ADL Statement on "Defamation," a Documentary Film by Yoav Shamir
Two years ago Yoav Shamir approached the Anti-Defamation League for assistance on a documentary he was making on the subject of anti-Semitism. We provided him wide access to film ADL in action, in our offices, at our annual national meeting, on leadership missions in Italy, Ukraine and Poland, and in Israel. Our expectation was that his documentary would present a serious portrait of what Jews worldwide face today -- anti-Semitism in both its age-old and new forms, and the actions taken to counter it.
After seeing "Defamation" we can only say the film fell far short of our expectation. Rather than document anti-Semites and their hatred of Jews and the Jewish State of Israel, the film belittles the issue and portrays the work of ADL and that of his own country as inconsequential. There was so much more Shamir could have and should have done.
"Defamation" is neither enlightening, nor edifying, nor compelling. It distorts the prevalence and impact of anti-Semitism and cheapens the Holocaust. It is Shamir's perverse, personal, political perspective and a missed opportunity to document a serious and important issue.
-- May 8, 2009
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.