From headlines to the real story

One headline I read about what is going on in Washington regarding Middle East events reads:

Obama to detail ISIS threat

That was from The Hill and this headlines is from Politico:

President Obama to detail ISIL fight in speech to nation

The Jerusalem Post’s headline was:

Arab League to take all necessary measures against IS

One could think that if you don’t know what to call it, how can you properly deal with it.

Be that as it may, if you misleadingly call a threat not a threat, well, that really could be a problem.  There’s another problem, though, about a threat.

Thanks to the New York Times’ Eric Lipton with Brooke Williams and Nicholas Confessore, we are able to read in their Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks that besides Norway, who recently spent $5 million on the Center for Global Development to push “United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities” which is “increasingly transforming the once-staid think-tank world into a muscular arm of foreign governments’ lobbying in Washington” (and “think tanks do not disclose the terms of the agreements they have reached with foreign governments” nor do they register with the United States government as representatives of the donor countries, an omission that appears, in some cases, to be a violation of federal law”), but that the United Arab Emirates is a major supporter of the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Qatar last year made “a $14.8 million, four-year donation to Brookings, which has helped fund a Brookings affiliate in Qatar and a project on United States relations with the Islamic world”.

The story quoted Saleem Ali, who served as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, saying that “If a member of Congress is using the Brookings reports, they should be aware — they are not getting the full story” and that he had been told during his job interview that he could not take positions critical of the Qatari government in papers.

The story claims that “a minimum of $92 million in contributions or commitments from overseas government interests over the last four years. The total is certainly more.”

Of course, a crass anti-Zionist site was perturbed that Israel wasn’t in that story but given all the negative stories over the years, some slack could have been allowed, especially as Israel complies with the law and it not the surreptitious think-tanks that bother anti-Zionists but the lobbying.

I am not sure what is developing in Washington but here in Israel, this paper informs us that Jerusalem doubts Indyk’s institute after Qatar funding reports as if Indyk wasn’t a bad egg from the start.

At least we all know that the campaign to assure Israel a fair hearing is being stymied by money.

Isn’t it remarkable that the anti-Semitic meme of “rich Jewish funding” is now to be revealed as an instrument of Arab influence by the NYTimes.  And to think, Mitch Bard’s book, The Arab Lobby, was out there already four years ago (and a book launch was held here in Jerusalem at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in October that year and I was there).  I don’t think the NYT’s correspondent was present.