Is Michael Moore an antisemite?

07Oct09

Althouse on Capitalism: A Love Story:

The most striking thing in the movie was the religion. I think Moore is seriously motivated by Christianity. He says he is (and has been since he was a boy). And he presented various priests, Biblical quotations, and movie footage from “Jesus of Nazareth” to make the argument that Christianity requires socialism. With this theme, I found it unsettling that in attacking the banking system, Moore presented quite a parade of Jewish names and faces. He never says the word “Jewish,” but I think the anti-Semitic theme is there. We receive long lectures about how capitalism is inconsistent with Christianity, followed a heavy-handed array of — it’s up to you to see that they are — Jewish villains.

Am I wrong to see Moore as an anti-Semite? I don’t know, but the movie worked as anti-Semitic propaganda. I had to struggle to fight off the idea the movie seemed to want to plant in my head.

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6 Responses to “Is Michael Moore an antisemite?”

  1. 1 Eoin

    My Jewish relatives who have worked closely with him have left me with the distinct impression that while he has his flaws antisemitism is not one of them.

  2. Eoin, I agree, but that doesn’t mean Althouse is wrong. See http://contested-terrain.net/is-michael-moore-an-antisemite/

  3. I would also suggest that Michael Moore’s previous work suggests that the accusation that he is an antisemite is trite:

    Consider for example episode 16 of the awful truth:

    “BMW (BREAK MY WINDOWS): Sal Piro, the “Awful Truth” Bill Collector goes to BMW’s US offices to confront executives with a former slave laborer who worked in BMW’s German factories during World War II. The issue: BMW failed to compensate slave laborers that worked in its factories during the war.”

    Source:

    “http://www.tv.com/the-awful-truth/show/16681/episode.html?printable=1”

    No need to let facts get in the way of your theory though eh.

  4. http://www.theawfultruth.com/salbmw/

    Here is a link to one of Michael Moore’s websites that documents the antisemitic history of a number of US and German corporations.

  5. This does not mean that he isn’t antisemitic, just because he likes large corporations even less.

    But in the end I tend to agree with you Eoin.

  6. 6 motaz

    Not to exonerate Moore or other leftist of possible antisemitism, as a anarchist of jewish origins, it tends to make me feel uncomfortable the way some people may be accused of being antisemitic just because what they say may “look like” antisemitism. Of course the “conspiracy mentality” or some leftist theories are problematic as long as they just work like antisemitism : which doesn’t make the people who have this kind of mentality antisemites. It seems important to me to make a clear difference between “problematic theories” and possible antisemitic prejudices (which always remain to be clearly established) on the one hand, and a clear militant or ideological antisemitism on the other – even this second is often hidding behind the first.

    The risk is always to see antisemitics everywhere but where the assumed ones actually are and act like the JDL. Of course possible antisemitic prejudices are problematic, but when it’s just “the way you feel” about what someone says (for exemple just the fact of criticizing religion or criticizing israel politics) it’s not enough to me.

    What I mean is that some ways to “defend jews” are sometimes not the best way to prevent antisemitism against them. And that all jews pretending struggling against antisemitism aren’t automatically “not my ennemies” unless they fight any kind of racism equally and reject -at the minimum- any kind of “race” or religious based nationalism.

    What would seem more radical to me, for exemple, in the case of Moore is to denounce the fact that christianism have a historical continuum of violent and progromist antisemitism (in the US as in Europe), and that consequently it’s a problem that some leftists adhere to this kind of “theology of liberation”. But that doesn’t make him automatically an antisemite.

    That being said, I post this because I’m also open to debate and critique.


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