If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences goes ahead with its plan to award French filmmaker Jean Luc Godard an honorary Oscar on Nov. 13, Hollywood will be celebrating a man who defends Palestinian terrorism and who regularly equates Israel with Nazi Germany.
The filmmaker, renowned for his avant-garde “French New Wave” films, has described Israel as “a cancer on the map of the Middle East.” He has also suggested that the Jews murdered during the Holocaust had actually committed suicide in order to arouse international sympathy and bring about the formation of Israel.
Benjamin Ivry has a great post detailing some of Godard’s most egregious comments at the Jewish Daily Forward:
“Godard, as [his biographer] Antoine de Baecque observes, justifies every act of Arab resistance, including terrorism, by saying that ‘Israel is a paradoxical form of Nazism’s historical resurgence.’ In a 1970 short documentary filmed for German TV, Godard brandished a tract with the slogan “NazIsrael” emblazoned on it and told the cameraman, ‘Write us a check from German television, which is financed by Zionists and that idiotic Social Democrat, Willy Brandt, and that will let us buy weapons for the Palestinians to attack Zionists,’ as de Baecque further recounted.”
“In a 2009 article in Le Monde, “Godard and the Jewish Question” by Jean-Luc Douin, Godard is quoted as making an off-camera comment during the filming of a 2006 documentary: ‘Palestinians’ suicide bombings in order to bring a Palestinian State into existence ultimately resemble what the Jews did by allowing themselves to be led like sheep to be slaughtered in gas chambers, sacrificing themselves to bring into existence the State of Israel.’ Godard apparently believes that Jews committed mass suicide during the Holocaust in order for Israel to be created. The same article quotes him along these lines: ‘Basically, there were six million kamikazes’ and ‘Hollywood was invented by Jewish gangsters.’ At least Godard cannot accuse the American film industry of being ungrateful gangsters.”
The Forward submitted some of Godard’s troubling statements to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and received this response: “The Academy is aware that Jean-Luc Godard has made statements in the past that some have construed as anti-Semitic. We are also aware of detailed rebuttals to that charge. Anti-Semitism is of course deplorable, but the Academy has not found the accusations against M. Godard persuasive.”