Hollywood, Israel and the New McCarthyism
The Israeli government and its lobby groups around the world have responded to the 2005 Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), including the academic and cultural boycott, with well-oiled propaganda, across-the-board bullying and intense repression. In the west, nothing short of a new wave of McCarthyism is setting in, except this time around the required blind loyalty is to apartheid Israel.
A-list Hollywood stars have begun to criticize Israel, especially its latest war crimes and crimes against humanity in the occupied and besieged Gaza Strip. The latest bombshell, from Viggo Mortensen of The Lord of the Rings fame, exposed a seldom talked about atmosphere of vilification and suppression of freedom of expression created by the Israel lobby.
“If anyone dares express any objection to the Israeli government’s acts of state terrorism against Palestinian civilians, one is rapidly vilified and censored,” said Mortensen in what many agree was an unprecedented, uninhibited moment of truth in the U.S. arts ivory tower.
As a growing number of Hollywood and music industry celebrities criticize Israel’s crimes in the occupied Palestinian territory, veering off the dogmatic and increasingly tyrannical Israel party line, Israel and its lobby groups are stridently upping the ante in a frenzied attempt to prevent any breach of the thick walls of one of the last -- and most influential -- forts of blind defense of Zionism and Israel’s regime of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid.
With its latest 51-day massacre in Gaza this past summer, Israel seems to have triggered unprecedented vocal opposition among U.S. celebrities, making its McCarthyist war on dissent even harder to win, even if it succeeds in some battles.
At the height of Israel’s Gaza onslaught, the Hollywood Reporter stated:
“[Jon] Stewart, director Jonathan Demme, Tori Amos, Rob Schneider, Kim Kardashian, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Bourdain, Roger Waters, NBA stars Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudemire, Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, D.L. Hughley, Mia Farrow, Whoopi Goldberg, Stephen Hawking and Annie Lennox are among the … big names who have weighed in with some degree of support for the people of Gaza or outright criticism of the Israeli government.”