south and withdrew their money. The U.S. Federal Reserve promptly blew the horn and increased the dollar’s interest rate. The capital coming out of Asia flew to the U.S.’s three big markets, creating the second big bull market in the U.S.

“When the Americans made ample money, they followed the same approach they did in Latin America: they took the money that they made from the Asian financial crisis back to Asia to buy Asia’s good assets which, by then, were at their bottom price. The Asian economy had no capacity to fight back.

“The only lucky survivor in this crisis was China.”

Whether Qiao was right in his assessment is not the point: this is what the Chinese leadership believes. And in early 2014, they became aware of US plans to stoke up dissent in Hong Kong, which led to student riots later that year. While America has tried several times to provoke China since then (trade tariffs, technology bans, the Huawei saga, Taiwan…), the only action China has taken is to defensively impose greater control over Hong Kong which was demonstrated by American action to be her weak point.

Finally, China’s patience over the dollar appears to be paying off. It has not interfered with America’s global plans, beyond ensuring with Russia that the Asian continent is their joint fiefdom.

But China’s economic tentacles are not confined to Asia. It trades everywhere, and its business and investment plans offer better prospects for all Africa, South America, and even Mexico. If it wasn’t for fear of American reprisals, their support for China and willingness to take its currency in payment would have already happened. But then America took a step too far in sanctioning Russia and leaning on Brussels-based SWIFT to cut Russia out of the dollar-based global payments system.

NATO and the EU fell in line with the Americans, while Asia, numerically far larger in population, backed Russia. The Americans had miscalculated, and for Russia it was business almost as normal while the western alliance suffered soaring energy, commodity, and food prices. This triggered rising interest rates and now credit contraction, leading to an initial banking crisis six weeks ago with the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse in Europe. In the last six months, the dollar’s trade weighted index has fallen 11%.

Not only has America now demonstrated to every non-aligned nation that its dollar’s power is overrated, but by imposing sanctions on Russia it ended up destabilising its own financial system. And now, non-aligned nations have a free choice: stick with America, its dollar, and its discredited financial system, or deepen ties with China with her credible economic plan and whose economy is now growing.

While there is an element of short-termism in this choice, for the longer-term China offers something which America, its World Bank, and regional network cannot. The World Bank dishes out some charity, which allows it to fill its glossy handouts with tales of doing good. But any emerging nation seeking credit gets it in dollars (which it has to repay, thereby maintaining demand for it) and has to satisfy a business-cum-political case for the loan.

Dealing with China is different. Because her commercial interests align with those of her trading partners, China invests in infrastructure directly on its own or in partnership, building railways, highways, and communications. China can afford to do this because she has a savings driven economy. Furthermore, there are two currencies, onshore and offshore keeping offshore credit from migrating onshore. Therefore, the consequences for consumer price inflation of credit expansion are minimised.

Arguably, a shaky banking system is proving to be the dollar’s final undoing. Nations who hesitated before settling trade in renminbi are no longer doing so, understanding that their dollar reserves and balances are now at risk. There is additional safety in their numbers, because there are too many of them to be picked off by America individually. And if the US banking system continues to crumble, the interconnectedness with the other western alliance currencies is also at risk.

Other than those in the American camp, central banks are also re-evaluating their reserve policies. We have seen them add to their gold reserves, which is the same thing as selling dollars. According to the IMF, total foreign reserves fell by the equivalent of one trillion dollars in 2022, with the dollar content alone falling by $600bn. Renminbi in reserves at the year-end were only $298bn equivalent, so presumably they will be added to.

But is there really a need for currency reserves? The only case that can be made is for exchange rate and crisis management. Extending swap lines is inflationary, and a tool deployed only between the six major central banks — the Fed, Bank of Canada, Bank of England, the ECB, Bank of Japan, and the Swiss National Bank. It’s an elite arrangement that excludes the other 149 central banks.

They only need credit liquidity to settle their trade in other currencies. Therefore, a large proportion of dollar reserves held by central banks, which the IMF puts at $6.471 trillion, is becoming available for sale. To this must be added dollars held by private sector actors in the nostro/vostro correspondent banking system.

The end of the petrodollar’s monopoly

In so far as the public is aware, the dollar’s hiatus kicked off last December, when President Biden visited Saudi Arabia, followed by President Xi. The difference in their reception said it all, with Biden accorded a low-key welcome while Xi was honoured with all the Arab pomp and ceremony Muhammad bin Salman could muster. It was at Xi’s meeting that the Saudis agreed to accept payment for oil in renminbi.

These were merely the latest in a long line of developments. In 2014, a director of one of the major Swiss gold refiners told me that they were working round the clock recasting LBMA 400-ounce bars into the new 99.99 Chinese kilo standard. Bars from the Middle East, many of which appeared to have come out of long-term storage, were being returned to their owners recast to the new kilo standard. The only conclusion is that nine years ago the Arab world saw the future for their wealth being bound up more with China and Asia than with the Europeans and Americans. Coincidently, that was when America was believed by China to be stoking up trouble in Hong Kong, and provoking Russia into taking Crimea.

Further confirmation of how the geopolitical plates were shifting came in 2018 when President Putin and MBS high-fived at the G20 conference in Buenos Aires. From their body language it was clear that there was a confidential understanding between the two leaders and that they were working together. And in the five years since, the determination of Europe and North America to ban fossil fuels entirely has confirmed the foresight of the Arabs who nine years ago were recasting their gold bars into the Chinese standard.

By promising to do away with oil and gas on a rapidly shortening timescale, the West has offered the two Asian hegemons an open goal. Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia between them have nearly all the cheap cost oil and have a high degree of price control over global energy markets.

You can tell that America has now lost its influence over the Middle East because peace has returned to the region. Saudi Arabia is mending fences with Iran, Assad of Syria is expected to visit Riyadh shortly, Qatar and Bahrain are resuming diplomatic relations, and the first round of Yemeni peace talks have been successfully concluded. But America is not happy. William Burns from the CIA recently flew to Riyadh seeking a meeting with MBS, presumably to see where the CIA stood in the light of developments and to reconnoitre the situation. The nuclear attack submarine USS Florida transited Suez, in support of the Fifth Fleet and is presumed to be on its way into the Gulf.

Clearly, America’s intention is to escalate tensions, with a threat to attack Iran, whose nuclear programme is well advanced as the excuse. But realistically, the Americans are powerless. And if they do decide to attack Iran, they would also make enemies of the entire region — as MBS surely made clear to William Burns.

Other than security matters, the big issue is over currencies. Of course, the Gulf Cooperation Council members will still accept dollars. But America now has a banking crisis, the Fed itself is deeply in negative equity along with the other major central banks, and foreign holders of dollars have too many for future trade conditions.

The alternative is China and renminbi

It was reported this week that China’s GDP grew by 4.5% in the first quarter of this year, headlined by a recovery in consumer spending with retail sales growing by 10.6% in March alone. And while the west’s financial analysts’ attention is usually directed towards consumer activity first and foremost, everyone else knows that China has a savings driven economy, which allows credit to drive industrial investment without consumer prices inflating. 

There is an understandable fear that China’s demand for commodities will keep prices high at a time when America and Europe will enter recession on the back of contracting bank credit. Furthermore, there has been a lack of new mine discoveries and capital investment in commodity extraction, suggesting that commodity and energy supplies will remain tight. But as yet, in China statistical evidence that credit is driving capital formation is yet to emerge. 

Indeed, the pause in overall capital investment is consistent with China switching its strategic emphasis from its export trade to America and Europe to developing Asian markets. Furthermore, American manufacturers are reassessing their supply chain arrangements in the current geopolitical atmosphere.

But when it comes to choosing currencies, all the non-aligned nations supplying China know that her plans go far beyond domestic manufacturing with an ambition to bring about an industrial revolution throughout Asia. That is in their minds when they contrast receiving payment for exports in dollars to be lodged in the unsafe US banking system, compared with renminbi lodged in a state-guaranteed Chinese bank. And it is also in their minds when they compare the economic prospects for China compared with those of America and its close allies.

Even America’s allies are becoming unsure of their commitment to dollars. France recently accepted payment in renminbi for liquid natural gas. Other members of the European Union are plainly sitting on the fence, aware that to cut themselves off from the largest economy in the world which is growing while America’s is not, is ill-advised.

Furthermore, Europe has direct rail links across the Eurasian continent not just to China, but also to the entire continent. Shortly, they will connect directly to the Indian sub-continent as well, which is now officially the world’s most populous nation. Even the British cannot afford to follow Washington’s lead and restrain trade relations with China.

Trade imbalances are set to increase for America and much of Europe anyway. National accounting identities tell us that in the absence of changes in savings behaviour, a budget deficit leads to a matching trade deficit — the twin deficits syndrome. As contracting bank credit undermines the US economy, the US Government will face declining tax revenues, increasing welfare costs, and soaring borrowing costs.

The deficit on trade will increase in lockstep with the budget deficit— only this time, the balance of payments will almost certainly increase with the trade deficit because foreign exporters are unlikely to retain their dollar payments.

For the US Government and us all, it is likely to become a two-pronged headache. The first is that foreign demand for US Treasuries will not only disappear, but they will turn sellers when the funding requirement is rising.

Secondly, with global trade payments migrating to renminbi and China’s export trade continuing to thrive on filling America’s increasing trade gap, she will be cast as the villain of the peace. And any attempt by the US Government to introduce yet higher trade tariffs and bans on Chinese technology will not remedy the situation.

It must be acknowledged that a consequence of China’s economy expanding while America’s slumps could turn America’s current sabre-rattling over Taiwan into outright conflict.

Assessing the impact of dollar liquidation

There are two elements of dollar liquidation to consider, commencing with liquid bank deposits, certificates of deposit, Treasury, and commercial bills etc. with maturities of less than one year. According to the US’s Treasury International Capital statistics, at end-December these amounted to $7,074bn in credit liabilities due to all foreigners. This is the immediate amount that potentially hangs over foreign exchange markets.

At the same time, US residents have liabilities to them in foreign currencies of the equivalent of only $384bn. The ratio of foreign owned dollars to US owned foreign currency is 18.4 times. Put another way, this is the approximate imbalance between potential dollar selling by all foreigners and the ability of US buyers to absorb it by selling their foreign currency in return for dollars. On the face of it, this differential could fuel a rapid fall in the dollar’s exchange rate against foreign currencies.

It is also possible that a bank will buy in dollars for its own book and creates credit in a foreign currency in favour of the dollar seller. But that activity is likely to be limited to branches of foreign banks in New York with access to the relevant foreign wholesale credit markets and assumes they would wish to buy dollars.

But the most likely method to stop a sliding dollar would be either for the exchange stabilisation fund to intervene, which would reduce broad money supply when the Fed would be struggling to stop it contracting further; or for the Fed to seek cooperation from its swap line partners to buy dollars and sell their own currencies in return, which is highly inflationary.

This leads us to consider the outlook for interest rates and how foreign perceptions of financial risks might change, particularly with regard to systemic risk in the US banking system. We know that a weakening currency tends to lead to higher interest rates. And that rising interest rates might be expected to support the dollar’s exchange rate.

But there is the danger of a negative feed-back loop, whereby risks to the dollar’s exchange rate increases along with interest rates. This is because rising interest rates will destabilise the US economy and government finances, leading to higher budget and trade deficits. And portfolio assets, defined as being of more than one year’s maturity will fall in value.

The chart above shows how foreign holdings of long-term securities have been inflating in recent years on a quarter-to-quarter basis, mainly due to an increase in foreign private holdings. In January, private and public sector holdings totalled $24,548bn. And though choppy, there now appears to be a declining trend. These figures are in addition to foreign owned non-financial assets, such as real estate, farmland, factories, and offices.

US ownership of foreign long-term securities totals $14.263 trillion, of which $10,875bn is in corporate stocks. It should be noted that in the majority of cases, foreign securities are held in dollar-priced American Depository Receipts (ADRs), so that their disposal does not result in foreign exchange transactions, unlike a foreign disposal of a dollar-based asset which does.

But commercial bank credit in major jurisdictions has stopped growing or is even contracting while demand for credit continues to increase. The consequence is that interest rates will continue to rise, due to this imbalance of supply over demand. There is little that central banks can do about it without debasing their currencies.

And because they are under pressure to ensure the funding of their governments’ increasing deficits, they will be forced to accept the market’s pricing of credit. That was the experience of the 1970s.

While everyone’s attention is being misdirected to forecasts of CPI inflation, they appear to be unaware that inflation is not the immediate issue. It is the shortage of bank credit, which is now driving interest rates, not inflation expectations. Accordingly, the outlook is for yet higher bond yields which means that all financial asset values will fall further.

And as they fall, the highly financialised US banking system will be undermined by both investments held on their balance sheet and by collateral held against loans. But this outlook is not confined to dollar markets and is shared by all other western financial centres. As these dynamics become obvious to investors, a global liquidation of financial assets is bound to accelerate, with the exception perhaps of China’s financial markets which are set on a completely different course, and Russia’s which have been completely cut off from global investment flows.

In a general portfolio liquidation, the imbalance between foreign investment in long-term assets and the US ownership of foreign investments will drive relative currency outcomes. In dollars, it is a ratio of $24,548bn to $14,263bn, or approximately 1.72 times. But for foreign exchange purposes, probably less than a trillion dollars are being held denominated in foreign currencies, with the balance in ADRs.

When an ADR is sold, there is no foreign exchange transaction involved, unlike selling of foreign owned US securities. Therefore, a general portfolio liquidation would see an overwhelming excess of dollar selling by foreigners compared with foreign currency liquidation by Americans.

Assuming that foreign holders reduce their dollar exposure and at the margin buy renminbi, the fall in the dollar relative to the renminbi could be unexpectedly sudden and substantial. At least some of the dollar liquidation is likely to fuel energy and commodity prices, whose supply is in many cases too limited to support stockpiling on any scale.

Gold which is likely to be bought because it is still legal money in nearly all foreign jurisdictions. It would mark a foreigner-driven flight out of unanchored credit into physical commodities due to increasing counterparty risk.

The only offset to these negative implications for the dollar’s future is likely to come from other members of the western alliance. As major foreign holders of US Government debt, they can be relied upon to attempt mutual currency support. Doubtless, the Fed and its five partner central banks will increase their swaps to that end as well as to shore up the dollar itself.

But these actors are in the minority measured by the quantities of dollars held, and their attempts to rig foreign exchange markets will only make things worse.

We must therefore conclude that with the evidence pointing to foreign selling of the dollar, that this selling could quickly escalate. Consequently, dollar liquidation by foreigners will lead to significantly higher interest rates which can only be lessened by the expansion of central bank credit.

And that expansion can only come from the Fed because commercial banks are tapped out, seeking to contain their losses and reduce their balance sheet leverage. And if the Fed resorts to the printing press through currency swaps or by other means, the dollar will have had it anyway.

Russia’s position

The Russian economy appears to be doing remarkably well during the current conflict with Ukraine. Taxation and government debt are lower than in any other major economy, and with a few workarounds, the export trade continues in surplus. The conflict in Ukraine has been a financial burden, but not enough to destabilise Russia’s economy.

Payment flows have been diverted from dollars into Chinese yuan, permitting Russian ex-pats around the world to continue to use their credit cards. And Bangladesh has been paying Russia for its Rooppur nuclear power plant construction in yuan via a Chinese bank with access to China’s cross-border interbank payment system. As we have seen so many times in previous cases, sanctions against Russia are proving to be utterly pointless.

While the yuan payments route deals with the current situation, we can be sure that Russia will want to have a payment medium under its own control. It is to that end that on Putin’s behalf Sergey Glazyev is working on a proposal for a new trade settlement currency for the Eurasian Economic Union. The indications are that it will be based on gold, and it is likely from what Glazyev has publicly written that the rouble will move onto a gold standard of sorts as well.

The immediate benefit to Russia’s business community is that current interest rates of over 10% will fall substantially. It compares with a consumer price inflation rate of 3.5%, but that is heavily distorted by previously high CPI inflation rates. Nevertheless, anything that reduces interest rates in this lower inflation environment will encourage the growth in credit to maximise economic potential.

The key to it is for the value of credit to be anchored to gold to introduce permanent price stability. Only then can rouble interest rates decline to a few per cent permanently. 

The rouble would then be in a position to challenge a fiat yuan as a payment medium. And with Russia’s new relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council members, no doubt a gold-backed rouble would be readily accepted by the Saudis and others for energy payments, even in preference to yuan.

The negotiations between Russia and China on this point are likely to be tricky. But given that we know China has massive undeclared gold stocks anyway, talks can be resolved in the interests of a stable monetary relationship between the two hegemons. Of more importance perhaps, is the question of at what gold value the rouble will be exchangeable for notionally or actually, given that Putin’s unfriendlies face a financial, banking, and fiat currency crisis likely to drive fiat values for gold considerably higher as they rapidly lose purchasing power.

Read the full article at Goldmoney.com, cross-posted from Medical Kidnap.

The post As U.S. Bank Deposits Resume Outflows, How Quickly Will The U.S. Dollar Collapse? appeared first on NOQ Report – Conservative Christian News, Opinions, and Quotes.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in the NOQ REPORT are not necessarily those of "Cogny Mann." But it is certain that we share a lot of overlap in our philosophies and worldviews.

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Media Create False Moral Equivalence Between Released Hostages and Palestinian Prisoners

During the tense four days that have passed since the start of the Israel-Hamas truce on November 24, media have created a false moral equivalence between the release of Israeli hostages held by the terrorist group and Palestinian prisoners who have been jailed in Israel. Such coverage, which implicitly equates Israel to Hamas and validates the latter’s strategy, may have far-reaching ramifications on the continuation of the war.

In order to achieve that distorted equation between innocent women and children who were abducted from their homes and prisoners who have been charged with acts of violence or terror, media have used three parallel strategies: Sanitizing the Palestinian prisoners, referring to the Israeli hostages as “prisoners” and creating textual and visual symmetry regarding the joyful family reunions of each side.

AP and Reuters Set the Narrative

The Associated Press has managed to incorporate the first two strategies in one headline: “Palestinian families rejoice over release of minors and women in wartime prisoner swap.”

The rest of AP’s story, while including some background on the released Palestinian “minors and women” (but none on the Israeli “prisoners”) carries an empathetic tone that borders on justification for Hamas’ kidnappings. For example, it quotes an official referring to “prisoner exchanges” as “the only hope” for prisoners’ families, without mentioning that she works for a group with terror links:

“These kinds of prisoner exchanges are often the only hope families have to see their sons or fathers released before many years go by,” said Amira Khader, international advocacy officer at Addameer, a group supporting Palestinian prisoners. “It’s what they live for, it’s like a miracle from God.”

Related Reading: Addameer: Why Are Media Ignoring Palestinian NGO’s Fight to Free Terrorists?

The story ends with an emotional quote from a released Palestinian prisoner, who was jailed in Israel for throwing stones:

It was his first glimpse of the world after a year in prison for throwing stones in the northern town of Qalqilya. He was freed even though he had eight months of his sentence left to serve.He turned toward his father, wrapping him into a hug. “Look, I’m almost bigger than you now,” he said.

The hurling of rocks can kill, and it has killed Israelis in the past. It is most certainly not a harmless pastime activity as some media have intimated. The story also does not detail the various charges against most of the released Palestinians, which range from attempted murder and violent assault to terror affiliations.

The same distorted patterns appear in Reuters coverage. A mind-boggling headline refers to Israel and Hamas “prisoners,” including a four-year-old whose parents were brutally murdered in front of her eyes before she was kidnapped to Gaza.

An earlier version of the story included a video featuring a split-screen showing 9-year-old Emily Hand, an Israeli girl released from Hamas captivity, reunited with her father, next to the family reunion of released Palestinian bomber Israa Jaabis:

A textual symmetry followed the visual one: After detailing Hand’s family’s plight, the story ends with a quote from Shorouk Dwayyat. Nowhere does it mention that Dwayyat is a PFLP member who tried to stab Israelis to death:

In comments to Al Jazeera TV from her home, freed prisoner Shorouk Dwayyat, who had served half of her 16-year prison term, said she felt joy mixed with pain. “I feel like I am in a dream, but I hope that the war on Gaza will stop as soon as possible.”

When one of the world’s largest news agencies fails to mention such details, instead presenting terrorists on the same moral level as a 9-year-old who’s been abducted from her home, it violates journalistic and human values alike.

US, UK Media Sanitize and Equate

The New York Times also featured Israa Jaabis, sanitizing her attempted murder by passively blaming her vehicle:

She was arrested that year after her car exploded at a checkpoint near Jerusalem in the West Bank, leaving her disfigured and an Israeli police officer seriously injured.

National Public Radio didn’t even bother checking the facts. It simply published a photo gallery presenting the release of Israeli hostages amid pictures of Palestinians celebrating their prisoners’ release.

The Washington Post, meanwhile, included the following paragraph about the Palestinian prisoners release after a description and photos of the family reunions of freed Israeli children:

Videos posted on social media showed similarly joyful scenes in the West Bank, where Palestinian women and children freed by Israel were reunited with their families. A bus carrying Red Cross staff and the prisoners as part of the second day’s releases arrived to a crowd of supporters holding flags in the occupied West Bank early Sunday.

But the “similarly joyful scenes” were not similar at all. As German magazine Bild has pointed out: “The Israelis celebrate the return of the hostages, the Palestinians the release of prisoners. The difference couldn’t be greater: Israeli parents peacefully hug their released children. Palestinian ex-prisoners are cheered at terror marches”.

The Washington Post also does not say a word about why the Palestinian women and “children” (most of whom were minors) were arrested in the first place.

Israel spokesperson Mark Regev confronted a Sky News anchor about this issue, exposing the fact she was not even aware of the charges against the released Palestinians:

Some media have created an abysmal narrative that whitewashes terrorists by comparing them to innocent toddlers.

Some have minimized the kidnappings that took place on October 7 by equating the suffering of Israeli hostages to that of Palestinians in Israeli jails.

And by doing so, they have created a false moral equivalence between Israel and Hamas. They have also implicitly validated Hamas’ strategy of kidnapping Israelis and undermined Israel’s justification to continue fighting against the terror organization.

In a week that may be decisive for the course of the war as the agreed-upon truce between Israel and Hamas comes to an end, media have a responsibility to report the facts, not to create them.

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Photo credits: Palestinian prisoner — FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty Images; Hostages — ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES

Honest Reporting is a website that seeks to bring balance to the left slant in the major news media.

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