Breitbart Hires Birther And Extremist Sympathizer To Run Its New Jerusalem Site

Breitbart Hires Birther And Extremist Sympathizer To Run Its New Jerusalem Site
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The Breitbart News Network has started a new sub-website, Breitbart Jerusalem, which it claims will "produce daily, hard-hitting exclusive news and features related to Israel and will also cover Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and beyond." To run this operation, Breitbart has hired "veteran Middle East correspondent" Aaron Klein.

Klein spent the past decade at far-right website WorldNetDaily, which should give you an idea of what to expect from Breitbart Jerusalem. Let's review, shall we?

As I've documented, Klein is a sympathizer of far-right elements in Israel. Klein has regularly whitewashed the violent leanings of the far-right Kach/Kahane Chai movement -- outlawed in Israel for their links to violence and extremism -- once describing movement leader Meir Kahane only as among "politicians who in the past raised the possibility of expelling the Palestinian population" who were "largely sidelined by the mainstream Israeli media and general population" without noting the violence Kahane's movement was associated with, such as Baruch Goldstein's massacre of 29 Muslims in Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs in 1994.

Klein has admitted on his radio show (then on New York's WABC, now on a much smaller station operated by religious/right-wing-opinion conglomerate Salem) that "I personally do agree with some of the sentiments of Rabbi Meir Kahane." While he also claimed that "I have absolutely nothing to do with these Kahane Chai extremists," he did not explain which Kahanist views he considers "extremist."

Klein has also run to the defense of former Kahanist leaders without disclosing their links to the violent movement.

Klein also lives up to the title of his 2007 book "Schmoozing With Terrorists," using them to generate clickbait-y headlines -- most notoriously, enlisting a spokesman for Hamas to make an "endorsement" of Obama's candidacy in 2008. He's so cozy with these terrorists, in fact, that he regularly grants them anonymity when he quotes them, doing so again for "insiders in the group that represents ISIS in the Gaza Strip" just a few weeks ago.

Klein is also a bit of a sloppy reporter. In In 2005, WND was forced to retract a Klein article that falsely claimed the charity group Islamic Relief was linked to terrorism and repeated a claim the group was fraudulently raising money for nonexistent orphans. In 2006, Klein falsely suggested that Fox News paid a $2 million ransom for two correspondents who had been kidnapped in Gaza.

On top of all this, Klein is a rabid Obama-hater, as you'd expect from a WND employee. in 2010, he wrote a book (with Brenda J. Elliott, who will be following Klein to Breitbart) called "The Manchurian President," which was chock-full of conspiracy theories and ridiculous guilt-by-association attacks; for instance, he started out the book bashing a church in Hawaii where a young Obama attended Sunday school for allegedly harboring draft dodgers, thus somehow linking it to Bill Ayers (even though all that happened before Obama ever attended Sunday school there).

That book, as you'd also expect from a WND employee, goes into birther territory, promoting arguments by birther lawyers that "Obama may not be eligible to serve as president."

Indeed, Klein is very much a birther. In 2011, he claimed on his radio show, during an interview with fellow birther Jerome Corsi, that "I personally hired independent forensics experts, as did WorldNetDaily -- but I did myself. They didn't know who I was, they didn't know each other, and they independently verified that there were modifications made, that they found modifications on the birth certificate PDF document that was released. They can't say what the modifications were, but that already raises questions." Klein went on to lament that anyone who peddles birther conspiracies "are disparaged, they are smeared by the media."

And in 2014, Klein devoted an entire WND article to peddling the idea that "Obama's very presidency could itself be unconstitutional" he doesn't meet an overly strict definition of "natural born citizen" because his father wasn't a U.S. citizen. Klein's article didn't mention the Wong Kim Ark case, decided by the Supreme Court in 1898, that is generally accepted as defining that a child born in the U.S. is a citizen regardless of the parents' citizenship status.

This is who Breitbart has hired to run its Jerusalem website -- and why it will have trouble being taken seriously.

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