At the impressive Jewish Museum in Berlin, which carefully documents hundreds of years of German Jewish life and achievement, as well as the catastrophe of Hitler’s rise and ruination of European Jewry, there is a temporary exhibit featuring Jewish cartoonists over the past century.
Like Hollywood itself, founded early in the 20th century by immigrant Jewish imagineers of the American Dream, the prominent U.S. inventors of comic strip heroes Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Captain Marvel, Hulk, and Captain America, were Jewish dreamers who promoted and projected American success.
Blair Kramer wrote of Superman:
After Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933 and proceeded to distort Nietzsche’s concept of Superman, (Siegel and Shuster) decided to rethink their own concept of Superman’s character. They changed their Jewish-created Superman to a force for good. Possessing superhuman powers, Superman leaped tall buildings in a single bound and bullets bounced off his chest as he lifted automobiles and ripped steel doors from their hinges. In the first issue, Superman even rescued battered wives from abusive husbands.
When America entered World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Superman’s character evolved into a combat hero. He destroyed Nazi armor, Japanese submarines and everything else that was thrown at the Allies. In fact, the cover of a 1944 issue of Superman featured the Man of Steel throttling Hitler and Tojo by the collar.
Kramer further notes:
Despite his superhuman powers, Superman shared some characteristic traits with a majority of American Jews in the 1940s. Like them, he had arrived in America from a foreign world. His entire family = in fact his entire race – had been wiped out in a holocaust-like disaster on his home planet, Krypton. Like German Jewish parents who sent their children on the kindertransports, or the baby Moses set adrift in the bull rushes, Superman’s parents launched him to Earth in hopes that he would survive.
And while the mild-mannered Clark Kent held a white collar job as a reporter by day, the “real” man behind Kent’s meek exterior was a virile, indestructible crusader for justice. This fantasy must have resonated among American Jews, who felt powerless to help their brethren in the death camps of Europe.
Superman obeys the Talmudic injunction to do good for its own sake and heal the world where he can. Siegel and Shuster had created a mythic character who reflected their own Jewish values.
But the heroic vision of a confident defense of liberty, and the World War II era celebration of American strength, did not last long in Hollywood, or in the comics. By the 1960’s, new age shapers of our culture became its severest critics. Many artists, academics, and news analysts came to despise the establishment, and turned against the American founding, free enterprise system, and traditional foreign policy.The left has been moving farther and farther away from admiration, or even tolerance, of the Judeo-Christian roots and national mission of the United States ever since.
At the extreme left fringe, Oliver Stone, along with Code Pink activists and religious leftists like Louis Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright, go so far as to side with our enemies. Some travel to stand by terrorists in Gaza, tyrants in the Middle East, and dictators in Central and South America. They drink their liquor, smoke their cigars, and pronounce themselves opponents of American foreign policy.
Fortunately, most Americans still roll their eyes, and laugh at Michael Moore’s claims that health care in Cuba is better than in the United States, which produces medicines for the planet and significantly cleaner hospital bed sheets than the disgusting conditions throughout Castro’s hell-hole.
Sadly though, when radical American stars cover for human rights abusers, ignore the suffering of millions under Jihad, and collaborate with autocrats, they dampen the hopes of dissidents and freedom fighters. Sean Penn could have reversed years of boneheaded moves by standing up for the Green Movement students protesting the Mullahs and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Council in Tehran.
In fact, where was anyone from Hollywood, much less the White House, in June, 2009, during one of the most compelling human rights moments since 1989’s Tienanmen Square?
There is not much new here. Stalin had his apologists, Mao had his defenders, and so did Pol Pot and many other mass murderers.
The liberal imagination has long promoted utopianism, socialism, progressivism. These belief systems all promote the power of the government over the individual, control by the state over the entrepreneur, elite hostility to personal liberty and achievement, economic re-distributionism over private property rights, and an aggressive agenda to control the hearts and minds of children in society. Urban moms and dads are noticing: Who is against school choice and competition today ?
Another major feature of the left is extreme antipathy to Jews. Voltaire and Marx were bitter Jew-haters, labeling the Jews as capitalists and particularists, and religionists faithful to a Creator greater than the State.
Socialism and communism, all about group-think and uniformity, became brutal opponents of Jewish identity and culture, memory and education. In its fullest form, the USSR locked away Jewish teachers, denied the celebration of Jewish holidays, and came to harshly oppose the Jewish state of Israel.
This is all well understood. But no matter. With his contempt for western civilization, Oliver Stone has found a global marketing niche: anti-American media product. He has a new documentary celebrating the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez, he is working with Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and he wants to let everyone know that “Israel has f***** up United States foreign policy for years.”
The Los Angeles based Simon Wiesenthal Center, named after the famed Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter, issued a press release on July 26, 2010:
WIESENTHAL CENTER CALLS ON ENTERTAINMENT COMMUNITY TO BLAST OLIVER STONE FOR HIS BELITTLEMENT OF THE HOLOCAUST AND ANTI-SEMITIC REMARKS
In London’s Sunday Times (July 25, 2010), Stone claimed that the Holocaust is overemphasized in our culture because Jews “control the media” and that “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people.”
“Oliver Stone is bent on trivializing the Nazi Holocaust and “contextualizing” both Hitler and Stalin as not-such- terrible-guys with whom we should empathize, said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center. “He parrots the anti-Semitic chorus led by Iran’s genocide-wannabe Ahmadinejad, by attributing the world’s focus on the Shoah – in his money quote, sure to be enshrined in every Islamist Google search (to) “The Jewish domination of the media….”
“We hope that Oliver Stone’s reckless and outrageous rhetoric will be condemned by his peers in the entertainment community,” Cooper concluded.
Three questions arise, one for Hollywood, one for American consumers, and one for Jews.
a) Will Hollywood begin to reject Oliver Stone and his fellow travelers who stand beside, apologize for, and party with America’s enemies?
b) Will US audiences reject Stone’s anti-Americanism and Jew hatred? Will we vote with our feet, wallets, and viewing choices and deny Stone our market share?
c) Will American Jews continue their incremental political awakening and reject the left, which is hostile to Israel, Jewish identity and nationhood, and support American counter-terrorism policies that are necessary in the face of the third Jihad, a political ideology bent on conquest over women’s rights through Shariah law, over modern religious freedom and pluralism, and over secular, humane values as well.
Perhaps. But while some still hope for the women’s movement, gay rights advocates, and the self-proclaimed human rights community to begin standing up to the genital mutilation, honor killings, and religious based murder that marks radical Islamism, many others have stopped expecting much moral action or thought from the bright lights of American culture.
Prolific Hollywood film director and screenwriter Oliver Stone makes controversial movies, often criticized for their historical inaccuracies and invention, seeking not truth but dramatic story.
But Stone figured out long ago how to leverage radical politics into profits. He succeeds because his ideology has an audience. He may not reach the American majority, but his movies pays the bills and keep him going.
Stone is a fantasist. A modern cartoonist. A dreamer of dark dreams.
Just know, though, that he takes the other side of the American dream. Instead of fighting Hitlerism, he insults Hitler’s victims with Nazi rhetoric about Jewish power and influence and control of the media. Instead of complimenting anti-communism, he apologizes for Stalin. Instead of standing up for freedom and human rights, Stone reaches out to the holocaust denier and promiser of genocide, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
And instead of celebrating free market capitalism, which provides him his wealth and platform, he mocks it. A frequent drug user, Stone even managed to promote the terrorists FARC in the Colombian drug wars.
Stone’s biggest fantasy is that somehow he is the necessary story teller, the one who speaks truth to power.
But he should be pleased, not angry. His worldview has won.
President Obama bows to Saudi Kings, repeatedly apologizes for America, rejects American Exceptionalism, hugs thugs, and abandons and offends friends like Honduras, Poland, the Czech Republic, India, Israel, Panama, Columbia, and South Korea, and many more.
Obama has adopted the Arab narrative regarding Israel, and the third world narrative of America’s original sins, colonial power and nefarious empire building.
The Obama doctrine features the simultaneously absurd claims that the United States was not founded as a Christina nation but was somehow instead deeply benefited by Muslim influence. He never quite got it that President Jefferson had a Koran, but it was underlined to study how and why to defeat the Barbary pirates in the Tripolitan wars of the early 19th century.
Mr. Stone is therefore not alone in his post-American and anti-American worldview. He should stop his tortured “truth-teller” shtick. He is the zeitgeist.
Stones even gets to have his own foreign policy. He is writing and producing his own “secret” history of the United States, coming to the small screen near you this fall.
What’s chic and out of the mainstream today are honorable artists and critics who actually admire America and whose criticisms, liberal or conservative, sincerely come from love of the nation which grants so much cultural, economic, and religious liberty. They are the counter-cultural heroes now.
However the political world turns, Hollywood directors, political and cultural cartoonists, and even Museum curators will continue to develop their own fantasies.
At the entrance to the Jewish Museum Berlin, there is a large sculpture of Superman, upside down, with his head smashed into the ground, blood everywhere. It’s another statement against American leadership, goodness, nobility, service, and liberation.
It is also a deep insult to the American spirit and nation, and the heroes of D-Day and their sacrificing homeland countrymen of World War II, as well as the rescuers of the Berlin Airlift of the late 1940’s, and the American leaders, from JFK to Ronald Reagan, who stood by a free Berlin and shouted “Tear Down This Wall”.
Oliver Stone would be pleased. His mother was French, his third wife is Korean; only his disappointed Jewish father was the American he came to despise.
Stone has become the anti-John Ford, who was the greatest director of American cinema, featuring strong Western heroes, like John Wayne, who were lovers of our land and were honorable truth-tellers.
Stone is the anti-Ronald Reagan, the Hollywood actor and good-natured mid-Westerner who fought tyranny and opposed the evil empire of the Soviet Union.
And Stone is the anti-Superman. He is the alienated artist, the leftist radical, the promoter of Stalin, the buddy of Chavez, and Castro, the apologist for Shiite Jihad.
He is now also the Jew-baiting cartoonist of today, seeking alliance with those who fight not for, but for the destruction of, truth, justice, and the American way.
[Ed. Note: Earlier today, director Oliver Stone issued an apology for his remarks through his publicist.]