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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Israel Wins the War but Loses the Peace

The long-term ceasefire that took effect Tuesday, after a surprise Egyptian-brokered agreement between Israel and Hamas, is being hailed by the terror group as a "victory." In this case, the claim is more than propaganda. According to the details of the agreement, the Gaza border crossings are to be opened, the fishing zone is to be widened, and talks are to commence soon about air and sea ports. No wonder half Israel's Cabinet is opposed. Aug 26, 2014 6:05 PM PT

Napa Eyewitness: Quake Shook House 'Like a Matchbox'

As residents continue to clean up the damage caused by the Napa earthquake on Sunday, and aftershocks keep coming, some are beginning to find words to describe what many felt was an "otherworldly" experience. Aug 26, 2014 9:42 AM PT

Israelis Grow Impatient with Netanyahu, Demand Victory

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suffering a massive drop in his poll numbers as the war with Hamas rages on--and as impatience grows among the Israeli public for the military to bring quiet to the country by removing Hamas as a threat. A poll conducted Aug. 25 showed Netanyahu's approval ratings at only 38%--after hitting a peak of 82% in late July, at the outset of the war--with his disapproval rating reaching 50%. Aug 26, 2014 7:59 AM PT

Connie Bruck Whitewashes Schakowsky--and J Street--on Israel

The New Yorker's Connie Bruck tackles the question of whether the powerful pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) is losing influence among American Jews. She frames the issue as if AIPAC is siding "with Netanyahu against Obama," not--more accurately--about whether Obama's more hostile approach to Israel is pushing AIPAC, and supporters of Israel in general, away from the administration. Aug 25, 2014 7:45 AM PT

Napa Earthquake Could Raise Wine Prices

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake that struck Napa in the early hours of Sunday morning may not have done much damage, relatively speaking. Yet several wineries reported extensive damage to existing collections of valuable vintages, as well as to winemaking infrastructure such as oak barrels. The result could be that California wines currently in production rise will in price and value, since they will be rare on local and international markets. Aug 25, 2014 6:24 AM PT

Top 10 Earthquakes in California, by Magnitude

The U.S. Geological Survey reports that there have been ten earthquakes in California stronger than magnitude 7.0 since the biggest ever recorded, the estimated 7.9 Fort Tejon earthquake, struck in 1857. By comparison, the Napa earthquake of 2014--a mere 6.0--hardly registers. Here are the top 10 quakes, by size, ascending Aug 24, 2014 9:33 PM PT

State of Emergency in NorCal After Quake; 49ers Play On

California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Sunday, following a magnitude-6.0 earthquake that struck at 3:20 a.m. and was the region's strongest in 25 years. The San Francisco 49ers announced early in the day that their game at the new Levi's Stadium against the visiting San Diego Chargers would still be held. Aug 24, 2014 4:42 PM PT

Paul Ryan: The Loneliest Man in Washington (Review: 'The Way Forward')

What Ryan offers in The Way Forward is less a policy manifesto and more a personal profile: the memoir is perfectly timed to fuel speculation about the Republican presidential field in 2016. Ryan has left the door open to running--if not now, then certainly in the long future ahead. His greatest challenge will be to build a wider base of support. In that sense, the way forward remains a murky one. Aug 24, 2014 2:39 PM PT

Honest Reporting: Time Magazine Spews Blood Libel

The media watchdogs at have caught Time magazine in a classic antisemitic blood libel, spreading the myth that Jews harvest organs from dead Palestinians. Aug 24, 2014 11:07 AM PT

Fault Lines in L.A. Over New Subway Construction

As residents of Northern California reel from the strongest earthquake in 25 years, debate rages in Los Angeles over how a buried tectonic fault might affect the path of a new subway line--or whether the fault exists at all. Aug 24, 2014 8:17 AM PT

Blue State Blues: Why Are Conservatives Targeting Paul Ryan?

This week's indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry was a reminder of how Democrats and the media tear down any possible conservative contender for the presidency with frivolous lawsuits and baseless investigations. The trouble is that we conservatives do a fairly good job of tearing down potential leaders ourselves. The latest dubious target is Paul Ryan, who carried Tea Party and conservative hopes in the 2012 presidential election. Aug 22, 2014 2:24 PM PT

Al Sharpton: Obama's Racial Pyromaniac

Politico's Glenn Thrush reports in this week's edition of the magazine that Al Sharpton has become President Barack Obama's "go-to man on race" in Ferguson and elsewhere. Thrush tells the story as one of Sharpton's own reform and revival, dwelling on his weight loss, his self-professed caution with words, and criticism (envy?) from his old allies on the left. Yet he leaves out a few crucial details that are important to the Sharpton story. Aug 22, 2014 5:52 AM PT

5 Ways Hamas is Like ISIS

On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared ISIS (Islamic State) and Hamas, calling them "branches of the same tree." The Obama administration, in the person of Marie Harf, declined to do the same. Yet while Hamas is focused on destroying Israel and ISIS is trying to build a new Sunni caliphate, there is little else to distinguish them, and several reasons both ought to be considered part of the same terror threat. Aug 21, 2014 7:24 AM PT


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