Unmasking Judeophobia

Jewish Tribune (Canada)  January 16, 2012
by Rebeca Kuropatwa

Winnipeg – Irwin Cotler and Gloria Greenfield were at the Philadelphia premiere of Doc Emet Productions’ first documentary film, The Case for Israel – Democracy’s Outpost in May 2009, when Cotler leaned over to Greenfield and whispered that the next film should be about antisemitism. Greenfield took some time to process that suggestion.

Several months later, Greenfield viewed what she described as “a very offensive documentary,” called Defamation. This film was screened at film festivals around the world, and, as she described, “presented antisemitism as the invention of Jewish leaders, organizations, and the Jewish state to raise money and fear.” This spurred Greenfield to realize how important it was to move forward on her most recently debuted film UNMASKED – Judeophobia and the Threat to Civilization, as quickly as possible.

UNMASKED premiered in Winnipeg at the JCC’s Berney Theatre recently, with Greenfield there to take questions.

The film was presented by the Canadian Institute for the Study of Antisemitism (CISA). Introducing the film was CISA’s founding director, Dr. Catherine Chatterley, who also sat in on the after-screening discussion with Greenfield.

According to Greenfield, it was German-born Wilhelm Marr who brought the term ‘antisemitism’ to public prominence in 1879.

“Today, this term is no longer adequate as it is based upon a racialist distinction between ‘Semitic’ and ‘Aryan/Indo-European,’” she said.

Greenfield views the term ‘Judeophobia’ as being more suitable “to convey the intellectualized and ideological hatred of Jews that is encompassed in the anti-Jewish phenomenon flourishing in many parts of the world today.”

In approaching the production, Greenfield said, “I didn’t want to produce propaganda, look for people who would say particular things. I started by clarifying for myself what I saw as the broad-stroke world issues related to the emergence of lethal Jew hatred in the world. Then, I worked with leading experts for their advice on who they felt would be experts on the history of Jew hatred. I then did my own research looking for such experts.”

In all, Greenfield interviewed 70 experts, 40 of whom made it into the film.

From Greenfield’s perspective, what “should create the greatest amount of anxiety and fear is denial and apathy…. We may never rid the world of Jew hatred, but what we do have to do is to keep it at a manageable level.

“The Arab-Israeli conflict is caused by the refusal of Israel’s neighbours to recognize Israel’s right to exist and to thrive as a Jewish state…. Hating a people is racism…not a natural outcome of a war. It causes war.”

For more information, visit http://www.unmaskedthemovie.com or http://www.thecaseforisrael.com.

 

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