45 thoughts on “Clarion Fund RIP, Meet JerusalemOnlineU, New Academic Hasbara Project – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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?).

        1. 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?

  2. 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:
    The writer/director/producer is identified as Rabbi Shraga Simmons, who is affiliated w/ Aish HaTorah:

    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:

    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:
    The Clarion Fund production “Iranium” was narrated by the Iranian-American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. 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?

          1. 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.

          2. 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.

    2. 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.

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

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

  6. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. “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.

  7. 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”.

    1. 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?

  8. 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:


    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?

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. “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.

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

        2. 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.

    2. “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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

    1. 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.”

        1. 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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