Joel B. Pollak

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large and in-house counsel at Breitbart News. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he also has a degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Cape Town. He ran for Congress in 2010 in his hometown of Skokie, IL and worked as a Research Fellow at the Hudson Institute, as well as speechwriter to the Leader of the Opposition in the South African Parliament. He enjoys improv comedy, rock 'n' roll, and the literature of liberal apostates and iconoclasts. His wife Julia is a Ph.D. Fellow at the Pardee Rand Graduate School and his daughter Maya is unbelievably cute.


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The Post-Sharon Middle East

The post-Ariel Sharon Middle East really began eight years ago, when he was incapacitated by a stroke. Within less than seven months, Israel's enemies struck: Hamas in a daring attack from the Gaza Strip that resulted in the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Sharon, and Hizbullah with a similar kidnapping across Israel's northern border. Those raids led to war: Operation Summer Rains (Gaza) and the ill-starred Second Lebanon War. Jan 11, 2014 10:37 PM PT

My Visit with Ariel Sharon

I had the rare opportunity to meet with Prime Minster Ariel Sharon for roughly 45 minutes in 2005, in the company of South Africa's then-opposition leader, Tony Leon, for whom I worked at the time as a speechwriter. It was a wintry January day in Jerusalem, and Sharon greeted us warmly, though he was nursing a cold and had only slept two hours the night before, having just reshuffled his cabinet after a fateful split in his ruling party. Jan 11, 2014 8:28 PM PT

Ariel Sharon, 1928-2014

Former Israeli leader Ariel Sharon has passed away at the age of 85. The former prime minister, defense minister, and general had been comatose since January 2006, when he suffered a series of strokes that resulted in his permanent hospitalization. He was among the last surviving members of the generation that founded, and fought for, the State of Israel in 1948. His ideological foe, President Shimon Peres, is another. Jan 11, 2014 4:57 AM PT

Blue State Blues: We Don't Need Another Plan

It would be easy enough, at this stage, to add to the voluminous commentary on Gov. Chris Christie's bridge scandal. But there is not much new to say, other than to observe that petty political retaliation is what blue-state conservatives like yours truly have come to expect from government, whether Republican or Democratic. The Democrats are just better at covering up their tracks, and they enjoy a protective media bubble in any case. Jan 10, 2014 5:04 PM PT

Palin on New Sportsman Channel Show: 'We're Gonna Bust This Network Out'

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin addressed a crowd of journalists in Pasadena, CA on Friday morning at an event to promote her new Sportsman Channel show, Amazing America, which will launch in April. The channel, billing itself as "a leader in outdoor television for the American sportsman," reaches 32 million households in the United States and presents "100 percent hunting, shooting and fishing" in its lineup. Jan 10, 2014 8:56 AM PT

Former Bank of Israel Head to be #2 at Fed

President Barack Obama has nominated economist Stanley Fisher, the previous head of the Bank of Israel, to replace incoming Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as the second-in-command at the Fed. Fischer, a former MIT professor was widely praised for his job in steering a vibrant Israeli economy through the global recession. He was born in Zambia and grew up in Zimbabwe before studying in the UK and the United States. Jan 10, 2014 8:55 AM PT

California Budget: A Recipe for Re-Election, Not Recovery

California Gov. Jerry Brown released his new budget proposal on Thursday, and it tells two stories. On the one hand, Gov. Brown wants to spend more than anyone in California's history, using a surplus that is the result of voter-approved tax hikes and hush, Wall Street-fueled tax revenues. On the other hand, he is striking a pose of fiscal constraint, setting aside a small amount in the state's Rainy Day Fund for the first time since 2007. Jan 10, 2014 5:16 AM PT

The Palestinian False Choice

President Barack Obama is fond of a rhetorical device called the "false choice." He marks out two straw men on opposite extremes, then claims his own (staunchly left-wing) "compromise" position is the only sensible route. Occasionally, however, there really are false choices. One such is the Palestinian vision for the future of Israel, which Palestinian UN representative Riyad Mansour presented to Charlie Rose on PBS Wednesday. Jan 9, 2014 2:20 PM PT

Dershowitz: Christie Could Face Civil, Criminal Liability

Noted defense attorney, legal scholar and liberal Democrat Alan Dershowitz has concluded that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie "may well be liable for the damage caused by the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge" under "existing criminal and civil law." Christie insisted at a press conference today that he did not know about the political motivation for the closures, as ordered by senior members of his administration. Jan 9, 2014 11:22 AM PT

Ariel Sharon in 'Grave' Condition: Doctors

The Associated Press reports that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was incapacitated by a series of strokes in the winter of 2005-6 and has been comatose ever since, is in a "grave" condition. Jan 9, 2014 11:11 AM PT

Analyst: U.S. Pulling out of Afghanistan at Worst Time

A leading foreign policy analyst has written that "post-American Afghanistan" is becoming a "flashpoint"--not just in the region, but in the world, as emerging powers jockey for position amidst declining U.S. influence. Jan 9, 2014 10:39 AM PT

Christie Press Conference: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's press conference on Thursday, called to deal with revelations that members of his staff ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge last year to punish the Democrat mayor of Fort Lee for failing to endorse Christie's re-election, lasted nearly two hours as the governor apologized for the conduct of his administration, taking responsibility for behavior of which, he said, he had been unaware. Jan 9, 2014 10:20 AM PT

U.S. Attorney to Investigate Christie Bridge Closure

Twenty minutes before a scheduled press conference, the New York Times reported that the U.S. Attorney will open an investigation into allegations that aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ordered lanes closed on the George Washington Bridge as a form of political retaliation against a local mayor who refused to endorse his campaign for re-election. Jan 9, 2014 7:48 AM PT

Obama and Christie: Bully Buddies

Christie's bullying is, in many ways, similar to President Barack Obama's use of temporary political power to reward friends and intimidate enemies. The IRS scandal; the AP and James Rosen scandals; the selective closing of car dealerships during the auto bailout--all are examples of the kind of misconduct in which Christie's aides are alleged to have indulged. Jan 9, 2014 5:37 AM PT

CNN's Brooke Baldwin on Roger Ailes Bio: Where Are the 'Juicy Nuggets'?

Brooke Baldwin, host of CNN Newsroom, seemed unimpressed Wednesday with the revelations (or lack thereof) in Gabriel Sherman's unauthorized biography of Fox News chief Roger Ailes, The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News--and Divided a Country. Jan 8, 2014 3:05 PM PT

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