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November 6, 2023

In Brief: Hamas Is More Trustworthy Than Joe Biden?

After the president said he had “no confidence” in Palestinian death figures, The Washington Post stepped in.

“I have no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are giving” regarding death tolls, said Joe Biden back in October. Well actually, harrumphed The Washington Post’s “fact-checker” in response. The Federalist’s Mark Hemingway is about as big a fan of leftist “fact-checkers” as we are, and he has thoughts.

Here’s a howler from the Washington Post: “Fact Checker: The president said he had ‘no confidence’ in the figures issued by the Hamas-run health ministry, but it has a good track record on reporting death tolls.”

You read that right: the Post had to choose between who is more trustworthy, Joe Biden or Hamas, and they went with the terrorists. Speaking as someone who’s been pretty blunt about Biden’s legendary problems with veracity, even I’m kind of stunned.

Clearly, Hemingway adds, he’s not condoning or excusing civilian deaths of any type. That happens in war, though, even if it’s “horrifying.”

But this case does speak to a certain liberal internationalist view of the world, where NGOs and government agencies exist almost for the sole purpose of laundering political ideology into dubious empirical stats.

He quotes the Post arguing that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs finds Hamas’s death toll reports previously had “high accuracy,” and that Biden’s own State Department “has regularly cited ministry statistics without caveats.”

As a general rule, the U.N. is a viper’s nest of people who are anti-Israel at best, and openly anti-semitic at worst—what other group would allow Iran to chair a human rights forum after it enabled such a barbaric terrorist attack a few weeks ago?

While not as bad as the U.N., I’m afraid the State Department doesn’t have much credibility here either, given that Anthony Blinken is “running the State Department like a college campus” and having “listening sessions” with State Department employees traumatized by America’s foreign policy response to Hamas’ attack. Another State Department employee recently resigned over our supposed “blind support” and arms transfers for Israel.

Elsewhere the WaPo fact checker cites NGOs and, notably, Human Rights Watch saying the Gaza Health Ministry death tolls are “generally reliable.” The problem is that Human Rights Watch is not “generally reliable,” either. …

HRW might just be the tip of the iceberg. Pro-Israel groups have long argued, and with compelling evidence, that large swaths of nongovernmental organizations are essentially Palestinian shills that take funding from terrorist groups. Many of those same NGOs were awfully quick to accuse Israel and parrot the false death totals alleged in the bombing of a Gaza hospital that was actually caused by a Hamas rocket falling short. And yes, these are the very same exaggerated death tolls that were sourced to the Gaza Health Ministry.

Predictably, the Post’s “fact-checker” isn’t interested in this missing context. The other missing context, of course, is the Leftmedia’s gross dereliction in reporting that Israel blew up a hospital, which wasn’t true. That info also came from Hamas.

Hemingway concludes:

I’m well aware that Israel is not above playing its own propaganda games and the IDF isn’t always justified in its use of force, but as relative moral comparisons go, the choice here isn’t close. Even now Hamas leaders are vowing to attack Israel “again and again.” Hamas continues to hold women and children as hostages, but we’re to believe they can be trusted not to lie to the press?

It’s not hard for even a badly senescent Biden to look at the situation and see what side should be trusted and what side should not. To side with the terrorists here, it takes someone who is both blindly trusting of a lot untrustworthy institutions and enough of a sophist not to step back and ask big-picture questions about right and wrong.

Unfortunately, doing exactly that is just all in a day’s work for a “fact-checker.”

Read the whole thing here.

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