Not willing to settle for merely assaulting the Jewish state with the one-two punch of the screening of the hagiographic flick "Rachel" followed by a live presentation by the mother of the no-longer-with-us pro-terror activist, the ever-transgressive SFJFF is also presenting a charming documentary called "Defamation".
To get an idea of what this film is about, let's have a look at the what the East Bay Express has to say about "Defamation":
... Israeli writer-director Yoav Shamir has a potentially touchier sociopolitical axe of his own to grind in his documentary Defamation, which plays the Castro on July 26 and the Roda, August 6. Shamir asks: What is anti-Semitism today, two generations after the Holocaust?
Good question. To answer it, keen-eyed filmmaker Shamir (Checkpoint, Flipping Out) jets back and forth across the globe, from an Israeli-sponsored student tour of the death camps at Auschwitz to Crown Heights, Brooklyn to a Moscow synagogue to the Vatican to the offices of the Anti-Defamation League, which is where the investigation starts producing heat. More than one observer is suspicious of the ADL's motives in keeping track of even the smallest anti-Semitic incidents around the world, and of the ADL's cozy relationship with the Israeli military.
One thing seems to bother such commentators as Israeli peacenik Uri Avnery, blackballed historian Norman Finkelstein, and political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: that the "Israeli Lobby" of neo-cons in the United States is using charges of anti-Semitism to silence critics of Israeli policy, especially toward Palestine. Avnery goes so far as to say that, "The phenomenon of anti-Semitism only exists in the Israeli media and in the minds of the Jewish big shots of the world who make a living fighting anti-Semitism."
Are people who criticize Israel really anti-Semites in disguise? No, say Shamir's subjects, who see the rise of the "anti-Semitic and Holocaust industries" in the United States and elsewhere — Auschwitz in particular has become a macabre theme park where Israeli paramilitary groups parade — as the leading edge of attempts by Israeli and American rightwing Jews to shut down objections to Israel's aggression toward Palestinians. Defamation (Hashmatsa), yet another example of the Jewish Film Festival's fearless refusal to play it safe, is sure to provoke discussion, especially after the scene in which a weary-looking Israeli man visiting Auschwitz speaks his mind: "We perpetuate death, and that's why we will never become a normal people, because we emphasize death and what happened."
"Fearless refusal to play it safe?" More like "neurotic tendency to hate one's self!"
Can we please skip this year's Festival and use the generous community funding normally spent on this hate-fest to send SFJFF honcho Peter Stein and his pals off for the therapy they so clearly require?