Michael Rapaport, Debra Messing lead 450 Jewish entertainers in STRONG rebuke of controversial acceptance speech

Michael Rapaport and Debra Messing were some of the leading names signing onto an open letter denouncing “The Zone of Interest” director Jonathan Glazer’s controversial Oscars acceptance speech about the Israel-Hamas war.

The film took home two Oscars, and while accepting the award for Best International Film, Glazer refuted his “Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation.”

“Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst,” Glazer said. “Right now, we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation, which has led to conflict for so many innocent people – whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza – all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?”

The letter took exception to Israel’s right to defend itself against Palestinian terrorists being compared to Nazi Germany.

“We refute our Jewishness being hijacked for the purpose of drawing a moral equivalence between a Nazi regime that sought to exterminate a race of people, and an Israeli nation that seeks to avert its own extermination,” the open letter said, according to Variety. “Every civilian death in Gaza is tragic. But Israel is not targeting civilians. It is targeting Hamas. The moment Hamas releases the hostages and surrenders is the moment this heartbreaking war ends. This has been true since the Hamas attacks of October 7th.”

“The use of words like ‘occupation’ to describe an indigenous Jewish people defending a homeland that dates back thousands of years, and has been recognized as a state by the United Nations, distorts history,” the letter continued. “It gives credence to the modern blood libel that fuels a growing anti-Jewish hatred around the world, in the United States, and in Hollywood. The current climate of growing antisemitism only underscores the need for the Jewish State of Israel, a place which will always take us in, as no state did during the Holocaust depicted in Mr. Glazer’s film.”

Other signatories include Julianna Margulies, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tovah Feldshuh, Lisa Edelstein and Brett Gelman. Producer Amy Pascal, and filmmakers Eli Roth and Rod Lurie penned their names also.

“There was no concern for how Jewish people are going to react to a speech like that, to that applause to those red pins, when not even our hostages are being mentioned, and it’s just incredibly hurtful, incredibly painful,” Gelman told Variety. “It’s truly baffling to me that people were choosing to be silent that night.”

Danny Cohen, one of the executive producers for “The Zone of Interest,” also denounced Glazer’s remarks.

“I just fundamentally disagree with Jonathan,” he said on the Unholy podcast.

“It’s really important to recognize it’s upset a lot of people and a lot of people feel upset and angry about it. And I understand that anger frankly,” Cohen added. “The war and the continuation of the war is the responsibility of Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization which continues to hold and abuse the hostages, which doesn’t use its tunnels to protect the innocent civilians of Gaza but uses it to hide themselves and allow Palestinians to die. I think the war is tragic and awful and the loss of civilian life is awful, but I blame Hamas for that.”

Tom Tillison


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