Another critique of this Oscar nominated propaganda films coming out of Israel, the Gatekeepers and Five Broken Cameras. Sarah Honig fires a broadside, in the main, accurate, but not entirely. The part of her article on Jewish appeasement, lack of self-esteem and outright inferiority leading to self-hatred as the nub of the psychosis being the BDS and anti-Israel movements spearheaded by Jews is accurate enough and disturbing in itself to use Israel as a pretext to vent spleen and engage in sanctified anti-Semistism from an allegedly high moral ground. The question ultimately is what is the course of action that will protect Jewish, and for that matter Arab lives most effectively? The problem with the extreme left is their acceptance of the basic premise that it is proper for Israel to compromise its security to placate the Arabs; of course after which it is hard to draw red lines. If danger to life is no longer a reason to say “No”, then what is?
(see link at end)…It’s as if the whole international community was holding its breath for some obscure Israeli documentary or film short to get the ultimate nod. All else in Tinseltown’s annual pageant is marginal.
And so Monday morning’s news announcers mournfully informed us that there would be no Oscar for Israel this year….
…It’s here that a sanity check is called for.
Is our national pride boosted by films that malign us? Is this what Israeli national pride has been reduced to – the desire to see our face ignominiously slapped before the entire sneering world? Are we pained because another Israel-bashing project didn’t get the glory that our left wing eagerly sought (so as to rub our collective nose in it)? Seriously?
Some of us backward types actually heaved a huge sigh of relief that both Israeli contenders lost. It was sweet that the Oscar for best documentary went to the British/Swedish Searching for Sugar Man.
For decades no film that tells our story and presents our case had come out of this country. Somewhere along the line, local producers must have figured out that their only way to rake in profits and score points overseas – especially in Europe, which despite all pretenses to the contrary, still hasn’t shaken off its congenital Jew-revulsion – is to portray the Jewish state as villainous.
So after all the accolades expectedly showered in Europe on these latest made-in-Israel defamatory offerings, the only solace left us here is to revel in the fact that the Oscar eluded them.
Their central thematic core is every bit as predictable, cravenly conformist and run-of-the- mill as nearly all Israeli flicks of past decades. Local filmmakers uniformly revel in picturing Israelis as jaded, essentially unpleasant (if not altogether repulsive), justifiably apprehensive, rightfully apologetic, malaise-ridden,minally devoid of vitality, corroded within and/or wretchedly racked by self–reproach.
The Arab is revealed as the antithesis to the inherently disagreeable, fatigued, befuddled, farcical, foolish and/or pathetic Israeli. Arabs are dedicated patriots, confident in their cause, outspoken in their righteous indignation, vindicated in their umbrage, noble, proud, tough, young, vigorous and deserving of victory….to be continued…
( There is nothing new here.Israel has continually chosen to worry first about what other nations will say, and second about her own priorities. The attitude has always been what will the Arabs say, and what will be the response from Washington.
Remember, over three thousand years ago, the returning scouts whom Moses had dispatched to report on the inhabitants of the Promised Land debriefed as follows: “We were like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and so we were in theirs.” It all began with self-image and how they looked in the mirror. When Jews perceive themselves as puny, when they cower within, it is no surprise that enemies act aggressively. Conversely, when Israel has self-respect, when without boastful pride they focus on their own priorities and give precedence to their security, other nations will regard it differently. It is in this in-between space that the Jewish anti-Israel group fester.)
continued. Honig: Misgivings are further intensified when we realize how many of these one-dimensional productions are subsidized by the Education Ministry’s Israel Film Fund. Portions of our hard-earned incomes go – as taxes collected from you and me – to underwrite either outright vilification of the Jewish state or, at best, unsympathetic depictions of a bumbling imbecilic entity.
… Hand-in-hand with omnipotent media cliques, our artistes vehemently orchestrate intimidating reputation-trashing onslaughts which no higher-up or administration in recent memory could overcome.
And so – willing or not – we bankroll them and, at our expense, they relish in thumbing their avant-garde noses at the “benighted” aggregate of ordinary Israelis who are denied other homegrown cinematic fare, certainly anything Zionist. Guy Davidi, co-director of 5 Broken Cameras, has gone so far as to recommend – openly, out loud and brashly before the microphones – that an international boycott be declared against Israel.
Since nothing pro-Israeli can win applause at Cannes or Berlin, the preferences of overseas nabobs must be pandered to in our filmmakers’ quest for fame and fortune. …
( Honig’s second part on Hollywood’s own caving in is not entirely accurate, since there were broader contexts at work here as well. America had a virtual tidal wave of Anti-Semitism in the late 1930’s, and dispatching the Jews to the great beyond was a real threat. Also, Jews were so concerned with assimilation, they they really didn’t want to bother with Eastern European Jews who would shed an unpolished and what they perceived as negative light on them.
The there is the studios themselves. Honig neglects to mention that early in the Great Depression they were all going bankrupt and if not for the intervention of Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and other big establishment money they would have failed. They were the money behind the screen. The Jews were the face of Hollywood but limited to being the PR of this new Industrial entertainment complex, doing what the English called “putting a good face on trade.” A typical example of the dumbing down and bullshitizing of critical content in a more contemporary context was taking Otto Dix’s and George Grosz’s Weimar and coming up with the romantic Cabaret with Liza Minelli.
The result was that by1936, we had the Hayes Act which in effect censored films, and the role of movies changed to being more formula based, generic and and innocuous. Shirley Temple was an answer to poverty. Movies had to “cheer Americans up,” and Hollywood, for its own survival , fell into into a lackeying relation to the most reactionary dictates of capitalist ideology, which at the time meant that the economy of the country was driven not my labor, but by money. Those with deep pockets were to be protected and coddled since it was they who would bring America out of depression as their confidence was restored by a government that did their bidding. So, the ground was set for Joe Kennedy, and like the loser he was, he took the path of least resistance…
(see link at end)…Honig: In their own twisted way it’s as if today’s Israeli filmmakers had paid heed to the admonitions arrogantly issued by Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. to the Jewish movie moguls he assembled before him in 1940.
The multi-billionaire dynasty founder and father of the future president, was himself a movie tycoon (co-founder of RKO, among other conquests). He never concealed his contempt for the ground-breaking immigrant and first-generation Jews who had invented Hollywood and created the movie industry from its humble beginnings as the nickelodeon novelty. He referred to them mockingly as “pants pressers” …
Kennedy addressed the Jewish studio heads soon after his resignation (at president Franklin D. Roosevelt’s unambiguous insistence) from his post as US ambassador to London. His two-and-a-half years at Grosvenor Square should have tipped off his California audience to what was in store.
…The father sent his son to visit Nazi Germany in 1934, when the Jews were already subjected to merciless persecution. Joe Jr. wrote his dad extolling Hitler’s various “accomplishments,” including the policy of sterilization, which the Kennedy heir apparent lauded as “a great thing.” Exuding liberality, he elucidated: “I don’t know how the Church feels about it, but it will do away with many of the disgusting specimens of men who inhabit this earth.”
…Convinced that the Jews are warmongers who aim to drag America into battle needlessly, he took it upon himself, right after his return to the US, to sternly warn them not to harm relations with Germany, lest they be blamed for any fighting which would erupt.
And so, delivering a speech on the “European Situation,” he cautioned Jewish studio executives: “You guys are going to be responsible for pushing the United States into war against the Nazis unless you stop your anti-Nazi films, your anti-Hitler propaganda, your anti-German propaganda. When war breaks out, the American people are going to turn on American Jewry, and there’s going to be an outbreak of anti-Semitism like you’ve never seen, because the Jews are going to be held responsible for every American soldier and the destruction of the American economy.”
Kennedy went even further. It wasn’t just the content of films he regarded as offensive. “You’re going to have to get those Jewish names off the screen,” he bullied his stunned listeners.
Rather than fight anti-Semitism, Kennedy brandished it as a threat. He hectored the Jewish movie magnates about irritating their sworn enemy. The riot act he read them generated shock and underscored all the underlying Jewish insecurities that never went away, despite these entrepreneurs’ presumed rights as Americans and despite their affluence and incontestable achievements.
Their mogul status notwithstanding, Hollywood’s Jews still remained fearful and vulnerable enough not to have produced any film during all of WWII that focused on the methodically organized inhumanity against their own brethren.
Israel’s movie-makers – while they had demonstrated nothing even remotely approaching the originality, dynamism or success of the industry’s Jewish founders – do, nonetheless, seem to have adopted their spinelessness.