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450-plus Jews in entertainment industry slam Glazer’s speech

The award-winning film director's statement at the Oscars "gives credence to the modern blood libel that fuels a growing anti-Jewish hatred around the world," according to a letter.

From left: James Wilson, Leonard Blavatnik and Jonathan Glazer accept the Oscar for Best International Feature Film “The Zone of Interest” during the live “ABC” telecast of the 96th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on March 10, 2024. Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
From left: James Wilson, Leonard Blavatnik and Jonathan Glazer accept the Oscar for Best International Feature Film “The Zone of Interest” during the live “ABC” telecast of the 96th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on March 10, 2024. Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

More than 450 Jewish executives and Hollywood professionals have signed an open letter denouncing the speech that film director Jonathan Glazer gave at the Academy Awards ceremony earlier this month when accepting his Oscar for Best International Feature Film, “The Zone of Interest.”

“We refute our Jewishness being hijacked for the purpose of drawing a moral equivalence between a Nazi regime that sought to exterminate a race of people, and an Israeli nation that seeks to avert its own extermination,” the letter states, according to Variety.

The condemnation was a direct rebuff to the director of a film based on World War II and the Holocaust: 

“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 Oct. 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?”

The letter states: “The use of words like ‘occupation’ to describe an indigenous Jewish people defending a homeland that dates back thousands of years, and has been recognized as a state by the United Nations, distorts history.”

Moreover, “it gives credence to the modern blood libel that fuels a growing anti-Jewish hatred around the world, in the United States and in Hollywood. The current climate of growing antisemitism only underscores the need for the Jewish State of Israel, a place which will always take us in, as no state did during the Holocaust depicted in Mr. Glazer’s film,” it continues.

The letter also notes that while every civilian death in Gaza is tragic, the moment Hamas releases the hostages it is holding and surrenders, the five-month-old war will end.

Celebrities that signed the letter include actors Debra Messing, Tovah Feldshuh, Mayim Bialik, Tara Strong, Michael Rapaport, Jennifer Jason Leigh; “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” creator Amy Sherman-Palladino; producers Lawrence Bender (“Pulp Fiction,” “Inglourious Basterds”), Gary Gilbert (“La La Land”) and Amy Pascal (“Spider-Man”), as well as additional film and TV directors and representatives of talent agencies in Hollywood.

Glazer and his billionaire financial backer, Ukrainian-born British-American businessman and philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik, have declined comment since the remarks were made.

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