Thursday, July 29, 2010

Protest Oliver Stones antisemitism

to Showtime send your individual protest to
Showtime, mailto e Chairman's email address:
boycott all Stone's movies

"Does Showtime really need an irresponsible ideologue creating a series that
purports to "understand" Hitler in context? I deeply resent Stone's ignorant
and uninformed assertion that Jewish control of the media is preventing an
open discussion of the Holocaust. There has been open discussion of the
Holocaust for decades. Honest Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic scholars from
the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland,
the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia, and Israel have worked diligently to
understand and make publically available knowledge of the Holocaust,
National Socialism, and Hitler. Stone's cheap attempt to get media attention
cannot compare to the enormous amount of honest work that has been done on
these subjects. Speaking personally, I have devoted more than half a century
to this endeavor. Moreover, I have lectured on the Holocaust in the United
States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Israel and France, including
lectures at Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, and major German universities.

I understand that Stone has "apologized," a cheap and costless gesture after
the damage has been done. He has impugned the honesty and integrity of
hundreds of scholars who have devoted their careers to this study. When HBO
and some of the other major studios produced films on the Holocaust and
National Socialism, they have at least used internationally recognized
consultants like Dr. Michael Berenbaum to get their facts straight.

Stone has demonstrated that he is incapable of producing an honest
historical work on Hitler, Stalin, and the Holocaust. If Showtime must
proceed, it can retrieve its reputation by replacing Stone with a
knowledgeable producer who is untainted by the demons that appear to plague

Richard L. Rubenstein, STM (Harvard Divinity School); PhD (Harvard);
Post-doctoral Fellow (Yale)"

Rabbi Brad Hershfield
Of late however, he seems to be moving from his typical love of whacky conspiracy theories to rather more ugly ones.

Stone's newest project, a Showtime documentary entitled "The Secret History of America" will, Mr. Stone claims, put Hitler "in context". Stone wants to make sure that our understanding of Hitler does not remain a product of "the Jewish dominated media", as he claims it has been.

I am all for expanding our understanding of even the most terrible events in history. In fact, it is those events, including the Holocaust, which are most often addressed in dangerously over-simplified ways. But somehow, a filmmaker who describes his work in terms reeking of Jew-hatred does not seem likely to make any constructive contributions on this issue.

Of course, that was this weekend. Mr. Stone is turning apologetic, issuing statements in which he says he "made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry".

Which is the "real" Oliver Stone? Is he the conspiracy theorist who resents the mythic power of Jews or the contrite artist seeking to bring deeper understanding to one of the darkest moments in human history?

My guess is that he's a bit of both. But because he simply calls his words a "clumsy error" and refuses to explore how they are actually part of his ongoing approach to world events, one in which some evil external force is always driving decent "little people" into horrible circumstances, I suspect that we have not heard the last of such claims about Jews from Mr. Stone.

There is no doubt that we need fuller explanations of the Holocaust, more sophisticated than those which invoke a demonic individual, Hitler, at whose feet all blame can be laid. In fact, to the extent that Stone demands a wider picture of accountability -- an appreciation that there is plenty of blame to go around in a world which stood largely silent as millions of human beings were murdered simply because of who they were -- I am with him. The list of those who bear responsibility should grow, not shrink, with the passage of time. That is what it means to be increasingly morally sensitive.

There is also no doubt that the Jewish community would do well to more fully appreciate, articulate and memorialize the horror of the Holocaust for people other than Jews. This is crucial if for no other reason than that it is only when the Holocaust can be remembered as a tragedy for all of humanity, that we can expect all of humanity to properly remember it.

None of that will be accomplished by minimizing the unique horror of the Nazis' "Final Solution" to the "Jewish problem", and certainly not by those, like Mr. Stone, who perpetuate some of the central underpinnings of the methodology which fueled the hatred which led to it.

Oliver Stone is no Nazi, but both his work and his words reflect something far more sinister than one clumsy error. They reflect deep and long-held hostilities of which Mr. Stone should be ashamed.

Let's hope the next Hollywood influential who wants to present a new angle on the Holocaust, can do so without resorting to any of the motifs and myths of those who perpetrated it. And let's hope that those new stories help all people to appreciate that all suffering is epic, when it happens to those about whom we care.

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