Yoav Shamir’s memorable, must-see Defamation is by turns hilarious and disturbing. It recently aired on the UK’s Channel 4 True Stories series. We feature it here in full.
Shamir seeks to investigate whether Judeophobia really exists to anything near the levels the ADL (Anti-Defamation League of Bnai Brith) claims to combat. This takes him to the US, Israel, Russia, Poland and to several interesting encounters and interviews. In addition to the film’s mainstay shadowing of Abe Foxman to several locations, these include Norman Finkelstein, John Mearsheimer, David Hirsch* and Uri Avnery. Then there’s the smart Rabbi Hecht who contends that Foxman propagates ‘anti Semitism’ “because he makes a living from it … he has to create a problem because he needs a job” (around 31 minute mark) and the couple who admit that the ADL provides them with a forum to explore Jewish identity (44 minute mark).