New Film Tackles Anti-Semitism in All its Forms

Unmasked: Judeophobia, the Threat to Civilization debuts Oct. 24.

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Anti-Semitism: from its roots in antiquity, to the campuses and European countries where it once again rears its ugly head, the new film Unmasked: Judeophobia, the Threat to Civilization covers it all.

The film, made by Doc Emet Productions, the same production company behind The Case for Israel, premiers Oct. 24.

“I made this movie because I felt it really needed to be made,” Producer and Director Gloria Z. Greenfield said in an interview with JointMedia News Service. “In the U.S. we don’t have our thumb on the pulse of what’s happening in Europe or Muslim and Arab countries.”

In the film, an impressive roster of political analysts, professors, and legal experts, among them Alan Dershowitz, Natan Sharansky, Bret Stepens, and U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, follow the birth and development of anti-Semitism, including its modern manifestations.

“I selected the commentators for their scholarship and expertise in the issues that relate to the resurgence of lethal anti-Semitism,” Greenfield said. “That’s one of the things that is so important about the film, its level of expertise and integrity.”

One startling fact experts recount was the depth of the connection between early Islamism and Nazi Germany. It is common knowledge perhaps that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, collaborated with and corroborated Hitler’s ideals. According to Professor Jeffrey Herf at the University of Maryland, the relationship was also forged in the other direction. Part of German strategy from 1938-1945 was to extend Nazi propaganda to the Arab world and North Africa through regular radio broadcasts in Arabic.

While Germany faced years of re-education and condemnation following its loss in the war, the Arab world did not, said political scientist and author Matthias Küntzel. “There has even been a speech by [muslim brotherhood founder] Hasan al-Banna in June of 1946, saying that Germany and Hitler is gone, but the Mufti will continue the same work as before.”

This racism, the film argues, was therefore nurtured over the years and has recently seeped into Europe through the Muslim immigration, spelling dire consequences for its Jewish populations. France, with the largest Jewish community in Europe, has been hit with the brunt of the violence. During the second intifada in early 2000, over 500 violent attacks against Jews were recorded in the country.

The government has had a disappointing response. “A very strange phenomenon occurred,” described Professor Shmuel Trigano of Paris University, “There was a total black out on these attacks by government offices, by Jewish institutions, by media and so on. When we tried to alert French public opinion we were called anti-Arab racists; the government did not want to define these attacks as anti-Semitic. Here you have an ideological problem because Arabs and Muslims are seen as innocent colonized people, so they can’t be racist.”

According to the film, the problem is apparent in other EU countries as well. British Jews, feeling vulnerable to attack due to the unresponsiveness of the British government, created an independent security organization known as the Community Security Trust.

While the frequency of violence is considerably less in the States, the film continues to discuss the prevalence of different forms of anti-Semitism, including intimidation and censorship, on university campuses and in the United Nations.

This is a film to watch. Whether you’re a seasoned scholar in Jewish and anti-Semitic studies—or a novice in both fields—it has something for everyone, and it carries an important message.

“When we have situations when a young woman is standing at a train station in Paris with her babies, and is attacked by Muslim gangs who think she’s Jewish, and rip her clothes off to carve a swastika in her body,” it is time to wake up, Greenfield said.

Drawing from Dershowitz’s concluding quote, Greenfield emphasized that there is a need for “good people to stand up with chutzpah, to go against the grain and say that hatred is not acceptable wherever it comes from.”

“I’m very grateful for organizations such as CAMERA (Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), and individuals such as George Violin who were courageous enough to put their names to this project, to understand that it was important and real and it had to be done,” she said.

Unmasked: Judeophobia, the Threat to Civilization premiers in New York City on Monday, Oct. 24 and will travel to 10 other cities including Boston, Chicago, and Cupertino thereafter. Further information can be found at www.thecaseforisrael.com.

Masha Rifkin is the Managing Editor of JNS.

Posted on November 21, 2011 and filed under Arts.