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Woody Allen Not Surprised by Stubborn Anti-Semitism

Woody Allen told The Guardian last week that he is “not surprised” by anti-Semitism.

The 80-year-old star, who is making the press rounds for his new movie “Cafe Society,” said that while he has not faced discrimination because of his religion, some of his Jewish friends have.

“If there were no Jews in the world they would take it out on blacks,” he said. “If no blacks, they’d move over to Catholics. No Catholics? Something else. Finally, if everyone is exactly the same, the left-handed people would start killing the right-handed people. You just need an other [on whom] to vent your hostility and frustration.”

Allen went on to say that he doubts anti-Semitism will ever be a thing of the past.

“Hopefully, the wave will ebb and people will realize that’s not the problem and focus more on what the problems are,” he said. “But the world is full of intolerance and prejudice. Freud said there would always be anti-Semitism because people are a sorry lot. And they are a sorry lot.”

While the director has stated in the past that he does not believe in organized religion, he has been an out-spoken supporter of Israel.

“I support Israel and I’ve supported it since the day it was founded,” Allen said. “…I understand that Israelis have been through hard times, I don’t expect Israel to react perfectly every time and that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a wonderful, marvelous country.”

Thea Glassman is a Multimedia Fellow at the Forward. Reach her at glassman@forward.com or follow her on Twitter at @theakglassman.

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