Eyeless in Gaza: how fake media works


eyeless in gaza

The fake news coming out of the Palestinian Media and their supporters is often not at all reported or recognized in the Western Press.  A worthy documentary on this subject Eyeless in Gaza was recently released. I happened to catch it when it was screened by the Student Society of St.John’s University, Manhattan, NY.

The film reports that “In reporting the Gaza War of 2014, these quotes appeared in the international media: “They’re calling it a massacre”, “Children and civilians comprised the vast majority of the 200 killed”, “All innocent people. All of them civilians”, “Israel is targeting a number of different places including hospitals.” This information formed international opinion yet all the above quotes are in this documentary clearly shown to have been influenced by the systematic intimidation, threats, torture and persecution of journalists in Gaza, of both local and Western media.The producers interview Palestinian civilians and journalists, Hamas leaders, UN officials, military analysts and Israeli spokespeople to arrive at these troubling conclusions.

The film is now available on I-tunes for sale or rent. I challenge you to watch this documentary and share it with your  colleagues.

finally we have a name for this kind of “news”.

Liar liar fake news

And just to further prove my point about the repressive tyranny that is currently going on in Gaza. I just saw this article about refugees fleeing Gaza not because of Israel but because of What the Gaza administration is perpetrating on its citizens.


More thoughts about Yiddish: a tale of survival

Excellent film – the interviews are so intimate, with such depth of emotion, and the editing is right on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgQBwJ63yh4 6 minutes into the film.

So why Yiddish…Professor talking about her attachment to Yiddish

Ruth Wisse speaking about Sholem Aleichem and Yiddish humour

Milena Kartovsky performing in Montreal (in Yiddish and French)

the CBC radio interview. all-in-a weekend 8/31/2013


Lessons from Henry Morgentaler and Carlos de Soussa Mendes

Rabbi Kruger and Aristides de Sousa Mendes

Rabbi Chaim Kruger and
Aristides de Sousa Mendes, 1940

Yesterday, a full auditorium at the Jewish Public Library, in Montreal, watched the film about Aristide de Sousa Mendes, Disobedience, made for French television, and we all listened to the moving discussion by the panel, one of whom was Louis Philippe Mendes, the grandson of Aristide Sousa de Mendes, who grew up in and happens to live in Montreal.

This is how the movie, created by French television, is described in a recent post:

Joel Santoni’s powerful drama is a vivid retelling of the moving true story of Aristides de Sousa Mendes, the Portuguese Consul General stationed in Bordeaux, France, during World War II.  His government had issued strict orders to all its diplomats, in a document called Circular 14, to deny visas to Holocaust refugees seeking to escape Occupied Europe through Portugal.  Sousa Mendes defied these orders and issued Portuguese visas to an estimated 30,000 people in May and June of 1940 in an operation described by the Holocaust scholar Yehuda Bauer as “perhaps the largest rescue action by a single individual during the Holocaust.” Sousa Mendes’ defiance of government’s order was harshly punished by Salazar, ally of Hitler, the dictator of neutral Portugal.

As Louis-Philippe reminded us last night: Aristides de Sousa Mendes’s act of conscience consisted in defying the direct orders of his government and exhibiting courage, moral rectitude, unselfishness, and self-sacrifice by issuing visas to all refugees regardless of nationality, race, religion or political opinions.

The movie shows how all of his heroic work was done over a period of several days with the help of his male secretary, and a certain Rabbi Kruger, pictured above from the archives of the Jewish Public Library, a man introduced by a letter from a friend who Aristide welcomed into his home along with his four daughters at that very time, and his eldest son. Aristide de Soussa Mendes was the father of 14 children and his mistress was also expecting at that very time.

What I really loved about this “you are there” movie recreation were the little vignettes that one witnesses such as the opening which starts with de Soussa Mendes conducting a small orchestra made up of his children playing a compostion by “me, Aristide de Soussa Mendes”: glimpses of his relationship with his wife, and his mistress, his relationship with his son, with Rabbi Kruger, with his loyal male secretary, and with his twin brother. The other reason that it is worth watching this movie is for the glimpse into the process of totalitarian power: the glimpse of how Salazar, the dictator of Portugal, thinks and acts, how he deals with “insubordinationan”, and glimpses of the others who carry out Salazar’s orders.

A moving and gripping story that is a lesson for all humanity and for all time.

The same day, I listened to the Gian Gomeshi interview with Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, son of the late abortion rights advocate Dr. Henry Morgentaler, following his father’s  recent death at the age of ninety.

The outpouring of interviews and reviews unleashed by the death of Dr. Henry Morgentaler, were intense and worldwide, but hearing about him from his son was special. As his son explained, Henry Morgentaler, grew up in Lodz, Poland, facing local antisemitism there, and then at the age of eighteen endured the Nazi invasion which led him and his family first to a ghetto and then being transported to Auschwitz. After losing both his parents and surviving a slave labour camp, Henry Morgentaler, arrived in Montreal, became a doctor, married and had children, and in the course of his work championed medical abortions for women in Quebec and Canada, at a time when the Church considered that sinful, and the laws of the land supported that stance. He went to jail more than once for upholding his values, and eventually won for women the legal  right to a safe, medical abortion in Canada.

Two stories that Abraham Morgentaler, the son, shared struck me as poignant. He shared a story from his childhood. He was perhaps nine year old at the time. He and his friends were arguing about who was the best hockey player in the world, “Rocket Richard or Richard Beliveau”. Eventually, all the kids ganged up on him: one kid said “we all believe that it’s Rocket Richard, so you are wrong!” He was telling his father about this when his father was putting him to bed, and he recalls his father saying very clearly, “It is possible for everyone in the world to say that you are wrong and for you still to be right.”

The other wonderful image was Gian Gomeshi asking Abraham Morgentaler, “What is your favorite memory of your father to which he responded that he would always remember his Dad, at family celebrations addressing the family, and then singing either a Yiddish song or one of his favorite Edith Piaf songs. And I am thinking perhaps, “Rien de rien, je ne regrette rien”?

Just to let you know that although, Aristides de Sousa Mendes died in poverty and struggling to clear his name, since the death of Salazar, his heirs have banded together with community members to share his story. You can read all about it on the site of the Sousa Mendes Foundation. The movie has been shown at many Jewish Film Festivals and private screenings. Currently, the movie can only be seen via arrangement with the Sousa Mendes Foundation.

The following appears on the website:

For information on hosting a film screening, please contact us at info@sousamendesfoundation.org.
















Knowing he would face harsh consequences for his actions, Sousa Mendes decided to act in accordance with the dictates of his conscience and Catholic faith.
For this adherence to his sense of humanity, Aristides de Sousa Mendes was rendered helpless in a society which no longer recognized his diplomatic status and forbade him from practicing law to earn a decent living and support his family. He spent the rest of his life pleading his case and being ignored time and again by the Portuguese dictator Salazar and his political machine.


The same day I heard

American Radical or Anti-Semite?



I recently saw the film American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein (by filmmakers Nicolas Rossier and David Ridgen), at the documentary film festival in Montreal. I too am a filmmaker but I was appalled by the message of this film.

Film making can take a very narrow window on any issue and do it very convincingly.
Can we forget the films of Reifenshtahl, the Nazi propagandist filmmaker? Can we forget that it was the intelligentsia that believed in and promoted the Nazi ideology for many years prior to the Third Reich carrying out their extermination plan.

American Radical, the film about the life of Norman Finkelstein, claims that Finkelstein was not granted tenure at two different universities because of the “Jewish Lobby“. One of the reasons cited in the documentary is a letter from Allan Dershowitz. Dershowitz, a Harvard educated lawyer who is heavily maligned by the Left wing  lobby for being pro-Israel and pro-Jewish. He himself was discriminated against for being Jewish and has written about it in is book Chutzpah.

The Jewish Lobby is a loaded term. It is the name of a book written by Walt and Mearsheimer, that has been adopted by Middle Eastern Departments hostile to Israel all over North American Campuses. It  references  the fraudulent book: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was also promoted and studied, as if factual, in German classrooms after the Nazi Party came to power in 1933, and in America as well, (despite having been exposed as fraudulent years before). In the opinion of historian Norman Cohn, the Protocols were Hitler’s primary justification for initiating the Holocaust — his “warrant for genocide”. The fraudulent book, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has since the early 19th century been the chief source for the fraudulent claim that Jews form an International Lobby whose aim is to dominate the world.

Finkelstein is a Jewish son of Holocaust survivors, who is a brilliant but disturbed academic, as is exposed by this documentary. He has been the darling of the virulent anti-Israel campaign mounted by the Left, the same left that supports the Israel/apartheid week on campuses, promotes the Israel boycott movement all over the world and touts Israel as one of the worst human rights violators. Here, he is promoted as a “radical hero” speaking up for the Palestinian cause.

Anti-semitism is a dirty word: But not facing it is worse. Since Jews live all over the world, including in Israel, and have every political persuasion, it is not difficult to find Jews such as Finkelstein who espouse anti-semitic and anti-zionist positions. The film maker may be excused for misunderstanding the issues, that Finkelstein espouses. Finkelstien and the Pro-Palestinian left identify the Palestinians with Holocaust victims and this is just as inaccurate as identifying the Palestinian situation with apartheid in Africa. This demonization of Israel and the distortion of the facts needs to be exposed. This film embraces a view of the Palestinian situation through the distorted lens of Norman Finkelstein. It paints the Israel/Palestine situation through the perceptions of one man, and supports him using other left wing anti-semitic academics including Noam Chomsky, Walt, and Mearsheimer. It succeeds in promoting the anti-sematism that is currently thriving in the Muslim world, an anti-semitism that is shrouded in anti-Israel rhetoric.

I wrote this post a little while ago but I have updated it with more news from the front regarding current reports of anti-semitism and Holocaust denial as noted in this article: Why Anti-Semitism Is Moving Toward the Mainstream. Note the references to the usual suspects, Mearsheimer, Atzmon, and Noam Chomsky.


I wrote the above a few months ago and now I am adding a link to an article about the most recent statements by Norman Finkelstein, which will surprise, you as it surprised the world. But at least it shows that Finkelsltein has not checked his integrity at the door of support for the Palestinian cause. He points out the Lie in the BDS movement.

Israel Seen