Who is behind Relentless, Obsession and The Third Jihad? - Updated 11/19/10

Who is behind Relentless, Obsession and The Third Jihad?

by Sheila Musaji

Updates at bottom of article


Jews on First has published a very comprehensive and detailed rebuttal:  Rebutting Obsession: Historical Facts Topple Film’s Premise That Violent Muslim Fundamentalists are Nazis’ Heirs, Expose its Fear-mongering by Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, Eli Clifton, Jane Hunter and Robin Podolsky.

Those behind the production of the Obsession film and those behind the recent distribution of the DVD in newspapers and by mail are attempting to be very secretive about exactly who they are, and who is financing this endeavor. 

The Obsession website lists only the filmmakers, Wayne Kopping and Raphael Shore. However, the dvd packaging included with the Times lists the producers as Peter Mier and Raphael Shore, and states that the project was “conceived by” Peter Mier. and the production manager is listed as Brett Halperin.  However,  an article by Richard Silverstein of Tikun Olam attempting to get to the bottom of this notes that Raphael Shore says that Mier and Halperin are just aliases and that also according to Shore, about 80 percent of the film’s $400,000 budget was provided by Mier (whoever Mier might be). 

In an interview on Fox News Raphael Shore said: “At the recommendation of a number of experts we worked with in making the film, many of the individuals and organizations who helped make this film possible requested anonymity. Tragically, we’ve seen numerous times the response of the radicals to those who openly expose or disagree with them.”  But of course, they are afraid they will be killed by fanatical Muslims.  If that is so, why aren’t Raphael Shore or any of the other folks involved in this afraid. 

I think that he Kassandra Project blog asks a very good question about this:  “Why all the aliases and secrecy I wonder. Maybe it has something to do with that pesky federal U.S. 501(c)(3) law prohibiting foreign political institutions or foreign organizations from contributing to the Clarion Fund’s operations. Given that both the producer and the director are foreigners (with an anti-Muslim agenda), and the financial backers are anonymous, it all looks very suspicious.”  This is a much more likely motivation for all the secrecy.  Jews on First adds even more credence to this interpretation.  “Because it was established only recently, the Clarion Fund has not yet filed its first required disclosure (Form 990) with the IRS. It is not disclosing its officers.  The address Clarion used to satisfy the New York Times’ requirement that political or opinion advertisements include the advertiser’s contact information—255 West 36th St., Suite 800, in Manhattan—turns out to be Grace Corporate Park Executive Suites, an office-space rental operation which also rents “virtual office identity packages” for as little as $75 a month.”  This is just about as shady as it is possible to be.

Erik Ose in an article on The Huffington Post raises an even more pertinent issue:  “However, one detail in this report seems mistaken, that “because it was established only recently, the Clarion Fund has not yet filed its first required disclosure (Form 990) with the IRS.” According to the New York Secretary of State’s website, the Clarion Fund was incorporated nearly two years ago, on December 28, 2006. So where are their Form 990’s? Hello, IRS?)” 

I have done what I could to collect as much information as possible about the organizations and individuals involved in the production of Obsession and in the promotion and distribution of the film.  As I am able to find out more I will update this.  If you have any additional information please let me know.  I find it very interesting that these groups and individuals are so intertwined.  The dubious credentials of most of the “experts” are also interesting.  What is most interesting is that an organization that has not filed proper paperwork with the IRS, doesn’t have a legitimate address, and lists aliases on the cover of its “advertising” insert was still accepted as legitimate by so many newspapers (and of course, that doesn’t even touch on the matter of the content of the Obsession insert). 

CAIR has issued a press release saying that they are asking the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to Probe Anti-Muslim DVDs Sent to Swing States.  9/23/08

ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN THE PRODUCTION OR PROMOTION OF OBSESSION

AISH HATORAH 

When the Israeli Foreign Ministry sought to combat anti-Israel ideas on college campuses, it called on Aish HaTorah to develop the HASBARA FELLOWSHIPS. This program has flown hundreds of student leaders to Israel for intensive training in pro-Israel activism training. In North America, Hasbara Fellowships guides and funds pro-Israel activities on 80 college campuses.

Aish also founded HONEST REPORTING, a web-based operation that monitors the media for ‘anti-Israel bias’. Honest Reporting has claimed to be independent from Aish for several years, but its UK branch, launched earlier this year, boasts an Aish-registered website domain name and contact address.  The Aish International site main page says:  “Campuses everywhere are deluged with anti-Israel propaganda. Mass media is often strongly biased against Israel. Our efforts through affiliate HonestReporting Campus and Hasbara Fellowships are defending Israel everywhere.”  According to Truth Dig“Clarion’s corporate filings in Delaware list the same address as Aish HaTorah New York. Clarion’s two directors in 2006 were Rabbi Raphael Shore and Jacob Fetman, who served as Aish’s CFO. In 2007, the organization listed its directors as Shore, Henry Harris and Rebecca Kabat. Rabbi Harris is educational director at Aish HaTorah NY and Kabat has also worked for Aish. ... Aish’s Ephraim Shore has also been president of the organization HonestReporting.com, which, according to Aish’s Web site, helped to produce and promote Raphael Shore’s film.”  According to the St. Petersburg Times: “Ronn Torossian, spokesman for Aish HaTorah, said that his group would in “no way be involved with Clarion Fund or Obsession because Aish HaTorah is a charity and must remain apolitical.”  ...  “Elke Bronstein is the name written on the mail permit for the bulk mailing of Obsession DVDs in mid September from Freeport, N.Y. Reached on her cell phone, Bronstein said she worked for Clarion, but would not provide more information.  The receptionist at Aish HaTorah in New York said Bronstein worked for Aish Discovery, which produces high-tech programs and films for Aish HaTorah. Torossian said Bronstein could easily have separate jobs.”  ...  “A June 15, 2001, article in the Jerusalem Post said that Aish HaTorah provided $150,000 in “seed money” to create an organization called Media Watch International that took over HonestReporting, the group that made Obsession four years later.”

CLARION FUND

This is a shadowy group who organized and paid for the distribution of the Obsession DVD to 28 million Americans by newspaper inserts and direct mailing.  Clarion was founded by Raphael Shore.  Their site does not list any officers, board members, nothing.  According to Tampa Bay.com Clarion’s address, according to Manhattan directory assistance, is the same address as Aish HaTorah International, a fundraising arm of Aish HaTorah. The Clarion Fund and Aish HaTorah International are also connected to a group called HonestReporting, which produced Obsession. Honest­Reporting’s 2006 tax return uses the same address.  Richard Silverstein has some interesting new information (10-12-08) about the 501c form for Clarion fund and whether or not the answers to some of the questions on the form were answered accurately   Clarions supplemental IRS filing  and Clarion’s application for 501c status provide a great deal more information 10/12/08 According to Omid Safi: “The connections between Aish HaTorah and Clarion Fund go even deeper. According to the paperwork filed with the Delaware state authorities, Clarion uses the same address as Aish HaTorah in New York. In 2006, the two directors of the Clarion Fund were Rabbi Shore and Jacob Fetman, who was also Aish HaTorah’s Chief Financial Officer. In 2007, it had three directors: Rabbi Shore, Rabbi Harris (who is the educational director for Aish HaTorah), and Rebecca Kabat, another Aish HaTorah employee.”  The Clarion Fund and the Republican Party 10/08.  Clarion and Aish Ha Torah share an IP address.  10/08

CHRISTIANS UNITED FOR ISRAEL

This group headed by Pastor John Hagee helped pay for a mass mailing of the Obsession video some months ago.  According to an article on Israel eNews“At the July 16-18, 2007 Christians United For Israel (CUFI) yearly conference in Washington D.C., Senator Lieberman lavished praise on Christians United For Israel’s founder, Texas megachurch evangelist Pastor John Hagee, likening Hagee to Moses, calling Hagee a “man of God”, and stating that, like Moses, Hagee was the leader of a ‘mighty multitude’.  But on July 18, 2007, at the nonprofit 501(c)(3) group’s “A Night To Honor Israel” capstone event of it’s three-day conference, CUFI Regional Director Billye Brim suggested that “God has a plan” for the Dome of The Rock, Islam’s 3rd holiest site on Earth and the spot from which Muslims believe Moses ascended into Heaven. In the eschatolgical, or “End-Time” belief system held by most Christians United For Israel members, The Dome Of The Rock must be removed or destroyed to make way for the construction of a 3rd Jewish temple.”  According to that article Brim went on to say: 
“Upon that hill, there is a rock.  Upon that rock there is a dome.  God has a plan for that hill.” Bruce Wilson, the author of the article adds that “Billye Brim did not directly call, on July 18th that night, for the destruction of The Dome of The Rock, but the message was clear—the Dome had to go—and in an undated audio recording I have discovered, from Billye Brim addressing a moderate sized and nearly orgiastic religious gathering, Brim makes the point more directly, stating that while she was with a group of evangelical Christians who were covertly praying around and on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount Brim received a message directly from God which told her “that dome’s coming down” and Billye Brim suggested that she knew the very date on which The Dome Of The Rock would be destroyed. “That dome’s coming down,” exulted Brim to her audience, and then she emitted what could be called nothing other than a triumphant ululation of victory.”  This is the sort of inflammatory rhetoric that could easily be used in a documentary showing the danger that this version of Christianity poses to all of civilization.

ENDOWMENT FOR MIDDLE EAST TRUTH

On 9/23 The Detroit Free Press reported that: Endowment for Middle East Truth, is a partner with the Clarion Fund in “The Obsession Project,” which will also include research publications and issue forums.  “While the initial press reports about the mass distribution focused on the Clarion Fund’s financing role, it was EMET that organised and oversaw the distribution, EMET’s spokesman, Ari Morgenstern, told IPS. Morgenstern, a former press officer for the Israeli embassy here, said he contacted IPS at the Clarion Fund’s request.” ... “Morgenstern told IPS that EMET was ‘partnered with the Clarion Fund’ on what he called the ‘Obsession Project’ which he identified as ‘an initiative of EMET’. He declined to name the Project’s donors. A spokesman for the Clarion Fund, Gregory Ross, has also refused to name the Fund’s donors, whose identity remains a mystery.” (9/28/08) http://ipsnorthamerica.net/news.php?idnews=1705  EMET sponsored a seminar series on Capitol Hill named for the controversial multi-billionaire casino and hotel magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major donor to right-wing Zionist organisations in the U.S.; the far-right lobby group, Freedom’s Watch; and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=43983  Leading the Endowment is Sarah Stern, a former lobbyist for the Zionist Organization of America. http://www.npr.org/blogs/secretmoney/2008/09/new_details_emerge_about_radic.html  EMET’s website about page says the following:  “EMET has made it their business to distribute the movie, “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War against the West”, to every single congressional office.”  9/29/08 There is a report on the JTA site that EMET has pulled out of involvement with the Obsession Project.  According to this report: “EMET founder and president Sarah Stern initially told JTA on Friday that she had been taken advantage of by the group and had never spoken with Ari Morgenstern, who was quoted in press reports as speaking for EMET and the Obsession Project.  But the communications strategists for the project, Baron Communications LLC and 30 Point Strategies, shared e-mails and phone records that showed Stern had at least four telephone conversations earlier in the week with Morgenstern. In addition, they produced an e-mail from Sept. 22 which showed Stern approving of a press release and other materials announcing EMET’s participation. Another e-mail a day later from Stern included a lengthy note backing the project’s mission and the sign-off “Soldier On!”  Stern now does acknowledge having spoken to Morgenstern and approving involvement with the project, but now says she “made a mistake” in not getting approval from EMET’s board before agreeing to became a partner. She said she still supports efforts to encourage Americans to watch “Obsession.”  This is also being reported on other sites including an article Obsession Campaign Imploding.

It seems that EMET has pulled out of this project altogether.

 

FILM COMPANIES - SnagFilms today announced it would offer viewers free streaming of more than 60 election-themed films so that voters might become better informed on issues before November 4th.  One of the films is The Third Jihad 10/13/08

FRONT LINE STRATEGIES

has been hired by Clarion to market the new film “The Third Jihad” - they are a Republican PR firm.  According to a Florida paper article about a showing of Third Jihad in Arizona, “Brent Lowder, a partner in Frontline Strategies LLC, represented the nonprofit Clarion Fund, which produced the film.”  Brent Lowder ran Rudy Giuliani’s California Presidential campaign.  ‘Third Jihad’ rolls out into private showings in eight states, marketed by Rudy Guiliani operative 10/12/08

HASBARA FELLOWSHIPS

According to Omid Safi:  “Raphael Shore is also the director of Hasbara Fellowships, a group with the transparent website: http://www.israelactivism.com/ Here there is another connection to Aish HaTorah, as Hasbara is part of the Aish HaTorah network. And their activism on behalf of Israel is worn like a badge of honor.  The pattern is beginning to become clearer: how is it that a group with the stated goal of “Israel activism” is placing 28 million copies of a DVD warning Americans about the danger of “radical Islam”? In many of the screenings of this DVD, the audience was required to sign up for receiving material from the israelactivism.com website. How come 70 US newspapers accepted this DVD without doing the basic research to uncover the source (and prejudice) of this propaganda?”

HONEST REPORTING

HonestReporting.com was founded by AISH HATORAH, and now exists as an independent organization.  An article on the Israel on Campus Coalition site says that both HONEST REPORTING and HASBARA FELLOWSHIPS are projects of AISH.  “HonestReporting.com (HR.com) and Hasbara Fellowships have teamed up to create HonestReporting.com for Campus.”  The Honest Reporting site on its history page says:  “In early 2001, those first volunteers turned to the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah to help build a website, develop materials and grow the subscriber base even further. Later that year, the project, having grown to become a major organization in its own right, was established as a US non-profit organization (501c3) with an Independent Board of Directors.”  Honest reporting has had some difficulties with honesty.  They called the Qana ambulance attack by Israel a hoax, a false rumor which spread all over the internet on far right sites, even though Human Rights Watch debunked their claim.

Honest Reporting bills itself as a watchdog organization that monitors the media for bias against Israel.  According to Wikipedia (where the article may not be up for long) the Management of Honest Reporting includes:  Rabbi Ephraim Shore(president) took over HonestReporting in 2000 after it was founded by a group of students in England. In late 2001, he organized an independent USA board of directors and established HonestReporting as a registered non-profit (501 (c) 3) organization. He is also a co-director of Hasbara Fellowships. Both HonestReporting and Hasbara Fellowships were launched by, or with the assistance of, Aish HaTorah.[1]  Joe Hyams (CEO) is a former strategic planner for London’s oldest advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising (Tel Aviv).  Simon Plosker (managing editor) has worked for a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Board of Deputies of British Jews, BICOM, and NGO Monitor.  Yarden Frankl (senior editor) worked for ten years as a senior aide to Congresswoman Nita Lowey of New York and as the Strategic Affairs Lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  Pesach Benson (blog editor) is a former reporter for the Baltimore Jewish Times.  Gary Kenzer (USA director) was formerly involved on the national level of grassroots organizations like American Friends of Magen David Adom[2] and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He is the contact person for speaking engagements, fund-raisers and other US activities.[3]  (Note:  Rabbi Ephraim Shore is the brother of Rabbi Rafael Shore.)

Honest Reporting, in addition to media watch activities, produced a documentary discussing the Jewish-Muslim conflict in association with The CLARION FUND. This film was entitled “Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East”.  According to Omid Safi’s research:  “Haaretz reported that “Obsession” is described as “Honest Reporting’s newest documentary film.”  Honestreporting.com’s own website confirms this:  “HonestReporting is proud to have been a former marketing partner during the initial production of this award-winning documentary.”  Shore, recognizing that the credibility of his propaganda would be undermined if its correction to Israeli-spin organizations were revealed, told Haaretz (in an unusually frank slip) that they “have told Honest Reporting to take it off their site ‘a dozen times.’” The connections between Obsession and Israeli groups like Aish HaTorah and Jewish advocacy groups on behalf of Israel like Hasbara Fellowship and Honestyreporting.com is beyond dispute. The producers of the documentary just don’t want you to know about it.” 

JUDEO-CHRISTIAN VIEW

A new periodical, The Judeo-Christian View, the periodical’s first issue was sent by U.S. mail to over 325,000 rabbis, priests and pastors in “every” Jewish and Christian congregation in America, each with a copy of the documentary “Obsession.” 10/22/08 According to Market Watch clerical signers of this first issue were:  Rabbi Herzel Kranz from The Jewish Center of Silver Spring, Maryland; Rev. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Father Frank Pavone, Roman Catholic head of Priests for Life; Rev. Rosemary Schindler, San Francisco Board of the Anti-Defamation League and member of the Oscar Schindler family (of Schindler’s List); Dr. James M. Hutchens, Brigadier General and Deputy Chief of US Army Chaplains (Ret.); Rev. Ben Kinchlow, former co-host of The 700 Club; Dr. Bruce Fong, president, Michigan Theological Seminary; Dr. Kenneth L. Hutcherson, Antioch Bible Church, Kirkland, Washington; Dr. Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of Moody Memorial Church, Chicago; and Rabbi Yehuda Levin of the Rabbinical Alliance of America of Torah Loyal Jews and The Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the U.S. and Canada.  The article further states:  “Dr. O’Neal Dozier, General Publisher, said the next issue will be The Judeo-Christian View on “The Free Exercise of Islamic Violence.”  10/27/08

MAMIYE FOUNDATION

IPS has uncovered one donor to the Clarion Fund, the Mamiye Foundation, which gave it 25,000 dollars in August of 2007, according to tax filings. Four Mamiyes, Charles M., Charles D., Hyman and Abraham, are listed as trustees on the forms.

MEMRI

The translations in the film Obsession were provided by Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) which, according to Source Watch, is connected to Israeli intelligence organizations and Christian evangelicals and is funded in part by the right wing OLIN FOUNDATION.  Obsessions production credits include the Middle East Media Research Institute.  According to an article in Common Dreams: MEMRI is a translation service founded in 1998 by Col. Yigal Carmon, who spent more than 20 years in Israeli intelligence and later advised two Israeli prime ministers; and the PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH, an Israeli group founded by Itimar Marcus, that monitors Palestinian news organizations for alleged anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic propaganda.  According to the Jewish Daily Forward:  “MEMRI was co-founded by Meyrav Wurmser and Colonel Yigal Carmon, formerly of Israeli military intelligence, “both of whom were early critics of the Oslo accords.” 

According to Source Watch “MEMRI’s stance is that it is opposed to Islamic fundamentalism, not Islam itself, although the integrity of this position may be questioned because of links on MEMRI’s website to certain evangelical Christian organizations who take a harder line on Islam. Yigal Carmon, MEMRI’s founder, is a former advisor on terrorism to the Israeli Prime Ministers, Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin, so he actually worked for both Labor and Likud governments. Praise for MEMRI should be taken with a grain of salt since it is almost always motivated by politics, not the quantity or quality of MEMRI’s work.” 

The quality of their translations has been challenged over the years, including their famous Mickey Mouse look-alike translation, their translations of the articles of Prof. Halim Barakat of Georgetown University, and their most famous “wiped off the map” mistranslation of what Ahmadinejad actually said.

NEWSPAPERS - 70 papers carried the DVD as an advertising insert, but 5 papers refused - the Greensboro News & Record in North Carolina.  The Saint Louis Post Dispatch  The Star-Banner in Ocala, Florida.  The Detroit Free Press.  The Cincinnati Enquirer.  10/6 update: Elizabeth Brenner, the publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, told reporters at the Milwaukee Press Club that based on complaints from its readers, the paper likely would not carry it again if faced with the same decision.

RADICAL ISLAM.ORG http://www.radicalislam.info/  a site copyrighted by the CLARION FUND.

REPUBLICAN JEWISH COALITION Richard Silverstein on Tikkun Olam has raised the question of whether or not the Republican Jewish Coalition had something to do with this mailing, and he notes in another article that The Republican Jewish Coalition has distributed free copies of the film in promotional mailings to U.S. rabbis and other Jewish mailing lists.  This mailing was also documented by Jews on First who added that the Obsession DVD was inserted in a book   called “Standing With Israel” by CHRISTIANS UNITED FOR ISRAEL’S (CUFI) executive director David Brog which was then sent out to Rabbis.  RJC sponsors screening of Third Jihad in Florida 10/12/08

TERRORISM AWARENESS PROJECT promotes the film and says on its site:  Terrorism Awareness Project is a program of the DAVID HOROWITZ FREEDOM CENTER.

U.S. NAVAL WAR COLLEGE As part of CLARION’s supplemental IRS filing page 13 is a letter from Jeffrey Norwitz, Professor, National Security Studies, U.S.l Naval War College, Department of the Navy (and it is on official Dept. of the Navy letterhead) that calls Obsession “...the finest teaching tool yet in educating students ...”, and in the letter he says: “Toward that end, I use the full-length Obsession movie to begin a strategic conversation and generate spirited dialogue.”  And, in addition to using this film at the U.S. Naval War College, he says: “Moreover, I frequently lecture at academic institutions across the United States and to foreign military audiences.  I often use the 12-minute version of Obsession with similar positive results.”  This would appear to be proof that this film is being used at the Naval College.  10/12/08

INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN THE MAKING AND PROMOTING OF OBSESSION

Sheldon Adelson The press has already reported that Sheldon Adelson personally distributes copies of Obsession to participants in the Taglit-Birthright Israel indoctrination tours he funds.  This article makes an educated guess that he is the financier behind this DVD distribution.  12/08 update Adelson’s stock has dropped 95% in the past year, so his ability to finance such efforts has been drastically reduced.

Nonie Darwish identified in Obsession as the daughter of a Fedayeen terrorist.  She is the founder of a group called ARABS FOR ISRAEL. 

Alan M. Dershowitz The honesty of his attacks on Prof. Finkelstein of De Paul University has been questioned.  At the time of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, Dershowitz said“It was in some ways the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America. It was the first shot. A lot of us didn’t recognize it at the time.”  Obviously he doesn’t know the difference between a Muslim and a Christian, since Sirhan Sirhan is a Palestinian Christian, not a Muslim. 

Rev. O’Neal Dozier, General Publisher of the JUDEO-CHRISTIAN VIEW was an advisor to President Bush, a minister of the Worldwide Christian Church, and an appointee of Governor Jeb Bush. - After appearing on the The Steve Kane Radio Show at WNN-AM 1470 on 2006-JUL-07, he recapped his talk by saying: “The Islamic religion in my view is a cult. On the show I said that Islam is a dangerous religion.’’ 10/27/08 The Miami Daily Business Review reported that BROWARD JUDICIAL NOMINATION COMMISSION (JNC) MEMBER O’NEAL DOZIER has asked several candidates for Broward County (Florda) judgeships inappropriate questions about their religious beliefs, such as whether they attend church and are “God-fearing.” Several of those judicial nominees complained about those types of questions according to Americans United for Separation of Church and State at http://www.au.org/press/pr040114.htm Dozier is further quoted “According to a report in the New Times Broward-Palm Beach late last year, Dozier told a Religious Right gathering, “We as Christians must take control of the government. We should be the ones in charge of the government.”

Steven Emerson, Executive Director, THE INVESTIGATIVE PROJECT, produced the critically acclaimed PBS documentary “Jihad in America”.  Emerson’s relationship to the truth may also be questionable.  Emerson told a reporter shortly after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that he believed the perpetrators were likely Islamic terrorists.  He has made other unsubstantiated claims including the “fact” that a hit team of Islamic Fundamentalists had been dispatched to kill him.  Emerson filed a lawsuit against the journalist who raised doubts about his claims, but a court ruled against him in the lawsuit.  Emerson has made claims against CAIR, against MPAC, and against ISNA.  Paul Kendall has raised the issue of whether or not he conspired with a foreign government (Israel) to violate the Constitutional rights of American Muslims.  FAIR Smearcaster report on Steven Emerson

Brigitte Gabriel heads ACT FOR AMERICA.  In a recent interview with the New York Times about her anti-Muslim book They Must Be Stopped she said:  “The moderate Muslims at this point are truly irrelevant.”  As noted in another Times article which called Gabriel a “radical Islamophobe”  she has made a number of statements which show that she has a problem with all Muslims.  Statements including: “Every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim.” The author of this article notes:  Gabriel believes that Muslims cannot serve loyally in the U.S. military, that interfaith dialogue is “nonsense,” and that the difference between the Arab world and Israel is “barbarism versus civilization.”  She was pme pf the speakers at John Hagee’s CITIZENS UNITED FOR ISRAEL convention where she said“The difference, my dear Christian friends, between Israel and the Arab world is quite simply the difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s the difference between good and evil and this is what we’re witnessing in the Arabic and Islamic world. I am angry. They have no SOUL! They are dead set on killing and destruction. And in the name of something they call “Allah,” which is very different from the God we believe in, because our God is the God of love.”  Well, since we poor Arabs and/or Muslims have no soul, it is no wonder that we cannot comprehend this form of love.  The Australian Jewish News Agency has also reported on her anti-Muslim statements.

Sir Martin Gilbert is Winston Churchill’s official biographer, a historian, and the author of Holocaust: The Jewish Tragedy (published in the United States as The Holocaust: A History of the Jews of Europe During the Second World War).  Israeli historian Benny Morris described him as a “propagandist” while another historian Tom Segev criticized him for the notable and inexplicable “absence of figures from Arab sources” in his book “The Story of Israel.”

Caroline Glick is a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs at the CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY, and deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post.  A former officer in the Israel Defense Forces, she was a core member of Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians in the Oslo Negotiations under former Prime Minister Rabin, and later served as an assistant policy advisor to the prime minister.  She is also on the advisory board of the ENDOWMENT FOR MIDDLE EAST TRUTH.  In a recent article she advocates overthrowing the Iranian government and bombing Iran.

Howard Gordon who is the executive producer of Fox’s drama “24”

has withdrawn his support for the film and released a statement in which he said: “After being contacted by a number of people whose opinions I respect and after reviewing Obsession with their criticisms and concerns in mind, I have asked the film makers to remove my endorsement from the Obsession website and from any future promotional materials. While I remain committed to the film’s essential message—that the hate-mongering promoted by radical Islamism presents a real threat to western values of tolerance and pluralism—I also appreciate that the goal of co-existence and tolerance is not being served by films like Obsession.”

10/5

Rev. John Hagee leader of CHRISTIANS UNITED FOR ISRAEL, author of  Jerusalem Countdown.  He preaches an extremist Christian message that ”... Muslims—that’s all Muslims—have a “scriptural mandate” to kill Christians and Jews. But don’t worry. America, according to Hagee, is on top of this coming showdown with Islam. He predicts, and seems to pine for, an all-out nuclear war with Iran, as the beginning of a new global war. Writing for the evangelical Pentecostal magazine Charisma, Hagee argues that “The coming nuclear showdown with Iran is a certainty.” In his 2006 book, Jerusalem Countdown, he expanded the first theater of operations for his coming world war to include Russia. This nuclear war, according to Hagee, would eventually end with the second coming of Christ and the whisking away of true believers to the heavens.”  He has also been identified as one of John McCain’s religious advisorsAccording to Douglas Todd, he has also “denounced Catholicism as “The Great Whore,” called for the destruction of Islam, demonizes homosexuals, thinks global warming is a hoax and constantly insists the U.S. should attack Iran because it will help usher in the Second Coming.” 

Brett Halperin, alias for unknown individual.

Alfons Heck identified as a Former Hitler Youth Officer.  Actually, that is all the information that I need to ignore anything he says.

David Horowitz Discover the Network Site [2]  (Kurt Nimmo),  attack on Professor Nadia Abu El-Haj, Barnard College professor in tenure dispute [3] (Larry Cohler-Esses) - 2nd annual Islamo Fascism Awareness Week [4] (Sheila Musaji)  FAIR Smearcaster report on David Horowitz

Glenn Jenvey is identified on the Obsession site as a former spy for several unnamed countries and freelance terrorism investigator - not much else on him anywhere.  Even Wikipedia has no more information than to reprint just about word for word what is published on the Obsession site.  The Obsession With Hate site has come up with some more interesting information about Jenvey. 

Irwin Katzof - According to Sarah Posner in The Jewish Week: “...the launch of the media watchdog group Honest Reporting by the founder and former executive director of the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah, Irwin Katsof, in 2001.  Honest Reporting, also a tax-exempt organization, released “Obsession” in 2005, as well as a previous film, “Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in the Middle East,” in 2003. The group now denies any involvement in the production of “Obsession.” But its Web site promoted it as an Honest Reporting project in 2005, the year it was first released. It listed “Obsession: The Movie” as an “affiliate” on its Web site in 2006.  “We had nothing to do with it,” said a person answering the organization’s New York telephone number.  Katsof, who founded the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah in 1995 in Los Angeles, claims on his Web site to have launched Honest Reporting in 2001. Honest Reporting, known initially as Middle East Media Watch, stated on its Web site that it was started “at the initiative of the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah.” According to both organizations’ tax returns, Katsof was the president of the Jerusalem Fund and executive director of Middle East Media Watch when the Jerusalem Fund lent Middle East Media Watch $158,000 in 2001. Honest Reporting’s tax returns also show it received a $48,000 grant from Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem in 2002.”  10/30/08

Wayne Kopping the director and co-writer - also produced “Relentless” 

John Loftus, President of The Intelligence Summit and of the Florida Holocaust Museum.  According to Wikipedia “John J. Loftus is the author and co-author of several controversial books on Nazis, espionage, and similar topics including The Belarus Secret (1982), Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican’s Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets (1992), The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People (1994), Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, the Nazis, and the Swiss Banks (1998).  Most historians see his books as non-scientific political pamphlets.”    In 2005 In what Fox News officials concede was a mistake, “John Loftus, a former U.S. prosecutor, gave out the address Aug. 7, saying it was the home of a Middle Eastern man, Iyad K. Hilal, who was the leader of a terrorist group with ties to those responsible for the July 7 bombings in London.  Hilal, whom Loftus identified by name during the broadcast, had moved out of the house about three years previously.  But the consequences were immediate for the Voricks. (the current residents)”  An article in a local newspaper pointed out that:  ...“statements made by John Loftus, a commentator for Fox News, describing grocery store owner Iyad K. Hilal as a terrorist. Although the article accurately quoted Loftus’ expression of his opinion, The Times wants to make clear that Hilal has not been charged with any illegal activity and The Times is not aware of any law enforcement agency or official that has identified Hilal as a terrorist.”  I’m not certain that I would put too much faith in this fellows statements.

Itamar Marcus is director of PALESTINIAN MEDIA WATCH based in Israel.  According to Wikipedia he is an an Israeli settler from the religious Zionist settlement of Efrat in the West Bank.  In an article entitled “Aspiration not Desperation: The Islamic Blood Cult” he characterizes Palestinian society and its Islamic roots as equivalent to the descriptions of ancient Biblical pagan blood cults.

Peter Mier, alias for unknown individual.  Raphael Shore described “the real Mier as a Canadian Jewish businessman who wanted to do something significant, but asked to remain anonymous for fear of his safety. According to Shore, about 80 percent of the film’s $400,000 budget was provided by Mier.”  Mier is listed as the Executive Producer on the DVD inserts.

Khaleel Mohammed one of the Muslims interviewed in the film

has released a statement saying in part: “Sadly, it would seem that I have allowed myself to be used. I gave an interview to the makers of “obsession” wherein I explained the meaning of Jihad, and its misuse by extremists. I understood that the film would be used objectively, focusing on fanatics who seek to spread violence. I am aware that there is a disclaimer at the beginning of the film that says it is not about Islam in general, but only about extremist interpretations. ... I cannot stand by silently and allow my participation in such satanic demonization of innocents. I apologize to my fellow Muslims for appearing in such a film. I apologize to my Jewish teachers and friends—who have warned me time and again about falling into such a situation—for not heeding their counsel.”

  9/28

Ari Morgenstern - While the initial press reports about the mass distribution focused on the Clarion Fund’s financing role, it was EMET that organised and oversaw the distribution, EMET’s spokesman, Ari Morgenstern, told IPS. Morgenstern is a former press officer for the Israeli embassy.

Daniel Pipes.  This is a fellow that has had so much to say about Islam, Muslims, and Muslim organizations in the U.S. (all of it negative) that there is no point in doing more than pointing out a few of the responses that have listed in the past to his claims.  ... Daniel Pipes article attacking Khaled Abou El Fadl [1],  “Identifying Muslim Moderates” [2], and [3] (Sheila Musaji)  and 4 (Louay Safi), and response to Daniel Pipes attack on The American Muslim logo [5] (Sheila Musaji) and [6] (Jeremy Henzell-Thomas), and collection of articles on religion building [7], on Pipes’ position on Palestinian right of return [8] (Habib Siddiqui), on Campus Watch [9] (Valerie Saturen),  nomination to USIP by President Bush [10],  Pipes and the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) [11], Pipes history [[12]], interview with Andrew Potter [13] (Sheila Musaji).  He is on the advisory board for the ENDOWMENT FOR MIDDLE EAST TRUTH.  FAIR Smearcaster report on Daniel Pipes.

Gregory Ross the communications director of the New York based CLARION non-profit group. 

Walid Shoebat identified in Obsession as a Former PLO Terrorist.  He paints a one sided picture.  Claims about his former terrorist background have been disputed by more than one source.  I’ve even written about his claims previously.  Although he is a born again Christian he has written a book “Why We Want to Kill You”.  He is on the advisory board of THE ENDOWMENT FOR MIDDLE EAST TRUTH.

Rabbi Raphael Shore who is the producer/co-writer of the film and founder of the CLARION FUND.  He is a Canadian-Israeli living in Jerusalem.  He also made the film “Relentless” which he developed from a power point presentation he had created.  He was the director of both Aish HaTorah International and the Hasbara Fellowships, a pro-Israel advocacy group.  Elliot Mathias, director of the Hasbara Fellowships program which aims to train students to be effective pro-Israel activists on their campuses said:  ” ‘Obsession’ is so important because it shows what’s happening in Israel is not happening in a vacuum ... and that it affects all American students on campuses, not just Jewish students.” 

Sarah Stern, who is on the Board of EMET worked as the National Policy Coordinator for the Zionist Organization of America and later on served as the Director of the Office of Legislative and Governmental Affairs of the AJC (American Jewish Congress).

Ronn Torossian, an Aish spokesman has said according to Jeffrey Goldberg: “I think we should kill a hundred Arabs or a thousand Arabs for every one Jew they kill.” I was somewhat taken aback, of course, because this is a Nazi idea, rather than a Jewish idea. I asked him to explicate: “If someone from a town blows himself up and kills Jews, we should wipe out the town he’s from, kill them all. The Israelis are suckers. They should have destroyed Jenin.” He went on like this for some time. I would only note that Torossian, to the best of my knowledge, never volunteered for the Israeli army, so he seemed to me by definition a chickenhawk.”


Tom Trento, who heads http://www.watchobsession.org the g,roup that distributed the movie at the Democratic and Republican parties’ nominating conventions.  Trento also heads something called the FLORIDA SECURITY COUNCIL http://www.floridasecuritycouncil.org/

Khaled Abu Toameh is an Israeli Arab journalist who works for the right-wing Jerusalem Post and has also been a frequent contributor to the Middle East Quarterly; a journal that is part of the publication of the Middle East Forum created by arch Islamophobe Daniel Pipes and Michael Rubin. He is also a speaker with the Hasbara Fellowship Speakers Bureau, which seeks to educate and train “university students to be effective pro-Israel activists on their campuses.”

Eric Werth the director of The Third Jihad, he’s a former Clinton Administration advisor for “homeland security issues” (though there was no such concept in the Clinton Administration) and news producer for NBC’s Dateline.  In 1995 The Charlotte Observer reported that “A federal grand jury Tuesday indicted Erik Werth, 25, of Rosslyn, Va., a former policy adviser to the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for enforcement,...” for impersonating a Secret Service Agent in order to get an airline service charge dropped.  10/12/08

Robert Wistrich Chair, Sassoon Center for Anti-Semitism.  A professor of European and Jewish studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he believes that anti-Zionism is the same as anti-Semitism. As he stated in his article, “Anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism”.  In an article on Qantara.de he said:  “Does he or she rely on classic anti-Semitic stereotypes in so doing: for example, by dredging up the alleged Jewish/Zionist “conspiracy” to dominate the world, or by evoking Jewish/Israeli “warmongers” who supposedly run American foreign policy; or through referring to an all-powerful “Jewish Lobby” that prevents justice in the Middle East. If the “anti-Zionist” critic holds Jews to be responsible for the chaos and troubles that currently afflict the world, he is surely an antisemite. If he criminalizes Israeli behaviour, by gratuitously branding it as “Nazi” or intrinsically “racist”, then we are talking anti-Semitism.”  Interesting for someone who does just that in the film Obsession.


——————-

UPDATE 11/19/2010

Justin Elliot posted an article on Salon “Mystery of who funded right-wing “radical Islam” campaign deepens” in which he reports ... Now, just as Clarion is gearing up to release a new film hyping the threat of Iran, the money mystery has deepened: According to a document submitted to the IRS by Clarion and obtained by Salon, a donor listed as Barry Seid gave Clarion nearly $17 million in 2008, which would have paid for virtually the entire “Obsession” DVD campaign.   There have been denials from Mr Seid and from Clarion, and the financial trail is very twisted, but Elliot provides a lot of detail including this link to a Clarion Fund tax document from 2008 listing Barry Seid as donating $16,775,000 to Clarion that year.

Other articles discussing the new information about funding of anti-Muslim materials that have been recently published:

Clues Emerge About Who Funded The Anti-Islam DVD Sent To Swing-State Voters In ‘08, Rachel Slajda http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/clues_emerge_about_who_funded_the_anti-islam_dvd_s.php#more
The Far Right’s Secret Slush Fund to Keep Fear Alive, Pam Martens http://www.counterpunch.org/martens10262010.html


OTHER RESOURCES:  Resources for Responding to “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War With the West” DVD Mass Distribution to 28 million Americans. 
History of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War With the West
Who is behind Relentless, Obsession and The Third Jihad? for a background on those responsible for the production, mass distribution, and promotion of the film. 
In-Depth Summary & Analysis of “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War on the West” for a point by point discussion of the film.
 
What You Can Do to respond to Obsession.
Americans are becoming indifferent to Obsession


first posted 10/22/08

 


Google