General Antisemitism

Guardian reader directs off-topic, anti-Zionist vitriol towards Sasha Baron Cohen

H/T Margie

Peter Bradshaw wrote a largely positive review of Sasha Baron Cohen’s new film, The Dictator, in the Guardian, May 10. 

Bradshaw wrote:

“Baron Cohen plays General Aladeen, the tyrannical ruler of the oil-rich north African rogue state Wadiya, who is intensely irritated by the western powers’ infatuation with the Arab spring.” 

“[Aladeen] exerts a grotesque, Orwellian power and abolishes hundreds of words in the Adiyan dictionary.”

“His confrontation with Washington has reached a crisis after a speech in which he announced Wadiya was just months away from enriching uranium, and then corpsed and giggled uncontrollably when trying to claim that this was for ‘clean energy purposes’.”

Bradshaw comments:

“[The film] does…deliver laughs and weapons-grade offensiveness.”

“It is relentlessly immature and I was often reminded of the cheerfully reprehensible Kentucky Fried Movie in the 70s, a film unashamedly low in nutritional value. But it was very funny and so is this. The Dictator isn’t going to win awards and it isn’t as hip as Borat. Big goofy outrageous laughs is what it has to offer.”

Evidently, one reader (someone using the moniker ATTW) wasn’t amused, and wrote this comment:

Unpacking this comment (which has thus far garnered 39 ‘Recommends’):

  • Conflating of Jews with Israelis: Cohen, a British Jew, is immediately tied to Israel. (Also, see this CW post about a similarly bigoted attack on Cohen by the Guardian’s Michael White.)
  • Classic projection: The suggestion that Israel is an extreme anti-Arab, anti-Islamic country is a perfect moral inversion in light of the Arab world’s malign obsession with Jews and Israel, and endemic culture of antisemitism. It takes a lot of ideological conditioning to see the last 64 years as the Israeli/Jewish war against the Arab/Islamic world.
  • Thinly veiled Nazi analogy: The reader sees a Jew mocking Arab dictators as somehow analogous to Germans mocking Jews in the years leading up to the Holocaust.

This off-topic, gratuitously anti-Zionist (and ad hominem) attack on Cohen has not been deleted by CiF moderators. 

12 replies »

    • He sounds suspiciously like a bloody Zionist to me. Wki reveals all:

      Baron Cohen, the middle of three brothers, was born in Hammersmith, West London. His mother, Daniella (née Weiser), was born in Israel, and his father, Gerald, was originally from Pontypridd, Wales.[5][6] He has two brothers: Erran and Amnon.[7] His family is Jewish.[8]

      Baron Cohen’s maternal grandmother, who lives in Haifa, Israel, trained as a ballet dancer in Germany.[6][9][10][11] Erran is a composer and has worked on several of his films. Internationally renowned autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen is his cousin.[12]

      Baron Cohen attended Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, a private school in Elstree, Hertfordshire, north of London.[13] He went on to the University of Cambridge, entering Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he read history.[14] While attending the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club, Baron Cohen acted in the plays Fiddler on the Roof and Cyrano de Bergerac, and performed in Habonim Dror Jewish theatre performances

      (Tony Lerman and some of the contributors and commenters to this blog also performed in or belonged to Habonim Dror. Which shows you … something …or other …)

  1. ATTW sounds like a bit of a humourless prat.

    Mocking antisemitic Arabs – what’s not to like?

  2. Peter Bradshaw wrote a largely positive review of Sasha Baron Cohen’s new film, The Dictator, in the Guardian, May 10.


    New Headline. Guardian discovers that very, very few ‘Jews’ are anti Israel. Even more, Jews can laugh at Arabs and even more, Jews can laugh at themselves.

  3. As of 15.46 the offensive post is still there.

    On the other hand

    11 May 2012 2:21PM
    Response to ATTW, 11 May 2012 9:26AM
    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our community standards. Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs

  4. And the post has been deleted. Tough break ATTW. Maybe if you were less of a hypocritical whining empty-headed jackass, you would have snuck under the very low bar one needs to clear in order to post a comment to CiF and have it stick.

  5. My only complaint about Sascha Baron-Cohen is that he’s treading water artistically.

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