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January 18, 2015 5:54 pm

Fresh Controversy Hits ‘Selma’: Daughter of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel ‘Shocked’ by Exclusion of Her Father From Film

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Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel (2nd from right) in the Selma Civil Rights March with Martin Luther King, Jr. (4th from right). Photo: Wikipedia.

The recently released film ‘Selma’ is facing a fresh controversy after the daughter of a famed rabbi who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement told The Algemeiner she was “shocked and upset” by the exclusion of her father from the movie.

Susannah Heschel, a Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College, whose father Abraham Joshua Heschel marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King at the third protest march from Selma depicted in the film, said that the iconic photo of her father marching with Dr. King “has meant so much to so many people,” even President Obama.

“President Obama said to me ‘your father is our hero’, everybody knows that picture,” Heschel said. “I felt sad and I had moments when I felt angry,” she said of the omission, describing it as “tragic.”

Since its release, the film, which portrays a key turning point in the fight for civil rights in the United States, has been surrounded by controversy. Its unsympathetic portrayal of President Lyndon B. Johnson has been roundly condemned as inaccurate, and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd described it as “artful falsehood.”

A flurry of criticism also emerged surrounding recognition for the film by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with accusers claiming that the film was overlooked.

The film’s producer, Ava DuVernay, defended her inaccurate portrayals in an interview on PBS, saying: “This is art; this is a movie; this is a film. I’m not a historian. I’m not a documentarian.”

But Heschel dismissed the defense, saying that while some creative licence is acceptable, there is a limit to how far one can go.

“If you made a film of the 1960s and showed black people enjoying segregation in the South, you can’t just say it’s a film and not a documentary,” she said.

Heschel mentioned Dowd’s column, in which she describes how black youths were enthralled by the film at a viewing she had attended.

“Think what it would have meant to them to see a rabbi with a beard marching at Selma,” Heschel said. “Why excise that, that great coalition that everybody talks about.”

In a column for the JTA, published on Sunday, Heschel also laments the film’s depiction of events as purely “political protest” and not as a “profoundly religious moment: an extraordinary gathering of nuns, priests, rabbis, black and white, a range of political views, from all over the United States.”

“By not showing my father marching, it is depriving the viewers of that inspiration,” she told The Algemeiner on Sunday.

“My father felt that the prophetic tradition of Judaism had come alive at Selma,” Susannah Heschel wrote. “He said that King told him it was the greatest day in his life, and my father said that he was reminded at Selma of walking with Hasidic rebbes in Europe. Such was the spiritual atmosphere of the day.

“When he returned, he famously said, ‘For many of us the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.'”

“This filmmaker seems to want to try and change the narrative,” she told The Algemeiner. “It is about black people trying to do it themselves.”

“I understand this as a Jew, because that is what Zionism is about, but I know that we were helped by others, and the Civil Rights Movement was about coalition, it was about Christians and Jews coming together, marching together, and feeling at that moment in Selma that something profoundly religious and moral was taking place.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel, who died in 1972, was born in Poland and came to the US in 1940. He is considered by many to be among the leading Jewish theologians of the 20th century and is revered as an icon of liberal Jewish values.

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  • yehudi

    The film maker and Oprah Winfrey should be queried frankly as to why Rabbi Heschel was omitted. Let them state openly their reason because it was not an oversight.

    I think the reason was latent antisemitism of the variety of the Black Power movement in the mid 60s which not only said we don’t need the Jews but “who needs the Jews?”.

    The best response, now that the film has been made is for a proper film to be made specifically about Heschel and King.

    Fix the problem by focusing closely on the solution: tell the real story of Heschel’s importance not only in King’s life but how his books were owned and read and carried around by so many Black civil rights leaders at that time.

    Perhaps they can open the film with footage of the “Selma”
    film maker and Oprah admitting why they really omitted Heschel. It’s not the first time non-Jews tried to erase Jews from history. “Truth will sprout from the earth and righeousness will peer from heaven” Tehillim-Psalms 85:12.

  • History can always revise the Truth! We only have to look at what is happening with Holocaust Memorial Day?Holocaust Memorials are for those who are the reason we have a Holocaust to contend with. The Holocaust Memorials are Jewish by definition, as defined by those 6,000,000 Jewish People who are no longer able to voice their concern or status as a living being. Genocide’s will perplex the World to come, but History will know The Holocaust Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe now has a day, Remembering that the liberation of the Auschwitz & Birkenau Death Camp on January 27th. 1945 now marks a Catastrophe that we will Remember on Their behalf! It is Holocaust Memorial Day for a reason and 70 years on from the greatest Catastrophe ever to be inflicted upon mankind, when 6,000,000 Innocent Jews of Europe were Murdered, they have a Day on which we will Remember them. That date is:

    January 27th.

  • Taalib-ud-Din al-Ansare

    As yet I have not yet see more of the movie than excerpts . I recall Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. The impact of his presence resonates with me to this day as does that of Dr.King. I am now 60,Muslim Imam, and as an African American youth I learned the civics of being active in the movement with my parents. The movement continues today because of the rabbinical contribution to our alliance. As a clinical pastoral educator I refer to the H(Heschel)-factor as an example for our times. My students are faith leaders of many American religious traditions. Our legacy of faith and freedom is tarnished by forgetfulness, negligence and omissions of fact in expressions like a movie that all can watch and evaluate. Today we still stand in need of more inclusive diversity reflective of real heroes like Drs. Heschel and King.

  • Anne Brygidyr

    I was more than disappointed in this film. When Oprah appeared on the screen I knew I had wasted my time and money. Does the US have no other aging, overweight Black actress to play the part? Having lived those events as a child through the lens of the TV news, I looked for the white bearded man and missed his presence in the film. The black and white file footage showing the imperfect brave faces of the actual participants was so much more moving than the glossy, sanitized lot that portrayed them in the movie. Give us Speilberg and AJ Hetchel to bring tears to the eyes of the next generation! Please give us TRUTH – there is enough propaganda!

  • M Dixon

    I’m not saying it was intentional or right I do want to point out the shared feelings when art inaccurately depicts history like all the movies about African Kings amd Queens.

    • David Z

      What movies about African kings and queens?

  • Those who targeted Ava DuVernay into making a film based on an early event which became a visual product is an a planned ” idea’ to attack men’s mind. Those who stand hiding behind this visual event are actually scared to hell by the Afro American temperament and the Jewish intellect! Those white coward white man Nazi are targeting naïve people into becoming political activist into making fake products to create planned conflicts between Afro American and Jews, using Afro Americans to attack Jews minds, in the Afro American society there is Christians, A.A. Christians who converted to Islam because of the white man mind terror and then the white man will use them against Jews. Jimmy Hendrix “I just come out of Scandinavian jail” which is a fact! This was said under the Vietnam War far from Europe. Now a day the entire world became a mental labyrinth! As we know art is exhibited worldwide in quick tempo where curators are recruited to became political activist telling artist what to make to be able to survive driving the intellect world masses into ”spilt mind’, then man who views the art will say that, the other will say this and that, the next one will say, no is this and not that. This is because of any object can be exhibited as ready made art and therefore it very easy to control men’s mind. Because the ready made objects is about matter which is a terrifying tool to attach men’s mind. In this case the object is about men and his image, the Afro American, the Jews and the hided coward Nazi white man!!!! Now a day there is a conflict between Africans in South Africa and the white man! Between Nelson Mandela’s infiltrated private secretary Zelda La Grange and the entire people of South Africa! The scandinavian Nobel Peace Prize?

  • Steve

    sorry; but sometimes we are overly sensitive. On images from the movie there is indeed a gentleman with a kippah (presumably representing Rabbi Heschel)marching in the front row next to an Orthodox patriarch (who I cannot find in the original images from the real life march)

    • Judy

      In this case I don’t think it is about being oversensitive. The movie turned Rabbi Heschel, who was King’s friend, into a historically non-existent Greek Orthodox priest (Heschel’s long white beard and being greeted by King as the friend that Heschel actually was)Heschel was not young, dark haired, or beardless as was the character with the kippa.

  • Conservative Jew

    The argument I was making in an earlier comment here was/is seconded by a piece in NY Daily News today about the black family.

    Professor Paul Peterson of Harvard writes:

    “As we celebrate the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s birth, we should ask why so many of the problems against which he struggled — segregation, poverty, persistent racial gaps in education and income — remain so much a part of American life.

    “Few remember that Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan warned of this possibility. His report “The Negro Family: A Case for National Action,” released 50 years ago, lamented the rising tide of single parenthood in the black community.

    “In its introduction, Moynihan warned that black families would not see improved fortunes for generations “unless a new and special effort is made.”

    “Unfortunately, the federal government, far from addressing the marriage problem, exacerbated it. The percentage of African-American children living in single-parent families climbed from less than 30% in 1965 to 50% in 2013. The percentage of white and Hispanic children in single-parent households has also risen sharply.”

    The link is here

  • YMS

    The majority have it right. We as a people have always been persecuted, hated, ridiculed and blamed for whatever ills this world. Nothing will change; we must be ready to defend ourselves and not just via words. The other shoe has yet to drop and believe me, it will drop, sooner rather than later I fear.

  • Marshall

    He does appear in the end of the film, in the black and white photos. But he should have been portrayed by an actor.

    I’d like us to respond to this the way Martin Luther King would have. The main point here is that the director deliberately obliterated Jews from the film. They included nuns and priests, but they deliberately omitted a Jewish Rabbi from the very front row and another from the second row. They undoubtedly knew this. They went to great pains to faithfully and accurately recreate that moment, and somebody definitely brought up the question, and somebody, some alleged “equality-loving” individual, declared, “No Jews.”

    Martin Luther King, Jr. would not approve.

  • Lebowski

    And it should also not be forgotten that the person who spoke immediately before Dr King gave his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech was Rabbi Joachim Prinz z’l

  • MrAlf

    I saw the movie last night with my 12 year old daughter. We looked for “the Rabbi in the front” but did not see him. She did point out that there were people wearing kippot in the second row and beyond. FYI: We both left in tears. Still an emotional movie but NOT the healing movie it could have been were Herschel to have been shown in his appropriate roll.

  • MO

    May I recommend to you all a PBS documentary called “A Ripple of Hope”. Buy it, get it from your library, whatever.
    It offers a true picture of what that time was like for thoughtful, dignified, hopeful people. Unfortunately, that time of peaceful growth between blacks and whites…led by people of vision (both blacks and whites) seems to have been snuffed out permanently by the assassination of Dr. King and, two months later, Robert Kennedy. I was pregnant with my second child at the time and I remember thinking, “Why am I even bringing any children into this world”?
    I miss the voices that were raised for justice in those days. I miss their courage. I miss their vision.
    I heard Dr. King speak in 1962. I was in high school. It was a transformational moment for me and, thankfully, I was never the same. As for LBJ: I did not like him when he was President because of the US policies in Vietnam that needed to end (and did). BUT he was a powerful champion of civil rights and should be remembered as such. I think he was the only politician (and he was a master politician) who had the skill to have pushed through all of the legislation that turned Jim Crow on his head. As for Rabbi Heschel…one should read his works. They are pure power and poetry and love.
    Where are the Kings and Kennedys and Heschels today?
    Since no similar voices are now speaking on behalf of peace between all men…at least read their works and listen to their words to get your own minds straight.
    One final note: the assassination of RFK by Sirhan Sirhan, is now regarded by some historians as the opening salvo in the Arab Israeli conflict and growth of Middle East terrorism:

    • MO

      For those of you who can’t take the time or don’t have the resources to get the video I recommended above, here is a link to a speech in that video given by RFK on the very day that MLK was murdered. It was given to a racially mixed crowd in Indianapolis. During those days, presidential candidates (which he was at the time) were not given security details:
      We would all do well to try to emulate his understanding and compassion.

    • cari meyers

      Well said. I remember this time very well. A time that will never come again because we do to have that bold leader that believes things can really change. My question is why given the fact that this is not a documentary and has historical inaccuracies would you be taking young Afro-American students to see it by the hundreds? What do they walk away with? No Jewish presence and a totally wrong image of President Johnson. I too was not a fan of his because of the war but his stand on civil rights was commendable.

  • Tess

    Islam is prevalent in the black community along with anti semitism among its Christians ie,
    obamas very reverend wright.
    Not really a surprise.

  • Paul

    If the film is “art”, and accuracy does not count, why didn’t Ms. DuVernay get a multicultural cast and George Clooney to play MLK?

    Seems this film is like faking moonwalk pictures in a studio.

    Doesn’t Ms. DuVernay realize that most of this generation believes everything they see and read?

    I’m neither a historian nor a documentarian. Would Ms. DuVernay, Al Sharpton and the usual race apologists be as forgiving of me as Ms. DuVernay suggests we should be of her if I directed Selma with my own “artful” depiction?

  • Conservative Jew

    Rabbi Herschel may have unwittingly been part of the process which decoupled blacks from American prosperity.
    No one doubt’s his liberal American political role. He did march at Selma, and favored many programs of the Democratic left.
    LBJ’s Great Society, for example, sharply expanded welfare payment in America. Which was a primary reason for dissolution of the nuclear black family. Because poor women could then have and raise children supported by Uncle Sam instead of a husband.
    LBJ famously said that if we pass the Great Society, we’ll have Negroes voting Democratic for the next 200 years.
    He did, they are, and both blacks and the nation are worse for it. prof Herschel, who helped direct a generation of JTS trained rabbis to the left, is if only modestly responsible for the result.

    • J.

      Blacks were “decoupled from American prosperity” through the theft of their labor power during 200 years of slavery, followed by sharecropping (debt bondage) and Jim Crow segregation, followed by FHA mortgage discrimination and redlining, coupled with contract home scams… right up to the sub-prime mortgage scams of our own time. In other words, African-Americans have been systematically robbed of their wealth by whites for 400 years. There’s nothing abstract about it, and it’s not due to faults in Black morality or public assistance programs. It’s due to systematic theft.

      • Beth K

        J. is absolutely correct. Our nation and its institutions — the legal system, the education system, the financial system — have systematically operated to benefit whites, to the detriment of blacks.

        I am sad that Rabbi Heschel was not depicted in the movie. But I am still glad that Ms. DeVernay told the story of Selma, a story at its core of African-Americans demanding justice, showing courage, and expressing faith. We, as a people, need this story at this historical moment.

        As Jews today, we can honor Rabbi Heschel and Dr. King by keeping faith with them. We have not achieved an equitable society, not even close. There’s work to do, people. Let’s get to it.

  • The message of Judaism is loving The Creator
    , His Torah and His people and from this to bring blessing, meaning and happiness to the world. Heshel, Zionism, Reform weaken and falsify this and are best …. forgotten.

  • victoria brandeis







    • Mark Weisman

      It was nice to read the one opinion that didn’t contain a slur on the very reason(s) we are observing this day.

    • Larry Consolver, Ret, DAV

      19 Jan 015

      If you like QUARTER/HALF TRUTHS, then you have a opinion, but since we are dealing with FACTS, lets get it RIGHT regardless of your shortsighted opinion and a film maker distortions of Truth & Fact!

      Abraham Joshua Heschel and many other Whites supported and march with MLK and rather you want to believe it or not it was the Republican Party & Congress that Passed Discrimination Law. All young Black should know this and understand NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE WERE FOR DISCRIMINATION, AS THE SUPPRESSING LIBERALS WANT EVERY BLACK PERSON TO BELIEVE. ALL THEY HAVE DONE FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY IS TO MAKE THEM DEPENDENDENT ON GOV’T, WHICh IS A SUPPRESSING ACT AND DENY’S PERSONAL FREEDOM AND OPPORUTNITY.

  • Andrea

    I am black and Jewish and I do feel that it is unfortunate that this was not included in the movie. However, I think that many have simplified what has been a complicated relationship between the two cultures. Yes, many blacks have taken an antisemitic posture since then (right along with the rest of this rotten world). But let’s not pretend that all Jews are supportive. Some of the things which have been said to me clearly indicate that some Jews harbor racist feelings. As someone who identifies with both cultures, this intersection of my identities is tough. I think we make a mistake taking the actions of some, making generalizations, and then applying them to the entire group. As for this movie, remember…This is Hollywood. They do what they want with the facts. I do agree with Herschel’s daughter though: Having kids see a Rabbi next to King in that march would have made a powerful impression today. It would make my kids (13 and 10) so happy.

    • David Kronenfeld

      Dear Andrea,
      Thank you for your contribution. It is important !

  • victoria brandeis






  • Jenny P

    I must say that many of your comments have left me disappointed. We are the largest minority; we hail less than 2/10’s of a percent of the world population and get blamed for a large portion, and here many Jewish people are, taking one instance, the Selma film and forgetting our history and knowledge. Are Black people targeted? We know they are. We know this because we have been too! I understand your frustration, I feel it, too. But the reality is that we’re in a precarious position of being targeted by white people, too. Caucasian movie directors either conveniently leave us out of events or disparage us and lie directly in films about our values.
    And the president? It says in the article that he told Susannah that Heschel was their hero. Don’t make this political, because US support for Israel has been wishy washy at best. From Jimmy Carter, to Reagan with the Iraqi Nuclear Reactor and getting publically angry at Israel, embargo on Israel, Bitbergh Cemetery wreaths, GWB refusing US permission to Israel to do something about Iran toward the end of his presidency when Israel asked, even though he knew the extents of the threats. I posted this on Facebook to spread the word, so people knew, but I have to remove it so my own people’s comments against a whole race of people don’t give us a bad name. The ‘rage against the cops’ comment upset me. Read the stories! In Cleveland a 12 year old boy was killed, and he was not waving a toy gun like the news report said. I saw the video. But we know how the media lies and distorts, don’t we? So how can we act like suddenly we don’t know? I’ve always been proud of being Jewish, but I haven’t been proud of white people. Luckily, being Jewish definitely trumps my color, because I’ve been screamed at by white people that am not white; I am Jewish! My relatives were probably closer to the Caucus Mountains than those screaming at me that I wasn’t caucasian. Black people are victims, and they cannot assimilate into a white world quite as easily as some Jewish people can. it’s tough, I know, but stick by or Jewish values; if for nobody else but ourselves and G-d.

  • Hollywood and historical accuracy. Here in London film makers would be criticised for historical inaccuracy, but Hollywood is another world. During WW2 the Castle Colditz was a German prison for allied officers, including many Brits, BUT no Americans. It was the subject of a British t.v. series years back and eventually Hollywood decided to make a film about Colditz. Although no Americans were ever held in Castle Colditz, the Hollywood film had US soldiers only. When questioned on the inaccuracy, the producer apparently replied that Americans wouldn’t go to a film unless the heroes were Americans. Perhaps the logic of removing Rabbi Heschel from ‘Selma’ was similar; U.S. film-goers don’t want to be distracted by a bearded Hasidic rabbi leading a civil rights demonstration.

  • What he did was not appreciated and has been forgotten . Wake up Jews. Fight for Jews. When we will need others they will not be there for us. I was one Rabbi who let Rabbi Meir KAHANE speak in his synagogue. FEDERATION BLACKLISTED ME FOR THAT. Most of you do not remember when Yeshiva students at Yeshiva University were being attacked because they were Jews. I use to carry mace and a switch blade. During one summer in the 60’s I learned Judo. Ask some of my friends how we were attacked in the subway station and how I fought the black gang. When will Jews ever learn that we fight for others but others are no where to be found when we need them. Rabbi Heshel should be lauded for his efforts, but this movies shouts aloud his actions were forgotten.

    It was his participation in the civil rights movement that first made Heschel widely known. In a famous photo of the Selma march in 1965, its leaders wearing garlands, Heschel was the white man with the prophet’s beard, two to the right of Dr. King. That was the occasion on which Heschel said he felt he was praying with his legs.


    . You should be aware that Rabbi Meir Kahane was my friend and he was a brilliant attorney and Talmud Chochum. I appeared on many T.V. shows with him found him to be one who truly believed in helping the Jewish people and Israel. I HAVE RESPECT FOR BOTH Rabbis. Answer my question , why was Rabbi Heschel left out of the movie.? Were they ashamed to give a Jew credit for being heroic and supporting blacks. Where are the blacks when Israel and Jews need support? Rabbi Dr. Bernhard ROSENBERG

  • I did not mention anything about making a choice. You should be aware that Rabbi Meir Kahane was my friend and he was a brilliant attorney and Talmud Chochum. I appeared on many T.V. shows with him found him to be one who truly believed in helping the Jewish people and Israel. I HAVE RESPECT FOR BOTH Rabbis. Answer my question , why was Rabbi Heschel left out of the movie.? Were they ashamed to give a Jew credit for being heroic and supporting blacks. Where are the blacks when Israel and Jews need support? Rabbi Dr. Bernhard ROSENBERG

  • Although as a professor at JTS the Conservatives claimed Heschel as one of theirs, he was highly respected also in Orthodox circles. When he spoke in Baltimore, I made time in my schedule as a Ner Israel Yeshiva student to hear Rabbi Heschel and to have him sign my copy of his volume The Prophets, which I still treasure. Jews of all varieties took part in the American civil rights movement. I hope the film acknowledges that. Here in London mainstream English textbooks include chapters on Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandella.

  • Think that was possible? My Father, Walter Crenshaw, at 105 years of age and very well, is the oldest living documented Tuskegee Airmen. George Lucas does not even know his name, but made the Red Tails film, just the same. History recorders just do not do their due diligence in these matters. Hold him in your heart as I do my Father.

  • Liberal racists whether black,white or purple will ALWAYS get it wrong because of their false purveying of history among other things. It’s what they do.

  • T.C.

    Please give Mr. Julian Clovelly his own column. Every time I read his stuff the battery runs out on my computer.

  • Sam Helgesen

    I was in Selma also. Our names are unimportant. What is important is that less than 20 years after the last American lynching, Martin Luther King and his fellow civil rights leaders changed the conscience, future, and laws of the United States. The rabbi and all of us were nameless extras in that story. Antisemitism is not the story here.

  • ויקם מלך חדש על מצרים, אשר לא ידע את יוסף

    • Beth K

      Well said, Sam. Thank you.

  • Films about real historical events, especially events that happened as recently as this, have a DUTY to be factual, to teach subsequent generations about what really happened. I am so glad the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “overlooked” the movie, they knew what they were doing and I hope it sinks without trace and that another movie is made, in the same vein such as “Mississippi Burning” that is closer to the truth. When I think that in my lifetime, there were segregated park benches, toilets and even drug store counters in the South, it makes me feel sick.

  • As I said that a great deal of art of today is under corrupt Nordic stupid man agents who target naïve idiots artists to become political activists been forced to produce fake art works under given ideas by those who did recruit them! The majority of those recruited artist are not artist but robots! Those coward Nordic man are so stupid not been conscience that man can’t hides behind fake ideas in art! What they are doing is attacking men’s minds trough fake art works for creating chaos not only politically but culturally. In art man can’t hides! Why this event was possible?, Because those stupid Nordic man has no culture and are but cowards. This event is a proof about a new way to attack men’s mind trough visual criminal tool! Norway is an expert of twisting men’s minds trough already made objects that can not work. It is why the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch did say ‘ I walked life on my own grave in Christiania”. Wake up! Because those recruited artist have a job to recruit other people who does study art into becoming political activist! Wake up! It is spreading in Europe, USA including China! You can see Chinese recruited fake artist rolling on grounds streets in USA as monkeys! Wake up!

  • NuritGn

    If you make a movie about such HISTORICAL subject, then portray the story with honesty and integrity and all those who deserve mentioning who helped to turn history must be mentioned. BUT the involved in the makinf of this film, some simply DO NOT LIKE WHITE people, -i.e. Oprah Winfrey, so they will turn the facts around in order not to mention the people they do not like to mention or will portray them in incorrect light and at the end you get a movie that is a political protest, rather than build on accurate facts, and the producers and directors will find all sort of wiggling ways to excuse themselves from the wrong they have done and the injustice they have done to the people who should be mentioned and praised. A GOOD opportunity missed to tell history as it was; whitewashing history is the liberals-progressives venom.

  • Liz Wagner

    Jews remain enthralled by the moment in time when the black and Jewish communities were united in struggle for black civil rights under the leadership of Dr. King. This is a good thing, but our cherished memories of that time should not have blinded us to the political and social changes set in motion after the murder of MLK, Jr. For there is a direct line that connects the anti-Jewish black radicals who filled the power vacuum left by King with those who would re-write that history today. It seems that writing the Jews out of history is a popular tactic in some circles these days.

  • Jonah

    This is a time for Christians and Jews to come together in order to prevent Islam from killing all of us. Take your rose colored glasses off when reflecting on Johnson. While everyone’s attention was diverted to racial issues he started a war with North Vietnam Nam and sent his construction company over their funded with billions of government bonds. It seems our current president is using the same strategy as he postures his forces for the take down if Israel. He does not have a construction company he has something much more dangerous ….and Islamic Ideology.

  • Michael Rose

    The postings here are without nuance and belie the fact that virtually none of those commenting has actually seen the movie.An unbearded gentleman who bears no physical resemblance to Rabbi Heschel is visible in the front row marching with MLK.He does, however, clearly sport a skullcap and is meant to be Jewish. Additionally another marcher is seen with a similar head covering. The Jews don’t have beards but hey are clearly there.

    • The very fact that some generic clean-shaven guy in a cheap kippah (it looks like the freebies they give out at weddings and bar mitzvahs to people who never wear one) is in the EXACT SAME PLACE where historically Heschel was is EXACTLY the point being protested here. Heschel had a bushy white beard and hair, was a particular individual, not some generic “rabbi” movie extra. You can’t have some unknown “represent” Heschel who does not even look like him. How would people feel if Einstein was replaced by some clean-shaven generic scientist in a historic scene? Either DuVernay took Heschel out on purpose or her research team really blew it. I find myself wondering if she even knew who Heschel was. See “Was Omission of Heschel on purpose or a Hollywood Blooper?”

  • Jeff Blankfort

    Heschel was a good man but the fact of having marched with Dr. King at Selma did not make him a civil rights leader. There were a number of young Jews, all of the Left, who actually committed themselves to the day to day struggles in the South but in the end it was the Black people of the South who led the way as was exemplified in the Montgomery bus boycott.

    At the same time, the record shows that a majority of Jews in the South were no different from the racist non-Jews in supporting segregation as was the majority of Jews in apartheid South Africa who supported the system.

    I would add that the majority of commenters here might be considered racist themselves if there words can be said to reflect their character.

  • martin

    Would the Algeminer provide a statement of it’s positon , or credo, perhaps in a banner at the top, so we will all know whether it’s worthwhile to make a comment, subject to a moderator, about whom we know nothing.

  • martin

    To Julian:

    Your homily is long, scholorly and impressive. I think the key point you make is this:” For the Middle East to be at peace everyone needs to move away from factional “Histories”, and into the area of more existentially based Law and negotiation”

    That is so perceptive and insightful. Now if you will please go tell that to the Islamic terrorists , where ever they are, so we can all go back to living normally for a change….or haven’t you heard?

  • charlie johnson

    I was alive during those days and sometimes an eyewitness. I was not in Little Rock Arkansas when Ike sent the 101 Airborne but later during the civil rights dispute I was around when things got critical.This could have gotten a lot more critical too.These educated folks who write books and make movies put their little group of liberals as the only heroes in the events.The average working class US citizen do not write books or make movies.Most every big get together by civil rights activist was protected by US army troops and a few FBI agents. A lot of southern whites wanted A better deal for the southern blacks by peaceful methods. There was a bunch of trouble maker Communist trying to incite a civil war. Not unlike the problems with the Muslims now that arises in Israel and France. It was US army troops of all the regions of US citizen who kept a lid on the violence. That includes many white southerners who served in those units.(Commonly known as as white trailer trash and ignorant hillbilly.) Now if you look around you at present you see people demonstrate for causes and do acts that seem to be stupid in your own mind.You may need to be very open minded about what is going on around you. The news clerks and book writers have blinders on. Education seems to contribute to this factor.

  • steven L

    Ava DuVernay must have drank gallons of Islamic Kool-Aid. The greatest crime against history is the falsification of history.







  • SHmuel HaLevi

    Sad yet totally on line with the bottom line results of Jews meddling on non Jewish activities.
    We all admired and respected Dr. King and wished his people well. But we are not part of them.
    We also admired the German, Austrian, Hungarian, Polish, French “cultures”. And also “became part” and even led there. Led to the ovens.
    A sorry reminder of where things really stand.

  • Jay

    Jews should stop practicing “Tikkun Olam”. We should stop worrying about trying to save the world because, ultimately, no one appreciates it. Instead, we should try and help our fellow jews.

  • Phil Cohen

    The question no one is asking is: Did the makers of the film purposely ignore AJ Heschel? There is no doubt that he and MLK were friends. Heschel spoke at King’s funeral, and the two appeared in public venues several times. But did the filmmakers knowingly leave Heschel out, or was the film based on materials which themselves did not know or minimized Heschel’s participation? Seems like an important question.

    On a related matter, I believe that Heschel’s work in the Civil Rights movement, important as it was, shared center stage with many pulpit rabbis, mostly Reform, from all up and down the eastern seaboard (and beyond for all I know). Heschel’s heroic status has grown post mortem, partly due to that iconic photograph, and partly because his fame as a theologian grew exponentially after his death. But, if Heschel is to be mentioned in some future movie about the Civil Rights movement, by rights he will have to share the stage with the many other rabbis.

  • MAH

    Those here who insist on maligning Heschel, et al, or cannot and will not acknowledge the Jewish contribution to the civil rights movement in America only prove one point:the idiots on parade are out in full force.

    As for those am haaratzim who so freely stand in condemning Heschel and others, I offer a humble suggestion. How about allowing H’KBH to be the judge? Perhaps a bit more focus on bein adom le adom is in order.

  • Marc Pevar

    The MLK library in Birmingham also omits the role of Jews in the Civil Rights Movement. As a white resident and graduate from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania during that era, I have been disturbed by the erasing of Jewish support. A number of Jews lost their lives to racist violence supporting MLK. The vast majority of Jews and synagogues strongly supported the movement with donations, volunteer efforts, letters to editors, political activism, marches and some with their lives. Many of the attorneys in the ACLU who also supported MLK and the Civil Rights agenda were also Jews. To erase the Jewish role in the Civil Rights movement is anti-Semitic, and is a discredit to the memory of Martin Luther King, who drew spiritual strength from the Jewish tradition, just as he drew tactical support from Gandhi, who was also glaringly absent from the film. Most films of this genera end up being a primary information source for generations to come, because the images make a more lasting impression than do the dry words in text books. Very sad to squander this opportunity to promote the truth that MLK stood on the shoulders of giants, and was humble enough to publicly express solidarity with Jews, to use the tactics of a Hindu, all to achieve a nonviolent humanitarian goal.

  • Judi

    There was a lot of blatant inaccuracies in this movie. They forgot Atlanta Rabbi Rothchild who was not only a personal and social friend of Dr. King, but one of his first and strongest supporters. It’s a crime that today’s Black youth are so utterly ignorant of Jewishs , especially Southern Jewish, support of the Civil Rights movement. No other group in such large numbers were willing to speak out.

  • Rabbi Emily f. Korzenik

    I have not yet seen the film, Selma. I heard from several people about the incorrect portrayal of President Johnson but none mentioned the absence of Rabbi Heschel.
    I always thought of that era as a time when Black people appreciated the caring participation of Jews in their cause. I believed they understood why we identified
    with them. In a small way I participated in the movement. I was a leader of a group that
    strove to prevent discrimination of Blacks in housing. Sadly at a meeting of black and white people at my home a black member of the group said something patently anti-semitic unaware of his situation. i called him on it and he responded,”Everyone is anti-semitic why would you expect me to be different?”
    Nonetheless my strongest memory of the period is that of Martin Luther King Jr. and
    Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel standing together at a major Jewish function. Heschel had his arm around King saying,” You are the Moses of our time leading your people to freedom.”

    • Stella

      It is time to vote with my feet and boycott this bigoted and revisionist film. All thinking people should do likewise.

    • Freedom to do what?
      Murder, rape and rob white people in their future?

      Liberal Jews marched into neighborhoods that hated them for people that hated them and thats the facts.

  • Howie Subnick

    Well, Ava, maybe you should have been a historian so you could get your story line CORRECT! Maybe it’s time to go back to film school so you don’t F—K UP THE NEXT FILM, IF THERE IS ONE!

  • William Hausman

    We’re all familiar with the rising anti-Semitism in Europe. I’m wondering what else may be rising with the omission of Rabbi Heschel in the Selma film, the “righteous” rage of blacks against white police, and the appointment of Al Sharpton as an advisor to the White House.

  • Al Talena

    Yes, Jews marched with Blacks in the Civil Rights movement. Blacks subsequently returned the favor by taking an anti-Israel posture.

    • Don’t mix apples and oranges. Heschel marched because it was THE RIGHT THING TO DO, not because he expected some future payback about Israel. In Judaism it’s called doing it “lishmah,” for its own sake. And we Jews benefited from Civil Rights, too — I am old enough to remember restricted clubs and neighborhoods where Jews were not allowed — yes, right here in the USA. My father always took us camping in national parks for vacations because he wanted us to see the country but did NOT want to arrive as some hotel and find out his reservation was a “mistake.”

  • BMS

    Why should she be surprised that her father, a Rabbi, was left out of the film. It wouldn’t be politically correct in this day and age, where a Muslim President and his Muslim Brotherhood leaning cabinet are running the country, to give ANY credit to Jew when it comes to the Civil Rights movement. I’m only surprised that the Rabbi was not replaced by an Imam.

    • Making derogatory comments about the president of the U.S. because you have some kind of an issue with him is foolish in the context of this discussion. The movie Selma is just that, a movie. It is not a historical text on the events of that time. The director might have done a better job if he had accurately portrayed history more accurately. However, like every movie ever made, he made choices he thought would make his film better. I was a teen during the period discussed. It was a very turbulent time in our countries history. To make a completely accurate movie the film would need to be at the minimum a nine hour presentation.

    • Baht Harim

      Oh, balderdash. What an idiotic statement (that the President is a Muslim). I am also appalled that my hero, Rabbi Heschel was left out of the film about my other hero, Dr. King. But you, sir, are an ignoramus.

    • DocReality

      Bravo, BMS!!!

    • martin

      BMS–your comment made me smile, it was so accurate and in so few words. And yet, I get dumbfounded trying to explain why Jews voted for Obama in the numbers they did.

    • Rabbi Menashe Bovit

      Very astute observation. We have already heard Obama falsely claim that Islam has made a great contribution to the development of our American values of freedom.

    • Rabbi Menashe Bovit

      However Obama is really no Muslim. I believe him to be a leftist, multi-culturalist atheist. He simply has a great sympathy and identification with Muslims due his never-known father and step-father being Muslims and the perspective of post-modernist, multi-culturalists that believe falsely that the west is the oppressor of authentic easterners like the Muslims.

      • Mush

        Thanks for parroting the inanities of Dinesh D’Souza.


      This is a hateful and false posting, so that puts you in the same category as the Selma producer.

    • Kerry M Berger

      I’m sick of people like you who call yourself Jews to make derogatory comments that our President is a Muslim or even make blatantly false comments that his Cabinet is “Muslim Brotherhood leaning.” You are a bigot and an vulgar one at that BMS. The President is a Christian, and to come across as disrespectful like a Tea Party moron puts us to shame for spreading that kind of ignorance.

      • jo

        Why not be respectful yourself – and stop spreading ignorance as well? Stop believing and spreading lies about the Tea Party as if they are a stupid monolithic group of people. They are not.

  • Dov

    The Rabbi had nothing to show in his accomplishments for Jews, so he went with the African Americans, who always hated the fact that a “Jew” marched with them. They have now removed him and shown that they never wanted him to march with them. But there are Jews today that continue to support the likes of Al Sharpton and other Jew haters.

    • You must be really, really young to think they “hated” Heschel marching with them because he was a Jew. That’s 21st-century propaganda. Anybody who actually lived through the 60s knows that is false, because back then Jews and blacks worked together for freedom for everybody, Jews included. But it was a different era then, when people really were trying to come together in brotherly love, not spew resentment all over the place or be the thought police about Israel — and you are no better than those you accuse, judging from your comment. I agree there is a problem with this movie, but it is a 2015 problem that did not exist back then.

    • Exactly.
      Its refreshing to see another Jew on the same page as my husband and I are on.
      You are absolutely right.

    • Jerry G

      You forgot to mention the prime Jew hater who is supported by countless brainless Jews,Barack Obama.

  • Rabbi M. Friedman


    • L Feinstein

      Sinat Chinam. Shame.

  • How disturbing might be seen a rabbi marching for human rights side-by-side with Martin Luther King Junior for young african americans today, I don´t know. What I do know is that there is growing antisemitism in the world of today and the produces of films like this won´t like to see these youth marching again side-by-side with Jews for human rights.

  • I have the clearest memories of Prof. Heschel making the trip to Selma.
    He was already not in the best of health, and it was an effort as well as a risk.
    I am glad that Prof. Susannah Heschel to speak.
    Rather sad that some Dr. King supported have tried to rewrite history.
    He would not have been happy about it. He was very close to Prof. Heschel, as was obvious when he came to visit at the JTS.

  • Ron Kall

    Yes, Jews stood side by side with black Americans and helped them win their civil rights, for which Jew haters hate Jews more for helping “race mixing” and ruining white American culture, while black leaders since then have promoted more Jew hatred than anyone!! Go figure!! Jews, between rocks and hard places!!!

    • Paul

      Ron, I don’t know if you are Jewish, but as a white man, I reject your assertion that whites resent Jews for ‘race mixing”. I find this somewhat confusing inasmuch as Jews probably mix less on cultural, religious, racial or any basis than whites. There is nothing wrong with protecting one’s own culture/religion, especially within ones family. Don’t revile me for something you may practice.

      • Ilbert Phillips

        Paul, the fact is, one of the biggest worries in the liberal Jewish Community (who make up the largest number of religious Jews) is the number of young American Jews who are marrying non-Jews and leaving the faith.

  • A.Franklin

    World Famous Late Rabbi A.J HESCHEL does not need a film for
    his outstanding reputation as a Rabbi & metaphysical writer.

  • Yoel Nitzarim

    This omission of Dr. Heschel, the most central, seminal, wizened Jewish proponent of peace in the United States during the Civil Right movement, can only be explained as the filmmaker’s evident slant on the goings-on at the singular event in American history. It is impossible for me to think of the March to Selma taking place without the very front-and-centre place of one Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel walking hand-in-hand, kith-and-kin so to speak, with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and all of the Civil Rights leaders–Christians, Jews, Whites, African-Americans–in a show of solidarity, love, and respect for the rights of every human being to be treated as “somebody” in the United States of America. The very human-humane legs of those leaders were surely engaged in a communal prayer to the one Father of all human beings, a prayer whose essence was a cry for equality among each and every human being for equal treatment in addition to equal opportunity to live the American dream.

    • Lynne T

      It’s hard to believe that this omission wasn’t an intentional one, rationalized by the film director and possibly the producers, because they take the politically fashionable anti-Israel stand.

  • Clara Jellinek

    Omitting Rabbi Heschel’s support – physical and emotional is an outrageous distortion of history. Many Jewish people participated in that March. Jews were activists in the movement to gain equal rights for all. Black leaders came as speakers to our synagogue in White Plains, N.Y.
    It is a slap in the face to Schwerner and the innumerable others who gave their lives to the cause of equal rights for all.
    This film should be corrected and released. In any event I will urge my friends to avoid supporting it.

    • Michael Garfinkel

      The Jews backed the wrong horse, something they seem to have an affinity for.

      In the last fifty years, thousands of Jews have been killed or injured at the hands of the burgeoning underclass, while survey after survey has identified Blacks as the most anti-Semitic group in America.

    • theo musikanth

      Rabbi Heschel’s presence added lustre to the occasion as much as did that of Martin Luther King .
      By this linking of arms they connected the two great forces for moral and ethical good in the world .
      By severing this connection and only portraying one side this moral legacy is deprived of its full impact on our times

  • Wayne J Scott

    It appears that the liberal movement has been hijacked by anti-Jewish forces and anti- American forces. Time to move stage right. Wake up!

  • art

    The exclusion was intentional. The makers of the film knew or should have known that for most people the film would be viewed as a documentary and treated as honest and accurate. Shame on them. Instead as a film drawing people together this divides people. One should be honest and give credit when due

  • This story reminds me of the last words of Christ:
    “forgive them father, for they know not what they are doing.”

  • Just more modern liberal antisemitism.

  • anon

    It’s sad. The great love that Jews have for African-Americans is often not reciprocated.

  • robert nebel

    Sad but true, the black movement today conveniently leaves out many truths to make themselves look more victim like. Example. I have never heard any black theologian or black historian publicly speak to the origin of the slave trade. Well it is because it would be a self inflicted wound to the long suffering movement. The fact is that the origins are the African Chieftains who sold captured neighboring tribesman as well as their own for profit to the Europeans. The trade flourished because of African greed which as we can see, still flourishes today.

    • Marc Pevar

      Arab Muslims were the predominant slave traders. The Arabic word that means slave also means black African. While it is possible that some Africans may have sold others into slavery, the fact is that slavery was accepted in many African cultures. Their form of slavery did not include splitting up families and wiping out culture, as did the European slave trade. The overriding fact is that without the Arab slavers to guard and march the captured black African slaves to the African ports and selling them there to the Europeans, there would not have been a slave trade. How curious this detail is not commonly taught, because if it was, I wonder how many Africans or African Americans would be so attracted to islam?

    • martin

      To Robert Nebel

      You are the exception. let me quote:” Today many readers are shocked to learn that virtually all of the enslavement of Africans was carried out by other Africans….. African merchants saw themselves as selling people other than their own”, from “Inhuman Bondage, The rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World”, by David Brion Davis, a leading authority on slavery, Oxford University Press, page 13.

      No farmer purchased slaves just because they loved looking at them, or because they desired their company. It was the great demand for sugar in the Old world and the need for more hands than available for cultivation and production that accounts for the Blacks in America. Then if you needed more hands they were purchased by the head. Today we purchase hands by the hour, sometimes called “wage slaves”. Unfortunately, there were no shipping reservations for Blacks to travel back to West Africa so the rest is a long and a not exceptionally enjoyable history, for everyone….. especially Blacks for which there is no solution as there is no assimilation possible, so we all cope.

  • Henry David

    The intention is to tell Blacks that they were all alone.

  • Bernard Ross

    wanting to say they did it themselves is a lie, plain and simple.

  • Bernard Ross

    not much good can come from lies, which is what changing the truth makes it. those who wish to spread lies cannot expect to live in a world of truth

  • axel sohn

    Excellent article. Rabbi Heschel was a moral and ethical giant who was true to the deepest values of his religion. It is too bad that the film maker did not have a better sense of the history of the time, nor was able to prioritize better the events that comprised that history.

  • Bella Ceruza

    Prof Heschel, Welcome to the real world! – esp to the unreal world of Hollywood. Hollywood is a very powerful political tool. Ava DuVernay has a BA from UCLA, so she should be aware of both history, have the tools for historical research and soudl appreciate the power of film-making – and clearly she has an axe to grind.

    Individuals of her vintage have been educated in a university environment where rewriting history is acceptable… no not just acceptable…desirable.

  • Fred

    I may not have been political correct to portray a Jew participating in the Black movement.

  • Emmett

    Perhaps they are doing Jews a favor by leaving him out of the remake of the parade. There is no honor in being a liberal or a leftist.

    • Jay Essay

      Really, Emmett? You are taking the position that there was no honor in taking part in the fight against segregation and Jim Crow? Shame on you.

    • Kerry M Berger

      And somehow turning to the Neo-Con world is more in tune with our values as Jews is going to make things better. Again it is Jews like you who make it possible for people to take advantage of us. If the left is being usurped by anti-semites then we must be vocal against it. But to side with Evangelical and Fundamentalist types that make up the crackpot world of Neo-Cons who regularly use us and then abuse us is not going to solve this or other problems. I’d rather remain true to the liberalism I was brought up with and fight from the inside to change the perception of Jews. This movie is ART, not history and I don’t see anything wrong with how it is presented.

  • Leo Toystory

    A leftist black filmmaker including Rabbi Heschel would have been much more surprising. African-Americans below the age of 60 have no idea that Jews were instrumental to the civil rights movement. Few older black people even care to remember, to them it says their community wasn’t capable of doing it on its own.

  • Pinchos Woolstone


  • Pinchos Woolstone


  • judithg

    along with its peculiar revisionism (which in addition to disappearing the famed rabbi, also includes dissing LBJ whose passion for civil rights legislation and the great society is the sole reason for the creation of the black middle class). it is anti-white anti-semitic crap. this junk film ain’t art. it has no merits in any category and those who produce these faux narratives should be ashamed of themselves. if they have a shard of decency. which they don’t.

  • `Bob J

    If she insists on historical accuracy for her father, Heschel should make certain that other media – the news media – get the story of Israel correct.

    • elixelx

      Why? If you treat your family well is it your obligation to ensure that EVERY family is well treated.
      And…if you treat your family badly…?
      BTW…are you suggesting that the news media DON’T get the story of Israel right?

  • Harri

    I am NOT shocked given the current administration’s and media race bating and sharia compliance. Will the Jews of the United States need to leave like France??? Norway is now “judenrein”

    • Michael

      Only the Norway rats are left.

  • Don Selig

    Kenneth Bromberg, who was the Rabbi of Beth El Congregation of the South hills in Pittsburgh, was very proud of the fact that he got to march with his mentor, Rabbi Heschel, and Dr. King. At the time I was a Hebrew/religous teacher in the congregation and I recall conversations with Rabbi Bromberg about his abhorrance of segregation. For the film to ignore the Jewish participation in the march is ignorant.

    • martha mendelsohn

      Omitting Heschel from the movie is akin to the ultra-orthodox photoshopping Angela Merkel and other female world leaders out of the photo taken at the solidarity march in Paris.

  • This is nothing more than an attempt to horn in on the publicit surrounding the movei “Selma.

    Rabbi Herschel was a nobody in the Selma events. I was there, and I never heard of him.

    • Talia

      Were you standing next to Dr. King? Oh wait, that’s Heschel standing there. Congrats on being there. My grandpa was three rows behind King and Heschel and spoke before the march. You sound like the nobody.

    • Gary Javitch

      Richard, I am surprised that a newsman of your high caliber failed to get the big picture, learn more about the people who participated in this groundbreaking march, and fully understand why it was a major turning point in the Civil Rights movement, which was – back then- heavily supported by Jewish money, brains, and commitment.

      My own Rabbi, the late Arthur J Lelyveld was bloodied in one of the marches and returned to Cleveland a true hero.

      Your commentary and bitter tone force me to re-examine the esteem in which I formerly held you.

    • elixelx

      You undoubtedly have a “selfie” arm in arm with Abraham, Martin and Jesse on the Selma march…Please post it for our edification!
      What, the lack of a BrownieCamera is all that stands between you, the Civil Rights Hero and you the despicable anti-semitic liar?

    • theo

      Valeriani, ignorance is bliss But not only that ,you have arrogance to match Leaders of men knew Heschel An author of his life described him as ” the mate of God in this world ”
      He advised the Pope on Jewish matters And the then Pope treasured this association
      Do not judge the worth and stature of people by whether you know them or not Nor should you impute ulterior motives to what is clearly above you
      You have much knowledge to catch up on

  • Julian Clovelley

    I had a rather enlightened history teacher in my secondary school in England who borrowed a set of American History text books from an American school in London. We used them for a few weeks – after which he told us to close the books. He then asked what we thought of them

    “It’s all crap,” we said – almost in unison.
    “What do you think our text books are like?” he replied.

    I learnt a great deal about History that day. History is an artefact and as such must be viewed critically. What we see here is indeed the process of inventing History for political purposes, and Heschel’s daughter is right to point out her father’s disappearance from this account of the Civil Rights Movement

    Churning away in Tel Aviv is another group inventing a factional history – and its conceptual output is far more damaging – The invention is “Jewish History” and its output seems to be the source of an enormous amount of pure nonsense, founded more in Biblical Fundamentalism than the disciplines of archaeology and History. Heschel – and the writer of this article – correctly perceive the dangers in inventing History, but perhaps their protests at this insidious process could be more appropriately targeted. For the Middle East to be at peace everyone needs to move away from factional “Histories”, and into the area of more existentially based Law and negotiation.

    The factional Zionist myth makes it seem logical and reasonable to slag off at the United Nations, International Law, the International Criminal Court, the Red Cross and Geneva Conventions – all because they do not fit the artefact of Zionist History, “Jewish History”. That walking away from the International community, including Human Rights organisations such as Amnesty International, has a vastly more detrimental effect than removing one man – however great – from a picture

    The present rise of apparent antisemitism is not only caused by one side of the problem – and at an intellectual, and indeed social level, it never was. It is too soon and perhaps far too painful to truly assess the damage Zionism has done, along with any actual good it achieved. Frankly I have yet to encounter any “nationalism” that has been universally beneficial. Another one hundred years and the detachment may well be there to make a more accurate academic assessment

    There is neither Gentile nor Jew, just people of common origins behaving badly. False racist Histories are what provide the raw materials for disastrous social division. They create clan mentalities. They are forms of tribalism, and they aren’t true.

    All starting points for “History” tend to be artificial because they even reach beyond the totally unreliable products of the technology of writing. It is utterly ridiculous to claim validation of a whole period of Hebrew mythology as being about real events on the basis of a disputed word on a pottery shard – but that is what is happening. All ‘peoples’ in reality come out of the darkness of the past. Present archaeology and associated disciplines point to the likelihood of a common African origin. All separations thereafter are entirely imaginary, artificial constructions made to serve the selfishness and power cravings of the time in which they were invented. Believing them now in a Fundamentalist manner is just stupid.

    We need Heschel back in the Civil Rights picture to restore accuracy – But we also need our common origin restored so that we can recognise truly that all of our divisions are relatively recent and cultural in nature

    The supposed divisions are myth and religious nonsense. They play the role of football supporters insignia in what becomes preferential treatment, “racism” institutional exclusion, class structures, bullying, hate graffiti, hate groups

    And street violence..

    That was the lesson my History teacher taught my entire class, over half a century ago.

    • Larry

      Julian, My analysis of what you wrote is that your History teacher “brainwashed” you to the point you need to go back to Kindergarten and start your eduction all over again. Best of Luck!

    • Marco Redwolf

      I have a high pain threshold Julian. In fact my dentist says that I amaze him. So don’t worry about me. It is not too soon . I’m ready. No matter how painful please educate me as to how dreadful Zionism really is and how much better the world and Israel would be without it. Better still enlighten us as to there would even be an Israel without Theodore Herzl and Zionism. Nothing beats specificity Julian and your comments sorely lack it. What IS enlightening to me is your opening paragraphs. Lets get this right. You had an “enlightened” teacher. You thought the American History Text Books were all “crap” and you all said that to him in Unison. The balance of your comment is a mixture of sixties era hippie bird droppings and a Hezbollah pamphlet. Common African origin indeed. Talk about being stupid .

    • Herb Grossman

      You can’t be serious, blaming all that muddled thinking on that one history teacher. He should be thankful that you left him nameless.

    • steven L

      Relativism based on blissful ignorance. Actually the vast amount of artifacts discovered everyday in Israel testifies to the presence of a Jewish people in that land and confirms your ignorance of the value of archeology. Archeology is “facts” and is getting closer and closer by the day to a science while politics is an art with very few good actors and millions of victims. Just like J Heschel is a FACT in history whether you like it or not.
      It is for a reason that perfidy sticks to GB.
      BTW street violence is extremely rare among Jews.

    • Michael Garfinkel

      Uh, Julian Clovelley – your history teacher was an ass.

      And if you keep writing nonsense like “”Jewish History and its output seems to be the source of an enormous amount of pure nonsense, founded more in Biblical Fundamentalism than the disciplines of archaeology and History”- you too will be thought of in the same way.

    • Doar Zevvel

      This writer, Julian Clovelley, is a vicious anti-Jewish would-be rewriter of history. His history teacher would not be proud of him.

    • Professor Bob

      Your history teacher would not be proud of the fact that you learned your one hour of history well in his class and nothing else of life or history since then. For example, you never heard that “one who learns nothing from history is bound to repeat its errors.” Perhaps if you had had the opportunity to study history at the graduate level at Columbia University, as I did, you would understand how little you understand of either history or historiography.

      The anti-Semites, like you, who failed to understand the historical and indeed biblical nature of the Jews, have all been relegated to the dustbins of history, from Pharoah to Hitler. The Jews, with God’s protection, have survived and will survive the amoral rantings of people like you.

      There is no Zionist myth, only Zionist heroes. They stretch from more than 3000 years ago from the first Jews in the land of Israel to the ones who protect it today from Arab barbarians who kill innocents in France and wherever else they can find an “infidel.” And you, lacking a moral Compass, are unable to tell the difference between a hero and a barbarian.

      Perhaps you have some notes from your history teacher that you could reread.

    • Professor Bob

      Your history teacher would not be proud of the fact that you learned your one hour of history well in his class and nothing else of life or history since then. For example, you never heard that “one who learns nothing from history is bound to repeat its errors.” Perhaps if you had had the opportunity to study history at the graduate level at Columbia University, as I did, you would understand how little you understand of either history or historiography.

      The anti-Semites, like you, who failed to understand the historical and indeed biblical nature of the Jews, have all been relegated to the dustbins of history, from Pharoah to Hitler. The Jews, with God’s protection, have survived and will survive the amoral rantings of people like you.

      There is no Zionist myth, only Zionist heroes. They stretch from more than 3000 years ago from the first Jews in the land of Israel to the ones who protect it today from Arab barbarians who kill innocents in France and wherever else they can find an “infidel.” And you, lacking a moral Compass, are unable to tell the difference between a hero and a barbarian.

    • elixelx

      Geez, this is a tiny battle being fought over the lies of Hollywood and you have turned it into an anti-semitic war that has been fought over millenia.
      BTW. Judaism is MORE, MUCH MUCH MORE, than pottery shards. Try finding out what is tallit, tefillin, mezuzah. Try finding out what Zion and Jerusalem means Try finding out what SHEMA means.

    • Rabbi Menashe Bovit

      You have not provided any example of proof of the twisting of history by Zionists as you claim has taken place. All you have done is condemn the rejection by Israel of the biased assertions of groups like amnesty International.

    • Queen Deleona

      A voice of reason… Todah!!!

    • Eve

      What about the doings of the day, Mr. Clovelly; what about the doings of the day, which we have personally witnessed? Or is that, too, “factional myth”?

    • Mike

      No matter the subject, you usually reduce it all to your favorite topic. Your disdain for Zionism has become a true obsession.

    • charlie johnson

      I like England just fine myself.But about those history books . You might learn that few nations could produce a factual history that left their own nation sinless. It was about the time of the USA civil war. The Brits were involved in a process of tuning the nation of China into a land of drug addicts.The idea was that a nation of drug indicted people could be ruled over by the drug suppliers.This ended in a hell of a war and the Brits kept Hong Kong.Because the USA is the big kid on the block everyone else attacks my nation.We have plenty of sins to face up to but probably not a lot more than any other nation. Until a nation assumes a good deal of economic/military power you may not learn much about their character. You may see a great change as China becomes a great power.Their neighbors are learning at lot at this present time.

    • You certainly seem to know a lot. But what that lot is, I can’t imagine. Help me understand it. Where did the “Jewish” people actually come from? Where did the ten commandments come from? When and where did the feasts which Jews have celebrated (and continue to celebrate to this day, such as Passover, etc) actually originate? Was there an actual ‘starting date’ as they claim? Or did they just evolve? When I celebrate my birthday every year, isn’t that ‘proof’ that I was actually born on a certain day? That I am indeed real? Is not the very existence of the Jews proof that they are real? And that the true living God is real? (‘IsReal’) Did the holocaust actually happen? The relentless progroms and persecutions that should have wiped the Jewish people from existence? I have so many honest convictions which arise from these sincere questions. The Torah (which Jews claim came from God) says that God will bless the world through them. Is it true? What were you taught by your teacher about the Einsteins along the many paths of science, medicine, chemistry, cosmology, physics, biology, commerce etc which the whole world has benefited from? They are the de facto discoverers of the atomic realms; dreamers, inventors and developers of devices such as computers that have changed mankind’s way of life? And how is it possible (this is a very sincere question which I am asking) that Jews, which (population-wise) make up about one one-thousandth of the world’s population (0.1%) have been awarded over 20% of all Nobel prizes? (which represent the epitome of peer-evaluated scientific achievement?) Please help me understand about these matters? What did your teachers say about these matters?