Those posing as investigative journalists in the supposedly-mainstream media should take a lesson... from Rick Richman.
Prompted by a Wall Street Journal editorial about the IRS targeting of pro-Israel organizations, my friend and colleague Rick Richman noted a specific observation made in the New York Times (in July 2010) and quoted by the WSJ, that while the "American government seeks to end the ... Jewish settlement enterprise," the Treasury Department helps to sustain that same enterprise "through tax breaks on donations to support them." The Journal editorial wondered, "Did the T-men take their political cues from such [media] stories, or did Administration officials give them orders?" -- and noted that "either explanation would be a violation of public trust."
Richman dug deeper, actually going back to the minutes of meetings of the Palestinian negotiating unit, included in something called the Palestine Papers, and published by Al Jazeera in 2011. In those minutes he found this clue, which he posted at Commentary two months ago:
.... At the June 16 meeting, Erekat said Benjamin Netanyahu’s June 14 Bar-Ilan speech had sought to put the Palestinians on the defensive. Netanyahu endorsed a two-state solution and stated that in the meantime, “we have no intention of building new settlements or of expropriating additional land for existing settlements,” but would “enable the residents to live normal lives.” He urged the Palestinians to engage in immediate negotiations, without preconditions. Erekat wanted to respond to the speech with a letter to the U.S. that would cite the number of individual housing units under construction. Dr. Mohammed Shtayyed made an additional suggestion to Erekat:
“We should also focus on the government incentives to settlers: loans without interest, land for free, agricultural subsidies in the Jordan valley. We can’t stop a pregnant lady from having a baby, but look at what we can do. We should look at the 501(c)(3) organizations in the States that make donations to settlers. Let the US administration investigate this.” [Emphasis added]
Shatayyed was wrong about Israeli government incentives, which had been terminated by Israel during the Bush administration, as part of a negotiated arrangement (detailed by Elliott Abrams in Tested by Zion) allowing new construction only within already built-up areas, which permitted normal growth without an increase in the Israeli “footprint” in the territories. Given our evolving knowledge of how the IRS operated under Obama, however, it seems possible the Palestinians followed through on Shtayyed’s other suggestion, asking the administration to investigate pro-Israeli groups.
I read this at the time, but could not have told you today the name of the Palestinian who made the suggestion to "look at" American 501(c)(3)s. Rick did remember, however, and mentioned it to me in a recent conversation: Dr. Mohammed Shtayyed ... the very same whose facebook page has recently made the rounds of Israel-related blogs!
While ['Palestinian negotiator'] Dr. Shtayyeh has been paying lip service to Kerry’s peace talks initiative publicly, his Facebook background image reveals his aspirations for a Palestinian state that incorporates the entirety of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. The word ‘Filastin’ (Palestine) can be seen emblazoned across the entirety of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.
And just think, this very same "Palestinian negotiator" Mohammad/Mohammed Shtayyed/Shtayyeh, purveyor of erroneous maps, was...
WITH THE PRESIDENT.
IN THE OVAL OFFICE.
AT THE WHITE HOUSE.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shtayyeh (right) and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molho (left) at the formal resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in the Oval Office, July 30, 2013 (photo credit: Official White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy)
No word from the mainstream media as to whether Shtayyeh was able to discuss any IRS-related matters with the President at that meeting.