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Jewish Journal

Should John Galliano Go to Jail For Hating Jews?

by Ilana Angel

June 22, 2011 | 11:58 pm

Galliano heading into court.

Fashion genius John Galliano is on trial in Paris for being an anti-Semite, and he took the stand today.  He testified the blame for his public slurs must be placed on his addiction to booze and pills.  Really?  Is one of the side effects of Valium that you hate Jewish people?  Is that listed on the information sheet from the pharmacist?

I don’t think he needs to go to jail for being an ass and neither does the prosecution because she is asking that the 50 year old designer pay a fine no less than $14,400.  The verdict will be announced on Sept. 8th and even though they are not asking for jail time, he could get 6 months and a fine up to $32,175.

The chances they will give him the maximum sentence with are slim because he is a first time offender. He is charged with public insults based on origin, religious, affiliation, race or ethnicity.  Is spewing hate in a bar, when you are drunk, considered talking publically?  He was just talking, not standing with a mic.

While on the stand Galliano said, “I have a triple addiction. I’m a recovering alcoholic and a recovering addict.  After every creative high, I would crash and the alcohol helped me, helped make Dior a billion-dollar business.”  When asked why he is only mentioning the addiction now, he said, “I was in denial. I was still taking those pills and alcohol, and I was in complete denial.”

When he watched the video where he announced that he loved Hitler, he responded to the judge with, “These are not views that I hold or believe in. In the video, I see someone who needs help, who’s vulnerable. It’s the shell of John Galliano. I see someone who’s been pushed to the edge. All my life I’ve fought against prejudice and intolerance and discrimination because I have been subjected to it myself.  I apologize for the sadness that this affair has caused and I apologize to the court as well.”

I know he said horrible things, and he clearly has an issue with Jews, but I think there is more to this story, and perhaps the receivers of his tirade are not as innocent as they would like us to believe.  The woman he verbally assaulted said that he used the word “Jewish” 30 times, yet nobody else at the café heard him. When asked why she did not get up and leave when he was so horrible, she said she stayed on “principal”.

Another witness from the café testified that, “It was very difficult to tell who had insulted whom, (but) I absolutely didn’t hear anything anti-Semitic.” She went on to say that the situation had been, “totally overblown.”  I think her testimony is more interesting than the people who he attacked.  I have to wonder if they knew who he was and perhaps there was another agenda.

There is a lot of hate in the world.  We hear about it all the time and I personally experience it here at The Jewish Journal on occasion.  People hate Jews.  Others hate homosexuals, or African Americans.  It’s sadly the world we live in and there is simply no room in all the prisons, in the world, to house everyone who has hate towards someone else based on race or religion.

What Galliano said was disgusting and it angered me.  Not just because I am a Jew, but also because such palpable hate scares me.  I worked for many years at the Shoah Foundation and I have seen the power of hate.  John Galliano is an idiot.  He has lost control of his life, but jail is not going to make him stop hating Jews, or teach him any great lesson.

Galliano has got balls to say that the reason he said such ugly things was because he was wasted.  It’s a crock.  He said it because somewhere in his heart, the sentiments are true.  He hates Jews.  He was in Paris so he was not alone.  France is not famous for loving her Jews.  It’s a sad situation but I feel jail is not the answer.

Make him pay the fine, and then do community service.  Let him clean the toilets at a day school.  Preferably one where there is a bad case of diarrhea going around.  Make him eat gefilte fish everyday for a year.  Make him go to rehab where his mandatory daily therapy is with a Jewish doctor who hates fashion designers.  There are better punishments than jail.

I appreciate that this is a serious subject, but we are dealing with a douchelord, and he has ruined his life all by himself.  Hate is a horrible thing, and Jews as a whole are sensitive to it as it has defined our history.  At the end of the day, I don’t care about John Galliano.  He made a mistake, was probably set up a little bit, and all his hate does, is remind me to keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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