Thursday, April 27, 2017

This week's fake news from Israel

Today is Thursday. It's time for fake news.

This edition is about US President Donald Trump. Of course, because Donald Trump is at the heart of this fake story, we can't tell at all if this news is really fake.

President Trump has been keeping everyone busy about fake/-not-fake stories since at least January 20, 2017, when he first took office. For example, in February, 2017, the Guardian of England reported that Trump was abandoning the 'two state solution' (Peter Beaumont, "Abandoning 'two state solution' is no joke, Palestinian officials say", guardian, February 15, 2017). Then, six weeks later, the Boston Globe reported the exact opposite story (Daniel Estrin, "Dershowitz says Trump 'clearly' endorsed Palestinian state", bostonglobe, March 30, 2017).

Since both stories can't be true, one has to be fake. But which one? Only Trump knows.

Or, if you're anti-Trump--Trump is the only one who doesn't know which of his stories is fake (anti-Trumpers believe Trump is 'mental'). 

For news critics and other important people, this fake/not-fakery is terribly upsetting. Politicians aren't supposed to be so unpredictable.

But then, if you've been following the Trump Presidency, you already know that 'unpredictable' is Trump's middle name. That unpredictability means that just when you think you know what direction he's going in, he goes in another direction (Bernard Goldberg, "He was against military action in Syria until he was for it", townhall, April 11, 2017). 

For example,in January, 2017, Trump announced he was going to move the US Embassy in Israel from its current location in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, its capital (Jay Caruso, "Breaking: Reports coming in Trump will announce move of US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv", redstate, January 22, 2017). Now, it looks like that's not going to happen (Asher Schechter, "Get over it, Mr. Adelson: Jerusalem's embassy isn't happening", haaretz, April 25, 2017). 

One of these stories is fake news. Which one is the fake? Only Trump knows--or, as some suggest, doesn't know.

On another topic, Trump was going to build a wall at the Mexican border to keep out illegal immigrants. The Mexicans, he said, were going to pay for it. Then they weren't. Now, there's a new suggestion about paying for that wall (Aidan McLaughlin, "Make El Chapo pay for it: Ted Cruz offers up proposals for funding the Wall", mediate, April 25, 2017). 

The US government is attempting to seize some 14 billion dollars of assets from a Mexican drug lord called, El Chapo.
US Senator Ted Cruz suggests using that money for the Wall. 

What's fakery about the Wall story? What's truth? Only Trump knows--or...

It's this US suggestion of having someone outside the US government pay for a big ticket item that triggers today's fake news edition. Senator Cruz isn't the only one thinking about someone else paying for a 'grand prize'.

Here's today's fake news headline:

"Trump Will Buy Dome Of The Rock, Get Waqf To Pay For It".

The Dome of the Rock is an Islamic religious building that sits atop the Jewish Temple Mount. It's the scene of much conflict in the Arab-Israel conflict.

Here's the fake news story (edited to fit my format):

"Amid rumors of US President Donald Trump planning a visit to Israel at the end of May, 2017, reports have also emerged that the US chief executive will purchase the gold-topped Dome of the Rock Shrine on the Temple Mount--and add it to his Trump real estate portfolio. It’s rumored Trump will also have the Muslim religious council that administers the site to pay for the acquisition…much as he sees Mexico paying for a border wall to keep Mexicans out of the US.

“Regarding a visit to Israel by the president, I can neither confirm nor deny at this stage,” cautioned one White House official. “Of course the president intends to go to Israel at some point. The main question is one of timing. What I can disclose, however, is that the Dome of the Rock will soon be called something else, and it will not cost the American taxpayer a dime, because the president will have the Waqf cover the costs”…

The administration’s relative silence on the visit, and on the purchase, has fueled further speculation as to what Trump will rename the site. “We more or less know that it will include the name ‘Trump,’ of course,” acknowledged Larry Silverstein, a real estate developer. “But beyond that, it could be anything from an understated ‘Dome of the Trump Rock’ to ‘The Trump Dome of the Rock,’ which I would say is more in keeping with his style.”

“One thing is for sure, though,” added Silverstein. “He won’t need to plate the whole thing in gold, because that's already been done – by Saudi Arabia” (source: preoccupiedterritory, dated April 26, 2017).

Naturally, this is fake news. Donald Trump is not going to buy the Dome of the Rock. He wouldn't try to do that, would he? 

As for having the Waqf pay for Trump's purchase, well, that's really fake news. It's a ridiculous suggestion. That would be like, well, building a wall at the border with Mexico--and then getting the Mexicans to pay for it. 

Oh. Wait...Trump's already working on the Mexicans to pay for that wall. He wouldn't try that with the Waqf, would he?

Would he?

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