Advertisement

Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Is That Anti-Semitic Kazakh Journalist Speaking Hebrew?

Last year, a sketch character called Borat sang a song advising the world to throw the Jews down the well so his country could be free, and in the process he managed to convince the patrons in a country-western bar to sing along. The world’s response? Some Jewish organizations were predictably fearful–worrying about the possibility that the sketch was promoting anti-Semitism–while many individuals around the world embraced the joke, and the comedian, behind the sketch. Many of Borat’s fans were Jewish, but didn’t see it as a conflict; some of them “got the joke,” that people will do anything on camera, and the “not-so-jokey” part, that people are followers who may embrace anti-Semitism if it’s compelling enough in the moment. Other people just thought it was funny.

Advertisement

This year, Borat’s got a new movie coming out, called “Encyclopedia Borat and the Case of the Infernally Long and Unmemorable Fake Movie Title.” (Actually, the movie’s real title is “Borat’s Cultural Learnngs of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” See? Mine was easier.) So with millions of people about to be exposed to this anti-Semitic Kazakh journalist, we’ll be hearing a lot about whether the movie is good for the Jews.

While Borat’s creator, Sacha Baron Cohen, is himself Jewish–and, as a cover story in Entertainment Weekly noted, “wrote a thesis on the black-Jewish alliance in the American civil rights movement”–one of Borat’s more famous characteristics is his virulent anti-Semitism. Most recently, People reported that he expressed a wish “to meet the fearless anti-Jew warrior Melvin Gibson.” He continued, “We agree with his comments that the Jews started all wars. We also have proof that they were responsible for killing off all the dinosaurs. And Hurricane Katrina–they did it.”

Advertisement

But what’s that gibberish dialect that Borat speaks in the film? It’s supposed to be his native Kazakh language, but after viewing a new trailer, Jews the world over know the truth: Borat speaks Hebrew.

In the movie, according to a report in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (the AP of Jewish journalism): “Borat takes leave of his ancestral village, telling one resident, according to the subtitle, ‘Doltan, I’ll get you a new arm in America.’ In fact, Cohen says in Hebrew, ‘I’ll buy you some kind of a new arm.’ Borat also parries with his wife in Hebrew.” (I am citing the report for journalistic reasons, but as a Hebrew-speaker, I can verify that this is true.)

Advertisement

The Entertainment Weekly article further noted that the “Kazakh” Borat speaks is actually a blend of gibberish, Hebrew, and Polish. And Borat’s Wikipedia entry notes that the Kazakh journalist has been known to say the lyrics of a Hebrew folk song, “Koom Bachur Atzel.” (Anyone who knows that song will now have it stuck in his or her head for the rest of the day. Sorry about that.)

Clearly, the artist behind Borat doesn’t really believe Jews should all be thrown down the well, or that Jews killed the dinosaurs, any more than the creators of South Park believe that skater Brian Boitano built the pyramids and beat up Kublai Khan. But perhaps within Borat’s choice of language, there’s an additional wink in an already parodic portrayal. Perhaps it’s even a reward for the Hebrew-speakers who can see past the “anti-Semitism” and get the joke.

  • http://HASH(0xfe33780) mslily

    Just saw it, and while I would not say its a great movie (a little too gross out for me) he did recant his dislike of the Jews in the end, because during his journey he attended a Pentacostal church (which sort of pokes fun at that, too…) and has become a Christian. While he did disparage Jews, one of the funniest comments was that they should go back to NY, as there werent any Jews there! I was not offended by his asides, he poked fun at just about everything.

  • http://HASH(0xfe33f9c) l

    borat also stops mid sentence sometimes – when he tells his friend not to rape any animals, he says, in hebrew – “don’t do the…” at which point in turns in mumbo-jumbo…

Previous Posts

Wes Craven, Godfather of Horror Films, Dies at 76
Wes Craven best known as the godfather of horror films passed away August 30, 2015 after a battle with brain cancer. Craven, a director, writer, producer and actor, is best known for films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Scream series, ...

posted 8:39:27am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

90 Minutes in Heaven Hits Theaters Sept 11th
90 Minutes in Heaven is the film based on Don Piper, who died in a highway accident, experienced heaven and returned to face severe physical, emotional and spiritual challenges—has landed a distribution deal with Samuel Goldwyn Films. The ...

posted 11:32:37am Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

WM. Paul Young's Book "Eve" Hits Shelves Soon
After selling 25 million copies of his bestseller The Shack, author WM. Paul Young has written a new novel that will be one of the best books of our time - Eve. When a shipping container washes ashore on an island between our world and the ...

posted 12:01:28pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

The True Story Behind ‘Woodlawn’ Will Amaze You
The highly-anticipated film, ‘Woodlawn’ is a powerful story of courage, strength, and football in the midst of impassioned racial tensions in Birmingham, Alabama in the early ‘70s. New football coach, Tandy Gerelds was struggling to put ...

posted 9:04:51am Aug. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Little Boy Releases on DVD & Blu-ray
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_BdzqsIX6A[/youtube] The great inspirational tale about a seven-year-old boy and his efforts to bring his father back from the way, otherwise known as Little Boy, releases on Blu-ray and DVD today ...

posted 8:41:11am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.