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Oy Vey! Borat Gets Boot From British Jewry?

10/2/2006 4:29 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Borat in Toronto.A Jewish organization in the UK says it has had enough of Sacha Baron Cohen's meshuggah Borat act, and is punishing the British-born comic with a £9.000 ($17,000) fine and a ban of six months from any UK synagogue. Or at least that's what it says.

Just as Jews worldwide gathered to observe Yom Kippur, the solemn day of atonement, The Board of Guardians of British Jews made this scathing proclamation on its Web site, www.theboard.co.uk: "We gave Mr Baron Cohen an informal warning over six months ago about the Borat character ... bringing major embarrassment to the Jewish community," says one Harry Greenberg, president of The Board. "Mr Baron Cohen ignored our letters and phonecalls [sic] ... and has been banned from setting foot into any synagogue for six months." Cohen's fake-Kazakh character continually talks about himself and his countrymen abusing and demeaning Jews, jokes that the American Anti-Defamation League and the Kazakh government have rebuked.

Of course, the so-called British Guardians' threats and edicts might be much ado about bubkes. The same organization -- which is not to be confused with The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which is the UK equivalent of the Anti-Defamation League -- put up a posting just after Mel Gibson's DUI arrest and subsequent anti-Semitic tirade in August saying that it had welcomed Gibson to its board as a vice-president, and that, "despite American media trying to imply his is anti-Semitic, Mel is a true lover of all Jews and the Jewish faith." We all know how grounded in reality that is.

Due to Yom Kippur, all parties involved were unavailable for comment or verification.

13 COMMENTS

No Avatar

1.

T    

who is this f%^$ing idiot anyway? he annoys the hell out of me

2755 days ago
2.

Cristina    

jesus- who cares ab this a-hole!

2755 days ago
3.

Amber    

Borat is awesome! I can't wait for his movie to finally be in theatres. He was here in Toronto for the film festival, but the projector broke down 20 minutes into the movie hehe. He sings a favorite song of his on Da Ali G Show, and I'm guessing maybe in the movie as well. It's called 'Throw the Jew Down the Well'.. sounds mean but it's freakin' hilarious.

2755 days ago
4.

sam    

Sacha Cohen is a hilarious comedian that gives the same amount of %u201Csh*t%u201D to everyone, not just Jews. I can't wait for his movie in which he plays Borat. How can you ban a Jewish person from a synagogue? I'm not Jewish so someone educate me.

2755 days ago
5.

AT    

people who think making fun of others' country or culture should question their own maturity. this guy is absurd and should be shut down! i heard Brad Pitt likes him and wants to work with him... totally losing respect for Pitt's latest political stances and obviously dumb-ass sense of humor. he should have stayed thinking that he's "just an actor." he has some bad influence... that covers two topics...

2755 days ago
6.

moretocome    

Sacha is hilarious. You either get him or you don't. He loves to push the envelope. The best part is, if you don’t like, don’t watch. Very simple. I can’t wait to see the flick. Should be side splitting !!

2755 days ago
7.

Matthew    

You know how Sacha Baron Cohen's characters are set up so that the victims of his comdey take him seriously?

You know how it seems incredible that these poor idiots can be duped by such ridiculous characters?

And how, in their being duped, they reveal interesting character traits?

And, how, understanding this, you are leaping to his defence in reponse to this ridiculous challenge?

I suggest you look at the site a bit more closely...

Can you see it?

Down and to the right - where it says important notice and includes a quote from Rabbi Adam Ant.

Got it now? Good.

And if you're enough of an idiot to agree with this ridiculous challange or, heaven forbid, base a news story on it - well... I believe the appropraite yiddish word is schmuck.

2755 days ago
8.

Waaah!    

I love the Borat character and can't wait to see the movie! Lighten up, world!

2755 days ago
9.

moretocome    

Matthew,

Thanks for pointing that out. I was questioning what or who this "Jewish organization " was suppose to be before I read your post and checked out the site. Typical of Sacha. As to why TMZ tries to give it a strange slant? Not sure.

2755 days ago
10.

Matthew    

Badisbad,

I don't think the site has anything to do with Baron Cohen. If you click bcak through the articles you'll see it goes back to 2004. Some of it is pretty funny. I think they're mainly sending up The Board of Deputies of British Jews http://www.bod.org.uk/ - which, incidentally, is NOT the British equivalent of the Anti-Defamation League. To that end, the site would probably make more sense if you were part of the British Jewish Community (I'm not, so I'm guessing...)

I was just amused that people who probably congratulate themselves on "getting" Borat could then fall for this.

2754 days ago
11.

Kim    

Out of all of the embarrassing Jews, they picked Sacha Baron Cohen? They need to fine Bob Saget.

2754 days ago
12.

Harry Greenberg    

Thank you kind sirs for letting the wider world know about our ban of Sacha Baron Cohen from all UK synagogues for six months.

Mr Baron Cohen does also have the right to appeal this decision.

But please be aware, The Board is located at www.theboard.org.uk and not www.theboard.co.uk

We hope you all fasted well.

Harry Greenberg

2754 days ago
13.

kikue26    

While, as a Jew myself, I do not find Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy amusing, I do understand the why behind it. If you are familiar at all with Jewish persecution (or any other "group" that has been or is victim to persecution and hatred) you will be able to better understand why you find so many Jewish, Black, Hispanic comedians. One of the easiest and most therapeutic ways to deal with hate is through humor. When people do not understand and/or accept cultures and ideas different from their own you can do one of a few things to deal with it. 1) Get angry 2) Let it inspire you to take action 3) Hide 4) Find humor in the situation to help yourself deal or 5) a combination of any of the above.
The Borat character is not portrayed as hatred, but a result from hatred. As far as I am aware of Sacha Baron Cohen is proud of being Jewish. I am also proud of being Jewish and find myself often times having a very self-deprecating sense of humor because people are either ignorant, hateful or just don't know.
And, if The Board of Deputies of British Jews is going to “punish” Sacha Baron Cohen, why not “punish” other Jews who make some of the same offenses in the name of comedy?

2753 days ago

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