Skip to main content

Zionist Smears of Oscar-Winning Jonathan Glazer

Because Glazer’s statement accepting an Oscar threatens the project some have called “Israelism,” a cult-like Zionism=Judaism and “Jews must support Bibi” complex of beliefs, some Zionists decided that he must be smeared and his reputation destroyed.

Jonathan Glazer accepting Oscar for directing The Zone of Interest,

Ann Arbor (Informed Comment) – The brave and highly ethical Oscar-award-winning director, Jonathan Glazer, has been targeted by the crazies on the Zionist (Israeli-nationalist) right wing, as were all the actors and film people who expressed horror at the genocide in Gaza. Their allegations on social media are so bizarre and crazed that they are being compared to the QAnon conspiracy theories of the Trumpists. They are, in short, QZionism.

IMDB’s laconic description of Glazer’s masterpiece, based on a novel by Martin Amis, goes this way: “Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife Hedwig strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden beside the camp.” The film is an indictment of what Hannah Arendt called “The Banality of Evil.”

The British national Glazer, however, clearly has a difficulty with the Zionist Right, which has appropriated the Nazi Holocaust against the Jews as a primary plank in its platform of bestowing impunity on the Israeli government for whatever atrocity, whatever violation of international humanitarian law, whatever genocide its leaders wish to commit.

In his Oscar acceptance speech, Glazer said,

  • “All our choices were made to reflect and confront us in the present — not to say, ‘Look what we did then,’ rather, ‘Look what we do now.’ Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It shaped all of our past and present. Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation, which has led to conflict for so many people. Whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack in Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?”

Here’s the clip:

ABC Video: THE ZONE OF INTEREST Accepts the Oscar for International Feature Film

Daniel Arkin at NBC writes, “Inside the Dolby Theatre, many in the audience could be seen cheering and applauding. Sandra Hüller, the German actor who portrayed Höss’ wife, Hedwig, appeared to be crying and put her hand to her chest.”

He adds, “Billie Eilish, Mark Ruffalo and Ramy Youssef wore red pins on the Oscars red carpet symbolizing calls for a cease-fire.”

If you like this article, please sign up for Snapshot, Portside's daily summary.

(One summary e-mail a day, you can change anytime, and Portside is always free.)

Glazer’s international platform (19.5 million people watched live) and his universalist sentiments posed a severe difficulty for the Zionist right wing. Glazer was saying that the Holocaust was an event in human history, not solely in Jewish history, and that its lesson is that dehumanization leads to atrocities and even genocide. In wartime Nazi Germany Jews were called “Rats, lice, cockroaches, foxes, vultures.” And then they were murdered in their millions by the National Socialist government.

Likewise, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called Palestinians in Gaza “human animals.”

Glazer is aware that the Hamas commandos who killed over 600 Israeli civilians on October 7, along with some 400 military personnel, also dehumanized those Jews, allowing them to mow down attendees at a music festival and left wing grandmothers at Kibbutz hamlets.

He was saying that this dehumanization, and its consequences in the casual murder of other human beings, clearly needs to be resisted. But how? How? is the existential question of the twenty-first century.

But for the current full-on fascist cabinet in Israel and its cheerleaders in the United States, the Holocaust and October 7 aren’t about universal values, they are about Jews and Zionism. They are antinomian in effect, justifying Israeli troops in committing any action, any crime. They are a get out of jail free card for Zionists. The Right denies that Israel is carrying out a genocide in Gaza, even though over 13,000 children have been killed in indiscriminate bombing and another 12,000 women noncombatants have been killed. How else, they ask, could you destroy Hamas? Even President Biden, however, has begun pointing out in public that there are other ways of targeting a small terrorist organization than killing tens of thousands of noncombatants.

Glazer also violated the tenets of the Zionist Right by saying that his film about the Holocaust is not about what people did in the 1940s but about what people do today. His clear implication is that the tactics the Israeli government is using in Gaza must be condemned for the same reason that the Holocaust must be condemned. These actions, while of entirely different scale, are atrocities that spring from a denial of our common humanity.

Glazer’s most controversial assertion was, “Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation, which has led to conflict for so many people.”

He was saying that the Zionist far right of Netanyahu, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich had attempted to hijack the Jewish religion to which Glazer and some of his colleagues adhere, and that he rejects this appropriation.

This statement strikes at the core of Zionist nationalism, which insists that Judaism and Zionism are identical. Non-Zionist Jews from this point of view are traitors. Never mind that in opinion polling significant numbers of American Jews express discomfort with the right wing Zionism that has come to dominate Israeli politics.

Because Glazer’s brief, historic statement profoundly threatened the project of what some have called “Israelism,” a cult-like induction of people into the Zionism=Judaism and “Jews must support Bibi” complex of beliefs, some Zionists decided that he must be smeared and his reputation destroyed.

Batya Ungar-Sargon, Newsweek deputy opinion editor, author of a book on how “woke” media is allegedly undermining democracy, and inveterate propagandist for the Israeli Right, presented a gross distortion of what Glazer said on X:

Even X’s community comments eventually flagged the post as misleading, though it is actually a horrid lie, and it is hard to understand why anyone should ever again take seriously anything she says.

Her posting was widely reposted and paraphrased on the Zionist Right, in a disinformation campaign attempting to make it look as though Glazer were an apostate and had abandoned Jewish values rather than standing up for them.

An attempt was also made to push back against the red pins worn by numerous celebrities at the Oscars, symbolizing their call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza (which in polling the majority of Americans of both parties desire).

Foreign policy expert Matt Duss pointed to another disinformation campaign:

Another poster saw a pattern:

In fact, the red pins were distributed by ArtistsForCeasefire
who said, “The pin symbolises collective support for an immediate and permanent cease-fire, the release of all of the hostages and for the urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza,”

Israeli propaganda, or Hasbara, as Duss points out, has reached the level of irrationality and of sheer crazy that characterizes QAnon conspiracies such as Pizzagate and Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Jewish space lasers.

That is why we increasingly have to consider what comes out of AIPAC, the Israeli Prime Minister’s office and other Zionist organizations as QZionism, a form of information pollution.

Juan Cole is the founder and chief editor of Informed Comment. He is Richard P. Mitchell Professor of History at the University of Michigan He is author of, among many other books, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires and The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Follow him on Twitter at @jricole or the Informed Comment Facebook Page.