Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
Jews and Israel are going through tough times when even Hollywood seems prepared to tolerate blatant attacks on Jews. The ugly comments last night at the Oscar awards ceremony by host Seth MacFarlane not only left a bad taste but suggested that perhaps Jews were now fair game to be slurred in public. Imagine if the sophomoric host—as the voice of the Ted teddy bear–had substituted similar humor against Jewish money with like slurs against gays or any racial minority. The Hollywood audience might have booed him off the stage and his career might well have taken an abrupt turn south. Instead it took major blast from the ADL to put McFarlane in his place. Given the role that Jews still play on numerous levels in the motion picture industry, this level of offensiveness, even from an offensive comedian, expressed an especially mean spirit.