Culture, Politics

Kazakh Kazakh v’nitchazeik

borat

Talk about Jews controlling foreign policy (or at least setting the agenda). President Bush actually plans to address outrage over international superstar Borat Sagdiyev in forthcoming talks with Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev. (In case you weren’t already in line for tickets, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is slated for release November 3.)

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Roman Vassilenko says, “We have made it clear that we are unhappy with the character’s representation. He does not represent the true people of Kazakhstan.”

Full story. It’s nice. You like.

10 thoughts on “Kazakh Kazakh v’nitchazeik

  1. I think Borat is hilarious. He brings out the best in some and the worst in others. His abilty to surface underlying sentiments (such as anti-semitism) as well as push the limits as to how far people go to to help a “foreigner” is brilliant.

  2. Borat sings Bil’in
    In my village there is problem
    and that problem is the jew
    he takes everybody’s land
    he never give it back
    throw the jew across the green line
    (throw the jew across the green line)
    so my village can be free
    (so my village can be free)
    we must make him obey international law
    then we have a big par-ty!

  3. You know, I find it a little disappointing that no one here is expressing any issues with the Borat thing. So I will: I have issues with it. Not the usual ones — I think Sacha Cohen’s Jewish stuff is fine, it’s self-deprecating and very funny. But shouldn’t someone here stick up for Kazakhs? Yeah, I know, laugh, but I mean this seriously. I don’t know much about Kazakhstan, but I do know that it is a former Soviet republic that really has had a tough time. I’m sure there’s plenty of anti-Semitism and terrible stuff there, but does that really mean that we should depict them with racist charicatures? What if this were something done making fun of Palestinians, or Canadians, or Jews, for that matter? If someone had a bit where they dressed up as a hasid, went into an Arizona town and sang, “Throw the Arab down the well”? We’d all be extremely upset.
    Anyway, it’s not the end of the world, but can someone second this?

  4. I’m with you, Tarz. I am deeply uncomfortable with the reated mocking of Muslim characters by a self proclaimed observant Jew. isn’t this playing to the worst fears of an unenlightened public (no not just Muslim, but those who don’t think too far regardless of ethnicity, etc..)
    I mean, it tickles my funny bone in much the same way as the Israeli anti semetic cartton contest, but that was not so mean spirited or nationality specific., and is a bit of a rush after years of having everything blamed on the jews, but still.. Kazakhstan doesn’t hold the concession on delerious psycho jew haters.

  5. From the union of councils for Jews in the FSU:
    http://www.fsumonitor.com/stories/asem1kz.shtml
    Kazakhstan
    Antisemitism and Government Response
    Freedom of religion is a constitutional right and is generally respected in Kazakhstan. Thus antisemitism is not as much of a problem there as in many of the other former Soviet states. Nationalism is on the rise, and Jews have occasionally been beaten or harassed for their identity. President Nazarbayev has publicly called for an end to antisemitism, and he backed his words in 1995 by ordering the closing of a newspaper that had published antisemitic and anti-Russian articles. However, it was re-opened later that year.
    In addition, though most of them speak Russian, Kazakh Jews are threatened by antisemitism from within the Russian population as well.
    […]
    History of Jews in Kazakhstan
    Jews first settled in Kazakhstan in the 1880’s, mostly as officials of the czarist government (including some soldiers). Their numbers grew during the twentieth century; new arrivals included exiles during the Stalinist era and people fleeing the Nazis in the west. Due to Soviet repression of Judaism, religious affairs were conducted underground, and so Almaty never had a synagogue until 1996. An estimated 5,000 Jews lived in Kazakhstan after World War II. Many have immigrated since the breakup of the Soviet Union, mostly due to the nation’s economic uncertainty.
    […]
    Conclusion
    Compared to their brethren in the other former Soviet republics, the Jews of Kazakhstan have fared rather well. While antisemitic sentiment certainly exists and should not be taken lightly, Kazakhstan’s government has generally upheld religious freedoms. Furthermore, Kazakhstan’s ties with Israel are quite encouraging. But the Solomin case, a reversion to Soviet tactics, is indicative of the extent of governmental abuse of human rights.

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