The Associated Press Doxxes Israel Supporters

The Left’s favorite game these days is exposing or “doxxing” supporters of conservative (or, some would say, common sense) causes. Why? So that fellow leftists can harass them or boycott their businesses. We have seen multiple instances in just the last few days. This one is striking because it comes from the Associated Press, which was once a respected news source. Caroline Glick has the story:

Last week, the Associated Press ran a hit job on a successful American businessman. Simon Falic and his two brothers own the Duty Free Americas chain, a private company that runs duty free stores in airports throughout the United States and Latin America.

They also happen to be Jewish. Simon Falic in particular is a powerful advocate for Jewish causes worldwide and for the State of Israel.

Through their family foundation, Simon Falic and his wife donate to dozens of organizations in Israel. The causes they support run the gamut from medical research to Jewish education. They support synagogue construction and refurbishment; archaeological excavations and preservation of archaeological sites; battered women’s shelters and day care centers; and the construction of new Jewish communities in Israel.

AP’s hit piece centers on Falic’s charitable work.

How can the AP make charitable work look bad?

The title of the article gave the game away. It read, “U.S. duty free owners give millions to settlements.”

The obvious question is: so what? There is nothing even vaguely illegal about Falic’s charitable undertakings. And indeed, the article doesn’t accuse him of committing or facilitating any crime.

Instead, the article’s immediate purpose is to “out” Falic as a Zionist Jew and make his support for Jewish national rights and national self-determination in the Jewish homeland stink of fascism and zealotry.

The AP didn’t even try to hide its purpose. The lead sentence read: “When travelers shop at dozens of duty free stores at airports worldwide, they may be paying for more than a bottle of vodka or a box of chocolates.”

As though the Falics were the only successful businessmen who donate a portion of their wealth to charity. Now the serious smear begins:

The Falic family of Florida, owners of the ubiquitous Duty Free America shops, funds a generous and sometimes controversial philanthropic empire in Israel that runs through the corridors of power and stretches deep into the Israeli-controlled West Bank. An Associated Press investigation shows that the family has donated at least $5.6 million to settler groups in the West Bank and East Jerusalem over the past decade, funding synagogues, schools, and social services along with far-right causes considered extreme even in Israel.

So who, exactly, is telling us that the causes the Falics support are “controversial,” “far right” and “considered extreme”? You guessed it:

The AP reporter, Uri Blau, is associated with the radical left in Israel. In the past, Blau worked as an investigative reporter for Israel’s far left-wing newspaper Ha’aretz. In 2008, Blau ran a series of articles about the Israel Defense Force’s operations in Judea and Samaria that were based on top secret documents. He exposed details of operations that were highly damaging to Israeli forces and risked the lives of soldiers and officers involved in the operations.
***
[N]ow at his new job at the Associated Press, Blau uses his international platform to present the positions of the radical left in Israel as mainstream.

Glick draws the obvious conclusions:

It would seem that the article serves multiple purposes. First, it puts a target on Falic for a future anti-Israel administration in the U.S. to harm.

During the Obama administration, the IRS didn’t limit its abusive treatment to opponents to Obama associated with the Tea Party. Jewish organizations that support conservative positions on Israel were also targeted. In the most well-publicized case, Z-Street, a Jewish group that sought to gain non-profit status for its Zionist education efforts, saw its application stalled and buried. An IRS official told a Z-Street representative that they were being slow rolled due to their positions on Israel.

Another purpose the article serves is to intimidate Falic by putting his business interests on the chopping block. Blau quotes Ran Cohen, a former member of Knesset from the radical leftist Meretz Party. (Blau represents him with the more neutral title “founder of the Israeli Democratic Bloc, which aims to expose anti-democratic trends.”)

Cohen, in turn, encouraged a consumer boycott of Falic’s business. In his words, “Everyone should be aware that when they shop at ‘Duty Free Americas,’ their dollars could potentially finance some of the most extreme right-wing actors in Israel.”

Happily, the Falics are not intimidated and responded strongly to the AP’s negative insinuations. But, as Caroline Glick points out, they are not the only targets of the AP’s hit piece:

[Simon] Falic may not be intimidated by an AP hit job. But Blau and his editors can reasonably assume that other wealthy philanthropists are. Who wants an AP article published about his family and business that paints him as a fanatic just because he is a Zionist and supports causes most Israeli Jews support?

Over the past several years, the radical left has used public records of philanthropic endeavors to harm the fortunes and reputations of businessmen who support conservative causes. For instance, in 2014 Mozilla founder and CEO Brendan Eich was forced to resign his position after he was attacked for contributing to an organization that campaigned to support traditional marriage in California.

It is a sign of the increased legitimacy of Israel-bashing (and Israel-supporter-bashing) on the left that an American Jewish businessman is now being targeted for supporting Israel the way another American businessman was targeted five years ago for opposing gay marriage.

To be fair, leftists will harass, threaten, boycott or try to get fired anyone who disagrees with them. Those who support Israel are on the list, but they are far from the only ones. Normal people must stand up to leftists whenever possible, or we will lose.

Responses

Books to read from Power Line