Exploring “Jew Bashing” on VisionTV
First, full disclosure: yes, I work for ZoomerMedia (the parent company of VisionTV); no, I am not Jewish; and, absolutely, I was slightly surprised when the invitation to a media screening of a film called Jew Bashing landed on my desk.
The name of the four-part documentary series is, of course, purposefully provocative (the full version being Jew Bashing: The New Anti-Semitism). Libby Znaimer, VP of news on AM740 and Classical 96.3 FM (both ZoomerMedia properties), who hosted the screening event, even noted that some invitees were offended by the title on the invitation.
The straightforward approach, however, is no surprise considering the fact that director Martin Himel cut his journalistic chops in various Middle Eastern war zones over the last 30-plus years. Clearly he’s not one to tiptoe around the outskirts of a conflict – be it born of race, religion or geography. This is the same director who infiltrated hostile regions of Egypt and Iraq for his 2012 doc Persecuted Christians.
With Jew Bashing, you get exactly that – four films focusing on four regions of the world (Canada, the U.S., Europe and the Middle East) where anti-Semitism is alive and well.
During our media screening we watched the documentary that focused on the United States. The film posits that the “old anti-Semitism” of Jewish people as “Christ killers” is passé. Nowadays, the most fervent anti-Semitism targets Jewish people as powerful overlords who’ve got the American government in their back pockets. Himel likens the idea to Nazi propaganda, noting the message boils down to “Jewish disloyalty and Jewish lobbies pushing for unwanted wars.” And it’s not just the White House under their thumb – they also supposedly control Wall Street and even Hollywood. Does that mean terrible films like Battlefield Earth and most anything with Nicholas Cage were Jewish plots to dull America into a state of boredom to allow Jewish leaders the opportunity for a bloodless coup? The infamous image of the Jewish race depicted as an octopus even makes an appearance – always an anti-Semitic crowd-pleaser.
The point of the film, however, isn’t about that conflict. It’s about the fact that we all know anti-Semitism still exists in the world, alongside racism, prejudice and other disfigurements of human emotion. But what do you do when confronted with it, when it looks into the camera and smiles its toothless grin back at you, and then points to the millions of others just like it on the Internet and at rallies and in malls and workplaces and homes not so different than yours or mine? Jew Bashing: The New Anti-Semitism is an eye-opener, whether you’re Jewish or not.
“It’s difficult viewing,” Moses Znaimer, the film’s executive producer and founder of ZoomerMedia, said. “It’s necessary viewing. And it just breaks your heart.”
PART 1: New Anti-Semitism Middle East airs Monday, May 6 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
PART 2: New Anti-Semitism Europe airs Monday, May 13 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT
PART 3: New Anti-Semitism USA airs Monday, May 20 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT