Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pro-Palestinian Storm Troopers at the San Francisco Jewish Film festival

On July 23, I posted an article on the upcoming San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, in which the film "Rachel" was to be shown. To repeat, Rachel Corrie was a young Jewish American activist and member of the International Solidarity Committee (ISM), a group devoted to the destruction of the Jewish state. She went to Gaza in 2003 and was accidentally struck and killed as she sat in front of a bulldozer in the process of taking down a house connected with a terrorist tunnel used to transport weapons to be used against Israel. Her parents have since become anti-Israel activists and travel around giving speeches, associating themselves with some pretty radical and vile groups and individuals both in the Middle East and here in the US.

The Corries meeting with that great man of peace, Yassir Arafat

The presentation of the film about Rachel Corrie and a scheduled speech by her mother, Cindy Corrie had led to many objections from Jews, not only in the San Francisco area, but world-wide. On July 25, the film was shown, and Mrs Corrie gave her speech. The crowd was mostly composed of members of the Jewish Voice for Peace (another anti-Israel group) and the International Solidarity Movement as well as the American Friends Service Committee, all leftist groups opposed to Israel. Two of the principle figures are Donna and Darlene Wallach of the ISM, two Bay Area Jewish activists who have traveled to Gaza and met with Hamas officials.

The usual riff-raff (Top: Donna and Darlene Wallach of the International Solidarity Movement), second from top: Darlene Wallach applauding) -Photos by SFJFF Watch

After Corrie's speech, only three questions were allowed. The one critical questioner was greeted with jeers and catcalls from the loons in the audience.

Prior to the film, Dr Mike Harris, a pro-Israel speaker was given the podium and spoke for 10 minutes presenting his case against the film. The video is below. Listen and hear the catcalls, insults and disruptions from this crowd of storm troopers wearing Palestinian kaffiyas (head scarves with the black and white doo-dads). In spite of the jeering and attempts to shut him down, Mr Harris courageously goes through his speech and makes his points.

Keep in mind that these three groups who were involved in this event claim they are for peace-though they will never condemn Palestinian rockets and suicide bombers against Israelis. Some laughed when the names of Jewish victims of Palestinian terrorism in Israel were mentioned. Ar one point, someone cried "Sieg heil". And when Mr Harris pointed out the fact that the ISM had put on a dinner for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit to the US, the audience cheered.

Another interesting fact should be mentioned; funding for the event was provided by the Jewish Federation of San Francisco, which bills itself as a Jewish advocacy group. I really wonder just what it is this organization does. If they are like the Jewish Federation of Orange County, they are pretty questionable in my humble view. (The director of the Orange County chapter feels-he told me himself-that there is no anti-Semitic problem going on at UC-Irvine in regards to the annual hate-fests put on by the local Muslim Student Union. Enough said about them.)

What I find especially troubling is that while many Jews are active in speaking out against anti-Semitism (and yes, defending Israel), so many other Jews either turn a blind eye-or completely go over to the other side and align themselves with those who would destroy not only Israel, but Jews world-wide if they could. In the case of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, while I am not in favor of censorship, I wonder what is the purpose of having a Jewish film festival if you are going to feature speakers, films and events which defend those who would murder Jews.

There is a term that many Jews use to describe these types; "self-hating Jews". Since I am not Jewish, myself, I have chosen not to make this judgement about others. But sometimes, I really wonder.

It is so perplexing.


Findalis said...

I know people who would contribute a large sum of money to this (Over $5000), they have informed the "Leadership" of this charity not to ever expect a dime from them again. They were horrified by what they saw and heard.

Gary Fouse said...

Yes, the leaders of the SFJFF have taken a lot of heat.

Anonymous said...

I do believe that some people in the audience were acting like spoiled children in their disruptions. (Although it sounded like he had considerable support from most the audience, too.) However, I don't agree with this speaker that the film should not have been shown. There are other films being played at the festival which DO commemorate the "other Rachels" (for example, the film about Gilad Shalit), so that point of his is moot. I see no reason to only present a single side of the Israel debate when not all Jews share a single viewpoint on the issue, and this is a Jewish film festival. A Jewish festival ought to be reflective of the Jewish community.

And I notice you use the plural for "speakers, films, and events." Can you please name at least one other speaker, one other film, and one other event taking place at the SFJFF that allegedly defend those who would murder Jews?

Also, it's not as if this event is only open to Jews, so you can't automatically assume everyone in the crowd that was against this speaker was a bunch of self-hating Jews.

Gary Fouse said...


OK, I respect your point of view on that. As for the "speakers, films and events", I was speaking in general. As far as I know, there was one film and one speaker that drew protest. Let's don't get hung up on semantics.

The whole point of the article was that the people who put on this "presentation" and jeered the pro-Israel speaker are a bunch of hypocritical jerks and misfits who speak of peace, but have no problem with the terror activities of Hamas (and Hezbollah).

Gary Fouse said...

Bryan, A follow up to your question as to whether there were any other offensive events at the SFJFF. Below are two emails I recieved. I have deleted the names and addresses.

"It looks like "Rachel" wasn't the only problematic film at
the SF Jewish Film Festival. Here is a very disturbing
report about another SFJFF film, "Defamation." I think
it's time for the Jewish community to rise up and say "Not
in our name!"

Subject: Review of SFJFF Showing Film "Defamation"

Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We went to SF to see the film Defamation, part of the SFJFF. It was supposedly about the new anti-Semitism, and it was made by a young Israeli filmmaker. It was really a bookend to the Rachel Corrie deal (which I chose not to see). The thesis of the filmmaker was that the ADL digs up anti-Semitism to provide income for Abe Foxman. In other words, anti-Semitism is big business and Holocaust remembrance provides excuses for human rights violations. A young group of Israelis are shown touring Holocaust sites in Europe. The idea is that they are manipulated until they break down emotionally and want to go out and kill. Norman Finkelstein was interviewed in the film. He got cheers from the audience when he stated that the worst thing that happened to Israel is the Jews of Beverly Hills, Miami, New York. I felt I was in the wrong movie theater. I am writing this to you for your information. By the way, I didn't see anyone at the Castro whom I recognized. I think they were more JVP types. The filmmaker was available after the film for a Q and A session. He stated that there is no anti-Semitism in Venezuela, in Argentina. There is no anti-Semitism in the U.S. judged by how well Jews are doing here. They were doing well in pre-Inquisition Spain and pre-war Germany as well. I just felt furious for being duped. I will write to Jim Koshland on my own.