Thursday, November 1, 2012

Everything Copacetic for Israel and Jewry? What Ape 'n' Hogwash!

Pace the muddled thinking behind the Shalom Hartman Institutes's iEngage project, which is premised on the Candide-like delusion that, for Israel and Diaspora Jewry, all is mostly for the best in a world largely devoid of pathological Jew-hate (as if!), here's a still small voice of sanity. In conversation with The Jewish Voice, filmmaker Gloria Greenfield elucidates the themes of her new documentary which deals with the very real and present danger of global Judenhass:
JV: The film opens with Holocaust historian and author Elie Wiesel issuing a frightening warning about the proliferation of anti-Semitism. He states that he thought that Jew hatred had made its final exit from the annals of history after the Holocaust. While making this film, did you come to the conclusion that “Judeophobia” is endemic to the Jewish experience?
Gloria Greenfield: Judeophobia has nothing to do with the nature of Jews. Rather, as Ruth Wisse brilliantly articulates in her analysis of the pointed finger, Judeophobia has everything to do with the political needs of those who forged Jew-hatred as a political tool; they need this politics of accusation, grievance, and scapegoating. In my interview with Wisse in August 2010, she warned that “it is high time that people really begin to look at anti-Semitism in terms of its political function and consider the role that it plays in the politics of its users – whether they are autocrats or totalitarian oppressors, or whether they are religious radicals or secular radicals – look at the role that Jew-bating plays in their political scheme.”
There's a good reason why Ruth Wisse, the  Harvard prof who wrote  Jews and Power, one of the brainiest and most thought-provoking tomes of our time, is not associated with the Hartman Institute. It's because, unlike the hand-wringing iEngagers, she believes American Jews who care about Israel should vote for Romney. Baldly stated, that view would no doubt give Donniel Hartman and his fellow deep thinkers the vapours, and perhaps even induce a bout or two of apoplexy.

Update: I propose this as the iEngage theme song:

On second thought, the music is far too sublime for so picayune a project.

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