Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at

Friday, August 02, 2013

The Odessa File: When Hollywood Was Pro-Israel

Remember when Hollywood was pro-Israel? I watched "The Odessa File" on TCM last week for the first time and was pleasantly surprised to find that the 1974 film fit that category. Loosely based on a Frederick Forsyth novel of the same name that was itself based on real-life events, the film, unfortunately and in my opinion, was only so-so (the best part was the inclusion of famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal playing himself).

However, it did shed light on an intriguing historical chapter that I suspect isn't widely known: the plot by Egypt's first president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, to launch missiles armed with radioactive waste at Israel in the hopes of annihilating the Jewish state with the help of German scientists from the Odessa Network, a secret organization comprised of former Nazis. Most of us know about the WWII-era ties between the Nazis and the then-Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin al-Husseini--who later moved to Egypt and continued to work with the Nazis via Odessa (Yasser Arafat was one of his proteges)--but this particular plot took place in the early 1960s.

Luckily, it was thwarted, both by diplomatic pressure and by the Mossad, which launched the extremely and understandably aggressive Operation Damocles, which reminds me of current Israeli efforts to curtail Iranian nuclear ambitions. But the legacy of anti-Semitism, which today masquerades as anti-Zionism, amongst Israel's enemies lives on.

Cross-posted from Facebook


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