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Clarion Fund RIP, Meet JerusalemOnlineU, New Academic Hasbara Project

israel inside movieAfter three films which bashed Muslims and raised howls of racism and Islamophobia around the world, the group that used to be Clarion Fund has decided to tout Israel alone in its latest major project, Israel Inside.  It appears they’ve gotten tired of Swiftboating Arabs and have now opted for the warm fuzzy hasbara touch.  Here’s promotional copy for the film:

Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference…explores the positive characteristics of Israeli society from a humanistic, psychological, and emotional perspective. This insightful and uplifting documentary sidesteps the usual conversation of politics, conflict and violence, and tells the story of the Israeli people – whose resilience has propelled Israel to the forefront of world innovation and progress.

Despite daily challenges ranging from limited resources to security needs, Israeli creativity and inventiveness help make the world a better place. Israel has made significant advancements in the fields of science, environment, medicine and technology, and has shared these developments with the rest of the world.

There’s even a promo video on “Tikkun Olam” ferchrissakes!  Imagine Arab haters trying to make the world a  better place.  Next thing you know the lion will be lying with the lamb and a babe shall lead them!

The film is narrated by Tal Ben Shahar, a Harvard-trained psychologist whose field of study is “happiness.”  Presumably, he’s not been studying the level of happiness among Palestinians.  Others interviewed for the project include Alan Dershowitz, Jerusalem’s ultra-nationalist mayor, Nir Barkat, former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Sachs and pro-Israel historian, Martin Gilbert.

The film is produced by Wayne Kopping, the South African who produced the group’s earlier versions of the Protocols of the Elders of Mecca.  Leading Clarion is Raphael Shore, kid brother of David Shore, who created the TV series, House.  Hint: the Shores appear much better at writing TV shows than anti-Muslim agitprop.

Among the claims to fame of Clarion’s earlier oeuvre is that a GOP Jewish Republican fat cat secretly paid over $20-million to put one of their films in the hands of millions of voters in swing states in 2008.  Iranium, their most recent entry doesn’t seem to have made much headway in the hasbara world.  It disappeared with little more than a wimper.

The reason I wrote “used to be” concerning Clarion in my first paragraph, is that it appears that in their quest to go mainstream, they’ve switched their mission from hard-hitting propaganda associated with Clarion Fund.  Now they’re couching their message in educational lingo.   The producer of the film is JerusalemOnlineU, whose mission is portrayed thus:

JerusalemOnlineU.com is a leading online portal for Jewish distance learning with a vision to transform Jewish and Israel education for the 21st century, and to inspire, unify, and activate people of all ages as passionate supporters of Israel and the Jewish people.

Founded in 2009 by Rabbi Raphael Shore, JerusalemOnlineU.com is breaking new ground in outreach by creating original feature films, engaging film classes and courses, and experiential and interactive learning, all distributed via the internet, social media, television, grassroots campaigns and partnerships with mainstream pro-Israel and outreach organizations.

Last year, the Forward published this expose of the outfit claiming it wasn’t a serious academic program but the Jewish equivalent of an online diploma mill, with clear hasbara aspirations.  It’s courses consist of little more than assignments to watch hasbara videos and read texts with a decidedly pro-Israel slant.  Palestinian or even critical Israeli appraisals of the Occupation or Israel’s relations with its Arab neighbors are almost non-existent.  As Naomi Zeveloff implies in her article, this is advocacy not academia:

Jerusalem Online U hardly portrays itself as a center for neutral academic inquiry. In fact, it boasts an explicitly pro-Israel mission that seems distinctly at odds with academic principles. In one advertisement for its services, the Jerusalem Online U site’s blog features a video of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu telling Congress last May that “Israel is what is right” about the Middle East. The words “Be a Part of What’s Right” appear onscreen as he speaks.

Shore teamed up with his buddies at Aish HaTorah who introduced him to the president of Touro College, a small New York Jewish institution.  This gave both sides something they needed.  It gave Shore an academic imprimatur and it gave Touro outreach to a new set of students it couldn’t previously access.  Touro’s faculty “taught” the courses, while Shore’s group got to tout itself as a serious academic operation.  This certainly didn’t hurt his fundraising efforts with wealthy Jews always interested in promoting a positive view of Israel on campus and doing so with the added veneer of Jewish scholarship.  The $600 each student spent on each course gave both groups a revenue stream.

Amazingly, students have been able to persuade serious institutions of higher learning (though not many) to offer them credit for this pro-Israel agitprop masquerading as Israel studies.  If any professors of Israel studies are reading this post please examine the JerusalemOnlineU website and curriculum in much greater depth before you consider accepting its offerings as serious academic fare.

JerusalemOnlineU doesn’t reference Clarion on its website, nor does it take credit for the earlier three films the latter produced.  Though Judaism doesn’t generally believe in reincarnation of souls, Raphael Shore does.  Clarion’s been retired as he mainstreams his message.  Indeed, the new, softer touch succeeded in getting Inside Israel aired on many PBS stations.  Undoubtedly, few stations knew they were getting warmed over hasbara from the likes of those who produced the lurid Obession, Third Jihad and Iranium.  The name may be changed and the mission slightly more polished and ambitious, but this is still the same hasbara outfit.

JerusalemOnlineU operates as a 501c3 under the name, Imagination Productions.  It’s most recent IRS 990 report lists revenue of $1-million for that year but offers no explanation about who gave it these funds.  The Forward article notes that prominent donors like Jewish neocon Michael Steinhardt have poured their shekels into the pushke.  Another such one is mega-rich hedge fund manager, Leon Cooperman, whose most recent claim to fame has been leading the march of the 1% against Obama’s class war on Wall Street.  The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation gave $25,000 in 2010.  The Jewish Federation of New York’s Jewish Communal Fund awarded the company $31,500.  The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles gave $11,000.  These were directed gifts but there is no information about which individual donors made the gift.

Imagination Productions’ website notes others of its agitprop-Israel-advocacy film projects including: Crossing the Line: Intifada Comes to Campus; From the Ashes, exploits the Holocaust, using it as a means to combat assimilation; Positive Psychology and Judaism teaches young Jews how to be “successful [i.e. rich] and happy;”

Inside Israel‘s website offers encomiums from hasbara meisters like Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, formerly of The Israel Project, the Jewish Agency’s handsomely-overpaid  apparatchik-kleptocrat Natan Sharansky, Obama Court Jew Robert Wexler, and settler-hasbara minister Yuli Edelstein.  The far-right shmateh site, Newsmax, has also offered its own heksher here in which Rabbi Shore boasts “Israeli chutzpah will save the world.”  I think you can see where this is going.

The direction Clarion has taken with this pro-Israel project indicates a further mainstreaming of Israeli ultra-nationalism.  Where previous projects were vicious, slashing attacks on Arabs, Shore and his comrades no longer have anything left to prove on that score.  The settler movement they represent (Clarion was a dead-ringer for Aish HaTorah, one of the major groups seeking to render East Jerusalem Arab-rein) have won their battle for dominance in Israeli society.  They are now kings of the roost.  There is no reason to rail against Arabs when they now own the whole kit and caboodle that is Israel, including the means of production (of hasbara and everything related to it).

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{ 45 comments… add one }

  • mary October 29, 2012, 12:15 AM

    I think after seeing the backlash against Pamela Gellar’s subway ads, warm and fuzzy seemed the more sensible way to peddle the hasbara. Netanyahu has also built himself an ironclad coalition, so yes, now Israel can talk about how wonderful it is, even as it continues to bomb Gaza and hint at ground invasion.

    • Nimrod October 29, 2012, 12:44 AM

      mary, you are terribly un-updated.
      Netanyahu’s ironclad coalition fell apart shortly after it was established, and Israel is having elections in two and a half months, making a large scale operation in Gaza unlikely.

      • Richard Silverstein October 29, 2012, 1:42 AM

        Bibi’s coalition “fell apart?” According to whom? Rather, he saw this as a perfect opportunity to exploit the dysfunction & weakness of his opponents & go to the people & strengthen his mandate. You know as well as we that Bibi is king of Israel (at least right-wing Israel) until someone comes along to dethrone him (Lieberman?).

        • Nimrod October 29, 2012, 2:17 AM

          Are you serious?
          the coalition with the Kadima Party which formed on May 8th fell apart on July 17th.
          since then, Netanyahu had no chance on passing the early budget, unless he would have given billions to the ultra-orthodox parties. Combine that with the “social-justice” demonstrations that were planned for the summer, and that would have been political suicide.
          And this is why he chose to go to elections instead – while the general public is still satisfied with his performance (well, at least compared to the previous guy) and the Kadima party is in ruins – Today’s polls on Haaretz show that they will only get 3 seats – compare that to the 29 seats they have today. their members leave it faster than rats leave a sinking ship.

          So yes, you are 100% correct when you say he exploits the dysfunction & weakness of his opponents & go to the people & strengthen his mandate.

          But new I see how un-updated you are!
          the Likud and Yisrael Beitainu party joined forces 2 days ago.
          I was suprised you didnt say anything. have you been sleeping under a rock?

        • Nimrod October 29, 2012, 9:27 AM

          Hi Richard,

          here’s a link to an article about the response to the “Netanyahu-Lieberman” unification (aka “HaLikud Beitenu”)
          http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/yacimovich-israel-s-centrist-parties-must-unite-to-challenge-netanyahu-lieberman-union.premium-1.472327

      • mary October 29, 2012, 5:29 AM
  • moshfeq October 29, 2012, 3:20 AM

    The claim that the Clarion Fund & associates may have abandoned “swiftboating Arabs” in favor of Israel-touting propaganda may be premature. The “Israel Inside” film is apparently from 2011, whereas their latest video targets Iran in perhaps the harshest terms yet. It’s gone viral w/ over 1.25 million hits in the 10 days since posting:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJAKOfxl_VU
    The writer/director/producer is identified as Rabbi Shraga Simmons, who is affiliated w/ Aish HaTorah:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shraga_Simmons

    Though hardly a surprise, the US politics of the video’s producers can be gleaned from the thumbs-up they give the “Obama Banned This Video” clip at their YT channel:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/SetTheRedLine

    Unfortunately, the extremists behind these productions have managed to co-opt a couple of Iranian-Americans of some standing. The Red Line’s narrator is identified as the US-residing daughter of Siamak Pourzand, a dissident Iranian writer/journalist whose case was highlighted by various human rights orgs before he was driven to suicide in 2011:
    http://en.rsf.org/iran-iranian-authorities-responsible-02-05-2011,40211.html
    http://www.pen.org/freedom/hm/pourzand.htm
    http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/pdfid/42ae98bc0.pdf
    http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2002/03/12/iran-trial-mockery-law
    The Clarion Fund production “Iranium” was narrated by the Iranian-American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo.

  • Rehmat October 29, 2012, 6:49 AM

    Pity, Israel Hasbara Committee has failed to legitimize Israel. Two days ago, Irish TV3 broadcaster, Vincent Browne, branded Israel “cancer in foreign affairs” – while criticizing both Obama and Romney for not discussing Zionist regime’s anti-America, anti-Muslim policies during their pre-election debates.

    • Davey October 29, 2012, 8:14 PM

      They pounced on Browne, libeling him an “anti-semite” of course. Same old, same old.

  • Tibor October 29, 2012, 6:53 AM

    The oldest rule in politics and in fact any type of relations between people is symmetry or reciprocity. The Arab and Moslem world anti-Israelism has gradually slid into anti-Jewism. For a long time it was unanswered but that cannot go on forever. They have only themselves to blame for that.

    • David Nelson October 29, 2012, 8:03 AM

      So what are you saying? That the Arabs and Muslims should treat the Israelis the way the Israelis treat the Palestinians? That they should reciprocate the Israel’s nuclear proliferation? Should Jordanian checkpoints be set-up in Tel Aviv to return the favor? Should water be rationed in the same way in Israel as in Palestine? How many swimming pools should Israel bury?

      Methinks you know not what you say.

      • Tibor October 29, 2012, 8:26 AM

        Come on, don`t be silly. Symmetry does not mean that every act you do the other will do too – if you buy a piece of jewelry to your wife then she will also buy you one. It works in a general way, namely if you treat a person in certain manner then over time it will be reciprocated.

        • David Nelson October 29, 2012, 8:32 AM

          This is some of the problem right here. Israelis want the world to know the Holocaust, but when it comes to Palestinian suffering, the Israelis explain it away as something irrational. Genuine empathy requires compassion in both directions. The tragedy that was Nazi Germany and WWII was a human tragedy. The Nakba was a human tragedy. This is where reciprocity begins for me.

        • David Nelson October 29, 2012, 8:48 AM

          Tibor, back in your first comment you are discussing some “big picture” ideas. My comment about the war is related to that, but i think possibly i am heading into something off-topic. My main point in response to your first comment is that you do not recognize that there are things Israel does that encourages “anti-Israelism” among the Muslims. Contrary to Neocon opinion, the oppression of Palestine is a central issue for Muslims everywhere. At this late date, the Muslims continue to be upset with the oppression of Palestine. I see no official attempts at appeasement of the Palestinians on the part of the Israelis, so what exactly are Palestinians to reciprocate?

          • mary October 29, 2012, 11:37 AM

            There is an illegal occupation going on in Palestine that “reciprocity” doesn’t address. Sorry, “anti-Jewishness” comes from zionist insistence that Israel represents all the Jews in the world, which of course it doesn’t.

            If the Jews came and took over your house and you found yourself sleeping in your neighbor’s garage, would you have a positive opinion of Jews? I doubt it.

          • Davey October 29, 2012, 8:25 PM

            Yes. All the symmetry and reciprocity is lost in IP thing. It is tragicallyl asymmetrical in almost any dimension. It is the asymmetry and absence of reciprocity that is the most galling to some anti-Zionists like myself. While I prefer peace I do not prefer surrender. Besides, most Palestinian activism is couched as anti “Zionist” anyway. I am certain that many Arabs are not fond for Jews, but they genuinely try to frame the issue as opposition to Zionism, not Jews as such. I can understand however if, at times, this opposition articulates “Jews” as a shortcut to the issue. As some said here — Israel made this identification, so one can’t be blamed for employing it.

    • Richard Silverstein October 29, 2012, 8:55 PM

      Oh please. There’s no such thing as anti-Israelism & anti-Jewism is a disgusting stupid abortion of the English language. As for who has only themselves to blame, I’d say it’s Israel & the Israelis.

  • David Nelson October 29, 2012, 8:51 AM

    *in other words, “anti-Israelism” is a direct consequence of the oppression of Palestine, not because Muslims hate the Jews.

    • Nimrod October 29, 2012, 9:21 AM

      So how do you explain the “anti-Israelism” from the days before the creation of the state of Israel and “the oppression of Palestine”?

      • Davey October 29, 2012, 8:54 PM

        Somebody has to say it: There was no Israel, hence no “anti-Israelism.”

  • Tibor October 29, 2012, 9:19 AM

    david, what I was referring to here Is not so much anti-Israelism, which is a clear consequence of the conflict situation (no entity likes its opponent) but rather the anti-Jewism that anti-Israelism has deteriorated into. It was quite nasty (e.g. Nassaralah`s statements) and even violent (as in France) but was still for a long time unanswered by the Jewish world due to a liberal Jewish tradition. That has changed recently. I am not happy about that – just tried to provide the rationale.

    • David Nelson October 29, 2012, 10:14 AM

      Tibor, from my perspective , i count myself as one who has benefited from the liberal Jewish tradition. Though i am not Jewish, i do come from a German ancestry. In trying to understand my German heritage, i eventually, in my early university days, became curious about Sigmund Freud and his Psychoanalytic theory. I guess you could say Freudian Theory is my entry point into the liberal Jewish tradition (though Jews have been so intertwined and a part of European history, that european Enlightenment ideals transcend religious identity in many ways). To this day, Freud’s influence on the lens of my weltanschauung is noticeable.

      The liberal Jewish tradition is distinct in my mind from Zionism. To me, Zionism is the biggest threat to the liberal Jewish tradition. Or at least certain aspects of Zionism. I understand that i am on the outsider periphery of the liberal Jewish tradition, that does not mean i want to see that tradition destroyed.

      • Davey October 29, 2012, 8:27 PM

        I agree. One struggles to carry forward that liberal tradition despite Zionism and the mess that is Israel.

    • David Nelson October 29, 2012, 10:52 AM

      indeed, when one considers the intellectual honesty and vigor of Freudian theory, the Oriental and Zionist viewpoints of Arabs and Muslims is infantile. I KNOW the liberal Jewish tradition can produce the needed reforms to correct some seriously messed up worldviews held by Israelis. I accept there was trauma, now let’s start suggesting therapy.

    • Davey October 31, 2012, 1:11 PM

      “even violent”? Are you kidding me? I don’t condone attacks on anyone anywhere but Zionism has made Jews a target: The Jewish community has allowed this. The question du jour is whether the victims of such violence are active Zionists. Zionism and Israel have precipitated this war, pursue it with reckless murderous abandonment worldwide and nobody on that side of the line has any standing to recoil in horror from “violence” given what death and misery has been meted out to Palestinians in their land.

  • yankel October 29, 2012, 9:57 AM

    Tibor. Referring to Israeli-inspired Anti-Muslim propaganda, you write that Muslims “have only themselves to blame for that.”

    Then you write about anti-Israelism deteriorating into anti-Jewism.

    For decades now, organised mainstream Judaism has reshaped itself to fit into Zionist moulds, transforming most organised mainstream Jewish communities into Israeli outposts. May I remind you that it’s these very communities who labour tirelessly to associate and identify legitimate anti-Zionism with the old antisemitism.

    Following Israeli media clearly indicates that mainstream Zionism is in the midst of a continuous process of dissociating itself from mainstream humanity.

    Unless Jews manage to collectively dissociate themselves from that scourge, they will – sooner or later – face an inevitable antisemitic surge for which (quoting you) they’ll “have only themselves to blame”.

    • bar_kochba132 October 30, 2012, 7:49 AM

      Quotes from the not-so-distant past:
      (1) Unless Jews manage to collectively dissociate themselves from CAPITALISM, they will – sooner or later – face an inevitable antisemitic surge for which (quoting you) they’ll “have only themselves to blame”.

      (2) Unless Jews manage to collectively dissociate themselves from COMMUNISM, they will – sooner or later – face an inevitable antisemitic surge for which (quoting you) they’ll “have only themselves to blame”.

      (3) Unless Jews manage to collectively dissociate themselves from that BACKWARDS RELIGION CALLED JUDAISM, they will – sooner or later – face an inevitable antisemitic surge for which (quoting you) they’ll “have only themselves to blame”.

      Sound familiar?

      • Richard Silverstein October 30, 2012, 1:30 PM

        This is OFF TOPIC. & a comment rule violation. stick to the topic and subject of the post!

  • bar_kochba132 October 30, 2012, 1:15 AM

    Since the “progressives” are always railing against the so-called “Islamophobes” because they reject the Islamophobes warnings against what they say is Islamic agressivenes, saying that they are racists, I would be interested in knowing
    what the “progressvies” think about this piece from the New York Times:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/30/movies/in-turkey-ottoman-nostalgia-returns.html?ref=global-home&_r=0

    This film glorifies the Muslim – Turkish conquest of Greek-Chrsitian Constantinople in 1453. The film even shows Muhammed making a prediction that the Muslims would conquer Constantinope eventually.
    Now, in our modern terms, this would be considered glorification of a massive act of imperialist agression by the Turks over a city and empire that had been Christian and Greek for over 1000 years, but thi8s article says it is very popular in Turkey. Does this mean that Muslim Turks approve of imperialist agression? Isn’t this what the “Islamophobes” are warning about and which the “progressives” dismiss?

    • Richard Silverstein October 30, 2012, 1:31 PM

      OFF TOPIC & a comment rule violation,

    • mary October 30, 2012, 1:40 PM

      I’m taking the risk of Richard slapping me down, but I just have to say it.

      Bar Kochba, your pointless, anti-Islam comments are annoying. If you wish to be annoying, fine. Just stick to the topic and stop the pesky troll nonsense, OK?

      • Richard Silverstein October 30, 2012, 5:52 PM

        He has hasbara pride of place as the longest running hasbara commenter here. Been commenting at least 6-7 yrs here, perhaps more. But I don’t mind a good slap down for him once in a while. He skirts right up to the edge & even over at times & needs to be kept in line.

  • Tibor October 30, 2012, 4:43 AM

    Jankel, I am not happy by your choice of words – the term scourge looks pretty repulsive to me and staying within civilized confines in arguments and language is useful for getting to the bottom of complicated issues – but since I have a feeling that what you wrote represents a real fear of yours (and in some Jewish circles in general – and by your name I take the liberty to assume that you belong there) let me try to dispel them (in a nutshell of course as befits here).
    First of all “mainstream humanity” exists in your mind (and other`s) but not in reality. How many Chinese did I meet who did never heard about Israel (too small too matter for them) or ventured that it is an Arab country… . The Jewish/Israel issue in the context that matters to you, namely those that are emotionally or psychologically involved, is limited to the European world and its historical “offshoots” (the “new world” countries, manly the US), the Arab world (including those living in Europe) and segments of the Islamic world. However, the latter is now itself in clash with part of the former (often alluded to by Samuel Huntington`s “clash of civilizations” catch phrase) and the two are in the process of getting intermingled. There is also the “Jewish-Christian” heritage concept that is taking roots in the US mainly with some (the Evangelists) going as far as identifying themselves vociferously with the Zionist cause. There are other factors too but, in short, you may appreciate that the picture is far more involved for a simplistic view of it (and its presumed consequences) to take hold.

    • Deïr Yassin October 30, 2012, 2:05 PM

      “Often alluded to by Samuel Huntington’s “clash of cilization” catch phrase”.

      Nope, the “clash of civilization” was by Bernard Lewis, years prior to Huntington’s use of it. I think you know who that guy is, and what ideology has driven most of his work on the Muslim world. He even went on trial in France for denying the Armenian genocide.

      • Tibor October 31, 2012, 6:03 AM

        Yes, I knew that but Huntington “captured” the phrase in most people`s minds. But how selective can a person be? That matter is the only thing that you remember about this outright genius (I tried not to miss any of his annual lectures at the time in Tel-Aviv). Not just a recognized master of his field for a long time (I can guess you prefer his rival Edward Said…) but perhaps one of the most politically-influential professor ever in the US.

        • Deïr Yassin October 31, 2012, 2:32 PM

          You missed my point. If I mentioned Lewis’s denial of the Armenian genocide, it’s because he was probably influenced by his pro-Israeli bias as in most of his works.
          I’m sorry but your “long recognized master of his field” isn’t a proof of anything and neither isn’t your “one of the most politically-influential professor ever in the US”.
          Bernard Lewis is an Orientalist of the worst kind, that he later turned into a warmongering neo-con too is another story. I’m not astonished if he’s still valued in Israel though, but he’ll go down in history as a biased Islamophobic scholar, and I’m convinced that in a couple of decades his books will serve only as door stops. If you read French, Malek Chebel has a very good critique of Bernard Lewis in Jeune Afrique (on the net), right on spot, and so has Mezri Haddad.

        • Richard Silverstein November 1, 2012, 1:05 AM

          Bernard Lewis? Are you joking? If you worship him as a genius that says quite a lot about you & explains quite a lot. He is the darling the neocons, but outside this circle his influence is quite small. For those who know little about Islam, Lewis appears to be an oracle. For those who know a bit more, he’s a superficial fraud. Perhaps “fraud” is a bit strong, but not by much.

    • Davey October 30, 2012, 6:57 PM

      “Mainstream humanity” could well be represented by the 160+ votes in the UN “for” censoring Israel and 3 “against” including one or another pacific island or atoll “protected” by the US. I think that’s mainstream humanity for you.

  • dickerson3870 October 30, 2012, 5:27 AM

    RE: “The film is narrated by Tal Ben Shahar, a Harvard-trained psychologist whose field of study is ‘happiness’.” ~ R.S.

    MY COMMENT: This reminds me a bit of SNL’s erstwhile resident “joyologist”, Molly Shannon.
    ♦ Molly Shannon – Joyologist – I Love It!!! [VIDEO, 00:30] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoTyvYd-S-k

  • dickerson3870 October 30, 2012, 5:41 AM

    RE: “Now they’re couching their message in educational lingo. The producer of the film is JerusalemOnlineU, whose mission is portrayed thus: JerusalemOnlineU.com is a leading online portal . . . vision to transform . . . and to inspire, unify, and activate . . . as passionate supporters . . . breaking new ground in outreach . . . original feature films, engaging film classes . . . experiential and interactive learning . . . outreach . . .”

    MY COMMENT: So many “buzzwords”; so little time!
    List of buzzwords – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_buzzwords

  • Daniel October 30, 2012, 5:51 AM

    Minor nitpick: reincarnation is, in fact, a part of Judaism, referenced frequently in the Zohar. See http://www.aish.com/jl/l/a/48943926.html?tab=y for a brief set of references.

  • George October 30, 2012, 11:26 AM

    Our congregation watched this movie on the eve of Yom Ha’atzmaut (Israel Independence Day) last April 26. I wrote a post to Mondoweiss about it afterward: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/05/watching-propaganda-in-a-missouri-synagogue.html.

    • Davey October 30, 2012, 7:06 PM

      I liked your story and commentary. And I’m a sucker for lines like ” It’s the smarmy vulgarity of the relentless stream of ethnic braggadocio that makes this movie such an embarrassing offering.”

      • mary October 31, 2012, 1:30 AM

        I didn’t know falafel and baba ghannoush were Jewish food. Don’t tell the Arabs :)

        • George October 31, 2012, 4:43 AM

          Mary: I wrote “abba ghannoush,” but Philip Weiss “corrected” it to “babba ghannoush.” Maybe YOU get the little joke, though? No one else does. Joke? What joke?

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