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Dustin Hoffman to present Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Award to anti-Israel film,
Dustin Hoffman to present Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Award to anti-Israel film, "5 Broken Cameras" April 27, 2013

America’s favorite serious Jewish actor for much of the 1960’s and ’70’s, Dustin Hoffman, is about to present an award to a filmmaker at an event put on by the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

The recipient of the award is a professional Israel hater, and MPAC is led by someone who publicly suggested Israel was to blame for 9/11 and who advocates for the removal of Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from the American terrorism list.  With Jews like Dustin Hoffman, who needs enemies?

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This Saturday, April 27, Dustin Hoffman will appear at MPAC’s Media Award Gala in Los Angeles to present MPAC’s Media Award to the anti-Israel film “5 Broken Cameras.”  According to MPAC, Hoffman is a “supporter of the documentary.”

The objective of  “5 Broken Cameras,” like that of so many Pallywood videos, is to portray Arabs as the innocent victims of the rapacious Israel.  This movie began as video clips of the protests that were submitted as “evidence” to Israeli courts and handed over to be used by mainstream media to show the sad plight of the Arabs.  The videos which then became this movie were taken and put together by someone participating on one side of a propaganda war, and not by an objective film maker seeking to document reality – as is the role of documentaries – that fact should have sounded alarm bells for a professional actor of Hoffman’s stature.

In his very first film, “The Graduate,” (1967), Hoffman played a recent college graduate whose parents expect him to do great things, but who was stuck in an emotional and motivational dead zone.  His character, Benjamin Braddock, is turned off by the plastic values of his parents’ generation, but has no passion or interests to replace them.  And so he is portrayed floating in his parents’ swimming pool, suspended below the water, cocooned in indifference, pondering the bizarre lecture given to him by a family friend about “plastics.”

Over the course of his career, Hoffman’s extraordinary roles included the disabled homeless vet Ratzo Rizzo, in “Midnight Cowboy” (1969), the highly talented yet self-destructive break-through comedian Lenny Bruce in “Lenny” (1974).  Hoffman won an Oscar for portraying a newly divorced father painfully attempting to know his young son in “Kramer v. Kramer” (1979), and was nominated for an Oscar for playing the opportunistically gender-bending actor/actress title role in “Tootsie!” (1982).

Hoffman’s stature as a great actor continued into the late 1980’s – he was riveting as an autistic man, Raymond Babbit, in “Rain Main,” for which he won his second Oscar (1988).  Hoffman’s movie roles have become more sporadic and less artistically and financially successful in recent years.

Perhaps that explains why he was willing to be used as the latest in a long series of Jewish “fig leaves,” for anti-Israel projects.  There seems to be no other reason why the Muslim Public Affairs Council would call upon Hoffman to present an award for a documentary film which portrays Israel in the worst possible light, with no balance or nuance.

Hoffman has never been involved in Middle East issues or interests – other than co-starring in a disastrous film set in Morocco. “Ishtar” (1987) was described in London’s Time Out as “so bad it could almost have been deliberate.”

There had been a rumor – which caught fire and remains rampant on the Internet – that Hoffman snubbed Israel and pulled out of appearing at a Jerusalem Film Festival in 2010 in the wake of the Gaza flotilla incident. However, Yigal Molad Hayo, the associate director of the Cinematheque at which the festival takes place, was quoted in an article in the Jewish Chronicle that the account had not been accurate, and the discussions with Hoffman had not progressed even before the Mavi Marmara incident.

It isn’t hard to imagine why the Muslim Public Affairs Council would want a famous Jewish actor to give them the kosher certification of acceptability (“Dustin Hoffman, the famous Jewish actor, hangs out with us, we must be fine” is the not-so-subtle message). But why would Hoffman agree to participate?

Hoffman is someone whose Jewishness seems to have played very little role in his life other than as a trigger to anti-Semitic bullies, and the fact that his height, his nose, his nasal voice and his plucky, outsider roles are all stereotypically Jewish.  Hoffman recently spoke about the complete absence of anything Jewish in his life growing up.  He did not become a bar mitzvah and he never learned any Hebrew.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

39 COMMENTS

  1. I used to like this man, but now I can see we don't even know someone till they REALLY open their mouth. I love Israel and the Jewish people and know who will win in the end.

  2. Might be worth either contacting Hoffman and discussing the facts with him, or perhaps send it to a common friend who is informed of the facts and have that person talk to him. Nothing works as well as the truth writ large. It just might take a little longer.

  3. An excellent film fully deserving of the award (it was also nominated for an Oscar I recall). What a shame that Ms Marcus and the commentators on here can't leave aside their knee-jerk reaction to any criticism of the Israeli authorities (which in the case of actions in the village of Bil'in are truly disgraceful) and examine the film on its own merits. And as for the disgusting abuse directed at Mr Hoffman, imagine if a non-Jew said such things. There would be hell to pay from the ADL and others.

  4. Sad…It will come back to him. I guess he has issues with being Jewish. He needs to do a soul searching big time. There are Jews like him..It is called self-hate… But at some point hopefully some of them will grow up. And for him it is not too late…It is never too late. Israel it is like a lighthouse in the middle of the ocean. It is the place where Jewish children are safe from anti-Semitism. You need always to remember it.

  5. Good for Dustin Hoffman. And this publication and writer should be ashamed for lying, distorting, and expressing slurs that in any other publication would be clearly antisemitic. Enough with the hysteria about Palestine; nonsensical and inflammatory pieces like this one merely perpetuate the tired, old talking point that Palestinians are enemies. They are not. And the last time I checked, Israel was the occupier and oppressor.

  6. Guys! No one cares if you don't like the film, or need to smear people that are associated with it. It's out there, it's obvious what's going on with in the occupation. This bit of the ritual, where the people involved have to be demonised and the facts disputed through meaningless rhetoric, it might have meaning for the participants, but it looks really desperate from the outside. Remember, no-one expects settler colonials, hellbent on occupation and genocide to facilitate a greater Israel, to like their crimes being exposed in a documentary. You're expected to react this way. It's predictable, so the only information to be gleaned from the response is exactly how shrill is it, and what rhetorical devices will be deployed. The more intense the reaction, the more effective the documentary has been. From this article and the responses below it I would say it's been a fantastic success, it must suck seeing facts emerge and public opinion shift, after such a long run of managed PR.

  7. Ronald Farber – That's a pretty shrill call for calm, if you ask me. "hellbent on occupation and genocide"? Really? Do you read what you're spewing or do you have one of those voice recognition programs that go wild on their own?

    Are you ever disturbed by the facts, or do you just ignore tham and charge ahead, reality be damned?

  8. It has long been a matter of routine for Zionist propagandists to ridicule and denigrate, Joseph Goebells style, anyone who dares to criticise Israeli crimes.

    However in more recent times the most vitriolic comments have been used against Jews who dare to criticise or speak out, however mildly, in support of indigenous Palestinian Arabs.
    The description “Dustin Hoffman with his honking nasal voice and Semitic nose may be emulating the pattern of the mindless good-looking movie stars against whom he rose as the iconic non-handsome, non-sexy male movie star of the counter-culture years” demonstrates just who are the real anti-semites and how low the have sunk.

  9. I'm touched that your reply to me is every bit as inane as the Hoffman critique. Like the article, your post is devoid of semantic content, any serious comment or any real questions are absent. Nothing but hot air, but then, what else is available to you?

    The reality of the crimes of the brutal Israeli occupation, an occupation that has been going on for over 40 years, are recognised by the entire world. The voting record at the UN is available for all to see just like the film record is available for all to see.

    World public opinion has turned, mostly in revulsion at the crimes, but at least partially through the stupidity of the pro-Israel groups, that have gone so overboard with useless PR engineering like this article, and brave keyboard warriors like yourselves weighing in to repeat and provide reassurance and support to each other in the echo chamber of the advocacy media.

    Together you get to DH names and make out he's a 'troubler of Israel', but history will correctly record the PR machine and its satellites as the King Ahab in this situation, and I'm sure the parallel isn't wasted on anyone as smart as Dustin, despite his lack of religious scholarship.

  10. Hmmm… Sounds like the film itself is seriously flawed, but while "Israelis are very bad, they violently wrest away the land and the dignity from the poor victimized Arab Palestinians" is indeed not the whole story, it's certainly a pretty good summary of Israel over the last 20 years..

  11. Goodness, what vindictive, racist mean spirited people. Enough of loving "Israel and the Jewish people". How about loving human beings, justice and peace for all, not just one religious club? The indigenous Semitic Palestinian people are occupied by the 4th largest military in our world. The native Palestinian people do not even have an army to protect them from the occupying military. If you people think Israel's actions are so fine and dandy, would you be OK if the situation were reversed and a militarily strong Palestine were occupying Israel, stealing alnd and water from it, imprisoning Israelis behind an illegal monstrous wall and dropping white phosphorus bombs on the trapped people behind the wall? The worldwide BDS movement is growing and indicative of the fact that the world is waking up after decades of Israel's war crimes.

  12. AND, the personal attacks on Dustin Hoffman serve to show what type of people support a state that commits war crimes. It is par the course for Zionists to attack the person rather than deal with the issues. So, I fully expect to be personally attacked rather have the issues discussed objectively…prove me wrong!

  13. This was an official position of the Soviet Government towards differently minded. Anyone blacklisted as one of them would sooner or later land in a mental institution. Bravo gentlemen! Remarkable progress in mentality of" free-minded" individuals on this page.

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