who is this old dude?Everyone knows that the Jews had high-ranking positions in the Third Reich, right?

Huh? Welcome to the mind of Harry Belafonte, which this week came up with a quote that offends Jews, blacks, and I can only assume, any Nazis out there:

Earlier this week, in an interview with Cybercast News Service, Belafonte used a Nazi analogy to attack black officials in the Bush administration. “Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich,” he said.

Belafonte went on to “regret” the statement.

“I do regret the sentence was not structured more accurately,” Belafonte told the ‘Post’ in a telephone interview from the United States. “I, too, agree that Jews weren’t ‘high up’.”

He added, however, that “Jews did have a role, some did, in the demise and brutal treatment of the Jewish people.” He pointed to the book Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers as just one example supporting his statement. The book, recently profiled in the ‘Post’, tells of part-Jewish soldiers who fought for the Wehrmacht.

“Was it rampant? Absolutely not,” he said. “But, these things happen and people are not exempt from their behavior.” He added, “Let’s not be dishonest about all of us. The more we know the truth, the better we’ll be [at] improving humanity.”

Speaking of the truth, who is the tally-man and what does he do when he “tallys me bananas”?

“The point was not to attack Jews,” Belafonte said of his controversial comment. He was surprised by the reaction his comments provoked, though he stated that “sometimes the Jewish people have laid claim to such a high and pure morality” that they take great exception to facts which challenge that claim, despite that theirs “is a DNA that sits within the entire human family.” But, he said, “I can understand why Jewish leaders would be prone to protect the image of George Bush and his administration.”

He continued that the administration fully supports Israel “even when there are questions of the humanitarian, the moral, and the political [motivation] of things that are done to Palestinians.” Belafonte defended his comparison between Hitler and the Bush administration, which disturbed Jewish leaders, as “not inappropriate” given that current White House policies “detaining suspects without charges, creating an atmosphere of fear” are “very much similar to the things that were done when Hitler was on the rise.” He condemned those who didn’t raise their voices in pre-war Germany, and explained his statements as an attempt to raise his voice now.

Belafonte is married to a Russian Jewess, making his four children Jewish. Plus, the article notes that he’s been honored by many a Jewish organization, and once sang “Hava Nagila” for Moshe Dayan.

Funny, I pictured him singing a different tune for Moshe:

“Daaaaaay-an! Daaaaay-aaaay-yan! Eyepatch come and I wanna go home…”

(Article via JPost)

About the author

Esther Kustanowitz

For more posts by Esther, see EstherK.com, MyUrbanKvetch.com and JDatersAnonymous.com.

10 Comments

  • Because this is the only logic statment in the above post, I feel the need to address only it:

    “Speaking of the truth, who is the tally-man and what does he do when he “tallys me bananas”?”

    I’m pretty sure the tally man is the one who counts up the bananas after “daylight come” and “he [the banana man] wanna go home.”

  • Who the fuck is Harry Belafonte? He’s an entertainer who had a few hit songs and albums, not to mention a mediocre film career and slightly better stage career. He is also, obviously, a self-described expert on Jews.

  • “Daaaaayan” doesn’t even get a chuckle? I know I’m not “The Daily Show,” but I’m tryin’ here…must be the fasting.

  • Yes esther that was funny. It would however be funnier if I knew who the hell Harry Belafonte is, and why I should care about his opinions. Also the G*d damned neighbours are having a smelly BBQ and I am fasting. And a fucking vegetarian. And a little cranky.

  • Poor ck. Fast’s over soon; will save any additional witticisms for after you’ve broken your fast. Can’t do anything about the vegetarianism though. That’s your own fault.

  • BTW, you do know the Banana Boat Song, right? Or “Shake Your Body Line” (many people know it as the closing song of Beeteljuice, where Winona Ryder dances with the ghosts when she comes home from school)?

  • Looking forward to Harry’s forthcoming hit single, a cover of the Horst Wessel-Lied….

  • Jews high up? Duh.
    Hasn’t anybody ever heard of Gen. Milch, who ran the Luftwaffe for Goering?
    He’s the one about whom Goering said “I decide who is a Jew.”
    The Nazis were constantly bending their own rules.
    Hitler thought he was Jewish. And so did his idol Richard Wagner.
    C’mon, these comments about Belafonte are more offensive than what the guy himself said.
    But I don’t understand why Belafonte sang for Dayan.
    Dayan’s the one who murdered those U.S. sailors during the Six Day War, the bastard. Remember that, everybody?

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