Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein slammed Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone on Monday for comments he made in an interview to Britain’s Sunday Times, in which he downplayed the Holocaust, defended Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and complained about Jewish influence in the United States.
Edelstein said that Stone’s statements to the newspaper were racist and anti-Semitic and made him sick.
“Beyond the ignorance he proves with his comments, his demonization of the Jewish people could be a sequel to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the minister said. “When a man of Stone’s stature says such things, it could lead to a new wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism, and it may even cause real harm to Jewish communities and individuals.”
In the interview, Stone said America’s focus on the Holocaust was a product of the “Jewish domination of the media.” He said his upcoming Showtime documentary series Secret History of America would put Hitler and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin “in context.” “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30 [million killed],” Stone said.
When asked by the interviewer why so much of an emphasis had been placed on the Holocaust, Stone responded, “The Jewish domination of the media. There’s a major lobby in the United States. They are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington. Israel has f***** up United States foreign policy for years.”
Stone, who recently met with Ahmadinejad, said American policy toward Iran was “horrible.”
“Iran isn’t necessarily the good guy,” he said. “But we don’t know the full story!”
By contrast, Stone praised Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez as “a brave, blunt, earthy” man, who does not censor the Internet in his country.
Stone also raised an uproar when he defended Hitler at a press conference in January.
“Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it’s been used cheaply,” he said at the time. “He’s the product of a series of actions. It’s cause and effect.”
Simon Wiesenthal Center director Rabbi Marvin Hier responded then that “to talk about ‘placing Adolf Hitler in context’ is like placing cancer in context, instead of recognizing cancer for what it really is – a horrible disease, just as we must recognize Hitler as the ultimate expression of evil.”
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