No, The Pope Didn’t Call Mahmoud Abbas An Angel Of Peace

On Saturday, a report made the waves that Pope Francis had called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “An angel of peace” during a meeting at the Vatican in Rome. News agencies all over the world presented the Pope’s words as breaking news, among them Reuters, Associated Press and AFP.

Here’s, for example, the BBC report on the news:

“The BBC’s David Willey in Rome says that after 20 minutes of private talks, Pope Francis gave Mr. Abbas the medallion depicting an angel of peace adding: “It is appropriate because you are an angel of peace.”

Here’s what NBC wrote:

“Pope Francis praised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as an “angel of peace” during a meeting Saturday at the Vatican that underscored the Holy See’s warm relations with the Palestinians.

Francis made the compliment during the traditional exchange of gifts at the end of an official audience in the Apostolic Palace. He presented Abbas with a medallion and explained that it represented the “angel of peace destroying the bad spirit of war.”

And here is The New York Times:

“Pope Francis praised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as an “angel of peace” during a meeting Saturday at the Vatican that underscored the Holy See’s warm relations with the Palestinians as it prepares to canonize two 19th century nuns from the region.

Francis made the compliment during the traditional exchange of gifts at the end of an official audience in the Apostolic Palace. He presented Abbas with a medallion and explained that it represented the “angel of peace destroying the bad spirit of war.”

Francis said he thought the gift was appropriate since “you are an angel of peace.” During his 2014 visit to Israel and the West Bank, Francis called both Abbas and Israeli President Shimon Peres men of peace.”

There is just one problem with these reports: the Pope never called Abbas an angel of peace.

According to La Stampa and other Italian news sites that quoted the official Vatican statement the Pope actually said this: “ lei possa essere un angelo della pace,” (May you be an angel of peace).

Here’s the translation of the account by La Stampa’s Vatican reporter:

As is tradition with heads of State or of government, Francis presented a gift to the Palestinian leader, commenting: “May the angel of peace destroy the evil spirit of war. I thought of you: May you be an angel of peace.”

The Pontiff added that he wanted to express the wish that “direct negotiations between the parties might resume to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict.”

In Italian : “si è parlato del processo di pace con Israele, esprimendo l’auspicio che si possano riprendere i negoziati diretti tra le Parti per trovare una soluzione giusta e duratura al conflitto.

From this statement, it becomes clear that the Pope prefers a negotiated solution to the conflict and seems not to support Palestinian unilateralism.

This was the second time in a week the media got it wrong on news concerning relations between the Vatican and the Palestinian Authority. Last Wednesday mainstream media reported that the Vatican had now recognized the State of Palestine, as if it was breaking news.

But Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi later said: “We have recognized the State of Palestine ever since it was given recognition by the United Nations and it is already listed as the State of Palestine in our official yearbook.”

The Israeli news site Ynet noted that the Vatican has been referring unofficially to the state of Palestine for at least a year. During Pope Francis’ 2014 visit to the Holy Land, the Vatican’s official program referred to Abbas as the president of the “state of Palestine.”

In fact on November 30, 2012 the Vatican decided to support the recognition of Palestine at the UN. The Vatican “called for full recognition of Palestinian sovereignty as necessary for peace in the region.”

So there was nothing new in the Vatican’s recognition of a Palestinian State.

The New York Times, however, thought it was big news and wrote that the agreement is an emotional blow to the Israeli people, no less.

“ For Israelis, it was an emotional blow since Francis has deep relationships with Jews dating back decades, and Christians are critical backers of their enterprise.”

NYT also thought that by signing a treaty with the PA “the Vatican was lending significant symbolic weight to an intensifying Palestinian push for international support for sovereignty that bypasses the paralyzed negotiations with Israel”.

As we learned from Pope Francis’ statement on this issue, the Vatican is promoting a negotiated settlement and not unilateral moves that will harm Israel’s position. So the New York Times was not reporting news but made an effort to rehabilitate Abbas and set up the Vatican as anti-Israel.

Remains the question why the Vatican decided to sign the treaty with the Palestinian Authority at this point?

The answer seems to be that the Vatican is driven by ‘realpolitik’ The Catholic Church is simply protecting its interests in “Palestine”.

Paragraph three in the joint statement of the Bilateral Commission of the Vatican and the State of Palestine at the end of the Plenary Meeting makes this clear:

“The discussions took place in a cordial and constructive atmosphere. Taking up the issues already examined at an informal level, the Commission noted with great satisfaction the progress achieved in formulating the text of the Agreement, which deals with essential aspects of the life and activity of the Catholic Church in Palestine.”

The Roman Catholic Church sees what’s going on with Christian communities in the Middle East and wanted to protect its interests in the Holy Land now that more and more countries are signaling that they support unilateral moves to create a Palestinian State. By signing this treaty,  the Vatican has chosen the State of Palestine as her interlocutor for protecting Christian communities and real estate of the church in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel, which is the only country in the Middle East that has a growing Christian community, is left out of this discussion.


This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

NBC’s Nightly News Knocked From Its Pedestal

Twitter/Hollywood Reporter

ABC’s World News Tonight topped NBC’s Nightly News in the latest ratings, snapping the Peacock network’s 288-week win streak as the number one evening news broadcast.

WNT won in both total viewers, with 7.997 million to Nightly News’ 7.913 million, and in the 18-49 demo, by a margin of 1.952 million to 1.791 million, making it a complete victory.

Nightly News had been able to hold on to the number one slot, thanks in part to their recent decision to rebroadcast the program in the early morning hours in select markets and add those viewers to its total numbers for ratings purposes. But that strategy unraveled after media buyers told NBC not to air their clients’ ads during the rebroadcasts. Without those national ads, Nielsen won’t measure the audience, depriving NBC of an opportunity to inflate the real numbers.

Despite NBC News’ efforts to spin the post-Brian Williams results in a positive way, the facts are that this was NBC’s lowest first quarter in the news demo since Nielsen began tracking it in 1991, and the lowest total viewers since 2013. Season to date, NBC does lead ABC by 520,000 total viewers, but is barely hanging on to the demo lead with an advantage of just 29,000 viewers per week. The momentum at this time is clearly with ABC.

The fall of NBC Nightly News from number one caps a bad three-year stretch for NBC News, which has seen both the Today show and Meet the Press lose their grip on the top slot in their respective time periods. It also poses big challenges for new NBC News chairman Andy Lack as he tries to figure out how to get the division back on track.

This article originally appeared at and is reprinted here with permission.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

With An Eye On 2016, Gov. Jindal Announces Christians Need Protection From Governmental Force On Businesses

Bobby Jindal

Potential 2016 presidential candidate Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., joined host Chuck Todd on NBC News’ Meet the Press to discuss the growing topic of religious freedom laws.

“So you think it’s okay, based on religious conviction, for a business to deny services to a same-sex couple?” Todd asked.

“Chuck, we’re not talking about restaurants denying service to people who want to come have dinner, we’re not talking about day-to-day routine commercial transactions,” Jindal replied. “We’re talking about a very specific example here of business owners – of florists, musicians, and caterers – who are being forced to either pay thousands of dollars or close their businesses if they don’t want to participate in a wedding ceremony that contradicts their religious beliefs.”

“So in that instance, yeah, I think part of the first amendment means we allow individuals to obey their conscience, to obey their religious beliefs,” he added.

h/t: Right Wing News

Share this article if you believe Christian businesses ought to have the right to deny services when their beliefs are contradicted.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Rifle Target Company Sues NBC News And Affiliate After Being Called ‘Bomb Makers’ On Today Show


An Oregon-based exploding target company is suing NBC News and one of its local affiliates for a report featured on the morning program Today which labeled its feature product “dangerous.”

03302015_Marc Tweet_Twitter

Tannerite, which has manufactured “safe binary exploding targets,” was itself the target of a report by NBC News National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen (pictured above) on Today. The segment initially aired March 23, according to Bearing Arms, which initially broke the story.

Entitled “Bombs for Sale” on his segment Rossen Reports, Rossen contended the product is “basically” a bomb when introducing the report, and said the key ingredient in Tannerite’s product, ammonium nitrate, was the same ingredient that was used in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Bearing Arms refuted several of the claims in the report, including the connection to the Oklahoma City bombing:

The primary use for ammonium nitrate is as an stable inexpensive, water-soluble high-nitrogen fertilizer to increase plant growth and increase crop yields. Without ammonium nitrate, you’d be paying a lot more for all your vegetables (from arugula to zucchini) and for grain products, such as breads.

This “same substance” is a shelf-stable and inflammable oxidizer, every bit as dangerous to handle and transport as sand from the beach.

You can view the NBC News report below. A print story also featured on the Today website was still up as of this publishing.

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WLEX, based in Lexington, Ky., posted an article along with the NBC News report asserting it was illegal to mix the two components of Tannerite, which Bearing Arms noted was factually inaccurate. Unlike the Today article, the WLEX posting has been removed from their website.

On behalf of the firm Mendelsohn, Drucker, and Dunleavy, Tannerite hit both NBC News Universal and WLEX with a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of New York last Thursday.



The suit contends the following:

  • On March 23, 2015, Defendant NBCU released a defamatory “report” that falsely claimed that Plaintiff’s rifle targets are “Bombs for sale.”
  • Defendant’s NBCU’s investigative reporter holding Tannerite products falsely asserted that “Right now I am basically holding a bomb in my hand.”
  • On March 24, 2015, Defendant WLEX published an Internet article that falsely asserted that Plaintiff’s targets are “ready made bombs [that] are being sold in sporting goods stores…..”
  • WLEX article states: “There is a federal law prohibiting people from manufacturing [Tannerite] products, but none preventing people from buying as much of it as they can carry.” As stated, WLEX’s article falsely asserts that the workers of Tannerite Sports, LLC are breaking federal law when manufacturing Tannerite® products.
  • NBCU’s report and video, and WLEX’s article, contain one or more written false statements that were intended to impugn Plaintiff’s rifle targets and Plaintiff’s reputation in the sporting industry.
  • Bombs are destructive devices that are strictly regulated by the federal and state governments.
  • Plaintiff’s rifle targets are not bombs.
  • Federal guidelines allow consumers to purchase Tannerite-brand rifle targets for personal, non-commercial use; and the consumer is allowed, under federal guidelines, to mix the precursors at the target-practice location and shoot the target.
  • Tannerite-brand rifle targets can be legally used for sporting activities.

Share this if you believe in the Second Amendment.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Mark Halperin: Hillary Clinton Is ‘Running Against Herself’ And ‘Losing’

Hillary Clinton

Mark Halperin, co-managing editor of Bloomberg Politics, joined NBC’s Today show and didn’t mince words discussing Hillary Clinton’s future presidential run.

“Republicans are running in a field of 13 or 14,” Halperin said. “She’s running against herself. And right now, she’s kind of losing.”

“She’s doing well in the polls but all these questions about her emails about whether she should face a nomination fight, means the Democrats are worried,” he added.

Halperin also alluded to the Democrats going all in on Hillary Clinton and now second-guessing whether or not she should run unopposed.

h/t: Daily Caller

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom