“The Lobby,” the four-part Al-Jazeera documentary that was blocked under heavy Israeli pressure shortly before its release, has been leaked online by the Chicago-based website Electronic Intifada, the French website Orient XXI and the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar. The series is an inside look over five months by an undercover reporter, armed with a hidden camera, […]
“The Lobby,” the four-part Al-Jazeera documentary that was blocked under heavy Israeli pressure shortly before its release, has been leaked online by the Chicago-based website Electronic Intifada, the French website Orient XXI and the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar.
The series is an inside look over five months by an undercover reporter, armed with a hidden camera, at how the government and intelligence agencies of Israel work with U.S. domestic Jewish groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), The Israel Project and StandWithUs to spy on, smear and attack critics, especially American university students who support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. It shows how the Israel lobby uses huge cash donations, often far above the U.S. legal limit, and flies hundreds of members of Congress to Israel for lavish and unpaid vacations at Israeli seaside resorts, bribing the American lawmakers to do Israel’s bidding, including providing military aid such as the $38 billion (over 10 years) that was approved by Congress in 2016. It uncovers Israel’s sleazy character assassination of academics, activists and journalists, its well-funded fake grassroots activism, its manipulation of press coverage, and its ham-fisted attempts to destroy marriages, personal relationships and careers. The film highlights the efforts to discredit liberal Jews and Jewish organizations as tools of radical jihadists, referring, for example, to Jewish Voice for Peace as “Jewish Voice for Hamas” and claiming that many members of the organization are not actually Jewish. Israel recruits black South Africans into an Israeli front group called Stop Stealing My Apartheid, in a desperate effort to counter the reality of the apartheid state that Israel has constructed. The series documents Israel’s repeated and multifaceted interference in the internal affairs of the United States, including elections; efforts to discredit progressive groups such as Black Lives Matter that express sympathy for the Palestinians; and routine employment of Americans to spy on other Americans. Israel’s behavior is unethical and perhaps illegal. But don’t expect anyone in the establishment or either of the two ruling political parties to do anything about it. It is abundantly clear by the end of the series that they have been intimidated, discredited or bought off.
“Imagine if China was doing this, if Iran was doing this, if Russia was doing this?” Ali Abunimah, the author of “The Battle for Justice in Palestine” and co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, says in the film. “There would be uproar. You would have Congress going off to them. You would have hearings.”
Those of us who denounce and expose the Israeli crimes committed against Palestinians are intimately familiar with the sordid and nefarious tactics of the Israel lobby. The power of the film series is that in dealing with the reporter—a young Oxford postgraduate, James Anthony Kleinfeld, who goes by the name Tony in the film and poses as a pro-Israel student—major figures within the Israel lobby candidly explain and expose their massive covert campaign in the United States. There is no plausible deniability. And this is why Israel worked so hard to stop the film from being broadcast.
Clayton Swisher, who directed the series, wrote in the liberal Jewish newspaper The Forward that leaders from the Israel lobby met with the state of Qatar’s registered agent and lobbyist, a former aide to U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz named Nick Muzin, to “see if he could use his ties with the Qataris to stop the airing.” Qatar funds Al-Jazeera. Muzin told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that “he was discussing the issue with the Qataris and didn’t think the film would broadcast in the near future.” An anonymous source told Haaretz that “the Qatari emir himself helped make the decision” to spike the film.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed ties with Qatar in June 2017 and imposed a land, sea and air blockade on the Persian Gulf state. They accuse Doha of supporting terrorism and radical Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood. The four states have issued a list of demands for re-establishing ties that include Qatar’s shutting down Al-Jazeera, along with severing relations with Iran. Qatar has appealed to the United States to intercede and has, as part of this effort, reached out to the powerful Israel lobby in the United States for support. American Jewish leaders, including the former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, have met with the Qatari emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and have discussed with him what they describe as the network’s “anti-Semitism.” It is widely believed the series was sacrificed by Qatar in an effort to placate the Israel lobby and get its support for an end to the sanctions, although the blockade remains in force.
The series exposes how Israeli intelligence services monitor American critics of Israel and feeds real-time information about them to American Jewish organizations.
“We are for example in the process of creating a comprehensive picture of the campuses,” Brig. Gen. Sima Vaknin-Gil, director general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, tells a gathering of pro-Israel activists in the film. “If you want to defeat a phenomenon you must have the upper hand in terms of information and knowledge.”
The Israeli government operates Israel Cyber Shield, a civil intelligence unit that collects and analyzes BDS activities and coordinates attacks against the BDS movement.
“We are giving them data—for example, one day Sima’s deputy is sending me a photo. Just a photo on Whatsapp,” Sagi Balasha, who was CEO of the Israeli-American Council from 2011 to 2015, says when speaking on an Israeli-American Council panel. “It’s written ‘Boycott Israel’ on the billboard.”
He shows a picture of a roadside billboard that reads: “BOYCOTT ISRAEL UNTIL PALESTINIANS HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS. StopFundingApartheid.org.”
“In a few hours our systems and analysts could find the exact organization, people, and even their names, and where they live,” says Balasha, who now works with cyber-intelligence organizations that target BDS activists. “We gave it back to the ministry, and I have no idea what they did with this. But the fact is, three days later there were no billboards.”
“We use all sorts of technology,” Jacob Baime, the executive director of the Israel on Campus Coalition, says in the film. “We use corporate-level, enterprise-grade social media intelligence software. Almost all of this happens on social media, so we have custom algorithms and formulae that acquire this stuff immediately.”
“Generally, within about 30 seconds or less of one of these things popping up on campus, whether it’s a Facebook event, whether it’s the right kind of mention on Twitter, the system picks it up,” says Baime. “It goes into a queue and alerts our researchers and they evaluate it. They tag it, and if it rises to a certain level, we issue early-warning alerts to our partners.”
Those recruited by the Israel lobby, including the undercover Al-Jazeera reporter in the documentary, are sent to training sessions such as Fuel the Truth. The film records a session in which trainees watch a video of Palestinian children as the narrator says, “Children are taught in UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees] Palestinian schools to hate Jews.” The trainees are told that scenes of devastation in Gaza are, in fact, misrepresented images disseminated by critics from Syria or Iraq. They are instructed in role-playing workshops how to brand all those who criticize Israeli policies as anti-Semites, members of a hate group or self-hating Jews.
The reporter is placed in the so-called war room run by The Israel Project, known as TIP, which monitors American media for stories on Israel and the Palestinians. The goal is “neutralizing undesired narratives.”
“We develop relationships … ,” David Hazony, the managing director of The Israel Project, says about how to influence journalists. “A lot of alcohol to get them to trust us. We’re basically messaging on the following—BDS is essentially a kind of a hate group targeting Israel. They’re anti-peace. We try not to even use the terms because it builds their brand. We just refer to boycotters. The goal is to actually make things happen. And to figure out what are the means of communication to do that.”
The BDS movement, which I support, was formed in 2005. It is an attempt by Palestinian civil rights groups to build a nonviolent international movement to boycott Israel, divest from Israeli companies and eventually impose sanctions—as was done against apartheid South Africa—until basic Palestinian rights under international law are achieved. While the movement has not gained traction financially in the United States, with most colleges and universities refusing to divest, it has been very effective at illuminating the injustices committed against Palestinians by Israel and severely eroded Israel’s credibility and support in the U.S. This ongoing shift in public opinion terrifies Israel, which has poured tremendous resources into crushing the BDS movement.
“Government ministers attacked me in person,” Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS movement, says in the film. “One of them threatening BDS leaders with targeted civil assassination. Others threatened to revoke my permanent residency [in Israel], along other threats.”
“We suffered from intense denial-of-service attacks, hacking attacks on our website,” Barghouti says. “Israel decided to go on cyber warfare against BDS. Publicly, they said, ‘We shall spy on BDS individuals and networks, especially in the West.’ We have not heard a peep from any Western government complaining that Israel is admitting that it will spy on your citizens. Imagine Iran saying it will spy on British or American citizens. Just imagine what could happen.”
“So, like nobody really knows what we’re doing,” says Julia Reifkind, who was director of community affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Washington. “But mainly it’s been a lot of research, like monitoring BDS things and reporting it back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Like making sure everyone knows what’s going on. They need a lot of research done and stuff like that. When they talk about it in the Knesset, we’ve usually contributed to what the background information is. I’m not going to campuses. It’s more about connecting organizations and I guess campuses, providing resources and strategy if students need it.”
“I write a report and give it to my boss, who translates it,” Reifkind says. “It’s really weird. We don’t talk to them on the phone or email. There’s a special server that’s really secure that I don’t have access to because I’m an American. You have to have clearance to access the server. It’s called Cables. It’s not even the same [word translated] in Hebrew, it’s like literally ‘Cables.’ I’ve seen it. It looks really bizarre. So, I write reports that my boss translates into the cables and sends them. Then they’ll send something back. Then he’ll translate it and tell me what I need to do.”
“Is the Israeli Embassy trying to leverage faculty?” Tony, the undercover reporter, asks her.
“Yeah,” she says. “We are working with several faculty advocacy groups that kind of train faculty, and so we are helping them a little bit with funding, connections, bringing them to speak, having them to speak to diplomats and people at the MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] that need this information. So, I want to be that resource to show students what we’re doing, to see what you’re doing, here’s some information if you need anything at all. We can connect you. Just kind of be that person there for you.”
Reifkind was president of the pro-Israel group at the University of California at Davis and worked closely with the Israel lobby to attempt to crush the BDS movement on campus, especially after Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) brought a divestment motion to the student senate.
“We knew they were going to win because the entire student senate was all pro-BDS,” she says. “They ran for that purpose and won for that purpose. We have been pushed out of student government for months.”
Reifkind and a few supporters went to the senate meeting where the vote was scheduled.
“We have been ignored and disrespected year after year, but we have never been silenced,” she tells the student gathering. “We are a beacon of peace and inclusion on a campus plagued by anti-Semitism.”
“The intolerance that spawned this [divestment] resolution is the same kind of intolerance that spawned anti-Semitic movements throughout history,” she shouts.
She and her handful of supporters walk out, an action they had agreed on in advance and then carefully filmed.
The passing of the BDS motion at UC Davis set the gears of the Israel lobby and the Israeli government in motion.
“That day all of us released like 50 op-eds in major news sources so that when people made a hashtag, like a whole thing trending, so when people opened their Facebooks it wouldn’t be them celebrating their victory,” Reifkind says in the film. “It would be us sharing our stories. Once it blew up, then random people like The Huffington Post contacted me and was like, “Do you have anything to say?” And I was like, ‘Conveniently, I wrote an op-ed two weeks ago just in case.’ ”
Israel and its surrogates in the United States used their considerable resources to carry out vicious and anonymous personal attacks against the campus BDS activists at UC Davis, calling them “terrorists” and “Hamas sympathizers” who support Sharia on campus. The lobby also skillfully framed the narrative in the national media, claiming falsely that the pro-Israel students were forced out of the meeting room.
“Pro-Israel students were taunted by pro-Hamas students after an anti-Israel vote passed on campus,” says an announcer on Fox News as a caption underneath video reads, “RUNNING RAMPANT: UC Davis Plagued by Anti-Semitic Feelings.” “And right after the vote passed, a student senator posted this on Facebook, ‘Hamas and Sharia law have taken over UC Davis. Brb [be right back] crying over the resilience.’ ”
Shortly after the vote, Jewish students said they found two swastikas painted on their fraternity house in Davis. The media, tipped off, was at the fraternity house almost immediately. The BDS activists were blamed for the graffiti.
The film shows a CBS 13 news clip.
Television reporter: “Pro-Israel students said they feared recent events would lead to this.”
UC Davis male student: “This has been sort of a bad week to be Jewish on campus.”
Television reporter: “After years of heated meetings, the student body passed a resolution Thursday, urging UC Davis to end any affiliation with companies that support Israel.”
Another UC Davis male student, speaking in front of one of the swastikas: “So, this is not out of the blue. We’re pretty sure this is directly related.”
“StandWithUs helped us a little bit in terms of actual research on the speech,” Reifkind says in referring to her comments before the student senate. “They gave us some legal research type stuff. I’m always biased and want to work with AIPAC. They kind of helped, more like mold support. And David Projecthelped us a little bit. It was more help like gaining contacts in the media world. I guess we needed money to pay for someone to film the speech. We had a Davis Faculty for Israel group, and they were hugely helpful to us. Some of them were retired lawyers, they’d write legal documents for us. They knew the administration. They were tenured. They had pull.”
“After looking back on everything, I feel a little creepy because of what happened after the vote,” says Marcelle Obeid, the president of Students for Justice in Palestine at UC Davis. “People who were affiliated with the [pro-Palestinian] group were just smeared and had to deal with these very personal crises—the world calling us terrorists, the world thinking that we were this spiteful hate group. It’s pretty unequivocal how organized they were, how brutal and ruthless that narrative was, and how it affected us.”
The Electronic Intifada’s Abunimah says,
“There’s an intensive effort by Israel and pro-Israel groups to get governments, universities, legislative bodies to adopt a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel and its state ideology, Zionism.”
“They have created this perverse definition of anti-Semitism where calling for everyone in Palestine and Israel to have equal rights is somehow an attack on Jews,” he says. “They’re trying to get this pushed into official definitions. This has been a key goal of the Brandeis Center so they can go after people who are advocating for equality and bring them up on charges that they’re actually anti-Semitic bigots.”
Kenneth Marcus, founding president of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, confirms this stance in the film and is shown saying:
“You have to show that they’re racist hate groups, that they are using intimidation to get funded, and to consistently portray them that way.”
But despite its campaign, Israel is acutely aware that it is losing the public relations war, especially among the young.
“The polling isn’t good,” David Brog, executive director of the Maccabee Task Force, which combats BDS on American campuses, says in the film. “And all of you probably know that if you look at the polls, the younger you get on the demographic scales, the lower support for Israel is. … It seems to be achieving its goals. I think it threatens future American support for Israel. Younger people are leaving college less sympathetic to Israel than when they entered.”
And many of these young people are Jewish, finding their identity and meaning in values that Israel refuses to uphold.
“The work that Jewish Voice for Peace does is grounded in Jewish tradition, the most basic Jewish and human values that every single person has inherent worth and dignity and should be treated with respect,” Rabbi Joseph Berman says in the film. “We then see what’s happening to Palestinians, the occupation, the displacement, the inequality, and say we need to end these things.”
But while Israel may be losing in the court of public opinion, it tightly embraces elected officials in the United States, where legalized bribery is institutionalized.
“Does the war of ideas matter?” asks Eric Gallagher, who was a director at AIPAC from 2010 to 2015. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I know that getting $38 billion in security aid to Israel matters, which is what AIPAC just did. That’s what I’m proud to have been a part of for so long. My job was basically to convince students that participating in the war of ideas on campuses is actually a distraction. You can hold up signs and have rallies on campus, but the Congress gets $3.1 billion a year for Israel. Everything AIPAC does is focused on influencing Congress. Congress is where you have leverage. So, you can’t influence the president of the United States directly, but the Congress can.”
“What the lobby is all about is to make sure that Israel gets special treatment from the United States, forever,” John Mearsheimer, professor of political science at the University of Chicago and co-author of “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” says in the film.
“What AIPAC does is it makes sure that money is funneled your way if you’re seen as pro-Israel, and it will go to significant lengths to make sure that you stay in office if you continue to be staunchly pro-Israel.”
“What happens is Jeff [Talpins] meets with congressmen in the backroom, tells them exactly what his goals are,” David Ochs, founder of HaLev, says of the pro-Israeli hedge fund manager Jeff Talpins and how politicians receive sums of as much as $200,000 from the Israel lobby. “And by the way, Jeff Talpins is worth $250 million. Basically, they hand an envelope with 20 credit cards and say, ‘You can swipe each of these credit card for $1,000 each.’ ”
“If you wander off the reservation and become critical of Israel, you not only will not get money, AIPAC will go to great lengths to find someone who will run against you,” Mearsheimer says. “And support that person very generously. The end result is you’re likely to lose your seat in Congress.”
“They have questionnaires,” recalls former U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat from northern Virginia who was in the House from 1991 to 2015. Moran, who opposed the 2002 congressional resolution to invade Iraq, became a target for the Israel lobby, which pushed hard for the war. “Anyone running for Congress is required [by the lobby] to fill out a questionnaire. And they [AIPAC] evaluate the depth of your commitment to Israel on the basis of [those questions]. And then you have an interview with local people. If you get AIPAC support, then more often than not you’re going to win.”
“There was a conservative rabbi in my district who was assigned to me, I assume, by AIPAC,” Moran says. “He warned me that if I voiced my views about the Israeli lobby that my career would be over, and implied that it would be done through the Post. Sure enough, The Washington Post editorialized brutally. Everyone ganged up.”
There is a screen shot of a Washington Post headline: “Sorry, Mr. Moran, You’re Not Fit For Public Office.”
Character assassination is a common tactic used by the Israel lobby against its critics. Bill Mullen, a professor of American studies at Purdue University, has been a campaigner for the BDS movement for years. His wife was sent a link to a website containing a letter addressed to her.
“It was a Sunday,” he says. “I was in the kitchen. My partner was in the living room with my daughter. Came in with her laptop and said, ‘You’ve got to see this.’ This letter, reported to be by a former student, said she had been sexually harassed by me. She had found other students at Purdue who have had the same experience. And she was writing this letter to tell their story. Within a very short time, within about 48 hours, we were able to establish that these multiple sites that were attacking me had been taken out [created] almost at the same time. And that they were clearly the work of the same people. One of the accounts said, in the process of supposedly putting my hand on her, I invited her to a Palestine organizational meeting. Well, I thought, ‘You’re sort of putting your cards on the table there,’ whoever you are.”
“With the anti-Israel people, what we found has been most effective, in the last year, you do the opposition research,” says Baime, the Israel on Campus Coalition official. “Put up an anonymous website. Then put up targeted Facebook ads. Every few hours you drip out a new piece of opposition research, it’s psychological warfare. It drives them crazy. They either shut down or they spend time investigating it and responding to it, which is time they can’t spend attacking Israel. That’s incredibly effective.”
“It was really an attempt, by people who didn’t know us, ‘Maybe I can destroy this marriage at the very least,’ ” Purdue’s Mullen says. “ ‘Maybe I can cause them horrendous, personal suffering.’ The same letter purporting to me harassment, sent to my wife, used the name of our daughter. I think that was the worst moment. We thought, ‘These people will do anything. They’re capable of doing anything.’ ”
Perhaps the film’s greatest investigative coup is the unwitting disclosure by Eric Gallagher at The Israel Project that the hedge fund manager Adam Milstein is “the guy who funds” the anonymous Canary Mission website. The website provides the names, backgrounds and photos of students, professors, invited speakers and organizations that are allegedly tied to terrorism and anti-Semitism through their support for Palestinian rights.
“There’s a guy named who you might want to meet,” Gallagher says to Tony about Adam Milstein. “He’s a convicted felon. That’s a bad way to describe him. He’s a real estate mogul. When I was working with him at AIPAC, I was literally emailing back and forth with him while he was in jail. He’s loaded. He’s close to half a billion dollars.”
Milstein was convicted of tax evasion and sent to prison for three months in 2009. The Israeli-American Council, which he leads, funds numerous pro-Israel organizations: Milstein also sits on the boards of AIPAC, StandWithUs and the Israel on Campus Coalition. He is close to billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the wealthiest donor to the pro-Israel lobby and the largest donor to the Trump campaign.
The promotional video for the Canary Mission, played in the film, says: “A few years later, these individuals are applying for jobs in your companies … ensure that today’s radicals are not tomorrow’s employees.”
“It was shattering to me because I had to look for a job, I had to start my life,” Obeid from UC Davis says. “And now I had this website smearing my name before I even got a chance to make a name for myself.”
“Somebody did contact my employer and asked for me to be fired based on my pro-Palestine activism,” says Summer Award, who campaigned at the University of Tennessee for Palestinian equal rights. “They said if they continued to employ me, their values are anti-Semitic. It can be really scary at first. I was mostly harassed via Twitter. They were tweeting me every two or three days. They take screen shots, even way back to my Facebook pictures that don’t even look like me anymore. Just digging and digging through my online presence.”
Israel’s moral bankruptcy is powerfully exposed in one of the last scenes in the film. Tony joins an “astroturf” protest organized by the Hoover Institution. Those in the protest have been paid to travel on a bus to George Mason University to disrupt a conference of Students for Justice in Palestine. They are coached by Lerman Mazar, the StandWithUs director of legal affairs, in what to shout.
“If you do happen to speak with any reporters just stay on message,” Mazar tells her lackluster protesters. “And what is the message? SJP is a ….”
“Hate group,” the protesters answer feebly.
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Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister.
Featured image is from Mr. Fish/Truthdig
A leaked Al Jazeera documentary shows that the Israel lobby used false accusations of sexual assault to discredit BDS supporters.
(MPN) — A leaked Al Jazeera documentary detailing the tactics of the Israeli lobby in the United States and elsewhere has revealed that pro-Israel groups regularly invented smears, including false accusations of sexual assault, to discredit professors and students on U.S. university campuses that support equal rights for Palestinians and the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS is a non-violent movement that seeks to use economic pressure on Israel’s government so that it complies with international law, ends the military occupation of the West Bank, and halts the decades-long blockade of the Gaza Strip.
In the third episode of the Al Jazeera documentary “The Lobby”, which was leaked online by the website Electronic Intifada, focus is given to the efforts of pro-Israel advocacy groups on U.S. universities, particularly the efforts of these groups to use aggressive information warfare tactics to discredit and smear activists. The documentary further reveals that these smear campaigns are incredibly well-funded – to the tune of millions of dollars – and involve coordination with the Israeli government’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs.
In one instance, Bill Mullen – a professor of American Studies at Purdue University and a well-known supporter of Palestinian rights and BDS – was accused of sexual harassment, supporting terrorism and other misdeeds by nearly two dozen anonymous web pages purporting to have been created by Mullen’s former students in 2016.
Mullen told Al Jazeera that within 48 hours of learning of the smear sites, he discovered that they had been created within moments of each other and appeared to be operated by the same individual or group. After the websites used the name of his daughter and were anonymously sent to his wife, Mullen told Al Jazeera that “these people will do anything, they’re capable of doing anything” to discredit pro-Palestinian solidarity activists.
The documentary further revealed that this tactic is promoted by pro-Israel campus organizations including the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC). For instance, ICC executive director Jacob Baime discussed how “the anti-Israel people” are targeted by groups like the ICC who put “up some anonymous websites” and targeted Facebook ads that make false sexual harassment claims and other personal attacks as part of an effort to discredit them and their activism.
Baime then stated that this tactic is a form of “psychological warfare” that was “modeled on General Stanley McChrystal’s counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq” and that those tactics have “been working really well for us.” Baime appears to have misspoken, given that McChrystal’s strategy emphasizing “offensive information operations” was focused on Afghanistan, not Iraq.
However, Baime recounted that these efforts are often very successful, from his perspective, telling Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter that the activists targeted by smears “either shut down or they spend time responding to it and investigating it, which is time they can’t spend attacking Israel.”
Baime went on to state that ICC, which works closely with other pro-Israel university groups like StandWithUs, has a budget of $2 million for “research” used in such smear campaigns. He further admitted that his group and its affiliates coordinate with Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which employs a large number of former agents of the Mossad.
The recently leaked episode of “The Lobby” documentary shows that some pro-Israel activists have twisted efforts to give sexual assault survivors stronger voices by using fake harassment claims as ammo for their “psychological warfare” tactics against Palestine solidarity activists.
This use of fabricated sexual harassment smears to target pro-BDS activists threatens the recent high-profile efforts of the #MeToo movement and other related activist groups who seek to help promote an environment where the experiences of sexual assault survivors are more readily accepted.
In addition to the use of falsification and smears against BDS supporters, the documentary showed evidence that employees and volunteer pro-Israel campus groups were instructed to call BDS a “racist hate group” and were asked to produce multimedia content such as memes that even their own employees considered to be dishonest and “bigoted.”
An employee of the Israel Project who was featured in the documentary, Amanda Botfeld, told Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter that much of the pro-Israel advocacy work she had been asked to do made her feel “uneasy” and “uncomfortable” because it smeared Palestinian rights activists as “anti-Semites” and “racists” for criticizing Israeli government policy.
Another practice that made Botfeld feel uncomfortable was the creation of multimedia content for StandWithUs that featured “pictures of Palestinian kids with a knife” and other images that were used to paint young Palestinians that had been killed by Israeli police and soldiers as “terrorists”. Botfeld opined that the content she was asked to make while working with the Israel project was “bigoted” and she “was embarrassed to be associated with it.” Botfeld also said that one of her supervisors told her to insert the word “racist” in reference to BDS activism as often as possible.
The fact that even the employees of these pro-Israel groups are so acutely aware of the biased, bigoted nature of their response to the growth of the BDS movement underscores how these tactics are used to discourage and chill the atmosphere of debate by maligning and defaming activists and their message.
Here it is – my short film about North Korea. No need to drag it, to prolong it – let’s just watch it all together:
The Faces of North Korea
This is my 25-minutes piece about the DPRK (North Korea) – country that I visited relatively recently; visited and loved, was impressed with, and let me be frank – admired.
I don’t really know if I could call this a ‘documentary’. Perhaps not. A simple story, you know: I met a girl, tiny and delicate, at the roller-skating ring in Pyongyang. How old was she? Who knows; perhaps four or five. She was first clinging to her mom, then to a Korean professor Kiyul, even to a former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Then she began skating away, waving innocently, looking back at me, at us, or just looking back…
Suddenly I was terribly scared for her. It was almost some physical fear. Perhaps it was irrational, like panic, I don’t know…
I did not want anything bad to happen to her. I did not want the US nukes start falling all around her. I did not want her to end up like those poor Vietnamese or Iraqi or Afghan children, victims of the Western barbarism; of the chemical weapons, depleted uranium, or cluster bombs. I did not want her to starve because of some insane sanctions pushed through the UN by spiteful maniacs who simply hate “the Others”.
And so, I produced a short film, about what I saw in North Korea. A film that I made for, dedicated to, that little girl at the roller-skating ring in Pyongyang.
When I was filming, collecting footage in DPRK, the war, an attack from the West or from Japan or South Korea, looked possible, almost likely.
When, some time later, I was editing, in Beirut, with a Lebanese editor, US President Donald Trump was threatening to “take care of the North Korea”. What he meant was clear. Trump is a ‘honest man’. In the film I call him ‘a manager’. He may not be an Einstein, but he usually says what he means, at each given moment. You know, the Yakuza-style.
Now when I am releasing this humble work of mine, things look brighter after the Singapore Summit, although I really do not trust the West, after more than 500 years of barbaric colonialist wars and crusades. The ‘manager’ is perhaps honest when he says that now he likes President Kim, but then again, tomorrow he could be ‘honest’ again, declaring that he changed him mind and wants to break his arm.
Time to hurry, I feel. Time to hurry and to show to as many people as possible, how beautiful North Korea is, and how dignified its people are.
I can “sell” footage or “sell rights” and make some money for my other internationalist projects, but the whole thing would get delayed, and only limited number of people would see it in such case.
By releasing it like this, through one of my favorite media outlets in the world – New Eastern Outlook – the film will make nothing, zero, but I guess it is my duty to do it this way. Hopefully, the piece will be seen by many and the pressure on the West and on Japan will grow – pressure to stop intimidation of the people who already suffered so tremendously much!
If someone wants to support my films, including my works in progress (two big documentary films I am working on right now, one about Afghanistan after almost two decades of the NATO occupation, another about almost total environmental destruction in Kalimantan/Borneo), it can be done here. But no pressure. Just enjoy this particular film and other films that I will be soon and gradually releasing.
In the meantime, North Korea is standing.
While the West is calculating, what to do next. I don’t have a good feeling about all this. I hope I am wrong. I hope this is just a beginning of the serious peace process…
But I guess I have seen too many ruins of the cities, of countries and entire continents. Most of them were bombed, reduced to rubble after various ‘peace processes’. Mostly the bombs and missiles began flying after some sound agreements were reached and signed.
I don’t want the same thing to happen to North Korea. I don’t want this girl whom I spotted at the roller-skating ring, to vanish.
What I did this time is not much, but it is something. In this dangerous situation, almost everything counts. Let’s all do “something”, even if it is just a tiny bit. Rain is made of water drops, but it can stop a big fire. This time let us try to stop the madness.
Andre Vltchek is philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He’s a creator of Vltchek’s World in Word and Images, and a writer that penned a number of books, including The Great October Socialist Revolution. He writes especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
Brutal, barbarian, beyond belief.
The horror that is the human primate never ceases to surprise me in the ways that if our minds can visualize an idea, any idea, any object, the possibility of horror beyond evil becomes a reality.
Not for the feint of heart, but this is our human story.
As regular readers know, REAL.video, the ultimate free speech platform alternative to YouTube, is now live and is already garnering a great deal of attention and support from users and content producers alike.
One of the first productions to debut on the site is a new documentary series that explains in full detail the so-called “Spygate” scandal like no one has done before.
“The Deep State Strikes Back,” recounts, step-by-step, events that have exploded into the biggest political scandal of our day — and perhaps in the history of the country.
Produced by the site’s founder Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, the documentary contains powerful footage and reporting that has largely been ignored by the dishonest “establishment” media. You won’t find this documentary anywhere but on REAL.video.
The documentary begins with a brief review of what had been two of the biggest scandals in U.S. history — the Pentagon Papers and Watergate.
Watch it here, courtesy of REAL.video:
The Pentagon Papers scandal involved a twenty-year study by the Defense Department on Vietnam, which showed that the U.S. government got more and more deeply involved there without being fully transparent with the public.
After the papers were revealed in media reports, it became clear that the Johnson Administration systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about the U.S. military’s role there.
Watergate involved a break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee, which was located at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The break-in was eventually linked to the administration of Republican President Richard Nixon. As Nixon resisted congressional investigations into the scandal, the country lurched toward a constitutional crisis. When all was said and done, sixty-nine people were indicted; forty-eight were found guilty — many who were top Nixon administration officials. The president, fearing impeachment, resigned from office August 9, 1974.
But, according to the documentary, what happened in the 1960s and 1970s could pale in comparison to “Spygate” because the latter appears to have involved total corruption and politicization of the two most powerful federal law enforcement apparatuses in existence: The Justice Department and the FBI.
What’s more, it has become apparent that elements of the U.S. intelligence community and the so-called “establishment media” — both elements of the Deep State — were also involved in an ongoing effort to undermine then-GOP nominee and now President Donald Trump, simply because they thought him too buffoonish, unqualified, and unworthy to become the leader of the free world.
And, truth be told, they probably fear him as well.
What’s also evident from the details reported in various investigative media outlets is that President Obama was fully aware of what was going on within his Executive Branch regarding what became a counterintelligence operation into a political rival’s presidential campaign and administration.
It’s something that has never been done before in the history of our country, so far as is known.
The documentary also notes:
— That emails and documents allegedly hacked from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta showed that the Democratic hierarchy, in conjunction with the Clinton campaign, worked behind the scenes to sabotage rival Bernie Sanders’ chances of gaining the party’s nomination.
— FBI agents and the Obama Justice Department repeatedly used the bogus dossier to justify the initial – and subsequent – Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrants against the Trump campaign and, later, administration officials.
— How the Deep State began to target members of Trump’s incoming administration for elimination.
— How they worked to ensnare Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn — who has since pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI but who, for some strange reason, continues to have his sentencing dates pushed back.
There’s much more. Click here to watch it now.
See more uncensored content on a wide variety of topics at REAL.video.
J.D. Heyes is editor of The National Sentinel and a senior writer for Natural News and News Target.
Published on 20 Aug 2016
In his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View, Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram discusses in detail the findings of his now famous experiment. Milgram demonstrated just how easy it is to convince an ordinary person to commit torture and murder under the instruction of an authority figure.
Intrigued by the role of Nazi military personnel in concentration camps during WWII, Milgram wanted to know how much coercion people needed in order to willingly inflict harm on another person.
“He asked volunteers to deliver an electric shock to a stranger. Unbeknownst to the volunteers, there was no shock — and the people they were shocking were actors pretending to be terribly hurt, even feigning heart attacks.
“Milgram found that most people would keep delivering the shocks when ordered by a person in a lab coat, even when they believed that person was gravely injured. Only a tiny percentage of people refused.” [Source]
The suggested conclusion is that people are inherently unable to think for themselves when given a subordinate role in some authoritarian hierarchy, such as the role of the ordinary citizen in a state-controlled world. A documentary of this experiment can be seen here.
The Milgram study was controversial in that some felt the results were skewed in favor of a predetermined bias. In the fifty-plus years since the experiment, there have been no other major research studies to confirm Milgram’s findings.
Nevertheless, the presumption that normal people will go as far as to commit murder if they are relieved of responsibility by an authority figure feels inherently truthful in a world of so many organized atrocities.
The question is:
“Can we be manipulated through social pressure to commit murder?” ~ Derren Brown
It’s an important question at a time when the converging technologies of AI and social media are affecting individual and group psychology in not yet understood ways. British illusionist Derren Brown recently conducted a similar experiment, this time in a feature documentary for Netflix entitled, The Push.
“This show is about how readily we hand over authorship of our lives, everyday, and the dangers of losing that control,” says Brown, who organized the reality TV-like experiment in which ordinary people were duped into doing things most of us would never even consider.
At the heart of the experiment lies the powerful effects of social pressure and social compliance, along with the individual’s inherent need to belong and fit into society. It also questions the nature of individuality, while demonstrating that many of us simply don’t have the courage to assert our own moral courage when faced with even a slight amount of authoritarian pressure.
The Push begins with a phony police officer calling a cafe worker on the phone and in a quick minute, without even a face-to-face interaction, convinces this person to steal a woman’s baby. Interestingly, the worker carries out the abduction even while expressing significant hesitance.
The main experiment picks up from there, involving unwitting subjects who are gradually convinced of the need to push another person off of a high-rise building. It’s an elaborate setup, which builds upon one small act of compliance after another until the subject is put into a situation where they are encouraged to kill a man they just met.
It’s a rather theatrical and unscientific presentation, but the results are noteworthy as three out of four participants actually shove an actor off of a building, believing they are committing murder, after being pressured into it by a small group of others. It’s a shocking act of compliance and subservience to the pressures of a peer group and a persistent authority figure.
What we don’t know about society today, though, is just how many people are this extremely socially compliant, capable of doing anything to appease the directives of others.
As Brown notes, “the more socially compliant a person is, the more likely they are to look to others for signs on how to behave. And the more people, the greater the pressure to join in.”
This says a great deal about humans.
Are we somehow wired to abandon our own morals and sense of self-integrity for the false belief that fitting into a group is necessary for survival?
A trailer for this show is seen below:
The book, Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View, is available to purchase on Amazon.com
Last night Maori TV showed The Central Park Five, the harrowing story of five African American teenagers who were wrongfully convicted of gang raping, battering and nearly murdering a white jogger in Central Park in 1989.
The most distressing part of the film is the beginning, which depicts how Central Precinct cops terrorized five innocent teenagers (age 14-16) – by depriving them food, water and sleep – into signing a a confession in which they incriminated each other of various aspects of the crime. Although they were all minors, no parents were present in the interrogation room, a violation of New York state law.
There was no consistency whatsoever between the five statements as to the exact location of the rape or exactly who was responsible for grabbing the woman, beating her, undressing her or having sex with her. None of the boys had traces of her blood on them, and there was no trace of their DNA on her body. Moreover the timeline constructed by the police establishes clearly they were in another area of the park when the woman was attacked.
In 2001, they were exonerated when a convicted serial rapist came forward and confessed to the crime. When the police investigated, not only did his DNA match the rape kit sample, but he related details of the crime that were never made public.
The eldest, who was sentenced as an adult, has served 13 years when he was released in 2002. The others had received conditional releases after 7 years, though one had be re-arrested on a drugs charge.
The case received massive publicity in 1989, in part due to Donald Trump taking out a full page ad calling for the boys’ execution. New York police and prosecutors have never acknowledged their wrongdoing.
From sustainability to the education system to protests against the Vietnam War, there’s a documentary here to interest everyone.
The idea of changing the world may seem vast and unattainable, but with the many ways people are achieving this on a daily basis it seems more and more doable as time goes on. With social media, it’s easier to find out about people making a difference in their community all around the world, and those people often inspire others to do the same, creating this beautiful ripple effect of positive change.
With the rise of documentaries being produced comes a rise in the awareness of all kinds of problems, from the ethics of the palm oil industry to the starvation of children in different parts of the world, and with it has come a new generation of people looking for a way to help.
If you are one of those people, you might be confused about where to start when it comes to learning about what’s going on and what needs to be done, but you need look no further. This article contains a comprehensive list of documentaries that are life-changers and will motivate you to get up and make a difference.
The best part is that all of the below films are free to watch online, unless otherwise stated. Just click on the title and it will direct you to the site where they can be viewed. Go forth and watch these films, then let us know in the comments what you thought of some of these titles.
Explores the world’s conflicting states: those who want to consolidate corporate power and advocate for globalization and those who want to de-regulate these old institutions of power.
This documentary asks a fundamental question: what if we saw the economic crisis not as a disaster, but as an opportunity?
Promotes learning from other cultures to create a new story for humanity going forward that relies on the interconnectedness of humans and the environment.
Takes a look at the effects of modern education on the world’s last remaining indigenous cultures.
Exposes a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has forced the U.S. into war over and over again.
Examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future of the modern business corporation and the increasing role it plays in society and our everyday lives.
Captures deeply personal and emotional accounts of topics that unite us all; struggles with poverty, war, homophobia, and the future of our planet mixed with moments of love and happiness.
The film reveals the inner workings of the human experience in the 21st century, urging viewers to step out of the box and challenge their own assumptions about who we really are, and why we do what we do.
One couple sold all of their belongings to “bike-pack” 6500 miles around the U.S. to explore 100 ecovillages, cohousing communities, co-op houses, communes, transition towns, and their own principles and commitment.
It tells the story of Earth’s most valuable and under-appreciated source of fertility–from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.
Explores the Rights of Mother Earth, Environmental Philosophy, Wisdom, Spirituality and the potential for a Neo-indigenous future for humanity.
This documentary is a journey, which takes us across the Americas, to attempt to answer one of the most important questions of our time: What is Democracy?
Offers a theory of political power as a tool for making tools of human beings — an engine that converts human energy into authority and privilege for the rulers.
Explores lots of aspects of our society to look at how we can actually become “civilized”
This film is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things like printing their own money, growing food, and localizing their economies.
journey deep inside the global revolution of the heart that is erupting around the planet, showing that humanity is waking up and choosing love over power.
Documents humanity’s absolute dependence on animals but illustrates the lack of respect humans show these “non-human providers.”
INHABIT explores the many environmental issues facing us today and examines solutions that are being applied using the ecological design lens of permaculture, which is the replication of designs found in nature.
‘Propaganda’ mysteriously appeared on YouTube in 2012 and has since gone viral and undergone tons of speculation about its origins… It’s recommended that you just watch the film without reading too much about it first.
Outlines a genuine alternative to the global property speculation that forced so many into debt.
This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people following the collapse of the Soviet Union, which led to a cut in oil imports and food.
This stunning film takes you on a hypnotic journey, reaching to the past to understand the origins of the catastrophic environmental transitions we now face.
A feature length documentary by Peter Joseph that presents the case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.
A dark comedy remix mash-up bonanza about the end of industrial civilization. featuring clowns, car crashes, explosions, super heroes, and xylophones and much, much more.
Permaculture designer Andrew Faust gives us an inspiring and heady narrative about the evolution of all life and human consciousness on Mother Earth.
Plutocracy is the first documentary to comprehensively examine early American history through the lens of class.
A powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq.
Edible City tells the stories of the pioneers who are digging their hands into the dirt, working to transform their communities and do something truly revolutionary: grow local food systems that are socially just, environmentally sound, economically viable and resilient to climate change and market collapse.
This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the “graveyard of social movements”, the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the continuity and escalation of neocon policies under Obama, the insufficiency of mere voting as a path to reform, and differing conceptions of democracy itself.
Provides a striking comparison of U.S. and international media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how structural distortions in U.S. coverage have reinforced false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Delving deeply into the often misunderstood and frequently over looked historic realities of the American Indian, The Canary Effect follows the terrifying and horrific abuses instilled upon the Indigenous people of North America, and details the genocidal practices of the US government and its continuing affects on present day Indian country.
The film enlarges the issue beyond climate impacts and makes a compelling call for bold action that is strong enough to tip the balance to build a clean energy future.
A passionate argument on behalf of the middle class, INEQUALITY FOR ALL features Robert Reich—professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member—as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy.
Presents an optimistic alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom.
FIRST EARTH is a documentary about the movement towards a massive paradigm shift for shelter — building healthy houses in the old ways, out of the very earth itself, and living together like in the old days, by recreating villages.
In 2004, thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering, where they decided to form an alliance: The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. This is their story.
Based on the book by Pepi Leistyna, Class Dismissed navigates the steady stream of narrow working class representations from American television’s beginnings to today’s sitcoms, reality shows, police dramas, and daytime talk shows.
“Can We Do It Ourselves?” asks if it is time to start pushing for a democratic, cooperative way of doing business, showing case studies of businesses who are surviving as democracies within our capitalist system.
A feature-length documentary that follows a community in Australia who came together to explore and demonstrate a simpler way to live in response to global crises.
Economics of Prout covers the basic economic principles of Prout, which offers a viable alternative to the materialistic, anti human philosophies of Capitalism and Communism.
A groundbreaking film that diagnoses a serious social disease – caused by consumerism, commercialism and rampant materialism – that is having a devastating impact on our families, communities, and the environment.
Utilizing a systematic model based on massive empirical research, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky reveal the manner in which the news media are so subordinated to corporate and conservative interests that their function can only be described as that of “elite propaganda.”
Narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, the film follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the United States led War on Drugs and expose what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years.
Follows the journey of Professor Timothy Beatley as he explores urban projects around the world, representing the new green movement that hopes to move our urban environments beyond sustainability to a regenerative way of living.
Takes a look at the dramatic economic collapse that occurred in Argentina and writes a radical economic manifesto for the 21st century.
Provides a realistic alternative for our future sustainability, a gentler way that treads lightly on our Mother Earth.
A documentary film by Dennis Trainor, Jr. about a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution so that Corporations are not considered people, and money is not considered speech.
Explores an economic solution to the debt crisis facing the U.S. by taking a look at the book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
A screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world’s most outrageous pranks.
When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination.
A provocative look at capitalism and its unintended price of success. The film tracks the changing landscape of business with the rising tide of conscious capitalism through the stories of local entrepreneurs who have found innovative ways to bring humanity back into business.
The film offers an in depth look at the influence of money in politics–analyzing social forces and events that the mainstream media and scholarship have largely distorted or kept hidden. It also analyzes the meaning of democracy.
The multi award-winning documentary DIVE! follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles’ supermarkets.
Presents the alluring ideal of zero waste as a key element of the sustainable business model.
The German chemist, Michael Braungart, and the American designer-architect William McDonough are fundamentally changing the way we produce and build. If waste would become food for the biosphere or the technosphere (all the technical products we make), production and consumption could become beneficial for the planet.
Examines the ways in which power and hierarchy affect individuals, society, and the world at large. It’s possibly the best film on the subject ever made.
Lays out a visionary but realistic alternative to the perpetual pursuit of economic growth-an economy where the goal is enough, not more.
Examines our culture’s addiction to systematic violence and environmental exploitation, and probes the resulting epidemic of poisoned landscapes and shell-shocked nations.
The film exposes Wal-Mart’s unscrupulous business practices through interviews with former employees, small business owners, and footage of Walmart executives.
This video illuminates this hidden sphere of public relations in our culture and examines the way in which the management of “the public mind” has become central to how our democracy is controlled by political and economic elites.
A film about the unprecedented transition that we are undergoing from a culture of industrial growth and inequality to what must inevitably be more localised, sustainable, living economies.
Explores the idea that the Earth is an integrated, self-regulating living organism and asks what function humanity might have for this planetary being.
Cops and former cops who have put in decades fighting the war on drugs speak out against prohibition.
Funny, provocative and surprisingly accessible, the film explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist.
Follows the filmmaker’s journey to understand why current food systems leave hundreds of millions of people in hunger. It’s a journey to understand how the world will feed itself in the future in the face of major environmental challenges.
This documentary explains the nature of capitalist crisis, visits the protests against austerity measures, and recommends revolutionary paths for the future.
This feature-length documentary focuses on the efforts by troops in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to oppose the war effort by peaceful demonstration and subversion.
A film with enormous emotional power, bringing us the human consequences of our military attacks on Middle East countries.
The film includes facts regarding the Federal Reserve System in the United States, the CIA, Corporate America and others, concluding the advocation of a libertarian movement called the Venus Project, created by social engineer Jacque Fresco.
What if that CO2 could be removed and stored in our carbon-hungry soil through land management practices? Find out how in The Soil Solution.
While not a perfect story, there are few dense cities in the world today that can claim a better record of greening the city than Singapore.
The documentary film critically analyses what is considered socially relevant in a new education system which brings out the most potential in all of humanity whilst also detailing specific educational methods from a wide range of sources on how to nurture social skills, critical thinking techniques and a larger variety of important practices to positively reinforce from our earliest years onwards.
A documentary that systematically challenges the common human belief that humans are superior to other life forms. The documentary reveals the absurdity of this belief while exploding human bias.
A short documentary meant to give an overview of what a worker co-op is, how it can transform lives and communities, and the realities of starting one.
Explores the rise of mechanistic philosophy and the exploitation of human beings under modern hierarchical systems.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney presents his take on the gap between rich and poor Americans in Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream. Gibney contends that America’s richest citizens have “rigged the game in their favor,” and created unprecedented inequality in the United States.
This is a movie about how we have left the natural connection to the planet. The movie investigates how this has happened, the incredible amounts of pollutants that we are exposed to, even as a fetus, and the technology that can help resolve these challenges over time.
COINTELPRO represents the state’s strategy to prevent movements and communities from overturning white supremacy and creating racial justice.
A gripping, deeply informative account of the plunder, hypocrisy, and mass violence of plutocracy and empire; insightful, historically grounded and highly relevant to the events of today.
Analyzes the new global economy and reveals that the divisions between the rich and poor have never been greater – two thirds of the world’s children live in poverty – and the gulf is widening like never before.
This film shows how many wars today are not carried out at the barrel of a gun, but by the monetary policies of global banking institutions.
Asking whether America has entered an Orwellian world of doublespeak where outright lies can pass for the truth, director Robert Kane Pappas explores what the media doesn’t like to talk about: itself.
This film explores the evolution of propaganda and public relations in the United States, with an emphasis on the “elitist theory of democracy” and the relationship between war, propaganda and class.
This film presents a huge social problem called technological unemployment. Whilst doing so, the film also presents two potential solutions to this major social issue.
Drawing on leading thinkers from around the world, and with a torrent of mind-expanding ideas and information, THE LOTTERY OF BIRTH will make you think again about what it means to be free.
This timely documentary offers practical steps on how to ‘permaculturize’ our lives in order to become more sustainable.
This is a powerful 10-part compilation that (in important ways) pulls aside the veil of Official myths and Lies about “freedom”, “democracy”, Human Rights, etc., being the basis of U.S. foreign policy.
Part III of The Bloom “New Ways of The Sacred” looks at how Transformational Festivals are venues for an active engagement with ancient, universal themes of MYTHOS, RITUAL and THE SACRED, exploring ways which both honor the traditional, while reflecting our unprecedented realities of the third millennium.
A documentary feature film about the unintended consequences of suburban sprawl. It illustrates the importance of altering the course of how we develop our nation’s cities.
Tells the story of how our civilization’s addiction to oil puts it on a collision course with geology.
Reveals the reasons behind the backlash against the increasing economic and cultural reach of multinational companies.
Asks these important questions: What if we decided that every human being has a right to income security? How could a basic income change our lives? Could this relieve our society from the stress and anger that comes with the rising inequality?
Does the philosophy of materialism work to destroy our identities, experience, and environment? Join narrator Daphne Ellis on a radical romp through the evidence and decide for yourself if you’re in the cult and need to escape!
This acclaimed film looks at the amazing life of the renowned historian, activist and author.
A provocative and breathtaking wakeup call, a cross continental, cinematic journey, that explores our cosmic origins and our future as a species.
The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?
A documentary that shows how American public schools continue to become more dangerously authoritarian.
Credit: Films for Action
This docu-thriller follows family-man-turned-filmmaker, David Hooper, as he unknowingly begins his own 9/11 investigation by asking one innocent question. Within months, his belief system is in shambles and he’s been tuned-out by those closest to him, including his wife, mom and sister. With his relationships on the brink of disaster and facing financial ruin, he risks everything on one last chance to tell his story and recover his life by making a movie for those closest to him. It worked. This is that movie.
This movie is in English with optional subtitles in the following languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Spanish.
A peasant documentary to watch on a lazy Saturday afternoon, even if it’s from 2002. Nothing much has changed since.
Are we not understanding the language? Methinks the aliens are talking to us like kindergarten children. Slowly and with pretty pics. And we give a crap for politics and the Trumps of this world for what reason?
Since the division of Korea after World War II and the end of the Korean War (1950–1953), some North Koreans have managed to defect for political, ideological, religious, economic or personal reasons.
Starting from the North Korean famine of the 1990s, more North Koreans have defected. The most common strategy is to cross the border into Jilin and Liaoning provinces in northeast China before fleeing to a third country, due to China being a relatively-close ally of North Korea. China, being the most influential of few economic partners of North Korea while the country has been under U.N. sanctions for decades, is also the largest and continuous aid source of the country.
To avoid worsening the already tense relations with the Korean Peninsula, China refuses to grant North Korean defectors refugee status and considers them illegal economic migrants. About 76% to 84% of defectors interviewed in China or South Korea came from the Northeastern provinces bordering China. If the defectors are caught in China, they are repatriated back to North Korea where they often face harsh interrogations and years of punishment, or even death in political prison camps such as Yodok camp, or reeducation camps such as Chungsan camp or Chongori camp.
Even though the number of North Korean defectors reached its peak in 1998 and 1999, the estimated population is believed to have declined since then. Some main reasons for the falling number of defectors especially since 2000 are strict border patrols and inspections, forced deportations, and rising cost for defection. During the mourning period of Kim Jong-il ‘s death on December 17, 2011 and the start of Kim Jong-un’s rule, the movements of people were tightened and strictly controlled. This included requiring families that live near the border areas to take turns standing guard, having strong official warnings that three generations of a family would be destroyed if caught defecting, as well as having the defector being executed on-site. The number of North Korean defectors has dramatically decreased as a result.
One of the most prominent defections occurred in April 2016 by 13 North Korean restaurant workers in Ningbo, Zhejiang province of China. This group defection is significant to the human rights and forced repatriation issues of North Korea since the workers decided to defect in a group instead of monitoring each other. They also legally crossed the border between North Korea and China with official passports and visas issued from the North Korean government. After being educated on security and South Korean social issues, all 13 North Korean defectors were approved for social resettlement in August 2016. An interview request from Minbyun (Lawyers for a Democratic Society) regarding whether the defect was voluntary or not was ignored and rejected.
Watch more https://rtd.rt.com/tags/illegal-mining/
The Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa is one of the world’s most resource-rich countries. A wide range of rare minerals can be found here in abundance, all commanding high prices in world commodity markets. Diamonds for jewellery, tantalum, tungsten and gold for electronics; uranium used in power generation and weaponry and many others. Congo has copious deposits of raw materials that are in high demand internationally but remains one of the poorest countries in the world.
From colonisation, with the horrors of slavery and other atrocities, to a turbulent and equally brutal present in which militant groups control the mines, Congo’s richness in natural resources has brought nothing but misery. Referred to as “conflict minerals”, these riches leave only a trail of death, destruction and poverty.
Under Belgian rule, Congolese labourers were often required to meet quotas when mining different minerals. Failure could mean punishment by having a hand cut off with a machete. The country gained independence in 1960, but that didn’t put a stop to slave and child labour or to crimes being committed to extract and exploit the minerals. Warring militant fractions from inside the country and beyond seized control of mines for their own benefit while terrorising local populations.
For our translator, Bernard Kalume Buleri, his country’s history of turmoil is very personal; like most Congolese people, he and his family fell victim to the unending mineral based power struggle. Born in the year of his country’s independence, he has lived through war and seen his homeland torn apart by violent looting and greed. His story is a damning testament, illustrating how nature’s bounty, instead of being a blessing, becomes a deadly curse.
Fastwalkers, reveals the truth about UFOs and Extraterrestrials that has been suppressed and hidden for centuries. Fastwalker is a code word created by NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) to classify (UFOs) unidentified flying objects which approach our Earth from space and enter our atmosphere. It has been reported that from its subterranean facility deep inside Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, USA, the Air Force NORAD facility tracks a rough average of 500 of these Fastwalkers each year. For the first time, Fastwalkers in a feature length documentary form discloses information you were never meant to know. Amazing UFO photos and footage gathered from around the world that you were never meant to see. Never before has there been such a wealth of information presented by such unbiased experts who focus on providing a “World View” of what is really happening on planet Earth, rather than what “we are told is happening.”
Dr. Steven M. Greer, Steve Bassett, Jim Marrs, Robert O Dean, Dr. Michael Salla, Stanton T Friedman, Alfred L Webre, John Greenwald Jr., Dr. Len Horowitz, Dr. Richard Boylan, Jaime Maussan, Paola Harris, Jerry Pippin, Dr. Bruce Maccabee, A.J. Gevaerd, Sean David Morton, Graham E. Bethune, Col. Wendelle C. Stevens, Monsignor Corrado Balducci, James W. Deardorff, & More.
July 14, 2017
Behind America’s Infant Mortality Crisis
Al Jazeera (2013)
Since the mid-1990s, when Bill Clinton eliminated Aid For Dependent Children (AFDC), the US has enjoyed infant mortality rates among the highest in the world. Rust belt Midwestern cities lead the US in infant mortality. The loss of steel, auto and other manufacturing to third world sweatshops has virtually crushed many of these cities, leaving massive unemployment – particularly among African Americans.
Cleveland is the US city with the highest percentage of babies dying during the first year of life – with an infant mortality greater than third world countries like North Korea, Albania, Sri Lanka and Guatemala.
Trying to identify the cause of Cleveland’s skyrocketing infant mortality, filmmakers interview African American mothers and expectant mothers and neonatal specialists. The neonatologists identify prematurity as the number one cause of infant deaths. Factors that contribute to mothers delivering prematurely include homelessness and lack of access to healthy food (or money to pay for it) and prenatal care. Ohio is one of the states where Republican legislators declined federal funds to expand Medicaid (which pays for prenatal care) to the working poor.
The neonatologists also point out the false economy of this ideological stinginess. Ohio’s Medicaid program spends hundreds of millions of dollars trying to keep premature babies alive in state-of-the-art neonatal ICUs – it would cost taxpayers far less to prevent prematurity by ensuring expectant mothers have warm housing, healthy food and prenatal care.
I never understood why this Colbert dude is considered funny. I take it that the Americans are so stupefied that they actually believe this so-called funny man is one of their prime intellectuals? Listen to the morons in the audience reacting on cue instead of thinking for themselves. Eejits.
16 Jun, 2017
Indeed, surely such an insight is absolutely necessary, what with Russia being the biggest country in Europe, a major nuclear power, and with the deepening tensions arising from Russia’s geostrategic differences and rivalry with Washington in recent years.
Yet for the Western liberal commentariat, condemnation rather than understanding is the order of the day, evidenced in the barrage of criticism with which Stone’s documentary series on the Russian leader has been received in the Western mainstream.
The interview the filmmaker did with liberal US talk show host Stephen Colbert on his project is a prime example.
Colbert’s line of questioning amounted to a regurgitation of the very caricature that Stone had set out to move beyond in over 20 hours of interviews on an abundance of topics with Putin – his upbringing, family history, career, thoughts on leadership, the challenges Russia faced during the dark days of the 1990s, his relations with various US presidents, NATO, and so on.
Yet for the likes of Mr. Colbert it’s much easier to go with the official narrative, contained in his first question of the interview: “What do you say to people who say that yours [Oliver Stone’s] is a fawning interview of a brutal dictator?” Not only the question, but also the casual and insouciant way in which it was delivered, confirmed the dumbing-down of news information, analysis and commentary that has been underway in the United States over decades.
The result is a culture so intellectually shallow it is frightening to behold, one in which ignorance is celebrated rather than scorned, in which national exceptionalism and arrogance is exalted rather than rejected. And woe betide anyone, such as Oliver Stone, who dares try to penetrate this fog of ignorance and sense of exceptionalism that has so corroded US cultural values.
Listening to Colbert’s studio audience laugh at Stone in response to his statement that Putin had been unfairly treated and abused by the US media, I was minded of the treatment meted out to the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. Such a comparison is not as outlandish as some may think on first impressions.
Think about it: for daring to question the prevailing orthodoxy, received truths, and dominant ideas the philosopher was lampooned, ridiculed and ultimately condemned to death by the powers that be in Athens, considered at the time to be the home of democracy and liberty, just as Washington is – or to be more accurate claims that it is – in our time.
Interestingly, the clamor to condemn Socrates took place when tensions between Athens and its Greek city-state rival and adversary, Sparta, were still high just a few years after the end of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC).
As everybody knows, in times of war – whether cold or hot – a nation’s tolerance for dissent, for daring to swim against the cultural tide, evaporates, even though it is precisely at such times when dissent is most necessary. After all, in the case of the rising tensions that we have witnessed between Russia and the US recently, it is not people like Stephen Colbert who will be sent into combat should those tensions spill over into direct military conflict.
With this in mind, perhaps it would have been more to the talk show host’s benefit to have listened carefully to a man, in Oliver Stone, who has experienced combat, and who does have first-hand experience of a devastating war unleashed in the cause of the very national exceptionalism previously described.
As a filmmaker, Oliver Stone’s body of work, reaching all the way back to the 1980s, is a testament to his integrity both as an artist and as a human being. From ‘Salvador’ in 1986, an unflinching expose of covert US support for right-wing death squads in El Salvador, all the way up to his latest movie ‘Snowden’ in 2016, which tells the story of US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden, this is a filmmaker with a fierce passion for truth. As such, it is a fair bet that in generations to come his works will still command respect and serious analysis. Could we say the same about Stephen Colbert’s body of work?
To ask the question is to answer it.
‘Carthago delenda est’ – Carthage must be destroyed. These words of Cato the Elder, which the Roman statesman and orator is said to have repeated at the conclusion of every one of his speeches, is the sentiment behind the campaign of demonization against Vladimir Putin that is a feature of Western cultural life.
It has become so pervasive and obsessive you would think that it was the Russian leader who had the destruction of entire countries on his record and conscience – i.e. Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya – and that it was his foreign policy that had killed more people and sown more chaos than at any time since World War II.
Oliver Stone is to be commended for trying to wake America up to the damage it does and has done around the world over many decades. Those who would attack and laugh at him for doing so merely confirm the degeneration of a culture built on foundations not of wisdom, but of crass ignorance.
John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Dr Stuart Bramhall
Steal This Film – Trial Edition
League of Noble Peers (2006)
Steal This Film is the prequel to TPB-AFK (see Pirate Bay, Wikileaks and the Swedish Pirate Party), the documentary about Sweden’s prosecution of the four Pirate Bay founders.
It goes much deeper into the ideological values behind Pirate Bay, whose activities its creators view as civil disobedience aimed against Swedish (and American) copyright laws.
The Pirate Bay (TPB) founders and their supporters (including members of the Swedish Pirate Party and the late Aaron Swartz – see The Mystery of Aaron Swartz’s Alleged Suicide) argue that the Motion Picture Association (MPAA), the powerful US lobby that forced Sweden to prosecute Pirate Bay, experienced minimal economic damage from Pirate Bay users sharing free copies of their films. In the their view, the main financial damage to the film industry, music industry and print and electronic stems from the Internet allowing millions of ordinary people to become creators of video, music and the written word. They feel that file sharing is one the best ways to fight archaic copyright laws, which limit creativity and control of information to a handful of elites for their own profit and political control.
They argue it’s virtually impossible to end file sharing owing to its extremely decentralized nature. Every time a big file sharing site like Knapster, Pirate Bay or Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload (see Kim Dotcom and America’s Diabolic Intellectual Property Laws) is shut down, thousands of new ones spring up to take their place.
The documentary also explores historical precedents going back thousands of years where ruling elites have sought to suppress information exchange and creativity. Following the invention of the printing press, France enacted strict censorship laws on printers, publishers and booksellers. This would lead to a dedicated publishing industry in bordering countries that made a fortune by smuggling banned titles to eager French readers.
They point out the MPAA also filed numerous court actions against the first video recorder and MP3 player manufacturers.
Although the Swedish government was extremely reluctant to take action against TPB (and violate Sweden’s guaranteed right to public access), the powerful MPAA put pressure on the US State Department. They, in turn, threatened Sweden with WTO sanctions for failing to uphold “intellectual property” rights. After the MPAA hired their own private investigator to locate TPB’s server and its four founders.
The film TPB-AFK (see link above) covers the trial, in which all four men were found guilty of “accessory to crime against copyright law.” They each served eight to nine months in jail – the last, Fredrik Neij, was released in 2015
Membership in Sweden’s Pirate Party swelled on the back of the TPB case. Countries all over the world have formed Pirate Party – in 2015 Iceland’s Pirate Party would win 16 seats in parliament. The first US Pirate Party was formed in Atlanta in 2006.
Dr Stuart Bramhall
May 23, 2107
Al Jazeera (2016)
The Crusades is a fascinating history of a subject that was quite new to me, as Americans rarely study the Crusades in school. Despite the title, the expert commentators represent a balance of French and English historians, as well as Muslim scholars from various Middle Eastern universities. Most of the documentary series consists of historical re-enactment of papal enclaves, battles, sieges, treaty signings and other historical events. The filmmakers use a series of maps to plot the progress of European occupation of Jerusalem and the Levantine* coast, as well the eventual liberation of these territories in the 13th century.
The documentary leaves absolutely no doubt that the Crusades were an imperialist campaign of colonization – and not religious wars, as is commonly claimed. Whenever European crusaders conquered a specific city or region, they indiscriminately slaughtered most of the inhabitants, whether they were Muslims, Jews or fellow Christians. The entire fourth Crusade (1203) was devoted to sacking the greatest Christian city in the world (Constantinople), whose residents were mainly Byzantine Greeks.
Part 4 is my favorite because it focuses on the role of the Crusades and Muslim influence in facilitating the European Renaissance of the 14th-15th centuries. When the Crusades began in 1085, the vast majority of Europeans (99%) were illiterate, whereas Middle East cities enjoyed an advanced flourishing civilization (as did India, China, Africa and North and South America prior to European colonization). When occupying crusaders were finally defeated and forced to return to Europe in 1291, they took with them advanced knowledge of Arab military tactics and agriculture, sugar cultivation, medicine, algebra, glass manufacturing and Greek philosophers ( whose work had been translated and preserved by Muslim scholars.
Part 1 – covers the role of Pope Gregory and Pope Irwin in instigating the disastrous Peoples Crusade and the first Crusade (1086-1099), resulting in the sacking and occupation of Jerusalem (lasting nearly 200 years).
Part 2 – covers the fragmented Muslim resistance to the expansion of European occupation, hindered by both religious (Sunni vs Shia) conflict and tribal rivalries. It’s during this period (1100-1127) the term hashshashin (origin of the English words assassin and hashish) came into usage, owing to the Shia assassins hired to secretly kill Sunni military commanders. Between 1127-1143 a Muslim revival led to the liberation of numerous crusader strongholds, and the launch of a second crusade by Pope Eugene, Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany.
Part 3 – describes the rise of Salah Ad-Din (known in in Europe as Saladin), who unified rival Muslim armies and by 1187 retook all crusader strongholds except Jerusalem. This led to the launch of the third Crusade by Philip II (France), Frederick I (Germany) and Richard the Lion Hearted (England) This was followed by the fourth Crusade, which sacked Constantinople; the failed fifth Crusade (1213); the sixth Crusade in which Frederick II (Germany) retook Jerusalem by treaty and the failed seventh Crusade, led by Louis IX of France (1248). In 1244, Muslim armies retook Jerusalem, which remained under their control until it became part of the British protectorate of Palestine with the defeat of the Ottoman Empire.
Part 4 – in addition to outlining the cultural riches Europe gained from the Crusades, Part 4 also explores how Europe’s medieval colonization of the Middle East laid the groundwork for the eventual European colonization of North Africa and the Middle East (in 1917), with the formation of the state of Israel in 1948 representing a major milestone in this re-colonization.
*Levantine – a term describing a region on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea north of the Arabian Peninsula and south of Turkey, usually including the area of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria.
When we think about plants, we don’t often associate a term like “behavior” with them, but experimental plant ecologist JC Cahill wants to change that. The University of Alberta professor maintains that plants do behave and lead anything but solitary and sedentary lives. What Plants Talk About teaches us all that plants are smarter and much more interactive than we thought!