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Israeli biochemist goes birther

Birthers thrive on faux experts, and we have another birth certificate analysis with a coat of credibility painted on in the form a  report at “Israel Science and Technology Homepage.”

It appears that this official-sounding web site is just one guy, Israel Hanukoglu,  who snagged a good domain, and built some hyperlinks to articles on science, particularly by Israeli or Jewish scientists. Hanukoglu has a somewhat distinguished scientific career in biochemistry and one wonders why he would publish an article analyzing Barack Obama’s birth certificate, an analysis that is naive even by birther standards. His essential argument is that the birth certificate is a fake because some parts of things are in one clipping region (usually called “layer”) and other parts are in another. A scientist might have bothered to do an experiment, like scanning a birth certificate himself, and if he had he might have found the same layer separation that I did when I tried the experiment.

Israel Hanukoglu is just another crank birther conspiracy theorist with no credentials in what he’s writing about. He doesn’t even pretend to employ the scientific method with experiment, nor does he cite sources with credentials any better than his.

The report links to The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office birther report of Mara Zebest, The American Thinker, WorldNet Daily, and other equally eminent scientific peer-reviewed journals. It appears we have full-tilt conspiracy crankery brewing, as he says:

Moreover, the lack of action on the part of the members of the United States House of Representatives and Senate, as well as the courts of the United States, despite many previous appeals to these three branches of American government, also raise a concern about how the governmental institutions of the reputedly best, and certainly the most important democracy in the Free World have avoided this issue.

What’s the motivation behind this article? Perhaps Hanukoglu explains it himself:

In my report of March 9, I said that with Barack Obama in the White House, the American government has become an overt enemy. I noted that Obama has made appointments of persons who are openly hostile to Israel. Like him and various Israeli politicians, they advocate an Arab-Islamic state in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. This would lead to Israel’s demise.

Update:

This Israeli page is over a year old, just updated with more hyperlinks. It was already online in May of 2011, explaining why the analysis is so primitive.

Update 2:

Deleted

Since the publication of this article, the subject web page has been deleted. When I wrote the article, I left a contact form comment on the site noting that the article was easily debunked and embracing conspiracy theories made Israeli science look bad. The disappearance could have been the result of other criticism than mine (more likely), or perhaps the page is being updated with a modern version of birther image crankery. An older version of the article is still accessible from the Internet Wayback Machine.

Update 3:

It’s back

http://www.science.co.il/Obama-Birth-Certificate.htm

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45 Responses to Israeli biochemist goes birther

  1. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter September 11, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    Get a load of this link, from 2008:

    http://www.science.co.il/arab-israeli-conflict/articles/Anonymous-2008-10-27.asp

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  2. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Which MIGHT and that’s a big might, have actually meant something…had the scientist in question been a document expert and not a biologist.
    I mean, I wouldn’t go to a podiatrist to have a look at my toothache.
    Another red flag…why is this Israeli site in English and not Hebrew?

    This site however is in Hebrew http://www.most.gov.il/

    I call BS on that site the birthers are referencing.

  3. avatar
    Underdog September 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Any ‘real’ document examiner/expert would not bother with the PDF in the first place, they would examine the actual document that was scanned and then converted to PDF.

  4. avatar
    Scientist September 11, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Accoding to Wikipedia, Dr. Hankoglu is a professor at the Ariel University of Samaria, which is located on a settlement in the West Bank

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Hanukoglu

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_University_Center_of_Samaria

    Judging by his publications, he has done pretty good work in his field, which involves steroid bisynthesis, cytochomes and keratin. Nothing in there on document analyis or computer graphics.

    Since I have the same credetials as him (PhD in Biochemistry) and I say the birth certificate is real, I have effectively counteracted his assertions.

  5. avatar
    foreigner September 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    do you believe that he believes what he writes ?
    is there a political agenda ?
    does he mention the other (non-pdf) pics ?

  6. avatar
    Riddle Me This September 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    Where’s the [Expletive deleted. Doc] source of the scan, [Expletive deleted. Doc]?

    Show it in all its glory, you jive [Expletive deleted. Doc] [Expletive deleted. Doc].

  7. avatar
    Scientist September 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    foreigner: do you believe that he believes what he writes ?
    is there a political agenda ?

    In a matter such as this, it is very difficult to separate deliberate propaganda from simply allowing one’s prejudices to color one’s conclusions. In the end, all that matters is that the material analyzed is not the actual document and the methodology employed lacks scientific validity.

  8. avatar
    foreigner September 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

    I read on that website:

    Before you add a link to any of the pages of this web site,
    please go to that page and send the contact form to request
    permission. Linking to any of the multimedia files in the web
    site is strictly forbidden.

    are there other websites that “forbid” linking ?
    How could it ever be judged or enforced

  9. avatar
    JPotter September 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    He’s an Israeli winger. Settlers don’t like Obama. Sad to see a working scientist / academic dabble in nuttery, for political purposes, but he’s not the first scientist, whose profession is exploring and documented new reality, to dabble in creating some.

  10. avatar
    Scientist September 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    JPotter: Sad to see a working scientist / academic dabble in nuttery, for political purposes, but he’s not the first scientist, whose profession is exploring and documented new reality, to dabble in creating some.

    I plead not guilty, personally….

  11. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    In the US a web site can claim a copyright to its content and then file a complaint when someone infringes. However, what I have done would be considered “fair use” under US Law and they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

    Embedding a multimedia item is one thing and perhaps copyright could be enforced on that, but just linking to a single page is not something that can be restricted under law. I generally only embed things where the original source has an “EMBED” button which I take as implicit permission.

    Of course, it is good practice to get permission for links, but nobody does that any more that I know of.

    IANAL.

    foreigner: are there other websites that “forbid” linking ?
    How could it ever be judged or enforced

  12. avatar
    foreigner September 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    you could be guilty of linking by Israel law, who knows
    ———————-

    will he “allow” the linking, when he reads here:

    > crank birther conspiracy theorist with no credentials
    > an analysis that is naive even by birther standards

  13. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    I’m tempted to create a hoax site under a pen name, with “compelling” evidence, that only a birther would believe, make a HUGE name for myself in the birther community, get them all strung along, and then when it all crescendos go “GOTCHA!!!”

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    What I can say is that he should know better. He certainly couldn’t believe that what he wrote as “science.”

    foreigner: do you believe that he believes what he writes ?

  15. avatar
    MattR September 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    foreigner:
    you could be guilty of linking by Israel law, who knows
    ———————-

    will he “allow” the linking, when he reads here:

    > crank birther conspiracy theorist with no credentials> an analysis that is naive even by birther standards

    Hanukoglu references US law when asserting his copyright claim “All reproductions of this copyrighted material must be for non-commercial educational “fair use” as defined by 17 U.S.C 107.” My guess is that he wants unknowing readers to assume that they need to comply with his requirement that they request permission so that he will have more control over where his content travels but there is no legal force backing it up.

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Remember how many birthers believe things today that started as hoaxes.

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: I’m tempted to create a hoax site under a pen name

  17. avatar
    ASK Esq September 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    The thing that got me was this quote:

    “If the “Long-Form Birth Certificate” of Obama was a photocopied document then it should not be composed of separate parts”

    But it was a scan, not a photocopy. How does this apply? Maybe I’m missing something, not being a document expert.

  18. avatar
    CCOLEMAN September 11, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    DEAR MR. ILLEGAL ALIEN PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF CORRUPTED LOWER COURTS OF AMERICA!!!!!

    THE WORD OF THE TRUE AND ONLY GOD OF JESUS CHRIST AND ABRAHAM,STATES IN LUKE 12:3-4 THERE IS NOTHING CONCEALED THAT WILL NOT BE DISCLOSED,OR HIDDEN THAT WILL NOT BE MADE KNOWN.WHAT YOU HAVE SAID IN THE DARK WILL BE HEARD IN THE DAYLIGHT,AND WHAT YOU WHISPERED IN THE EAR IN THE INNER ROOMS WILL BE PROCLAIMED FROM THE ROOFS.

    MR.BARRY SOEOTORO THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,NOT THE UNITED STATES OF ILLEGAL ALIENS!!!!!!

  19. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter September 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Dr. C:

    One of your links above to Hanukoglu is really to somebody named Paul Eidelburg. I did the same thing myself last night, on the 2008 link which is technically “anonymous.” That whole Arab-Isaeli Conflict heading is full of editorials.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  20. avatar
    ASK Esq September 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    CCOLEMAN: DEAR MR. ILLEGAL ALIEN PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF CORRUPTED LOWER COURTS OF AMERICA!!!!!THE WORD OF THE TRUE AND ONLY GOD OF JESUS CHRIST AND ABRAHAM,STATES IN LUKE 12:3-4 THERE IS NOTHING CONCEALED THAT WILL NOT BE DISCLOSED,OR HIDDEN THAT WILL NOT BE MADE KNOWN.WHAT YOU HAVE SAID IN THE DARK WILL BE HEARD IN THE DAYLIGHT,AND WHAT YOU WHISPERED IN THE EAR IN THE INNER ROOMS WILL BE PROCLAIMED FROM THE ROOFS.MR.BARRY SOEOTORO THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,NOT THE UNITED STATES OF ILLEGAL ALIENS!!!!!!

    Boy, this was a whole lot more persuasive since it was all caps. If not, I would’ve thought it was nonsense.

  21. avatar
    Thomas Brown September 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    CCOLEMAN: THE WORD OF THE TRUE AND ONLY GOD

    FYI, Obama has never used the name “Barry Soetoro.” Ever. As in, never.

    But, more to the point, if you use the letters in your name to count off the words in your infantile, obnoxious, borderline-schizophrenic rant above, you will find that it points to six words in six lines which have six letters.

    That’s right: 666.

    So, apparently, from my understanding of scriptural prophesies, YOU are the Anti-Christ! You bear the mark of the Beast, and your own words and thoughts will unconsciously show it at every turn.

    The Lord is not merciful to corrupters of the word such as yourself, who spread ignorance and deceit amongst his children. And, personally, I’ll be laughing my head off when you meet your just deserts according to His will, and are roasting in the flames of Perdition.

  22. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG September 11, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    Oh yeah, nothing says “Hello, I am a sane and rational human being, with something intelligent to say!” quite like screaming a warped interpretation of biblical text, in all caps.

  23. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter September 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    This is interesting. I was trying to clean up my attribution in my article on this. The link above had no name on it at the Israel Science website. In the index, the author was listed as “anonymous.” But I have found out that the piece is called “The Jihad Candidate 2″ by somebody called Rich Carroll, who is probably dead.

    http://www.science.co.il/arab-israeli-conflict/articles/Anonymous-2008-10-27.asp

    But see here for info about the real author:

    http://2sistersfromtheright.blogspot.com/2011/10/in-dangerous-place-by-rich-carroll.html

    And here for the Jihad Candidate 2, although I can’t tell where it was first published:

    http://www.israpundit.com/2008/?p=3054

    Rich Carroll had a blog called “patriotscreed” which could be read two ways. He was also on Plains Radio at some point.

    Anyway, Hanukoglu chose to put it on his website, which has very limited number of such articles. For whatever it is worth.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  24. avatar
    SluggoJD September 11, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    CCOLEMAN:
    DEAR MR. ILLEGAL ALIEN PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF CORRUPTED LOWER COURTS OF AMERICA!!!!!

    THE WORD OF THE TRUE AND ONLY GOD OF JESUS CHRIST AND ABRAHAM,STATES IN LUKE 12:3-4 THERE IS NOTHING CONCEALED THAT WILL NOT BE DISCLOSED,OR HIDDEN THAT WILL NOT BE MADE KNOWN.WHAT YOU HAVE SAID IN THE DARK WILL BE HEARD IN THE DAYLIGHT,AND WHAT YOU WHISPERED IN THE EAR IN THE INNER ROOMS WILL BE PROCLAIMED FROM THE ROOFS.

    MR.BARRY SOEOTORO THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,NOT THE UNITED STATES OF ILLEGAL ALIENS!!!!!!

    Living proof that the internets cause brain damage.

  25. avatar
    Lupin September 12, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    CCOLEMAN: DEAR MR. ILLEGAL ALIEN PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF CORRUPTED LOWER COURTS OF AMERICA!!!!!

    THE WORD OF THE TRUE AND ONLY GOD OF JESUS CHRIST AND ABRAHAM,STATES IN LUKE 12:3-4 THERE IS NOTHING CONCEALED THAT WILL NOT BE DISCLOSED,OR HIDDEN THAT WILL NOT BE MADE KNOWN.WHAT YOU HAVE SAID IN THE DARK WILL BE HEARD IN THE DAYLIGHT,AND WHAT YOU WHISPERED IN THE EAR IN THE INNER ROOMS WILL BE PROCLAIMED FROM THE ROOFS.

    MR.BARRY SOEOTORO THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,NOT THE UNITED STATES OF ILLEGAL ALIENS!!!!!!

    I just flashed back to Times Square/42nd Street in 1978.

  26. avatar
    Sudoku September 12, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    They would just believe that Obama got to you, too.

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    I’m tempted to create a hoax site under a pen name, with “compelling” evidence, that only a birther would believe, make a HUGE name for myself in the birther community, get them all strung along, and then when it all crescendos go “GOTCHA!!!”

  27. avatar
    The Magic M September 12, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG: I’m tempted to create a hoax site under a pen name, with “compelling” evidence, that only a birther would believe, make a HUGE name for myself in the birther community, get them all strung along, and then when it all crescendos go “GOTCHA!!!”

    I’ve been tempted to do this for at least a year, but I never got around to doing it. Maybe after the elections in the year 2525, if birtherism is still alive…

  28. avatar
    Keith September 12, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    The Magic M: I’ve been tempted to do this for at least a year, but I never got around to doing it. Maybe after the elections in the year 2525, if birtherism is still alive…

    If mankind can survive…

  29. avatar
    Lupin September 12, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    FWIW, French conspiracy theorists are blaming Mossad / Bibi for the Bacile movie which caused the upset in Libya and Egypt, allegedly in an effort to influence US elections.

    Some claim Bacile is “friends” with Sheldon Adelson, who is one of Romney’s major backers.

    I have no idea if this is true; probably not. (It sounds too neat and too guilt-by-association.)

    OTOH, French conspiracy theorists had told US sources AQ was going to attack the US in September 2001. So go figure. Conspiracies are bad for you. My head hurts.

  30. avatar
    dunstvangeet September 12, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Andrew Vrba, PmG:
    I’m tempted to create a hoax site under a pen name, with “compelling” evidence, that only a birther would believe, make a HUGE name for myself in the birther community, get them all strung along, and then when it all crescendos go “GOTCHA!!!”

    Already been done. Don’t you remember, Ed Hale? He said that he’d release some information to only subscribers that would bring down the President. Nobody subscribed, and he finally stated that it was a trick to try to take money from the Obots…

  31. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter September 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    BREAKING UPDATE!!! Article disappears from Internet!

    http://birtherthinktank.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/israeli-birth-certificate-article-disappears-or-the-invisible-hanukoglu/

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  32. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy September 13, 2012 at 8:29 am #

    Wow. Thanks for that. I think the story of the article’s disappearance is much more interesting than the article itself (which is just all debunked birther stuff).

    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter: BREAKING UPDATE!!! Article disappears from Internet

  33. avatar
    The Magic M September 13, 2012 at 9:13 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I think the story of the article’s disappearance is much more interesting than the article itself

    Putting on my tinfoil hat: maybe Corsi told Hanukoglu that he only way his non-article is going to benefit the birther cause in any way is to remove it so WND can run a “smoking gun article scrubbed” series?

  34. avatar
    Lupin September 13, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    The French Conspiracy theorists were only 50% right. It turns out it wasn’t the Israelis but the Chistianists who are behind the video:

    http://www.juancole.com/2012/09/romney-jumps-the-shark-libya-egypt-and-the-butterfly-effect.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+juancole%2Fymbn+%28Informed+Comment%29

  35. avatar
    G September 13, 2012 at 9:25 am #

    Agreed.

    Dr. Conspiracy: Wow. Thanks for that. I think the story of the article’s disappearance is much more interesting than the article itself (which is just all debunked birther stuff).

  36. avatar
    Scientist September 13, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Lupin: The French Conspiracy theorists were only 50% right. It turns out it wasn’t the Israelis but the Chistianists who are behind the video:

    Lupin: Given that the guy behind it is a convicted fraudster who served 21 months for a check kiting scheme, I wouldn’t rule out that the main motivation was pure and simple financial gain. The line between poltics and scam is a thin one these days- see, for example Smth, Lucas; Zullo, Mark; Taitz, Orly et al.

  37. avatar
    G September 13, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Wow…thanks for sharing that, Lupin! A fascinating read…and quite a real conspiracy fraud of globe-spanning consequences. At first, I was sickened to learn the details behind the film and its distribution – which seems to be an intentionally coordinated scam to incite and excuse violence by various flavors of different religious extremists. But then there were some positive elements to the article as well.

    These excerpts in particular really stood out to me:

    In other words, this is a non-film and a non-story, a fraud, promoted by the worst people in each culture.

    So the Butterfly Effect set off by a low-budget bad propaganda film gotten up by two-bit frauds and Christian supremacists, and then promoted by two-bit Egyptian and Libyan fundamentalists, has provoked some squalls and cost the lives of four good men.

    The storm provoked by this butterfly has revealed character on an international scale. The steely determination of an Obama to achieve justice, the embarrassing grandstanding of a Romney, the destructive hatred of a handful of extremists in Cairo and Benghazi , and the decency and warmth toward the US of the Libyan crowds, all were thrown into stark relief by the beating of the butterfly’s wings.

    In the end, the violence and extremism of the hardliners on both sides is a phantasm of the
    past, not a harbinger of the future. The wave of democratic politics sweeping the region has left the haters behind, reducing them to desperate and senseless acts of violence that will gain them no good will, no popularity, no political credibility.

    A little-noted major event of Wednesday was the democratic selection of a new prime minister in Libya for the first time in the country’s history. Mustafa Abushagur defeated the Muslim Brotherhood candidate handily. Abushagur for a long time taught college in the US, at the University of Alabama Huntsville. Libyans again showed themselves nationalist and non-fundamentalist. This remarkable achievement, and what it portends for the shape of Libyan politics, will be drowned out by the atrocity in Benghazi, but it is the development that is likely to be marked by future historians as a turning point in Libya and in the Middle East.

    So, as sorrowful as the whole terrible incident has been and as shameful as Romney’s inflammatory political interjection has been as well, there remains hope that actual leaders with real steady calm leadership, can tamper down such cynical extremism and keep it from spreading beyond control.

    Lupin: The French Conspiracy theorists were only 50% right. It turns out it wasn’t the Israelis but the Chistianists who are behind the video:http://www.juancole.com/2012/09/romney-jumps-the-shark-libya-egypt-and-the-butterfly-effect.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+juancole%2Fymbn+%28Informed+Comment%29

  38. avatar
    G September 13, 2012 at 10:24 am #

    The guy is definitely a fraudster, but I think it is clear that this was an intentionally incendiary act…one possibly borne out of collusion between the hate-based agendas of several different sects of religious extremism.

    The goal certainly seems to have been to incite violence. These crazies want to stoke religous wars and are increasingly desperate to light those matches.

    Scientist: Lupin: Given that the guy behind it is a convicted fraudster who served 21 months for a check kiting scheme, I wouldn’t rule out that the main motivation was pure and simple financial gain. The line between poltics and scam is a thin one these days- see, for example Smth, Lucas; Zullo, Mark; Taitz, Orly et al.

  39. avatar
    Lupin September 13, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    G: The goal certainly seems to have been to incite violence. These crazies want to stoke religous wars and are increasingly desperate to light those matches.

    This, basically, is THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION “scam” adapted to 21st century media and technology.

  40. avatar
    Lupin September 13, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Scientist: The line between poltics and scam is a thin one these days- see, for example Smth, Lucas; Zullo, Mark; Taitz, Orly et al.

    Yes, same ilk. Definitely.

  41. avatar
    donna September 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    G/Lupin

    Sam Bacile, Innocence of Muslims and Steven Klein

    Courageous Christians United. Steven Klein is listed as the CEO as well as founder for the group. And what is the purpose of the group and who is Steven Klein?

    Courageous Christians United can be found on the web and they apparently run anti-Islam, anti-Catholic as well as anti-Mormon sites.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/12/1130860/-Sam-Bacile-Innocence-of-Muslims-and-Steven-Klein

  42. avatar
    Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter September 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

    I think maybe Steven Klein wrote a book for Floyd Brown and some non-profit organization. But it has been a while since I read it, and I may have the Klein person wrong.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  43. avatar
    G September 13, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    I think you are right about that…

    Lupin: This, basically, is THE PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION “scam” adapted to 21st century media and technology.

  44. avatar
    Thomas Brown September 13, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    donna:
    G/Lupin

    Sam Bacile, Innocence of Muslims and Steven Klein

    Courageous Christians United.Steven Klein is listed as the CEO as well as founder for the group.And what is the purpose of the group and who is Steven Klein?

    Courageous Christians United can be found on the web and they apparently run anti-Islam, anti-Catholic as well as anti-Mormon sites.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/12/1130860/-Sam-Bacile-Innocence-of-Muslims-and-Steven-Klein

    “Sam Bacile” is actually Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, per HuffPo and the AP.