(JTA) — The Breitbart Jerusalem website marked its first anniversary on Thursday.
In launching the site in November 2015, the Jewish CEO of Breitbart News noted that the idea for the parent network was conceived in Israel.
Larry Solov wrote in a blog post that he and Breitbart founder Andrew Breitbart were on a media junket to Israel in 2007 when they decided to create a new media company to “change the world.”
“One thing we specifically discussed that night was our desire to start a site that would be unapologetically pro-freedom and pro-Israel. We were sick of the anti-Israel bias of the mainstream media and J Street,” Solov wrote.
“Perhaps it was because we were in such an historic place, or because I was energized by the courage of the Jewish people in the Holy Land, or maybe it was the alcohol at cocktail hour, but I said ‘yes.’ We were blown away by the spirit, tenacity, and resourcefulness of the Israeli people on that trip. Andrew could be quite convincing, not to mention inspiring.”
On Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump appointed Stephen Bannon, the former chairman of Breitbart News, as his chief strategist, leading to criticism from many Jewish groups and others because of Breitbart’s content. Bannon has called it a “platform for the alt-right,” a loose movement of the far right whose followers traffic variously in white nationalism, anti-immigration sentiment, anti-Semitism and a disdain for “political correctness.”
In announcing the Breitbart Jerusalem website a year ago, Bannon wrote: “Israel, much like London, is on the front lines of our current cultural and political war. There is a growing global anti-establishment revolt against the permanent political class at home, and the global elites that influence them, which impacts everyone from Israel to the U.S. Our international team and coverage offers a bird’s-eye view from the front lines of the cultural and political battles taking place across the West.”