I thought Sacha Baron Cohen was brave, turns out he’s just a neocon weenie

I did a post two weeks back saying that "Bruno" contains a glimpse of a refugee camp in Lebanon. I was wrong. For his meeting with a former "terrorist," The Guardian reports, Sacha Baron Cohen just went to the West Bank and interviewed a Fateh guy who works for an NGO, and then misrepresented him severely.

"How could he say this about me?" asks [Ayman] Abu Aita. "He lied from the beginning and he is still lying now."

Abu Aita, 44, from Beit Sahour, near Bethlehem, is described in the film Brüno as a member of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed wing of the Fatah movement. Now Abu Aita plans to sue for defamation, while Baron Cohen has reportedly received threats from the brigade.

…Promoting the film recently on the David Letterman talkshow in the US, Baron Cohen explained that finding a "terrorist" to interview for the movie took several months and some help from a CIA contact. He described the secular Martyrs Brigades, most of whom signed an amnesty deal with Israel in 2007, as "the number one suicide bombers out there".

Abu Aita said: "My file is clear with the Americans. I was in the states twice and I travel all the time."

What a jerk. Cohen is playing into disfiguring stereotypes that are damaging the western mind. Here’s more -

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.
Posted in Beyondoweiss, Israel/Palestine

{ 13 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. americangoy says:

    I watched Borat for the first time in my life a few weeks ago (it was on USA, so what the hey).

    The impression I got is that Sacha’s movie is about two themes:

    Message one: eastern Europe is s**t, and is populated by nasty, brutish, beyond neanderthal people who hate Jews.

    Message two: Americans are yokels who are easily led by any conman who comes along.

    The “Jak sie masz” is polish for ‘How are you”.

    The majority of the jokes were in Yiddish, so I felt that I didn’t get 40% or more of the jokes… if they were jokes at all.

    For the record, disclaimer – I never got Seinfeld either, but I adore Mel Brooks (perhaps because he is so pro polish, it twangs my immigrant heart after all, eh)… but I think it is because I find his humor more human, with actual humanity in it, and not a hint of condescension nor sneering.

  2. anomalous says:

    If the substance of Borat’s “joke” was that far too many otherwise sane Jews squeal excessively about a supposedly omnipresent, virulent anti-semitism which, it turns out, doesn’t exist, then it would be funny. Instead, the joke is the tired old racist aria called “everyone hates the Jews.” It’s just not funny. It’s not defusing racism, or illuminating racism. It’s ultimately just a popularization and reiteration of a deep-rooted tradition of intense anti-gentile racism within classical Judaism. It’s also a crucial component in the ideological machinery of zionism which encourages normal people to become militant tribal warriors.

  3. doug says:

    I loved Seinfeld but think I’ll skip Bruno. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. LeaNder says:

    Interesting. Why does he do this if it is supposed to be a joke film. Why does he need a real “terrorist”, he could have used any actor. That’s absolutely stupid.

    I’ll just checked German reports via Google News. A recurring line seems to originate in the take of World Daily News, or the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, who supposedly called him their brother. The line: He claims, he is not a terrorist, at least not any longer.

    Hmmm? Why would the al-Aqsa Brigade issue a statement to World Daily News specifically? Aron Klein. Good job boy. Your reporting has been extensively picked up over here.

  5. LeaNder says:

    joke film = satire.

    • javs says:

      I wonder if a film about pizza making and the tempretures used could be used and taking out of context by including the gross details about WW11.
      Mr. Choen …though it is satire…it is very distastefull and shows you have no class or were maybe paid to be insulting and insense such things from and occupation that is being wiped out every day with the “not so blind” help from media and hollywood.
      At least the points are becoming clearer, I believe a cable tv show is next to have for the mondoweiss people, get this stuff out in the mainstream…all the previous from the beging till now and let the world see and hear how the world has been so very blind in it support for a lie of all lies, which must be punished to the utmost including statehood and deportation of the entire peoples there that are illegally in Palestine…and let Britian flip the reparations to the Palestinians because it was them whom help start it amd russia should take back their people from khazar and let them build a temple the size of what ever. I would hope the commonality of peace could take hold and a real state could emerge strong and with no more ties to illegalities and settlements…just spend money instead of what they have practiced for so very long, which was in 1890 not later (according to archival facts).

  6. Citizen says:

    Americangoy nails the brunt of Borat satire. Watching the film was painful to me. The set-ups were so obvious–Borat is an extremely PC film made by the
    rascist Cohen–it could have been called “I hate rednecks and eastern european countries.” Imagine a similar movie where the principle two targets were right-wing Jews
    and the state of Israel.

    Bruno ridicules another set of PC targets, commencing with blonde aryan types – his wig and
    claimed country of origin… in it he continually mocks gays and also those who mock
    gays.

    Phil’s correct, Cohen is a neocon weenie–an Orthodox Jewish one BTW.

    I’ve always enjoyed Seinfeld despite the obvious ruse of George and his parents being
    passed off as Italian, all those good-looking blonde shiksa girl friends, the cute damning of the uncircumsized, etc. Everyday human foibles, funny stuff. The show
    series lambasted convoluted pettiness and delusions more than anything. Ditto for
    the later Curb Your Enthusiasm.

    Mel Brooks? The only thing he ever did that was entertaining to me was The Producers.

    • Shafiq says:

      If you thought Borat was painful, you’ll kill yourself minutes into Bruno. It went beyond reasonable satire and was just vulgar. His bit on the getting peace’ in Israeli/Palestine was just odd.

  7. Gellian says:

    Dude, Phil, much the same was said in the comments on your post two weeks ago; check and you’ll see some even more interesting analysis on the film.

    I deeply disliked it. It’s a case of weaponizing Judaism to beat the goyim with. It does not matter that “Brueno” pokes a bit of fun at ultra-religious folks in Israel; that’s an easy target. What he rather confirms is more or less what Marlon Brando got in trouble for saying all those years back, i.e. you’ve never seen an Ashkenazi parodied in film. I guess we’ll have to see. What with kidney salesmen, money laundering Rabbis, billionaire Ponzi schemers, and the rest, maybe someone will come forward…?

    • Citizen says:

      Fat chance. As you suggest, there’s plenty of satire material, but the Establishment won’t have it. Every goy learns early on that you cannot “pick on the jews.” Otherwise you’re responsible for feeding the next Shoah. You cannot even take a less comedic tact and look at history, e.g.. the activity of the 1% Jews in Weimar Germany. IN short, nothing can interfere with the narrative of anti-semitic insanity. Case closed.

  8. Koshiro says:

    Well, satire, as far as I understand the term, means: To criticize existing social conditions by presenting absurd, exaggerated, ridiculous depictions of said conditions. I don’t think that Cohen’s movies (I’ve only seen Borat) live up to that, because the element of criticism seemed to be missing. If it was there, I didn’t see his point. But I’m actually fairly sure that he is just being absurd, ridiculous and vulgar for the fun of it. Shock humor, not satire.

    For this reason, I do not think it’s worth the hassle to reveal him as a liar. Criticism and information are not on his agenda – showmanship is.

  9. syvanen says:

    I was repulsed by Cohen’s “humor”, it is cruel and sadistic. Here is a relevant review of Bruno:

    link to counterpunch.org

    Atzom makes an interesting case between his zionism and style of humor.

  10. I didn’t see the film yet.

    I thought Cohen’s approach was ballsy, to the point of suicidal. That is part of the humor of it. Its entertaining like cliff skiing, is entertaining to watch.

    And, part of the entertainment for him (like Andy Kaufman) is watching the reaction of his audience.