"Iranium": Dangerous Bomb-Iran Documentary Directed by Right-Wing Israeli Extremist, Promoted by Neocon Richard Perle
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The group's latest salvo is an hour-long documentary called "Iranium", which more or less gives airtime to a gaggle of neoconservatives and their allies on the Israeli right to advocate for a hawkish posture against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
While warning of an ideologically-driven, religiously-inspired Iran, however, the filmmaker behind the movie himself comes from among the religious extremes of another Middle Eastern state.
The writer and director of "Iranium", Alex Traiman, hails from the Israeli West Bank settlement of Beit El, one of the ideological religious Jewish outposts in occupied Palestinian territory bedeviling U.S.-Israel relations.
I spoke to Traiman, who sported a black kippah and a bright red tie, after a screening of "Iranium" at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, where neoconservative don Richard Perle introduced the film.
"That's where I live," Traiman told me, after a deep breath, when I asked him if he lived in Beit El. "I just live there."
Traiman worked for four years for the Beit El-based Arutz Sheva , or Channel Seven, also known as Israel National News , a former pirate radio station aligned with Israel's religious settlers. He has in the past referred to Beit El as "a Jewish settlement... located in the Biblical province of Samaria, commonly referred to today as the West Bank." Settlers refer to the West Bank by the Biblical "Judea and Samaria."
On Tuesday at Heritage, Traiman, who has also written for a U.S. conspiracy website, called World Net Daily, and presumably other occupied Palestinian territories, as "disputed territories in Israel."
Beit El is a religious nationalist settlement near Ramallah in the West Bank, where some 5,500 settlers live, Founded in 1977, the settlement is built in land seized in 1970 by the military on what Israeli courts, according to Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar, later deemed to be bogus security justifications.
Unlike their secular counterparts, who usually move into settlements to take advantage of government housing subsidies, the enclave of Beit El is a religious-nationalist
Palestinians view settlements as gobbling up land on which they hope to eventually build their state. In a peace deal, the border between Israel and Palestine would likely be doctored to include large settlement blocks in Israel.
But at a recent Washington Institute forum on potential maps for a peace deal,Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl, a Middle East hawk, said Israeli annexation of Beit El is not realistic in a final peace deal: "Beit El dominates the road between the two major Palestinian towns of Ramallah and Nablus... This type of scenario is unacceptable to Palestinians."
Last fall, a diplomatic row erupted when Israel refused a U.S. request for a three-month extension of a settlement construction freeze. The freeze extension was aimed at rescuing peace talks, and when Israel refused, with Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in the thrall of his pro-settler coalition members, the U.S.-sponsored talks collapsed.
The crumbling of the settlement freeze was celebrated in Israel's settlements, whese construction boomed.
Other characters in and around "Iranium" come from the hardest of the hard-line 'pro-Israel' camp and the Israeli right, those who have long opposed Israel relinquishing control of the West Bank in any peace deal.
Not surprisingly, the Capitol Hill premiere in February is being hosted by a group, EMET, whose president and advisors worked together in the 1990s, behind the backs of Israeli and American leadership, to spike the Oslo process. Indeed, EMET's Hill activism for a Greater Israel seems to be matched only by the efforts of key people from the Clarion Fund.