Dead Kennedys an Odd Choice for the American Jewish Committee

The 1980s anti-establishment punk band The Dead Kennedys may have won a handful of friends in the Jewish community with their single, “Nazi Punks, F— Off!” but the last place one would expect the band to turn up is in a video from the American Jewish Committee.

Any links between the AJCommittee and the band seem tenuous, at best. But that hasn’t stopped the AJCommittee from using The Dead Kennedys’ 1980 song “Holiday in Cambodia” in the opening scene of a video posted Thursday on YouTube.

The AJCommittee video, called “Vilified: Telling Lies About Israel,” makes a case for what it perceives as media bias against Israel, and the media’s extensive focus on the actions of Israel at the expense of the world’s myriad intractable wars and human rights crises.

“Holiday in Cambodia” seems a puzzling — insensitive? — choice, given what the lyrics (not included in the video) discuss. The satirical song tells of a father sending his lazy, good-for-nothing son to a Khmer Rouge labor camp to experience harshness of the real world.

The song seems to make the point: You think you’ve got it bad, kid, look at what is going on in the rest of the world.

A harsh message, to say the least.

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Dead Kennedys an Odd Choice for the American Jewish Committee

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