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

Other than being beaten up for being Jewish – something he then chose to deny in order to avoid getting hurt again – he had no connection to the religion until he married his second wife (the first was Catholic).  His four children from his second marriage all became b’nai mitzvah and they celebrate Jewish holidays – but he said that was because of their mother.  And then in 2010 Hoffman narrated a documentary “Jews and Baseball.”

Of course, the fact that Hoffman is giving an award to the Arab Palestinian “filmmaker” of the “documentary”  “5 Broken Cameras,” is even more delicious for those seeking to demonize Israel.  What a thrill to use a very Jewish-looking and -sounding Hollywood icon to make the presentation.

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The film, “5 Broken Cameras,” has a plot as thin as pita bread. You already know the plot, even if you’ve never heard of the movie: Israelis are very bad, they violently wrest away the land and the dignity from the poor victimized Arab Palestinians.  That’s the story, in a nutshell.

If you want more specifics, “5 Broken Cameras,” chronicles the weekly protests by the Arabs who live in the village of Bil’in, next to which, in 2005, part of Israel’s security fence was erected. That’s right, the security fence which has been credited with shutting down the horrific nightmare of homicide bombings that murdered and injured thousands of human beings – Jews, Arabs and Christians – before it was erected.

The five cameras refer to ones owned by the amateur filmmaker and Bil’in villager Emad Burnat – he’s the one getting the award from Hoffman – who purchased them in order to document the “horrors” of the Israeli encroachment (although some accounts claim the cameras were purchased for the birth of Burnat’s first and then subsequent children).

Burnat recorded the weekly “nonviolent” activities held by the villagers and international agitators who join them to protest the fence. He claims that all five cameras were broken by the Israelis responding to the weekly nonviolent protests against what they call the “Apartheid Wall.”

But the protesters portrayed in “5 Broken Cameras” were revealed as frauds even before the Hollywood crowd took a shine – it was nominated for an Academy Award – to the film. For those who maintain a vigilant watch on news reports about the Arab-Israeli conflict, Bil’in is known for a very different kind of revelation – it is one of the few times the pro-Israel side was able to capture – dead to rights – the Arab Palestinians in a flat out lie.

Jawaher abu Rahma was an Arab woman who lived in Bil’in.  In late December, 2010, spilling on into 2011, news reports from dozens of mainstream media outlets claimed that abu Rahma was killed by the Israelis who threw tear gas at the “nonviolent” protesters near the Bil’in part of the security fence.  Those outlets got the information from the protesters lionized in Burnat’s film.

How awful.  Except that it turned out abu Rahma, who died in a Ramallah Hospital on December 31, 2010, died as the result of medical malpractice at the hospital, completely unrelated to any tear gas.  In fact, abu Rahma wasn’t even at the protest that day.  A film about how Jawaher abu Rahma actually died, who exploited her death, and why the lies about it weren’t considered news is a film that never will – but should be – made.  Would Hoffman present an award to the maker of such a film?

Last month an Israeli NGO representing hundreds of IDF soldiers and reservists, Consensus, filed a letter with Israel’s Attorney General.  Consensus wants charges filed against the makers of “5 Broken Cameras” for incitement and slander.

“We can prove how the film was edited, clip after clip, shot after shot, to the point where it has no connection to reality,” the letter from Consensus explains.  “The film is ultimately baseless, false and absurd, and as far from reality as east is from west.”

So, in the end, 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.

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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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