Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There's no room for a double standard on anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism, not "the occupation, lies at the root of terrorism directed at Jews in Israel and around the world. So what happens when a Hollywood player, Oliver Stone, reveals his anti-Semitism?

Jeff Jacoby, writing in the Boston Globe and on his website compares the reaction to Mel Gibson's tirade against Jews to Oliver Stone's. He asks, "is there a double standard?"
LATE IN JULY, a Hollywood honcho uncorks a blast of anti-Semitic bile, the sort of malignant stereotype about Jews one might expect from David Duke or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Is that newsworthy?
It certainly was in 2006, when Mel Gibson, arrested in Malibu for drunken driving, demanded to know whether the arresting deputy was Jewish, and then launched into an anti-Semitic rant: "F-----g Jews," he raged. "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."
Calls went out for folks to boycott Gibson movies and to never work with him again. More than 1,000 news items were filed in the week after the incident.

Now, turn to Oliver Stone, the most recent prominent Hollywood figure to blame Jews for the world's ills and "Jewish domination of the media". One week later, less than 150 items have been posted. "On ABC, CBS, and NBC, the news shows completely ignored the story. The New York Times restricted its coverage to two short items in its "Arts, Briefly" section -- and few other papers ran even that much.

No widespread calls for a boycott of Stone and his work.

So, Jacoby wonders,
Gibson and Stone are both guilty of indulging in rank anti-Semitism (for which both promptly "apologized"), but only Gibson was buried under a newsroom avalanche of outrage and disgust. What explains that glaring difference? Surely the media don't think Jew-baiting is intolerable only when it comes from a right-wing Christian like Gibson. Surely they wouldn't overlook Stone's noxious rant just because he is a pluperfect left-wing activist.

Surely that can't be the explanation for so disgraceful a double standard.

Can it?

Oh, yes it can. And that's what I think.

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