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Forbes Won’t Explain Why It Deleted Gaza Post

“But I always thought that’s what opinion columns are for.”

On the morning of August 8th, Forbes contributor Jeff Ballabon published a post on “The 20 Most Ridiculous Things People Believe About The Hamas/Israel Conflict.” In the post, Ballabon—a former Washington lobbyist and conservative Republican leader with deep roots in the Orthodox Jewish community—included a list of statements regarding the current conflict in Gaza that, in his opinion, are unfounded. Among those included were “Israel started it,” “Hamas: Democratically elected terrorists with hearts of gold,” and Genocide!”

A few hours later, the piece was deleted.

“They just killed the link. There was no explanation at all,” he told BuzzFeed. He quickly took to Twitter to air his frustration.

According to Ballabon, Forbes has since given him “conflicting and changing reasons,” as to why they took down the post, the most recent of which was “It’s just a list of links.” “There was no discussion of style, there was no discussion of format…All of those things could have been changed,” Ballabon said. “The only thing that can’t be changed is the substance.”

He said he believes the impetus for its removal was that “it was linked to a very controversial issue on which they’re taking a side.”

“I always thought that’s what opinion columns are for,” he said.

Mia Carbonell, Forbes’ SVP of Communications didn’t respond to detailed questions about the decision and said in an email only that “this post failed to meet Forbes’ editorial standards.”

Ballabon, who has been unable to access his Forbes contributor account since the post was removed, has since republished a modified version with the Gatestone Institute, an international policy think tank. His future status as a Forbes contributor remains unclear.

“I don’t think what they did can be justified and I think that’s why they’re not justifying it,” he said.

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Anita Badejo is an Assistant Features Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Anita Badejo at anita.badejo@buzzfeed.com
 
 
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