The Independent interviews English portrait and fashion photographer Rankin (also known as John Rankin Waddell) who gives his views on why Scarlett Johansson put SodaStream ahead of Oxfam:
“I think the reason that she has not backed down is because in America, the Jewish zealots are so powerful. Especially in the entertainment industry… What they could do to her career,” he added, admitting he had “negative views” on SodaStream’s West Bank operation.
“The main problem for me in all this is that kind of extreme Judaism. That extreme belief that this is their homeland and those people are worthless to them. That’s very powerful in America. They will blacklist you. It’s worse than McCarthyism. Are you pro-Palestinian? Forget it.
So according to Rankin, powerful Jewish “zealots” dominate Hollywood while the belief in a Jewish homeland is “extreme Judaism.”
Why don’t you tell us what you really think, Rankin?
While acknowledging that Rankin’s comments could “stoke controversy,” The Independent’s article then virtually gives Rankin’s comments an endorsement by talking about the “hugely powerful” AIPAC and the attendance of prominent Hollywood executives at pro-Israel functions.
This from the newspaper that denied demonizing Israel and in doing so, demonizing the broader Jewish community.
It doesn’t need an all-powerful Jewish lobby to point out how appalling Rankin’s comments are. There shouldn’t be any need for an organized “blacklisting” of Rankin as he claims he is at risk of. Hollywood stars and other celebrities can read this interview and should come to their own conclusions before posing in front of Rankin’s camera.
Rankin and The Independent would do well to read the EUMC Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, which includes the following:
Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
In response, HR’s CEO Joe Hyams said:
Were Rankin to focus his camera lens on himself rather than the “Jewish zealots” in his imagination, he’d see a very ugly and prejudiced image. That The Independent appears to see no problem with these outrageous comments is further evidence of that newspaper’s warped sensibilities when it comes to Israel and the Jews.
You can send your considered comments to The Independent – firstname.lastname@example.org -remembering to include your name, postal address and daytime telephone number to stand a chance of being published.
Rankin has issued an “apology” according to the Daily Telegraph.
Image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com