By Christopher Bollyn, September 1, 2007
"Arnon has to screw everyone - partners, friends - literally, figuratively, in every sense of the word," Terry Gilliam said about Milchen. "It's pathological. He can't stop himself. At some point, he needs to invent an enemy."
THE MILCHAN INFLUENCE
The Israeli influence in films and news media has profoundly affected the quality of news reporting and entertainment. Israeli attitudes and ideas are now disseminated through national media outlets which reach the entire U.S. population on a daily basis. Israeli-made films often reveal hints or clues about actual crimes or criminal plans the Israeli producers are aware of.
One such project, The Lone Gunman, produced by Milchan's "best friend" Rupert Murdoch, had a uncanny resemblance to the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Was this Milchan's influence?
The Lone Gunman, produced by Rupert Murdoch in 2000, revealed a extremely uncanny prescience of 9-11. During the same year it was made, Milchan was producing two television series in collaboration with Fox Television, Roswell, which aired on Warner Brothers network, and Malcolm in the Middle, which was aired on Fox. The Lone Gunman pilot episode aired on FOX Television in March 2001.
Given the long, close, and extensive collaboration between Murdoch and Milchan it seems fair to ask: Was Arnon Milchan the original source of the plotline for the Lone Gunman?
Why were the people involved in the production of this episode not investigated in the media? Why did the media ignore its own uncanny prescience, the Lone Gunman episode, which mirrored reality 6 months later?
Was the similarity between the Murdoch-produced show and reality too close for comfort? Was it too uncomfortable to discuss the origin of the idea for the show? Apparently so.
In Milchan's highly-controversial film JFK (1991), directed by Oliver Stone, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is ascribed to conspirators within the U.S. military-industrial complex. Whose idea was this? Why is Arnon Milchan's own criminal connection with Itzhak Rabin, who was in Dallas on the day Kennedy was shot, not an issue here?
In his futuristic film Brazil (1985), directed by Terry Gilliam, terrorist explosions go off in cafes for not apparent reason, very much like the seemingly senseless terrorism that plagues occupied Iraq. Is this Milchan's influence?
"Anyone closely associated with Peres pretty well must be satanic," Barry Chamish, a Canadian-Israeli wrote, "but Milchan produced a film that shows he has insider information. Chamish advises his readers to watch The Devil's Advocate with Al Pacino to "understand the implication."
"Milchan runs his company like a family business. Heading up New Regency Productions for him is his childhood friend David Matalon, whose parents were best friends with Milchan's," Bardach wrote. "Daughter Alexandra [Milchan-Lambert] is vice president of production in Los Angeles."
Matalon has served as president and CEO of New Regency Productions since 1995.
In 1986, Matalon, an Israeli co-founder of Tri-Star pictures, released a film entitled Iron Eagle, in which the aerial combat scenes were filmed entirely with the Israeli Air Force. The plot of this film is about how a few teenagers are able to steal U.S. military aircraft, codes, and information from under the noses of the military brass and run an entire military operation in which they bomb Libya without the knowledge of the military command. This film gives some indication of the kind of projects, and ideas, the Israeli military has collaborated on with their fellow Israelis in Hollywood.
THE SECRETIVE MOGUL
"Averse to publicity and little known outside Hollywood" is how Arnon Milchan's biography begins.
"My idea of a good profile is no profile," Milchan told Bardach. Murdoch, Levin, and Eisner have obviously respected the Israeli's wish, but why would a Hollywood mogul not want to be known to the public?
"Arnon Milchan has kept his secrets to himself," Bardach wrote.
Indeed, very little is known about Milchan, Israel's super weapons agent, except that he spends more time in Tel Aviv and France than he does in his office on the 20th Century Fox lot in Los Angeles, according to Bardach. Now, why would a Hollywood movie producer spend more time in Tel Aviv, where no movies are being made, than in Hollywood?
POLISH ZIONIST ROOTS
Milchan was born on December 6, 1944 on the Zionist settlement of Rehovot, in what was then Palestine, according to his biography in Current Biography (2000). Rehovot, one of the earliest Zionist settlements, was founded in 1890 by Polish and Russian Jews, one of whom was Milchan's paternal grandfather. Rehovot has a street and a neighborhood named "Milchen", no doubt in memory of his grandfather.
"My family's been there for 500 years," Milchan told Bardach. "My grandfather was a very close friend of President [Chaim]Weizmann." Oddly, Bardach does not provide the name of his grandfather who was "a very close friend" of Israel's first president. Likewise, she does not give the name of the ancestors Milchan proudly claims have lived in Palestine for 500 years.
"Milchan's father was an enviable success story himself, having laid the sprinklers that irrigated Israel," Bardach wrote. "Later, he would handle some of Israel's lucrative military contracts, according to his son."
However, it was young Milchan who put the company on the map internationally, after his father's sudden death. Following a spot of schooling in London and Geneva, where he excelled in soccer and tennis, Milchan dropped out and returned to Israel. Soon, he struck gold. By marketing a newly discovered nutrient that quadrupled citrus production, he brought his company stratospheric sales throughout the world.
"This is a man who made his fortune by screwing with nature," says screenwriter Shawn Slovo, who began her career as Milchan's secretary in 1977. "He's the Israeli who made the desert bloom. Amazing when you think about it. He could have retired at the age of 22."
Instead, like a kid racing around the Monopoly board, Milchan gobbled up another half dozen businesses--including electronics, chemicals, aerospace and plastics. Still in his early twenties, he met the Shah of Iran and reportedly talked the wily Persian into dozens of contracts, one to build much of Tehran's airport.
When one considers that Arnon Milchan, in his early twenties, was among the founders of Israel's Labor Party in the 1960s with Shimon Peres, Moshe Dayan, and Teddy Kolleck, then one can appreciate that his contracts in Iran and his career in arms dealing and Hollywood have been done with the active collaboration of the Mossad.
"I'M AN AGENT"
Milchan is a "go-between for American weapons manufacturers and the Israeli government, thus playing a major role in the strengthening of the Israeli military," according to Current Biography (2000).
"Throughout the 1970s, '80s and even up until the Gulf War in 1991, Milchan was Israel's foremost weapons procurer, brokering deals for such prized superweapons as the Hawk missile and the famous Scud-foil of the Gulf War, the Patriot," Bardach wrote.
"At different times in his career, his Israeli company, Milchan Brothers, has represented arms manufacturers such as Raytheon, North American Rockwell, Beechcraft, Bell Helicopter and Magnavox. Or, as Milchan downplays it, "there were a bunch of them." Nevertheless, he bristles at being called an arms dealer. "I'm their rep in Israel," he says emphatically. "I get a fee, a commission. I'm not even the buyer. I'm an agent."
"What we do is send my people to the United States," Milchan told Bardach, "so we know what these guys are talking about, and you go back and say to the buyer, 'I think this guy has some interesting stuff. Would you meet with him?' And then you arrange a meeting with the head of the [Israeli] air force and the head of this and the head of that."
In 1992, Milchan was described by the Jerusalem Post as being "among the handful of Hollywood moguls with the muscle and money to single-handedly give the go-ahead for a new movie project. The Mossad is undoubtedly the source of much of Milchan's "muscle and money."
Who pays Milchan's commissions? Whether the commission is paid by the weapon's vendor or by the state of Israel, the money going to Milchan is American money. He is paid either by the company or from the billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars provided to Israel for weapons every year. In this way, Milchan, Mossad's man in the middle, has been enriched by U.S. weapons sales to Israel.
"BIG STAR TO RAYTHEON"
In 1975, for example, Milchan reportedly received an improper $300,000 commission paid by a Raytheon subsidiary for the sale of Hawk missiles.
Raytheon makes the Patriot and Hawk missile systems and key components of the Global Hawk. Of particular interest is Raytheon's Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) which allow remote operators to pilot the Global Hawk from "thousands of miles away." This is the kind of technology that is thought to have been used in the terror attacks of 9-11, at the Pentagon in particular.
Terry Gilliam told Bardach that he'll never forget a visit to the Paris Air Show with Milchan during the filming of Baron Munchausen. "It was wonderful to see how the whole arms business worked," Gilliam said. "Arnon was very psyched about the video games. He brought his son with him, who was then a teenager, to play the games, which can replicate the destruction of the planet. He took me to the Raytheon booth, and it was all showmanship. He was obviously a big star to Raytheon."
"Growing up, I would read that he was an arms dealer; he was in the Mossad, and he was a movie producer," his daughter Alexandra told Bardach. She is married to a Scott Lambert, an agent with William Morris in Beverley Hills and graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. (Lambert happens to share the same name of a former Director of Manufacturing Systems at Raytheon.)
When one looks at Milchan's career as an Israeli agent who bought media outlets with dirty money one should consider that this may be the modus operandi he has employed to gain influence and outlets in the U.S. media market. Money laundering could explain his ability to make huge deals and control media networks - and his desire for secrecy.
"He's extremely powerful because he brings money to the table," journalist Anita Busch wrote. "He's unique in that way. He's got a credit line that's astronomical, like, you know, almost a billion dollars."
Terry Gilliam, the director of Brazil, wondered where the money came from. "Arnon can be great, but when it comes to money there's something - I don't know - bits just don't seem to connect."
Charles McKeown, a film writer, had a hard time getting paid by the billion dollar Israeli. "You just never know whether he was telling the truth or not," McKeown said. "The kind of deals he was in, the level of finance and the way he operated, seemed to me like a world upside down. I felt we were dealing with a sort of dangerous, shady quality."
In 1975, the Israeli government headed by Yitzhak Rabin and Defense Minister Shimon Peres recruited Milchan to launder money from South Africa. Milchan "has admitted laundering some of the more than $100 million spent by the South Africans during the 1970s in an attempt to improve the white government's image abroad," according to the authors of The Iran-Contra Connection.
Because both Israel and South Africa were ostracized in the 1970s, "The money laundering was part of the two countries' plan to buy newspapers and other media in various parts of the world," his biography reads.
"The Rabin government recruited ... Milchan to launder cash ... to purchase influential publications," Andrew and Leslie Cockburn wrote in their book Dangerous Liaison.
Milchan told Bardach he was asked by "prominent Israelis if 'we can use your companies to make deals to buy newspapers.' I said, 'Sure. It sounds like fun.' Basically, I was used as a middleman."
A citizen of both Israel and Monaco, he is said to control 30 companies in 17 countries, profiting in everything from film production to the weapons trade. But how does one man control 30 companies in 17 countries? Clearly there must be an entire team behind these businesses. Milchan's team could be called Team Mossad.
"I'll say it in my own words," Milchan told Bardach. "I love Israel, and any way I can help Israel, I will. I'll do it again and again. If you say I'm an arms dealer, that's your problem. In Israel, there is practically no business that does not have something to do with defense."
Milchan also funds Christian Zionist movements. Milchan has reportedly contributed significantly to the Christian Coalition, an organization started by the Reverend Pat Robertson, a staunch supporter of Israel.
He also underwrites the Israeli Network which transmits Israeli television programs to the United States and Canada via cable and satellite.
Milchan is also an owner of the Israeli television station known as Channel 10. The other owners are Ronald Lauder, who like Milchan owned about 25 percent, and Josef (Yossi) Maiman, who owns 51 percent and who has been with Channel 10 since it was founded in 2003. Rupert Murdoch bought 9 percent of Channel 10 stock from Milchan and Lauder in 2006.
(Maiman and Lauder are both linked to the Mossad and 9-11. For more on Maiman read "The Great Game: The War For Caspian Oil And Gas." Information about Lauder and 9-11 is in "Mossad -The Israeli Connection To 9-11")