I work as a Spiritual advisor, ie Campus Rabbi, for Hillel in Orange County and Long Beach. I attended your film last night in Irvine with students from Universities of Chapman and Irvine. Everyone of the students was impressed and moved by the film. It was a self-selected group who decided that instead of partying on Thursday night, they would check out this movie. Many want to go into film themselves. We stood around for an hour after the film discussing it. They all thought it was a fantastic telling of things that are going on today. Not one student was negative. Many had their eyes opened wide for the entire film, and will now continue to walk around educated to some of the real and pervasive prejudice, hate, and bigotry that Jews face.
Since I have been working here in Orange County with college students, I have had the chance to see many speakers come to campus alleging the same things seen in your film. Regularly, speakers are brought that blame without hesitation the entire 9/11 tragedy squarely on the Bush-Mossad conspiracy. They speak to mostly Muslim groups, that nod and clap. There are also pseudo-academics that reach audiences with a far wider diversity, with essentially the same message.
The universities allow their facilities to be used for the most heinous of speakers, with the most vile and hateful of accusations against Jews.
We always wonder, my wife and I, what would happen if David Duke, or National Alliance, had a week long hate event against Blacks, Chicanos, Asians, and Arabs etc. I imagine that they would be shut down in a matter of hours.
But when week and month long programs are organized with one goal: to defame the Jewish people, we are told to be tolerant of free speech.
It is not the case, as it was when I was a college student, that speakers were brought who had a particular case against Israel, and there was room for open debate about the issues.
Today the speakers that circulate call for the destruction of Israel, the “purging” of Jews from government, the overthrow of the US government to be replaced by Sharia Law etc. They boldly claim that Jews planned and executed 9/11, that Al Qaeda is a creation of the Mossad and Bin Laden a figment of the CIA imagination.
Perhaps that is my only critique of your film, which I found to be captivating, informative, and brilliant. This would be the absence of the call for Israel’s destruction on the college campuses around the country and the wild conspiracy theories flying around the halls of the academia.
But as with all Rabbis, I have a solution. Please consider creating a film on this ugly scourge poisoning the minds of young college students. The evident agenda of certain university departments. The bias against Jewish students and others that stand up to these forces of intolerance and anti-Semitism.
I hope that your film receives as large an audience as possible, and that you will consider bringing the film to our campuses, and speaking about the film to our students.
Posted by: Rabbi Yonah Bookstein | November 04, 2005 at 08:55 AM