General Antisemitism

CiF, and “Jewish” Hollywood


CiF Culture published an article by Paul Harris on November 14th on the subject of the controversy surrounding the award of an honorary Oscar to Jean Luc Godard due to what some perceive as the ageing director’s anti-Semitic opinions.

Is Godard an anti-Semite or just something in the style of that embarrassing, cantankerous old relative whose views on the world were formed in an era very different to the present and whom we all occasionally encounter at family get-togethers? I don’t know, and to be honest I’m not sure that it is important, although Godard’s own reaction to the recent accusations of anti-Semitism do suggest a rather fossilised mindset perhaps not entirely unexpected from someone who spent most of their long life committed to the totalitarian religions of Maoism and Marxism.

“That’s nonsense! What does ‘anti-Semite’ mean? All peoples of the Mediterranean were Semites. So anti-Semite means anti-Mediterranean. The expression was only applied to Jews after the Holocaust and WWII. It is inexact and means nothing.”

In addition, Monsieur Godard may also care to ponder the fact that if one finds oneself being defended by Philip Weiss, that may well be an indication that a review of one’s position is clearly necessary.

Even so, the Academy’s decision to honour Godard’s work is based on professional criteria and whilst the ‘Nouvelle Vague’ did little to impress me personally, such is the case with the majority of other Oscar recipients too. Does it in fact matter? When all’s said and done, the Oscars are of no consequence in the general scheme of things, being little more than an introspective exercise in extravagant mutual self-congratulation within the privileged confines of a closed club. And the fact is that even racists can produce good art, literature or music and boycotting someone’s achievements or creations because of unconnected opinions or beliefs, whilst eminently fashionable in the politically correct world in which we live, is undoubtedly a double-edged sword, as many a Zionist in the European academia, arts and media world is well aware.

But the interesting thing about the CiF report on this incident is not the controversy itself, but the rather hazy implication made within it.

“The question on many people’s lips was: is Godard anti-Zionist or is he anti-Jewish?

In Hollywood there is no greater sin.”

This seemingly casual statement of course plays to believers in the old canard that ‘the Jews control Hollywood’ and implies that were Godard perceived to be a racist of any other stripe the reaction would be considerably less vociferous. Indeed, it even suggests that those seemingly closed ranks of near omnipotent Jewish movie moguls could be seen as persecuting Godard for his stance as a heretic.

In fact, if one takes the trouble to read much of the criticism of Godard’s award, it is quite clear that the opinions expressed come within a framework of a general condemnation of racism and bigotry of all kinds – a point which Paul Harris has obviously either missed or chosen to ignore for the sake of an opportunity to play to the gallery.

So let’s remind Mr. Harris of one of the definitions of anti-Semitism according to the EUMC Working Definition:

“Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.” (My emphasis)

There is something disappointingly lazy about a journalist who resorts to spicing up a bit of a non-event of a story about anti-Semitism by employing old-fashioned Jewish conspiracy stereotypes himself. Yes, it’s easy, effective, tried and trusted but it’s not exactly the hallmark of serious journalism, is it?

18 replies »

  1. “The question on many people’s lips was: is Godard anti-Zionist or is he anti-Jewish?”

    Here’s the answer on my lips: both.

  2. Harris demonstrates his and his CIF buddies’ open and blunt Jew hatred writing this:

    But some other reported statements are less easy to defend…

    What Harris considers easily defendable:

    In one of his films (Here and There), the director alternates images of Adolf Hitler with Israeli leader Golda Meir.

    And what actions of Godard he considers “less easily” – means a bit harder to defend, but anyway defensible:

    …once calling a friend a “dirty Jew”…

    and this:

    after being asked for back pay by a colleague, saying: “It is always the same, Jews call you when they hear a cash register opening.”

    and this:

    In a 1985 interview Godard spoke of the “image of the central European Jew” as being part of Hollywood’s problem with being caught up in debt.

    That this kind of whitewash of a notorious Jew hater has been published by the Guardian should not be a surprise.

  3. Is Der Guardian anti-Zionist or is he anti-Jewish?”

    Here’s the answer on my lips: both.

  4. I’ve read the interview and I think you have to ‘read between the lines’ in order to decrypt it. Godard’s blunt racism and hatred of specific segments of the humanity is as clear as the day light.

    I personally think Godard indulges in ‘casual’ outbursts of racism when saying, for example, that that ‘of course, a black person can wear glasses and a watch, but this doesn’t make us the same’.

    Godard is wearing glasses too yet he needs to apply for the visa (all that hassle etc.) in order to be able to receive his trophy.
    In other words, America is decorating him yet simultaneously is treating him like a pariah/villain requiring him to prove he is innocent so he is given the clear off and the ‘privilege’ to travel to America (which should not be a privilege but a right)
    But then not all humans are equal.
    Ain’t he right Godard? (well, of course he isn’t, I’m just trying to desperately give him an alibi. Which he doesn’t deserve anyway)

    All in all, Godard affords himself to discriminate because he thinks he is discriminated in his turn and the visa story is a valid proof of that…

    Also, he is quite old and we know that old people have nothing to lose so they can ‘afford’ to finally be themselves. Which is another cheap excuse for indulging in evil stuff. A bit like those kids who under the pretext of being immature can throw tantrums with impunity.

    I checked Godard’s biography. He comes from Switzerland country which was always a hotbed of antisemitism and is to this day openly racist.

    You only need to read the likes of Max Frisch, author who courageously points out at his compatriots’ dark secrets such as racism, antisemitism, condoning of cruelty etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Frisch

  5. Brilliant clear-sighted writing Israelinurse; especially on the subject of mutual back-slapping awards ceremonies like the Oscars. Duvidl always switches channels when they are on TV.

    As the winners strut their hour upon the red carpet and then are heard no more, Duvidl remembers the late great Tony Curtis, who died last month. He was a poor Jewish boy from Brooklyn, who never received an Oscar, yet made an immense contribution to entertainment and fashion with his unforgettable haircut.

    Godard-who he?

  6. Duvidil, Tony Curtis was from The Bronx.

    As for the Oscars, the Academy did not honor her, but amongst others, in the “who died” roll call, they did note the passing of nazi propagandist “artist” leni riefensthal.

  7. TGII. Duvidl’s apologies to The Bronx, Duvidl, as you know, is King of DeLancey Street in the words of Mickey Katz’s legendary song; a Lower East Side man born and bred.

    From Tony’s wiki-biog it appears he was, in truth, from Hungary, not speaking English until he was 5 and in 1990 extending his philanthropy to help in the rebuilding of the Great Synagogue in Budapest after wartime damage.

    Duvidl also remembers seeing Leni Riefenstahl’s “The Triumph of the Will,” clips from which are often used to exemplify Nazi evil. Hollywood approbation of her re-emphasises Israelinurse’s salient point that, “when all’s said and done, the Oscars are of no consequence in the general scheme of things, being little more than an introspective exercise in extravagant mutual self-congratulation within the privileged confines of a closed club.”

    Shakespeare was of the same view about these participants in the dramatic arts. Duvidl tried to paraphrase him in his comment above, but here are the actual words of Macbeth in Act V Scene V:

    19 Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
    20 Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    21 To the last syllable of recorded time,
    22 And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    23 The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    24 Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    25 That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    26 And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    27 Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    28 Signifying nothing.

  8. By the way, Duvidl hopes Janet Suzman, Miriam Margolies, Alexei Sayle, Stephen Fry, Mike Leigh and Ken Loach are reading this thread.

  9. Quite aside from the issue of separating artistic achievements from an individual’s personal “views”, saying that “In Hollywood there is no greater sin” is a fuckin’ ridiculous thing to say.

    @ Compay

    I once appeared in a student production of Frisch’s Andorra (whch I’m sure you know) and had the dubious honour of playing the “soldier”!

  10. Most people watch the Oscars for the Red Carpet and glamour, although there are so few real movie stars anymore to be glamourous. There are sooo many award ceremonies at this point, the whole exercise is meaningless—–best movies sometimes get re-released to make more money, that’s it. After the “Academy” gave an honorary award to Roman Polanski that was it for me, completely amoral. Let’s just find solace in the fact that most people watching don’t know or care who Godard is and if he isn’t handsome in a sharp tux, without name recognition, they’ll either use the time he is on stage for a pit stop, snooze or channel surfing and won’t remember him by the next morning.

  11. Duvidl, did you notice that the BBC’s obiturary on Tony Curtis failed to mention his ‘Jewishness’, only that he was the son of ‘Hungarian immigrants’. That one extra word – ‘Jewish Hungarian immigrants’, must have really stuck in the throat. Such a stunning Hollywood legend obviously doesn’t fit the Beebs received ideas on Jewish characteristics.

    And just to get back on track, no doubt, Goddard is an unreconstructed anti-Semite, and to argue to the contrary is a sign of the normality of anti-Semitic discourse in mainstream circles, to which the liberals at the Guardian have grown quite immune.

  12. “This seemingly casual statement of course plays to believers in the old canard that ‘the Jews control Hollywood’ and implies that were Godard perceived to be a racist of any other stripe the reaction would be considerably less vociferous. Indeed, it even suggests that those seemingly closed ranks of near omnipotent Jewish movie moguls could be seen as persecuting Godard for his stance as a heretic.”

    Perhaps you should read this before you post such ill-informed crap.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/19/opinion/oe-stein19

  13. Pretzelberg, I stand corrected, but still maintain the position,that its all about beautiful people in beautiful clothing hawking themselves and their product….and with modern tech you get to fast foward through all the acceptance speeches and just admire the view.

  14. Frisch’s Andorra is not the actual country of that name but rather a mythical place that resembles Frisch’s own Switzerland. Everyone seems civil, but the anti-Semitism just below the surface is virulent.

    Jean-Luc Godard was born in Paris on Paris on December 3, 1930, the second of four children in a bourgeois Franco-Swiss family. His father was a doctor who owned a private clinic, and his mother came from an preeminent family of Swiss bankers.

    During the Second World War Godard became a naturalised citizen of Switzerland, and attended school there, (in Nyon).