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Prof. Mordechai Kedar demystifies the Middle East on Capitol Hill- via pro-Israel think-tank, E.M.E.T.

Dr. Mordechai Kedar addresses Capitol Hill staffers via EMET
Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, explored the various factors that play a role in shaping the events of the region in this talk to to legislative staffs on on Capitol Hill, February 13, 2017. The event “Why is it so Difficult to Understand the Middle East” was organized by E.M.E.T. (Endowment for Middle East Truth) in Washington, D.C. 

The Islamic State continues to control large areas of Syria and Iraq, Russia's footprint in Syria has increased with its support for Assad, and Iran is continuing to back the Assad regime, and Hezbollah. At the same time, Saudi Arabia and Iran are supporting opposing factions in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Bahrain. And the Syrian civil war has resulted in the death of nearly 500,000 people. Why is the violence in the Muslim and Arab world escalating? What is the Western world missing about the cultures of the Middle East? 


"The creation of an artificial Palestinian state requiring the uprooting of Jewish families where no Arab population currently exists would lead to indefensible borders for the Jewish homeland,” says Kedar on his website. He also denies the argument that the populations can be moved, claiming "today Arabs live within the state of Israel and in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. These Arab population centers are not going away and neither is the State of Israel.”

Sarah Stern explains how E.M.E.T. is unique in pro-Israel advocacy

Sarah Stern, founder of Washington think-tank, Endowment for Middle East Truth, explains how her organization's positions and work compare to that of A.I.P.A.C. on Capitol Hill. One way E.M.E.T differs is in presenting the case against founding an Islamist, Jew-hating state alongside Israel. According to Mrs. Stern, "EMET believes that we should stop aiding the P.A. now. We actually felt since '1993 when, after signing the Oslo Accords, that Arafat went on TV in Jordan and said "this is the "peace of the brave," akin to what the prophet Mohammed signed with the tribe of Koresh. And he made them vulnerable and then eviscerated them. The problem is now that there have been 23 years when the P.A. has used every means possible to indoctrinate their people to hate and to kill Israelis." for 23-years, the believes that AIPAC policy is too influenced by appealing to Democrat donors, rather than reflecting the Likud-led, Israeli government positions.

Should Jews be mocking Hitler and the Nazis - documentary "The Last Laugh" explores

Mel Brooks' Nazi imitations aggrandize him but
do they weaken the taboo against anti-Semitism?
Jewish TV & filmmakers may have the right to exceed taboos - but should they, and should they be rewarded for it glamorizing it? Do Jewish shock-comics legitimizing dark-humor help or hurt our crusade to quell anti-Semitism?

'The Last Laugh' asks if there's anything taboo in comedy anymore" Review in the L.A. Times 
by Kenneth Turan, March 19, 2017
At times haphazard but always involving, "The Last Laugh" confronts a question that sounds anachronistic in today's anything-goes world: Are there any taboos remaining in humor, areas where making jokes is simply beyond the pale? 
Though documentarian Ferne Pearlstein (who photographed and edited as well as directed) deals briefly with potentially forbidden areas like 9/11 and even child molestation (the subject of a Louis CK routine), most of the film focuses on jokes about Hitler and the Holocaust, a subject that elicits as many opinions — and jokes — as there are interview subjects.  Those speaking up include Larry Charles — involved in everything from "Seinfeld" to the features of Sacha Baron Cohen — and Israeli novelist Etgar Keret, the son a Holocaust survivor, who notes that "humor is the weapon of the weak." 
One of the most involving voices in the film turns out to be Mel Brooks, whose vision of "Hitler on Ice" from "History of the World, Part I" opens the film.  ...  he  (Brooks) also has some thoughtful things to say about why he can do Hitler jokes but not ones about the Holocaust. Rob Reiner agrees. 
Mel Brooks as Torquemada sings "The Spanish Inquisition"
Mel Brooks broke the public taboo on joking about Jew-hatred, showing gallow-locked Jews singing in "The Spanish Inquisition" musical number in his "History of the World Part 1," and creating empathy for Franz Kiebkind and his other singing and dancing Nazi characters in The Producers' "Springtime for Hitler."

But do comedians' making light of anti-Semitic atrocities diminish the taboo against Jew-hatred to the gentile public?
Treated like beasts: prisoners working in the crematorium at
Dachau. Photo: LAPI/Roger Viollet/Getty
Do they weaken the societal taboo deterrent against Jew-hatred? Is anyone who behaves tyrannically now a "Hitler?" Does the "Soup Nazi" reflect a now mundane adjective- and diminish Nazi-ism and its victims?

The Last Laugh
claims to explore the issue, but as a public-figure objecting to comics' (even Jewish ones) making Nazi & Holocaust fun shows only Rabbi Abraham Foxman, former Anti-Defamation League executive director.
The film posits Sarah Silverman as an authority on justifying Jewish comedians mocking Jews and Jewish subjects.
(Photo: Andrew Toth via Getty Images)
Silverman, Jon Stewart, and comics like Amy Schumer have popularized "Jewy" as an acceptable disparaging adjective. Being perceived as Jewy is now an acceptable anti-Semitic criticism, without equal in, for example, African-American identity. 

At L.A. Jewish Film Festival screening of The Last Laugh, (l - r) USC's Marty Kaplan,
Renee Firestone, director Ferne Pearlstein, and writer Robert Edwards engage audience questions

L.A. Jewish Film Festival's screening in Beverly Hills this weekend featured Renee Firestone, one of just a few concentration-camp survivors commenting in the movie (Hogan's Heroes' Cpl. LeBeau-actor, Robert Clary being another), claiming that having survived to approaching 93-years of age in the midst of the Allies defeat of the Axis powers shows that she (and thereby, we) has "the last laugh." But Jew-hatred (demonstrated online) is strong throughout the world and Jews deluding we already have the last-laugh are avoiding our need to still fight it, socially, politically, and physically- and through other means than the liberally politicized A.D.L. 

We spoke with the filmmakers after the post-screening discussion.  

"The Last Laugh" is an intellectual exploration in whether Jewish comedians go too far. But it reflects the weakening taboo (and deterrence) against anti-Semitic attitudes, statements, and conduct which may grow among the gentile public who may see it on TV.

Now playing in: NYC- at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

TORONTO- at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Los Angeles- at Laemmle Theatres Town Center 5 Encino and Music Hall Beverly Hills 
through March 23rd.

How Pres. Trump is already resetting the Middle East onto a safer track- E. Jerusalem Rabbi Packer

E. Jerusalem Rabbi Ben Packer offers Jews sanctuary, education,
and prayer amidst many antagonistic, pro-Palestinian Muslims
On his current visit to Los Angeles, Rabbi Ben Packer, director of the Jerusalem Heritage House in East Jerusalem, remarks on how U.S. Pres. Donald Trump is working to make life safer for liberty in the Middle East, and to better insulate the free-world against the Islamist revolution. 

Rabbi Ben Packer goes into detail in a salon in Los Angeles on how Pres. Trump's administration is (and should continue) evolving US Middle East policy from the Obama/Kerry/Jarrett years.

Rabbi Packer responds to salon attendees' questions, explaining how from Israel's perspective, this Administration is beneficial for the Jewish nation and the global resistance to Islamist expansionist terror. The event was organized by Sheryl Giffis and videographed by Howard Reichman of Village Filmworks.