Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In UNMASKED JUDEOPHOBIA, Gloria Greenfield tries to fog our thinking

I suspect there is some very good information in Gloria Greenfield's new documentary, UNMASKED JUDEOPHOBIA: The Threat to Civilization (that sub-title alone should raise a red flag), but the repetitive, ham-handed manner in which it is presented is enough to make aware and thinking people -- anyone, that is, who might find and be willing to admit as reprehensible some of the state of Israel's current behavior toward its Palestinian residents -- run for the exit.

The movie begins with a statement by Eli Weisel (above) that is so blatantly naive as to be unbelievable (unless Mr. Weisel is being misquoted, but, no, there he is actually making that statement in a speech): "I am afraid because antisemitism, which I had thought belonged to the past, has somehow survived."  Hello: Antisemitism -- which has been around ever since Jews have been around (just as homophobia has since homosexuals first appeared, and racism since Blacks, Asians and Caucasians hit the scene -- is here to stay, at least until human beings lose their fear of "the other."

Yet Mr. Weisel and another maybe 20-odd talking heads (including everyone's favorite stand-up guy Joe Lieberman) join the fray to convince us how horrible it is that this antisemitism is growing. The approach is to show us how the Muslim states that surround Israel want nothing more than its destruction. Another "hello": Has this not been true since the day Israel became a state? And has not Israel demonstrated pretty conclusively, via this war and that, that it could and would defend itself quite well? So much for anything new. Power may keep changing within those surrounding Muslim states, dictators (often sanctioned by the USA) will come and go, but nothing really evolves regarding the attitude of Israel's neighbors. So Israel and the western world be must be ever vigilant.

I can find no other reason for the existence of this documentary -- which in purporting to show us how antisemitism is suddenly growing by leaps and bounds must go back decades to get its "current events" (1980s France, for instance) and make its point (it also shows us various and very old propaganda posters (above) -- than to somehow and none too subtly take the world's mind off the current and growing appearance of Israel as an aggressor state in terms of its treatment of the Arab population living within its borders.

There are a lot of good things to be said for the state of Israel, but this kind of Jews-as-victims! Jews-as-victims! rabble-rousing should be beneath some of the people involved in this documentary. The worst offense, it seems to me, is claiming that the current human-rights protests against Israel (the filmmaker doesn't even dare go into the specifics of what these protests are about) are some conspiratorial plot against Israel by its "enemies." Oh, golly, everyone's against us! Well, don't take it so personally. It's not you we're protesting, it's your behavior. That not-so-faint tinge of whole-hog ideology hangs over this film: If you're not completely with us, then you're our enemy.

The silliest part of the documentary features an anti-United Nations screed led by, who else, that ol' UN-lover John Bolton, while its most trenchant section involves feminism, and why the western feminist world has not arisen en masse to protest the Muslim states' treatment of women. Why indeed?! And just when we're convinced that France is the single most antisemitic country in Europe, Spanish journalist and former politician Pilar Rahola (below) informs us that -- nope! -- it's Spain.

Unmasked Judeophobia plays tonight in Manchester, New Hampshire (click here for details) then opens this Friday for a week's theatrical release in New York City at the Quad Cinema.  You can click here to see all currently scheduled screenings of the film.

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