Borat the movie was not only the funniest movie of '06 but also the most prescient. He exposed an undercurrent of polite antisemitism in America which shocked as well as entertained. When Jay Leno put to Borat that many people found his movie "offensive, racist, and homophobic," he replied, "Why, thank you."
After Mel we now have Judith. Allegedly, Ms Judith Regan, the highly successful
publisher at HarperCollins, blamed a "cabal" of jewish publishers for her recent downturn in fortunes at the Murdoch-owned media empire. Her lawyer claims the word Jewish was not used and cabal is not offensive to him, a Jew. So, that's all right then. Who knows whether this is true or not.
Having said that, I think it is marvelous that U.S. publishing has such diversity. I think it is wonderful that non-Jews are allowed to work in the media. Talk about diversity. Bravo to Judith for doing so well as a minority.
The fact is that antisemitic jibes are clearly de nos jours. When I was a kid and there were Holocaust survivors around, anti-Jewish comments were much more guarded. Even in cosy UK where antisemitism exists in polite forms like, "Oh, i didn't know you were Jewish. You don't look it," desecration of Jewish cemeteries is nearly a weekly occurrence.
I used to prefer the Adminejad school of anti-semitism. Better out than in. At least we know our enemy; when he says "Let's wipe the Jews off the face of the Earth," you kinda know he ain't joking. From Nasser of Egypt to Bin Laden of Bora Bora, you know where you stand. The coded, discreet and euphemistic technique of diplomatic antisemitism of the Post War period was much trickier, in my view. Now, I'm not so sure. I'd quite like them to shut up and keep the demons in the bottle. Blame someone else. Like Bush. Or Martha Stewart.
Books mentioned in this post
Jonny Geller is the author of Yes, But Is It Good for the Jews?