Rankin Foul

Acclaimed photographer and director Rankin seems determined to let us all know his name should be pronounced with a ‘W’.

And you probably have to be British to get that joke, but not to worry. The point is something is rotten in England, and Rankin is just another indication of that.

rankinSo why did the actress with the cleanest PR track record in Hollywood opt for the latter and part ways with the former? According to the acclaimed photographer and director – who has not only worked with Johansson on a number of occasions, but has also shot for Oxfam in the Congo and in Kenya – the power of a far-right pro-Israeli lobby within the US makes it increasingly tough for creative artists to take the ethical high ground in favour of Palestinians.

“I asked, actually, Oxfam if I could go to Palestine because I’m interested in what happens in Palestine,” he told The Independent. But speaking of his desire to shine a light on the plight of the Palestinian people, he said he was informed by others that choosing to do this could have a bad impact on his livelihood.

“I’m fascinated from a humanitarian perspective. I’m interested in why two religions can’t find common ground,” he said.

So why did the actress with the cleanest PR track record in Hollywood opt for the latter and part ways with the former? According to the acclaimed photographer and director – who has not only worked with Johansson on a number of occasions, but has also shot for Oxfam in the Congo and in Kenya – the power of a far-right pro-Israeli lobby within the US makes it increasingly tough for creative artists to take the ethical high ground in favour of Palestinians.

“I asked, actually, Oxfam if I could go to Palestine because I’m interested in what happens in Palestine,” he told The Independent. But speaking of his desire to shine a light on the plight of the Palestinian people, he said he was informed by others that choosing to do this could have a bad impact on his livelihood.

“I’m fascinated from a humanitarian perspective. I’m interested in why two religions can’t find common ground,” he said.

“I think the reason that she has not backed down is because in America, the Jewish zealots are so powerful. Especially in the entertainment industry… What they could do to her career,” he added, admitting he had “negative views” on SodaStream’s West Bank operation.

“The main problem for me in all this is that kind of extreme Judaism. That extreme belief that this is their homeland and those people are worthless to them. That’s very powerful in America. They will blacklist you. It’s worse than McCarthyism. Are you pro-Palestinian? Forget it.

“People have said to me that if you go to Palestine you will be put on a list and it doesn’t matter if you’re a humanitarian. You will be put on a list. And I’m not political. I’m not anti-American. I’m not religious. I don’t even believe in God. I’m just about human beings.”

Clearly, Rankin’s problem is with Jews.

For a start, he doesn’t seem to have any trouble with the “Muslim zealots.” You know, the ones blowing up buses, stabbing entire families to death and sniping at babies. He also seems to be unable to distinguish between the “extreme Judaism” of “Jewish zealots” (what I believe is his derogatory term for observant Jews who believe in the sanctity of the land of Israel) and the Jews of the entertainment industry who are overwhelmingly liberal and irreligious and – in many cases – not particularly Zionist in nature. And suggesting all observant Jews consider palestinians to be “worthless” is a grotesque lie and antithetical to Jewish belief that all men were created in the image of G-d.

So, yeah, he’s antisemitic.

The Independent isn’t much better either, with its seeming endorsement of his rant.

The strength of pro-Israel lobby groups in the US, led by the hugely powerful Israel Public Affairs Committee – known as Aipac, boasting 100,000 members and a $67m annual budget – is often criticised by Palestinian groups, however.

Functions held by the American Friends of the Citizen’s Empowerment Centre in Israel are reported to have been attended by heads of Hollywood studios including Warner Bros, Fox, Paramount, Sony Pictures.

The Creative Community for Peace has also reportedly assembled top entertainment executives – including leaders at NBC, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Time Warner – in support of Israel to provide “balanced information” about the region.

I suggest Rankin sticks to taking photos and shutters the f*** up.

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About Aussie Dave

An Aussie immigrant to Israel, Aussie Dave is founder of Israellycool, one of the world's most popular pro-Israel blogs (and the one you are currently reading) He is a happy family man, and a lover of steak, Australian sports and girlie drinks