Snopes developed a reputation as a highly reliable debunker of internet hoaxes. It was one of the first sources I used to turn to.

Now I find it often reads more like PolitiFact, a supposedly neutral fact checker that seems to lean left, or at least often seems to have a political angle on a fact check.

I had noticed a change in Snopes a while ago, and even considered writing about it earlier, but Snopes coverage of Rasmea Odeh pushed me to a response.

Rasmea has been in the news lately because of her involvement in launching the March 8 so-called Day Without A Woman.

Rasmea’s involvement has generated a lot of publicity because of Rasmea’s conviction in the 1969 bombing of the SuperSol supermarket in Jerusalem, which killed Edward Joffe and Leon Kanner.

See my prior post regarding the evidence of Rasmea’s involvement, and how her claim that she only confessed after 25 days of sexual torture is demonstrably false. In fact, Rasmea confessed the day after arrest and there is independent evidence of her guilt. Among that evidence is the recorded interviews of her co-conspirators in recent pro-Palestinian documentary films.

Snopes decided to cover the issue, One of the Organizers of ‘A Day Without a Woman’ Strike Was Convicted of a Terrorist Bombing.

http://www.snopes.com/2017/02/28/rasmea-odeh-conviction/

When I first saw the Snopes entry, it was beyond shallow, consisting mostly of an article in The Hill in defense of Rasmea by Josh Ruebner of the U.S. Campaign To End The Israeli Occupation (recently rebranded as the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights). The U.S. Campaign is so toxically anti-Israel that it couldn’t find a single congressman to sponsor a U.S. Campaign event on Capitol Hill, causing the event to be cancelled.

Ruebner himself is a notorious anti-Israel activist who even has accused Senator Chuck Schumer of being an “Israel Firster,” a widely criticized anti-Semitic slur suggesting American Jewish supporters of Israel are disloyal to the U.S.

The Hill article by Ruebner is titled Why is Obama’s DOJ prosecuting a torture victim? Snopes quotes three long paragraphs detailing Rasmea’s defense that she only confessed after weeks of torture (Rasmea says 25 days, Ruebner says 45 days).

We know from records that narrative is not true and that Rasmea in fact confessed after just one day. That’s important because it goes to the veracity of the confession. It also ignores all the other evidence of her involvement. I’ve never taken a position on what happened to Rasmea in prison, only that the 25 (or 45) day narrative is contradicted by demonstrable evidence.

So I tweeted at both Snopes and the Snopes author informing them that the Snope coverage was weak and ignored evidence contradicting Rasmea’s defense.

Snope did expand the coverage somewhat, but still leaves the Ruebner article as the main entry in the article, without noting the contrary evidence as to Ruebner’s claims in the article. Ruebner’s background is not described.

This matters because Snopes still carries weight among people seeking fact checks.

This was proven when I saw this Facebook comment by a women troubled about participating in the March 8 protest because of Rasmea’s involvement. That woman specifically cited Snopes as potentially exonerating Rasmea:

I hope Snopes sees this and further expands its coverage, including the facts debunking Rasmea’s defense.

Not for my benefit, but for the benefit of people like that woman on Facebook who rely on Snopes.