In conversations about post-Oct. 7 anti-Semitism, American Jews increasingly express a desire for more open declarations of defiance from their higher-profile coreligionists. They want to know the Jewish community won’t let others set the terms of the debate about our own future.

Which is why it’s important that Jonathan Glazer didn’t have the last word in his atrocious, self-loathing Oscars speech equating Israel with Nazi Germany. After Glazer’s speech, there was the rebuttal by Danny Cohen, Glazer’s production partner on the Holocaust film The Zone of Interest. And now it seems Cohen will find strength in numbers.

Variety reports that “more than 450 Jewish creatives, executives and Hollywood professionals have signed an open letter denouncing” Glazer’s speech. In fact, the signatories not only brought the numbers but they brought the heat as well:

“The use of words like ‘occupation’ to describe an indigenous Jewish people defending a homeland that dates back thousands of years, and has been recognized as a state by the United Nations, distorts history,” the letter reads. “It gives credence to the modern blood libel that fuels a growing anti-Jewish hatred around the world, in the United States, and in Hollywood. The current climate of growing antisemitism only underscores the need for the Jewish State of Israel, a place which will always take us in, as no state did during the Holocaust depicted in Mr. Glazer’s film.”

Hard to overstate the significance of the terminology and the thoroughness of the letter. That hundreds of Jewish cultural figures would take a hatchet to the false “colonizer” narrative about Israel, correctly categorize it as a modern blood libel, and explicitly denounce the use of the term “occupation” to describe Jews in their homeland would have been difficult to imagine before Oct. 7. And the deluge of anti-Jewish agitation since that day was designed to prevent such a statement now.

The attempt to intimidate the Jewish people into silence has failed.

Among the 450 signatories so far are actors Debra Messing, Brett Gelman, Elon Gold, Julianna Margulies, Emmanuelle Chriqui, and Tovah Feldshuh; Gilmore Girls and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel creator Amy Sherman-Palladino; top Hollywood attorney Craig Emanuel; producer Amy Pascal; and The Americans creator Joe Weisberg. Variety has posted the full list along with letter.

As Modern Family producer Ilana Wernick told Variety, referring to an incident at the Academy Awards in 1978, “[Glazer’s] words sounded eerily similar to Vanessa Redgrave’s infamous ‘Zionist hoodlum’ speech. Only this time there was no Paddy Chayefsky to stand up and say the right thing. Sadly, Jew hatred won the day. That’s why so many of us in the industry reached out to each other. It was a very sad, very scary night. Writing the letter wasn’t just cathartic for us. It’s something we had to do.”

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