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Jonathan Glazer's speech at the 2024 Oscars from the Zone of Interest divides opinion

Jonathan Glazer's speech at the 2024 Oscars from the Zone of Interest divides opinion

Jonathan Glazer's fiery Oscar acceptance speech, in which… Area of ​​interest The director referenced the conflict between Israel and Gaza and said he refuted “the hijacking of Judaism and the Holocaust by the occupation,” prompting a backlash on social media.

In his prepared speech to accept the 2024 Academy Award for Best International Film, Glazer thanked his partners Area of ​​interest, a painful film about Auschwitz and the Holocaust, then made a statement addressing his work and referring to the conflict between Israel and Gaza. “All our choices are made to reflect and confront us in the present, not to say: Look what they did then; “Instead, it's what we're doing now,” Glazer said. “Our film shows where dehumanization reaches its worst. It has shaped all of our past and present.”

Glazer, who is Jewish, added: “Right now, we stand here as men refuting their Judaism and the Holocaust, hijacked by an occupation that has led to conflict for many innocent people,” Glazer said, pausing briefly for applause.

He continued: “Whether it was the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization. How do we resist?”

Glazer then dedicated the film's victory to Alexandria, a 90-year-old woman he met while working on the film and who inspired one of the film's main characters. Area of ​​interest.

Reaction to Glazer's speech was swift, though much of the early negative sentiment occurred because some news sites did not fully quote the British director, or because his quotes were taken out of context with the rest of his speech. Some people, incorrectly, took Glazer's speech to mean that he was refuting his Judaism, not that he was refuting “the kidnapping of Jews and the Holocaust by the occupation that led to the conflict of many innocent people,” as he said in his speech.

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MSNBC host Chris Hayes was quick to correct people who misquoted Glazer. “I see [several] People say that about Glazer's speech, and it's clearly wrong. Hayes tweeted With full quote from Glazer.

“He was [a] It's worded a bit oddly, but it clearly says it refutes the rapture of his Judaism. “He does not refute his Jewishness,” Hayes added in a follow-up tweet.

However, several prominent Israeli and Jewish users on X criticized Glazer for his comments. Michael Freund, an Israeli political activist who served as deputy director of communications under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the 1990s. Written on X“Jonathan Glazer is a self-hating Jew of the worst kind who is exploiting the Holocaust to publicly attack Israel at the Oscars.”

Newsweek Opinion columnist Batya Ungar Sarjun, another writer who incorrectly quoted Glazer, Written on X“I simply cannot understand the moral rot in someone’s soul that leads them to win an award for a film about the Holocaust and, with the platform given to them, to accept that award by saying, ‘We stand here as men refuting their Judaism.’”

Among the flood of quote tweets and responses to Ungar Sargon, Yona Lieberman, co-founder of IfNotNow, an American Jewish group that opposes the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, said: Written on X“You are lying about what they said by adding a period in the middle of their sentence. They clearly meant that they were refuting the way their Judaism was hijacked. You are supposed to be a journalist.”

Lieberman he tweeted Monday“Almost all of those who distort Glazer's words are themselves Jews. Can you imagine another minority group willing to lie about one of their own in order to maintain a status quo where an ethnostate can kill women and children with impunity?”

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In a joint statement with Hollywood Reporter “Unfortunately, Jonathan Glazer turned a remarkable accomplishment into another ‘as a Jew’ moment, appropriating his religious and ethnic identity to attack the national homeland of the Jewish people,” wrote Sascha Roitman, CEO of the Movement Against Antisemitism (CAM). Which is waging a war on seven fronts against those who openly call for the extermination of the Jews.

“Although there is no comparison between the two, Jews are once again being stripped of their humanity by mass destruction, just like in the Holocaust. Instead of hijacking the Holocaust, the overwhelming majority of Jewish people have learned that when someone says they come to destroy us, they don't We should doubt their intentions.

Abraham Foxman, Director Emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League, chirp“I was pleased with that Area of ​​interest It won Best International Feature at the Oscars — but as a Holocaust survivor, I was shocked that the director would slap the memory of the more than a million Jews who died because they were Jewish by declaring that he was refuting his own Judaism. Shame on you.” However, Foxman's tweet was criticized with a community note for taking Glazer's quote out of context.

Likewise, conservative journalist John Podhoretz took Glazer's comments out of context. “By saying he is refuting his Judaism on the world's biggest stage five months after the attack on Israel, Jonathan Glazer has instantly made himself one of Judaism's historical villains.” comment, chirp.

Also on Monday morning, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, a staunch supporter of Israel's military campaign in Gaza, wasted no time attacking Glazer. Write on X“,” in Jonathan Glazer area of ​​interest, You don't see a single Jew. These are the best Jews, according to Glazer: the faceless victims screaming from afar. Ironically, he is the villain: picking trophies from the bodies of these nameless murdered Jews while ignoring the living being slaughtered in the Gaza envelope by genocidal killers.

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Glazer received some support from fellow Hollywood filmmakers. Among Glazer's prominent peers was Jewish American director Boots Riley He tweeted his support on Sunday night. “Tribute to Jonathan Glazer. Not only has he spoken out against the atrocities in Gaza and said his film is about the present day – but I finally saw him Area of ​​interest last night. since Under the skin He showed that you don't have to wait [till] Another to learn about sound design.