Oscar swag bag includes ten-day VIP trip to Israel worth $55,000 (Updated)

US Politics
on 78 Comments

Update:

The Times of Israel offers some more details on the oscar swag bag. Twenty-six nominees will be receiving them and the trips were the idea of “an ultra-Orthodox pair of tour operators from Brooklyn” with help from the Israeli Tourism Ministry:

Twenty-six Oscar notables — the five nominees for best director, as well and the four nominees each for best actor, best actress, best supporting actor and best supporting actress, plus Chris Rock, this year’s master of ceremonies at the Academy Awards — will receive a free VIP trip for two to Israel, courtesy of the Tourism Ministry and ExploreIsrael.com, owned by an ultra-Orthodox pair of tour operators from Brooklyn.

“It was their idea,” said a ministry spokesperson of the Oscar giveaway.

The ministry “embraced” the idea, she said, and it is the ministry that will pay for all of the land arrangements for the VIP travelers, including hotels, transportation, guides and activities.

It was not immediately clear who is paying for the flights to Israel.

It doesn’t come as a surprise, but an official with Tourism Ministry says the reason for the free trip is public relations: “Part of Israel’s challenges is to show the country as a normative, exciting, beautiful tourism destination,” she said. “We’re not what they see on CNN every day.”

Original Post:

The Academy Awards are coming on February 28 and although most stories in the lead up to the show have focused on the incredible whiteness of this (and last) year’s acting nominees, there is another issue that has made its way into the press — the swag bag. What’s a swag bag you ask? It is the collection of goodies that all award nominees will receive, whether they win the golden statue or not. What makes this newsworthy you ask? Well, for starters, the contents of each bag is valued at over $230,000. And this year it includes a free trip to Israel.

Here is some of what comes in this year’s bag:

• A 10-day, first-class trip to Israel ($55,000)
• A 15-day walking tour of Japan ($45,000)
• Ultherapy—a laser skin-tightening procedure courtesy of 740 Park MD ($5,530)
• A Lifetime supply of skin creams from Lizora ($31,200)
• A Fit Club TV “Ultimate Fitness Package” in a private villa ($6,250)
• A Haze Dual V3 Vaporizer valued at $249.99

And last, but not least, a“Vampire Breast Lift” valued at $1,900.

The Daily Beast says the whole thing is out of touch with the times, “In this year of #OscarsSoWhite and #FeelTheBern, there is something even more unsavory than usual about this shameless attempt to shower excessive wealth on the excessively wealthy.”

But others are celebrating it, including Israel’s supporters who see it as a slap in the face to the BDS movement. Aaron Klein, Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief, writes, “Despite attempts by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to target Israel, especially in the entertainment world, the Academy Awards seems to be taking a stand in solidarity with the Jewish state.”

It’s unclear if that was the intention, but it’s possible. The bags were put together by Distinctive Assets, a “a niche marketing company offering celebrity placement, product introduction and branding opportunities within the entertainment industry.” There is nothing on its site that would indicate support for Israel, but that doesn’t mean the gift isn’t intended to counter the BDS movement. For the last several years there has been a concerted effort in the entertainment industry to push back against the growing strength of the BDS movement. Most notable is the organization the Creative Community for Peace, which has ties to StandWithUs, a right-wing pro-settler organization that works closely with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and works to fight the cultural boycott of Israel. Were they behind the trip getting included as Oscar swag? We don’t know, but it does clear that some Hollywood star power is headed to Israel soon.

Thanks to Katie Miranda

About Adam Horowitz

Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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78 Responses

  1. amigo
    February 6, 2016, 3:09 pm

    It will be interesting to see how many , if any of the recipients refuse the trip to Israel portion of the prize.Has to be a moral person somewhere in la la land.Just one refusal would garner major publicity.

    Why a trip to Israel.There are far more interesting places on this planet to visit than the rogue nation.

    • Mary T
      February 6, 2016, 4:03 pm

      “Just one refusal would garner major publicity.”

      A refusal would probably also garner a lifetime of job-getting headaches. It will take not only a moral person, but a person with guts, to refuse publicly. I imagine it would be possible simply to be unable to work a trip to Israel into one’s schedule.

      • pabelmont
        February 7, 2016, 8:55 am

        (Classical) musicians used (in my experience, circa 1980-90) to speak of a Jewish Mafia by which they meant a cabal among agents and concert empressarii which made “playing Israel” (or being willing to play Israel) a sine qua non for a musical career. Did it exist? Some musicians were sure it existed. If so, is it still in place? I haven’t kept track.

        Anyhow, Hollywood “is” very Jewish, and “Jewish” often means “Zionist”, and offending people by “gratuitous” displays of criticism-of-Israel is not likely to boost anyone’s career in Hollywood. I mean, what would the Coen Brothers think, right?

      • Tchoupitoulas
        February 9, 2016, 9:08 pm

        PABELMONT: The Coen Bros are not cut from the same cloth as Haim Saban. I doubt criticism of Israel would faze them even slightly. They caught some flack for A Serious Man, from those who deemed it “anti-Semitic.”

    • Keith
      February 6, 2016, 5:28 pm

      AMIGO- “It will be interesting to see how many , if any of the recipients refuse the trip to Israel portion of the prize.”

      Probably the same percent as the number of US Congressmen who sit on their hands when Netanyahu gives a speech to Congress. In view of the Jewish-Zionist domination of Hollywood, such behavior could destroy a promising career.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 7, 2016, 1:36 am

        . In view of the Jewish-Zionist domination of Hollywood, such behavior could destroy a promising career.

        hmm, i doubt it. i think everyone remembers what happened to scarlett johansson. and the british are not too fond of israel. remember cantor? the thing about congress is they can’t piss off their constituents. for hollywood that would be the public. who buys the tickets?

      • Kathleen
        February 7, 2016, 10:47 am

        yes one would like to think the situation has changed since Vanessa Redgrave brought up the situation in 1976. Although this swag bag move seems to rub the apartheid state in people’s faces almost demanding a response. A frontal assault…public…nothing subtle about it. The Academy has opened up the door wide for a just and clear response….

        Black Lives Matter and BDS can pull together on this one…once again.

      • Lillian Rosengarten
        February 8, 2016, 11:19 am

        I have and continue to boycot any organization that does not speak out against the occupation.
        The academy awards have sunk to a new low level of reality show dimwitted entertainment.

    • broadside
      February 7, 2016, 11:42 am

      I would bet very few take up the offer. Too easy an offer to turn down.

  2. Rusty Pipes
    February 6, 2016, 4:23 pm

    Speaking of OscarsSoZionist, a few years ago, Kate Winslet joked that she’d need to make a Holocaust film to win an Oscar. How often are leading roles available for Black actors in Holocaust films?

    • MHughes976
      February 6, 2016, 6:02 pm

      And she duly did both those things, The Reader being the film. She won the Oscar for it around 2010.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        February 7, 2016, 11:57 am

        And it was a horrible film – cynical, manipulative Holoporn.

        Kate Winslet did indeed deserve an Oscar that year, but for her performance in ”Revolutionary Road”, not ”The Reader”.

    • broadside
      February 7, 2016, 11:47 am

      If I recall correctly, it was Ricky Gervais who made the crack, he was right — and he’s still hosting.

      And I was wrong — Helen Mirren did not get a nod for her Holocaust pic this year, and didn’t Five Broken Cameras get a doc nod last? So maybe things are changing.

      • MHughes976
        February 7, 2016, 1:23 pm

        Mooser might be interested to know that both Gervais and Winslet come from Reading, the talented county town of Berkshire, of which he normally speaks, not sparing my feelings, with a certain air of disrespect.

      • Mooser
        February 7, 2016, 1:58 pm

        “the talented county town of Berkshire, of which he normally speaks, not sparing my feelings, with a certain air of disrespect.”

        I know. I do it because I am so envious. If you lived here you’d know why. It doesn’t speak well of me, but there it is. I apologize. I will take Robert Southey’s thoughts (“For a Column at Newbury”) as my guide from now on:

        “Traveler!
        If with thy neighbour thou shouldst not accord,
        Remember these, our famous countrymen,
        And quell all angry and injurious thoughts.”

      • RoHa
        February 7, 2016, 2:52 pm

        More importantly, RoHa gained two post-graduate degrees from the University of Reading.

      • Mooser
        February 7, 2016, 5:08 pm

        “More importantly, RoHa gained two post-graduate degrees from the University of Reading.”

        I never got a degree in Reading. Not in Writing, either, although I hear it’s a wonderful town. West Writing is supposed to be very nice.

      • gamal
        February 8, 2016, 3:44 am

        “I never got a degree in Reading.”

        pronounced Redding, i won at least two games of pool in Rileys, Cremyll street. Just passing thru like Pierre Mulele in Peking.

      • RoHa
        February 8, 2016, 6:12 am

        Of lesser importance than RoHa’s association with Reading, but still worth noting, is Oscar Wilde’s incarceration there, and the ballad he wrote about that, and the fact that it was the centre for production of Huntley and Palmer biscuits.

      • MHughes976
        February 8, 2016, 7:03 am

        Perhaps Mooser’s well chosen quote from Southey should become the Mondoweiss motto.

      • Mooser
        February 8, 2016, 11:00 am

        “Perhaps Mooser’s well chosen quote….”

        Thank you, “MHughes976”. As Hemmingway always said, it’s important to be earnest.

      • RoHa
        February 8, 2016, 4:09 pm

        Good idea, MHughes.

  3. David Plimpton
    February 6, 2016, 7:02 pm

    The whole thing is in bad taste, shameful and totally insensitive to the plight of Palestinians, victims of Israel’s apartheid and worse.

    The outfit which handled this may or may not be pro-Israel or anti-BDS, but they shouldn’t be allowed, if I may be allowed to use a crucifixion metaphor, to play Pontius Pilate on something like this.

    The rich get richer and more separated for the dark and real world, as well as whatever humanity and humility they may have once possessed.

    Speaking of BDS, we should perhaps reflect on this before we decide to plunk down bucks to watch performances by these miscreants.

    • Kathleen
      February 7, 2016, 10:51 am

      Academy out front supporting Israeli massacres…apartheid…institutional approval. This Academy Awards swag bag of shit is going to hit the international human rights and social justice fans.

  4. Boomer
    February 6, 2016, 7:26 pm

    “the Academy Awards seems to be taking a stand in solidarity with the Jewish state.”

    Sure, but it may not be specifically an anti-BDS thing. “Solidarity with the Jewish State” no doubt seems perfectly normal and unremarkable to many of the movers and shakers of Hollywood. That might sound like a “well known anti-Semitic trope,” but I believe that Philip has commented on it, with some numbers (another well-known indicator of incorrect attitude). We don’t know who is funding it, but seems like a good investment for the Jewish State, a bargain really.

  5. kalithea
    February 7, 2016, 1:59 am

    This is flaunting Zionist influence– it’s disgusting.

    It’s like blood diamonds; same thing. I would throw that trip back in their face!

    Better yet, flush the voucher or whatever invitation is there down the toilet! Or if it could be cashed; cash it in and donate the cash to BDS or a Gaza charity organization.

    • amigo
      February 7, 2016, 8:23 am

      “Or if it could be cashed; cash it in and donate the cash to BDS or a Gaza charity organization” Kalithea

      Or , give the tickets to some of the Palestinians who are not allowed to go back to their homes.Their being refused entry at BG airport just might make an interesting headline in the MSM. What would the “Chosen “thespians have to say about that.

    • Kathleen
      February 7, 2016, 10:57 am

      Doubt very much that these gifts can be cashed in. The Academy opened the door…the nominees who have any commitment to social justice and human rights issues (which are more than likely not many) could make a stink over a stink.

  6. Annie Robbins
    February 7, 2016, 2:38 am

    the Academy Awards seems to be taking a stand in solidarity with the Jewish state.”

    It’s unclear if that was the intention, but it’s possible. The bags were put together by Distinctive Assets, a “a niche marketing company offering celebrity placement, product introduction and branding opportunities within the entertainment industry.” There is nothing on its site that would indicate support for Israel, but that doesn’t mean the gift isn’t intended to counter the BDS movement. For the last several years there has been a concerted effort in the entertainment industry to push back against the growing strength of the BDS movement.

    adam, i think you’re possibly not understanding the role of Distinctive Assets. essentially it is not a company that serves the academy awards, it serves it’s clients who seek branding. see the opening at about page: http://www.distinctiveassets.com/about.html

    (original bold)

    ABOUT DISTINCTIVE ASSETS
    “Instead of blindly advertising to mass audiences, companies should focus on creating buzz among key, high-profile customers.” – Forbes Magazine

    when they say they are a “niche marketing company offering celebrity placement, product introduction and branding opportunities within the entertainment industry.” it means their clients are marketing themselves— the people offering the goods, not the academy awards. the state of israel probably offered those trips. ..”Instead of blindly advertising “.

    and yes undoubtedly there are those in hollywood working with the state — and the academy — but this is obviously a marketing ploy to counter bds and enhance israel. i just wonder how many of those actors are being watched an on the line. (subtly blackmailed to take this trip for their next big part).

    well, this is what they have to look forward to, see graphic http://mondoweiss.net/2014/01/representing-settlement-sodastream/

    • Citizen
      February 7, 2016, 8:49 am

      Agreed. Note that one honcho in Hollywood writes Netanyahu’s speeches directed at US audience.

    • amigo
      February 7, 2016, 8:49 am

      Annie , I would have thought the people at Distinctive assets would be aware that Israel is number four on the list of least liked nations.That was the 2015 BBC poll .Were that poll carried out at this time , Israel might well be higher on that list than Iran.Those people who dislike Israel and there are very many of them, are not likely to be visiting the place .They might well prefer a somewhat more safe and friendly venue.

      • Kathleen
        February 7, 2016, 5:37 pm

        They know…you can bet someone from Israel’s rebranding program contacted them. They know.

    • Kathleen
      February 7, 2016, 10:58 am

      They sure have created a “buzz” The Academy could have said no to the Israel trip…Clearly they did not. They are automatically complicit in this decision to rub apartheid in the faces of all.

    • Kathleen
      February 7, 2016, 5:39 pm

      The Academy has taken a stand with Israel for decades…ask Vanessa Redgrave what kind of repercussions she suffered back in 78…I believe.

  7. pabelmont
    February 7, 2016, 9:00 am

    Have to wonder. Someone chose Japan. Someone chose Israel. Who did the choosing? Who put up the money? We can criticize the choosers even if the actors cannot (openly) turn down the prizes.

    As to turning down the prizes, my guess is that publicly stating “No to Israel” is unlikely to happen often, but failing to make such a trip (just don’t have the time, y’know?) is another matter. Also failing to take walking tour of Japan.

    And who knows, some actors might (also) turn down (or fail to lift up) a “Vampire Breast Lift”.

    • Kathleen
      February 7, 2016, 10:28 am

      They could turn down the prize. Such a great opportunity (an open door) to pile on information about the facts in this conflict…..

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      February 7, 2016, 12:02 pm

      Yeah, I’d be shocked if any of the nominees made a big show of refusing the ‘gift’ – although Mark Rylance was one of the signatories of a letter by well-known British figures saying they support a cultural boycott of Israel.

      However, I’d also be shocked if more than a handful of them (if that) actually make that ‘free’ trip to Israel – maybe Stallone, who is one of the few actors prepared to hitch his wagon to Israel these days. While actively taking on the Zionist hoodlums definitely isn’t a good idea in Hollywood, being associated with Israel just isn’t cool anymore.

  8. Kathleen
    February 7, 2016, 10:26 am

    What an opportunity for the BDS movement…an open door to protest the Oscars. A free trip to an apartheid state…such a deal.

    From the moment that Vanessa Redgrave brought up the ruthlessness of “Zionist hoodlums” in 1976 to 2016 when the Academy is offering a free trip to apartheid Israel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAcOsK9gRLk

    Get ripped, fit, skinned, Zionized on your free trip to the apartheid state of Israel.

    Wonder if any of the winners will have the integrity to refuse a free trip to apartheid Israel

    You can bet Saturday Night Live will not touch this gift….SNL is occupied territory

  9. Kathleen
    February 7, 2016, 10:35 am

    The Academy is sure exposing their racism and bigotry along with publicly supporting an apartheid state…

    Vanessa Redgrave support for Palestine Pt1

  10. rugal_b
    February 7, 2016, 11:10 am

    The Academy are also mired with severe lack of diversity and the domination of white performers and artists which along with this, shows the depth of interconnection of white supremacy and Zionism. Let’s stop being focused on what we think is bad, which is obviously the idea of a exclusive Jewish state in Palestine, and missing the bigger picture that we are also part of an exclusive apartheid state built on stolen land and through massacre of the natives. Let the Israeli (and Diaspora) Jews sort out their problems, and we do the same to ours here in America, because lets face it, it is not going away and the every minute we delay against fighting injustice, we are denying justice to millions of oppressed under the current white supremacist regime.

    • Annie Robbins
      February 7, 2016, 12:59 pm

      Let the Israeli (and Diaspora) Jews sort out their problems, and we do the same to ours here in America

      we got your message.

      • Mooser
        February 8, 2016, 2:30 pm

        “Let the Israeli (and Diaspora) Jews sort out their problems…”

        Okay, we got Israel (uh, whatever that might be. Opinions differ.) and we got “(and Diaspora) Jews” (” (and Diaspora) Jews”? there’s still a “(and Diaspora)”? Ho-kay!) and that’s all very nice. I guess we are in loco parentheses for Israel?

        But somehow, I get the funny feeling we are forgetting a few people in “Rugal b’s” neat formulation. I could be wrong, but somehow (so call me a nut) I suspect there’s a few more people involved.

    • Kathleen
      February 7, 2016, 1:21 pm

      So then I would take away you would support cutting off all U.S. aid to Israel?

      • Annie Robbins
        February 7, 2016, 1:28 pm

        leave israel alone

      • rugal_b
        February 7, 2016, 1:35 pm

        If I support such measures, I would be hypocritical because it would mean I recognize the US as a distinct , sovereign nation whose ties to the Zionist regime is purely through opportunistic financial arrangements. I don’t see the US that way, many dont. I see both countries as just as evil and corrupt as each other, and both needs to be deconstructed, with equal haste.

      • Kathleen
        February 7, 2016, 5:41 pm

        My question was for rugal…Not sure if your response was for me Anni

      • Mooser
        February 8, 2016, 2:42 pm

        “and both needs to be deconstructed, with equal haste”

        That will never happen to you “Rugak b”! You’ll never need deconstruction.
        Your comments simply implode into their own footprint. Hopefully, somebody will haul the debris away.

      • Mooser
        February 8, 2016, 7:17 pm

        ” and sort out their problems, and we sort out ours.”

        And “rugal b” knows how. He recommends violence:

        “Physical violence is a legitimate means to secure justice and fight oppression../…and I believe those who are against violence are dishonest and irrational and cannot be considered as helpful members of the cause.” – “rugal b” See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/the-irreconcilable-differences-of-liberal-zionism/#sthash.LeEwrEui.dpuf

        He’s just spinning.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 9, 2016, 1:29 pm

        sorry for the delay kathleen, just saw your 5:41 comment. it was just my take on his/her comment and yes it was in response to you. rather cryptic of me — sorry for any confusion.

    • eljay
      February 8, 2016, 8:40 am

      || rugal_b @ February 7, 2016, 11:10 am ||

      Hi, a4tech. :-)

  11. Kathleen
    February 7, 2016, 11:33 am

    Big one up

    Military to Military
    Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v38/n01/seymour-m-hersh/military-to-military
    “It was this history of co-operation that made it seem possible in 2013 that Damascus would agree to the new indirect intelligence-sharing arrangement with the US. The Joint Chiefs let it be known that in return the US would require four things: Assad must restrain Hizbullah from attacking Israel; he must renew the stalled negotiations with Israel to reach a settlement on the Golan Heights; he must agree to accept Russian and other outside military advisers; and he must commit to holding open elections after the war with a wide range of factions included. ‘We had positive feedback from the Israelis, who were willing to entertain the idea, but they needed to know what the reaction would be from Iran and Syria,’ the JCS adviser told me. ‘The Syrians told us that Assad would not make a decision unilaterally – he needed to have support from his military and Alawite allies. Assad’s worry was that Israel would say yes and then not uphold its end of the bargain.’ A senior adviser to the Kremlin on Middle East affairs told me that in late 2012, after suffering a series of battlefield setbacks and military defections, Assad had approached Israel via a contact in Moscow and offered to reopen the talks on the Golan Heights. The Israelis had rejected the offer. ‘They said, “Assad is finished,”’ the Russian official told me. ‘“He’s close to the end.”’ He said the Turks had told Moscow the same thing. By mid-2013, however, the Syrians believed the worst was behind them, and wanted assurances that the Americans and others were serious about their offers of help.”

  12. Marnie
    February 7, 2016, 11:45 am

    – BOYCOTT THE ACADEMY AWARDS –

  13. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    February 7, 2016, 11:59 am

    At least we’ll always have Vanessa and her Zionist hoodlums:

    • Marnie
      February 8, 2016, 12:10 pm

      This woman is amazing. I don’t tire watching it, especially at the gasps from the crowd when she says “zionist hoodlums”. Okay, who’s talking now though?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        February 9, 2016, 10:39 am

        The little gasps are my favourite part too. So easily shocked, eh? I wonder what would happen if a star made a similar speech today?

        And the term ”Zionist hoodlums” is just pure genius.

  14. kalithea
    February 7, 2016, 4:15 pm

    How about those Zionist Hollywood gatekeepers insert a CD of the aerial view of Israel’s concentration camp next door?:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWHMzRKz9Os

    Someone could sneak some CDs titled Zionist Paradise in the bags.

  15. Kathleen
    February 7, 2016, 5:58 pm

    Ok went on over to Vanessa Redgrave’s alleged fb pagee (or someone’s fb page about VR) and posted the Mondoweiss article. Mentioned that if she comes there to read comments come on over and visit MW. You just never know

    https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=vanessa%20redgrave

  16. Kay24
    February 7, 2016, 7:58 pm

    Gee, I wonder who is sponsoring this ridiculous trip to Israel. Shame on those who will take a free trip to an apartheid state, playing right into the hands of the zionists who desperately want this publicity. We know who controls Hollywood now don’t we, and it is not the Japanese.

    • tokyobk
      February 8, 2016, 3:56 am

      Uh, Kay24, it depends on who the “we” is that “know[s]” who controls Hollywood (“and its not the Japanese”) is.

      Sure, those who can sniff Jews like a pig on rare truffles know this to be true, but that “we” can find controlling Jews anywhere and everywhere.

      Meanwhile, the “we” who know about Hollywood (and Jews and Japanese btw) know that in fact “the” Japanese own about 1/7th of Hollywood, and by % and total numbers actually do own more of Hollywood than “the” Jews.

      Though to be fair, even there conspiracies fall short of facts since over half of Sony is owned by foreign investors and individuals, about 56% I think. So is it The Japanese or lots of Japanese that control more of Hollywood than Jews? Hmmm…

      0 out of the 7 corporations that truly own Hollywood have anything more than a small percentage of Jewish shareholder ownership, though several were founded long ago by Jews and Jews remain prominent as executives.

      There are a few thousand very influential Jews in Hollywood. Most of them as Zionist I would guess. This definitely matters to I/P.

      Controlling? No. Your implication is backward but I am sure its not the first time.

      • Keith
        February 8, 2016, 11:25 am

        TOKYOBK- “Sure, those who can sniff Jews like a pig on rare truffles know this to be true, but that “we” can find controlling Jews anywhere and everywhere.”

        Talk about anti-Gentile tropes! Anti-Gentilism is the essence of Zionism and of Judeo-Zionist tribalism. Look in the mirror, Ben. As for Jewish control of Hollywood, two quotes and links for you.

        “The Jews are so dominant, I had to scour the trades to come up with six Gentiles in high positions at entertainment companies. When I called them to talk about their incredible advancement, five of them refused to talk to me, apparently out of fear of insulting Jews. The sixth, AMC President Charlie Collier, turned out to be Jewish.” (Joel Stein) http://articles.latimes.com/2008/dec/19/opinion/oe-stein19

        “On the other hand, objecting to the myth that Jews control Hollywood raises serious questions of definition. If anybody can genuinely be said to control Tinseltown, it’s probably the 25 people who run the 12 main film studios—that is, the chairman (in one case, two co-chairmen) and president of each. Of those 25, 21 are Jewish, or 84%. That’s simple math. You could define “control” differently—throw in the top agents and producers, leading directors, most bankable stars and so on—and the proportion of Jews would drop, but it probably wouldn’t get down anywhere near the 50% mark. There’s a reason why Nate & Al’s stays in business.” (JJ Goldberg) http://forward.com/opinion/171900/3-questions-for-the-oscars/

      • Mooser
        February 8, 2016, 11:41 am

        “Sure, those who can sniff Jews like a pig on rare truffles know this to be true”

        “Your implication is backward but I am sure its not the first time.”

        “Tokyobk” let’s face it, nobody knows the trouble we’ve seen.

      • RoHa
        February 8, 2016, 4:05 pm

        “nobody knows the trouble we’ve seen.”

        According to the song, there is somebody who might know, but in this context it might be tactless to name him.

      • tree
        February 8, 2016, 4:54 pm

        Really TBK? You’re saying that shareholders control the policies of Sony Entertainment and other media companies and not the CEO’s and top executives? Do you really think that Hollywood firms are any different than any other large American company where the day to day as well as the long range planning of company policy is overwhelmingly controlled by its top executives, not by the shareholders? This comment of yours:

        0 out of the 7 corporations that truly own Hollywood have anything more than a small percentage of Jewish shareholder ownership, though several were founded long ago by Jews and Jews remain prominent as executives.

        is either an example of your supreme ignorance of American corporation power structures, or worse, an example of your ability to misrepresent in order to score a point.

        Since you mentioned Sony, do you remember this?

        Leaked Sony emails reveal Hollywood execs efforts to support Israel – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/hollywood-efforts-support/#sthash.6HQeKKiV.dpuf

        The CEO of Sony Entertainment is not Japanese. And producing “Zero Dark Thirty” was not a decision made by Sony shareholders.

  17. pabelmont
    February 7, 2016, 8:53 pm

    BDS and JVP might seize the moment to send a prize-bag of their own to all nominees, a prize-bag explaining I/P and BDS and reciting the actions of Roger Waters and Vanessa Redgrave and others as examples of how older musicians and actors might serve as guides to today’s stars.

    • tree
      February 8, 2016, 5:01 pm

      I’d suggest slipping a translated version of the Tel Aviv firm’s advertisement for maid service, including the lower fees for black employees, into the goodie bag. That ought to liven up the discussion, particularly this year.

  18. Marnie
    February 8, 2016, 2:04 am

    As we know who controls Hollywood, I imagine these free trips to Atrocityland is to encourage actors and directors etc to make movies about israel – on the scale of Exodus but modern, you know – the mythical sexy israelis. It would be better to make films about the real israel and start out with films about the Nakba, 10 or so per year sounds okay. A good place to start would be with the revelations in Haaretz featured in MW “Barbarism by an educated and cultured people’ — Dawayima massacre was worse than Deir Yassin” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/02/barbarism-by-an-educated-and-cultured-people-dawayima-massacre-was-worse-than-deir-yassin/#sthash.QcloFiSR.dpuf

    • Kay24
      February 8, 2016, 9:31 am

      We also know who controls the US congress, the think tanks, the media, and certainly
      our foreign policies in the Middle East.

  19. John O
    February 8, 2016, 5:50 am

    This story has made the Guardian’s website today. The trip to Israel gets a passing mention in the article, but (so far) no commenter has picked up on this aspect.

    One point a number of commenters have made is that such gifts are taxable income, so the recipients rarely bother to accept them. Good publicity for Distinctive Assets, which was probably the whole point of the exercise.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      February 8, 2016, 12:01 pm

      The Guardian now has an article specifically about the ‘free’ Israeli holiday.

      Naturally – given how terrified the Graun is of allowing free speech on this issue – it is not open for comments.

      • John O
        February 8, 2016, 12:16 pm

        Thanks, MDM – it pays to be vigilant.

        Still even without comments (which would just degenerate into a torrent of abuse and hasbara in about 5 minutes flat), the article is informative:

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/08/israel-offers-free-holidays-oscars-contenders-gift-bag

        Particularly, the fact that the Israeli government is part-funding the offer:

        ‘The Israeli tourism minister, Yariv Levin, said the unprecedented initiative was intended to allow some of the world’s most privileged and wealthy individuals to “experience the country first hand and not through the media”.

        He said: “These are the most senior people in the film industry in Hollywood and leading opinion-formers who we are interested in hosting. Their visit will have enormous resonance among millions of fans and followers, including social media.”’

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        February 8, 2016, 5:24 pm

        “‘The Israeli tourism minister, Yariv Levin, said the unprecedented initiative was intended to allow some of the world’s most privileged and wealthy individuals to “experience the country first hand and not through the media”.

        Right. Because “the world’s most privileged and wealthy individuals” couldn’t afford to shell out the cash to pay for a trip to Israel by themselves? Or are they admitting that Israel just isn’t an attractive enough destination for people who could go anywhere they want on holiday, and they needed to give it away for free? Even at that, I would be surprised if a single one of the nominees takes them up on their ‘gift’ (except Israel shill Stallone maybe). Brand Israel is toxic, and PR conscious celebs aren’t going to want to be turned into a hasbara prop, with Bibi greeting them at the airport and photos of them flanked by armed guards on the Temple Mount. Because one thing is certain: anyone who takes them up on the ‘offer’ will for sure be used as a hasbara tool.

      • YoniFalic
        February 8, 2016, 8:24 pm

        The Israeli government was so heavily involved with the writing of the book Exodus by Uris and the production of the film Exodus directed by Preminger that Yosefa Loshitzky opened her book entitled Identity Politics on the Israeli Screen with analysis of the film Exodus.

        Dalton Trumbo seems to have traded writing the Exodus screenplay for getting off the Hollywood blacklist.

  20. eljay
    February 8, 2016, 8:44 am

    Is the trip to Israel proper (i.e., Partition-borders Israel) or to the “‘Greater’ Israel” region that includes territories (such as Jerusalem) under occupation and colonization by the “Jewish State”? I did a Google search but couldn’t find any information.

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