Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Antisemitism and Oliver Stone

Is anyone giving out an award for the most bigoted Hollywood personality?  Something must be going on because it seems that Oliver Stone is attempting to challenge Mel Gibson for bigotry.

In an interview with the "Sunday Times of London", Stone decided to let his inner bigot out for a stroll:
In an interview with The Times to promote his documentary “South of the Border,” which is about South American politics, Mr. Stone defended Hitler. “Hitler was a Frankenstein, but there was also a Dr. Frankenstein,” he said. “German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support. Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people.” Mr. Stone then proceeded to discuss what he called “the Jewish domination of the media,” adding with an expletive that Israel had messed up “United States foreign policy for years.”
He is absolutely right, with the policy of appeasement, Hitler was supported by western industrialists.  Many nations were willing to give him anything to avoid war and it was only when it became impossible to ignore the legitimate threat that he posed, that war was declared.  Even after Europe declared war on Germany, the U.S. remained neutral.  When Hitler turned and decided to open the war on two fronts, breaking his treaty with Stalin, there can be no doubt that the Russians paid a terrible price.  I do however think that Stone's approach specifically ignores the pogroms that happened in Russia.  Who does that man think died?  Russia was no place of warmth and tolerance towards Jewish people either,  and Stalin was certainly no saint. Stalin's time in power was a reign of terror.

Today we can see Jewish people dominating in certain areas, but never does anyone mention that these are the areas they were forced into because of the heavy restriction on their activities.  Blaming them for succeeding despite the antisemitism they faced is nothing but bigotry. Stone cannot see that his hatred is absolutely illogical, because he is determined to present a biased view of history.

For a man that is supposedly intelligent, his failure to understand that blaming Israel for U.S. foreign policy would be astounding, if it were not such a commonplace mistake.  It is more than reasonable to be critical of the American policy as it relates to Israel without blaming Israel.  The U.S. sees the Middle East as it sphere of influence and after the British fallout with Iran, it stepped in to fill the void to secure access to oil.  The problem with the Middle East is not an overt sympathy with Israeli Jews, but a determination to have access to black gold.  If the U.S. really cared about Jewish people, it would not have turned so many away when they were attempting to escape the persecution of Germany.  Furthermore, they knew very well about the death camps and did nothing to stop them.

Also, the very idea that a country with the power of United States not being responsible for its own actions is absolutely ridiculous. What power does Israel have to cause the U.S. to act?  Can it threaten to invade the U.S.?  Will an embargo on American products severely  damage the American economy? Israel may purchase the most weaponry from the U.S., but I doubt even with the cessation of such activity, that the U.S. would have an issue, when there are still so many constantly looking for armaments. Suggesting that Israel has the power in this situation, is like saying that cats are afraid of mice.

There are many things to be critical of Israel for.  Its criminal treatment of the Palestinians chiefly being the major site of criminal wrong doing.  Stone did not see fit to mention the apartheid system that it runs, the continuous bigotry and murder of Palestinians, because in the grand scheme of things, he sees this as unimportant.  What Stone wants to do is to make Israel the scapegoat for American actions. Accepting responsibility has never been something that Americans are good at.  The American government has bullied the entire world and is directly responsible for the death of millions -- and yet Americans can still wonder why so many people hate them, or think that they are uneducated dolts who do their thinking with their arse end.

I am quite sure that once again many will rise to the defense of Stone, stating that he does have a point about American policy.  They will be more than happy to ignore the antisemitism  that he has engaged in, with the belief that he has made a genuine critique about American foreign policy.  You don't have to engage in hate and revisionist history to make a point, but then hating the powerless seems to be something that dominant American bodies excel at.  And in this case, Israel is definitely powerless against the U.S. -- furthermore, placing them on even footing, is an attempt by Stone to justify his hatred of Jewish people. Perhaps for his next project he will produce an overly long movie about his ridiculously hateful  vision.

H/T GUS aka Allison McCarthy