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Why David Clennon Refused Audition for Hit & Run, a Netflix Israeli Co-pro

Hit and Run is a co-production with an Israeli company that also produced the series Fauda. David Clennon, a veteran American actor, turned down an audition because he considers Israel a racist and apartheid state. David joins Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news 

TRANSCRIPT

Paul Jay

Hi, I’m Paul Jay. Welcome to theAnalysis.news. In a few seconds, we’ll be back to discuss a new Netflix series, Hit & Run, which is a co-production with Israel. I’ll be speaking to an actor who was offered a part and turned it down because it was a co-production with Israel. Don’t forget the donate button, the subscribe button, and so on. You might have noticed, several of our videos that were deleted by YouTube are now back up. So, we’re sort of back on YouTube because they were threatening to cancel our channel. After a Matt Taibbi article called them out on it, they reversed course on two of the three videos. However, the first video of our reporting on January 6th has still been deleted. So, it ain’t over between us and YouTube on this issue, but more on that later. We’ll be back in a few seconds.

Hit & Run, the new Netflix series, is the story of a former Israeli mercenary who now runs a tour guide business. His wife is killed, and that sets him off looking for the killers. The story takes place in Israel and New York. I’ve only watched a couple of episodes, but so far, one thing that’s missing in the Israeli segments are Palestinians. Israel seems to be an entirely normal country, not one that’s occupying Palestinian territories and bombing civilians in Gaza.

The series is a co-production with an Israeli company that also produced the series Fauda. David Clennon, a veteran American actor, turned down a role in Hit & Run because he considers Israel a racist and apartheid state. He also supports the movement to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel. David Clennon is a very vocal political activist. In 1967, during the most savage years of U.S. aggression against Vietnam, Clennon turned in his Selective Service System ID card, which was a federal felony, and joined the draft resistance movement. As his career developed, he says, he always tried to follow his moral and political convictions. He turned down roles in Just Cause which promoted the death penalty, and television series Fox Show 24, which promoted torture. In 2018 Clennon engaged in a campaign to alert Emmy voters to the half-truths, distortions, and emissions in Ken Burns PBS series, The Vietnam War. Now, I’ve got to say I particularly want to talk to him about that because I thought that got so little attention, just how bad that history was. He was nominated for four Emmys but received none. Perhaps, some of that has to do with Clennon’s efforts. He’s been arrested for civil disobedience. He’s clashed with the Hollywood establishment.

The producers of the Israeli TV series, Fauda, offered Clennon an undisclosed role in season two, but Clennon publicly stated that he rejected the opportunity because of his support for Palestinians. Clennon played Palmer in John Carpenter’s The Thing, 1982. He got his first film role in 1973’s The Paper Chase and followed up with Bound for Glory in 1976, Coming Home in 1978, and Being There in ’79. In his movies, he’s worked with Jack Lemmon, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon, amongst many others. He moved into TV drama in The Migrants and several roles in the classic comedy Barney Miller. He’s most famous for his role as Miles Dantrell on the acclaimed drama ThirtySomething in 1987.

It’s quite unusual for an actor, as successful as David Clennon, to be so outspoken on political issues and to turn down roles and political conviction. It’s particularly unique to take such a strong position on Israeli apartheid while working in Hollywood, where even most liberals shy away from criticizing Israel, succumbing to the pressure that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism. Now joining us is David Clennon. Thanks very much for joining me, David.

David Clennon

Thank you, Paul. Good to be here.

Paul Jay

So, tell us the story, first of all, what happened with Hit & Run, and later in the interview, we’ll talk more about your history.

David Clennon

Sure. First, I have to correct you. I was not offered the role of Martin Wexler in, Hit & Run. I was given an opportunity to audition for the role, but when I discovered that it was a collaboration between Hollywood companies and maybe more than one Israeli company, that’s when I told my agents that I would not audition for the part. I would not create a video of myself reading the part submitted to the casting people.

Paul Jay

Now, how did your agents react to that?

David Clennon

They tolerate my decisions, and they don’t– so I– for understanding. I believe one of their current clients is also Ed Asner. Ed is very outspoken and contentious, so maybe they like clients who are kind of feisty. They also need to pay the rent, so I appreciate them being understanding in situations like this. Most of the time, I don’t object to anything in the material, but this was a special occasion, and I felt that I wanted to be a part of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement. So, I wrote an article about my decision, and I submitted it to Truthout. They published it, and it created something of a stir or a considerable clash among Internet trolls, saying some pretty nasty stuff. I thought that it was worthwhile to do that because it raised the issue of boycotting Israel on the cultural front.

Paul Jay

So, when in your activism did the issue of BDS in Israel become so important to you? Was there a set of events, or was that always part of your politics?

David Clennon

I believe that the BDS came into focus, for me, during the 1914 attack on Gaza, where I joined protests at the Israeli consulate in Los Angeles.

Paul Jay

You said 1914.

David Clennon

I’m sorry, 2014. There have been so many massacres in Gaza that I lose track. I believe that in 2014 there was one that was particularly atrocious. It was at that point that I became acquainted with Jewish Voice for Peace and the issue of boycott and divestment began to come into focus for me. I was attracted to the idea because I felt that it had been effective in ending apartheid in South Africa, as well as there being a precedent. The organization Artists for a New South Africa gave us, in the present moment, a template, I think, for a BDS movement in Hollywood.

Paul Jay

What’s been the reaction to your article and not auditioning for the role in Hollywood? I know you talked about trolls on the Internet, but what about producers, actors, people that might hire you in the future?

David Clennon

I don’t think that I’ll ever know what their real reactions are or what action they might take. There was one very outspoken producer. He was one of the producers on Call Me by Your Name, which was a film that came out two or three years ago. It had some Academy Award nominations– I believe it won an award for Best Adapted Screenplay. This producer wrote a comment on an article in the Jewish Journal, which is a widely circulated magazine in Los Angeles. He said, I’m going to get my Jewish friends to blacklist this guy or to punish him for what he has done, but that someone who spoke out to me, and I don’t think that most– Hollywood is not a transparent city-state. There’s a lot of opacity here, and most of us who operate in Hollywood will never know what transpires in the offices and the boardrooms of the corporate owners and managers. So, I can’t be sure what might have happened as a result of publishing that article.

Paul Jay

Yeah, it’s not hard to speculate, though, given most of them, certainly, Jewish establishment in Hollywood– however not only Jewish establishment – there’s a very strong pro-Israel, pro-Zionist positioning there. So, you had to know that. I mean, you could have just turned down the audition and not written the article, but you really did want to make a point out of all this, and you were willing to accept the consequences.

David Clennon

Right, and I did it in the hope that it would encourage other actors and other artists, behind the camera, to think about what they’re doing when they sell themselves and their talents to companies. Possibly making projects that don’t reflect the values of the artist or being made by companies whose agenda they wouldn’t agree with. So, I was hopeful that it would begin a conversation about that issue. I think, by the way, you’re right to make a distinction between the Jewish community within Hollywood and the world of Hollywood as a whole. Some people have said that Hollywood is a Jewish town which is not only inaccurate, in my opinion, but it’s ethnically offensive. I would argue you could make a case that Hollywood is a Zionist town filled with Christian Zionists and secular Zionists. There’s a widespread consensus among people who wield power in the business that Israel is a special country, a special nation, and needs to be treated and defended. So, I believe that you’re right that support for Israel is not only a Jewish phenomenon in Hollywood, but it’s a very widespread phenomenon. It doesn’t matter what people’s religions may be, whether they have a religion or not, or what ethnic origin they might have; there seems to be a consensus within Hollywood that Israel is a state that must be respected and defended by all of us in this town.

Paul Jay

Just to make the point even more strongly, the vast majority of Hollywood have no power at all. The vast majority of working actors and technicians and all the others, especially actors, I mean, what is it, four or 5% of actors actually make a living acting?

David Clennon

Something like that, yeah. 

Paul Jay

So, I would guess, the vast majority of actors do not share this kind of vision. That it’s really a vision of the corporate Democratic Party that goes right back into Democratic Party foreign policy, which not only sees America as the great bringer of democracy to the world, but they see Israel as the defender of democracy in the Middle East. There’s a thing I say about the United States, and I believe these people apply this to Israel. They think– this is me saying this, the United States does bad things, but they do it for good reasons. I think they apply that to Israel. Oh, yes, they do horrible stuff, but they do it for good reasons, and it’s part of this same vision of the role of America– and of course, this establishment in Hollywood is one of the main funders of the corporate Democratic Party. So, you can’t really separate the two. Knowing all that, knowing, not only are you going to be potentially subject to some economic consequences here, and I’m sure you already got this, but now you’re going to get it more. Now, of course, you’re a self-hating Jew, and you’re promoting and helping the anti-Semitism, so how much of that do you get?

David Clennon

Well, so far, I have not been called a self-hating Jew because I’m not a Jew.

Paul Jay

Oh, I thought you were. I read somewhere you were.

David Clennon

So, the accusation against me would not be self-hating Jew. It would be straightforward, anti-Semitic.

Paul Jay

Right.

David Clennon

I prefer the more straightforward term Jew-hatred or Jew-hater.

So, yes, that is an accusation that we have to contend with, and by the way, I also agree with you. Ninety-nine and a half percent of the actors and other cultural workers in Hollywood are peons. We are working-class, working stiffs, and we have to keep our opinions pretty much to ourselves because it’s not a town that tolerates controversy.

Paul Jay

So, why did you stick your neck out?

David Clennon

I guess it had to do with a sense of urgency about the injustice that I see in the world and a kind of nagging conscience that tells me you have to do something about this. You can’t just sit, you can’t just go about your life, you have to recognize this, you have to call it what it is, and then you have to do something about it. Do whatever you can in your little corner of the world, which is all I have. I have an occupation, a family, I live in California, but I have no real power.

I think we can all do something to combat injustice when we see it, and so I think it’s that combination of a perception of injustice, which as an actor, I have time to look into from not working very much. So, I had time to study, inform myself, and converse with other people. In the course of that, if you have time, you see the injustice and, of course, the catastrophe that’s impending for all of us in climate change, but you also see injustice. If you have some sense about injustice, you– it feels like air pollution. The injustice may not be taking place on your block, but it’s poison. You, your family, and your children are breathing it in. So, there’s that sense of injustice, and then there’s a conscience, I think – I don’t know whether that comes from my Catholic upbringing. We were groomed, or we were taught to be very sensitive to the question of right and wrong in our lives. There were lengthy interpretations of the 10 Commandments, and we had catechism classes. I grew up with a kind of in-built conscience that I probably couldn’t shut up even if I wanted it to.

Paul Jay

When we talked on the phone before the interview a couple of days ago, you made it clear that– first of all, because of your support for BDS, you don’t think there should be these co-productions with an Israeli production company, but you also had issues with the content of these kinds of shows. Wvhat was that about?

David Clennon

Fauda was the forerunner of Hit & Run, and I believe 100% Israeli produced. The dialog was all in Arabic or Hebrew. It was a homegrown Israeli production that Netflix decided to buy and stream. So, it appears– we don’t have any hard data− that Fauda was a popular success. I believe it was as well, which brings up the subject of television critics and film critics who seem to be politically clueless.

Paul Jay

What was your issue with– what didn’t you like about Fauda?

David Clennon

Fauda takes place in Israel proper, within the green line, and in the occupied territories. It asks the audience to follow and to sympathize with a group of military special forces infiltrators who enter Palestinian society pretending to be Palestinian so that we undermine the resistance within Palestine. Of course, the focus is– so much American and world international entertainment has to have good guys and bad guys. The ultimate guy is [inaudible 00:31:34], and there are levels of guilt, I think you would say, within the Palestinian community that is resisting the offer. The producers always find that this is about one evil terrorist. Along the way, we’re going to show you, as almost human beings– I’m not articulating this very well, but I feel that the import of Fauda was that the occupation was not an issue. The issue was Palestinian resistance which had to be combatted by darker-skinned Israelis who could plausibly pass as Palestinian so that they could infiltrate the Palestinians, spy on them, and take whatever actions that were necessary.

Now my opinion is based on the premiere episode of the show. People may see episode nine in the second season, where what you see contradicts what you’re saying right now. I think I absorbed a lot of information from the premiere episode. That’s what sets the ball in motion, that is designed to engage the audience for the first time and tells you this is what we’re about. These are the people you’re going to be watching, caring about, and rooting for, so here it is. I also read about people who sat through many more hours, including a reviewer for Jewish Parents who confirmed the impression that I had that Fauda is basically a racist show which gets a lot of– for not caricaturing every single Palestinian in the drama.

So, it glorifies and asks you to sympathize with the Mizrahi who –very interesting wrinkle− they have to prove themselves to lighter-skinned superiors. I don’t know if you saw the show, but I’m curious to know what your response was to that. It’s a very intriguing aspect of it because Lior Raz, the star of Fauda and now the star of Hit & Run, a darker-skinned Israeli, possibly of Arabic ancestry, and self-identifies as Jewish. It raises that interesting angle− and I don’t know how many people in the international audience got that. I’m assuming that everyone in the Palestinian audience or the Israeli audience saw that there was an intriguing little twist in this episode because these special force operatives are able to function the way they do by looking more like Palestinians. I think there’s something even a little bit insidious about that because I’m pretty confident that there is some serious racism in the Jewish community within Israel, where darker skin is one thing, and lighter skin signifies something else.

Paul Jay

Even amongst the Jews, there’s no doubt− like Ethiopian Jews and others of darker complexion− there’s no question that there’s a racial pecking order. I mean, I’ve been to Israel a couple of times, and I’ve seen it. I only saw a little bit of Fauda, and then I didn’t want to watch anymore. It was pissing me off too much. It’s sort of like watching police shows about American cities where the cops are policing impoverished areas of a major city where there are drugs and crime. You can have a good cop, and you can have a bad cop, but the underlying assumption is never questioned, which is, why is all this crime taking place? Obviously, it’s because of chronic poverty, and obviously, it’s because of the way these laws encourage police to be brutal to defend the wealthy neighborhoods. Crime isn’t supposed to ever spill into the white neighborhoods, so these police shows− well, they may show you a bad cop, but they’ll never question why the hell is this crime continuing. I found Fauda was similar− from what I saw, and the whole question of the occupation is never talked about. Certainly, the underlying problem is never brought to the surface, even if it shows you some complexity in the characters of the Israelis, who can have a dark side, or the Palestinians, as you say, can be humanized. It’s still, within the context, of not questioning why are Palestinians fighting using these kinds of tactics? I totally disagree with these tactics, but I get why when you’re desperate, you do desperate things. It’s the occupation that doesn’t get critiqued so –

David Clennon

Right, well that’s – go ahead.

Paul Jay

Yeah, well, I was going to jump through another topic here. If you want to say something first, go ahead.

David Clennon

Well, I can guess the topic you want to go to. You and I both object strenuously, to the content, to the premises, and to the assumptions of Fauda. Now, I read portions of the script of Hit & Run, and I think you said at the beginning of our conversation that in Hit & Run, you don’t really get a sense that there are Palestinians in this place called Israel or this place called Tel Aviv.

Paul Jay

Now, what I saw, which was maybe the first two or three episodes.

David Clennon

Okay, so it’s almost as if they don’t exist. They’re neither bad guys nor good guys. They’re just invisible. That was your experience so far, and I am prepared to believe that Hit & Run is political. That it doesn’t read on the issue of the Zionist occupation of British mandate Palestine. It’s just an action thriller that happens to take place in Tel Aviv, then move to New York, and back and forth. It’s a generic thriller with some great twists, turns, and revelations. You can’t attack it as being propaganda for apartheid. I’m willing to believe that. I’m willing to grant that− but the point for me is that there is this collaboration between Israeli television companies, producers, or writers, and American companies, producers, or writers. That unification, even if it’s only commercial, has means because it normalizes the state of Israel. It normalizes Israeli society, and it normalizes the Israeli commercial production of goods, including television shows. I think that it tells us, as the audience, that these companies or commercial enterprises can collaborate and create good entertainment for you. To accept that without question, I think, is a way of saying I accept the occupation. I accept the apartheid system. The people who are making this television with my people can’t be bad people because they’re entertaining me together. By golly, I can’t find anything political about this show. It’s just really engaging, who done it, hit & run, and take the punch. It’s exciting stuff, so I will repeat myself. 

Paul Jay

Well, what do you say to people who say that countries around the world shouldn’t coproduce with the United States then? Because the United States has committed more crimes around the world than Israel has. There’s no doubt that Israel has committed these crimes, but they’re enabled by the United States. Israel wouldn’t be what it is without American support and in terms of the amount of wars carried out. We’re witnessing, as we speak, another chapter in the destruction of Afghan society with everything that’s going on.

David Clennon

Right.

Paul Jay

Iraq, Vietnam, and you can go on and on, that to refuse to coproduce with Israel means you should extend that to not coproducing with the United States.

David Clennon

Well, I think, Paul, that fits into the larger scheme of the objective before that BDS and others who oppose the state of Israel− we’re picking on Israel. It’s the language that many people use. Why are you picking on Israel? It’s unfair. It’s hypocritical to pick on Israel. Why are you doing it? To answer your question, if a Canadian or German film company declared that they were pulling out of a scheduled production because they did not want to be associated with the United States and its racist, imperialist, militaristic policies, I would say great. I don’t own a German, Irish, Australian, or New Zealand company to which I could decide not to do any work with the United States. However, I would welcome that decision by any country in the world. As a BDS supporter and activist, can I tell Ireland, France, or Germany, to stop doing business with us? I don’t have that kind of power. I can say that, yes, but why pick on Israel to use your language.

Paul Jay

I didn’t say that. 

David Clennon

I think it might have been someone else.

Paul Jay

Yeah, but–

David Clennon

I apologize if I mischaracterized what you said, but the spirit of it is, you’re picking on this little guy, and it’s really unfair. First of all, the idea that the most powerful military, I believe, in all of the Middle East− they’re the little guys is accurate, so I object to that idea that BDS is this big bully picking on little Israel. I think there’s something not skewed right there. So, picking on Israel– and I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but the other part of your question is, why not target other nations who are equally racist, brute, and democratic. I mean, is that not a question that the Zionist apologists ask?

Paul Jay

Yeah.

David Clennon

I’m right. 

Paul Jay

Yeah.

David Clennon

So, I think that–

Paul Jay

I’m not saying that, but that certainly is a critique of BDS. Now, there are critiques of BDS I do agree with, but I don’t agree with those ones. I think there’s good reasons to target Israeli apartheid, so that wouldn’t be my position. I think there’s–

David Clennon

Okay.

Paul Jay

If I were an actor, I would take the same position you did, and I would do it for the reason that there’s a particular responsibility to force the conversation on the Israeli occupation and the attacks on Gaza. If you’re in a position to be able to force that conversation, I would do it. My issues with BDS are a little different. I’m a little more with [Noam] Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein, who have some critiques of it, but I don’t personally have any– I mean, I would not work with an Israeli production company, let’s be clear about that but go ahead.

David Clennon

So, you mentioned Chomsky and Finkelstein. Lots of other people who are on the fence would cite Chomsky and Finkelstein− and I think Chomsky’s position is evolving. Finkelstein is one of the bravest human beings I can think of, and I take their– and I don’t know what their specific critiques are for the question. I’m a simple-minded guy, so the question that I always have to answer is if you’re not going to participate in BDS, back it and give it your full support; what are you doing? Show me another action and if I think that it will ameliorate the injustice, the oppression, and the crimes against property and people. If I’m convinced that will work, I’ll do it, but if you’re refusing to engage in this because you have certain objections to it, the question is, what the fuck else are you doing?

Paul Jay

Are you asking me the question? Because I’ll answer it. I’m happy to answer.

David Clennon

No, I’m asking –

Paul Jay

I mean, listen, Chomsky and Finkelstein, I think, have made a big contribution in condemning the occupation and the attacks on Gaza. They’ve done a tremendous amount of educating and raising public opinion about Israeli action. So, I mean, I think they’ve done a lot, and I also think you turning down this part of the audition and speaking out publicly is a real contribution. So, I mean, to really get into the BDS issues, maybe, will be a whole other conversation. I certainly think Israel deserves a boycotting and deserves disinvestment. I think the conversation that’s been sparked on university campuses and elsewhere, generally, by BDS has really been a good thing, but I do think that at least some of the BDS leadership or some of the people in BDS– I’m getting more from Finkelstein and Chomsky. To essentially go to the point, there shouldn’t be any state of Israel at all, so it should be boycotted, sanctioned, and so on, as it shouldn’t exist, and thus, there shouldn’t be any contact with it. I take Finkelstein’s point that whether– if you were back at the UN vote, in the founding of the state of Israel, one may be able to argue that, but they’re actually is a legal state now called Israel. That doesn’t mean it needs to be a racist, theocratic state. It doesn’t mean it has to be a Jewish state. In fact, any state to me that’s based on religion or ethnicity is a racist state, and Israel is not the only one. I mean, Iran is another one. Iran’s a theocracy, Saudi Arabia’s a theocracy, and Israel is, essentially. They call themselves democratic, but you can’t be democratic and be a theocracy at the same time, in my mind, so it’s a legal state.

Chomsky, if I’m understanding his critique, he thinks this demand of the right of return− now, I don’t know if he’s changed his mind on this. I was just reading something of his from a few years ago that the right of return is a legitimate demand, but it’s not one that’s going to happen anywhere within the realm of the current state of Israel. I mean, if you had a right of return, you would have, I don’t know, how many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, moving back into Israel and–

David Clennon

With keys to their homes in hand.

Paul Jay

Yeah.

David Clennon

Yup.

Paul Jay

So, Chomsky’s point here is− I don’t think that would be wrong from any moral point of view, it’s just, what is the practical political effect of that demand? I think it’s important that as much as Israel has become thoroughly racist as a society– and last time I was there, I just went in for a few hours.

David Clennon

It was always racist, wasn’t it?

Paul Jay

Well, I think the concept of a Jewish state from day one is a racist concept, yes, but amongst the public opinion– I was there as a teenager in 1967, just before the war, and my sister was there. Then I went again just a few years ago. I was on my way to Ramallah. I spent most of my time in the occupied territories, but I was in Israel for a few days. The level of overt racism, just talking to people on the streets, was very different than in the mid-60s when I was there. It was– I can’t describe it. I don’t know, even in the Jim Crow South of the United States, the ease with which people talked about Palestinians as if they were animals.

I interviewed this young Palestinian girl. She was in a Beirut refugee camp, and I was interviewing her on camera. I asked her, what would be your message to the Israeli Jewish kids? This young 13-14-year-old girl who’d been smiling, talking about her life and her problems in a normal way, looked at me very sternly, and she said, I wish you were dead. I said that’s what you would say to them? Why? Then she said, because I saw on television, they were preparing bombs to drop on Gaza, and they had a group of Jewish children. They took chalk, and they were writing their names on the bombs. It was on Israeli television, and I confirmed this later. This actually was on Israeli television, and she saw it. I mean, that level, that’s depraved, and then you wonder why young Palestinian kids get so desperate. I mean, it’s unbelievable, really, that there’s been practically no terrorism for years, and that’s because the Palestinians themselves decided it was a negative tactic. The extent of racism is so profound in Israel− now I have lost track of what I was saying, but the– so in terms of BDS, though– this is what I was heading at. I think it’s very important for the Palestinians and everyone who is in solidarity with Palestinians, in any sense of justice, not to help the process of fascism and racism in Israel. What I mean by that is, there are− at least there were, there’s less now− elements within Israeli society− there are still some who don’t agree with the bombing of Gaza, who don’t agree with the occupation, who either want a two-state solution, and there’s Jewish Israelis who are for one person, one vote, single-state, which to me makes the most sense but –

David Clennon

[inaudible 00:56:46] 

Paul Jay

That’s where the question comes, do you push the right of return? If it’s not a really winnable demand, does it actually unify Israeli public opinion against any kind of concession and compromise? Political demands, they’re not just a moral question. In my mind, it also has to be can you win the thing and–

David Clennon

That’s a political calculation, and Chomsky is predicting the implementation of the right of return will have overwhelmingly negative consequences. Noam is a truth-teller. When he ventures into prediction, he’s no more qualified than you or I to make those predictions and to say, let’s not do something because it might have negative consequences for the people we care about. Now, I just want to say that one of your programs that I really admired was when you had, for the third time– I didn’t see it the first time, Shir Hever, from Germany. 

Paul Jay

Yeah.

David Clennon

He said such wonderful, intelligent things, like, the BDS movement isn’t my movement. It’s not an American movement. It’s not a British or German movement. We don’t own it. We follow. I’m a follower, I’m simple-minded, and if I see that the Palestinian people are asking us to isolate Israel economically, culturally, intellectually, or academically− I take that very seriously. Your guest, Shir Hever, said– I believe, I’m quoting him, “We shouldn’t be talking about one or two-state solutions or Hamas versus Fatah. That’s none of our business,” and he lays out the three conditions which were put together by the Palestinian originators of the movement. One, end the occupation: two, equal rights for all citizens. Three, respect the right of return. So, those are the three demands, and I thank you for educating me by presenting Shir on your show. Those are the endpoints at which the Palestinian Leadership Movement would call an end to Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.

So, number one, do we agree with those goals? Do we agree with the Palestinian people who are making those demands, and how can we help them to isolate Israel, in my case, culturally? I’m not an economist. I’m not a businessman. I work in show business, and how can I support the BDS movement? I say that, respectfully, about Noam and respectfully about Finkelstein. I think they’re great minds and great truth-tellers, but they’re not infallible political strategists. I wonder if they’re listening as closely as they should be to the leadership in the Palestinian civil society.

Paul Jay

Well, I was going to get to the Ken Burns Vietnam show− I’m going to let you have the last word on BDS, as I don’t think we have time to do that now. So, we’ll have another conversation about your life and your activism, but I thank you for joining me. I certainly− just to put a final note on the BDS thing, the final decision, whether BDS is up to the Palestinians. No doubt they’ve called for it, or certainly many of the Palestinian activists have called for it, and I don’t think there’s much doubt the majority of Palestinians support it, but in the final analysis, they’re the ones that are going to have to decide their tactics.

David Clennon

Well, I want to thank you for having me on. Thank you for interviewing Gabriel Byrne, Shir Hever, and Matt Taibbi. I think that you have made a real contribution. I don’t know whether you’ve promised to bring me back or if you’ve said something, like, it would be nice to have me back.

Paul Jay

No. I want to do it. I definitely want to go through with it. I want to talk–

David Clennon

Yeah, there’s a lot more to say about the impact of culture on the way people think. I’m going to end with this; the best propaganda is good entertainment.

Paul Jay

All right, thanks very much for joining me, Dave.

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2 Comments

  1. > I have to correct you.
    > I was not offered the role of Martin Wexler in, Hit & Run.
    > I was given an opportunity to audition for the role,
    > but when I discovered that it was a collaboration between Hollywood companies and maybe more than one Israeli company, that’s when I told my agents that I would not audition for the part.

    Who cares? Never heard of the guy, but this must have seemed like a great opportunity for free PR exposure to prospective radical anti-Semite fans. Maybe he blames “the dreaded Jews” for his own lack of success as an actor? A real non-story of an almost completely unknown actor who probably knew ahead of time he was not going to get the role … he’s getting older, and he is not famous for anything, so he decides to try to appeal to the Progressive counterparts to the brain-dead Trump uninformed extremists on the Right and grind his axe.

    You know what make a very interesting story? Any story looking at and perhaps a little critical of the Palestinian system of government and why the make the decision that Palestinians have to devote their lives and their futures to the destruction of Israel and not making peace and building a country for their future? Reporters can go all over Israel and there is freedom of speech, yet somehow some factions of those on the extreme Left in the West that don’t report on the fact that any news or images coming out of Palestine are controlled by and Islamic censorship group. Paul Jay apparently only cares about censorship when it is YouTube censoring him, not the shutting out and shutting up of Palestinians.

    Alternatively a really interesting story might explore the reasons Left media outlets for some reason brand associate Middle Eastern tyrannies and terrorists with Leftist political thought and ideas when none of these countries or groups are remotely democratic, progressive, egalitarian, liberal, free, etc, etc, etc …. what is the attraction to the Left? I think it is a fake media-manufactured association.

    With no real obvious factual reason for that one might wonder if there is a connection with extreme Right-Wing money paid to Left wing ideologues who are not really what they seem, but co-opted by the Right and paid to discredit their own politics for money? The better the stories are on the honest side of theAnalysis.News, the more they are discredited and repulsed by unquestioned siding against Israel in every single case.

    How about a story about democracy, voting, elections and media in Palestine?

    OK, so let’s see if you take the normal 3+ weeks to moderate and finally publish this comment, after everyone else has commented and the story is stale and in the past, like you have on have most of my other comments on this subject?

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