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Shlomo Blass honors Martin Luther King… and does Blackface

Israel/Palestine
on 17 Comments

Know any Martin Luther King jokes? Shlomo Blass does, and his audience is the butt of it.

Blass is the founder and proprietor of Rogatka, an Israeli media production company that works for clients as diverse as the Likud party, the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies, and StandWithUs. (Wait—did I say “diverse”?)

Recently, Ali Abunimah reported on a new Rogatka video created for an Israeli settler organization, and Allison Deger dug up another video credited to Rogatka, honoring Martin Luther King’s supposed commitment to Israel.

Sure enough, Blass’s Rogatka website claims credit for the creation of the King video, from 2008.

But contrast that video with “Kazabubu the Jewish Cannibal,” a 2010 skit produced by Blass’s other company, Latma, and you get to see the totality of his hypocrisy, cynicism, duplicity, and racism. It starts at 5:36 or so.

Both videos serve the same purpose, but are geared toward different audiences. A few screenshots:

Blass screens

Blass is the head director of Latma, which produced “We Con the World” and “Christmas in Eurabia” (of the “muslim-immigrants-will-rape-your-white-daughters” fame). He is also responsible for the Danny Ayalon West Bank video, which was a remake of a settler video also produced by Blass. 

Blass face
Shlomo Blass, performing in wig and eyeglasses, from “We Con the World”

Keep in mind, this is the same man producing propaganda videos for the Israeli government, illegal settler organizations, and US-based StandWithUs. See my previous report for more on Latma’s racist attacks excused as “Israeli humor.”

Below is a picture of Blass with Latma chief editor (and Jerusalem Post deputy managing editor) Caroline Glick at the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee “hearing on the use of the Internet to promote Israel internationally,” on March 14, 2011. At the hearing, Glick told a Google/YouTube representative that “YouTube is unequivocally biased against Israel.” Good thing YouTube doesn’t have a problem with Latma’s numerous blackface comedy sketches, though.

Blass with Glick
Shlomo Blass (far right), seated next to Caroline Gick (also far right )

By the way, near the end of the 2008 MLK video, you can see King quoted as saying, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews.” That’s a fake quote, as I’ll soon be demonstrating.

“We con the world,” indeed.

Phan Nguyen
About Phan Nguyen

Phan Nguyen lives in New York and has a Twitter account: @Phan_N

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17 Responses

  1. Dan Crowther
    Dan Crowther
    January 20, 2012, 9:22 am

    Let’s get THIS in the american mainstream press! This is what gets institutional support in Israel, lets see how it flies the world over…..

    • MLE
      MLE
      January 23, 2012, 9:55 am

      Anytime anyone shows a MEMRI video, I’m going to link this right back. Got that Hasbra trolls? This video will haunt you!

  2. Shmuel
    Shmuel
    January 20, 2012, 9:57 am

    Shlomo Blass (far right), seated next to Caroline Gick (also far right )

    Funny :-)

  3. marc b.
    marc b.
    January 20, 2012, 11:01 am

    racists.

    “youtube is unequivocally biased against israel?” really, how stupid can one get? filtration by reverse osmosis? it seems that any american considering making aliyah with an IQ higher than 75 can’t pass into israel. that would explain glick at least.

    • Charon
      Charon
      January 20, 2012, 11:50 am

      Seriously. I would like to have a one on one conversation with Caroline Glick and talk about something unrelated to Israel. Like Disney World. I’m sure she would find a reason to blame Disney World for being an existential threat toward Israel. Maybe bring up that they never built an Israel pavilion in Epcot even though they were going to (seriously) or mention the temporary pavilion that hosted a pro-Israel film (also seriously) but find something bad about it. Nevermind.

      • MLE
        MLE
        January 23, 2012, 9:14 am

        I had to look that up. OMG, it’s terrible. I always thought the whole international pavilion thing was such lameness. No, you can’t experience a country and culture from a gift shop a restaurant and a short ride. Its for fat corn fed Americans who can’t be bothered to expand their cultural awareness except for a few stereotypes (France= wine and cheese, Germans drink beer, Mexicans wear sombreros and eat tacos, and Africans are savages in loin cloths with spears) Considering how expensive it is to go to Disney World, a trip to Europe would probably me a much more rewarding experience.

        Anyone who is concerned about Jerusalem should be sighing in relief that it was never completed, because it would have been terrible. How do you suck the soul out of something and take away any historic meaning to a place- have Disney recreate it for you on a plot of land in central Florida. There was absolutely nothing to gain except Israel gains another forum to declare Jerusalem to be theres and theres alone. Which is what they were trying to do in the Millenium Village pavillion they set up.

        Here’s some more on the Millenium village controversy:
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/feed/a3251-1999oct1.htm

        Wow, that really really made me mad.

  4. Leper Colonialist
    Leper Colonialist
    January 20, 2012, 1:03 pm

    Kudos to the comments of marc b. and Charon.

    I’ve got a more pressing concern – has Glick ever renounced her USA citizenship? I suspect she holds on to it the way an NRA member holds on to his 30.06. Just in case thing get too hot for Caroline in the land of her fathers and she has to hightail it back to the safety of the USA. If not, is there any way to discredit her by publicizing that inconvenient truth?

    • annie
      annie
      January 20, 2012, 1:13 pm

      isn’t the US the land of her father?

      • Leper Colonialist
        Leper Colonialist
        January 20, 2012, 6:36 pm

        “Lands of her fathers” is an old trope, used ironically [or so i thought] to indicate Glick’s religious roots in the Holy Land.

        Still, i’d love to know if she has ever renounced her USA citizenship, as she is a de facto Israeli [and, under the Law of Return, de jure as well]. Hey, there’s lots of Koreans, Chinese, East Indians, etc… clamoring to get into this great country. No sense wasting a spot on glick, as she cares so little for us.

  5. tombishop
    tombishop
    January 20, 2012, 1:48 pm

    If you have never heard (and I mean heard, not just read) Martin Luther King’s 1967 anti-Vietnam War speech, you do not really know what he was about. After hearing this there is no way you could claim that he supported the suppression and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

    Martin Luther King, “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”

    • ToivoS
      ToivoS
      January 20, 2012, 9:28 pm

      Tom this a very good point. I have found it very frustrating to hear the Zionist claim that MLK supported their oppression of the Palestinians. How can one prove a negative? Only response is to ask where is the evidence? Of course there is none.

      But listening to this speech one sees proof of the negative — if not logically, certainly emotionally. Between 1956 and 1968 there were certainly much bigger issues that MLK had to deal with and it is explicable that he avoided Israeli oppression of the native Palestinians. But for him to endorse those actions? never.

  6. NimaShirazi
    NimaShirazi
    January 20, 2012, 6:27 pm

    Thank you for this excellent piece, Phan.

    The “MLK supported Israel” hasbara has been debunked for so long now, it’s a wonder it’s still popping up. Not only have analysts like Tim Wise (in 2003), Fadi Kiblawi and Will Youmans (in 2004) thoroughly dismantled this propaganda, the Zionist-apologist group CAMERA even conceded back in 2002 that the allegedly pro-Zionist/pro-Israel letter attributed to Dr. King (which forms the entirety of the MLK hasbara claim) was “a hoax.” Naturally, CAMERA tempered its admission with the ridiculous caveat: “However, the basic message of the letter indeed reflects the sentiments of Dr. King.”

    Shameless.

    • annie
      annie
      January 20, 2012, 9:47 pm

      i second that, thanks for this excellent article, Phan.

      phan has written some really good articles for this site lately. including one the other day mlk and the peace process http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/mlk-and-the-peace-process.html

      he chimes in at the comment section.

      I know all the people from Olympia who star in that video (five of the seven people who appear in the video). I have a long list of lies they’ve told, slanders they’ve made, racist comments they’ve uttered, events they’ve disrupted, and more.

      They are not the helpless creatures they purport to be, and their depiction of how things went down in Olympia conveniently omits the active roles they played in spreading lies and trying to take down the Olympia Food Co-op.

      One of the concerned Co-op members in the video wasn’t even a Co-op member when the boycott was approved.

      I will expose the nature of the video and of the people who star in the video at some point in the future.

      really looking forward to that!

      • ToivoS
        ToivoS
        January 20, 2012, 11:27 pm

        Good point Nima and Annie, Phan does deserve kudos for putting together these informative posts.

  7. Justice Please
    Justice Please
    January 22, 2012, 7:46 pm

    Are Israels leftist Jews outraged by this racist bullshit? I hope so.

    • MLE
      MLE
      January 23, 2012, 9:47 am

      Not just leftists but everyone in Israel should ashamed of that video.

      I’m curious of the Israelis of American dissent, seeing blackface, they don’t have an initial gut reaction of disgust? Al Jolson aside, blackface and mistrel shows are a very dark spot in US history. In fact, there has yet to be a case where blackface comedy doesn’t manage to trot out old negative stereotypes. I see they got the African savage cannibal stereotype down to a tee. Congrats, latma, next time I want to see Mammy and little black sambo.

      Also there is no way you can claim that blackface doesn’t have the same cultural stigma that it does in the US. The Dutch Zwaarte Pete, Santas black faced little person servant, is some racist shit. A clue something might be racist is if you can’t find a person of African descent to help you make your video, or after reading your script, you are too embarrassed to show it to a person of African heritage because it’s just that damn offensive.

      Not to mention Caroline Glick, she should hand over her US passport in shame, because she had a hand in creating this shit. Seriously, it’s like she left the US for Israel because she didn’t feel she could express her racism enough here.

      This is what happens when racists try to produce satire.

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