One of my favorite Colbert Report clips of all time — all time — came when Stephen reported on Israel’s selection of the long-billed hoopoe as its national bird. He concluded the brief segment like so:
Earlier today, Barack Obama suggested that he would not quickly forget the Israeli Prime Minister’s pre-election remarks concerning the viability of a Palestinian state:
President Obama took two days to “congratulate” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his recent re-election, which prompted the New York Times to wonder “whether the [Obama administration’s antagonism toward Netanyahu] represents a lasting foreign policy shift.” Let’s investigate! We’ll begin our studies with Iran, of all places. Consider the following Press Statement published today by the State Department:
Bibi looks set to remain Israel’s Prime Minister for a fourth term, so this is a good opportunity to remind you that there is no shortage of crazy Middle Eastern heads of state — but also that Recep Tayyip Erdogan may not be one of them. Erdogan caught some flak towards the end of last year when he asserted that “Muslim sailors reached the American continent 314 years before Columbus, in 1178.”
Christian Science Monitor wants to know: Why is ISIS threatening Twitter employees with ‘lions’? Of course, CSM also has the answer:
Supporters of the extremist militant group called for the death of company employees in response to Twitter’s blocking of social media accounts associated with the Islamic State.
That much, I could have guessed. But I clicked on the headline not to find out why ISIS was threatening Twitter employees — after all, does ISIS really need a cause? — but because I was curious: Why lions? And since CSM appears to have been uninterested by that zoological choice, I decided to delve into the question for myself — and now, for you. You’re welcome.
In a recent post, I detailed how some people described the acquisition of Seamless in Kuwait (how clever) as the largest Middle Eastern exit since 2009. They forgot, of course, that Israeli startups routinely eclipse Talabat’s $170 million purchase price — or maybe excluding Israel from “the Middle East” was a conscious decision. Either way, they’re redrawing maps.
But those offenders are small potatoes (which you may presumably order on Talabat). This time, I’d like to call your attention to the pages of the New York Times. In yesterday’s column, Islam and the West at War, Roger Cohen described the current conflict between, well, Islam and the west:
Those articles that appear on the front page of LinkedIn don’t always catch my eye, but when they do, they’re probably titled something like, “The Story Behind the Largest Internet Acquisition in Middle East History.” So it was that I found myself reading an article bearing precisely that title when I came across a rather remarkable claim:
After VP Joe Biden accused Turkey of having supported many of the forces fighting Bashar al-Assad — including ISIS — that country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan angrily responded, “Turkey has never given even the smallest kind of support to any terror organization.”
That’s the punchline.
The ever-insightful Clickhole chimed in last week with a piece titled 5 Ways ISIS Can Reduce Its Carbon Footprint. All you need to know about the piece is right there in the headline, but — if you insist — here is a condensed list of the supplied suggestions:
- Purchase carbon offsets
- Reduce number of security checkpoints
- Avoid setting oil wells on fire
- Eat locally
- Take public transportation
The exercise was transparently ridiculous — as if anything with the word “Islamic” in the title needs any help going green. But if that doesn’t convince you, here are 5 things the Islamic State is already doing to help reduce the threat of climate change, in no particular order: