ABOUT THE FILM
Using richly layered interviews with Jewish writers, academics, journalists and communal figures, veteran Australian filmmaker Monique Schwartz explores the history of centuries of anti-Semitism around the world, exposing sinister new variations of this oldest hatred that are taking root in Western society today.
Propaganda, half-truths and media bias have primed “politically correct” intellectuals to demonize Israel. In the name of anti-imperialism, antiracism and pacifism politicians, media pundits, filmmakers, feminists, students and academics condemn Israel’s attempts to defend itself even as it struggles with the relentless hostilities of Hamas, Hizballah, Iran, and the Palestinian terrorists whose bombings, shootings and stabbings are weekly occurrences on Israel’s streets. The radical Islamic threat on Israel’s borders and within them is ignored and belittled, and Israel’s response to that threat criticized as imperialist and racist.
Israel’s struggles are for the most part not validated. Not in democratic parliaments, not on university campuses, not in the UN, not in the Western media, not among the NGO’s and not in all the other so-called bastions of Western democratic liberty. Even as Western governments use Israel’s expertise to train and arm their troops, protect their civilians, erect their security structures and develop sophisticated surveillance systems, they demonize and isolate the Jewish state—its government, its economy and its public institutions.
European and American media are some of the worst offenders, regularly `”inverting” their headlines to suggest that murderers who kidnap Israeli soldiers, and terrorists who shoot families in their homes, are the victims of the conflict and not its perpetrators.
What is the cause of this double standard?
Beyond Paranoia is a visually exciting and multi-layered film, combining archival and home movie footage, paintings, photographs, animation, contemporary visuals, text and interviews.
Archival footage includes powerful and revealing material from the UN Human Rights Commission, the IDF, and Arab television stations including those controlled by Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Some of this material has never been seen in the Western media.
The story of this new anti-Semitism interweaves different filmic strands including personal stories and expert interviews, live and archival footage, and contemporary Israeli, European and American images, all enhanced by the contemporary music composed by Eitan and Daniel Reich.Beyond Paranoia argues that the sustained campaign of the East and West against Israel as the collective national and spiritual embodiment of Jewish independence and creativity goes way beyond the anti-Jewish paranoia of earlier centuries and regimes. A sinister new mutation of anti-Semitism, one that is directed at Israel’s six million Jewish citizens and at millions of other Jews who live outside of Israel, is alive and well and operating on a grand scale.
Beyond Paranoia begins with an examination of the nature and history of European anti -Semitism from early Christianity thru to Martin Luther and the Third Reich. The film then shifts to the history of Arab anti-Semitism, from its inception at the birth of Islam and onwards, and finds many parallels between the two.
The film turns to examine the hatred of Israel or the collective Jew. Blood libel accusations against Jews, which originated in Christian Europe, are being ceaselessly copied, redrawn and replayed in the dramas, documentaries, articles and cartoons of the Arab media today. Westerners have rarely had access to this material. The audience is asked to consider, too, the role of the United Nations in its million-dollar funding of the widespread NGOs that work against the Jewish state, and, with its committees headed up by some of the world’s worst human rights abusers, its ceaseless campaign to isolate Israel on the international stage .
At the end the film asks us about the future. What will be the result of this sustained political, social, military, academic, journalistic and religious assault on the Jews and numerous non-Jews who live in Israel today?