March 13, 2009, - 5:39 pm

Dumb: Michigan Jewish Federation Hosts . . . Anti-Israel Movie

By Debbie Schlussel
When I first reviewed the anti-Israel movie, “Waltz with Bashir,” I got a ton of e-mails saying things like, “Well, my Israeli friend saw it and liked it.” Or, “My Jewish friend recommended it.” In these cases, I say, don’t rely on the Jews to decide for you what is pro-Israel and what isn’t. It’s like telling me, “Well, my best friend is Black.” Uh-huh. Whatever.
This story is yet another example of this.
Regardless of the stereotype that Jews are smart people (and in average IQ terms, studies bear that out), some Jews are extremely dense when it comes to fighting America’s and the Jews’ enemies–I refer to the Jews who voted for Barack Obama and those who run the Jewish community establishments and fiefdoms around America. If you slap the label “Israel” or “Israeli” (or Democrat) on something, they seem to lose all sense of discernment and just plain common sense, like when the “Israeli” thing they push is actually anti-Israel.


Anti-Israel Waltz with Islamic Terrorists

Such is the case with the Jewish Federation of Grand Rapids, which is hosting the anti-Israel movie, “Waltz With Bashir,” which as I’ve noted is high quality Bin Laden cinema. It’s one of the most anti-Israel movies I’ve ever seen, if not the most.
The Jewish Federations are the self-appointed spokespeople and welfare organizations in each major city. They are usually dominated by left-wing Jews who have money and silly ideology, but not much in the brain cell department. Apparently, the Grand Rapids, Michigan Jewish Federation is no different.
A reader from Grand Rapids received this notice:

From: Jewish Federation of GR
Subject: This Sunday …
Date: Thursday, March 12, 2009, 1:33 PM
Dear Community Members:
This Sunday . . . you are invited to My2Cents with John Serba, of the Grand Rapids Press, to the screening and discussion of
Oscar-nominated Israeli animated film “Waltz with Bashir,” 1 p.m., March 15 at Celebration Cinema North.

A “discussion”? I hope they discuss how stupid they are. Oh, and by the way, these Federation brainiacs never even saw the movie, but they heard “Israel,” and they immediately felt the need to gush.
The reader from Grand Rapids complained and describes the response:

You would NOT believe how fast I received a telephone call from our Fed director. Nobody from the Federation screened the movie before planning the event.
I asked the $64 question: Did anyone SEE the movie before planning this event?
The answer: “Well… Sari Cohen is our program director and a friend of hers saw it–an Israeli no less–and recommended it.”
In other words, NOBODY from the Federation office screened this movie before announcing an event complete with the presence of a REPORTER from the GRAND RAPIDS PRESS.

Yup, that’s par for the course. And it’s why you can’t rely on the Jewish establishment to decide what’s good for the Jews or Israel.

6 Responses

Dear Debbie:
Thank you for posting that. Had it not been for your timely column about KGS’ findings, I never would have known to contact our local Federation to tell them that they had wandered into a minefield. I don’t go to the movies. Most of them are neither good or entertaining. IF there’s something good enough to warrant watching, I wait until it’s available on DVD and rent it. That’s one reason why I don’t always read your Friday movie reviews. And if I do, I read it from the bottom up looking for the “4 Reagans” to see what’s good because I assume most movies are (is it OK to say?) crap.
Fortunately for me (but not necessarily others), the film was nominated for an Academy Award. This instinctively told me that there HAD to be anti-Israel content because the film academy openly supports liberal orthodoxy. An enthusiastically pro-Israel film would not likely gain a nomination. Like you said when Paul Newman died: they wouldn’t make a film like EXODUS today.
I don’t think publicizing this event was an act of malice toward Israel. (From your column, I believe you would agree with me on this.) Frankly, I think our local Federation was “set up” by a local newspaper whose editors are not known for their support for Israel (and that’s about as nice as I can put it). SOMEBODY from the Federation should have viewed the movie before inviting the entire Jewish Community of greater Grand Rapids to attend an event that would be discussed with a local newspaper reporter afterward.
Unfortunately, the “prestige” of an Academy nomination still carries weight with many people, Jews included. That plus “Israeli” resulted in the knee-jerk response that you have identified. I concur with your observation.
I’m afraid our local newspaper will probably have an article in that paper covering this “Federation event” complete with quotes from our local blow-hards. I think you know what I mean when I use the term “blow-hards”. Every Jewish community has them. I predict the newspaper will probably refer to them as “community leaders”.
I believe our local Federation was “set up” by a newspaper that probably knew this was an anti-Israel film. Let us hope and pray this Shabbat, that our local Federation staff start reading your blog. They don’t have to agree with everything you say. As you know, I certainly don’t. Nonetheless, you warned us TWICE about this movie! From the bottom of my heart, I thank you (and KGS as well).
Shabbat shalom.
There is NO Santa Claus (aka TINSC)

There is NO Santa Claus on March 13, 2009 at 7:48 pm

Just because is someone is Jewish doesn’t necessarily mean they’re pro-Israel. There are secular Marxist Jews who hate Israel with the same passion as the ultra-haredi Neturei Karta fanatics. Not every Jew supports the Jewish State as a matter of course.

NormanF on March 13, 2009 at 8:28 pm

More US Jews oppose Israeli survival than support it. It shows in voting patterns.
What can possibly be the attraction to Judaism today? Is it just for people who love shooting themselves in the foot than basking in the glory of victimhood?

Smarty on March 14, 2009 at 10:41 am

Most of us have known about anti-Semitic Jews for a long time. It’s nothing new. What’s new is this:
It wasn’t that long ago that an Academy Award nomination was the mark that a movie was good, entertaining and likely appropriate for teenagers. It wasn’t that long ago that a movie made in Israel didn’t make me worry that it would try to make me ashamed to be Jewish and supportive of Israel. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that merely knowing that a movie was made by Israelis and nominated for an Academy Award would be an immediate “must-see” for any Jew or supporter of Israel.
It’s really sad that these things don’t hold true today.
In another day and age, I could understand why a Jewish Federation could assume a movie made by an Israeli carrying an Academy Award nomination would be worth seeing. It’s just not like that today and it hasn’t been like that for quite some time.
I disagree. Most American Jews support Israel’s existence and prosperity. Unfortunately, we have political leaders in America who lie to us when they say they support Israel’s security.

There is NO Santa Claus on March 14, 2009 at 9:20 pm

The BLOCKHEADEDNESS of Left-Wingers , regardless of Ethnic Background, is REALLY the Issue.
Take the ‘Limosine Liberals’ for instance:
They look at this world as their OWN little sand box ,to TINKER with before they run back to their WALLED ESTATES , Not having to live with the consequences of their Foolish and plainly WRONG Ideas.
In the case of this G.R. Jewish Federation, it appears that the Left-Wing KOOL-AID Drinkers,whose “Leadership” likely falls into that ‘Limosine Liberal’ category ,presume to tell their FELLOW JEWS in Israel to be “Sympathetic” to those who are out to MURDER them and Israel as a Whole and to also ATTEMPT to Poison Grand Rapids minds,Jewish and Non-Jewish, AGAINST ISRAEL.
There is ONE TRUTH that is beyond LOGICAL DISPUTE:
The Left in any Democracy consistantly sides with their own nation’s ENEMIES.

CHOI on March 15, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Clever and insightful piece, Debbie.
I enjoyed it thoroughly, and especially loved,
“The Jewish Federations are the self-appointed spokespeople and welfare organizations in each major city. They are usually dominated by left-wing Jews who have money and silly ideology, but not much in the brain cell department. ”
And later,
“And it’s why you can’t rely on the Jewish establishment to decide what’s good for the Jews or Israel.”
Sad, but correct.
We have the same inner struggle in sectors of the Catholic Church as well. Usually a rogue priest, bishop, or group that diminishes the unity of the Church. They usually cause a lot of damage before they fade away.

The Canadien on March 16, 2009 at 3:57 am

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