Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry, upon seeing a distorted photo image in which her nose appeared large, once made a joke about how she now resembled her Jewish cousin.
Although the footage was cut from Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, the “incident” was leaked to the media and all manner of shoe sizes has broken out.
In order to put this article in context, I place on record that I am an Orthodox Jew without even a semblance of self-hatred. That said, this garbage about a wonderful, talented and funky lady is not only a storm in a teacup, it’s an insult — to Halle and to Jewish people.
Do people imagine that any use of the “J” word in a joke is tantamount to a mini-pogrom?
What did she say? That having a large nose makes her look Jewish? That’s the basis for hundreds of articles? That’s now the rationale for concluding that Halle is anti-Semitic?
Get a life!
Michael Seizman writing for the Huffington Post sums it up for me.
The only real issue here is why it has become an issue. Yes, I am steeped in Jewish history, the suffering and all that has gone before; this “issue” does not contribute anything other than making people feel uncomfortable about a non-starter.
This must be placed in context. When Zionism is regarded as racism, I take issue. It disregards many fundamental questions and moves directly to the “R” word.
Just as I take issue with those who consider every critic of Israeli policies as an anti-Semite. This is not only unhelpful, but also alienates many of Israel’s true friends.
Opposing the policies of the Israeli government is not anti-Semitic — hatred of Jews is, and the one does not per se follow the other.
What too many people do is to take any criticism at face value and convert that into a charge of anti-Semitism. Again this is very unhelpful.
People must put opinions in context and where the criticism is constructive, treat it as such. Where it is merely abuse, deal with it as such.
A cursory read of Abraham Foxman’s article in the Jerusalem Post demonstrates not only the variety of opinions on the subject, but also that anti-Semitism can and does occur in Israel itself. Pay careful attention to the comments.
Here, unlike Halle, you are dealing with real issues. Move past the crap and focus on the reality of, for example, neo-Nazis in Israel.
Another example is the issue of the “Jewish lobby” in the United States as raised by professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt in their article “The Israel lobby”.
Accusations of anti-Semitism against these two gentlemen, with which I happen to concur, abound. The fact that they attribute the efforts of Jews working towards safeguarding Israel as some form of cabal and distinguishable from, say, Italians or Germans doing the same for Italy or Germany is anti-Semitic.
The fact that this Israel lobby does not exist in the single format they would have people believe, or work in concert to achieve the egregious goals they attribute to it, makes them anti-Semitic.
This does not mean the entire work must be disregarded, nor that any scholars that identify with portions of it be regarded as raging anti-Semites. Where the shoe fits it must be worn; where it is thrown to occasion damage, it must be returned to the manufacturer for a full refund and damages.
Just as important as identifying real anti-Semitism is the task of negating garbage like this crap about Halle Berry.
Only through constructive criticism can we examine our mistakes and move forward. If we jump on our true friends every time they open their mouths, we won’t have any.
And as Jews we, of all people, should be the first to express outrage at racism, homophobia and any other form of bigotry. Deal with real issues that affect us. To turn a blind eye to these issues while dedicating our time to Halle’s “Jewish cousin” or hundreds of articles about nonsense retards our response to real instances of anti-Semitism.
And that’s no joke.