July 10, 2011
Sometimes Jewish people never miss an opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot.
I refuse to go to the London Jewish Film Festival anymore having once paid good money to see Defamation, a film that, basically, portrays Israel as forcing Israeli teenagers to visit Auschwitz and using the visit to brainwash them into thinking that the whole world hates them because they are Jewish.
The same applies to London Jewish Book Week. Among the long list of Israel bashers invited to speak once was The Independent’s Johann Hari who has claimed that “untreated sewage was being pumped from illegal Israeli settlements on to Palestinian land, contaminating their reservoirs”.
Not only had he seen it with his own eyes, but Friends of the Earth had documented it, you understand.
Mick Davis, head of UJIA, addressed the possibility of Israel becoming an apartheid state and Breaking the Silence were given repeated platforms at Limmud to tell of the supposed evils of Israeli soldiers.
Now the London Jewish Cultural Centre has an advert out for their forthcoming Comedy Festival that reads:
“Enjoy a week of Jewish comedians previewing their outrageous, hilarious and irreverent acts at Ivy House for the next stop – this year’s Edinburgh festival.”
One of the comedians, Ivor Dembina, is doing a sketch harmlessly called “Jewish Comedy” on Monday July 18th.
But while Dembina is actually quite funny his other job is his one man show This Is Not A Subject For Comedy, which is about “Israel, Palestine and the Jews” and which he has been performing for some 8 years.
In it he tells, inter alia, about his confrontation with Israeli soldiers and thinks that Jews somewhat downplay the deaths of homosexuals and Communists at Auschwitz because “this is Ourschwitz, not Yourschwitz”.
Dembina has volunteered for the International Solidarity Movement and in an interview last year is quoted as saying that “the specter of anti-Semitism is raised by Zionists” and is “a manipulation of a tragedy to Zionism’s own advantage”.
He is also quoted as saying of Zionists:
“I think they’ve learned to their cost that it just makes people more determined to speak out publicly and that hate campaigns can be counter-productive. I think they’re starting to try and engage in discussion and going for the whole positive PR angle, like this email campaign about sending medical aid to Haiti. Or they’re going to use Iran as an excuse. They keep coming up with these reasons that the Jewish community has to support Israel and one by one they get exposed as nonsense…You’re left with a rump of very angry people who are used to getting their own way. Things have to be handled very carefully in the months and years ahead”. He also, apparently, compares Israel to apartheid South Africa.
Considering the audience at the LJCC is likely to be entirely pro-Israel and “Zionist”, I would expect they would like to know that Dembina considers them “angry people” and that he would like to see the end of Israel as a Jewish state. Then they can decide whether or not they would like to go in to see him perform.
At least with other anti-Zionists like Ken Loach one is usually fully informed of their politics. I would never go to see Looking for Eric, for instance, as much as I would probably enjoy it.
But, I suspect that Dembina won’t be playing his full anti-Zionist set at the LJCC and, therefore, many in the audience who are paying good money to see him won’t know of his politics.
Maybe, it would be helpful if someone stood outside the gates of the LJCC next Monday to hand out a list of Dembina’s quotes as people are going in to see him (any volunteers?).
I’m sure he wouldn’t expect anything less from a bunch of angry Zionists.