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Sunday, September 04, 2005

 

Kanye Remember Redgrave?

Rapper Kanye West rightfully stated on an NBC TV special telethon that it was not fair that black victims of Hurricane Katrina are called "looters" while whites are portrayed as "looking for food."

" I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, 'They're looting.' You see a white family, it says, 'They're looking for food.' And, you know, it's been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black. And even for me to complain about it, I would be a hypocrite because I've tried to turn away from the TV because it's too hard to watch. I've even been shopping before even giving a donation, so now I'm calling my business manager right now to see what is the biggest amount I can give, and just to imagine if I was down there, and those are my people down there. So anybody out there that wants to do anything that we can help -- with the way America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible. I mean, the Red Cross is doing everything they can. We already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way -- and they've given them permission to go down and shoot us!"

West's comments recall another celebrity who spoke publicly at the 1978 Oscar awards. As an effigy of her was burned outside Vanessa Redgrave accepted the award for Best Supporting Actress for Julia: "My dear colleagues, I thank you very very much for this tribute to my work. I think that Jane Fonda and I have done the best work of our lives, and I salute you and I pay tribute to you, and I think you should be very proud that in the last few weeks you have stood firm and you have refused to be intimidated by the threats of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world and to their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression. And I pledge to you that I will continue to fight against anti-Semitism and fascism. Thank you."

The reply to West from NBC Universal: "Tonight's telecast was a live television event wrought with emotion. Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks. It would be most unfortunate if the efforts of the artists who participated tonight and the generosity of millions of Americans who are helping those in need are overshadowed by one person's opinion."

Redgrave was harassed by Zionists before and after her Oscar remarks. Before, and the reason for the 1977 burning in effigy, because of a film that she financed "The Palestinian." And after according to Rachelle Marshall in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs:

"In 1980 Vanessa Redgrave was [again] burned in effigy outside CBS studios in Hollywood and Philadelphia . . . snipers fired shots into one of the buildings, and . . . station KNXT-TV in Los Angeles reported 'numerous bomb threats,' all because Redgrave had been chosen for the role of a concentration camp inmate in the CBS television film 'Playing for Time.' "

The president of the American Jewish Congress called her "selection for the role 'grotesque.'"

Fania Fenelon Goldstein, the author of the book, said that Redgrave "is known to be anti-Semitic."

Theodore Bikel, president of Actor's Equity "was quoted as saying that in the film ['The Palestinian'] PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat had called for the liquidation of Israel and Redgrave had agreeed." Redgrave denied this to no avail. "In April 1982 the Boston Symphony Orchestra cancelled a sold-out performance of Stravinsky's 'Oedipus Rex,' with narration by Vanessa Redgrave, because some financial supporters of the orchestra claimed her appearance would offend the Jewish community. On at least two other occasions since then, American productions have been cancelled because objections were raised to Redgrave's appearance." In addition, Redgrave has been called a "terrorist" and labelled as an anti-Semite.

Redgrave infuriated Zionists because she, unlike Condoleeza Rice, who disingenuously commented on the administration's lacksadaisical efforts to evacuate the mainly African-American survivors: "That Americans would somehow in a color-affected way decide who to help and who not to help - I just don't believe it," recognized injustice as did West and was willing to speak to it and put her money behind it.

Vanessa Redgrave met some Palestinians in Paris in 1976. "They told her about the siege of Tal al-Zatar, a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, which right-wing Falange militias trained by Israel had bombarded for months, cutting the inhabitants down with sniper fire when they dared to leave the camp for water. By the end of the siege, 3,500 men, women and children had been killed."

Redgrave sold two of her houses in London, and went to Lebanon, where she filmed "The Palestinian," which premiered in London in 1977. PBS and all other networks refused to show the film in the US.

"After her experience in Lebanon, Redgrave concluded that 'Everything Winnie Mandela wrote about her people under apartheid is true of the Palestinians . . . with one essential difference: Palestinians do not have the right to live in their own country, not even to be buried there.'"

Kanye West's final remarks were deleted for the West Coast, "George Bush doesn't care about black people!"

George Bush, along with European leaders, doesn't care about Palestinians, either. Maybe the time is ripe for more among us to stand up like Vanessa Redgrave and Kanye West to tell our representatives to start caring. A start would be to earmark the two billion dollars Congress has not yet approved for the colonisers of Gaza for the people in the US who must be resettled. It would be a tragedy if billions were used to move the colonisers into other colonies where they could sow more misery for their victims, the Palestinians, at the same time robbing the US taxpayers and the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

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