Who Put Hate in My Sunday Paper? Omid Safi Palestine Think Tank October 19, 2008 Something strange has been showing up inside the Sunday newspapers of millions of Americans the past few weeks. The material being included alongside comics, coupons, and advertisement for local stores is a controversial DVD called "Obsession: Radical Islamâs War Against the West." Some 28 million copies of this DVD have been distributed for free so far in this fashion. In some ways the scale of this campaign, and its ideological venom, are unprecedented: many newspapers state that they had never previously distributed free DVDs as inserts, certainly nothing with such a charged content. The copies were distributed not randomly across the country, but in the "swing states" (Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, etc.) that are seen as a toss-up in the November Presidential elections between McCain and Obama. Obviously, someone is trying to influence the American electorate by playing on fear-mongering and hate-mongering themes. But who? Who is behind this massive, multi-million dollar campaign? Answering that question proved harder than one might think, as the groups behind this DVD have worked hard to hide their tracks. The connections, which are partially concealed in the DVD and the distribution campaign, take one from groups in Israel, to pro-Israel lobby organizations in the United States, to Christian evangelical groups, and to Neoconservative think-tanks. The "facts" presented by Obsession have already been refuted in several detailed presentations. For example, see the work of Obsessionwithhate.com and that of Sheila Musaji, as well as Altmuslim.com. Therefore, I am not going to make a point by point refutation of the contents of the DVD. My intention is to explore the networks that are behind the production and distribution of this DVD, with their clear goal of influencing the 2008 Presidential elections towards John McCain. *** All politics is local, as well as global. That is particularly the case here. The distribution of the DVD affected me and my family at an intimate local level: up to 160,000 copies of this propaganda piece were distributed through our local community in North Carolina. The newspaper of the nearby city of Charlotte, distributed another 200,000 copies. Upon contacting the local newspaper, the Raleigh-based News and Observer, and asking why such a hateful piece of propaganda was being distributed for free to all the subscribers, the response of the paper was less than impressive. Jim McClure, vice president of display advertising for The News and Observer, said: "Obviously, we have distributed other product samples, whether itâs cereal or toothpaste." Really? Is this where we are? That a DVD which includes 77 minutes of propaganda footage slicing together videos of violent Muslims with those of Nazis, suggesting that Muslims are out to destroy Western civilization, is comparable to cereal and toothpaste? Puhleezeâ¦ The claims of the DVD, which claims to be an educational product and part of a non-profit production, are as follows: *That the world stands today as it did in 1938. Radical Islam is as great, if not greater, of a threat than the Nazis presented to the world. And action [not specified] must be taken. *That the attacks in Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya, and Iran present a global Muslim conspiracy against Israel and "The West." *A distinctive feature of the DVD is in fact the linking together of threat of radical Islam with passionate defense of Israel. Most of the figures who are paraded in the DVD, whether they are Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, are all passionate pro-Israel speakers who have a long legacy of speaking against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims in general. The list includes such luminaries as: â¢ "Former PLO Terrorist Who Speaks Out For Israel", Walid Shoebat, who claims to have been a "former Islamic terrorist" turned Christian Evangelical Zionist. Never mind that the Jerusalem Post has already dismissed the factuality of his claims. â¢ Nonie Darwish, with the tell-all website: http://www.arabsforisrael.com/ "Arabs for Israel"? Darwish also neglects to mention that she is another ex-Muslim turned both Christian and ardent supporter of Israel. In a world when virtually all Arabs and most Muslims view the Palestinian/Israeli tragedy as the burning political and moral issue of our time, how many Arabs in the world can be claimed as being passionate supporters of Israel? â¢ Carline Glick, a member of Israel On Campus Coalition. â¢ Daniel Pipes. If the Pro-Israel/Neo-conservative unholy alliance had a poster-child, Pipes would be it. Pipes is the most noted Islamophobe operating in the US. Pipes is also the Director of a Pro-Israel entity called "The Middle East Forum." As for his one-sided commitment to Israel credentials, suffice it to say that he is the 2006 recipient of the "Guardian of Zion" award. One could go on and on, but the above should give some indication that contrary to what the Clarion Fund claims on its website, the "experts" paraded on TV are not impartial and objective. They have a definite point of view, a passionate defense of Israel at all cost, even if that cost happens to be truth and facts.