The third piece on CIF in two weeks appeared today about the film Defamation – they sure are milking it for all it’s worth (which isn’t much at all…..)

This time it’s the film maker Yoav Shamir responding to David Hirsh’s critique (maybe he will also respond to theopen letter’ on CiFWatch – if he is reading this we promise to publish what he writes). He starts off by completely misunderstanding (maybe deliberately) Hirsh’s point that he ‘chooses mainly easy targets’.  Shamir responds that “all the subjects are people who willingly chose to participate” but that’s not the point at all. Hirsh means that instead of focusing on any number of vicious antisemitic incidents (the murder of the Holtzbergs in Mumbai, or of Ilan Halimi, or of Daniel Pearl, or the Aftonbladet libel) Shamir shines his forensic light on his 94-year old grandmother, the ADL (despite its goodwill in giving him free rein of the organisation and allowing him to accompany them on international missions) and a group of Israeli High School children visiting Auschwitz.

Next we get our old CIF pal, ‘argument by assertion’. Shamir assures us that supporters of Nordau and Herzl, the early 19th century Zionists, ‘represented less than 3% of the entire Jewish population at the time’. Er …. how on earth does he know a figure?

Remember, this is a man who admitted in the film that he has never experienced antisemitism: “Being an Israeli Jew I have never experienced antisemitism myself”. He shows how little he knows by asserting that Israel “was supposed to be a cure for what antisemitism started”. Of course it wasn’t – how can the creation of a state ‘cure’ racism? By the same argument his assertion that Israel has “ended up generating antisemitism” is just stupid – and a non sequitur over what has gone before. On the one hand, he recognises that antisemitism predates Israel; on the other he blames Israel for causing antisemitism.

Having been given the run of ADL, now Shamir says he “totally disagrees with it”. So it took all that time as an intern to decide that? And he had an open mind before? Pull the other one, Yoav!

Then he describes a game the ADL members play, when they have to identify non-Jewish friends who would hide them if it proved necessary. We get the inevitable sneer: “I am happy to say that, at least in my Tel Aviv social circle, this is not  a very popular game.” Well so what? What does that prove, apart from the fact that few Israelis – like Shamir – have experienced antisemitism.

Now comes the disingenousness: “I am a filmmaker who simply gave them the floor”. Pull the other one! So he had nothing to do with selecting Finkelstein, Walt, Mearsheimer and Avneri?

And more sneering: “Abe Foxman stated that antisemitism was the worst since the second world war, just as he had said last year and just as he will probably say next year, too”.

Well we have news for him: In Europe (and possibly globally also) it IS the worst since the second world war.

33 replies »

  1. Let’s hope that Yoav Shamir,will come on over to CiFWatch, to discuss his documentary,(it’s sounds more of a mockumentary)Over where posters can express themselves without fear or favor,without getting deleted for not conforming to the Guardian’s CiF anti-Semitic lopsided and wonky stage.

    In fact the very first post on Yoav’s thread that was posted by “iwouldntifiwereyou” was deleted,from then on it was downhill all the way.

    The ubiquitous Berchmans was his usual fiery self..

  2. hope

    “The ubiquitous Berchmans was his usual fiery self..”

    Lord that is the nearest thing to a compliment I have seen. Usually it is “gushing his anti Semitic vitriol in a spittingly anti Semitic way ” etc etc etc

    Take care.

  3. “The ubiquitous Berchmans was his usual fiery self..”, says hope.

    Cue for a song:

    Berchmans day (to the tune of “Galway Bay.” hat tip: Arthur Colahan)

    If you ever go across the web to Berchmans,
    To spend your time on Cif, all day.
    You will find that Berchmans leaves you in the lurch-mans,
    And visits Cif Watch for no pay.

    We know poor Berchmans’ arguments are ropey,
    And Berchmans don’t let facts get in the way.
    His Cif Watch incarnation’s “Dopey”,
    At Cif Watch Dopey gets his say.

    When Israel-haters for Berchmans are asking.
    For Berchmans’ screeds they hope, but never pray.
    Berchmans improves his skills in multi-tasking,
    To swap between both sites and scrawl all day.

    But Cif Watch dudes don’t care for Berchmans.
    Some want to capture him, alive to flay.
    Some feel he should be flogged, coz they are birch-fans.
    Most yawn and say, “Berchmans, please go away”.

  4. maybe he will also respond to the ‘open letter’ on CiFWatch

    You must be joking.

    a) Said letter ends “Yours in contempt”
    b) Jonathan Hoffman is a rather pathetic specimen.

    Why on earth would Shamir want to bother?

  5. Duvid Crockett

    Both sets of great grandparents were Irish set from a long line of musicians… I can hear turning in graves! 🙂

  6. @ Arabella Meller

    Who are you? Have we met here previously? I do not recall seeing your moniker before.

  7. Bye Bye Berchmans
    (to the tune of “Bye Bye Blackbird”. Hat tip: Ella Fitzgerald)

    Pack up all his loony views.
    At CIF Watch he’s old news.
    Bye bye Berchmans.

    No matter what faith you believe,
    Jews and Catholics he’ll deceive.
    Bye bye Berchmans.

    You don’t have to be an Israel-hater
    To know that Berchmans isn’t a two-stater.
    So draw a bead in your gun-sight
    On Berchmans at his screen all night.
    Berchmans, bye bye. (repeat)

    (Tenor sax solo.) DS al Coda.

  8. Two of the above posts are ‘songs’ that have nothing whatsoever to do with the article. I appreciate the effort, but wouldn’t it be better spent on dialogue? Sort it out…

  9. Pretzelberg
    If you haven’t noticed me before that is your lack of attention. I have not found it necessary to be formally introduced to people here before speaking to them, however if you insist we can ask somebody…

    In the meantime what about those ad hominems?

  10. This is not a riot; it is a walking talking shmendrick first class, with bar. Er sol wachst wie ein tvibl mit dem kopf in der erd.

  11. Margie

    “In the meantime what about those ad hominems?”

    Glad you brought that up. What do you say to all those maniacs calling people “anti-Semitic pig” and “piggish goy”?

  12. @ Duvid Crockett

    Sorry to be a stickler, but I think that should read:

    “Er zol vaksn vi a tsvible mit dem kop in der erd”

  13. I am told I must translate the un-translatable. “He should grow like a turnip (parsnip) with its head in the earth.” There is some academic discourse concerning exactly which vegetable a tzvible represents.

  14. @ Duvid Crockett

    I see our posts crossed. Ho hum.

    @ Margie

    So which ad hominems are you talking about, then?

  15. pretzelberg you find that others’ ad hominems are unacceptable to you but you go merrily ahead and make personal comments.

    Try the golden rule: do as you would be done by.

  16. Abandon hope; abandon hope. I have said it once and I’ll say it again. I am Duvid Crockett, King of Delancey Street. There is no wild frontier and no kinks in Delancey Street, but you can hear of of my legendary activities courtesy of the inimitable Mickey Katz on:

  17. I happen to think this entire question is more one of naivete and lack of perspective more than anything else.

    The lens of anti-semitism is different within and outside of Israel and that is exactly what Israel was supposed to provide.

    That Yoav Shamir has grown up without feeling or experiencing anti-semitism is a testament to the success of the zionist dream, to have our own country, our own national character, our own country where we will not be singled out and pointed at, blamed for whatever shortcomings come about.

    Why would he recognize or feel the anti-semitism that the ADL deals with?

    In his own way, he’s the product of his sheltered upbringing….he should acquire a bit more understanding though before dealing with a topic that he doesn’t know quite enough about.

  18. Try the golden rule: do as you would be done by.

    Indeed, which begs the question why on earth did zionism continue with its aims when it knew full well, the indigenous people would be harmed.

  19. RepublicanStones: Do as you would be done by and don’t ask these boring repetitive type non-questions that have no answer because their premise is non-existent..

  20. , ‘represented less than 3% of the entire Jewish population at the time’. Er …. how on earth does he know a figure?

    Perhaps by comparing membership of zionist organisations with the number of world Jewry at the time. I mean, its not hard to do. Hell even Congressman Julius Kahn writing in 1919 (a letter to the NY times) was able to compare the figures for America.