McDonnell Takes $20,000 From Funder of Anti-Muslim Movie "Obsession"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

According to VPAP, Bob McDonnell received a check for $20,000 from an individual named Sheldon Adelson on 10/21/09. Who is Sheldon Adelson and why should you care?

Let's start with the basics: Adelson is a billionaire (at one point the third-richest person in the United States) and "is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the parent company of Venetian Macao Limited which operates The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Sands Expo and Convention Center." He is also a huge donor to Republicans, such as $500,000 to the second inauguration of George W. Bush (Adelson was so generous he earned the title of "Bush Pioneer"). Adelson also "founded the 527 lobbying group Freedom's Watch, a group that advocates America's continued involvement in the war in Iraq, and is run and supported, in part, by former officials of the Bush administration."

For more about Adelson, including his close friendship with convicted felon Tom DeLay and his fierce opposition to a two-state solution in the Arab-Israeli conflict, see here. But Adelson doesn't just oppose a two-state solution, he's one of the biggest patrons to something called the "Endowment for Middle East Truth" (EMET), the "radical Islam" obsessed group which - along with the Clarion Fund - produced the film, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West." This is where things get really interesting. Check this out by NPR:
Critics are calling the DVD, "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West," anti-Muslim hate, or politicking, or both. It doesn't mention or even obliquely allude to the presidential candidates. It couldn't, since it was made in 2006. But as whisper campaigns dog Obama with rumors that he's a secret Muslim, the DVD showed up as an insert in some 70 newspapers, with an emphasis in swing states.

The obvious question: Who is behind it?

And the answer: The DVD is distributed by the Clarion Fund, a nonprofit set up by the film's producer, Rabbi Raphael Shore...
Lovely, eh? But what's so terrible about "Obsession," you ask? According to this article:
Critics allege that the movie "Obsession" is "hate propaganda" which paints Muslims as violent extremists and, among other things, explicitly compares the threat posed by radical Islam to that of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

At least two major metropolitan newspapers solicited to insert the paid advertisement into their product have refused to do so because of a perceived bias in the film.

"Despite the perilous state of American newspapers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch advertising department took an ethical stand and refused to distribute the DVD of a film that for two years has troubled American Muslims," wrote Tim Townsend, a reporter at Missouri's most influential newspaper earlier this month after it rejected the ad.

While the initial press reports about the mass distribution focused on the Clarion Fund's financing role, it was EMET that organised and oversaw the distribution, EMET's spokesman, Ari Morgenstern, told IPS. Morgenstern, a former press officer for the Israeli embassy here, said he contacted IPS at the Clarion Fund's request.
So there you have it: Sheldon Adelson's "EMET" is the distributor of anti-Muslim "hate propaganda," which among other things was used in the 2008 presidential campaign as unfounded rumors swirled that Barack Obama was a "secret Muslim." And Sheldon Adelson just gave Pat Robertson's Manchurian Candidate, aka Bob McDonnell, $20,000. What's that all about, Mr. "Moderate?"