Omar Cy plays the unlikely carer of a rich quadriplegic, played by Francois Cluzet, in the smash hit Untouchable
If you'll pardon the Yiddish expression, Jews the world over kvell with pride when they learn that the makers of the film 'Untouchable' are two French Jews of North African origin, Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano.
The film has confounded all expectations and enchanted
audiences all over the world. It's one of the box-office smash hits of
'Untouchable' is the story of a black carer 'from the other side of the tracks' who injects a bit of excitement into a rich paraplegic's limited existence - limited, that is, from the neck down.
But the actor who plays the quadriplegic, Francois Cluzet, has been outspoken on behalf of a Palestinian terrorist with a French mother, Salah Hamouri. Hamouri, a member of the Marxist PFLP, was jailed for seven years for plotting to assassinate the Sephardi chief rabbi Ovadia Yosef. Having become something of a 'cause celebre', he was subsequently released in the exchange with the Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit in 2011, but remains unrepentant.
Cluzet has never been challenged for falsely alleging, on France's FR 2 (the TV channel which first broke the 'Al Dura' hoax), that Hamouri was jailed by Israel merely for speaking out against Israeli 'colonialism'. In spite of the main watchdog against antisemitism (BNVCA) berating them for 'disinformation and incitement to hatred', the French media have never made any effort to correct Cluzet's lies.
Where do Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano stand? The two friends are ostensibly proud of their heritage. Their first film was based on their experiences running the Jewish summer camp of Yaniv. They appeared on French-Jewish radio to promote their film 'Untouchable'.
But instead of condemning Cluzet's political views, they gave evasive and mealy-mouthed answers. They claimed that Cluzet had been misunderstood and misrepresented.
Cluzet is not the first, nor will he be the last, actor to hold anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian views. Hollywood is full of 'useful idiots' like him. Hardly a week goes by without some celebrity climbing on a boycott bandwagon or signing petitions.
If Cluzet is nominated for an Oscar in February 2013, shouldn't the
media and the selection committee be made aware of his political militancy?
Equally, the issue here is whether two proud Sephardi Jews should use their position in the public eye to correct defamation and distortion. Do they have a duty not to let Cluzet get away with it ? Or must Jews who have achieved fame and fortune always behave like dhimmis?