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Joel Gilbert: The Self-Described “Islamic History Scholar” Behind Obama “Real Father” Conspiracy Doc

From Jerome Corsi at WND:

One million copies of the documentary film that presents evidence Barack Obama’s real father was Communist Party activist Frank Marshall Davis have been mailed to households in the crucial presidential-election swing state Ohio.

Filmmaker Joel Gilbert told WND his mass distribution of his documentary “Dreams from My Real Father” is an attempt to bypass an establishment media blackout.

…Gilbert also has sent another 100,000 copies to New Hampshire, and he has plans to send 1 million to six more swing states.

His effort through his company, Highway 61 Entertainment, is governed by the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which barred government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions.

The film was recently endorsed by Alabama state GOP chairman Bill Armistead (he reportedly calls it “factual” and “absolutely frightening”), and it has received a certain amount of attention due to an advert placed in the New York Post. A central plank of Gilbert’s argument is that Marshall Davis supposedly took intimate photos of Stanley Ann Dunham that were published in pornographic magazines; this claim was widely discussed back in 2008. The film itself came out several months ago.

Gilbert has also made two films on middle eastern affairs. These are Atomic Jihad: Ahmadinejad’s Coming War for Islamic Revival and Obama’s Politics of Defeat (“Hudson Institute Film Festival Winner”) and Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and The Revolt of Islam. According to his blurb on the sites for these films:

Joel Gilbert is a graduate of the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and London School of Economics and Political Science. He was a Middle Eastern studies scholar under world renowned Islamic history experts Professors Eli Keddouri [sic – more usually spelt “Elie Kedourie” – RB], P.J. Vatikiotis, Michael Cooke [sic – should be “Michael Cook”], and Abbas Kelidar. Gilbert is one of the few Western scholars of historic Islamic-Jewish relations. Gilbert has lived, studied, and traveled in the Middle East, including Egypt, Israel, Morocco, and Pakistan. He speaks Arabic and Hebrew, and lectures on the Middle East.

The blurb for Dreams states that Gilbert received his BA from London University (of which SOAS and the LSE are both colleges) in 1986, followed by an MBA from George Washington University in 1991. By calling himself a “Middle Eastern studies scholar under world renowned Islamic history experts”, he appears to mean that he took their courses or attended their lectures as an undergraduate. That, of course, no more demonstrates expertise than having read their books or articles. Gilbert has also written for Family Security Matters, where he is described as “an Islamic history scholar”.

The website Think Israel has re-posted a couple of reviews of Farewell Israel. One, derived from Americans for a Safe Israel, commends the film, while another, by the late Ron Maiberg and originally published in Ma’ariv, was sceptical:

It is easy to see how this movie can become a hit with the Israel supporting Christian right. Gilbert claims he produced this movie by himself. However, this is quite an expensive production, with respectable quality, animation, and archival material which in itself costs (in general) thousands of dollars per minute of broad time. For those of us born into this bubbling “publishing world” stew, Gilbert is one more violin out of tune in the philharmonic. The problem is that Gilbert’s professional credentials are quite meager for carrying such a heavy intellectual load. He helped research a book on Jabotinsky for Shmuel Katz; he learned about Islam from Eli Keddouri; he wrote a book that is a basis for a movie; and he is a friend of Tsakhi Ha’Negbi. Not exactly Dan Meridor, lacking self restraint. Katz and Ge’ulah Cohen are mentioned in the movie without relation to the context.

In the wake of the Frank Marshall Davis film, Gilbert has been interviewed by Alex Jones and Michael Savage – he told Jones that “you can’t put anything past them” when discussing whether the Obama administration had orchestrated the mass shooting at Aurora, while Savage was warned that Obama intends to end capitalism and that “the middle class’ health care is going to be given away to poor and illegals”.

Alongside these political activities, Gilbert also runs a Bob Dylan tribute band, and Highway 61 Entertainment has made several documentaries about the singer. Josh Marshall writes at TPM:

I’m something of a Dylan fanatic myself. And I’ve actually bought a few of Gilbert’s docs on iTunes. The production qualities aren’t the highest. They’re a little hokey in places. And he doesn’t manage to land the interviews with the really critical people in Dylan’s life. But he gets people that if you’re really into Dylan are kind of interesting to hear from.

It is perhaps relevant to note that Gilbert has also made two films described as “mockumentaries”: these are Elvis Found Alive and Paul McCartney Really is Dead.