Friday, December 01, 2006

Anti-Semitism in All the Easy Places

What would have happened if Sacha Baron Cohen of Borat fame had interviewed some of his fellow British citizens? Or, what if he had gone to France to talk to a "youngster" in one of the 183 no-go neighborhoods around Paris? Or, what if he had sang "Throw the Jew Down the Well" or how about "Kill the Jews" just about anywhere around Europe or Arabia? But he didn't. He came to America's heartland and found all the violent Christian Jew-haters/sarcasm.

Charles Krauthammer takes the artist to task (via Ace):

Sacha Baron Cohen, the creator of Borat, revealed his purpose for doing that in a rare out-of-character interview he granted Rolling Stone in part to counter charges that he was promoting anti-Semitism. On the face of it, this would be odd, given that Cohen is himself a Sabbath-observing Jew. His defense is that he is using Borat's anti-Semitism as a "tool" to expose it in others. And that his Arizona bar stunt revealed, if not anti-Semitism, then "indifference" to anti-Semitism. And that, he maintains, was the path to the Holocaust.

Whoaaaa. Does he really believe such rubbish? Can a man that smart (Cambridge, investment banker and now brilliant filmmaker) really believe that indifference to anti-Semitism and the road to the Holocaust are to be found in a country-and-western bar in Tucson?

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world.

With anti-Semitism reemerging in Europe and rampant in the Islamic world; with Iran acquiring the ultimate weapon of genocide and proclaiming its intention to wipe out the world's largest Jewish community (Israel); with America and, in particular, its Christian evangelicals the only remaining Gentile constituency anywhere willing to defend that besieged Jewish outpost -- is the American heartland really the locus of anti-Semitism? Is this the one place to go to find it?

He continues with this:

Yet, amid this gathering darkness, an alarming number of liberal Jews are seized with the notion that the real threat lurks deep in the hearts of American Protestants, most specifically Southern evangelicals. Some fear that their children are going to be converted; others, that below the surface lies a pogrom waiting to happen; still others, that the evangelicals will take power in Washington and enact their own sharia law.

This is all quite crazy. America is the most welcoming, religiously tolerant, philo-Semitic country in the world. No nation since Cyrus the Great's Persia has done more for the Jews. And its reward is to be exposed as latently anti-Semitic by an itinerant Jew looking for laughs and, he solemnly assures us, for the path to the Holocaust?

I haven't seen the film, yet, but I heard about the bar scene. Never mind that the vast majority of conservative Christians whole-heartedly support Israel.

The young Baylor grad at our dinner table on the cruise said,"We should just move all of Israel and Britain to America, take over Canada and build a huge wall. Screw the world." (I would add that I'd like to see Australia included, too.) His point, of course, was--bring all the Democratic and free nations under one roof and let the rest of the world figure it out.

It's easy to pick on Conservative America. It's scary to contemplate the real enemy rising. Again.


Antoinette said...

I will agree to bringing in Australia if we can send Mel Gibson to Australia.

Antoinette said...

Siberia! That should have said if we can send Gibson to Australia. Been teaching grammar to a 7 year old all day, shouldn't even be trying to type.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Mel Gibson was born in the US and returned there. It was only his families movements to caused him to live here for a while.

You could always deport him to New Zealand :)


Chalmers said...

This is yet another way that the Liberals are out of touch with America. I have seen Borat, and I found the bar scene to be very disconcerting, but never came to the conclusion that America was a threat to the Jewish community. America may be filled with empty headed people that don't have the sense to stand up and confront a person that is being ignorant, but they are no threat to the freedom of Jews.