Prof. Phyllis CheslerThe writer, a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum and recipient of the 2013 National Jewish Book Award, is the author of sixteen books, including Women and Madness, Woman's Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. She has written four studies about honor killing, Her latest books are An American Bride in Kabul, (Palgrave Macmillan) and Living History: On The Front Lines for Israel and the Jews.Professor Chesler may be reached at her website www.phyllis-chesler.com
It was inevitable. Given the increasing pressure on liberals, especially artists and writers, including Jewish artists and writers, to
What, exactly, should we do with our human monsters?
prove that they have the right/left politics–properly pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel, anti-Judaism, and anti-American–Hollywood is giving an Honorary Academy Award to French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, an historically important director but a raving and unapologetic anti-Semite, a man who is obsessed with the Jews.
Godard has also described Israel as a “cancer on the map of the Middle East;” visually, in paired flickering images, has compared Golda Meir to Hitler in one of his films; defended the 1972 Palestinian terrorist massacre of Israeli athletes in Munich and suggested that an image of the Palestinian camps should be “broadcast before every Olympics finale;” justified Arab terrorism by describing Israel as a “paradoxical form of Nazism;” insisted that German television is “financed by Zionists,” and demanded that the Germans, instead, allow “us” to buy “weapons for the Palestinians to attack Zionists.” In one of his many films, “A Married Woman,” Godard has a character state: “ Today, in Germany, I said to someone, ‘How about if tomorrow, we kill all the Jews and the hairdressers?’ He replied, ‘Why the hairdressers?’”
In other words, Godard, in both his films, and in interviews, is an out-of-control racist and he has wielded his considerable cinematic talent and influence to legitimize a far less talented industry of exterminationist propaganda against the Jews and Israel.
In a sense, Godard is a French Leni Reifenstal. She was Hitler’s favorite actress and film director and brilliantly, visually, cinematically, glorified Nazi fascism. Reifenstal had no shame, no regrets, no sense of moral culpability and she went on to live a very long and productive life.
Like Reifenstal, Godard is some kind of monster. But, like the Nazi doctors, both filmmakers have still passed the cinematic equivalent of their medical boards.
I understand: Godard is one of Hollywood’s quintessential heroes, a man whose work they grew up on, someone who has directed the legendary Jean Paul Belmondo and Brigitte Bardot. Those in Hollywood who have voted to give him this award (43 men and women were involved) are nostalgic for their own youth. Like Michael Moore, who was one of the 43, they may agree with Godard’s views—or they may simply view his Jew-hatred as a minor and irrelevant sin which should not detract from the importance of his films.
Look: With precious exceptions too numerous to mention, these people are in the entertainment business, they are not rocket scientists or moral magicians. The fact that Hollywood now holds the entire universe captive to its hard Left views, carefully embeds such views into its Great American Dream Factory, is not a power they wield with a conscious and grave sense of responsibility. They do not view themselves as responsible for what people do after they’ve been exposed to their images and stories. They view people as having a free choice.
Hey, pornographers do not view themselves as responsible for how women are viewed in society and see no connection between pornography and the fact that women are raped or raped-and-tortured by serial sex killers. The entertainment industry believes in making money and having fun; sometimes, they subsidize inspired acting and produce quality scripts.
I understand where Hollywood is “coming from.” I have been there myself. As a young 20 year-old, I was “breathless” about Godard’s film “Breathless” (1960). I have grown older and grown up. The Hollywood “bad boy” wannabes absolutely refuse to do so. They are obsessed with violence and sex and political conspiracy theories, and with an alarming and paranoid hatred of America.
They do not see this as furthering the ends of a second Holocaust, Islamic Jihad style. They really do not.
Yes, I understand where Hollywood is “coming from.” Once, like so many other young Americans, I adored all things European. Thus, I despised America as puritanical, reactionary, unsophisticated–dull. French cafes, baguettes, the Louvre, Monet, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, the British Museum, Stonehenge, Stratford-on-Avon, the Via Veneto, espresso, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Dutch canals, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer, all symbolized “High Culture” and countries ruled by revolutionary concepts of freedom.
We, who were young at the end of the fifties and the beginning of the sixties, all preferred the emerging European cinema; we viewed it as a mature and serious art form that was also “sexy,” at least compared to Hollywood’s cowboy and Doris Day movies. How many American filmmakers could compare to Italy’s Vittorio de Sica, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini; Sweden’s Ingmar Bergman; or France’s Francois Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, or Alain Resnais who pioneered what became known as The French New Wave of cinema.
Truffaut, De Sica, and all the rest are dead. All Hollywood now has left is its own adolescent adoration of gangsters, native Indians, terrorist radicals—and Godard.
However, the issue is tricky. I oppose boycotts—I really do. I do not believe that we should judge a movie by the moral standards of its creator. There are plenty of Jew haters who are not great film makers. I believe in free speech and in the First Amendment and am outraged by the politically correct censorship of thought and art. And yet, isn’t it awfully dangerous to honor those who are dangerously unrepentant racists? There are always consequences. How many bodies, mass graves, killing fields, will it take this time before the blood-letting stops?
What can one do when telling the truth is not enough? What, exactly, should we do with our human monsters? Jail them? Hang them? Censor them? Boycott their work, boycott the Oscars—that utterly threadbare event? Then, why not boycott Israel–and America too?
It is heartbreaking that honors are being heaped upon racist Jew-haters (even, perhaps especially, upon those who also make legendary films), while, at the same time, dishonor and shame are being heaped upon those who condemn this.
One very small thing we can all do is to name and expose who the racists and Jew-haters really are. The Zionist Organization of America has just condemned the Academy’s choice of Godard; so far, they stand alone.
Godard is “notoriously critical of Hollywood” and will therefore not appear in person to accept his award. Thus, the Academy will have his statuette delivered to him in Switzerland. Godard’s non-appearance was confirmed by Academy President Tom Sherak.
(Reprinted with author's permission from http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/10/25/and-the-oscar-goes-to-%E2%80%A6-racist-jew-hater-jean-luc-godard/ ) ) ) )