Movies are the most powerful tools of propaganda the world has ever known. They have the ability to mold public opinion, in ways both overt and covert, on every topic from fashion to war.
Think about it. America has never won a modern war without Hollywood’s support. And when Hollywood turns against a war, as it did with Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, America loses the will to fight and ignobly surrenders.
The same thing happens when movies retell history.
A friend of mine who loves movies asked my opinion of Inglorious Basterds (2009).
I replied: “An entire generation of moviegoers now believes that Hitler was killed by a group of Jewish GIs. For that reason alone, I hate the film.”
My friend had a hard time believing that anyone could be that historically ignorant… which only goes to show how naïve he is.
This brings us to the recent movie, Selma, which purports to tell the story of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King and the historic march to Selma, Alabama.
One of Dr. King’s greatest supporters was Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel who, along with most American Jews, was active in the civil rights movement. A prominent scholar and theologian, Rabbi Heschel, like Dr. King, saw the civil rights movement not only as a political struggle, but as a religious one as well.
As you can see from the 1965 picture above, Rabbi Heschel is standing in the front line of the march.
But in Selma, the movie currently in release, Rabbi Heschel is not there. His very existence has been erased, written out of history.
And of course, the movie reframes the subtext of the civil rights struggle primarily as a political battle.
Selma rewrites history to suit the postmodern sensibilities of Hollywood’s secular, left-wing troopers.
One of the great ironies and tragedies of modern history is that American Jew-hatred is endemic among American blacks. There was a time when blacks and Jews were closely aligned: two despised minorities struggling for a slice of the American dream. But as American politics have become increasingly Balkanized, with the Democrat party and American blacks shifting ever further to the left, Jew-hatred and anti-Israel fervor have become routine.
Leftism and Jew-hatred are a contiguous ideology, after all.
Selma is Judenrein, and a whole new generation of Americans is being ushered into an abyss of ignorance.
Rabbi Heschel’s daughter, Susannah, has written a moving op-ed about this insult to her father, to American Jews, and to history.
Rabbi Heschel’s daughter Susannah, wrote a moving op-ed about this insult to history.
My father felt that the prophetic tradition of Judaism had come alive at Selma. He said that King told him it was the greatest day in his life, and my father said that he was reminded at Selma of walking with Hasidic rebbes in Europe. Such was the spiritual atmosphere of the day.
When he returned, he famously said, “For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.”
Imagine: My father arrived in 1940 as a refugee from Nazi Europe, where all too many Christian theologians were declaring Jesus an Aryan, not a Jew, and throwing the Old Testament out of the Christian Bible because it was a Jewish book. It seemed miraculous for him to discover Martin Luther King, Jr., placing the Exodus and the prophets of Israel at the center of the civil rights movement.