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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Roll Call: US Intelligence Authorities Resist adding Israel to US Visa Waiver Program... Sites Arnon Milchan case.

 


Washington DC - The capital hill publication Roll Call reported on the 16th that “The U.S. intelligence community is concerned that adding Israel to the US visa waiver program would make it easier for Israeli spies to enter the country." That's a new one.

As part of that article, Mr. Milchan's name was mentioned specifically. Roll Call's Senior Editor Jonathan Broder, was asked by investigate journalist Joseph Gelman if Mr. Milchan's name was in fact actually mentioned to him by anyone in the intelligence community:

In response to Mr. Gelman's inquiry. Mr. Broder stated in writing the following: "Arnon Milchan's name was not mentioned when congressional aides told me of the US intelligence community's concerns about Israeli spying with regard to the US. Visa Waiver Program. I mentioned him and the others as past examples of Israeli spying in the United States."

Other than Mr. Milchan, all of those sited by Mr. Broder were people with US citizenship and of no need for a visa to the United States.

In his article, Mr. Broder stated that: "Several congressional aides said that members of the intelligence community, as well as officials from the State and Homeland Security departments, expressed those concerns in a classified briefing to lawmakers and staffers on the House Judiciary Committee, which has jurisdiction over visa issues."

Mr. Broder's article has made quite the stir internationally, but as is often the case with articles such as these, it relies heavily upon unconfirmable anonymous "sources", and has the whiff of a planted story by someone with an agenda other than just honestly conveying the news.


  

Monday, March 31, 2014

CONFIRMED: Arnon Milchan's 'Noah' Shoots to the Top of Worldwide Box Office Recipts

Arnon Milchan and his good friend,
Australian Billionaire James Packer, at the
Opening of Milchan's Noah in NYC.
March 26th 2014.
Arnon Milchan and Paramount's Noah stormed to the very top of worldwide box office receipts on opening weekend...raining on the cinematic competition... flooding theaters with moviegoers... sailing to success...and every other cheesy Noah metaphor that headline writers could compose. Noah's success will undoubtedly further fatten Mr. Milchan's wallet.

It's been a busy few weeks for Arnon Milchan. After his film 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards, he hosted a private party for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a cadre of A-list stars and senior Hollywood executives at his Malibu estate. A few weeks later, his production of Noah hit the big screen, shooting to the top of worldwide ticket sales, including in the United States. Hard to imagine what the encore will be.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Arnon Milchan's 'Noah' Gaining Momentum for Strong Opening on March 28th

Arnon Milchan's Darren Aronofsky extravaganza, Noah, is gaining momentum towards a strong opening on Friday, March 28. Many in the faith community have begun to rally around the message of the movie, despite some naysaying by conservative commentators. With less than one week until the release, a new promotional video has been released featuring Christian leaders who have nothing but high praise for the feature film. Paramount has asked Phil Cooke, a Christian who has publicly touted the film, to produce an explanatory video. This is the result:


NOAH FEATURETTE with Quotes from Cooke Pictures on Vimeo.

The film has story, action and special effects qualities that should be appealing to a wide audience. However, if the Evangelical communities rally behind movie, and there is a good possibility that they will, Noah has all the makings of a real blockbuster. Stay tuned. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Daily Telegraph: Is there anyone in Hollywood you respect, I wonder? Terry Gilliam: “I had a great time on Brazil with Arnon Milchan,” he says, “the world’s favourite Israeli spy.”


Director Terry Gilliam left the United States and renounced his US citizenship. Today he resides in the United Kingdom. Back in the 80's he had a massive falling out with Arnon Milchan following the production of Brazil. Almost 30 years later, Gilliam describes his appreciation for Mr. Milchan:

Is there anyone in Hollywood he respects, I wonder? “I had a great time on Brazil with Arnon Milchan,” he says, “the world’s favourite Israeli spy.” He’s not joking: Milchan, the head of New Regency, whose hundreds of production credits include 12 Years a Slave, LA Confidential and Once Upon a Time in America, recently admitted in an interview that he’d been a spy in an earlier life. “He was actually in the arms business,” says Gilliam, cheerfully. “I don’t care where the money comes from. It’s all dirty money as far as I’m concerned!”

Certainly, we would agree that Mr. Milchan is "the world's favorite Israeli spy". He is also probably the best known and most fascinating Israeli spy in history, with a story worthy of a film franchise alas James Bond. Gilliam himself would have a role. While Gilliam and Milchan worked together, unbeknownst to Gilliam, Mr. Milchan was an extremely active agent during that period, on a number of covert fronts, including nuclear... and yes, as an "arms dealer", for a lack of a better term. Brazil itself was financed through such activities unbeknownst to Mr. Gilliam at the time... but certainly he had his suspicions.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Images: Arnon Milchan Hosts Prime Minister Netanyahu & Hollywood Elite at his Malibu Estate

From left to right: Yair Netanyahu (son of the Sara and PM Netanyahu), Benjamin Netanyahu, actress Kate Hudson and Arnon Milchan. Above the shoulder of Yair Netanyahu on the left, looking at the camera from a distance is Gary Ginsberg, Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Time Warner Inc.  
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu with Keanu Reeves. To the right of Mr. Netanyahu in the distance is the United States ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro. An interesting addition to this selective gathering in California.

Keanu Reeves looks on as Kate Hudson and Mrs. Sara Netanyahu share a moment. Sometimes in pictures like these, the more interesting captures are the people in the background. For example, in this photo, multi-billionair and mega-casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is seen sitting in the background between Sara Netanyahu and Keanu Reeves. Mr. Adelson is currently ranked the 8th richest person in the world by Forbes. He is also the single largest contributor to the Republican Party.   
In a testament to the bipartisan nature of the gathering, At the same table as Mr. Adelson is staunch partisan Democrat Barbara Streisand in conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Arnon Milchan is probably the only person in the world who could get Sheldon Adelson and Barbara Streisand in the same room together... and at the same table, without a fight braking out.

Barbara Streisand and Sheldon Adelson at the head table with Milchan and the Netanyahu's.

 Barbara Streisand and Sara Netanyahu in a warm greeting/hug
 
 The Prime Minister and wife Sara Netanyahu chat with mega-star Leonardo DiCaprio.

James Caan and Mr. and Mrs Netanyahu.
 
 
***
 
INTERESTING NOTES:

The Milchan seaside estate is the former home of legendary Director John Frankenheimer, who directed such classics as the Manchurian Candidate and Birdman of Alcatraz. It is also the house where Robert Kennedy spent his last night before his assassination by Sirhan Sirhan in 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel the next day.

Liberal-Libertarian Comedian Bill Maher, host of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher was also in attendance at the event.

Mr. Milchan's evening hosting Prime Minister Netanyau and the who's who of Hollywood included massive Secret Service and Israeli security arrangements that involved serious traffic deviations, rooftop snipers, an armored vehicle and off-shore patrol boats. Mr. Netanyahu and some guests stayed well into the night. According one source, until around 3:00 AM. Word has it that cigars and scotch were involved. The horrendous traffic situation on Malibu's Pacific Coast Highway that resulted from the tough security measures surrounding this event, has caused a minor scandal in the upscale beach community.  
 
 

Arnon Milchan's New Regency, Penguin Books and the National School Board Assoiciation to Distribute 12 Years a Slave to High Schools Thoughout America

 
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is partnering with Arnon Milchan's New Regency and Penguin Books to distribute copies of the acclaimed film, book, and study guide of 12 Years a Slave to America's public high schools.
 
The initiative, coordinated by Montel Williams, will start to distribute 12 Years a Slave nationwide in September 2014 in concert with the new school year.
 
NSBA President David A. Pickler stated that; "We believe that providing America's public high school students the opportunity to bear witness to such an unrelenting view of the evils of slavery is essential toward ensuring that this history is never forgotten and must never be repeated."
 
12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen stated that; "Since first reading 12 Years a Slave, it has been my dream that this book be taught in schools.  I am immensely grateful to Montel Williams and the National School Boards Association for making this dream a reality and for sharing Solomon Northup's story with today's generation."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Arnon Milchan to Host a Gathering With Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Top Hollywood Talant and Executives at His Malibu Estate




Fresh off of his Academy Awards success with Best Picture 12 Years a Slave, Arnon Milchan will be hosting a low profile dinner-gathering of Hollywood's top talent and executives at his Malibu estate this week. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be the guest of honor and the press is not invited. The exclusive, intimate gathering will consist of about 75 of Hollywood's a-list talent and studio executives. Among the invitees are director James Cameron, Barbara Streisand, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Anthony Hopkins,  Ben Affleck, Billy Crystal, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Jeremy Renner, James Caan, Kate Hudson, and all of the top studio executives.

The event is informal and will include a no-holds-bar discussion. Guests will be encouraged to asked any questions of the Prime Minister, no matter how controversial. Mr. Netanyahu will encourage those gathered to use Israel as a location for film and television productions, and will announce various financial incentives to attract Hollywood productions to Israel.

As revealed in the book Confidential, Arnon Milchan has over the years emerged as Israel's unofficial ambassador to Hollywood.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Arnon Milchan Takes Center Stage as New Regency's '12 Years a Slave' Wins Best Picture at the 2014 Academy Awards

New Regency's 12 Years a Slave wins the 2014 Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. Producer Arnon Milchan thus completes an amazing journey from his controversial role in South Africa of the 1970's to the very pinnacle of Hollywood success and recognition, with a film that depicts the evil of racial discrimination in the starkest possible form. Some will view all of this with cynicism, others will see a strong measure of redemption... either way, it is a hell of a story.    


 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Milchan's 'Noah' to air Super Bowl ad

News Corp's Fox will be broadcasting the Super Bowl this year. Milchan's New Regency is a partner of Fox, which distributes New Regency productions. It is a little surprising that New Regency and Fox will be airing an ad on the largest and most expensive advertising platform in the world for a movie distributed by competitor Paramount. It will be interesting to see what kind of discount was offered. The ad will air between the national anthem and kick-off. Few films get this kind of pre-release promotion. Below is the ad to be aired:
   

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Arnon Milchan not Listed as Producer of '12 Years a Slave' by the Academy of Motions Pictures.

Lacarno Film Festival awards Milcahn with
The Best Independent Producer Award in 2013
The film 12 Years a Slave would likely not have been made without producer Arnon Milchan, who co-financed the movie and distributed the film through his distribution agreement with Fox. The Academy of Motion Pictures announced this year's Oscar nominations on March 16. Interestingly, the Academy nominated 12 Years a Slave for 'Best Picture', but failed to list Arnon Milchan as one of the producers up for the Oscar. The reason for Mr. Milchan's omission by the Academy is not yet clear. Updates to come.


Coincidentally or not, one day before the Academy Award nominations announcement, the UK Guardian ran a lengthy article titled The Truth About Israel's Secret Nuclear Arsenal, in which Mr. Milchan featured prominently. The Article, written by the Guardian's Diplomatic Editor, Julian Borger, described at length key exclusive elements from Milchan's biography Confidential.   

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Arnon Milchan...New Regency....'12 Years a Slave'....Golden Globe Best Drama...On track for 'Best Film' Academy Award?

“New Regency were the last people in, but I think it’s fair to say they are the reason the movie got made”
 
 
Arnon Milchan was in South Africa recently promoting 12 Years a Slave, which was co-produced and released by his company New Regency, and distributed by Fox under the Fox-New Regency distribution agreement. South Africa is a country he knows well and has special feelings for. 12 Years a Slave won the coveted Golden Globe 'Best Drama' of 2013. Oscar nominations are to be announced on Thursday, January 16th.

Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment co-produced the film with Mr. Milchan. Plan B Entertainment President Dede Gardner explained in Screen Daily the partnership arrangement that could very well lead to Mr. Milchan's first Academy Award:

Heading into production a US distributor had yet to be attached. Summit was a potential candidate but its imminent acquisition by Lionsgate soon ruled out the company.

Paramount, which had an output deal with Plan B since 2005 and whose chairman Brad Grey co-founded Plan B with Pitt, was also a potential distributor but ultimately was not seen as the right fit.

Pitt’s outfit would instead turn to Los Angeles-based financier New Regency, whose chairman Arnon Milchan and CEO Brad Weston separately had long-term relationships with Pitt and his executives.

“We were repositioning ourselves,” says Weston of New Regency, which up to that point had focused on mainstream comedies and action fare. “We had a strategy for the company and Steve fell into that category of a wall-to-wall brilliant film-maker that we wanted to work with.”
For New Regency and all the backers, McQueen’s film represented the ultimate in highbrow but accessible film-making.

In April 2012, a few weeks before filming began, New Regency agreed to co-finance and distribute the picture via Fox Searchlight, per its output deal with Fox. In fact, the company committed less than 48 hours after reading the script.

“New Regency were the last people in, but I think it’s fair to say they are the reason the movie got made,” acknowledges Gardner."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hypocrisy And Lies About Spies


1) Following revelations of US spying on
allies, the continued imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard
is a growing embarrassment to the United States.
 
2) Three Americans working for the US Government in  dangerous places like Iran, Cuba and Pakistan... were captured, abandoned... and now a growing embarrassment to the US. 

By Joseph Gelman

The dark corners of the internet are ablaze with rage. A leading Jewish Hollywood producer, Arnon Milchan, has recently come in from the cold as an Israeli nuclear spy. Could there possibly be a greater stereotype for the Israel-hater to harp upon?

The most prolific accusation to be heard from the usual suspects is the word “traitor”, which in this case says more about the accuser than the accused. The producer of such movies as Pretty Woman, LA Confidential, and this year’s Oscar favorite Twelve Years a Slave, is neither a US citizen nor a permanent resident of the United States. So who exactly is he a traitor to?

Hypocrisy and lies about spies are as American as apple pie. The US spends over $52 billion annually on covert intelligence gathering, including the financing of a CIA-Hollywood unit for messaging to the masses. Simply put, there is no country in the world that spends even a fraction of its resources on the level of spying on other countries that the United States does.

There is a legitimate case to be made that that is a good thing.
But what is not good, and is even ugly, are the self-righteous, indignant claims of outrage and displays of cheep patriotic bravado when somebody is found to be doing in our country far less than what we routinely do abroad, every single day. Like in the movie Casablanca, they are shocked, SHOCKED to learn that there is gambling going on in this establishment! 

The case of Israel is always a good example:
On Friday, October 31, 2008, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sent the following direct instructions to US personnel to spy on Israel (see section G buried at the end) by obtaining the following deeply classified Israeli information:

“ –Current specifications, vulnerabilities, capabilities and planned upgrades to national telecommunications infrastructure, networks and technologies used by government and military authorities, in intelligence and security services, and the public sector….  Details about command, control and communications systems and facilities…. National leadership use of and dependencies on a dedicated telecommunications infrastructure…. Details about information repositories associated with radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled systems used for passports, government badges and transportation systems… personal phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail address of principle civilian and military leaders… Details about wireless infrastructure, cellular communications capabilities and makes and models of cellular phones and their operating systems, to include second generation and third generation systems… Details about foreign and domestic telecommunications service providers and vendors… Details about…”
etc… etc…

We know all of this jaw-dropping information because Bradley Manning, a United States Army soldier who was convicted this year of violations of the US Espionage Act had released the embarrassing and classified Rice memo to Wikileaks. And that was well before US Intelligence Analyst Edward Snowden released the mother-load; the entire US intelligence “black budget”, which clearly showed Israel to be a "priority target” of US espionage... right there in black and white. In fact, with the Snowden releases, it seems that every week brings new revelations of US spying on Israel and other allies. It's the "gift" that keeps on giving.

Both cases of self-inflicted damage to US Intelligence (Manning and Snowden), amount to nothing short of smoking-gun evidence of aggressive US spying on Israel, on a massive scale for such a small country… far beyond anything that Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, or lowly GS-12 Navy Analyst making less than $40,000 a year, with no access to vital secrets, Jonathan Pollard, had, or even could inflict upon the United States in their wildest dreams.

SIDE NOTE: With both Manning and Snowden being WASP's, like Aldrich Ames, John Walker, Ronald Pelton and so many others, one might cynically wonder if WASP's should be viewed as potentially disloyal to US national security interests... as paranoid anti-Semites would have it with Jews. 

In the meantime, as the usual suspects question Jewish loyalties from the luxury of their armchairs,  three Jewish-Americas working for the US government and who were likely US intelligence assets, are rotting in enemy prisons at this very moment, basically abandoned by their own government (see the bottom of this post for their shocking predicament), and predictably ignored by the usual suspects.  

Thankfully however, no American is rotting in an Israeli jail and few Israelis are throwing childish anti-American temper tantrums in dark corners of the internet because of these US spying revelations.  
The reverse cannot be said to be true. It appears that more than a few of our fellow Americans are less than adults about these matters, and tend towards whining and grudge-holding. How do they think the United States even found out about the Israeli nuclear program in 1958? By a U-2 spy plane violating Israel’s airspace, that’s how. 

Conspiratorial anti-Semites also love to whine about the accidental Israeli attack on the USS Liberty off the coast of  Egypt in the midst of the fog of the 1967 Six Day War... but for some strange reason, they never seem to mention what the USS Liberty actually was. It was; a US spy ship.  
Even the most egregious case of Israeli spying in the United States involving Jonathan Pollard, was primarily a case of Israeli spying in the United States as opposed to spying on the United States. A distinction with a real meaning, because intentions and context in the world of espionage actually matter.

Unlike the above mentioned, Pollard intended no harm to the United States, and he was never charged with treason or aiding an enemy state. That is an inconvenient FACT that knee-jerk, armchair "patriots" never bother to concern themselves with. He was charged with violating Title 18 of the United States Code, section 794(a), divulging classified material. That's it. Those who claim greater harm to the United States beyond the public charges against Pollard, speak as though they are privy to information that is not available to others. A tactic reminiscent of the old Soviet Union, where the accused was routinely deemed guilty by way of secret or concealed evidence that only the politically connected and those “in the know” are supposedly privy to.    

As spelled out clearly in the recently declassified 1987 CIA Damage Assessment Report on the Jonathan Pollard case,  Pollard’s Israeli handler, spymaster Rafi Eitan, who also ran Arnon Milchan and had personally captured war criminal Adolph Eichmann years earlier,  was seeking nuclear, military and technical information on Israel’s surrounding Arab states not on the United States.  
They were seeking to tap into US intelligence to garner information on their regional enemies, which might help in their ongoing struggles to survive in a bad neighborhood. Information that in hindsight, probably should have been provided through official channels in any event. That is what the public information is clear about.

All the rest is justice by “wink-wink-nod-nod, we know what was really going on and you don't.”

The most common of the lowly lies are that Pollard gave away codes.... or that he gave away names of agents in foreign countries.... etc... None of which he did; none of which he was accused of; none of which he was charged with; none of which he was convicted of; and none of which he even had access to had he wanted to commit such a crime in the first place, given his lowly position. Shame on those who continue to make such accusations without producing the slightest evidence, and continue to portray Pollard as some kind of super-spy in complete contradiction to the CIA Damage Assessment Report in this case, which is available for anyone to read.   
Yes, a government employee releasing any form of classified US intelligence to a foreign country, friendly or not, is an illegal act to be sure, and it was not the bumbling, lowly Jonathan Pollard’s call to make, no matter how he justified it in his mind. When he was caught, he was rightly sent to prison. 
But his outrageously over-the-top sentence was an act of serious corruption in itself. As Professor Angelo Codevilla, a former senior staffer on the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence who was there at the time, asserts: It was a case of a powerful man (Casper Weinberger), whispering sweet nothings in the ear of a corruptible judge (by way of a secret affidavit), who took it upon himself to then ignore a plea bargain and do the powerful man's personal bidding.

Weinberger's last-minute letter to the judge, which is full of generalities and highly charged/prejudicial words, was devoid of any evidence. Weinberger, a man known for his anti-Israel leanings, who had called for strict measures against Israel following its bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, made outrageous accusations against the accused for which he had no personal knowledge and no evidence, and for which the accused was never even charged with. Weinberger's last-minute private letter to the judge was declassified through a FOIA request in 2010.  

The long and short of it is that Pollard was sentenced by this judge to life in prison without a trial. WITHOUT A TRIAL. Even in the Soviet Union they pretended, by at least they having show trials.

After almost thirty years, during which time the United States has routinely pressed Israel to release murdering terrorists with blood on their hands as "confidence building measures"... and after all of the truly aggressive US spying on Israel that has been so ingloriously exposed; Pollard’s continued imprisonment is nothing short of a scandal resembling a hypocritical, old-school vendetta.

With every passing day, Pollard looks more and more like a martyr and a victim sitting in a gulag, rather than a criminal doing his just time. Is that really in our best interest? And more importantly, is that really in the interest of American justice?    
____________
 
People in our defense and security establishment are supposed to be brave, but we can pretty much take for granted that hardly anyone in those agencies, where conformity is valued above all, is brave enough to stand up and voice a principled opinion about the miscarriage of justice involving Jonathan Pollard. That might just be a career-ending event if they did... and they know it. But fortunately, plenty of good people have voiced their opinion on the matter after their career in government has ended:     

A few key people who are deeply familiar with the facts of the Pollard case are public supporters of clemency for Jonathan Pollard:

(A partial list)
 
Former National Security Advisor Bud McFarlane (was in the job when it happened)
Former FBI and CIA Director William Webster (was FBI Director when it happened)
Former Secretary of State George Shultz (was Secretary of State When it Happened)
Former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Senator David Durenberger (was Chairman when it happened)
Former Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Lee Hamilton (was Chairman when it happened)
Former CIA Director James Woolsey
Former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Senator Dennis DeConcini
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
Former Vice President Dan Quayle
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey
Republican Senator John McCain
Former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum
Former Deputy Attorney General and Harvard Law Professor Philip Heymann
Former UN Ambassador and Governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb
___________

Meanwhile, it might be noted that while Jonathan Pollard has been held for almost 30 years by the US Government....  no less than three Jewish-American's working for the United States Government are currently being held hostage for years in the dungeons of Iran, Pakistan and Cuba, with little or nothing (at least overtly) being done by the US government to free them, and little said about them by the usual suspect:
 
1. Warren Weinstein - Officially working for a "private company" doing work for USAID in Lahore Pakistan when he was kidnapped by al Qaeda on August 13, 2011. The latest video:
 

  
2. Robert Levinson - A "retired" DEA and FBI agent, Levinson was taken hostage on March 9, 2007 on Iran's Kish Island. Note how until recently, the US has described him as a "private investigator". On December 12, 2013, the AP confirmed that he was working for the CIA. So the US's new story is that he was "on an unapproved mission". Yeah right. The United States has since reached political agreements with Iran without, in so far is known, even attempting to condition those agreements on Levinson's release. A shocking betrayal.

 
 3. Alan Gross -  In December of 2009, Alan Gross was arrested in Cuba while working as a USAID "private" subcontractor. He was caught with electronic communications equipment. He was/is still rotting in a Cuban jail as president Obama smilingly shook the hand of Cuba's President, Raul Castro, at the funeral for Nelson Mandela in South Africa. Gross is scheduled for release in over a decade from now in 2024. 


  
4. And then of course there is Jonathan Pollard, held in a US gulag many years beyond anything that could even remotely be considered "justice". Note that all of these prisoners/hostages have long hair and beards.... and look similar in demeanor.  
 


hypocrisy and lies about spies indeed.
 
________________________________________
 
Joseph Gelman is the co-Author of the book Confidential, The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan, which outed one of the most prolific producers in Hollywood history as a longtime spy for Israel’s Bureau of Science Liaison.    


 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Israel Accepted as Full Member of CERN, Worlds Largest Science Project

Congratulations to Israel for being accepted as the first non-European full member of CERN today, the prestigious European Organization for Nuclear Research, and the worlds largest ongoing science project. Given Israel's amazing scientific accomplishments, this was an easy call for CERN from a purely scientific perspective. As revealed in the book Confidential, Arnon Milchan was given a VIP tour of CERN on April 25, 2007. An interesting tidbit considering Milchan's key covert role in the Israeli nuclear program in decades past.
On April 25, 2007, Arnon Milchan toured 
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

THE RACE IS ON: Milchan and Pitt's '12 Years a Slave' in Epic Awards Season Faceoff with 'American Hustle'. Milchan's Past will be Tested.



By Eric Wilder - Hollywood

It may be early, but clearly, an epic battle for the Best Picture Academy Award is now on.... and everybody in the industry knows it. Arnon Milchan and Brad Pitt's 12 Years a Slave, will face off with Columbia Pictures' American Hustle, in an awards-season clash of the titans. Both movies have picked up the bulk of the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild top nominations... which are historic barometers for the Oscars.

If 12 Years a Slave pulls it off, it will be the first Academy Award for Arnon Milchan, one of the most successful and prolific independent producers in Hollywood history. An award that would be long overdue, considering his massive portfolio. It is unknown how recent publicity surrounding Mr. Milchan's extracurricular biography as a former spy will affect the voting. Co-Author of Milchan's biography, Joseph Gelman, said the following:

"Given his massive body of work and contributions to the industry, if there is one person in Hollywood who deserves an Academy Award, it would be Arnon. 12 Years a Slave is a worthy and meaningful candidate for Best Picture. It is a movie that will stand the test of time as perhaps the definitive cinematic portrayal of America slavery, the most problematic institution in American history.  
I don't think that American Hustle, a fun movie, brings that kind of gravitas to the table. It's not a serious movie. It is not a movie that people will look back on 20 years from now, or even a year from now, and say 'wow!' Hollywood likes to think of itself as a meaningful industry, in addition to being an entertainment industry.  
Somewhere deep in Arnon's conscience, I know that he sees 12 Years a Slave as a small measure of repentance for past transgressions involving his activities in South Africa. It's an interesting story of redemption, and Hollywood loves stories of redemption. If Milchan wins the Oscar for this important movie, I would put that as the final scene in the movie version of his biography. A real closing of a circle. A "Hollywood ending" if you will.   
Meir and I will be pulling for 12 Years a Slave, not because of Arnon, but because frankly, it's the best movie of the year. It's that simple."      

Brad Pitt Moves in With Arnon Milchan.... Again!

Following his breakup with Jennifer Aniston in 2004 and hounded by the paparazzi, Brad Pitt moved to Arnon Milchan's house in Malibu. As described in Confidential, Top secret "Operation Brad" involved Pitt traveling to and from the studio by entering and exiting Milchan's garage on a motorcycle with a black full-face helmet, rendering him unrecognizable. Pitt met Angelina Jolie on the set of  Milchan's Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Almost ten years later, Pitt is moving in with Milchan again, this time to his movie production company New Regency.

Hollywood Reporter: "Pitt's Plan B production company, which is riding high on recent hits 12 Years a Slave and World War Z, will exit its home of eight years when its deal with Paramount expires at the end of 2013. Plan B, which Pitt runs with Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, is headed toward a three-year deal with Arnon Milchan's New Regency, producer of 12 Years."

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

TOTAL VINDICATION - AP: Hollywood's Arnon Milchan Says He Was A Spy

                                                         WORLDWIDE COVERAGE


By ARON HELLER Associated Press
Stories about Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan's alleged double life have been circulating for years.
 
Now, the Israeli businessman behind hits like "Pretty Woman," ''Fight Club" and "L.A. Confidential" has finally come forth with a stunning admission — for years he served as an Israeli spy, buying arms on its behalf and boosting its alleged nuclear program.
 
In a far-reaching interview aired Monday with Israel's Channel 2 TV's flagship investigative program "Uvda," Milchan detailed a series of clandestine affairs in which he was involved and particularly how he helped purchase technologies Israel allegedly needed to operate nuclear bombs.
"I did it for my country and I'm proud of it," said Milchan, who ran a successful fertilizer company in Israel before making it big in Hollywood.
 
Even there, he says he continued with his clandestine work while maintaining close ties with Israel's leadership.
 
According to an unauthorized biography published two years ago, Milchan worked for Israel's now-defunct Bureau of Scientific Relations, known as Lekem, which worked to obtain information for secret defense programs. The bureau was disbanded in 1987 after it was implicated in the spying affair for which Jonathan Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy, was sentenced to life in prison.
 
Milchan also says other big Hollywood names were connected to his covert affairs.
 
"When I came to Hollywood I detached myself completely from my physical activities to dedicate myself to what I really wanted — filmmaking," he said. "(But) sometimes it gets mixed up."
 
The 68-year-old Milchan founded the New Regency film company and has produced more than 120 movies since the 1970s, working closely with directors such as Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski, Sergio Leone and Oliver Stone. He forged an especially close relationship with Robert De Niro, who along with actors Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck, is featured in Uvda's broadcast.
 
"I had heard but I wasn't sure," De Niro said, of Milchan's activities. "I did ask him once and he told me that he was an Israeli and of course he would do these things for his country."

The New York Times Rejects Repeated Reqeusts for an Article on Israel's Channel 2 Milchan Report... Says Uvda's Report is "Nothing New" and Based Entierly on The Book 'Confidential'.

By Eric Wilder - Hollywood


I'm not a journalist, but I play one on TV...
I use other peoples material and pretend like its mine 
 
 
 
ILANA DAYAN'S ATTEMPTED HIJACKING OF 'CONFIDNTIAL'  
 
Based entirely on the book indeed: After watching the program, there is simply no question that the New York Times had it right and that book 'Confidential' served as the entire script for the Uvda show, in some cases almost word for word.

Her show would not have been even remotely possible without the book which served as her inspiration, her road map, her script and even her dialogue. Ilana Dayan gave a very quick "thanks to Joe Gelman and Meir Doron, the authors of the book" at the end of the show as the credits rolled... almost as an afterthought.

The authors are surly thankful for the "thanks", but fairness would dictate something a little more substantial than a legal ass-covering.  

'Uvda' is Israel Channel 2's leading investigative reporting program, anchored by Ilana Dayan. A year ago, Channel 2 approached the authors of 'Confidential' for help in putting together an investigative program based on the groundbreaking reporting in the book. The authors agreed and co-author Meir Doron was interviewed extensively for background information.

The report aired on Monday, November 25.

As it turned out, a funny thing happened on the way to the airing of that program. Suddenly, Ilana Dayan and her staff began to describe their report as "exclusive discoveries",  "for the first time", "until now only rumors"... etc... forgetting their source.

It should be noted that Mr. Milchan has never denied a single assertion in the book 'Confidential' despite every opportunity to do so, and had interviewed in person for tens of hours for the book. The Uvda program was merely Mr. Milchan's way of coming out and publically saying: THE BOOK IS ACCURATE.

In a desperate and obvious ploy to cover and deflect from her utter dependence on the book, Ilan Dayan then used a source, NBC's Robert Windrem, who was referred to her by anti-nuclear gadfly, Avner Cohen; both of whom are hard-left ideologues with a substantial history of an anti-Israel agenda. Windrem's contribution was based on and limited to his understanding of Milchan's activities in South Africa, written about extensively by the authors of Confidential

With authors research in hand, Uvda's producers then made every effort to promote the show as original material and exclusive findings when it was not. Fortunately, aside from their own website (and the wildly unprofessional right-wing publication "Yisrael Hayom" in Israel), prior to the show, no serious publication agreed to cover the issue without crediting the book

Examples:
Haaretz, New York Daily News, UK Daily Mail, UK Independent, Hollywood Reporter, The Times of India, The Voice of Russia, The Hong Kong Daily Apple.... etc....

Even following the airing of the show, as the story went viral around the world, most publications had the decency to at least reference the book that made the story possible.

Examples: Fox News, NBC, CBS, The UK Daily Mail, The UK Guardian... etc... some even placing pictures of the book's front cover in their stories. A level of professional courtesy not displayed by Uvda.

But the New York Times, to their credit, went even further:

They refused to publish any report on the 'Uvda' story as a matter of journalistic principle. After being "badgered" by 'Ilana Dayan's producers to do a story, the New York Times responded that there is nothing in the Uvda story worthy of reporting on that has not already been revealed in the book 'Confidential' two years earlier, which the New York Times covered extensively.

Arguably, other than the many elements left out of the Uvda story that are in the book, the ONLY semi-meaningful elements in the 'Uvda' story that differ from 'Confidential' involve:

1) Mr. Milchan implicating former director Sidney Pollock in his espionage activities. Of course, Sidney Pollock is conveniently dead and is not in a position of confirm or deny Mr. Milchan's words. Out of respect to Mr. Pollack and his family, and out of journalistic integrity because it could not be reasonably confirmed, the authors of Confidential left that claim out of their book, refusing to take Mr. Milchan's sole word on that matter at face value.

2) The other element that 'Uvda' claims as 'groundbreaking' is Mr. Milchan's amazingly blatant assertion that he USED actor Richard Dreyfuss to lure one of the fathers of the hydrogen bomb, Author Biehl, to a meeting with Israeli intelligence. That story was mentioned in the book 'Confidential' on pages 137 and 138. The book gave both Mr. Milchan and Mr. Biehl's versions of the story and let the reader decide who was telling the truth, without directly and unfairly involving/implicating Mr. Richard Dreyfuss, who was an unwitting partner to the affair. 'Uvda' simply repeated that story but greatly highlighted the involvement of the Academy Award winning actor to increase the sex appeal of the story at Mr. Dryefuss expense. One wonders how Mr. Dryefuss feels about that? And it is surprising that Ilan Dayan did not seek a reaction from Mr. Dreyfuss, if only as a matter journalistic integrity.

But Ilana Dayan's cynical hijacking did not end there. In promoting the show, Uvda published material almost word for word from the Hebrew version of 'Confidential', and from an article in the respected news website Tablet Magazine, and even used an almost identical graphic for their story that was published in Tablet Magazine... and again claimed the revelations to be "for the first time"... "exclusive"... etc.... Below are posts of the two almost identical stories. I would challenge those who are fluent in English and Hebrew to find the "exclusivity" in the Uvda article:

The 2011 Tablet Magazine article here, and graphic below:


The 2013 Uvda article on Mako here, and graphic below:



          In the end, Uvda and Ilana Dayan do have one achievement that cannot be denied or taken away; they successfully got Mr. Arnon Milchan on camera to publicly admit to the very serious clandestine activity that was revealed in the book 'Confidential', which he had not denied since the publication of the book in the first place. That alone is an impressive achievement on her part. Thus, one wonders why Ilana Dayan felt the need to embellish and claim "exclusive"... "for the first time" credit on the actual substance of journalistic discoveries that she had absolutely nothing to do with.

One of Israel's leading media critics, Dvorit Shargal put it best in her stinging report on the matter in her website Velvet Underground: "'Uvda' did not reveal Milchan's Secret Life" ... Confidential did that!

The Aftermath:
Perhaps one of the most appalling aspects of this journalistic malfeasance, were the efforts by Israel's channel 2 to block international media outlets from using their footage in reporting on the story. When NBC News' Andrea Mitchell called to seek approval to use Uvda footage on a story for NBC Nightly News' broadcast nationally in the US, Israel's channel 2 resisted giving authorization. In the end, NBC used the material after a legal determination that it fell under the "fair usage" rule for news.

So what we have here is Israel's channel 2 using other peoples material without extending due credit, and then throwing up roadblocks to those, like NBC News, who would use their material legitimately.

I believe the word for that is Chatzpah.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hollywood Reporter: Milchan Confirms the Claims in 'Confidential'


VINDICATION FOR THE AUTHORS:
Milchan's secret has long been rumored and was the subject of a 2011 book by Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman called Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan, which examined his recruitment by longtime politician and current Israeli president Shimon Peres back in the 1960s. Milchan was selected then as a liaison for the secretive Bureau of Scientific Relations, Lekem, which was founded to obtain technology and material for Israel's nuclear program. Over the years, the 68-year-old Milchan handled clandestine deals involving Israeli military acquisitions, and promoted Israeli's nuclear project. Getting Milchan to finally confess in detail in front of a camera was not an easy task, reveals Ilana Dayan, an investigative journalist and the host of Uvda, which opens its 20th season Monday night on Channel 2's Keshet Broadcasting with the Milchan story. Read the entire article here.

Ha'aretz: Hollywood is Always on the Lookout for Blockbuster Stories, and This Coming Monday it will get the Juicy Details





Although this is the first time that Milchan has spoken about the subject since the publication of 'Confidential'....

This isn’t the first time Milchan's role in Israeli arms dealings and intelligence has surfaced: Just two years ago authors Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman published a book titled “Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan" – which alleged that Milchan was an operative for Israel's Bureau of Scientific Relations. The bureau, headed by spy-masters Benjamin Blumberg and Rafi Eitan, gathered information for secret defense-related programs, including Israel's alleged nuclear program. The bureau was closed after Jonathan Pollard was arrested for spying on behalf of Israel in 1986.

The "Uvda" report does, however, contain some shocking new details about Milchan's work, including claims that other Hollywood bigwigs like the legendary, late director Sydney Pollack and at least one other Academy Award-winning actor, both figured into his work for Israel.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Based on The Book 'Confidential', Israel's Channel 2 Delivers an Explosive Investigative Report on the Life of Arnon Milchan in Prime Time

Israel's Channel Two will premier its top investigative show with an explosive report based on the book 'Confidential'. The show, Uvda meaning 'fact' in Hebrew, will be aired on Monday, November 25 at 9:00 PM. Below is the lead promo that will be aired in heavy rotation until show time. Uvda is Israel's number-one rated investigative journalism show:
Post by ‎עובדה‎.
Based on the book 'Confidential', Israel's Channel 2 is to air an investigative journalism show on the life of Arnon Milchan, and have successfully secured Mr. Milchan's participation. This is the first interview on the matter that Mr. Milchan has agreed to do, fully two years after the publication of 'Confidential'. Below is the short promo for the show, to be aired on Monday at 9:00 PM in Israel:
Post by ‎עובדה‎.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Israel's Channel 2 to Air Lengthy Interview with Arnon Milchan, Possibly about Subjects Raised in 'Confidential'

Israel's Channel 2 Ilana Dayan is not a pushover. She Interviewed Arnon Milchan for the Investigative show 'Uvda'. It has the potential to be a blockbuster of an interview if she did not hold back, and no back-room deals were cut.  
A bird has just whispered in our ear, informing us that a lengthy interview with Hollywood Producer Arnon Milchan has been given to Israel's premier investigative journalism show 'Uvda', a few days ago. The show will air in prime time, 9:00 PM, in approximately two weeks. Channel 2 is Israel's most watched station, and Uvda is it's most important investigative show. The interviewer, Ilana Dayan is one of Israel's most respected investigative journalists. Channel 2 will begin promoting the show, which will also be its season premier, in the coming days.

Clearly, a number of crucial elements exposed in the book 'Confidential' will be discussed, and this may represent the first time that Arnon Milchan has agreed to discuss such matters publicly. We do not know exactly what was said in the interview, but we do know that the book 'Confidential' served as the significant resource for the interviewer. Ilana Dayan is not known to throw soft-balls, or to be used as a PR tool, so there is a good chance that the interview will be authentic and impactful. Stay tuned.