[Marxism] Defamation

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 20 12:07:43 MST 2009

Opening today at Cinema Village in New York, “Defamation” is one 
of the most powerful anti-Zionist film ever seen in movie theaters 
in the United States, all the more remarkable for the fact that 
the director Yoav Shamir is an Israeli citizen and from a 
long-standing Zionist family that arrived in Palestine long before 
the creation of the state of Israel. The title is very possibly a 
reference to the Anti-Defamation League in the United States, 
whose chief executive Abe Foxman plays a prominent role in the film.

Like Diogenes with his lamp, Shamir—who assumes a comic persona a 
bit like Michael Moore or Ross McElwee while remaining 
off-camera—ventures forth from Israel with his crew in order to 
answer the question whether anti-Semitism exists. From the front 
page coverage of major Israeli dailies, as he shows us, you would 
get the impression that a Kristallnacht is about to break out at 
any moment. When he asks his 91 year old grandmother in her Israel 
home at the outset of the movie whether people hate the Jews, she 
replies to the effect that if so, they should move to Israel. 
Those who “have money” and who “don’t want to work” might turn 
that invitation down, she adds. When her grandson tells her that 
she sounds anti-Semitic, she shrugs her shoulders.

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