The Jewschool Review: The Protocols Of Zion

I recently attended a screening of Marc Levin’s “Protocols of Zion” on behalf of Jewschool, and I suppose I got some things to say. But before I do that, I must point out a couple of things:

  1. Jewschool makes a brief appearance in the film when an article is shown referencing the famed Jooglebomb. Huzzah for Jewschool!
  2. Given that the movie has Jewish content and was released in 2005, the remarkably ubiquitous Matisyahu shows up. How does he do it?

In the aftermath of 9-11, an unbelievable number of conspiracy theories about what had actually happened began to filter through the internet, and there is of course the one with which many of us are more than familiar:
The Jews did it!
Levin begins his journey from this accusation/theory, and he makes it a personal one by bringing his father along for the ride. The film is dedicated to exploring the modern rise of Anti-Semitism in the world in the post 9-11 era, and Levin juxtaposes this with the concurrent rise in sales of the famous old anti-Semitic document, “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”. Along the way he talks to some of the biggest fans of the Jewish people, including a member of a white power organization who originally thought that Jews were ok, that we’re just white people with a different religion. (He changed his mind once he read the Protocols, incidentally). Other subjects in the film include Frank Weltner of Jew Watch fame, Palestinian youths in New Jersey, and a former anti-Semite residing in Trenton State Prison. While everyone encountered in the film was not necessarily a hater of Jews, if you will, Levin’s interactions expose us to a multitude of opinions about how Jews function in the world today.
Also covered were events that have raised Jewish eyebrows in the past couple years…a speech by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Muhammad, claiming that Jews run the world by proxy, the all too familiar issue of a certain film by Mel Gibson, and then, of course, good old Abe Foxman holding a press conference about Mr. Mel.
Throughout the film, Levin encounters many of his subjects with straightforward and legitimate arguments, attempting to break down much of the illogical prejudice, and meeting with very little success. He travels from person to person with a look of absolute incredulity about him, and it is more than justified. To see the film is to ask the obvious question: how can some people really think and believe such nonsense in light of rational evidence to the contrary?
This is a movie well worth seeing for people of any religious background. It highlights the senselessness of hatred in our world, and more importantly, show us that people will usually believe whatever they need to in order to continuously justify their world view. It’s painful, provocative, and important. And while I could have lifted that from rottentomatoes.com, it’s the truth. The film has difficult moments and touching ones; there were times while watching the movie that I was truly scared to be a Jew and others that reminded me of why I am so proud to be one.
The screening was followed by a panel discussion that certainly had its moments, but like many panels of the sort, was a bit short on time. However, it did highlight the importance of proper interfaith dialogue. One moment worth sharing: Rabbi Abraham Cooper, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, recounted an encounter in Japan during which he taught a group that the Protocols document was a forgery. Upon the completion of his presentation, an audience member thanked him for explaining the truth about the Protocols and then proceeded to ask the following question:
“If that’s not what you are doing in your synagogues, then what are you doing?”
And so I realized how important it is that we continue our mission to represent ourselves in the world properly. A Jewish woman at an Iraq protest in the movie summed it up cynically but accurately when she said, “We’re screwed no matter what side we take, so it’s important that we take the right one”. Or as it says on Marc Levin’s grandfather’s tombstone:
God means — Go Do Good. I think that pretty much sums it all up.
(One point about the movie: It does not take the time to seriously address the falsehood of the Protocols. I recommend boning up on that before you see the movie. The full story can be found in delicious comic book form in Will Eisner’s “The Plot”.)
All in all, I would say, if I had the rate the film, 4.5 knishes out of five. And I don’t mean the kind you get at a hot dog stand…I’m talking Yonah Schimmel here.

13 thoughts on “The Jewschool Review: The Protocols Of Zion

  1. Protocols or not, people should be aware of a certain brilliant figure from the past, namely the Jewish orthodox rationalist, Mar Samuel, of the Academy of Sara, Babylon, from about the year 220 ace. He made a famous decision, which by the way most affected the Jews, and was expressed in the phrase, Dina d’malchuthah dina—”The law of the land is the law for us.” This means that it was the duty of all people including the Jews to obey the laws of the countries in which we live.
    Jeremiah’s famous quote, which should be etched into every adult’s consciousness, was “Seek the peace of the country whither ye are exiled and pray to the Lord-for its welfare.” The ultimate result of Samuel’s dictum was that the better the Jew, the better the patriot.
    Jeremiah out trumps Jabotinsky in the Wisdom Card Game by a mile.
    The above may explain somewhat my worldview/belief system.

  2. Y.Shimmel is good… I just wish the Hechsher was better.
    Buy 2 and share it with Mordechai @ Jack Spade of Soho.

  3. Hey Yidlets, if it is so preposterous to believe that Jews run the world by proxy, how do you explain this: On October 3, 2001, I.A.P. News reported that according to Israel Radio (in Hebrew) Kol Yisrael an acrimonious argument erupted during the Israeli cabinet weekly session last week between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his foreign Minister Shimon Peres.  Peres  warned Sharon that refusing to heed incessant American requests for a cease-fire with the Palestinians would endanger Israeli interests and “turn the US against us.  “Sharon reportedly yelled at Peres, saying “don’t worry about American pressure, we the Jewish people control America.”
    or this
    “The Israelis control the policy in the congress and the senate.”
    — Senator Fullbright, Chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee:  10/07/1973 on CBS’ “Face the Nation”.

  4. I suppose it’s equally preposterous to suggest the somebody like Ariel Sharon speaks for the 14 million or so Jews in the world. During a heated argument with Shimon Peres, no less.
    Context anyone?

  5. No one suggested he was speaking for “14 million or so Jews”. I am not interested in jews’ subjective beliefs about the power their leaders wield in Western affairs, but rather insights into the objective reality of that power or lack thereof. It seems to me Sharon probably has much greater insight into the amount of power US jews actually wield than most other jews, making his perspective many times more relevant to the issue at hand than any number of jews on the street. Besides, Sharon’s opinion is seconded by Senator Fulbright and many other highly placed observers, so you are going to have to do better than that to address the issue. The fact is, jews don’t want the reality of their power to be properly understood by the goyim masses out of fear of the enevitable revolt and calls for expulsion that will come when the goyim discover once again that jews only use their power to benefit jews, and this usually at the expense of their host nation. Whether or not the Protocols are a forgery or connected to an authentic quasi-Masonic jewish source is important, but so is addressing the philosophical and political content of the Protocols.

  6. Jews are the chosen ones. We rule ‘aiiiiii’ (Sascha Baron Cohen, aka Ali G, another great Jew). We do rule each and every country out there, except, well iran and some other terrorist countrys, but we’ll (or our dear ‘friends’ america) soon sort that out. Yashikmaaash.

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