Thursday, 4 July 2019

Richard Dreyfuss doesn’t like to be called a hypocrite - but he is.


Actor Richard Dreyfuss told the Hollywood Reporter that he’s become less Jewish, though he admits to feeling good as a “cultural Jew.” And he doesn't like to be called a hypocrite, despite all the personal scandals surrounding him
If that makes him happy in the Hollywood bubble good luck to him, but what upsets me is when he slaps Israelis living in the Jewish state, while being willing to celebrate a Jewish history “of being oppressed.”
In answer to a question on the rise of anti-Semitism around the world and the parallel rise of anti-Zionism, Dreyfuss answered, Anti-Semitism is on the rise, yes, but we should be more afraid of Jews not behaving like Jews. Jews are given quite an extremely detailed lesson in how to be Jewish, and that's a good thing. It's not to be taken lightly. We'll sound very much like our own worst enemies in trying to protect Zionism and protect our own reputations. We really do need to explore what it means to be Jewish and not let it go away.”
He went on to say, “I’m very proud of being Jewish and I'm very proud of being a cultural Jew. But most Jews are willing to celebrate their own history of being oppressed, and then they'll get up and oppress other people. so, I don't want Jews to do that.”
I guess the oppression of being a Jew in Hollywood must be unbearable, but Dreyfuss obviously has the courage to suck it up and take it. It’s the Jews of Israel he can’t stand. He considers us the Jews who oppress others, of not behaving like Jews.
 He clearly understands little of the complexity of the Middle East and the precarious position of Israeli Jews living as we do in our compressed bubble of three hundred and sixty degrees of violent Jew-hatred expressing itself in gruesome murders on a regular basis for a hundred years. He hasn’t reasoned that perhaps it is them that are oppressing us.
Yes, we are in a conflict, but it is not of our making. God knows, we have tried, repeatedly, to make peace. The conflict in ongoing because the conflict has been the making of those who hate Jews. They do not want to make peace with us. They only want peace without us. Their words, not mine.
Those who will not walk in our shoes, like the Jew Dreyfuss, but who publicly complain about us and not those that come to kill us become the influential useful idiots in the service of our enemy.
Dreyfuss, in his secular philosophical Hollywood mood, talks of Jews as” a great moral template,” justifying his pride in being a detached Jew. Yes, we are, but he is not willing to grant the courageous Israeli Jew, ready to defend his fellow Jew with his life, the same moral template.
Instead, he moralizes that “Antisemitism is on the rise, yes, but we should be more afraid of Jews not behaving like Jews.”
In Dreyfuss’s less Jewish world, it’s OK for Jews to live in Beverly Hills but not in Judea and Samaria, Hebron, or Jerusalem. What sort of “great moral template” is this? This is a reasonable argument for Dreyfuss? A Jew-free Palestine? Surrendering to Islamic anti-semitism?
In this neck of the woods, Mr. Dreyfuss, Jews not behaving like Jews are those that do not go meekly to our death, but stand up against those determined to kill us out of an intense desire to remove us from the face of the earth. 
We are not the defenseless Jews of the Diaspora, the inquisitions, the pogroms, the Shoah. We are no longer Jews behaving like the type of Jew Dreyfuss refers to.  There was no “great moral template” in that history. Only tragedy, sadness and shame.
Richard Dreyfuss told the Hollywood Reporter that he is related to Alfred Dreyfuss. Was there a great moral template in Dreyfuss’s namesake in France, put on military trial and convicted for treason in 1894 to cover the blame of other French officers because he was, as a Jew, a convenient scapegoat?
I think not.
We Israeli Jews are the first Jews in two thousand years who say “Never Again!” and mean it while holding out our hand in peace, a hand that has been lethally rejected since 1948. 
Richard Dreyfuss said, “Most Jews are willing to celebrate their own history of being oppressed...” 
We Israeli Jews do not take pride in a Jewish history of being oppressed, even as we find ourselves under daily threat from across our southern, northern and eastern borders on a daily basis. 
We take pride in building a nation and a people with the courage and ability to stand firm against all enemies. Again, for the first time in two thousand years of our history.
If the actor interprets that as us “oppressing others” then we have a disagreement.  The Israeli perspective is our willingness to let others govern their own lives until such time as they elect leaders willing to accept our Jewish right to exist in this dangerous neighborhood.
Here in Israel, we know what “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” looks like, and it’s no Hollywood movie.
Richard Dreyfuss is busy promoting his new movie, “Astronaut.” Here in Israel, our heads are not in space but grounded in the ugly reality of a dangerous Middle East.
In the Hollywood Reporter article, Dreyfuss rebutted the accusation against him of being a hypocrite after an incident with a woman, his assistant, who accused him of exposing himself in front of her,  while claiming not to notice, on a separate occasion that his son was being groped by Kevin Spacey in his presence in his hotel room.
Apparently, that’s the latest Hollywood gossip. These Hollywood types are so into themselves they don't notice the abuse they inflict on others, or even the abuse that is being inflicted on people near and dear to them.
How can they have any possible space to notice the reality of the Middle East and the perilous lives and abuses inflicted on Israeli Jews.
Dreyfuss said “I was accused of being a hypocrite by someone who I had known and worked with and had respect for. And I don’t buy what she said as valid at all.”
No doubt, the less Jewish Dreyfuss with a great Jewish template will equally reject my claim that he is a hypocrite when it comes to taking cheap shots against Israeli Jews living under very real existential threats.
Until he comes to Israel and engages in close encounters of the first kind with Jews trying to stay alive with aliens who hate us, he will remain, for me, a hypocrite living in a Hollywood bubble.
Barry Shaw is the author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism.’

1 comment:

  1. Are we absolutely sure of the context? There are quite a few examples of Jews oppressing others outside of Israel. If in fact he is talking about Israeli politics, then we should turn our attention to the Israeli government. They are careful about what they show the media, thus laving a huge opportunity for Palestinians to fill in their version of "facts." Unilateral bulldozing of illegal construction, when the process of getting legal building permits is difficult if not impossible for Palestinians, does not help our case. Let us be clear Anti-Semitism does not need much spark to grow a wildfire. Are we doing everything we can to stamp out sparks, or are we sparking?

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