DVD Defamation: Israeli Visits to Poland

Review of Defamation (DVD) by Yoav Shamir. 2009. First Run Features.
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
What is Anti-Semitism? Includes Revealing Israeli Teenagers Hostility to Poland
Yoav Shamir’s interviews with Jews from different occupations present a range of opinions as to the nature and extent of anti-Semitism. Obviously, there is no monolithic definition of this term.
The viewer should realize that the question about criticism of Israel is multi-dimensional, even if one is going as far as anti-Zionism. There is no single motive for anti-Zionism. There are Jews, notably religious ones, who are anti-Zionists. On the other hand, there is no doubt that anti-Zionism is also a new home for anti-Semites.
Yoav Shamir interviews Norman Finkelstein as well as Abraham Foxman. The latter two exchange very sharp words. There are even comparisons to Hitler and Nazis. In fact, Jews in the past had attacked other Jews with such epithets.
Instead of emphasizing the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), and Israeli policies, as many other reviewers have done, I now mainly focus on other issues:
In Brooklyn, the opinions of Jews and African-Americans, about each other, are poles apart. Jews commonly believe that African-American assailants see Jews as defenseless, and so prefer to attack them instead of other African Americans. In contrast, African-Americans think that the police and court system favor Jews. Thus, it would be mistake to rob a Jew. Some African-Americans verbalize the opinion that the Jews control American institutions, and some even believe in the PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION.
It is obvious that Israeli students visiting Poland had been inculcated with an unmistakable hostility to Poland. They had been taught, “Everybody hates the Jews”. Poles sitting on a bench ask some girl students where are from, perhaps even China. The girls think they are being insulted, and a security guard escorts them away without explaining what the Poles had actually been asking. The Israeli teens are reluctant to go out in the evening because they believe that “we might be attacked by neo-Nazis”. They even imagine Nazi-like behavior among the Polish guards at the airport. In addition, the Israeli teens are very rowdy and undisciplined in the hotel, and a hotel worker has to remind them that there are other guests at the hotel, and that they should proceed to their rooms. [Is this behavior a form of teenage exuberance, or is it itself an expression of hostility towards Poland?] For more on the attitudes and conduct of Israeli teens visiting Poland as part of Holocaust education, please click on Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag: Youth Voyages to Poland and the Performance of Israeli National Identity, and read the detailed Peczkis review.
Abraham Foxman, while in the Ukraine, urges Ukrainians to “take responsibility for the past”. Yoav Shamir could have taken this further. Should the same standard not apply to the Jews relative to Ukrainians, Poles, etc.?
Foxman also entreats Ukrainians not to treat the Holodomor as “You have your genocide. We have ours”. Is this supposed to imply that the Holocaust is somehow above the genocides of other peoples?

By piotrbein