On Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Who Is America,’ Shmuel Rosner Gets It Partly Wrong | Blog#42
In his August 8th column, Does Sacha Baron Cohen Understand Israel?, New York Times contributor, Shmuel Rosner, writes: “American satire isn’t meant to be good for Israel.”
Rosner makes assumptions based on factually-incorrect information. Sacha Baron Cohen is neither an American, nor are his shows made in America, with an American audience in mind.
Sacha is a British Jew. He was educated at Cambridge University. He lives and works out of the UK. He is also the cousin of famed neuroscientist Simon Baron Cohen. Not knowing the man but being very familiar with the work of his neuroscientist cousin, I would venture to guess that Sacha’s intellectual heft is probably on par with his cousin’s.
Is the perpetuation of the Morad stereotype bad for Israel? Yes, for as long as Israel conducts itself in a way that lends to that perpetuation. Israel’s reputation is stuck in the 80’s, even though its population has changed, with many Sabras having left in a 30 year span. Bibi Netanyahu is more Morad than not in his hardline comportment, and that includes rudeness. Who can forget Netanyahu’s performance in Congress? The current actions of his government, military, and the reliance on American oligarchs do not contradict the Morad stereotype.
The purpose of Morad in Baron Cohen’s current series is to put on display how conservative Americans are drawn to the Israeli stereotype, in order to fulfill the end of days prophecy they believe in. This has nothing to do with putting Israel to shame, in this case. It’s just one tool he uses in this show.
Editorial note: Are you a parent or grandparent? If so, you should watch with with your kids and grandkids. This is the best antidote to racism and stupidity. Sacha Baron-Cohen is doing America the biggest favor by exposing this filth.
That’s not to say that Baron Cohen isn’t criticizing what Israel has become.
Baron Cohen is doing America a great service by exposing the corruption and ignorance of the conservative ruling class in a way and level no American comedian is achieving.
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