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The agenda behind the anti-Muslim film screened to NYPD: protecting Greater Israel

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Revelations that the New York Police Department (NYPD) showed 1,500 officers an Islamophobic film (Phil Weiss covered it here) filled with images of “Muslim terrorists” killing Christians and children is testament to how anti-Muslim sentiment has become the norm in law enforcement. But just as important to recognize is the right-wing Zionist agenda–protecting the Greater Israel project– behind the film’s distribution.

As the New York Times‘ Michael Powell reported, the film, “The Third Jihad,”

was financed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit group whose board includes a former Central Intelligence Agency official and a deputy defense secretary for President Ronald Reagan. Its previous documentary attacking Muslims’ “war on the West” attracted support from the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major supporter of Israel…

Repeated calls over the past several days to the Clarion Fund, which is based in New York, were not answered. The nonprofit group shares officials with Aish HaTorah, an Israeli organization that opposes any territorial concessions on the West Bank. The producer of “The Third Jihad,” Raphael Shore, also works with Aish HaTorah.

And financing the Clarion Fund are a familiar host of philanthropic organizations that are tied to West Bank settlements, according to a Think Progress document Ali Gharib and Eli Clifton released yesterday.

The agenda of the people behind this film are clear: protecting Israel’s illegal settlement project and entrenching further U.S. support to Israel and its colonies.

Sheldon Adelson (to take one example of many) opposes any evacuation of illegal settlements in Jerusalem, and is a financial backer of the group One Jerusalem, which advocates for continued Israeli control of the holy city. Other major backers of the Clarion Fund include: the Jewish Communal Fund ($27, 880), a donor to a Christian Zionist group that has provided settlement infrastructure and to the Hebron Fund; the Irving I. Moskowitz Foundation, which provides much of the financial muscle to evict East Jerusalem Palestinians from their homes; and the Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust, which (as I reported here) gave “$25,000 [in 2006] to the Central Fund of Israel (CFI), which the New York Times described as a multimillion dollar ‘vehicle’ used to ‘channel donations’ to West Bank settlements.”

But why attack Islam and American Muslims if your number one concern is protecting Israel’s settlement project? The answer is that it fits into their goal of entrenching further U.S. support to Israel and its colonies and squelching any political opposition to it.

Muslim-Americans are a natural constituency for those looking to boost support for the Palestinians in the U.S. Thom Cincotta, the author of a important report that traces how tax dollars flow to anti-Muslim law enforcement trainings, told me last year that:

All of the rhetoric around these [anti-Muslim] trainings leave very little room for Muslim-Americans to dissent from U.S. foreign policy or domestic counter-terrorism policy. There’s the notion that if anyone is outspoken, then they are providing ideological support for terrorism…

So when you demonize, or paint legitimate advocacy groups or community groups as potential terrorists merely for speaking out against U.S. policy and because there is some vague overlap between the political goals of, say, an al-Qaeda—related to for instance, U.S. occupation of a foreign land—it leaves very little room for dissent and it stifles free speech.

You could see these trainings through the lens that by stigmatizing groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations or the Islamic Society of North America and other groups, in the domestic political sphere, it’s an attempt to silence a key bloc who support Palestinian rights in the United States. Without that vocal bloc pushing Congress, it’s hard to see how U.S. foreign policy with regard to Israel is going to change.

And the Islamophobic political climate that the Adelsons and Moskowitzes have helped create has found a home in the NYPD–the same department who has been arbitrarily spying on New York City Muslims in a program characterized by a former police official as “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.” It all comes full circle.

Alex Kane
About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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10 Responses

  1. Les
    Les on January 25, 2012, 1:54 pm

    This has been around for some time. How many rabbis objected? You don’t have to ask how long it would take for a Muslim newspaper that called for the assassination of Obama would be shut down compared to a Jewish newspaper that called for the same thing. So much for religion in modern America.

  2. DICKERSON3870
    DICKERSON3870 on January 25, 2012, 5:53 pm

    RE: “…the NYPD–the same department who has been arbitrarily spying on New York City Muslims in a program characterized by a former police official as ‘modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.’ It all comes full circle.” ~ Alex Kane

    ALSO SEE: Sheriff Ortiz goes to Israel, by Eva Ruth Moravec,, 07/07/11

    (excerpts)…For one week last month, Bexar County Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz swapped his cowboy hat for a yarmulke as he visited Israel on an organized trip with other law enforcement leaders.
    “I’ve always had an interest in Israel,” he said in an interview Tuesday. “It was a great conference.”
    Ortiz joined 16 other sheriffs, police chiefs and organization heads, including Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland, on a week-long trip, courtesy of the Jewish Institute for National Security’s Law Enforcement Exchange Program…
    …Ortiz said he was impressed by Israel Defense Force soldiers, who he said are trained as soldiers and as police officers.
    “If we ever deploy troops along the Texas border, they should have training in being a soldier and in law enforcement,” he said…
    …The junket was Ortiz’s second organized trip to Israel: last year, Bexar County footed the bill to send him to an international conference on homeland security, he said…

    SOURCE –

    • DICKERSON3870
      DICKERSON3870 on January 25, 2012, 5:55 pm

      P.S. ALSO SEE: Israel trip an eye-opening experience for Jefferson chief, By Adina Solomon,, 07/18/11

      This summer, Jefferson Police Chief Joe Wirthman went on a two-week trip 6,000 miles away, traveling across Israel with a delegation of state law enforcement officers as part of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange.
      “It was an awesome trip,” he said. “A trip of a lifetime.”
      GILEE, which partners with Georgia State University, sends a different group of Georgia officers every summer to work with Israeli law enforcement and border control.
      Commerce Police Chief John Gaissert and University of Georgia Police Chief Jimmy Williamson also have gone in past years.

      The object of the program is to learn how Israeli police deal with terrorism every day…
      …After his trip, Wirthman is trying to think one step ahead with the Jefferson Police Department, preparing for the type of threatening situations Israel faces 24 hours a day, he said.
      “Hopefully it’ll never happen, but in this world, ‘never’ isn’t a word,” Wirthman said. “We’re not invincible here.”
      He’s also witnessed how people live their daily lives with the constant menace of terrorism, he said.
      Wirthman met one man who sends each of his children on a different bus to school. In case one of the buses is bombed, only one of his three children will be harmed.
      “I don’t know if I could raise my family under those conditions,” said Wirthman, who has three kids of his own.
      And nobody in Israel grumbles about it, he said. Instead, they have a strong national pride many Americans had only after 9/11, he said…”


      • MLE
        MLE on January 26, 2012, 3:36 am

        I had the local CBS news affiliate on, and they were talking about the bishop of New York becoming a cardinal and how he was planning his trip to Israel. Blah blah blah holy sites, meeting with leaders, throwaway comment about visiting Muslim sites too. (this station must seriously cater to old Jews, because any Antisemitism in the area goes top billing and not a word about this story this week) They had some rabbi on raving about the good relations the bishop has with the Jewish community.

        My mom came in the room, and said, “Some Jews will fall for anything”

  3. Les
    Les on January 25, 2012, 7:05 pm

    The creation, the promotion, and the distribution of this video is a creepy reminder of how the Protocols of the Elders of Zion would be produced for a modern audience. The universal lack of disgust for this effort, if our media is to be believed, is truly stunning.

  4. yo_mamma
    yo_mamma on January 26, 2012, 2:36 am

    Well put, Les. They should have opted for an alternative title to “The Third Jihad”, one that makes more transparent the underlying motivations for the film. Maybe “The Protocols of the Elders of Mecca”?

    • Les
      Les on January 26, 2012, 9:24 am

      Warning, I steal good ideas and pass them on. “The Protocols of the Elders of Mecca” is a definite keeper. Thanks.

  5. MLE
    MLE on January 26, 2012, 3:42 am

    BTW- who is the Mondoweisser who comments on Gawker all the time? They link back to this site a lot, and make references to subjects and events discussed here. Honestly, I really enjoy your comments there.

  6. kma
    kma on January 28, 2012, 12:22 pm

    the term for this agenda is “teaching our children to hate”, and every time I hear an American say something stupid about Muslims or Israel, I blame these wealthy “charitable” orgs.
    someday would love to see a video of typical racist (shocking) things I hear – expose the extent of the ugliness for Americans to see how they really look, like watching them piss on corpses. Americans need to face it.
    they also need to see more corpses they are responsible for.

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