Thursday, March 14, 2024

Media Denial


Can we be honest?

If the question is posed to Mehdi Hasan, Vox, The Hollywood Reporter, or X readers who have "added context," the accurate answer is a resounding "no." Vox explains

Accepting the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film for his harrowing Holocaust film The Zone of Interest, director Jonathan Glazer took a stance against the state of Israel’s ongoing military bombardment of Gaza as part of the Israel-Hamas war. Glazer, who is Jewish, made a simple and straightforward through line from his film, which is about the literal banality of evil, to the present day.

“All our choices we made to reflect and confront us in the present,” Glazer said. “Not to say ‘look what they did then’ — rather, ‘look what we do now.’ Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It shaped all of our past and present.”

“Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people. Whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza — all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?”

 First, the journalist who until recently had a show on MSNBC:

Next, Vox

Glazer’s speech was initially badly misquoted by some sources including Variety, which led to confusion about whether he had “refuted” his Jewishness full stop. This predictably met with conservative backlash, as when Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, and Abe Foxman, former head of the Anti-Defamation League, each incorrectly cited Glazer as “refuting his Jewishness.” Several Jewish organizations argued that Glazer himself was actually “hijacking” the Holocaust.

What Glazer actually said is much clearer: He and his collaborators reject that Jewishness and the Holocaust are being used to justify the ongoing military offensive in Gaza.

Chris Hayes, snot fully familiar with the English language, remarke"it was a little awkwardly phrased but he's clearly saying he refutes his Jewishness being hijacked. Not refuting his Jewishness." "Awkwardly phrased" but "clearly saying." Gotcha.

 Finally, The Hollywood Reporter:

The reaction to Glazer’s speech was swift, although much of the early negative sentiment occurred because some news sites hadn’t fully quoted the British filmmaker, or because his quotes were taken out of context with the rest of his speech. Some people, incorrectly, took Glazer’s speech to mean that he was refuting his Jewishness, rather than that he was refuting his “Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people,” as he said in his speech.

This (reading and understanding the English language) shouldn't be difficult. It wasn't for Meghan McCain. Glazer's defenders cry "context," so to be fair- and brutally honest with them- the entire statement is as following:

Thank you so much. I’m gonna read. Thank you to the Academy for this honor and to our partners A24, Film4, Access, and Polish Film Institute; to the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum for their trust and guidance; to my producers, actors, collaborators. All our choices were made to reflect and confront us in the present — not to say, “Look what they did then,” rather, “Look what we do now.” Our film shows where dehumanization leads, at its worst. It shaped all of our past and present. Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation, which has led to conflict for so many innocent people. Whether the victims of October the — [Applause.] Whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist? [Applause.] Aleksandra Bystroń-Kołodziejczyk, the girl who glows in the film, as she did in life, chose to. I dedicate this to her memory and her resistance. Thank you.

Glazer's words are literally "right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation...." He did not say "as men who refute their Jewishness because of the Holocaust being hijacked." He did not say "as men who refute their Jewishness insofar as the Holocaust has been hijacked." He did not say even "as men who refute their Jewishness while the Holocaust is being hijacked," which would have been ambiguous.

He said "we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation." It means- literally and figuratively, that they are refuting two things: their Jewishness; and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation.

The meaning is clear. Glazer is making two points: we are refuting Jewishness and the Holocaust is being hijacked. He wasn't impulsive, speaking extemporaneously, off-the-cuff. He read from prepared remarks he had an opportunity to write and edit so that his points (plural) would be evident and not twisted.

Glazer may have been thinking "the only reason we're refuting our Jewishness is because of Israel's actions." But he did not say that. And although we cannot be certain of what is in the deep recesses of Nathan Glazer's mind, we have the words of an educated, presumably literate individual to assess for their validity.

Each of us is left to consider, if he or she wishes, the motivation of someone who makes his beliefs clear and the aim of individuals who refuse to acknowledge what is directly in front of them. Possibly, they are eager for Jews themselves to slam Israel because they believe it is more powerful refutation of the nation's actions in Gaza, and perhaps elsewhere. It is a little bit of a "Nixon goes to China moment"- if a Jew himself hates what Israel is doing, what more evidence do we need? And they don't want to be seen applauding someone explicitly rejecting his "Jewishness."

Nathan Glazer is free to renounce his Judaism and to slam Israel's policy in the Gaza Strip. He has conspicuously done both without claiming one as the cause of the other.. Yet, opponents of Israeli policy ask "who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes? They urge readership to believe what they want Glazer to have meant or what they suspect he meant, rather than what he said.  Labeled as commentary, it is legitimate. This is deeply dishonest, advocacy journalism in a cloak of objectivity.


   

             



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