Israellycool » Brian of London Down Under Punditry in the Middle East Wed, 25 Mar 2015 19:54:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Muhammad Zoabi Forgave Bibi Habibi In Person Tue, 24 Mar 2015 10:54:21 +0000 Mohammad Zoabi with the PM in his residence in Jerusalem

Mohammad Zoabi with the PM in his residence in Jerusalem

Muhammad Zoabi posted this picture and the following text to Facebook:

With the PM in his residence in Jerusalem

I also had the privilege to meet his wife, Mrs. Netanyahu. Such an amazing & Gentle woman

As I said to him before and after his apology today “Bibi Hbibi, every person, with little thinking can understand what you meant…” Still, he apologized.

I am honored to meet the leader of the Jewish state of Israel-My Israel

Am Yisrael Chai
Mohammad Zoabi

What a great guy.

He’s referring to this apology.

“Habibi” is Arabic for “my brother” and it’s a very common greeting among Arabs and Misrachi (Arabic) Jews.

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App Of The Day: Via Is Not Just A Road In Rome Tue, 24 Mar 2015 08:49:52 +0000 Perhaps new, interesting smartphone apps are like buses: you wait ages and then three come along at once. Regardless, I just became aware of this not so new, but growing application from New York. I can’t use the app here (though I have used another public transport app Moovit that deserves its own post).

Even though it’s only running in New York, of course it’s got an Israeli connection. The company behind it is the brainchild of two Israelis and it’s based on something that works here in Israel without smartphones. The “monit sherut” taxi-bus system.

Here’s a little introduction to the sherut in Israel:

Sherut Photo credit: Flickr  user Flitzy

Sherut Photo credit: Flickr user Flitzy

Using a sherut in Israel is incredibly simple, however for Western tourists it can seem bizarre for something so simple to be operating in such an advanced country because the sherut works very much like you would expect public transport to work in the third world!

Sheruts will stop anywhere along their route so if you are not starting from a bus station, flag it down with your hand. The driver will stop if he has space, and if not, will normally indicate this by waving his hand.

The app in New York, called Via ( lets you call for a car which may already have people on board and  which will take you, maybe with a stop or two on the way, to where you want to go. The friend in NYC I heard about it from has told me it’s changed her life! “Proper cars and lovely drivers for FIVE BUCKS”.

If you do sign up, use my friend’s code karen6y6 and you’ll get a $10 credit (and so will she).

Unsurprisingly one finds that the creators are Israeli (NYT link):

Via, the creation of two Israeli businessmen, is modeled on a fleet of privately owned commuter vans that shadow bus routes in Tel Aviv. In September 2013, the service was introduced in New York, with virtually no marketing to announce its arrival.

It initially ran only between the Upper East Side and Midtown during morning and evening rush hours. Now, Via operates in Manhattan between 32nd and 110th Streets, on weekdays from 6:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. It charges a flat $5 for each of the first five rides; the rate stays the same if rides are bought in advance. If not, the fee increases to $7.

The company has not seen the explosive growth of competitors like Uber and Lyft. Daniel Ramot, Via’s chief executive, said that because Via depended on multiple passengers hailing and sharing the same vehicle, the coordination was more intensive, which has made Via more cautious about expanding. But Mr. Ramot pointed out that there was no shortage of people who need rides within Via’s area of operation, where density ensures that many riders will have nearby destinations.

Let me know if you’re in NYC and try the app. Sounds like a great idea. Don’t forget the code karen6y6 to get yourself $10 credit!

Via ride share app new york webpage snap

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App Of The Day: Parking Polly Electrified Me Mon, 23 Mar 2015 07:52:44 +0000 I don’t post to the blog every new app that bubbles up from the Startup Nation: there are other blogs for that. But this one snagged me because the video features a good old electric Better Place car like mine. I’ll give Parking Polly a try when I head in toward my bank later today.

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Tesla To Cure Range Anxiety? I Think I Know How (Update) Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:15:17 +0000 Update 19 March: I pretty much nailed it. One feature I didn’t mention (but should have) was that we also used to have real time information on which Battery Switch stations were working. Tesla cars will now have real time information on the status of nearby Super Chargers. They also get a routing system that can send them via appropriate chargers (as I described) and warns them if they plan an out of range trip. More details here. Embedded at the end of this post is the complete audio from the conference call.

Elon Musk tweeted out yesterday that he’s going to fix the perennial electric car problem of “range anxiety” on Thursday for all of his Model S cars already made by sending them some software.

Speculation is running rife across the tech and news sites but I’m pretty sure I know what he’s done. He will not introduce battery swapping like we had with our Better Place cars in Israel, that (for Tesla) was always about holding onto some more government hand outs. While changing the software in the car may make a marginal difference in range (a few percent at most) that doesn’t cure range anxiety.

Range anxiety does not come from the car having a limited range: it comes from not being sure, in advance, if you can make a certain journey. The best any other electric car does today is give you an estimate of how many more kilometres or miles you can travel. And that doesn’t take into account going up or down hills or road speed both of which make a huge difference. So much so that these devices are called “guess-o-meters” because they’re practically useless.

What he’s going to show on Thursday is accurate state of charge prediction at destination and (maybe) the inclusion of a feature to find and use Tesla’s fast growing network of fast chargers to make an impossible journey possible.

That’s basically what we had three years ago in our Better Place cars with battery switch. We could put into the GPS navigator any destination in Israel and be told what % our battery would be when we got there. This number changed dynamically as we drove getting increasingly more accurate as we approached the destination. We could also program in multiple stops or, say, a there and home journey to see if we could make it.

If it was beyond the range of our battery, the software would tell us where to stop and get a new battery along the way.

The system takes into account ambient temperature, your driving style and topography (meaning hills) because going up a hill uses more energy than going down. In fact going down can recover so much energy that on a trip to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, you may use 80% of your batter to get there but only 50% to get back. All these things affect the amount of charge used to make a journey.

Back in better days I filmed this video to show how the system worked. Be aware that move of this still works in my car today, it’s just I can’t stop and switch batteries anywhere. I can still program in multiple destinations and get a reasonable estimate of whether I can make the trip or not. Here’s one of my earliest blog posts: Electric Vehicle Range Anxiety Solved (before I even received the car) and below is a video I made of the system automatically creating a route from Tel Aviv to Eilat. If you don’t know what a battery switch looks like, I filmed that from the driver’s seat.

Making predictions can be a fools game. I don’t do it very often so I’m sticking my neck out here making one!

However, when it comes to computer simulation of an electric car driving on known roads over known topology, that is a problem that can be solved and Better Place proved that more than three years ago and it really does massively reduce range anxiety. Instead of routing via battery switch, he’ll be able to route Tesla customers via their now impressive network of fast chargers (called Super Chargers) that can increase a battery to 80% in the time it takes to eat a burger. Good enough for most practical purposes.

I do hope I’m right, and I do hope that one day Tesla will be seen on the roads in Israel.

Update 22 March 2015: Here is the complete conference call announcement.

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V15 Are Using More Foreign Stock Photos Mon, 16 Mar 2015 10:39:17 +0000 Our unwelcome crusaders for anything but Bibi, V15, have used another foreign stock photo image for one of their adverts. The text reads: “Dude, where’s my ballot?”

V15 using stock photo from UK

And here is the same thing flipped with an original of a guy looking at his map in the south of England. Trust me, I know the Kent coastline in a right-hand drive car.

V15 Image mirror right left with insert

The amusing part is the V15 adverts are being shown to Israellycool visitors. If you’re in Israel, I’m pretty sure you’ve seen them. They probably aren’t being shown to those outside Israel. Ah well, good luck to them. But there is a serious point: a bipartisan panel has been appointed to look into the funding of V15 and whether US Government funds and/or mis-used charitable donations are being used to try to unseat Netanyahu in Israel. Liberty Unyielding has more details.

Another V15 add on Israellycool V15 banner ad on Israellycool





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The Persecution Of Mohammed Continues. Thu, 12 Mar 2015 14:29:01 +0000 Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi Facebook profileThe Arab Professor from Al-Quds University who took his students to Auschwitz and lost his job has just posted something deeply disturbing. You may also remember that Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi also discovered his car had been burned.

It now appears that the retribution against him for trying to teach Arab students about the Holocaust continues and now the University is throwing out a considerable volume of books purely because they were donated to the library by Mohammed.

He writes on Facebook:

In a step unprecedented in the history of university libraries, Al-Quds University throws away all books on various topics donated to its libraries by Professor Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi. Students rescue the books taking them home. This reflects the struggle in the Developing Countries where the university administration wants to limit student access to knowledge and the aspiration of students to search for truth and advance their knowledge far beyond the scope of what is being prescribed to them. While the university administration action registers a pessimistic note of the present status, the student reaction represents an optimistic signal for the future. Each student at Al-Quds University pay as part of their tuition $100 to be allocated for the libraries, but 0% of that fund is allocated for the development of the libraries.

The Arab Spring exploded as a result of the traditional Arab educational system kept feeding the job market with an output product of graduates who are dependent on the governments to work as civil servants rather than graduates with independent critical creative innovative thinking who could create a job for himself/herself sitting at home in an age of global communication revolution. Thus university degrees were not worth the ink it took to issue them. That is why the youth revolted but unfortunately their revolution for a better tomorrow was diverted by the opportunist extremists who used violence to take over. 

God have mercy on our souls.

Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi book throwing screenshot

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AP’s Slanted Reporting Is Not Unintentional Thu, 12 Mar 2015 08:07:05 +0000 A month ago we republished a Facebook post by veteran investigative journalist Richard Behar as guest article. Behar shared his immediate reaction to an absolutely abysmal Associated Press feature on Gaza.

Along with his colleague, Gary Weiss, they’ve gone on to do a deep dive on that article. You have to read the whole thing over at Observer.

Just the headline and sub head make it clear the direction:


How the AP Botched Its Investigation of Civilian Deaths in the Israel-Hamas War

Posed photographs. Intentional miscategorizations. Buried corrections. One-sided sourcing. Cherry-picked quotes. And a just-plain-wrong conclusion about “most” Gaza casualties being civilians.

After describing the article they tell us about the disproportionate impact this article had:

Publications, aggregation sites and broadcast outlets picking up the AP probe ranged from the New York Times to the Drudge Report and Al Jazeera America, from the Washington Post to ABC News (The AP provided subscribers with two versions of the article, a roughly 2,250-word story and one about half that size). The U.K.’s Daily Mail and The Independent both ran the piece, no doubt reinforcing the British public’s already dim view of Israel. Even Stars and Stripes, the newspaper for U.S. Armed Forces, ran the AP “exclusive.” The wide pickup was a coup for the oldest and most ubiquitous of wire services, which operates in more than 280 locations worldwide and counts 1,400 U.S. daily newspapers among its members, plus thousands of TV and radio broadcast members.

There is just one problem. The AP’s exclusive investigation was botched in just about every imaginable way.

We conducted an investigation of the AP investigation. We (the authors) have formed a nonprofit investigative project, The Mideast Reporter, that is going to do a lot of that kind of thing. We found that the news agency reached faulty conclusions based on selective information, cherry-picked quotes, and above all its “painstaking” survey was fundamentally flawed, and was set into motion by slanted, politically biased non-governmental organizations.

You just have to head over and read it all. I’ll give you the last paragraph because I so fundamentally agree with it.

It would be an overgeneralization to say that the AP’s entire news report, or that its entire Middle Eastern coverage, is untrustworthy—though one does wonder whether this represents a more general problem at the wire service. Our reporting on this article does persuade us that the AP has disregarded its own standards too blatantly for it to be considered a fluke.

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An Inspector Calls Tue, 10 Mar 2015 09:19:12 +0000 chambers legal cheek

Image credit: Legal Cheek

Yesterday I wrote up the contents of the web site belonging to Chambers Solicitors, the firm of lawyers who act on behalf of George Galloway. Here are some other interesting tidbits about that firm that are worth bearing in mind.

Last July the firm was raided by the West Yorkshire Police and two people were arrested there as reported at the time in Bradford’s local paper, The Telegraph and Argus:

Two people were in custody last night following a police raid at a Bradford solicitors’ office.

They were arrested after police swooped on the business in Grattan Road at about 10am.

West Yorkshire Police have declined to give further details of the investigation, though they say it is an ongoing inquiry into an alleged fraud. The action was orchestrated by the force’s Economic Crime Unit.

Detective Sergeant Gary Ferris said: “This was a pre-planned operation carried out by the Economic Crime Unit in conjunction with Bradford CID and Neighbourhood Policing Teams.”

The UK based legal blog Legal Cheek followed up and asked for comment and got this:

The force today would only say that those two people had been released on police bail. Chambers Solicitors’ senior partner Mohammed Ayub told Legal Cheek this afternoon that he had no comment on the police investigation.

Legal Cheek also seems to be well on top of this story and a good source of real information.

And as if this wasn’t enough bad news for George Galloway, the UK Newspapers are now full of the story of the woman who is to run against him for the Parliamentary seat of Bradford West which Galloway holds at the moment.

The headlines scream that she’s the daughter of a murderer but it’s worth getting past those to understand her story (Daily Telegraph):

A Labour Party candidate has told her extraordinary life story including her mother’s imprisonment for murder and the arranged marriage she was forced into at the age of 15.

Last week, Naz Shah was selected to fight the seat of Bradford West at the forthcoming general election, the town where she grew up in extreme poverty, becoming homeless after her father left her mother for a 16-year-old neighbour when she was six.

She has now told the full story of traumatic childhood, including how she was forced to be a parent to her two sisters after her mother, who had suffered years of abuse at the hands of a local drug dealer, was jailed for his murder.

The full story is in the local Urban Echo paper and they published it on International Womens’ Day. I don’t know a great deal more about this woman, but if she can unseat George Galloway, she’ll be a hero for that reason alone.

Update 13:30: I want to mildly qualify my enthusiasm for Naz Shah above with the following quote from Ben Judah in Table Magazine. He’s writing a huge (and very good so far) exposition on Jew hatred in the UK and in the second part (of five) he has this to say about Bradford and specifically Naz Shah (my emphasis):

Bradford is not much of a place to be a Jew. There are fewer than 300 Jews living in the city and only a handful observant. The city’s one Jewish politician is very quiet about his origins, Orthodox Jews are nervous to walk around in kippot, and even a Jewish funeral has been attacked by marauding Muslim anti-Zionist protesters. Even the candidates bidding to dislodge George Galloway now mimic his pro-Palestinian rhetoric, seeking to outdo each other in their condemnation of Israel. The only party that stands a chance of dislodging him is the Labour Party. I contacted every leading candidate bidding to represent them against George Galloway. Most had websites exhibiting photos of themselves at pro-Palestinian protests. Only two wrote back: One Labor hopeful responded rather bizarrely to my request for an interview on the subject of anti-Semitism with a video and transcript of herself speaking at a pro-Palestinian rally. Another, Naz Shah, a Palestine activist I contacted by Twitter direct message stopped responding when I explained Tablet magazine was a Jewish publication. Shah was finally selected to fight Galloway for Labour from an all-Muslim shortlist. The first candidate selected by Labour withdrew amid accusations Pakistani clan elders were unhappy.

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Better Call Talut: The Interesting List Of Galloway’s Lawyers’ Expertise Mon, 09 Mar 2015 18:58:43 +0000 Serious Crime   Fraud Solicitors Bradford   West Yorkshire Chambers Solicitors landscapeAs Dave wrote a few days ago, George Galloway is on a bit of a legal fishing expedition on Twitter. His lawyer(s) are sending frightening, intimidating demand letters to anyone who even casually re-tweeted an accusation that George Galloway is an antisemite.

So who are the lawyers working for George on this case? All the letters come from a firm called Chambers Solicitors based, unsurprisingly, in George’s home constituency of Bradford. It should be pointed out that Bradford is a city with a high proportion of Muslims and it’s the city Galloway tried to ban Israelis from visiting. Leading to much mirth as Israelis visited and took pictures at Bradford’s various “landmarks” with their passports.

When the good folk at Chambers Solicitors aren’t sending out possibly rule breaking demands for immediate payment of fees from unsuspecting twitter users, what else do they do? Well their website paints an illuminating picture of the kinds of legal problems they help their other clients with.

In the (rather large and detailed) list of serious crime and fraud we have such delightful areas of expertise as Murder, Death by dangerous driving, Immigration offences, Benefit fraud, Money laundering, Firearms offences and many more.

Chambers Solicitors Terrorism listLet’s take a look at the category details of terrorism:

  • Terrorism
  • Preparing for acts of terrorism
  • Membership of a proscribed organisation
  • Fund raising for the purposes of terrorism
  • Money laundering of terrorist property
  • Failing to disclose information which may assist in the preventing an act of terrorism
  • Weapons training for terrorism
  • Proscription of organisations
  • Possession of an article connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism
  • Eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces

Now obviously, I’m sure, many of their clients seeking help with these issues were no doubt falsely accused. And it’s right and proper that they be afforded adequate legal help in mounting their defence. Be assured Chambers Solicitors do handle Legal Aid cases where the State will pay for defence if the defendant does not have the means to do so.

On to another area, much in the news these days in the UK. That of predatory sexual offenses against children. The UK is currently swamped with such cases as a simple google search will show (Rochdale child sex grooming: 10 men charged after new police … ; Oxfordshire grooming victims may have totalled 373 children ; Married groomer, 32, jailed for having sex up to 50 times with vulnerable girl, 15 just to pick three).

  • Chambers Solicitors Sexual offences against children listRape of a child under 13
  • Sexual assault of a child under 13 by penetration
  • Sexual assault of a child under 13
  • Causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity
  • Sexual activity with a child
  • Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child
  • Causing a child to watch a sexual activity
  • Child sex offences committed by children or young persons
  • Arranging or facilitating commission of a child sex offence
  • Meeting a child following sexual grooming
  • Abuse of position of trust: sexual activity with a child
  • Sexual activity with a child family member
  • Sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder impeding choice
  • Paying for sexual services of a child
  • Causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography
  • Sex with an adult relative: penetration
  • Possession of Indecent Images of Children from the Internet or Otherwise
  • Taking, having, permitting, distributing or publishing indecent photographs of children
  • Possession of indecent photograph of children
  • Possession of extreme pornographic images

The other areas of their expertise, like run of the mill murder, manslaughter and paying people to kill are all covered in great depth. So are driving offences (I wonder if they offered help to killer Lord Ahmed after he crashed into a stationary car killing a person, probably while texting at 70 MPH).

Feel free to peruse the full list on their site. Let me know in the comments if you find anything else of note.

But do you know what really made me laugh? In all these lists of things Chambers Solicitors are competent to deal with guess what I can’t find any mention of: libel or defamation. That’s got to tell you something!

libel not found Chambers solicitors website

Google search of just Chambers Solicitors website: libel not found in their list of expertise.


And a note about the title of this post. Talut is the Islamic version of the name for first king of a united Kingdom of Israel and Judah. The more well known version is Saul. And if you don’t know the phrase “Better Call Saul” you’ve not watched enough of the US TV series, Breaking Bad.

Updated: It’s been pointed out to me that the lead lawyer for Chambers Solicitors is a Mr Alias Yousaf. He was the defence lawyer for one of the 9 men convicted of scores of sex offences with children in Rochdale back in 2012. He was clearly interested in Twitter way back in 2012.

The solicitor for Adil Khan, one of the convicted men, said an appeal would be lodged.

Alias Yousaf claimed outside court that jury deliberations had been “breached”.

He claimed comments on Twitter by the far-right group Infidels of Great Britain and the leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin, showed they knew the men would be found guilty before the verdicts were delivered.

Mr Yousaf said: “We are left with no option but to conclude that the confidentiality of the jury’s deliberations must have been breached.”

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Clear And Present Danger: Jim Clancy’s Anti Israel Views Sun, 08 Mar 2015 11:37:06 +0000 I guess it was inevitable. After veteran CNN journalist and anchor Jim Clancy’s anti-hasbra twitter meltdown, he would eventually return on one of the virulently anti-Israel and anti-Jewish networks. The only doubt was which one. Well it looks like all those who put money on Lebanon’s Daily Star or Iran’s Press TV might be in with a shout of scooping the pot.

Israellycool covered Jim Clancy’s initial rant here and followed up with his blocking spree. His Twitter account then disappeared for a while before returning (after his sudden departure from CNN) but with his new name missing the CNN mark.

From Press TV:

Veteran US journalist and former CNN anchor Jim Clancy has spoken out against the Israeli media less than two months after stepping down from the news network following his anti-Israeli tweets.

Clancy told Lebanese journalists in Beirut on Friday that the Israeli media is particularly well-funded and is acting in an organized manner in their propaganda campaign, according to The Daily Star.

The veteran journalist noted, however, that the Israeli lobby’s propaganda efforts have failed because an increasing number of young people on university campuses across the US now support the Palestinian cause.

“Hasbara [propaganda] funding has increased for the Israeli lobby, but its propaganda efforts have failed. I mean the number of young people on campuses who now support the Palestinian cause has risen,” he told the audience.

Clancy resigned in January following angry exchanges on Twitter with pro-Israeli commentators.

He quit his job after he appeared to suggest that the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in Paris were provoked by the magazine’s pro-Israel stance.

The former anchor noted Friday that he did not regret making the anti-Israeli comments because he “had enough.”

“I don’t have to put up with this… and I’m not going to. I’d had enough,” he said.

“In my case I’d rather be Twitter-fried for telling the truth than held out for lying, saying I was somewhere I wasn’t or claiming I saw people murdered who weren’t,” Clancy told The Daily Star.

Some who argued with him on Twitter have worked for the Israeli regime and pro-Israel lobby groups like AIPAC.

Clancy has been critical of the Israeli occupation and its treatment of Palestinians.

The Daily Star’s interview is also worth looking at if you have the stomach for it:

Fielding a student’s question about bias in Western media after his talk Friday, Clancy said while propaganda and harassment come from all different parties, Israeli media minders are particularly organized and well-funded.

But even the deepest pockets cannot ensure a message will stick, he said. “Hasbara funding has increased for the Israeli lobby, but its propaganda efforts have failed. I mean the number of young people on campuses who now support the Palestinian cause has risen,” he told the audience.

I’m still waiting for my pay off from the well funded “deep pockets” of the Israeli Hasbara machine. Meanwhile the scores of anti-Israeli NGOs that pollute the world with horrible bias seem to be living it up in the Hotels of Jerusalem.

You may remember Richard Behar also wrote a detailed guest post asking why the media was almost silent on Jim Clancy while mercilessly persecuting Steve Emerson. Richard wrote the following on Facebook about Jim’s remarks:

Motormouth Jim Clancy, the longtime CNN anchor who left the network after making bizarre anti-Israel tweets in January, is at it again. According to this story from Iran’s PressTV, Clancy slammed Israeli media and what he calls “Hasbara funding” for the “Israeli lobby…but its propaganda efforts have failed because an increasing number of young people on university campuses across the U.S. now support the Palestinian cause.” And what cause is that, Jim? BDS? Or support for a (peaceful) Palestinian state, which so many of Israel’s leaders also support? Clancy doesn’t say. 

As many will recall, Clancy’s tweets had suggested, among other outrageous things, that the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks in Paris were provoked by pro-Israel folks. “The cartoons never MOCKED the Prophet,” he tweeted. “They mocked how the COWARDS tried to distort his word…Hasbara?”

In the Iranian mouthpiece outlet, Clancy pretty much admits that he self-sabotaged his career, but isn’t sorry he did so.

Can you believe that this guy worked for CNN for more than three decades? Well, of course you can. What’s next on your agenda, Clancy? How about working for Al Jazeera America? I imagine they’d scoop you up in a minute.

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