Tech watch: How TikTok Boosts Hamas

At the Free Press, Rep. Mike Gallagher notes that “51 percent of Americans ages 18–24 believe Hamas was justified in its brutal terrorist attacks.” Why? “The short answer is” social media, “predominantly TikTok.” “Today, TikTok is the top search engine for more than half of Gen Z.” It’s also “controlled by America’s foremost adversary”: the Chinese Communist Party. And “if you doubt that the CCP would introduce bias” against Israel and Jews, recall that “Chinese web platforms Baidu and Alibaba have wiped Israel off the map — literally.” “So long as TikTok — and control of its algorithm — remain in the grip of the Chinese Communist Party, we are ceding the ability to censor Americans’ speech to a foreign adversary.” “Time to ban TikTok.”

Security beat: Re-Industrialize or Perish

We’re “apparently entering the first phases of World War 3,” warns Joel Kotkin at Spiked. “Does the West have what it takes to win?” The war “would pit the West and its Asian allies” against China, Russia and Iran. To win, we’d need to boost our “economic power” — yet “any attempt to re-industrialise will face opposition from much of the American establishment.” Already, US military shortfalls have been “made worse by the unravelling of the industrial base,” and Russia and China have virtual monopolies over vital supplies. “Simply put, no significant industrial resurgence could occur under an all-renewable agenda.” The West “must wake up to the reality that industrial prowess and energy self-reliance are critical to security.”

Libertarian: The Perils of Menthol Prohibition

“With youth smoking all but eliminated, it’s hard to see menthol prohibition as anything other than an attempt to target adult consumers, particularly black smokers who are more likely to choose a menthol product,” grumbles Guy Bentley at Reason. The Biden administration is planning “to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars,” arguing “that menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars appeal to youth, especially black youth.” But “the American Civil Liberties Union and a host of criminal justice organizations” fear “law enforcement responses for controlling the illicit market will be disproportionately concentrated on black communities.” With “youth smoking at generational lows, the justification for embarking on a new era of prohibition looks more tenuous than ever.”

Conservative: Tlaib’s Biden Smear

“You don’t often see a House member from the president’s party accusing him of supporting genocide,” observes Jim Geraghty at The Washington Post of Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s “incendiary and provocative” video. The video opens with “President Biden standing at a podium and saying, ‘We stand with Israel’ ” followed by snippets of “air strikes in the Gaza Strip.” These include “the strike on al-Ahli Hospital,” which most observers agree was “hit by a misfire from Islamic Jihad, not by Israel.” So Tlaib’s “misrepresenting” facts. It “closes with an accusation: ‘Joe Biden supported the genocide of the Palestinian people’ ” — a “smear.” Plus, the video says “no peace on stolen land” then claims to want “peaceful coexistence.” Notes Geraghty: “You just literally said you’re not willing to peacefully coexist with somebody else because you say they’re on land stolen from you.”

Liberals: The Orphaned Working Class

“Democrats have steadily lost the allegiance of ‘everyday Americans’ — the working- and middle-class voters that were at the core of the older New Deal coalition,” and have now “begun to lose support among Latino and Asian working-class voters,” point out The Liberal Patriot’s John B. Judis & Ruy Teixeira. Why? They’ve come down hard on one side of “the ‘Great Divide’ in American politics”: siding with the “great postindustrial metro centers” that “benefited from the boom in computer technology and high finance” and against “the small towns and midsize cities that have depended on manufacturing, mining, and farming.” It’s a “continuation of the culture wars that began in the late 1960s,” But the “transformation of the parties into cultural warriors” poses “a danger to democracy”: The nation needs “a political party whose primary commitment is to look after the country’s working and middle classes.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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