The Truth About Michael, Nazism, and Anti-Semitism-Pt 1

Michael Wearing A Kippa At Uri Geller's Wedding. Uri Geller Himself Released These Personal Photos, Which Prove Michael Was Not Only Well Aware That His Friend Was Jewish, But Deeply Respected His Traditions

I am hoping that with these next couple of  installments, I’ll be able to address one of the more serious accusations leveled against Michael by Matt Fiddes, and with that, be able to move on. This bad fly has certainly taken up enough of my time here, and I have a lot more far more interesting topics on Michael that I would like to get to.

Of course I realize my title is perhaps a bit of a misnomer. Can we ever really know “the truth” about anyone or anything? This is especially true when it comes to any form of racism, being as how we live in a society that is pretty much intolerant of overt racism, as it should be.  Most people in the public eye aren’t going to publicly advertise their racism or bigotry; that goes without question. So what we have to look to, instead, are a person’s outward actions-what they say and do.  That is all we really can do in reaching a consensus as to a person’s views on race and racism. So in attempting to address this question about Michael’s beliefs and anti-Semitism, we can only look to the outward evidence. No one can presume to know what he thought privately, inside his head. We can only judge the man based on what he said and did, as well as what those closest to him can testify. But in so doing, we can’t just cherry pick what we want to hear-that goes equally for both sides, fans and haters.

Unfortunately the rumors of anti-Semitism had haunted Michael for several years, at least since the 90’s and his infamous “Jew me/sue me” line from the original version of They Don’t Care About Us (which I’ll be addressing). And it’s an ugly rumor that continues to dog his legacy even now. While it’s easy to dismiss Fiddes’ latest ramblings as the rubbish of yet another money-grubbing and attention-hungry whore, it nevertheless doesn’t change the fact that this ever-persistent rumor of Michael as an anti-Semite has become an ugly taint to Michael’s name and legacy, one only slightly less damaging than that of pedophile or child molestor.

Since the Sun story first broke, there has already been an outpouring of statements from those who knew Michael best,and many of Fiddes’ outrageous statements have already been resoundingly rebutted on other MJ sites. But what I would like to look at more closely is how these rumors evolved in the first place, and perhaps through a close analysis that puts all sides of this issue into perspective, to arrive at what I feel is the most truthful answer. My approach is probably a lot more middle-of-the-road than you will see elsewhere, for while I firmly believe Michael was not an anti-Semite, I also don’t buy into explanations that are too easy and too pat. It’s never as cut and dried as simply saying, One is a racist or one isn’t. To truly get to the heart of such a question, it involves a complex analysis of looking at an individual’s complete makeup. Family history, background, and life experiences, for example, all play a part in shaping our views of people, as well as shaping the person that we, ourselves, become. I know there are some who will come up with the automatic kneejerk response that “A racist comment=Racism.” But not so fast. Words have to judged in the context in which they are spoken.

The reason I say this is because there is  one-and only one-disturbing thing that keeps coming back to me when I attempt a defense of Michael against these absurd charges of anti-Semitism, and that is a brief tape that was released in 2005 in which Michael (albeit, I believe a very drugged Michael) is heard clearly saying that Jews are “like leeches.” Just as  Michael’s comment about sleeping with kids in the Bashir doc would forever come back to haunt him (regardless of what he actually meant or how he meant it) it also proves a bit of a problem in trying to defend Michael against charges of anti-Semitism when we have his own voice on tape saying some…well, obviously, not nice things about Jews. I just want to say up front that, even as a diehard Michael Jackson fan, there are some things I simply can’t and won’t defend, whether it is Michael or anyone.

But in order to really be fair, this is where we have to do away with the kneejerk responses and look at the full context of what was said, why it was said, and under what circumstances. Then, in addition, we have to add up everything else that is known of Michael’s history with Jewish people-a history that, as it turns out, is rich in many deep and lasting friendships (as well as, frankly, some betrayals, but such is human nature; an indefinable thing that in and of itself has nothing to do with race, creed, religion or nationality).

In short, if you want to believe Michael was a Nazi sympathizer and raging anti-semite, you’re going to be in for a letdown. But also, if you believe he was without question as pure as the driven snow when it came to complex issues of race relations, then you may be in for a bit of a rude awakening as well. I will stress as I always have that my goal is to arrive at a deeper understanding of who Michael the man was, in all his complexity, not some sugar coated version of it.

To simply state that Michael had many Jewish friends, in and of itself, is not enough to disprove racism. It’s like the person who drops the “n” word and then, when caught, turns around and says, “But some of my best friends are Black!”

However, Michael’s Jewish friends are certainly a great place with which to start. Let’s look at what Rabbi Schmuley Boteach said in a recent Huffington Post article (and yes, I’m aware that he is one of those who betrayed Michael, so I use the word “friend” quite loosely here. But as a Jewish person whom Michael probably confided in more than any other, Schmuley would certainly be in a good position to know how Michael felt about Jews):

The Revolting Lie That Michael Jackson Was a Nazi Sympathizer
Posted: 05/09/2012 9:00 am

All a man has in this world is his good name. The book of Ecclesiastes says that a good name is better than fine oil. Our reputations determine what others think of our character. We have a right, therefore, to defend our name against scurrilous and slanderous attack. When those we know cannot defend themselves, we must stand up and speak out on their behalf.

I generally try to avoid the gossip that is so often said and writing about Michael Jackson. Libraries of nonsense have been written about him, and now that he is tragically no longer alive, he cannot defend himself. In general I see no point in highlighting slanderous material about him by responding to it.

But several headlines recently caught my attention when I heard that a man who claims to have worked as Michael’s bodyguard made the incredulous charge that Michael was a Nazi sympathizer. This kind of viciousness should usually not be responded to because it just gives it more credibility for the retelling. But the slander against Michael’s name in this instance is so great that it deserves to be rebutted.

As is well known, I was Michael’s Rabbi for two years. During that time, we discussed every subject under the sun. A great deal of it was captured in the conversations we recorded specifically for publication in the books that became The Michael Jackson Tapes and its follow up, Honoring the Child Spirit. In one of those conversations, Michael spoke of Hitler’s mesmerizing oratorical skills. He said that oratory is in many ways one of the most effective tools that evil uses to manipulate others and thereby gain power. Michael argued that Hitler used many of the same techniques that showbiz performers use today in order to manipulate audiences and steer them toward evil deed. I was disheartened when the book was first published to see some newspapers highlight these comments of Michael completely out of context and misrepresent him as someone who could have admired Hitler. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Michael detested and despised anyone who would do harm to another human being, especially the Nazis who gassed six million Jews, one and a half million of whom were children. Michael loathed everything Hitler stood for. As I have consistently stated, Michael was a great friend of the Jewish people. He celebrated his relationship with the Jewish community and never shied from demonstrating how much he learned from Judaism through our conversations and friendship.

In one of our first meetings I gave him a mezuzah as a gift, which consists of a small scroll from the Torah that is affixed to the doorpost. I did not give it to him with the intention that he put it on his door as his was not a Jewish home. Nevertheless, Michael insisted that we put it on the front door of his rented home in Manhattan. A few weeks later he came with me to the Carlebach Synagogue in Manhattan one of the happiest days of the Jewish calendar, Shemini Atzeret, and told me later, as part of The Michael Jackson Tapes, that it was the happiest night of his life.

As the boy superstar of the Jackson 5, Michael had a Jewish tutor who traveled with him and helped to raise him whose name was Rose Fine. Michael spoke of her in The Michael Jackson Tapes with great affection and revealed to me that he and Janet covered many of his former tutor’s expenses as she aged. In one of the conversations he says that as the group’s plane landed in Germany, Mrs. Fine became agitated. Michael asked her why and she shared with him the horrors of the Holocaust. He was just a boy and it was the first time he had heard of the wholesale slaughter or Europe’s Jews.

Later, I would take Michael to meet and converse with my dear friend, Nobel Peace Laureate Elie Wiesel — arguably the greatest living Jewish personality — who further shared with him the horrors of the Holocaust and the importance of reconciliation and love. Prof. Wiesel showed Michael boundless acceptance and affection, which Michael warmly reciprocated.

Michael’s strong feelings for the Jewish community meant he was even prepared to suffer professionally for his love of Israel and the Jewish people. It is well-known that in 1993 Michael went to Israel on his Dangerous Tour where he performed for 160,000 fans in Tel Aviv. My dear friend Frank Cascio, later to become Michael’s manager, accompanied him and he told me how much Michael loved being in the holy land. Less well known, however, is the following story.

In late 2000, a Jewish philanthropist called me and told me that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was coming to his home that night for a reception. He said it would be good for Israel if Michael would come there and meet with the prime minister. I turned to Michael, in the presence of some of his professional staff, and asked him if he would like to meet the Israeli prime minister. Michael immediately jumped at the opportunity and told me he would love to do so. However, the people who surrounded him at the time mentioned that it might not be a good idea. They said that Sharon was hated in many parts of world, especially in Arab nations. A photograph of Michael with Ariel Sharon could spark a significant backlash including a boycott of Michael’s albums and music. Michael immediately dismissed their concerns and said that he felt very excited to meet the prime minister. A few minutes later we embarked in Michael’s van and crossed town to the meeting. The pictures of Michael greeting Prime Minister Sharon, along with me and our dear mutual friend Uri Geller, appeared throughout the world. Michael’s professional staff were correct. The very next day websites called for a boycott of Michael’s music saying that he supported Israel’s “hated” leader. However, Michael did not care. Michael loved Israel and the Jewish people and he was thrilled to meet someone of Prime Minister Sharon’s stature.

Above everything else in our relationship, Michael was immensely sensitive to my family’s Jewish observance and did everything to respect it at all times. When we would visit him at his homes and hotel suites, he would always order kosher food from local restaurants for us. He developed a taste for the cuisine of some well-known kosher restaurants and would often go there on his own after getting to know the restaurant through me.

The speech I composed for him, based on our conversations, that was delivered at the Oxford Union in March, 2001 — one of his crowning achievements where he received a standing ovation and which, unfortunately, has yet to be released by his estate — was filled with Jewish references and wisdom. Michael told me to leave it all in. As a Jehovah’s Witness he felt an immediate kinship and bond with the Jewish people and their teachings.

Michael was an African-American male who told me that he and his family had experienced a great deal of discrimination in their lives. Surely it is adding insult to injury to accuse Michael of a racism that was never expressed through his actions and never felt in his heart. zi-sympathizer-bodyguard_b_1502497.html

When I read this piece, I was reminded of Michael’s own essay, My Childhood, My Sabbath, My Freedom, which in turn had been inspired by just such an evening spent with Boteach’s family and enjoying one of their Jewish traditions. Here is Michael’s essay, with the passages emphasizing his respect and reverence for Jewish traditions highlighted:

  In one of our conversations together, my friend Rabbi Shmuley told me that he had asked some of his colleagues–-writers, thinkers, and artists-–to pen their reflections on the Sabbath. He then suggested that I write down my own thoughts on the subject, a project I found intriguing and timely due to the recent death of Rose Fine, a Jewish woman who was my beloved childhood tutor and who traveled with me and my brothers when we were all in the Jackson Five.

  Last Friday night I joined Rabbi Shmuley, his family, and their guests for the Sabbath dinner at their home. What I found especially moving was when Shmuley and his wife placed their hands on the heads of their young children, and blessed them to grow to be like Abraham and Sarah, which I understand is an ancient Jewish tradition. This led me to reminisce about my own childhood, and what the Sabbath meant to me growing up.

When people see the television appearances I made when I was a little boy–8 or 9 years old and just starting off my lifelong music career–they see a little boy with a big smile. They assume that this little boy is smiling because he is joyous, that he is singing his heart out because he is happy, and that he is dancing with an energy that never quits because he is carefree.

But while singing and dancing were, and undoubtedly remain, some of my greatest joys, at that time what I wanted more than anything else were the two things that make childhood the most wondrous years of life, namely, playtime and a feeling of freedom. The public at large has yet to really understand the pressures of childhood celebrity, which, while exciting, always exacts a very heavy price.

More than anything, I wished to be a normal little boy. I wanted to build tree houses and go to roller-skating parties. But very early on, this became impossible. I had to accept that my childhood would be different than most others. But that’s what always made me wonder what an ordinary childhood would be like.

There was one day a week, however, that I was able to escape the stages of Hollywood and the crowds of the concert hall. That day was the Sabbath. In all religions, the Sabbath is a day that allows and requires the faithful to step away from the everyday and focus on the exceptional. I learned something about the Jewish Sabbath in particular early on from Rose, and my friend Shmuley further clarified for me how, on the Jewish Sabbath, the everyday life tasks of cooking dinner, grocery shopping, and mowing the lawn are forbidden so that humanity may make the ordinary extraordinary and the natural miraculous. Even things like shopping or turning on lights are forbidden. On this day, the Sabbath, everyone in the world gets to stop being ordinary.

But what I wanted more than anything was to be ordinary. So, in my world, the Sabbath was the day I was able to step away from my unique life and glimpse the everyday.

Sundays were my day for “Pioneering,” the term used for the missionary work that Jehovah’s Witnesses do. We would spend the day in the suburbs of Southern California, going door to door or making the rounds of a shopping mall, distributing our Watchtower magazine. I continued my pioneering work for years and years after my career had been launched.

Up to 1991, the time of my Dangerous tour, I would don my disguise of fat suit, wig, beard, and glasses and head off to live in the land of everyday America, visiting shopping plazas and tract homes in the suburbs. I loved to set foot in all those houses and catch sight of the shag rugs and La-Z-Boy armchairs with kids playing Monopoly and grandmas baby-sitting and all those wonderfully ordinary and, to me,magical scenes of life. Many, I know, would argue that these things seem like no big deal. But to me they were positively fascinating.

The funny thing is, no adults ever suspected who this strange bearded man was. But the children, with their extra intuition, knew right away. Like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, I would find myself trailed by eight or nine children by my second round of the shopping mall. They would follow and whisper and giggle, but they wouldn’t reveal my secret to their parents. They were my little aides. Hey, maybe you bought a magazine from me. Now you’re wondering, right?

Sundays were sacred for two other reasons as I was growing up. They were both the day that I attended church and the day that I spent rehearsing my hardest. This may seem against the idea of “rest on the Sabbath,” but it was the most sacred way I could spend my time: developing the talents that God gave me. The best way I can imagine to show my thanks is to make the very most of the gift that God gave me.

Church was a treat in its own right. It was again a chance for me to be “normal.” The church elders treated me the same as they treated everyone else. And they never became annoyed on the days that the back of the church filled with reporters who had discovered my whereabouts. They tried to welcome them in. After all, even reporters are the children of God.

When I was young, my whole family attended church together in Indiana. As we grew older, this became difficult, and my remarkable and truly saintly mother would sometimes end up there on her own. When circumstances made it increasingly complex for me to attend, I was comforted by the belief that God exists in my heart, and in music and in beauty, not only in a building. But I still miss the sense of community that I felt there–I miss the friends and the people who treated me like I was simply one of them. Simply human. Sharing a day with God.

When I became a father, my whole sense of God and the Sabbath was redefined. When I look into the eyes of my son, Prince, and daughter, Paris, I see miracles and I see beauty. Every single day becomes the Sabbath. Having children allows me to enter this magical and holy world every moment of every day. I see God through my children. I speak to God through my children. I am humbled for the blessings He has given me.

There have been times in my life when I, like everyone, has had to wonder about God’s existence. When Prince smiles, when Paris giggles, I have no doubts. Children are God’s gift to us. No–they are more than that–they are the very form of God’s energy and creativity and love. He is to be found in their innocence, experienced in their playfulness.

My most precious days as a child were those Sundays when I was able to be free. That is what the Sabbath has always been for me. A day of freedom. Now I find this freedom and magic every day in my role as a father. The amazing thing is, we all have the ability to make every day the precious day that is the Sabbath. And we do this by rededicating ourselves to the wonders of childhood. We do this by giving over our entire heart and mind to the little people we call son and daughter. The time we spend with them is the Sabbath. The place we spend it is called Paradise.

Certainly this paints a very different picture than the one that people like Fiddes are trying to portray. But what of Michael’s early teachings? As a Jackson family member, could he have been raised in an anti-Jewish home that shaped (whether condsciously or not) some of his feelings about Jews? In her first book, Michael’s sister Latoya pulled no punches in accusing her family of being anti-Semitic. Of course, there is a lot in that book that has to be taken with a heaping grain of salt. Latoya herself would later retract much of it. But surprisingly, in a book that painted such an unforgivingly scathing picture of her family, Michael emerged from its pages not only as surprisingly sympathetic (obviously Latoya at that time was still trying to stay in her hugely successful brother’s good graces) but, also, as perhaps the family’s most idealistic member. But this shouldn’t be a surprise, considering this was the same young man who told his mother at a very early age that one day he would help all of the starving children of Africa-and really meant it! The following passage is from pp. 132-134 of “Latoya”:

According To Latoya, She And Michael Banded Together In Disapproval Of Their Parents' Anti-Semitism


Well, obviously from there the passage moves on to discuss Frank Dileo. But let’s go back to these alleged comments made by Joe and Katherine regarding Jews.  I say “alleged” because with so many things in this book having been retracted and denied, it’s hard to know what to believe. I have always been inclined to believe there was a lot of truth in Latoya’s first book, even if albeit embellished for dramatic effect. I think the real version of the truth is somewhere in the middle, between her overly melodramatic and embellished first book, and her rather whitewashed second (in which all of a sudden her family become saints and it was all the doings of that no good, dastardly Jack Gordon). At any rate, when presented with such totally polarizing views, my tendency is to take the pragmatic approach and believe that the truth must lie somewhere in between the two extremes.

So let’s just play devil’s advocate for a moment and assume that maybe Michael did have racist parents who said some of these things, if not all. God knows it wouldn’t be as if they were the first. I, too, knew what it was like to grow up in a racist family, even as my experiences in school and other places out in the world were teaching me that there were more enlightened ways of thinking and seeing the world; ways that did not jibe with some of the things I heard my parents and grandparents say. Michael and I were/are about the same age, and ours was the first generation to experience desegregation. In the South, black kids and white kids were attending the same schools together for the first time. For the first time, black teachers were being hired to teach white students, and vice versa.  Educational TV shows like Sesame Street and The Electric Company featured racially mixed casts, sending us the message that–at least on TV-everyone could get along, regardless of their differences. Michael and I, both growing up in the same generation, were experiencing many of the same mixed signals–the new values we were being taught by school, by TV, by all of our friends, vs. what our parents and grandparents said at home, behind closed doors. A generation fueled by the idealism of our age, we wanted to believe in equality and to believe that we could all get along, regardless of color or creed. But often, we were caught in the tug-of-war battle between being a part of a  generation that was moving progressively forward, and the views of our parents who were firmly rooted in an earlier time.  When we went to school; when we watched TV; when we read books, we were presented with a view of what the world should be. But often, living under our parents’ roof was our unfortunate  reality.

As A Child, Michael had Identified With the Sufferings Of The Jews. I Would Imagine That All Of the Trials And Tribulations Of His Adult Life Only Intensified That Sense Of Kinship

What is clear from the above passage-again, depending on how much credibility one is willing to grant Latoya- is that Michael, even at a very young age, clearly identified with the sufferings of the Jews, and spoke out openly and defiantly against his parents’ views, which he clearly did not share and was even embarrassed by. The Michael that is described in Schmuley’s account and by his own words in My Childhood, My Sabbath, My Freedom is, for sure, a man who had a profound and genuine respect for Jewish people and Jewish traditions.

But over time, did experience change or harden some of his idealistic views?  What would have propelled this humble, respectful, and idealistic man who said “Racism is not my motto” to utter such words as we heard on that audio recording?

Well, first of all, we really have to look at the circumstances behind this recording-not only what was said, but what was not said (or at least, not what was played in this brief clip). When this audio recording was released, it was this one segment that Michael’s detractors wanted the public to hear-and, of course, the media, as they always do, chose only to highlight what would make Michael appear in the worst light. Let’s not forget that this was in the fall of 2005, when the anti-Jackson bias was at its height (after all, many journalists were still writhing from the sting of the “Not Guilty” verdict and all those crow sandwiches they had been forced to eat). It’s also important to know what parties responsible for releasing this tape-none other than Deiter Weisner, who at the time was engaged in a very nasty civil lawsuit against Michael to the tune of $64 million, and Marc Schaffel, who was also involved in a civil lawsuit with Michael (and would later be countersued by Michael).

Here is the clip that was played in November of 2005 on Good Morning, America. Warning: It’s not pretty to listen to. But it’s important to know that THIS is the message the public heard, and that elicited a demand for an apology from the Anti-Defamation League (too bad there are no similar activist organizations to demand apologies every time a deceased person is slandered by people like Matt Fiddes in the media!). I know already that some will ask: Why draw attention to this? But the fact is, ignoring something like this won’t make it go away. Michael’s detractors know about this tape all too well, and are only too ready to use it at any given turn as indisputable evidence of his “racism” and “bigotry.” It’s on Youtube and there are numerous links to it readily available on the ‘net, usually in accompaniment to some very ignorant articles. Therefore, rather than attempting to bury something like this, it’s best just to meet it head on, confront it, and and analyze it for what it really is. Truth is a much better means of disarmament than ignorance.

But after you listen to this, let me ask you one simple question: Does something not sound eerily familiar about this recording?


Ironically enough, here was an article that appeared shortly after the airing of that clip in which the writer felt that the media hadn’t made a big enough stink over the clip!

But the transcript provided by this article provides some interesting clues as to why this recording was made, why it was released to the public, and the not-so-coincidental timing of that release.

DIANE SAWYER: But first, we have heard so much, as we know, about Michael Jackson and the mysteries of his money, his relationships with his business partners. Well, we have executively this morning some phone messages left by the pop icon pleading with friends and business partners for money. And ABC’s senior legal correspondent, Chris Cuomo, has taken a look at them to see what they tell us. Chris?

CHRIS CUOMO: (Off Camera) Good morning, Diane. This is the latest legal wrinkle. ABC News has learned that a former advisor to Michael Jackson named Dieter Wiesner filed a civil complaint against Jackson yesterday in Los Angeles for $64 million.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Voice Over) Now, this is a typical breach of contract case, and there’s another lawsuit already in progress by another former advisor.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Off Camera) But what is really of interest here are these voice mail messages. They provide a kind of audio snapshot into who Jackson really is.

MICHAEL JACKSON: Hello? Marc, it’s Michael. Please, please, please never let me down. I really like you. I love you.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Voice Over) Michael Jackson as you’ve never heard him before, directing someone to get him what he needs.

MICHAEL JACKSON: Marc, I really need you to get $7 million for me as soon as possible. Seven, seven and a half as an advance.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Voice Over) And what he needs is money, including millions for what this man says is Jackson’s over the top lifestyle.

F. MARC SCHAFFEL: (FORMER JACKSON BUSINESS ASSOCIATE) You go to a restaurant, you have to close the whole restaurant down for the day. You know, pay for the entire day’s receipts in the restaurant so that he can go in and enjoy a quiet meal.



CHRIS CUOMO: (Voice Over) This is Marc from the tapes, Marc Schaffel. He says for over two years, he was an advisor and close confidant for Jackson. According to Schaffel, Jackson’s bankers placed restrictions on the big spender so he would use middle men like Schaffel to access his own money and arrange various loans.

HOWARD KING (ATTORNEY FOR MARC SCHAFFEL): He uses people like Marc Schaffel and now whoever he’s currently using to get around the restrictions on his current financing.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Voice Over) And Schaffel says often the money had to be in cash and in very large amounts, sometimes requested in code.

MICHAEL JACKSON: You gotta get me some fries – it’s big money overseas.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Voice Over) Schaffel says he once delivered $100,000 in an Arby’s fast food bag. The joke was that Schaffel had brought Jackson some fries.

F. MARC SCHAFFEL: When he wanted large amounts, he would call and say, supersize them.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Off Camera) Millions of dollars, sometimes in an Arby’s bag.

F. MARC SCHAFFEL: The smaller amounts. The bigger ones went in duffel bags.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Voice Over) And Schaffel provided more than money. In 2003, Jackson turned to his advisor to plan a response to the allegations that Jackson had had an improper relationship with a young cancer survivor. Later, Schaffel would be named an unindicted co-conspirator in the California criminal prosecution of Jackson. But now, Schaffel is suing his former pal for millions in a breach of contract case. Schaffel says he has hundreds of voice mail messages that he received from Jackson between 2001 and 2003 that showed the nature of his relationship. They also create a portrait of the many faces of Michael Jackson, sweet and strident. {Translation: They served to provide whatever “portrait” Schaffel wanted to create for the media-my note}.

MICHAEL JACKSON: I don’t want no ifs, ands, or buts, do it now. Do it now, okay?

F. MARC SCHAFFEL: Michael will yell at you, Michael will punish you, maybe not let you do something.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Voice Over) And when he feels people are against him and his desires, King says Jackson becomes something very different from his sugary sweet self. King says Jackson left this message for a different former advisor, attacking various business associates.

MICHAEL JACKSON: They suck – they’re like leaches. I’m so tired of it. They start out the most popular person in the world, make a lot of money, big house, cars, and everything, end up with, penniless. It is conspiracy. The Jews do it on purpose.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Voice Over) Schaffel’s relationship ended just before Jackson’s recent criminal woes. He says he’s not surprised that since his acquittal, Jackson has relocated to the oil rich country of Bahrain, that it fits the pattern. Michael Jackson looking for a new friend and a new source of fries.

CHRIS CUOMO: (Off Camera) For the record, while ABC News was able to verify the phone messages Jackson left for Marc Schaffel, ABC News could not verify the call you heard to Wiesner in which he makes an anti-Semitic remark. Jackson’s attorney, Tom Mesereau, told ABC News when the jury hears the evidence, they’ll know Schaffel isn’t owed anything. He says he couldn’t comment on the Wiesner lawsuit until he had seen it, and he would not comment on the tapes. We should also note that Jackson has filed a countersuit claiming that he is the one owed money.

DIANE SAWYER: (Off Camera) A whole new level of layer upon layer of drama when the money (inaudible).

A couple of things stand out to me about this recording right away. I asked if it sounded eerily familiar. We all heard the audio recording made by Conrad Murray that was played at the trial. What I noticed when listening to this recording is a very similar scenario. His words are very slurred, and though he is not incoherent, his garbled syntax is very similar to what we heard in the Murray recording. In other words, just as in the Murray recording, Michael is obviously very drugged and in a vulnerable state. It doesn’t excuse what he said, but I thing it does call into severe question both the circumstances and context of what was said, and why, as well as the similarly troubling ethical question of why the tape was made public-obviouisly, for no gain other than to humiliate and intimidate someone who was already in a vulnerable state.

This particular tape dates back to about the same period in 2003 when Michael left a series of voice mails to Deiter and Schaffel, many of which surfaced in 2010 when they were-no surprise here!-sold to The Sun. In 2005, the media spin had been to make it all about his racist remarks and legal/financial problems. In 2010, in the wake of his passing and an ongoing death investigation, the spin had shifted to focus on his apparently “drugged” and “paranoid” state of mind. But all I remember at the time, when I first listened to these tapes in their entirety, was being disturbed by the obvious fact that this was not only someone in a very vulnerable state, but also someone who seemed to be in genuine fear for his life. My outrage was vented at those who were making these tapes all about “the messenger, rather than the message.”

While Michael may have to some degree suffered from paranoia, I believe it was a paranoia nevertheless grounded in some very legit and very real fears. Regardless of whether one believes there were people really trying to kill him, or just serving as enablers to keep him drugged and vulnerable enough so that they could rob him blind and pick his bones clean, it all amounts to the same thing in the end-a tragedy. The simple truth was that, by 2003, having endured decades of being manipulated, cheated, robbed and swindled at every turn (and let me stress, this is a travesty no matter how one might want to blame it on some of his own choices) Michael was angry and bitter. Not only is it impossible to judge a man until we’ve walked a mile in his moccasins, it is also impossible in this case to judge how Michael felt unless we’ve had a thousand knives in our back, and until we know what the cold, hard steel of that blade actually feels like, especially when it is multiplied a thousand times over.

He Was A Person Who Had Very Real Reasons To Be Afraid, And Very Real Reasons For Lashing Out

This was the reality of Michael Jackson’s life. And yes, over time, he did become very bitter towards certain individuals. What we have to keep in mind is that it was these individuals he was lashing out against, not all Jews in general. Yes, he chose his words poorly, just as he did in the Bashir doc. But I think, given the full context of the conversation, it becomes easier to understand why he said what he did-again, that is not to excuse it entirely, but to put it in its proper perspective.

Here is a website I found that discusses in some depth, for example, Michael’s relationship with Al Malnik and how the Jewish mafia had “their hooks” in Michael. While this writer is much more conspiracy-prone than me (and I suspect anti-Semitic themselves) I can’t entirely discredit all their claims. Michael, it seemed, had been a pawn to these people for years, and had lived under their fear and control. Is it any wonder he lashed out in some of the ways he did? By the way, there is an interesting bit of trivia (which I had forgotten) involving Sacha Cohen Baron,a Jewish comedian who himself has been accused of anti-Semitism even though he insists his character Borat is merely a tool for holding up the prejudices of society. This writer seemed to think that Cohen was offering up a little bit of Jewish payback against Michael and Latoya in a scene that ended up being cut from his movie Bruno. Apparently they thought it would be in bad taste to leave the joke in, since Michael had just died (which just goes to show, wow, Michael was actually shown some respect for all of five minutes after he died!).

However, a word of caution! There are also, as I’ve discovered, a LOT of such sites which are, in reality, little more than anti-Semitic hate sites designed to fuel the conspiracy that Michael Jackson was killed by Jews, and thus whose only purpose is to fuel the flames of hate. (I couldn’t help but laugh at Debbie Schlussel’s comment here: “Hmmm… Dr. Conrad Murray doesn’t look Jewish.”

While I think it is one thing to honestly acknowledge that Michael obviously had some very personal beefs with certain individuals who just happened to be Jewish, we have to keep in perspective that Michael’s message was not about hate, and any site, group, individual or organization that promotes hatred in the name of Michael Jackson should not be tolerated or supported.

I am a firm believer, as I know Michael was, that good and evil are not exclusive to any race, creed, or nationality.

Another Photo Of Michael From Uri Geller's Wedding. Note The Crutches. Poor Baby Was Always So Accident Prone!

Michael’s dearest friend and godmother of his children,Elizabeth Taylor, was a converted Jew. Michael attended the Jewish wedding of Uri Geller and was his best man in 2001, a full TWO YEARS before he fell out with Geller in 2003-not because Geller was Jewish, but because of his hand in the Martin Bashir fiasco. Certainly he was well aware, long before 2003, that Uri Geller is Jewish!

If one needs further proof that Fiddes’ story is bunk, they don’t have to look much further than this very touching account of the time leading up to Michael’s speech at Oxford in 2001, in which Jewish journalist and author Joseph Margolis writes a poignant account of the time spent with Michael, Schmuley and Uri Geller. Even if this account is somewhat tainted by all that we knew would come afterward with Schmuley and Geller, it is still a very beautiful and revealing piece that I think really sheds valuable light on Michael’s relationships with the Jewish community:

By Jonathan Margolis, Mail On Sunday, March 2001

The call came at 2am.

They say the only thing worse than a wrong number in the middle of the night is a right number, because it invariably heralds tragedy. In this case, however, a right number in the small hours brought one of the most remarkable opportunities imaginable for a journalist.

‘Would you like to come and meet Michael Jackson off the plane at Heathrow at 9am and spend some of the week with him?’ asked a familiar American voice.

The caller was Shmuley Boteach, my hyperactive rabbi friend who, in one of showbusiness’s more unpredictable couplings, has become pop legend Michael Jackson’s guru, friend – and, last week, partner in founding a children’s charity.

Naturally, I accepted Shmuley’s offer and, hours later, would enter for the second time in a few months the maelstrom that is the life of the 42-year-old singer, once described by Bob Geldof as ‘the most famous man on the planet, God help him’.

Behind the scenes of one of this most extraordinary of celebrity stories, I would find myself doing everything from listening to Michael in his pyjamas putting the finishing touches to his Oxford Union speech, to making him laugh with a joke in the back of his car, to hearing him make one of the most emotional phone calls of his life – while on the Hammersmith flyover in West London.

Michael Jackson was coming to England to launch his US-based charity Heal The Kids, in a speech at Oxford University, and to be best man at paranormalist Uri Geller’s wedding, as thanks to Geller for having introduced Jackson to Shmuley over two years ago.

It had been a tense weekend for Shmuley. Jackson’s long-planned trip was jeopardised at the last minute by his breaking two bones in his foot falling downstairs, then by an airline strike – and finally by a snowstorm in New York.

So it wasn’t just cynics who doubted that the singer would ever make it to Oxford. The rabbi, too, was getting distinctly nervous. He had put almost a year’s work into getting Michael to speak at Oxford, against advice that the controversial megastar might get a rough reception from the students.

But a few minutes before phoning me, Rabbi Shmuley had received confirmation from America. Michael Jackson was in plaster, in pain and on crutches – but he was also on a flight out of JFK airport.

In November, I had spent a week around Michael in New York for an American magazine article. Now Shmuley wanted me to witness further, by getting me still closer, how Jackson, who this month becomes a UN Special Ambassador for children at the behest of his friend Nelson Mandela among others, is morphing from entertainer into serious world figure – or so his influential supporters hope.

Shmuley has made it his mission to convince the world that the twice-divorced Michael may be unconventional in a host of ways, but is a good-hearted, fundamentally innocent innocent man whose desire to sensitise adults to the needs of children deserves to be heard.

So now here we were, travelling out to the airport in a minicab.

Michael’s people, a tribe of burly blokes, were already there, of course.

There were the squat, silent, watchful American minders, and the drivers, all English and experienced at whisking celebrities around in convoys of blacked-out Mercedes and people-carriers. There was even a photographer employed to video and photograph Michael’s every move for his personal archive.

Then the travelling party arrived – Jackson’s young manager, his elderly Lebanese doctor, there to look after the star’s bad foot, plus yet more watchful and burly men.

Normally, there would also have been Michael’s children’s nanny, a nice, sensible, middle-aged lady who fusses and cares for the Jackson Two, Prince and sister Paris. (There is, incidentally, no troop of 12 nannies as is often reported – just the one).

Michael’s children (both by his second wife, nurse Debbie Rowe) are an impeccably behaved pair; unspoiled and scarily bright.

Their father had decided for once not to bring them on a trip, because he feared they might be photographed, something he dreads after a childhood of being constantly hunted by paparazzi.

As Michael and his men cleared Customs, the four-car entourage got into position in a public part of the airport, next to people getting out of cars to go on holiday.

To my amazement, Michael was wearing his black silk facemask, an item that hadn’t made an appearance once, either in private or when we went out in New York, or for that matter when I met him in Japan years ago.

Indeed, I have always told people that the mask is another myth, along with the oxygen tent story and rumours of Michael having Prince and Paris’s toys thrown away after one use for fear of germs, both of which I know to be untrue.

The oxygen tent tale, Michael told me when we had Thanksgiving dinner at the Boteach home in New Jersey, stemmed from a joke he cracked to a photographer after he had crawled into one he bought for a children’s hospital and emerged saying: ‘Gee, if I had one of those, I could live to be 150.’ The Sun took up the gauntlet and the ‘Wacko Jacko’ label, which he despises, was born.

Michael’s physical distress at Heathrow, too, was palpable. He was stressed and exhausted, hobbling on crutches and putting every effort into staying upright.

He was too focused on merely walking to say hello to anyone apart from Rabbi Shmuley and, unfortunately for me, his crutches and outstretched leg took up what was going to be my place in his people-carrier.

So I followed the convoy to London’s Lanesborough Hotel with a 67-year-old driver, Stan, who has been chauffeuring Michael since the singer was a teenager. Stan was illuminating on the subject of that facemask. ‘It’s for the fans and you lot in the Press, isn’t it?’ he chuckled.

‘Putting it on guarantees pictures will appear in tomorrow’s papers.

Never forget that Michael is a showman.

‘The fans were out en masse at the back of Michael’s hotel, dozens of them camping in plastic bags on the pavement for a glimpse of their idol.

As Michael settled into his suite, I watched his video man going around the crowd, who screamed and wept messages to Michael into his camcorder. It was both touching and disturbing.

Upstairs in the suite, Michael was seeing his doctor. I wondered when he emerged if he would have any idea who I was. However, he spotted me and greeted me with a funny military salute. I’ve no idea if he really recognised me, but he made a convincing job of making me feel he had.

Michael’s makeup and quiet, shy manner make it seem as if he is detached and unaware of what is going on around him, but he has almost 360-degree vision and rarely misses anything.

Everybody, of course, wants to know what this mysterious man is really like. To me, he comes across as childlike, funny, generous spirited, considerate, if quite demanding, and unfailingly polite. He is also unexpectedly gossipy, though never really malevolent. He has, for instance, a pet snake jokily called Madonna – but is always anxious to say how he really thinks the world of his rival for the number one superstar spot.

His voice is light and has a distinct Western twang and, although he speaks quietly and dreamily, also laughs loudly and often, especially at any physical joke. People bumping into things and throwing food about crack him up. He hates even the mildest swearing and is always asking questions. He listens carefully, watches you with ever-so-slightly suspicious eyes and ensures by not saying much that he is listened to intently. As for his appearance, I don’t pretend to fully understand why he cultivates the image he does, but I’m sure it has to do with shyness and wanting to hide. Up close, his cosmetic surgery is obvious and he now seems to be competing with the natural ageing process. I have no reason to disbelieve (and some reasons to believe) his claim that he suffers from a skin-lightening condition, and I know for certain that he is proud of his black heritage.

He told Jackie Onassis, who helped him with his autobiography, Moonwalker, that he used to wear masks to hide, and it is also known that his father, the famously harsh and demanding Joseph Jackson, told him repeatedly as a child that he was ugly – a pretty scarring inheritance.

Michael reminds me of an anorexic teenager who is never quite satisfied with the image they see in the mirror and has to keep changing it.

Michael wanted to sleep for a few hours and we agreed to see him later as Shmuley had a list of charity-related matters to discuss. I was to be allowed to tag along as an observer again.

There was a knock on the suite door as Michael and his mentor were deep in conversation that evening. Michael asked if I wouldn’t mind going to the door. Outside was Macaulay Culkin, in London for his West End play and here to hang out with Michael. ‘Hi, there, you big, fat monkey head,’ Culkin said to his friend.

You either understand Michael Jackson’s Peter Pan thing or not, but he is earnest about it and says that he is not fond of adults and not proud of being one – hence his fellow feeling with ex-child stars like Culkin who, like him, missed out on childhood.

We left Michael and Macaulay to do whatever they do, which according to one tabloid, was sit on Michael’s bed and watch kids’ films.

It’s interesting that when it comes to Michael, people say that what puts them off is the (ultimately fruitless and unproven) accusations in the early Nineties of child molestation and how he made an £18million settlement to quell his accuser.

When I point out that the local District Attorney subsequently invited further accusations, and that none came despite there being so much money on the table, and how surprising that is considering that some 10,000 children a year visit Michael’s home, Neverland, people shift theirobjection to the indisputable fact that he looks a bit odd – a lesser charge, I can’t help feeling.

But perhaps I had already become too understanding of Michael after our time in New York.

I saw him there working tirelessly on planning Heal The Kids, which will ‘campaign globally for parents to spend quality time with their children’.

He did this despite being under pressure from his record company to get on with recording his album, his first new music in nearly a decade.

I saw him in conversation and holding his own with child psychiatrists, bankers, writers and society bigwigs, and assured and informal on a conference call with actor Denzel Washington and Nelson Mandela, whom he asked to join the Heal The Kids board. (‘I’ll do whatever you want, Michael,’ Mandela said. ‘You know how I respect you.’) I also listened to Jackson in business meetings, where a different man still emerged – focused, numerate, business-savvy and imaginative.

He has a host of plans for his future from property acquisitions to publishing ventures and leisure businesses.

And I witnessed the extent ofwhat I think is Jackson’s real commitment to children. Rabbi Shmuley’s eldest daughter, Mushki, had complained tearfully to Michael on one of his frequent visits to the Boteaches’ home that she was being bullied by a boy at school.

Michael proposed hosting a peace conference, chaired by him, with the boy’s parents to sort it out. This was no idle promise, either.

For a week, Michael phoned Shmuley and Mushki daily demanding to know how arrangements for the summit were going. When the day of the meeting came, Michael discovered it clashed with the photographic session for his new CD cover.

So rather than change the date, he began the session at 5am to get it over with. In the event, ironically, the boy and his family failed to turn up.

Shmuley also told me, from the hundreds of hours of interviews he has recorded with Michael for a book they are writing together, about Michael’s torment over the Jamie Bulger murder on Merseyside, which he surprised his Oxford audience by mentioning last Tuesday.

The reference was dismissed by some as an attempt to inject local colour into the speech, but in fact Michael’s concern over the case goes back to his first marriage, to Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis.

They ended up arguing about Jamie Bulger on a trip to London, when Michael outraged his wife by saying that, devastated as he was for Jamie and his parents, he was also concerned for Jamie’s killers because he was sure they must have had a bad childhood – as indeed was the case.

Michael refuses to believe on principle that any child can be fundamentally evil.

As late as last autumn, Michael was asking what had happened to Jamie’s killers and saying how he would love to have written to them, but wouldn’t dream of doing so because his fame would make them think they were being rewarded, which he knew would be unacceptable.

He was, says Shmuley, quite downcast when he realised how his celebrity status could occasionally be a handicap in his mission to help children.

I joined Michael again on Tuesday afternoon in his suite, as he did a dry run of his Oxford speech, which he had been working on with Shmuley for a week.

They were already behind schedule, thanks to Michael’s foot. He was insisting on delivering the speech standing up, and even reading through it as he would at Oxford, apart, that is, from the stripy grey pyjamas with Mickey Mouse on the breast pocket.

His focus and attention to detail were remarkable. The speech was to climax with Michael forgiving his father. There was a line where he said if the Jackson Five did a great show, Joseph would say it was OK, and if they did an OK show, he would say it was lousy.

‘You know,’ Michael said, ‘I’m wrong there. He never said it was lousy, he just said nothing. This has got to be honest.’ He went quiet and sat for a while, holding a tulip from a vase and seemingly lost in thought.

He changed the line, and that bleak’nothing’ was the very word where, that night, he broke down and sobbed for nearly a minute. Some thought this was theatre; I am certain it was genuine, as were most of the Oxford students around me.

While Michael was getting dressed and seeing the doctor again, the hours were ticking worryingly away, I had a nose around the suite. Everywhere were the results of Michael’s reported £2,000 after-hours shopping spree at HMV with Macaulay and a pretty, blonde, 20-year-old student daughter of a family friend in London, whom Michael has known since she was young.

Scattered around the suite were DVDs of various children’s films, the David Attenborough wildlife video collection (down from £59.99 to £49.99) and dozens of CDs, including the Beatles’ album 1, to which Michael of course owns the rights, and so by buying, was paying himself royalties.

It struck me that it’s not correct that Michael Jackson only enjoys the company of children, as is often said. What he likes is to surround himself with people in their twenties whom he has known since they were young – and can, therefore, trust, such as the lovely student.

Before we left, getting ever later, Michael gathered up fruit for the journey to Oxford (two apples, a banana, two plums and an orange) and frantically hobbled around on his crutches looking for reading material – a pile of upmarket magazines plus a copy of the Royal Academy’s £25 catalogue for their current exhibition, The Genius Of Rome, 1592-1623 – a present from his student friend.

We piled into the people-carrier with the manager, the doctor, a bodyguard and Shmuley an hour before we were due in Oxford for dinner. Michael cradled the art book on his lap in the back, where he sat with me and the doctor and discussed Renaissance art. He explained that Diana Ross had taught him a lot about art, but that his father was also a talented painter.

It was Rabbi Shmuley who suggested when we were on the Cromwell Road that Michael phone his father in Las Vegas. ‘You’re making a speech forgiving him.

I think now’s the time, Michael. Michael considered the idea silently all the way to Hammersmith, when he suddenly asked for the nearest mobile phone and dialled. ‘Joseph,’ he said, as we crawled through the London rush hour. ‘It’s me, Michael. I’m in London. I’m OK, I’ve broken my foot and it hurts a lot, but I wanted you to know I’m on my way to Oxford University to make a speech, and you’re mentioned in it …no, no, don’t worry, it’s very positive. . sure…how are you keeping? Uh-huh. . .sure, of course I will. I love you, Dad, bye.’ After saying this, he stared out of the window for a long time. ‘You know,’ he said to all of us, beaming, ‘that’s the first time I’ve ever, ever said that. I can’t believe it.’ Shmuley gave him a bear hug and congratulated him. Michael continued reading.

It was a happy journey, apart from the traffic. Michael complained that all the CDs his manager had chosen for the drive were too loud. At one stage on the M40 there was a silence and I cracked one of those jokes you wish you hadn’t. ‘It’s getting boring now,’ I said, ‘I think we should have a singsong. Can anyone here sing?’ Normally, making jokes around celebrities is unwise, but the atmosphere was so jolly and excited that I couldn’t help it. To my delight, Michael had the generosity to laugh loudly.

Michael began to panic as we got later and later. He wanted to phone everyone he had inconvenienced by being late. For a star who doesn’t need to give a damn, it’s hard not to be struck by his solicitousness.

Michael’s speech was amazing.

We know the students and the newspapers and TV were bowled over by it, but I wondered what the reaction would be of Trevor Beattie, the advertising creative guru, who was in the packed Victorian debating chamber, with its statues of Asquith and Gladstone.

Beattie is probably Britain’s most renowned ad man, and has worked on commercials for UNICEF recently with Mandela, and with everyone from Muhammad Ali to Tony Blair, whose TV commercials for the forthcoming Election campaign he has just made.

Beattie, in other words, knows a bit about presentation. ‘What I’ve seen tonight confirms what I’ve always believed about Michael,’ he said. ‘All these theories about him trying to become white miss the point. I believe his great thing is not to be anything like his father and that tonight, he has finally laid the ghost of Joseph and can start again.

‘That’s why I find it sad that until now, everyone’s concentrated on things like his appearance and his eccentricities and overlooked his personal turmoil. He did it brilliantly with obvious sincerity. I couldn’t admire the man more.’ We went on to an incredibly grand, starry, late dinner for 40 at Blenheim Palace, where I was amused to watch Richard E. Grant, a Hollywood star himself, fretting over how to approach Michael.

‘I mean, what does one do? Do you pretend you know him and say, hi, [and] introduce yourself. I’m just not quite sure.’ And the next day came the glitzy Geller wedding. Michael was late again (more trouble with that foot, exacerbated when he slipped on it – believe it or not – in a fish and chip shop in Marylebone.) People were sorry, especially for Uri’s wife, Hanna, but then Michael also had to cancel a helicopter trip from the Gellers’ out to George Harrison’s home. Harrison, he told me, is the Beatle he is closest to.

My 11-year-old daughter shook hands with Michael and pronounced him, ‘Not as scary as in photos, actually really nice looking.’ And I was asked to dance under the wedding canopy with Uri, Shmuley and David Blaine, the American magician – and with the world’s number one song-and-dance man, Michael Jackson, sitting in a chair three feet away, clapping along.

Noting my hippopotamus-like attempts at rhythm, the King Of Pop winked at me. I do not expect to be signed up for his next video any time soon.

He, on the other hand, seemed happy, as if some sort of weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

With Boteach, Uri Geller and Ariel Sharon


Michael married a Jewish woman (Debbie Rowe) thus making his own children half-Jewish. Needless to say, we know Michael loved his children better than life. Would an anti-Semite willingly marry a Jewish partner and bring Jewish children into the world? I think that alone should be enough to put the debate to rest, for once and for all. Obviously, though, just as with all the controversies of Michael’s life, that is probably wishful thinking. All we can effectively do is counter with the truth. Michael’s own words and actions speak louder than any media spins. And when they fail to do so, that is the time when we need to take an even closer look at who is doing the spinning-and why.

In leaving you today, here is another interesting article I found about Michael’s ties to the Jewish community. I thought the last couple of lines were very poignant, and befitting my topic for today:

“Maybe someone troubled and in need of direction will find that Judaism has some answers, offers some comfort, provides some solace. Obviously Michael Jackson even found some within Judaism, at least for a period of time.”-Nina Amir

Lastly, Michael's Own Family...Half Jewish Children By Birth. What More Need Be Said?

In Part Two: Analyzing the real meaning behind the song “They Don’t Care About Us”

9 thoughts on “The Truth About Michael, Nazism, and Anti-Semitism-Pt 1”

  1. While I most certainly would never condone any type of racism or anti-semitism, it is well known that 99.9% of Hollywood is Jewish and when Michael Jackson was in the lowest part of his life in 2003-2005, he was extremely upset that the ones that turned their backs on him were his Hollywood friends. No names were given, but there is a laundry list of people that he befriended of that faith that you heard absolutely nothing from in his defense during that time period (other than Elizabeth Taylor). So, one can at least understand how hurt and devastated he was with that section of people being at his lowest point ever. It’s amazing that Shaffel and Weisner turned up quite a lot after his death to defend him – but had no problem whatsoever suing him when he was alive.

    I feel like Michael felt that he was betrayed by people when he needed them and they weren’t there for him. How awful that must have been for him!

    1. If you notice, they didn’t play the whole tape, just an isolated portion of it. I would be willing to bet Michael slammed a lot of names if you were to listen to the whole thing. They just wanted to highlight the “Jews are like leeches” comment. But the individuals Michael was actually referring to know who they are, and why certain things were said. Michael’s defenses were down, obviously, due to whatever he was under the influence of at the time (he sounds very drugged on that tape to me, and it’s interesting that none of the media reports AT THAT TIME seemed to notice this, or if they did, didn’t seem to think it was worthy of reporting). That’s no excuse, of course. Some will say, well, that was obviously what he was honestly thinking, and there is truth to that. What we say when our guard is lowest is usually apt to be our honest thoughts-we simply lose the inhibition that would normally keep us from expressing it. That was partly why the Murray recording actually served to exonerate him in many ways, because people recognized that his love for children really WAS driven by a pure desire to help them. But I also believe that Michael tended to lash out irrationally in anger, and by that time, he had built up a lot of resentment towards these particular individuals.

      1. The media only used “drugs” as an issue with Michael if it made the story worse. I remember the media saying Michael pretended to have an issue with addiction in 1993. They even showed excerpts from a deposition when you can clearly tell he was under the influence of something when it took him several seconds to spell his name. In any event it served their interests more to state that he basically used that as an excuse to run away from the allegations.

        You are right that they only played the sound bite that sounded the worst. Typical!

  2. Raven – did you notice the interesting discrepancy in your post? In his piece, Shmuley Boteach writes “The speech I composed for him, based on our conversations, that was delivered at the Oxford Union…” But in the article by Jonathan Margolis, Margolis writes “I would find myself doing everything from listening to Michael in his pyjamas putting the finishing touches to his Oxford Union speech, to making him laugh with a joke in the back of his car…”

    I believe there was another guy who claimed that HE wrote the Oxford speech. Why oh why do so many of Michael’s purported friends try to take credit for his accomplishments? (Not to mention the various scumbags who want us to believe that Michael asked them for their special sperm to father his children!)

    As for anti-Semitism, I don’t believe that MJ would ever have harmed anyone because they were Jewish. But he was surrounded by Jewish people, many of whom treated him horribly. In a reverse situation, a white performer with that same number of black associates, if that performer made a racial remark it would not have been considered so heinous. Indeed Mel Gibson made a nasty remark to his ex-girlfriend, using the N word, and it hardly registered with the public.

    La Toya’s book strikes me as having come straight from the hand of Jack Gordon. It’s time we recognized that there has been a concerted effort, starting early on, to stigmatize and de-legitimize Michael and the other Jacksons. Unless there is some proof that Michael ever did anything to hurt Jewish people, as far as I’m concerned, the “anti-Semitic” label is just another big lie.

    1. I did notice that, although my intent was simply to present both mens’ accounts. It seems that a lot of people want to try to take credit for that speech. Of course, in all fairness, most people who deliver great speeches have had some help with them. Even the president usually has help with his speeches, so that in itself is no huge deal. The speech as delivered was 100% Michael-it was his ideas, his thoughts, and most importantly, his memories that shaped that speech. Who really cares if he had a bit of help behind the scenes with getting just the right words down, or just the right flow? But it seems to me that if these “friends” really cared about Michael and wanted the weight of Michael’s message to have the full impact it deserves, they would step back and allow him to have that moment. After all, this speech is often cited as one of Michael’s crowning achievements, and I think he should deserve to have that without people trying to hog credit for it.I’m sure someone may have helped Lincoln put together his Gettysburg address, but you didn’t hear that person running around taking credit for it. It was Lincoln’s moment, as it should have been.

  3. You wrote a great piece, Raven! Everyone of us sometimes says nasty things about someone when we are angry. And IF Michael indeed said this phrase as we hear it, he certainly didn’t mean Jews as a whole, which is proven by his many relationships with him.
    While I appreciate that Shmuley Boteach defended Michael in this stupid Fiddes case, it was not necessary for him to brag with “composing” the speech for Michael. But I think that is just typical for him – he takes himself too important, especially in Michael’s life.
    But I like very much the report of Jonathan Margolis. It gives a wonderful insight and it seems he learned to understand Michael very well.

    1. This reminds me, after I had responded to the comment above, I thought of this line from an oft-repeated quote of Michael’s:

      “…Animals strike not from malice, but because they want to live…”

      That is so true. Striking back is a defense mechanism when an animal feels fear or is threatened. And I believe Michael was lashing out because he felt that same fear and threat.

  4. All i can say about that tape recording is that there is not one single person in the world who has not been prejudice and discriminating behind close doors.Even those who have been victims of them, even they can’t help but being at times.I ,unfortunately, even though i’m facing racism and discrimination every day in the country that i have chosen to live, due to my nationality , even i have said things that i’m not proud of about other people when upset. Why? Because it is in human nature. When we get angry because we feel that someone did us an injustice, we tend to say about the source that caused our irritation the things that we think can hurt them the most.That doesn’t mean that we hate all the people of the same race,sex, weight, sexual orientation etc of the person who we so eloquently sweared, it just meant that at the time of our rage we just lost every contact with our humanity, rationality and all we wanted to do is to hurt him or her the same way us they hurt us. But fortunately for we don’t have someone to record every word of our angry outbursts,like in Michael’s case.
    With this i’m not trying to defend him, i’m just saying what is obvious and logical, something of course that haters won’t take it into considerations.If Michael hated the Jew people, he wouldn’t have Jew friends, he wouldn’t have chosen as mother of his children a Jewish woman, he wouldn’t have sang songs with reference to their persecution. He would have found a way to distance himself from Jewish people.
    The thing with Michael is that people expect from him to be either this flawless person who wouldn’t do anything wrong in his life or the devil incarnated. Ιe, not a human being who would yell, had his weak moments and so on like the rest of us.And when they find out that Michael did in fact swear, drink,used racist words at times they either get shocked because the portrait of perfection that they had in their mind of him is being shattered or laugh because they already knew that he was the reincarnation of Hitler.
    Now i know that i should conclude somewhere with this post of mine but i got lost so the only thing that i can say is that i wish every one in this planet were as “anti Semitic” as Micheal supposedly was.

    1. I agree. People will expect Michael to either be perfect, or the devil incarnate. This is why I said those wanting to cling to either end of the extreme on this topic are apt to be disappointed.

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