Being Jewish Is Awesome. The World Needs To Just Recognize It.

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I believe the only way to fight BDS is a paradigm shift on our part. As a pro-Israel, music and video producer, I have thought long and hard about how my skills could best put to good use in this area. We are losing the BDS battle to an onslaught of lies and misinformation. It enjoys the cloak of legitimate Media. I’d like to balance out this inequality in the available “entertainment” for supporters of Israel. I say inequality, not inequity. This is because no one is stopping us from taking charge of our destiny as people and as a culture, save our own hesitations to go on the offensive.

In lieu of the frightening resurgence of anti-Semitism around the globe, I believe that we are engaged in a War of Ideas. Young, “educated” anti-Semites are bred to brazenly “Tweet and Vlog” anti-Israel propaganda. They have run the gamut of anti-Jewish video styles, inciting harmful narratives that condemn every aspect of Jewish life, from circumcision, to our very existence. They make emotional videos that would make any uninformed person angry with Jews. Events are twisted, roles reverse and facts decontextualized. They are very good at making us look bad. We are constantly on the defensive, scurrying to stay ahead of the next tier of lies.

This War of Ideas takes place on the battlegrounds of the entertainment business and the Internet; and we are losing. The Left has abandoned Israel to the whims of vicious regimes that will stop at nothing to kill and smear Jews. Just recently, millions hailed Lauryn Hill for canceling a concert in Israel. It was a BDS Win. My heart sunk when I heard the news; I used to be a fan. She has MILLIONS of fans around the world – she was a big one.

Many of us, disheartened by what we see on the news and in our lives, have taken to the Internet. The Internet is a ubiquitous pond filled with sharks and we are swimming aimlessly like minnows, waiting to be devoured. We think, with an air of futility, that if we just write a poignant blog, retweet an informational video about Israel, or hashtag “#BDSfail” on everything, some one will listen to us and the persecution will stop. “Israel is a sliver of light and democracy in a toiled region!!” Sound familiar? Me too. I’ve gone blue in the face trying to explain this to the misinformed. They ignore me and continue to post pro-BDS material. The apologetics are fruitless. Not unlike the miraculous victory of the 6-Day War, if we fail to act preemptively and continue to allow the War Of Ideas to be fought at home, we will never win. Acknowledging that we have anything to apologize for only feeds the critics of Israel – it makes them stronger, bolder and far more brazen. We have seen this.

For a people that excel in almost every facet of life, we do one thing abysmally bad: we can’t, for the life of us, get those pesky anti-Semites to just leave us alone. I often muse at the amazing the accomplishments that would be achieved were we not fighting for survival every other day, looking over our shoulder, or hiding our Kippot. Israelis have actually designed a Yarmulke that looks like hair! This way, one can comfortably observe Judaism without ANYONE thinking that you’re a Jew. We are literally hiding in plain sight.

We aim high and work hard in EVERYTHING under sun, except when dealing with persecution. We put on the kid gloves and pull all of our punches because we are afraid of giving fact to the awful things are said about us. We don’t want them to think that they were right about us all along. In the context of a War, Israel fights with honor, dignity and humanity, as a Jewish army should. In the fight for our Spirit, though, we fight like aimless children. In the fight for our spirit, it’s as if we are days before the 6-Day War, surrounded on all sides, begging our friends around the world for help and having to decide whether to fight on our terms or theirs. We all know what was done and how it turned out.  Many of us think that we should wait it out and see if the world comes to our rescue. They think that if we play ball with the PA and Hamas and Iran, we will come out ok on the other end. Others of us have seen around corners. We use our rational faculties to peer into the future of our current path – it’s a world without Jews.

Since Israel is the only home to ALL Jews, we must not be afraid to confront the tough questions, bring the sensitive issues to light, and push the boundaries of political correctness, in order to win a preemptive victory, as we did in the ’67 War. The fighting Jew must return and he/she must go on the offensive. This is where I come in.

An experience at a recent family reunion made it all too clear what I am to do next:

One of my cousins, who graduated from law school and is working for Democrat US Congressmen John Conyers Jr, tried to explain to me why Israel ought to be Boycott. For 40 years, Michigan has crumbled under his watch (Conyers). John Conyers spearhead the Congressional Black Caucus Boycott of Bibi’s Speech in March (he was a founding member of the CBC). In other words, a member of MY family works directly for a soft Israel-Hater who works actively to weaken Israel. My cousin proceeded to spew lies and propaganda that were simply not true. He will be in the next wave of up-and-coming Millennial, “would-be” politicians. He is a Jew. Those Jews who stand against Israel do the worst kind of damage. I got a chilling feeling that he was substantively aiding the destruction of Israel, or that he one day would. I immediately came to her defense. I cited every statistic I could muster from memory. I tried explaining to him that Israel is a bastion of rationality and no rational person could disagree without being dishonest. I tried to explain that cultural relativism reduces all cultures to the lowest common denominator. After calling me a victim of “Critical Race Theory” and “White Privilege,” he said to me in a very snarky, condescending tone, “Well, Brett, go to Law School and get into politics and make a substantive change.” He was basically declaring me powerless – impotent – to stop BDS. He was telling me, effectively, it doesn’t matter how I feel about Israel; at the end of the day, he was being primed for politics and I am but a mere Music and Video Producer without a Law Degree. The thought of him, one day being a qualitatively destructive force for Israel, made me livid. I was infuriated for about 10 seconds until I realized my place in the Jewish story: As a Writer, Video Producer, Music Producer, Zionist and natural born Activist, I can be the Captain Planets of Pro-Israel Entertainment, or at least help the Captain in his/her mission.

For better or for worse, change doesn’t come from policy; policy is a result of change. For example, BDS is the result of a cultural decline, not visa versa. It’s a result of a cultural contempt for value, and in many cases, an inversion of value. Change the culture, and policy shortly follows. What IS our culture, though? It’s the movies we watch, songs we listen to, products we buy, the leisure time we spend; it’s a Lauryn Hill concert. Most people are too concerned about their own survival needs to pay attention to the world outside of their small bubble. They don’t have time to read that pro-Israel op-ed; or to write a letter to Congress, urging them to fight BDS. The vast majority of folks play a passive role in government until Election Day; the Day when those of us who ARE paying attention, get trumped by those of us who ARE NOT. Short of banning “uninformed voting,” we won’t survive unless can find a way into the mainstream. What mainstream folks value most, is the “off time” – the movies, the music, the obligatory YouTube binge. One need not go to Law School or get into politics to make a difference; one must only arm with knowledge and then get creative. To the few people who actually read them, the words of an average op-ed or AIPAC speech are easily forgotten; the hook of a melody, or the climax of a movie, can move you to tears and stay with you for years – or a lifetime.

The reason I got upset when my cousin challenged my potency is because I was ascribing rationality to his emotional response to the propaganda. He, in turn, ascribed me with nasty traits. No rational argument will reach a person who is blinded by their emotions. The Left thrives off of inciting unjustified emotional responses to further the agenda. A song, a video, an illustration and other works of art bypass the rational center of the brain and pierce through to the heart. People make love while listening to music, not AIPAC speeches and op-eds.

As a Music Producer, Video Producer, and a passionate advocate for Zionism, I’ve spent a large amount of time thinking about how to make Zionism appealing to the Millennial Diaspora. I come from a Secular Leftish Reformed Jewish background. I had to find my way (Spiritually) without much help. Since I have made my way back, I have chanced upon a style of video production that is largely unexplored by the Jewish Community and the Friends of Jews worldwide. All it takes is a paradigm shift. We must stop making “We don’t suck” videos and start making “We are Epic and Awesome” videos – and these videos need to be awesome and epic (eg-high production value). We need to stop producing art that ascribes decency to our enemies. We must call them what THEY are while proudly declaring what WE are. We need to proudly display our 1st place trophies on the shelf and quit apologizing for being Winners. Apologetics do nothing but stave off our eventual demise and give legitimacy to our killers’ motives. The old adage goes: how can we ever expect to be appreciated and respected if we don’t appreciate and respect ourselves? If we publicly apologize for existing, if we publicly apologize for our achievements, if we publicly apologize for defending our homes and our children, the world will always see us as craving the “approval” that we can’t even publicly give to ourselves. The Yarmulke needs to be worn proudly with no disguise or subterfuge. As Patrick Stewart, a human rights activist who I have admired since I was boy, said in Star Trek: First Contact, as the legendary Captain Picard, “The line must be drawn here! No farther!”

The Web has flooded with pro-Israel blogs, podcasts, op-eds, memes and graphics. To combat the growing assault of Jews, many Jews and friends of Jews are slowly coming out of the woodwork. They are looking for something to grasp. They are not religious and many of them – even the Jewish ones – don’t know much about Judaism. They are, however, empathetic to the cause and quite ready to get angry. They’ve known Jews all their lives. The horrific things being said about the Jews simply do not add up to everything they know. We cannot afford to ignore these folks, even if they never step foot in Shul – even if they never read one word of Torah.

If all we have to present to them are Branded Documentaries and Info Videos with kinetic typography, we will lose them to the pictures of bleeding babies that the other side has ready and waiting. BDS has organization; BDS has numbers; BDS has rage. We have none of those.

What we need is simple, albeit, expensive to do properly. We need strong, righteous, powerful, human, EPIC, JEWISH Heroes.

We need an action-drama about the 6-Day War; we need a psychological suspense film about Kay Wilson’s brutal attack by Hamas terrorist; we need a drama about exiled Arab Jews who found a home in Israel; we need a mystery about the PA’s treatment of the Palestinian Refugees in the West Bank and the vigilante Palestinians that fight for Israel in secret. History is happening every day and while we have our recent history very well “documented”, we have no modern, updated “heroes” to stand behind.

Allow me to demonstrate several videos that I have written and produced to this end. My brother and I created these while not working on other projects. We used whatever extra money we had in our bank account. For now, I won’t get too specific about many of the ideas I have; they are piling up. These are just what I have been able to get done with my own personal resources.

Epic Jewish History: The Laser – This is a Teaser video for a series of shorts that show Epic Jews and their Epic contributions to society. The first video tracks the advent of The Laser, an invention that is now ubiquitous. The idea is to show (not explain), how some of the worlds’ most life-affirming inventions have Jewish origins. Broadly, this idea has hundreds of media applications, including movies, short films, etc. Past and present, there are so many Epic Jews to choose from.

Pimp My Yarmulke (I’m Jewish, Yo!) Trailer and Music Video – Best viewed in order, these are EPIC political satire videos that address anti-Semitism head on. They tell the tale of two Jewish brothers from South Florida who, in a very politically incorrect fashion, bedazzled their yarmulkes, declare their unabashed Jewish Pride and proceed to use Jewish Bodacity and T.O.R.A.H. (Talmudic Online Response Action Hologram) to save Israel from Hamas Qassam Rockets, while creating Peace and helping to restore Pride in the diaspora. These videos address several stereotypes, illustrating their ridiculousness, through two Jews who wear them as badges of pride. While this may be too much for the Conservative viewer, it reaches out to several a massive groups in the mainstream audience. The kids absolutely love this video. On a serious note: the video was filmed during the last war in Gaza. Much of what came out in the end was inspired by the murder of an old classmate, Steven Sotloff. I found out later that, when kidnapped by ISIS, his family rushed to erase every trace of his Jewishness from the Internet, fearing that if his captors found out he was Jewish, it’d have meant certain death.

Trailer –

Music Video (Explicit) –

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