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Over the past few months Lee has unstintingly promoted the next flotilla and sought new recruits. She reported on June 6 on her Facebook page, “over 300,000 people have applied for the 500 available slots on the upcoming Gaza Freedom Flotilla II Mavi Marmara boat.” On June 4 Lee celebrated her success when Holocaust denier Norman Finkelstein accepted her invitation to join. This is not the first time the two have collaborated. Finkelstein previously dubbed the filmmaker “the great Iara Lee” for her writing on what he called the “Flotilla bloodbath.” Lee and her team also produced a promotional video for Finkelstein’s last book. The short youtube clip features anti-Israel rapper Lowkey singing “Nothing is more anti-Semitic than Zionism.” In the year since its posting it has gotten 3,537 views.
Her radical friends and growing hatred of Israel have provoked the filmmaker to utilize more strident rhetoric and imagery in her work. In May of 2011 Lee’s personal Facebook account was suspended after she posted a cartoon depicting Israel as an octopus with a Swastika. (The Nazis used the common anti-Semitic characterization of the Jews as an octopus with slimy tentacles gripping the globe.) Lee wrote in protest,
FACEBOOK disabled (it is visible but i cannot update/post anymore) my personal fb page www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001374680948 because they consider this cartoon offensive. they sent a warning that i should remove or they would take action. i declined and they no longer let me update. my 5,000 friends there wont get my posts anymore. doubt FB considers offensive when zionists call palestinians terrorists!!!!
Lee’s efforts to demonize and isolate the Jewish state extend beyond her filmmaking and social networking. Unlike traditional documentarians who are expected to take an unbiased, journalistic approach to their subjects, Lee and Gund actually financially support the activists featured in “Cultures of Resistance” through the Iara Lee and George Gund III Foundation, established in 2004. Gund and Lee also created the Caipirinha Foundation to support Lee’s filmmaking and the activist groups in her documentaries. Lee serves as CEO of the Caipirinha Foundation and President of the Lee and Gund Foundation. Both operate out of the same office and feature the same staffs. Almost all of the foundations’ funding comes from Lee and Gund themselves.
The foundations have funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to such organizations as Code Pink, International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, the Free Gaza Movement, Amnesty Internationl, and the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation. Through Caipirinha and using the Zakat Foundation of America as a sponsor, Lee and Gund have also funded the IHH, the Turkey-based, Jihadist sponsor of last year’s flotilla.
With her immense financial resources and filmmaking background Iara Lee is Michael Moore and George Soros squished together with a hip, artsy, internationalist identity. As “Cultures of Resistance” rolls out across the country and Lee buys her way into the center of the Anti-Israel movement’s propaganda efforts she and her husband are likely to only grow in their capabilities to exacerbate the conflicts in the region.
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