20170410

Is Hollywood too politicized? Should awards telecasts air actors' or singers' political speeches?

Marlon Brando boycotted the 1973 Oscars to draw attention to Hollywood's depiction of American Indians and Wounded Knee. In 1978, Vanessa Redgrave danced with a PLO Kalashnikov rifle in her anti-Israel documentary, "The Palestinian." In her acceptance speech for her Oscar for "Julia," she made a political statement, calling opponents of her award "Zionist hoodlums" which drew audible disapproval from the audience. 

Meryl Streep exploited her microphone at this year's Golden Globe Awards telecast to condemn conservatism, Pres. Trump's vetting of immigrants from troublesome Islamist countries, and to praise multiculturalism.

Should opinion-leader actors and singers exploit the live award-shows' telecast spotlight to preach their politics to a global audience? Is Hollywood's esteemed diversity extended to political views? Would liberals tolerate it from conservatives? Does it needlessly risk alienating half of an artists' fans? Or does virtue-signaling grow an artist's popularity enough to compensate for it?



We took our camera to the red-carpet at Norby Walters' "Night of 100 Stars" $1000-per-plate, Oscar viewing-party at the Beverly Hilton to investigate the celebrities' perspectives. How has Hollywood become too political? Do Liberals discriminate professionally against those of alternate views? How much politics (if at all) is it appropriate to foist on an entertainment awards-ceremony TV audience?

We spoke to actors and singers of varying ages and genres: Jon Voight, Richard Lewis,  Ed Asner, Lou Gossett Jr., Richard Grieco, Frankie Valli, Charles Martin-Smith, Tanya Tucker, Trace Adkins, Courtney Stodden, (non-entertainer and anti-Trump operative) Gloria Allred, Wink and Sandy Martindale, Shadoe Stevens, Yakov Smirnfoff,  Tia Carrere, (HBO's Mike Tyson star) Michael Jai White and wife Gillian, Hollywood stylist Daniel DeCriscio. 

In most cases, those who endorsed political speeches were liberals and those opposed it were conservatives. Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich tied it all together. "(I think) it's not healthy... We want to have everybody enjoy the arts, because the arts are for everyone, regardless of race, color, creed, or political persuasion. ... I'd like to see that restored, once again, as it had been in the past." 

Antonovich agreed there has been some discrimination against non-liberals in Hollywood. "If we're going to support diversity, we need to respect different points of view- and still respect one another and work with one another. ... Respect is what's important."

20170215

Trump resets US relations with Israel, seeking broader alliance against Islamist Iran, terror

Sarah Netanyahu, Melania Trump, Pres. Trump, Israeli Premier Netanyahu
Pres. Donald Trump demonstrates Israel's first family the respect which Democrat White House denied them.

Transcript And Analysis: Trump And Netanyahu Hold Joint Press Conference


President Trump is hosting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday. The two held a joint press conference amid differing messages emanating from the Trump administration about its stance on the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. NPR journalists with expertise in politics, national security and the Middle East have annotated a transcript of their remarks.





Premier Netanayhu in joint press conference with Pres. Trump
President DONALD TRUMP: Thank you! Today, I have the honor of welcoming my friend, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the White House. With his visit, the United States again reaffirms our unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, Israel.

The partnership between our two countries, built on our shared values, has advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity and peace. These are the building blocks of democracy. The state of Israel is a symbol to the world of resilience in the face of oppression. I can think of no other state that's gone through what they've gone, and of survival in the face of genocide. We will never forget what the Jewish people have endured.



Your perseverance in the face of hostility, your open democracy in the face of violence, and your success in the face of tall odds is truly inspirational. The security challenges faced by Israel are enormous, including the threat of Iran's nuclear ambitions, which I've talked a lot about. One of the worst deals I've ever seen is the Iran deal.

My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing — I mean ever — a nuclear weapon. Our security assistance to Israel is currently at an all-time high, ensuring that Israel has the ability to defend itself from threats, of which there are unfortunately many.



Both of our countries will continue and grow. We have a long history of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the fight against those who do not value human life. America and Israel are two nations that cherish the value of all human life.

This is one more reason why we reject unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations, which has treated Israel in my opinion very, very unfairly, or other international forums, as well as boycotts that target Israel.


Bibi addresses press conf. with Pres. Trump (Photo: Matzav.com)
Israeli Premier BENJAMIN NETANYAHU:   

President Trump, thank you for the truly warm hospitality. You and Melania have shown me, my wife Sara, our entire delegation. I deeply value your friendship. To me, to the state Israel, it was so clearly evident in the words you just spoke, Israel has no better ally than the United States. And I want to assure you, the United States has no better ally than Israel.

Our alliance has been remarkably strong, but under your leadership, I'm confident it will get even stronger. I look forward to working with you to dramatically upgrade our alliance in every field, in security and technology and cyber and trade and so many others, and I certainly welcome your forthright call to ensure that Israel is treated fairly in international forums and that the slander and boycotts of Israel are resisted mightily by the power and moral position of the United States of America.

As you have said, our lives are based on a deep bond of common values and common interest. And increasingly, those values and interests are under attack by one malevolent force, radical Islamic terror. Mr. President, you've shown great clarity and courage in confronting this challenge head on. You call for confronting Iran's terrorist regime, preventing Iran from realizing this terrible deal into a nuclear arsenal, and you have said that the United States is committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons. You call for the defeat of ISIS.

Under your leadership, I believe we can reverse the rising tide of radical Islam, and in this great task, as in so many others, Israel stands with you and I stand with you. Mr. President, in rolling back militant Islam, we can seize an historic opportunity because for the first time in my lifetime and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly as an ally.

Read more (along with NPR's leftist analysis). 

DEBKAfile reports: Trump reacted positively to Netanyahu’s proposal to broaden the Israeli-Palestinian peace process to a regional effort as a “very important” new idea “on a broader canvas” which he believed could succeed. Netanyahu said that the regional fears of Iran also presented an opportunity for cooperation against the Islamic State and radical Islamic terror. 
Trump and Netanyahu putting Palestine in context of
broader Middle East peace arrangement
(Courtesy: La Historia con Mapas)

These sentiments reflected agreement in principle between Trump and Netanyahu to seek an Israeli peace accord with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates as the lead-in to negotiations for an accord with the Palestinians. Egypt, Jordan and Turkey with whom Israel already has normal relations would jump in later. This deal fits in with the US plan reported more than once on these pages for a regional peace between the Sunni Arab nations and the Jewish State.

Some of the spadework may have been performed by CIA Director Mike Pompeo who paid a secret visit to Ramallah Wednesday morning for talks with Mahmoud Abbas, after trips to Ankara and Riyadh, following which Turkey upgraded its diplomatic mission in Israel


This plan was the fulcrum for the president to push back against the two-state solution advocated by the Obama administration as the cure for the conflict. It remains to be seen if this plan takes on life outside the White House and in the region’s capitals.


Trump realistically called on Israel to “hold back settlements,” show flexibility and make compromises for a peace deal. He urged the Palestinians to “get rid of hate starting in the schoolroom.” Whatever the Israelis and Palestinians agree to in direct talks - one state or two – “I will accept,” he said, adding, “I believe we will have a deal that is better than many Israelis think.”



20170201

Muslim Reform Movement's Dr Zuhdi Jasser debates philo-Islamist politico, MPAC's Salam al-Marayati

World Affairs Council's Serge Tomassian moderates Muslim Reform debate between Salam al-Marayati and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser
Western democracies hope to see resident orthodox Muslims reconcile supremacist dogma with liberal Western democracy. Are Islamic teachings contributing to bigotry and militancy? Would Saudi-influenced Islamic centers reform the dogma they practice?

The World Affairs Council of Orange County (sponsored by Indian-American Dr. S. Mohanty) invited Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy to discuss the "Need for the Muslim Reform Movement (MRM)."
Salam al-Marayati and Zuhdi Jasser argue their points at 25 Jan SoCal debate

In the lead up, some W.A.C members requested to have Salam al-Marayati of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) challenge MRM with a countervailing opinion- their own "reform" proposition. MRM considers MPAC an Islamist legacy group with an interest in resisting reform and squelching MRM's challenging message of of secular Islam. 

The debate event was held last Wednesday, 25 January at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach, California.
Main presentations to audience (Part 1 of 2)


Part 2: Presenters answer audience question and conduct head-to-head debate


Dr. Zuhdi Jasser sums up 1st debate on Muslim reform with MPAC's Mr. al-Marayati


20170114

Obama's betrayal of Israel means victory for jihad over the West- French analyst, Guy Milliere

John Kerry, Benjamin Netanyahu, Barak Obama  (Photo: Algemeiner Journal)
"Resolution 2334 and the Paris peace conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye'or wrote, simply victories for jihad." - Guy Millière in Gatestone Institute | "Obama's Betrayal of Israel , 13 Jan '17
  • President Obama's decision not to use the US veto in the UN Security Council and to let pass Resolution 2334, effectively sets the boundaries of a future Palestinian state. The resolution declares all of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem -- home to the Old City, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount -- the most sacred place in Judaism -- "occupied Palestinian territory," and is a declaration of war against Israel.

  • Guy Milliere, author, "Twilight over Europe: Europe's
    submission to Islam and to Muslim anti-Semitism"
    Resolution 2334 nullified any possibility of further negotiations by giving the Palestinians everything in exchange for nothing -- not even an insincere promise of peace.

  • The next act is the Orwellian-named "peace conference," to be held in Paris on January 15. It has but one objective: to set the stage to eradicate Israel.

  • In this new "Dreyfus trial," the accused will be the only Jewish state and the accusers will be the OIC and officials from Islamized, dhimmified, anti-Israel Western states. As in the Dreyfus trial, the verdict has been decided before it even starts. Israel will be considered guilty of all charges and condemned. A draft of the declaration to be published at the end of the conference is already available.

  • The declaration rejects any Jewish presence beyond the 1949 armistice lines -- thereby instituting apartheid. It also praises the "Arab Peace Initiative," which calls for returning of millions of so-called "refugees" to Israel, thus transforming Israel into an Arab Muslim state where a massacre of Jews could conveniently be organized.

  • The declaration is most likely meant serve as the basis for a new Security Council resolution on January 17 that would recognize a Palestinian state inside the "1967 borders," and be adopted, thanks to a second US abstention, three days before Obama leaves office. The betrayal of Israel by the Obama administration and by Obama himself would then be complete.

  • Guy Milliere exclusive video interview with DemoCast 
  • The US Congress is already discussing bills to defund the UN and the Palestinian Authority. If Europeans think that the incoming Trump administration is as spineless as the Obama administration, they are in for a shock.

  • Khaled Abu Toameh noted that the Palestinian Authority sees Resolution 2334 as a green light for more murders and violence.

  • Daniel Pipes recently wrote that it is time to acknowledge the failure of a "peace process" that is really a war process. He stresses that peace can only come when an enemy is defeated.

  • Resolution 2334 and the Paris conference, both promoted by Obama, are, as the great historian Bat Ye'or wrote, simply a victory for jihad.
  • Read more