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Posts Tagged ‘film’

Horowitz on the Inner Workings of the United Nations

Monday, September 24th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai Yishai presents a podcast from C-Span’s Q&A, featuring filmmaker Ami Horowitz, creator of the ‘docutainment’ film U.N. Me.  Discussed are the origins of Horowitz’s film along with how he was given unprecedented access to the United Nations and how this access allows an unseen view of what happens within the UN.  Don’t miss this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Obama, Clinton, in Ads Disavowing Anti Muslim Film which ‘Must Not Be Named’

Friday, September 21st, 2012

On Thursday, September 20, President of the United States Barack Obama and Hillary R. Clinton, the US Secretary of State, were featured in a thirty second television spot paid for by American taxpayers that was intended to make clear to angry Pakistanis that the US government disapproves of the cheap, artless film that portrays the Islamic prophet Mohammed as a pedophile and a womanizer.  That film is blamed by many as the source of more than a week of rioting and violence by Muslims around the globe in which at least 30 people in seven countries are dead, including the American ambassador to Libya. Two people died in protests in Pakistan.

The ad, which cost some $70,000,  aired on approximately seven different television markets in Pakistan, according to U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

The statement includes clips of the President saying, “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation of respect – that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

Secretary Clinton then refers to the film, saying,  “Let me state very clearly that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its contents.  America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”

In what is eerily reminiscent of the cowed population’s response to the evil villain in the Harry Potter series, the name of the offending film, “Innocence of Muslims,” is never mentioned.  The ad featuring Obama and Clinton is labeled: “President Obama and Secretary Clinton remark on the video circulating on the internet.”  There is also a series of videos with ordinary Americans explaining that the offensive video does not reflect the views of Americans.  That series is titled: “Americans Condemn the YouTube video.”  The ads were subtitled in Urdu.

Despite the official efforts to stem Muslim anger, thousands of Pakistanis attempted to storm the American Embassy in Islamabad on Thursday.  When riot police were unable to hold off the crowds, the Pakistani military was called in.

The Pakistani government has proclaimed Friday, the Islamic day of prayer which is when Muslim riots tend to be most extensive and violent, to be a national holiday so that the expected demonstrations can proceed “peacefully.”

The American officials did not film their statements for this advertisement, instead clips were taken from statements condemning the film each official had made earlier.  President Obama’s remarks were recorded in Washington, D.C. on September 12 and those of Secretary Clinton’s remarks were from September 13 in Morocco. The ad ends with the camera fixed on the official seal of the United States of America.

In other action taken by the US government on Thursday, all US citizens were warned to defer non-essential travel to Pakistan until further notice.  American consulates throughout Pakistan have been closed to the public all week.

Muslim Riots Spread Like Wildfire Through Europe

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Protests over an American-made anti-Islamic YouTube film, Innocence of Muslims, have spread to Europe. Muslim rioters have clashed with police in several European cities, and more demonstrations are being planned. The protests are part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about the amateur film, which ridicules Islam and depicts the Muslim Prophet Mohammed as a fraud, a madman and a sexual deviant.

Muslims in many European countries are calling on governments to outlaw the controversial film. They are also pressing elected officials to enact anti-blasphemy laws that would criminalize the criticism of Islam. As most European countries lack American-like First Amendment protections, the momentum is building for the imposition of legal curbs on free speech when such speech is perceived to be offensive to Islam.

In Belgium, police using pepper spray and batons arrested more than 200 Muslims in the northern city of Antwerp after clashes at a demonstration against the film. The protest in the Borgerhout district of the city was organized by an Islamic fundamentalist group called Sharia4Belgium. The protest was organized via a text message which read: “We are ready to work with our souls and hearts to fight for our beloved prophet, even if death comes to meet us. Whoever has love for the Prophet must be present.” In Brussels, police arrested more than 30 individuals who participated in two separate protests — one in the Sint-Joost-ten-Node district, and another one in downtown Brussels near the American embassy.

In Britain, some 300 Muslims protested in central London outside the American Embassy. The crowd included many radical Muslims associated with the hardline group, Hizb ut-Tahrir; they shouted slogans and held placards, saying, “America — Get Out of Muslim Lands.” The gathering, which consisted mostly of men but also some women and children, listened to speakers who condemned the film, U.S. foreign policy and the “oppression” of Muslims.

In France, police in Paris arrested 152 Muslims for taking part in an unauthorized, impromptu protest on September 15 at the Place de la Concorde near the American Embassy; there were a number of clashes, with four police officers hurt.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he would prevent any further anti-American demonstrations sparked by the anti-Islam film. “I have issued instructions so that this does not happen again,” Valls told France 2 television. “These protests are forbidden. Any incitement to hatred must be fought with the greatest firmness.” Valls also said that among the roughly 250 protesters, there were some groups that “advocate radical Islam.”

Nevertheless, Muslims have now issued a call via text messages and social media for new protests to be held on Saturday, September 22, at 2pm at the Trocadero district in Paris. The President of the anti-immigrant National Front party, Marine Le Pen, said the protests mark the beginning of a process of “intimidation” by Muslims.

In Germany, major Muslim umbrella organizations have warned that the movie could “endanger the public peace” and lead to “street massacres” in German cities. The chairman of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, has also called for a legal ban on the film within the Federal Republic. “I do think that we must use all legal means to ban the film,” Mazyek said in an interview with ARD television. Mazyek continued that the video had the goal of “sowing discord and hatred,” and therefore “I would use all means possible to outlaw the film.”

German political leaders are now equivocating about their commitment to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, commenting on the anti-Islam movie, said, “I can imagine there would be good reasons to outlaw the film” – a reversal of her statement of just two years ago, when, commenting on the Danish cartoon controversy, she declared: “Free speech is one of the greatest treasures of our society.”

Separately, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he would consider all legal options to ban public showings of the anti-Islamic film. He said Islamic extremists such as the Salafists are likely to incite violent protests within Germany, which Friedrich called a “highly dangerous” situation.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has also pleaded for a ban on the movie, arguing that freedom of expression has its limits. “The abuse of a religion that is likely to disturb the public peace is forbidden to us,” he said in an interview on Deutschlandfunk German radio. He also argued that a ban on the film would send the message that “Germany does not stand behind right-wing radicals who insult other religions.”

How our Media Blew a Story

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

In 2010, Egyptian officials claimed that shark attacks were a Mossad plot to disrupt tourism to the Sinai. More recently, Palestinian Arabs have blamed Israel for crop damage by wild pigs. Indeed, there is a Wikipedia entry devoted to Arab Zoological conspiracy theories, of which these are representative.

We laugh — gullible Arabs that believe this stuff, and their media that promulgates it! But how much better is American media?

When this week’s riots in which Americans were murdered and embassies destroyed broke out, national outlets like the AP reportedthat the film-maker responsible for “Innocence of Muslims” was “Israeli born” and the film was funded by “100 Jewish donors.” It soon turned out that this was false; and while some media updated their stories,many did not for several days.

The story now has legs, and is running around the world while the truth is still putting its pants on. The whole thing could have been avoided by careful fact-checking before going public with the fanciful story of the nonexistent “Sam Bacile.”

But that’s not the only way our media have blown this story. Following the administration’s line, many news stories today are still blaming an idiotic amateur film (if there even is a complete film behind the snippets on Youtube) for the coordinated, almost simultaneous riots around the world. Hillary Clinton called the film ‘disgusting’, its maker was brought in for questioning about a a possible parole violation, and the US asked Google to suppress it (Google said no – at least in the U.S.).

But the film was a pretext and “Islamophobia” had little or nothing to do with the disturbances. In general, the goal was to boost the position of radical Islamists in many nations against moderate or nationalist forces. There is no better way to do this than a good anti-Western (especially US) outburst, and any excuse that works will be exploited.

The media are downplaying this angle, because it suggests that the administration policy toward the Muslim world expressed in the President’s Cairo speech of 2009 is dangerously wrong-headed, and because it supports the idea that free expression in the US should be limited in accordance with Muslim concerns, something the Administration also seems to believe.

This story is just one example. There are plenty more. If our media — with a few exceptions, like (sometimes) the Washington Post — could concentrate more on serious journalism and less on re-electing the President, the American people might be better informed than Egyptians reading about Mossad-controlled sharks and Zionist boars.

Visit the Fresno Zionism blog.

‘Innocence’ Actress Says the Cast Was Duped, Muhammad’s Character Was Named ‘George’ (Video)

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

The 80 cast and crew members employed by the makers of the movie that has provoked the Islamic world said told CNN on Wednesday that they were “grossly misled” about the film’s intent and expressed regrets over the violence the movie has been causing.

“The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer,” they said in a statement to CNN about the movie, “Innocence of Muslims.”

“We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose,” continued the statement to CNN. “We are shocked by the drastic rewrites of the script and lies that were told to all involved. We are deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed Tuesday in Benghazi, Libya by a terrorist team taking advantage of the local outrage over the film, which ridicules the prophet Muhammad.

A casting call published in July 2011 in Backstage magazine and in other publications listed the movie title as “Desert Warrior,” and presented it as an “historical Arabian Desert adventure film.”

An actress in the film who asked not to be identified said the original script did not include a character named Prophet Muhammad.

The actress said she spoke on Wednesday with the producer, who is identified in the advertisement as Sam Bassiel. “He said he wrote the script because he wants the Muslims to quit killing,” she said. “I had no idea he was doing all this.”

The AP has since verified the man’s identity as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, age 55, a Coptic Christian.

“I would never be involved in a film to ever hurt or bring harm to anybody,” the bactress told CNN. “This makes me sick to my stomach to think that I was involved in that movie that brought death to somebody else.”

According to the actress, the character of Muhammad was named George during the shooting.

A member of the production staff who worked directly on the film and has a copy of the original script told CNN it does not mention Muhammad or Islam.

The Wall Street Journal identified the filmmaker as Sam Bacile, an Israeli-American real estate developer. The Journal reported that, in its telephone interview with Bacile, he characterized his film as “a political effort to call attention to the hypocrisies of Islam.”

“Islam is a cancer,” he told the newspaper. “The movie is a political movie. It’s not a religious movie.”

“This guy is totally anonymous. At this point no one can confirm he holds an Israeli citizenship and even if he did we are not involved,” ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said. “No Israeli institution, government department or office has any involvement in this. This guy acted on his own behalf.”

Consultant Steve Klein told CNN he worked with Bacile on the movie and said the filmmaker had gone into hiding.

James Horn, a friend who has worked with Mr. Klein in anti-Muslim activities for several years, told the NY Times that he believed Mr. Klein was involved in providing technical assistance to the film and advice on the script. Mr. Horn said he called Mr. Klein on Wednesday. “I said, ‘Steve, did you do this?’ He said, ‘Yep.’ ”

“He’s very depressed, and he’s upset,” Klein told CNN on Wednesday regarding Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. “I talked to him this morning, and he said that he was very concerned for what happened to the ambassador.”

Klein said it was not the film’s fault that protests had turned bloody.

An online trailer for the film depicts Muslims very much the way Nazi propaganda movies depicted Jews and their plot to “conquer the world.”

Muhammad is shown as a womanizer, child molester and bloodied killer.

The movie, which was posted in July on YouTube, got more notice after Egyptian television aired segments and anti-Islam activists, including Egyptian-born Coptic Christian Morris Sadek, promoted it online.

Florida Qoran burning pastor Terry Jones said he had been contacted to help distribute the film.

“The film is not intended to insult the Muslim community, but it is intended to reveal truths about Muhammad that are possibly not widely known,” Jones told CNN.

“It is very clear that God did not influence him (Muhammad) in the writings of the Qoran,” said Jones, who blames Muslims’ thin skins, rather than the film, for the riots and murders.

The President Sends a Message of Submission

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Yesterday, Sept. 11, Islamist mobs attacked the American embassy in Egypt and our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. In Egypt they destroyed our flag and replaced it with a black banner with the shahada written on it, described as “the flag of al-Qaeda.” In Libya, they attacked the building with RPGs or similar weapons, burned it to the ground and killed the U.S. Ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three others.

The pretext for these attacks was rage over a trailer for a film about Mohammad, dubbed into Arabic and posted on Youtube. Here is an English version of a bit of the film, ungrammatically called “Innocence of Muslims.” The creators or funders of this silly movie, which hasn’t appeared in its entirety yet, were variously described as “Jews” or “Copts,” something which inflamed the masses even more.

Do you think it was an accident that these events happened on the anniversary of 9/11? I don’t. Similar ‘provocations’ against Islam can be found 365 days a year, not just on 9/11. Barry Rubin wrote:

But note well that everyone–except the Western media–understands that holding such a demonstration at the U.S. embassy in Cairo on September 11 means supporting the September 11 attack.

Rubin is only partly correct. The Western media are not the only ones who fail to see the symbolism of raising al-Qaeda’s banner on 9/11. Our President missed it as well. In his statement about the Libyan incident, he mentioned the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks as if it were merely an unhappy coincidence:

Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks.  We mourned with the families who were lost on that day.  I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed.  And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.

Seemingly determined to get every important point wrong, he also said this:

Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths.  We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.  But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence.  None.  The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.

While he is at pains to say that it is wrong to “denigrate the religious beliefs of others” he does not even mention our commitment to the value of free expression!

Instead of saying that we will not permit our right to free expression to be inhibited by fear of violence, he distances the U.S. from the film-maker, whose expression we “reject.” Yes, he seems to say, insulting Islam is wrong, but you oughtn’t to kill ambassadors over it.

Radical Muslims believe that it is perfectly acceptable for them to ‘denigrate’ other faiths in the most vile way — their Imams do so regularly, in Egypt, Libya, Pakistan, Gaza, the Palestinian Authority, Iran, etc. — but they also believe that the proper response to “denigration” of their faith is violence.

There’s nothing “senseless” about it — it’s a logical consequence of their belief that Islam is superior to all religions. When infidels “denigrate” Islam, they violate the moral order of the universe, and the violent response of Muslims is demanded to put things right.

The President’s statement is a plea for Muslims to understand that we respect Islam and a reminder for Americans to avoid expressions that could insult them. To those who sympathize with the ‘activists’, the statement is apologetic, submissive.

But he isn’t finished displaying weakness:

And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.

What he should have said, of course, is that the U.S. will apply its considerable power to avenge the murders of Americans, just like we did with their hero, Bin Laden. Not “work with the Libyan government” and not “bring to justice” — avenge.

Visit the Fresno Zionism blog.

Who In the World is Sam Bacile?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

There’s a bit of a mystery surrounding the identity of Sam Bacile, who has claimed to be an Israeli Jew living in California.

Israel Channel 10‘s Nadav Eyal claims that Sam Bacile is a pseudonym and that the film’s creators are ex-Muslims who converted to Christianity – at least one of them Iranian.

The claim is further strengthened, based on statement in the Wall Street Journal, which leads one to suspect that Egyptian Coptic Christians are involved in the film making.

The movie has been promoted in the U.S. by conservative Coptic Christians, including Morris Sadek, who runs a small group called the National American Coptic Assembly. “The violence that it caused in Egypt is further evidence of how violent the religion and people are and it is evidence that everything in the film is factual,” Mr. Sadek said in a telephone interview from his Washington home.

Tzvi Yeheskeli (Channel 10 Arab Affairs Correspondent) questions if the attack on the consulate in Benghazi is actually just about the film, or also revenge for the recent killing of Al Qaeda number 2 in Yemen.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/who-in-the-world-is-sam-bacile/2012/09/12/

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