AIPAC Conference: The Film You Won’t See.

By Jerry Alatalo

Book4Alphabet The Real News covered an event recently where men and women discussed America’s relationship with Israel, and trying to answer a proposed question of whether it was good or bad for the American people. During one of the presentations the following documentary film, “Valentino’s Ghost”, became the focus and several short clips were shown to the audience. The film in its entirety was available for viewing on YouTube with a length of 1-hour 48-minutes, and it’s a guaranteed good bet the film won’t “premier” during the upcoming AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference.

The film has received praise and awards in European countries and other regions of the world, but film festivals in the United States have been cautious or fearful of retaliation from powerful Zionist organizations, therefore refusing to show “Valentino’s Ghost”. Even the Sundance Film Festival has buckled and declined including the documentary, suggesting to its producers that the film “is too political”.

The film will cause those who’ve received their news of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Middle East affairs from the corporate media to reconsider all they’ve come to know and take for granted. Documentary films, in particular those made with high quality production standards like “Valentino’s Ghost”, are perceived by many as a powerful tool for communicating information about the world’s complex and difficult to understand issues and phenomenon.

Films of this quality and power have the potential to make a real and significant difference when it comes to widely distributed increase of understanding on issues like Israel and Palestine, terrorism, Islamophobia, and wars in the Middle East.

Every remaining presidential candidate will speak at the AIPAC conference but for Senator Bernie Sanders. The Sanders campaign told conference organizers he wished to speak via video conference to accommodate his busy Western states campaign schedule, but were given the response that AIPAC has recently ended its practice of addressee remote participation.

It’s appreciated that readers have time constraints, often trying to keep up on reading followed blog posts, so posting nearly 2-hour videos is something we try to refrain from. Making note of the film’s title “Valentino’s Ghost” and watching it later when time becomes available is a worthwhile option, especially for those concerned and frustrated about highly manipulated, extremely biased, historic media reporting on Israel, Palestine and the Middle East.

The men, women and children of the Middle East have experienced far too much sadness and pain for decades, and the basis or foundation for beginning to turn the tragic situations in the war-ravaged region around is the total truth – told without spin, slant or reservation. “Valentino’s Ghost” goes a long way toward establishing that long-awaited, much-needed, truthful foundation.

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The full documentary had been posted on YouTube violating copyright and is no longer available there. To view, visit www.valentinosghost.com for details. Here is The Real News post which provides clips from the film plus an excellent and thoughtful discussion about Israel’s influence.

(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)

‘God War’ At Wheaton College In America.

By Jerry Alatalo

Book11Alphabet Dr. Larycia Hawkins is a political science professor at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. Her decision to wear the hijab as an expression of solidarity with Muslim women facing discrimination, in particular the lecturer’s statement that Christians and Muslims “worship the same God”, led Wheaton College officials to start legal actions and move toward Dr. Hawkins’ termination.

Professor Hawkins shares with many others a sense of bewilderment and dismay on Wheaton College administrators’ severe over-reaction to a simple act of benevolent compassion for women facing the fruits of a growing hysteria of Islamophobia in America. When a college professor faces termination for stating Christians and Muslims worship the same God, people will understand such an extreme development in the world of academia as symptomatic of a deadly disease affecting societies: often intentionally created high levels of division, distrust and misunderstanding between groups of people.

On the positive side of this situation, it’s fortunate that the participants are educators engaged in a war of ideas, and not real war which includes physical violence. One could view Wheaton College administrators’ harsh judgment of Dr. Hawkins’ benevolent act as a form of academic terrorism reminiscent of McCarthyism during the 1950’s, only different in that “godless” communism is replaced with interrogation of personal perceptions about the nature of God, Allah, Creator, etc. itself.

One gets the feeling that Wheaton College officials have already recognized their disciplinary actions toward Professor Hawkins were a profound mistake, will reverse course and stop, and then issue a public apology to her. At the same time, continuance of an irrational, misguided legal effort to persecute Ms. Hawkins provides an opportunity for exposing the true roots of Islamophobia as directly related to historic and current ongoing tragic events in the Middle East.

Dr. Larycia Hawkins never thought her simple action would result in her unwanted push into the media spotlight and a legal battle to determine her professional academic future – stating in her press conference that she was just as surprised as everyone else at what eventually transpired.

Most likely Wheaton College will drop any actions against Dr. Hawkins, and, if she chooses to remain with the school, she will return to her teaching position and routine. While her experience has been unfortunate and the result of very poor judgment on the part of Wheaton College officials, the situation has raised the issue of Islamophobia to a much-needed higher level of honest, serious debate and analysis, so from that perspective what has occurred has been beneficial.

Whatever eventually develops in the days ahead for Professor Hawkins and her relationship with Wheaton College, her principled moral stand is remarkable, inspiring and worthy of appreciation and respect. Perhaps without intention, she has provided a profound spiritual lesson of unity between all people to her students, academic colleagues and – in a most timely, relevant way considering the violent state of Middle East affairs – the world.

(Thank you to The Video Catalyst Project at YouTube)