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September 28, 1979 - Image 47

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-09-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, September 28, 1919 41

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Many See Fonda, Redgrave Through Filtered Lenses

By RABBI
MICHAEL MENITOFF

(Editor's note: Michael
Menitoff is the rabbi at
Temple Ramat Zion in
Northridge, Cal., and also
hosts a Los Angeles tele-
vision show, "Rap with
Rabbi Mike." During his
upcoming sabbatical
Rabbi Menitoff will di-
rect the Jewish Media

EDWARD AND JUDIE BURNSTEIN
& FAMILY

Wish all their
family & friends
A Happy, Healthy
New Year

BEST WISHES for a
Healthy and Happy
New Year to all our
relatives & friends.

HENIA & MIRIAM
CIESLA

A HAPPY, HEALTHY
AND PROSPEROUS
New Year to all
our family & friends

PAUL & SARAH FOX

Saul, Ellyn Fox
Aaron & Scott Fox

A Healthy, Happy New Year
to our friends
& relatives

VICKI AND
RAYMOND GOLDBAUM
Rebecca & Yael

"Wishing all of our
relatives & friends the
happiest & healthiest
New Year"

MR. & MRS.
HARRY J. GOSS

MICHAEL & KACY MAX
& CARLY

Wish all their relatives
& friends a very Happy
Healthy & Prosperous
New Year

MARTY & FAE WEINSTOCK
& FAMILY

Wish Family &
Friends a
Happy and
Healthy New Year

Project of the Jewish
Federation Council of
Greater Los Angeles.)
Many observers have
seen the California State
Senate's rejection of Jane
Fonda's nomination to the
California Arts Commis-
sion and the selection of
Vanessa Redgrave to play
an Auschwitz survivor in an
upcoming CBS telefilm
based on Fania Fenelon's
"Playing for Time," through
screens they have imposed
on the reality of these com-
plicated happenings.
The members of the
entertainment industry are
understandably concerned
about blacklisting. Hol-
lywood bore the brunt of
Senator Joseph McCarthy's
paranoid preoccupation
with national security and
internal subversion. All too
many artists were deprived
of their livelihoods and had
their reputations bes-
mirched because of this ob-
sessive and myopic concern
with "Marxist" social com-
mentary and "subversive"
political associations.
But to speak of the ac-
tion of the State Senate in
disqualifying Jane
Fonda from the proposed
appointment to the Arts
Council as a witchhunt or
as reminiscent of or a pre-
lude to blacklisting like
that of the 1950s is an
exaggerated and ill-
advised response which
does injustice to those
who were in reality de-
prived of their rights and
freedoms.
The manner the Senate
did it was terribly insensi-
tive. There is no question in
my mind that Fonda would
have made a contribution to
the Arts Council commen-
surate with the kind of con-
tribution she has made to
the motion picture industry
through her remarkable
acting. And the fact that
Fonda has had the courage
of her convictions to speak
out on the important issues
of the day, in some instances
taking unpopular stances
and putting herself on the

The Hirsch's
Henry, Caryn, Stacey & Ryan

sincerely wish all their relatives
and friends a happy and healthy New Year

TRUDY and MARVIN STEARN

wish all their friends and
relatives a happy and healthy
New Year

LOIS and LOUIS ZAHLER

Southfield

wish all their family and friends
a happy, healthy and prosperous
New Year

Happy New Year

e WS A

DO

UNDERWRITERS, INC.

Alex Lipson
Ken Lipson

Insurance

15919 W. Ten Mile
Southfield, Mi. 48075
phone (313) 559-4440

line, would have been an
even greater asset than her
acting abilities themselves
had her appointment been
confirmed.
Notwithstanding all of
Fonda's qualifications and
the fact that the Council is
the lesser from being de-
prived of her involvement,
the Senate has the right to
refuse her confirmation. It
is unfortunate, though, that
it did it in the way it did.
The fact that Fonda has
lived her life as a passionate
defender of causes might
not then be seen so readily
as_irrelevant to the decision,
but rather as a point in her
favor. I may disagree with
some of her stances: for in-
stance, as one whose con-
gregation, along with many
other synagogues and
churches, is involved in the
sponsorship and resettle-
ment of Vietnamese boat
people families, I wish
Fonda would decry the
cruelties and injustices of
the Hanoi regime with the
same vehemence and forth-
rightness, (and without
reservations and hedges),
with which she spoke out
against the war effort.
Be that as it may, she is a
woman both of courage and
of ability who has spoken
out on important issues.
Vanessa Redgrave's
anti-Zionist credentials
are well-documented.
Last year, many of us
caught a glimpse of "The
Palestinians," a film pro-
duced, narrated, and fi-
nanced by Redgrave, the
opening scene of which
portrays Redgrave
lithely dancing with a
gun in the midst of PLO
admirers, implicitly invit-
ing its use, and the finale
of which was altered for
viewing by American
audiences, the original
transcript of which has
PLO chief Yasir Arafat
advocating the destruc-
tion of the state of Israel
with no demurrer from
the onlooking Redgrave.
Redgrave unsuccessfully
strove for a cultural boycott
of Israel by British Actors
Equity. And, in her moment
of glory, at the Academy
Awards of last year, upon
receiving the best support-
ing actress Oscar for her
performance in "Julia," she
told her audience, "I salute
you . . . and you should be
very proud that in the last
few weeks you've stood firm
and you've refused to be in-
timidated by the actions of a
small bunch of Zionist hood-
lums, whose behavior is an
insult to Jews all over the
world."
Only one of limited intel-
lectual ability would accept
Redgrave's sophistry
whereby she attempts to
distinguish her anti-
Zionism from anti-
Jewishness. It's clearly un-
fashionable to mouth diat-
ribes against Jews, but
against Zionists say what-
ever you will. Redgrave
identifies herself with and
is supportive of those who
wish to destroy the Jewish
state and in so doing exter-
minate the Jewish people,

mental gymnastics to the
contrary notwithstanding.
With the above as a
backdrop, it is clearly the
height of insensitivity to
cast Redgrave in the role of
the protagonist in the
three-hour CBS-TV drama
about the experiences of a
half-Jewish prisoner who
was saved from extermina-
tion when she was picked to
play in an all-women or-
chestra in Auschwitz.
As Producer David
Wolper, who himself has
diSplayed courage in with-
drawing a special project
from CBS in protest, has
asked, "Is there nobody else
to play the role of a concen-
tration camp survivor than
Vanessa Redgrave?" The
selection of Redgrave shows
callous disregard for the
feelings and sensitivities of
concentration camp sur-
vivors in Israel and around
the world. It desecrates the
memories of the martyred
Six Million.
The Holocaust is the
greatest tragedy of our
time and the whole world
shares in responsibility
for it. As such, unique
sensitivity must be
shown to its survivors.
The Redgrave selection
runs counter to these
concerns.
CBS has defended its
choice of Redgrave as one of
the most able people suited
for the Fenelon role. It has
suggested that to fire her
from this project for her
political views would be
blacklisting. How incredul-
ous! Is it because of
blacklisting that Redgrave
has never appeared on
American television? The
actress herself has ex-
pressed grave concerns
about the quality of tele-
vised drama and concomit-
ant misgivings about her
involvement in it. Are there
a dearth of roles being of-
fered Redgrave?
The remarks of the CBS
network brass have been
puzzling. Fred Rappaport,
director of special programs
for CBS Entertainment,
who had been surprisingly
silent during the opening
rounds of the furor which
enveloped the Redgrave
casting, now speaks of CBS'
launching a new effort
toward programs of social
significance, such as the
Fenelon autobiography,
which will have impact on
the lives of viewers. Does he
consider the nature of that
impact on many of us?
Bernie Sofronski, CBS
vice president, special pro-
grams, remarked, "I'm
aware and sensitive to
peoples' feelings, but there
are other points of view. I
cannot position myself on
the side of hatred." How
disdainful and scornful he is
of the reactions of those
within the Jewish commu-
nity and the entertainment
industry who have _spoken
against the Redgrave selec-
tion. Is this protest to be
dismissed as "hatred?"
Come on, Mr. Sofronski.
And one of the
staunchest defenders of
the casting has been

playwright Arthur Mil-
ler, author of the
screenplay, who has ob-
served, "Having been
blacklisted myself in time
past, I have fought
against the practice
abroad as well as here,
and cannot participate in
it now." While I can em-
pathize with the feelings,
I feel Miller has lost a
sense of proper perspec-
tive in this instance.
Is it by chance that there
are no Jewish heroes on TV?
Where are the heroes for
Jewish children to root for?
Whatever few portrayals
come up are often negative
stereotypes or serious mis-
castings. Would that more
Jewish voices in the indus-
try come out of hiding and
denounce this serious error
of judgment in the instance
of the Redgrave casting.

A Very Happy & Prosperous
New Year to all our
friends and family

HERB & FAY GUSSIN
& CHILDREN

HOLIDAY GREETINGS
TO ALL OUR
JEWISH PATRONS

MR. & MRS. HARRY KOMER
BERKLEY THEATER

A Happy and Healthy
.New Year
to all our Family
and Friends

MR. & MRS.
ERWIN W. KEPES

A Happy and Healthy
New Year
to all our
family & friends

MR. & MRS.
ERNEST J. STECKER

President Joseph Milgrom and the
entire membership of the

DETROIT CLUB OF NORTH MIAMI BEACH

extend their best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous
New Year to all our Detroit relatives and friends

Wishing all our relatives and friends
a very happy and healthy New Year

- HONORA and ALEX LIPSON

NANCY and KENNETH LIPSON
and AARON

wish their family and friends a
year of good health and peace

A happy and healthy New Year
to all our friends and relatives

TILLIE and SAM MYERS

MRS. NATHAN P. (FRANCES) ROSSEN

of Oak Park
wishes to extend sincere good wishes
and holiday greetings to all my
relatives and friends

MAY THE NEW YEAR BRING
YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES
ALL THE BLESSINGS OF PEACE,
GOOD HEALTH AND PROSPERITY

HY & MARILYN JACOBS

TIWIR111

inva MID
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eRatti and Aci..

cSoLomon 1.

guiskin

and gamily

EXTEND TO YOU HEARTIEST WISHES FOR A
HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR

23600 Kenosha Avenue

Oak Park, Michigan 48237

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