Those of you who read this blog during the last presidential campaign will remember the Clarion Fund, which spent $15-million to distribute its Islam-hating Obsession to 28-million voters in swing states. The purpose was to scare Jewish voters and others frightened of the ‘Muslim menace’ into voting Republican. You can see how well that strategy worked.
Thanks to Sarah Posner, Justin Elliott and reader John Dickerson for alerting me to a story about those folks who brought you two perfect-storm anti-Muslim films (Obsession and Third Jihad). They plan to do to Iran what they did to Islamism. Note the mushroom-cloud in the film promotion and the claim that Iran will use nuclear weapons to destroy everything we in the west hold dear, including Israel. And like their last electoral effort, this one will be timed to the upcoming November elections.
Last time around, a media expert quoted by Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton estimated that the Obsession DVD distribution cost between $15-50-million. Justin Elliott does his homework and finds that Clarion took in $18-million in 2008 and spent $15-million, most of this on the cost of duplicating the DVD. The Fund’s 990 report doesn’t specify who gave the $18-million, but there are any number of right-wing Jewish Republican fatcats who’d be only too pleased to do so. In the past, several have speculated it might be Sheldon Adelson. But given Clarion Fund is an extension of the far-right pro-settler , my money is on a fellow far-right Orthodox donor. Someone like Irving Moskowitz or Rabbi Irwin Katsof, a billionaire co-founder of Aish.
Elliott’s piece gives us an early warning of the shenanigans planned by the Jewish crackpot-right like Clarion and the Republican Jewish Coalition. I like to say that it’s good that they waste their money on such ineffective projects. If they didn’t, they might actually discover an effective way to do damage against the Democrats. Garbage like this won’t. So I say, along with a thankfully retired president, “Bring it on.”
During the last election, much of the Jewish media featured distorted, misleading ads from the Republican Jewish Coalition touting fear of Barack “Hussein” Obama as anti-Israel. No doubt, Clarion’s Jewish Daddy Warbucks will pay for swank ads in the same publications touting the Iran mushroom cloud film. I’d urge them to consider what Clarion Fund is and consider the lies of their previous two films. Jewish Week, The Forward, Haaretz and JTA clearly need revenue in this terrible climate for print media, but do they need it so badly they have to take funds promoting such garbage?
Here are a few choice quotations from the film’s finely calibrated press release:
Since the inception of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran has displayed hatred for the West. Coupled with an extremist and apocalyptic messianic ideology, this regime has terrorized the world at large for over 30 years.
…The film will document…the West’s inability to recognize the true nature of an extremist Islamic Revolutionary regime…
I was just glancing at Clarion’s website, Radical Islam, when I noticed this absolutely hilarious Facebook feed:
Al-Qaida is laying deadly “booby traps” by equipping its female suicide bombers with explosive breast implants [!] that are impossible to be detected at airport security checkpoints…
The source? That impeccable font of anti-jihadi wisdom, Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch! Should we speculate how Orthodox settlers might conceal their explosives should they ever turn to suicide bombing as a tactic for killing Palestinians? Perhaps explosive tallises (which they wear as an undergarment)?
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.