web analytics
August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

What Drives Celebrity Anti-Semitism?


In a span of several weeks, a motley group of celebrities ranging from the composer of “Zorba the Greek” to a British fashion designer to an American television actor – as well as the Australian founder of WikiLeaks – have all manifested Judeophobia.

What is this global celebrity outburst targeting Jews all about?

There is a refreshing honesty about what animates the anti-Semitism of Mikis Theodorakis, best known for composing the musical score to the academy-award winning film “Zorba the Greek.” He recently declared on Greek television that he was “anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.”

The 86-year-old member of the Greek Communist party also said, “Everything that happens today in the world has to do with the Zionists.” Another comment was “American Jews are behind the world economic crisis that has hit Greece also.”

Theodorakis blasted Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou for establishing closer relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was guilty, he said, of “war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza.”

While most Europeans and North Americans who loathe the Jewish state disguise their hatred through the cottage industry of boycotts, divestment and sanctions targeting Israel, Theodorakis simply came out of the anti-Semitic closet. European politicians like the former Social Democratic German chancellor Helmut Schmidt and former Christian Democratic Union party German president Richard von Weizsäcker – both of whom signed a petition last year to sanction Israel – would, of course, never own up to being contaminated by the “A” word.

That helps explain why former Christian Dior fashion designer John Galliano, actor Charlie Sheen, and WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange scrambled to distance themselves from allegations of anti-Semitism, which still spells opprobrium and has the potential to ruin careers.

Helen Thomas is now yesterday’s woman because of her anti-Semitic tirades. But her anti-Israel bilge is the long established departure point for a solid majority of European journalists and entertainers.

Galliano’s diatribes in a Paris bar involved calling a patron “a dirty Jew” and declaring “I love Hitler.” He also told a guest at the bar, whom he believed to be Jewish, that “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be [expletive] gassed.”

Dior dismissed its chief designer, and he promptly boarded a plane to enroll in a Arizona-based addiction treatment center know for helping celebrities.

The reactions to Galliano’s comments were revealing. While Natalie Portman, the American-Israeli actress and Dior perfume model, said, to her credit, that she was “shocked and disgusted” and “would not be associated with Mr. Galliano,” the German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was more troubled that his colleague created a “horrible image” of the fashion industry.

Charlie Sheen, erstwhile star of the television show “Two and a Half Men,” singled out his Jewish producer Chuck Lorre by his Hebrew first name and original surname – Haim Levine – and raged against him as a “contaminated little maggot” that “can’t handle my power and can’t handle the truth.” Sheen went on to “wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels, especially if they wind up in my octagon.”

Ridiculing the names of Jews was a favorite pastime of German anti-Semites and the use of biological language to dehumanize Jews was ubiquitous among Nazis. In sharp contrast to Hollywood’s kid-glove approach to director and actor Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic diatribes, Warner Bros. sacked Sheen and justified the swift contractual discharge because his “comments poison[ed] key working relationships.” (A curious footnote to Sheen’s meltdown is that he told a radio interviewer he’s a “huge fan” of Gibson and praised him as a “beautiful man.”

The Pavlovian reflex to blame the Jews found its way into WikiLeaks founder Assange’s explanation for the widespread criticism of his whistleblower organization. Assange allegedly told the British magazine Private Eye that the Guardian newspaper was “part of a conspiracy” directed by “Jewish” writers to discredit him and WikiLeaks. Private Eye had queried Assange about his work with a writer accused of being a Holocaust denier. Realizing he’d been caught with his hand deep in the anti-Semitic cookie jar, Assange told Private Eye journalist Ian Hislop, “Forget the Jewish thing.”

As can be seen from these celebrity diatribes, anti-Semitism takes many forms. Some celebrity outbursts (like Assange’s) are animated by classical anti-Jewish conspiracy theories; others (as in the Sheen and Galliano cases) by a reflexive tendency to project one’s own pathologies onto the Jews.

About the Author: Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (www.defenddemocracy.org


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “What Drives Celebrity Anti-Semitism?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Man protecting his son on the side of the highway, as rockets fall. (Archive: July 17, 2014)
Live Updates: Morning Barrages & Rockets on Gaza Border Communities (10:26am)
Latest Indepth Stories
Mowing the lawn

Judging by history, every time Hamas rebuilds their infrastructure, they are stronger than before.

Digital StillCamera

His father asked him to read Psalms from the Book of Tehilim every day.

Bosch-Fawstin-They-Say-We-Say

(Reposted with permission from author’s website) Moderate truth-teller Daniel Pipes (Dream) has further moderated his stance on Islam by actually entertaining the idea of “Moderate Islamism”, with Andrew C. McCarthy- whom I’ve debated about this- giving it some credence. We’ve gone from Naming the Enemy -Nazism, Communism- to Renaming the Enemy – “Islamic Totalitarianism”, “Radical Islam”, “Islamism”, […]

Light up the world copy

Maimonides: “Your 1 mitzva may tip the scales and bring redemption to the entire world and creation”

Jerusalem has been aware of the importance of China to its growth and security.

In other words, how by any rational playbook can one even begin to explain anti-Semitism?

Israel has nine Iron Domes, but you Mr. Hannity are the tenth.

Entire movements within “orthodoxy” propagate a Judaism of outlandish folklore and Jewish mysticism

The Rebbetzin began campaigning to increase public awareness of the importance of saying Amen.

Obama is transparent, if you read his oracular signs with the right key.

Everything I imbibe is with my inimitable fervor for being Jewish.

The multiculturalism that animates the hate-Israel crowd is sprinkled with code words of oppression

All the tactical problems have solutions. The real problem is not with the enemy; it is with us.

Israel feebly begged Hamas to end the barrage, promising that “quiet will be met with quiet.”

The UN ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel.

Haredim possess strong feelings of kinship and belonging, desiring to contribute to Israeli society.

More Articles from Benjamin Weinthal
Iran_Oil_Map

EU outlawing of Iranian oil imports is already hurting the Iranian economy. But will it have an effect beyond that?

The German Holocaust foundation Remembrance, Responsibility, Future – EVZ – is in a state of denial concerning misuse of public funds meant to largely compensate the victims of the Shoah but used instead to finance anti-Semitic student exchange programs in Israel and Germany.

In a span of several weeks, a motley group of celebrities ranging from the composer of “Zorba the Greek” to a British fashion designer to an American television actor – as well as the Australian founder of WikiLeaks – have all manifested Judeophobia.

What is this global celebrity outburst targeting Jews all about?

As an Israeli psychoanalyst once noted with bitter irony, the Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz. The corollary to this observation is that Europeans will never forgive the Israelis and the Jews for Auschwitz.

Germany needs an Israel Lobby. That was the thrust of Alan Posener’s commentary on Deutschland Radio in late May. Posener, chief columnist for Germany’s largest circulating Sunday newspaper, Welt am Sonntag, attended the yearly AIPAC conference in Washington and posits U.S pro-Israel solidarity as a model for Germany, where “Israel’s Lobby’s consists of six million dead Jews.”

There is a kind of obsessive national pastime among certain mainstream and left-of-center German dailies that involves, wittingly or unwittingly, anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments. The charged debates within American Jewry, ranging from the role of American Jewish organizations to the controversy surrounding intellectual provocateurs like Tony Judt, serve to provide new fodder to those looking to exploit the anti-Israel card in central Europe.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/what-drives-celebrity-anti-semitism/2011/03/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: