What's The Actual Point?
As a member of the tribe, let me say it's a "shonda" when my peeps don't get satire. After all, wasn't it the learned Rabbi Maimonides who argued for a 5th section of the Talmud in which each passage in the Torah was analyzed as a work of pure divine sarcasm? (No. No it was not. At all). In any event, Sacha Baron Cohen is not anti-Semetic - and not just because he's Jewish. I mean, look at Philip Roth. (Yeah you heard me, Roth. I know you read Cracked and I'm calling you out. I don't care if you're 90, you're toast. Just ask Updike. Oh what's that? He's dead? Yeah, that's right).
Yes, Borat is a Jew-hater, but his anti-Semitism actually serves as a statement against religious hatred. In one scene we see Borat's completely childlike and unwarranted fear from an old Jewish couple (seemingly the sweetest couple ever) running a bed and breakfast. When he throws money at two bugs that he believes are the transmogrified Jews, the only joke is at his expense.
And Borat's shining hour has to be the segment from Cohen's Da Ali G show in which Borat leads a group of southern rednecks in a rousing rendition of his country's anthem "Throw The Jew Down the Well." Tells you a lot about America that a decidedly Arab-looking man like Borat can walk into a redneck bar in the wake of 911 and be embraced fully. Why? Because who can't get behind some good ol' fashion Jew hating? Sacha Baron Cohen dressed as an Arab and singing about murdering Jews gets a warmer embrace than he would dressed as his Jewish self singing satirical songs about the then Bush administration. So the real point of Borat is not to beat up on Arabs or Jews, but to show the hate that sits below the surface of the "good guys." A hatred that can be brought out with the mere catalyst of an outlandish cultural stereotype like Borat.
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