Film exposes 'new anti-Semitism in action'

Documentary director tells 'Post' that anti-Semitism is "the elephant in the room," must be acknowledged and discussed.

April 7, 2013 12:26
2 minute read.
Cartoon shown in 'The New Anti-Semitism' film

Cartoon shown in 'The New Anti-Semitism' film 370. (photo credit: Screenshot 'The New Anti-Semitism')

An investigative documentary called The New Anti-Semitism was aired on Sunday night, the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Channel 2.

The Keshet documentary is a Canadian- Israeli co-production presented by Israeli anchorman Yaakov Eilon. The binational cooperation enabled Canadian journalists to interview people that Israelis would not have had access to, such as Alex Linder, the owner and operator of the viciously anti-Semitic, white supremacist Vanguard News Network.

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The filmmakers document what they describe as “new anti-Semitism” through the use of hidden cameras in conferences, demonstrations and behind the scenes of anti-Zionist meetings across the globe.

Filmmaker and director Martin Himel told The Jerusalem Post that the primary objective of the documentary is to present “anti-Semitism in action,” to allow viewers to feel what it means and to acknowledge that is exists.

“My goal was not so much to explain it [anti-Semitism] or to describe how people suffer. For me it was more important to say, ‘Here is the new anti-Semitism, take a look and see it for what it is,’” he clarified.

The director pointed to comparisons of Jews with Nazis and the use of terms such as “genocide,” “extinction” and extermination” when discussing Israel as examples of contemporary anti-Semitism. He also cited claims that Jews control Hollywood, the banks and the media as examples.

He was keen, however, to point out the difference between being critical of Israel and being anti-Semitic, saying that the former conversely includes language such as “occupation,” “annexation of territories” and “settlements.” Himel also flagged lobbies such as Occupy AIPAC, which he charged with disguising anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. The documentary “pulls the pants down on people who say ‘I’m anti- Zionist, not an anti-Semite,’” Himel told the Post.

In contemporary society there is a certain political correctness surrounding events in the Middle East, he said, describing anti- Semitism as “an elephant in the living room” that people do not want to discuss.

“Israelis don’t really sense it,” he continued.

“But there is an anti-Semitic element that plays into everything and it affects perceptions in Europe, America and the Middle East,” particularly effecting the Jewish state.

Himel’s message is that people should not be afraid to discuss and acknowledge anti- Semitism: “My goal is to say: This is a factor, don’t ignore it, and see it for what it is.”

Anti-Semitism is not going to disappear, Himel opined, but it can be contained.

Awareness alone is a good measure against any type of racism, he stressed, and this is the purpose of the documentary.

The production is scheduled to be aired in a four-part series in Canada in May.

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