Here’s an update on last night’s post about the dirty tricks campaign involving the circulation of 28 million DVDs of the anti-Muslim propaganda film, Obsession, in U.S. swing states. In my last post, I noted that Obsession was produced by Raphael Shore with the financial backing on an anonymous backer.
Wikipedia reports that the film’s producer is an Orthodox rabbi.
Haaretz has already reported that Sheldon Adelson personally distributes copies of Obsession to participants in the Taglit-Birthright Israel indoctrination tours he funds. Given this, plus his deep pockets support for neocon groups like Freedom’s Watch, it almost seems a no-brainer to guess that Adelson may be the sugar daddy.
The Republican Jewish Coalition has also distributed free copies of the film in promotional mailings to U.S. rabbis and other Jewish mailing lists.
Jews on First reports that Obsession has been distributed by other highly partisan neocon/Islamophobic groups:
Tom Trento, who heads www.watchobsession.org, the group that distributed the movie at the Democratic and Republican parties’ nominating conventions, told JewsOnFirst that their goal is to awaken the country…before the election so everyone can “see the insidious nature of radical Islam.” Trento said, his group’s website then directs viewers of the video to “a scorecard that shows how elected officials have voted” on terrorism-related issues so they can decide “how they can intelligently vote” in November.
The scorecard is on the website of Act for America, a group that says it has tabulated electeds’ “votes related to national security and the threat of Islamofascism.” Its Senate scorecard consistently favors Republicans over Democrats…
Brigitte Gabriel heads Act for America. In an interview last month with the New York Times about her anti-Muslim book They Must Be Stopped, Gabriel said “The moderate Muslims at this point are truly irrelevant.” The Times called Gabriel a “radical Islamophobe.”
Asked how he thinks the political parties compare on the issues raised by Obsession, Tom Trento said, “In my personal opinion, the Republicans seem to get it much better than the Democrats — and they get it that the problem is not a police problem, but a military problem.”
Joachim Martillo notes that Aish HaTorah is also involved in the propaganda campaign to promote Obsession:
NEW EXCITING JOB OPPORTUNITIES AT AISH HATORAH
1. ONLINE ACTIVISM FACILITATOR: NY, JERUSALEM OR HOME-BASED
The Clarion Fund – a new organization dedicated to educating people about the threat of radical Islam – is seeking to hire an Activism Facilitator for a new website-based project.
Launching in conjunction with the new documentary film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West”, this website will serve as a resource of historical and current information about the issue, and ultimately facilitate the transfer of people’s desire to get involved into organized, concrete action…
2. “OBSESSION” WEB AND RETAIL MARKETER: JERUSALEM
The Clarion Fund is seeking to hire a web and retail marketing professional for the new film “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” This rewarding and exciting role requires an experienced web marketing expert with superior communication and writing skills.
Your primary responsibilities will include marketing “Obsession” over the web, which involves advertising on a variety of websites and generating links from other sites as well as promoting the film using e-groups and e-lists. You will be required to form retail deals with major stores, distributors, chains and websites for the purpose of maximizing exposure and public access to the film. You will also need to coordinate press with “Obsession’s” PR firm in the lead-up to the March 2007 launch of the film…
A Haaretz story about the film reveals Shore’s direct affiliation with Aish:
Shore, incidentally, was the director of both Aish HaTorah International and the Hasbara Fellowships, a pro-Israel advocacy group.
Aish Hatorah is making common cause with Jewish anti-Muslim activists. Several weeks ago the N.Y. Times featured a glowing article about Aish rabbis tutoring Jewish alpha male executives in the comfort of their own corporate lairs for the cool sum of $10,000+ a year. I’d urge anyone who knows such a corporate titan to point them to this post and the film to see if this is the way they’d like their donation to Aish spent. Teaching Torah is one thing and a goal almost every Jew approves of–but teaching hate? Is that something Aish wishes to be known for?
Shore also helped found the pro-Israel media watchdog, HonestReporting, which serves similar functions to advocacy groups like MEMRI, CAMERA, and the Israel Project.
The Haaretz story also notes the surreptitious funding of Obsession:
…Funding sources for the film remain hazy. Shore and director Wayne Kopping of South Africa are the only figures associated with the film willing to release their real names and appear in media interviews; the executive producer is listed as Peter Mier, while the production manager is listed as Brett Halperin.
But Mier and Halperin are just aliases, Shore says.
According to Shore, about 80 percent of the film’s $400,000 budget was provided by Mier.
I find it odd that some of America’s finest newspapers would allow themselves to disseminate propaganda of this “quality” essentially meant to bolster John McCain’s campaign. They’re sending 28-million Americans copies of a film whose producers won’t even reveal who financed their project? One has to ask why the latter are holding back? What are they afraid of? Why would a Sheldon Adelson, Michael Steinhardt or other similar Republican Jewish Coalition donor try to hide their association with this film? And why should America’s newspapers be a party to this fraud?
Joachim also reveals that besides Shore, another Clarion Fund director is Richard Green of Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.