Middle East is like the Land of Oz. We
are told to ignore the man behind the curtain with the explosives strapped to
his body. He is the victim we are
told. So who is the oppressor? Israel: the only country in the region where the
rights of women and the GLBT community are protected. How dare they. Yet, this is not an isolated episode of temporary
media insanity. Gloria Z. Greenfield
traces the historical anti-Semitic roots of the Hate-Israel Lobby in Unmasked Judeophobia: the Threat to
opens today in New York.
with an elementary school education should be aware of the blood-chilling
horrors unleashed by anti-Semitism in the Twentieth Century. Sadly, this does not include Iran’s president
and Holocaust denier-in-chief, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel explains, many
thought the widespread shock and sorrow inspired by the Holocaust would act as
a permanent check on violent institutionalized anti-Semitism. Tragically, that has not been the case.
fast forward to the present day.
Throughout Europe, hate crimes against Jews are at an all time high. Ahmadinejad
calls for Israel to be wiped off the map and the UN shrugs. A “mainstream” Scandinavian newspaper publishes
a scurrilous libel against the Israeli people and, unlike the “Innocence of
Muslims” kerfuffle, the government and the EU can’t be bothered to respond.
identifies the historical antecedents for such events, including the
publication of the Czarist forgery, The
Protocols of the Elders of Zion (still a bestseller across the Muslim world),
and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem’s enthusiast support for Hitler and his “Final
Solution” during World War II. In fact, Judeophobia makes a critical point. The only Axis-aligned countries where the
Allies did not actively disseminate information on the Holocaust and establish
policies to curb extremism were in the Islamic countries of the Mideast and
by Greenfield, Michael Yohay’s thematically related The Case for Israel, was more focused, establishing point-by-point
the democratic virtues of the State of Israel, particularly in comparison to
their hostile neighbors. (Case also featured a more distinctive
soundtrack composed by Israeli jazz musician and former Paquito D’Rivera
sideman Alon Yavnai, but perhaps I digress.) In contrast, Judeophobia’s thesis is somewhat less defined, essentially boiling
down to “yikes, things have gotten bad.”
Nevertheless, Greenfield and her impressive cast of interview subjects
argue the question very convincingly.
Greenfield has an unusually knowledgeable and authoritative battery of experts
to draw upon, including former UN Ambassador John Bolton, former Soviet
Refusenik Natan Sharansky, former Canadian Liberal Party Minister for Justice
Irwin Cotler, and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz. Through their testimony, Greenfield convincingly
links the overheated rhetoric aimed at Israel, often hypocritically couched in
the language of human rights and concern for the downtrodden “Palestinians,”
with the incontrovertible anti-Semitism of previous eras. Frankly, after watching Judeophobia, it is impossible to pretend there is any difference
between “anti-Zionism” and anti-Semitism.
is bound to generate some anguished critical
hand-wringing, because it hits pretty close to home, exposing some rather
unsavory attitudes in the so-called “peace movement,” academia, and the old
media. The truth can be tough to
face. That is exactly why Judeophobia and The Case for Israel before it are so needed. Informative, dispassionate, and scary as all
get-out, Unmasked Judeophobia is
highly recommended for New Yorkers who think they understand the state of the
world but only rely on one or two sources for news. It opens today (10/19) at the Quad.
Labels: Alan Dershowitz, Documentary, Israel