This year’s Oscars was surrounded by controversy due to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. One of the winners on the night was The Zone of Interest, a film about the Holocaust which won the best international film award. Unfortunately, the comments of its director meant that one of the losers of the night was the fight against antisemitism.

In his acceptance speech, director Jonathan Glazer, standing next to his producer, James Wilson, said, “We stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack in Gaza.”

As you can see from his statement, he is saying that Israel has “hijacked” the Holocaust. He is blaming Israel from the Hamas 7 October 2023 attacks and the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

We must point out that Israel is not ‘the occupation.’ Israel is the Jewish nation living in the Jewish homeland that was given to them by God thousands of years ago. Jews do not occupy the land, they own the land. Also, Israel is not responsible for Hamas’s murderous rampage. Think about that for a moment, Glazer is saying that Israel, not Hamas, is to blame for the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Disgraceful.

Thankfully, many have come to Israel’s defence and slammed the misguided Jewish director.

The Anti Defamation League (ADL) said: “Israel is not hijacking Judaism or the Holocaust by defending itself against genocidal terrorists. Glazer’s comments at the Oscars are both factually incorrect and morally reprehensible. They minimise the Shoah (Holocaust) and excuse terrorism of the most heinous kind.”

This sentiment was echoed by László Nemes, the director of acclaimed film Son of Saul, who – like Glazer – won the foreign language Oscar for a film about the Holocaust; in Nemes’ case his 2015 movie Son of Saul, was about a Jewish prisoner forced to work in the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

“The Zone of Interest is an important movie,” Nemes wrote. “It is not made in a usual way. It questions the grammar of cinema. Its director should have stayed silent instead of revealing he has no understanding of history and the forces undoing civilisation, before or after the Holocaust.

“Had he embraced the responsibility that comes with a film like that, he would not have resorted to talking points disseminated by propaganda meant to eradicate, at the end, all Jewish presence from the Earth.”

Powerful words from clearly a much wiser director.

Now, we could say more, but it turns out all you really need to counter foolishness is the wisdom of a Holocaust survivor, in this case, 94-year-old David Schaecter.

Holocaust Survivors’ Foundation USA Open Letter to Jonathan Glazer (11 March 2024):

“I am 94 years old and the only member of 105 souls in my family to survive the Holocaust. I miraculously survived nearly three years in the hell of Auschwitz and one year in the hell of Buchenwald.

I watched in anguish Sunday night when I heard you use the platform of the Oscars ceremony to equate Hamas’s maniacal brutality against innocent Israelis with Israel’s difficult but necessary self-defence in the face of Hamas’s ongoing barbarity.

Your comments were factually inaccurate and morally indefensible.

The ‘occupation’ of which you speak has nothing to do with the Holocaust. The Jewish people’s existence and right to live in the land of Israel predates the Holocaust by hundreds of years. Today’s political and geographic landscape is the direct result of wars started by past Arab leaders who refused to accept Jewish people as their neighbours in our historic homeland. Now that several Arab countries are making peace with Israel because security and prosperity are better for all people, Iran and its terrorist proxies started another war, abetted by too many who, through naivete or malice, blame ‘the occupation.’

Worse is that you chose to use the Holocaust to validate your personal opinion. You made a Holocaust movie and won an Oscar. And you are Jewish. Good for you. But it is disgraceful for you to presume to speak for the six million Jews, including one and a half million children, who were murdered solely because of their Jewish identity.

And it is disgraceful for you to presume to speak for those of us who personally saw the world stand silent as our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were murdered. We actually had nowhere to go – no possible place of refuge. No country would accept us even though world leaders knew full well that thousands of Jews were being murdered every day. There was no Jewish nation to which we could flee.

You should be ashamed of yourself for using Auschwitz to criticise Israel.”


We have nothing more to add to that.