Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

South Bay Photo Store Owner: “Your Jewish ancestors were ‘Zionist Terrorists'”

Posted by Oyster on March 15, 2007


A less than picture-perfect end to a disturbing incident. Mitchell Cutler, left, and Tracey Cutler, photographed here with some of their ancestral photos.

I was shocked to read on the cover of my Federation’s mouth-piece that a prominent Jewish couple in the community (they are the owners of La Fondue Restaurant in Saratoga, CA, where their children relish the bacon fondue) had recently been subject to a level of Antisemitism that I had convinced myself was non-existent in the South Bay. San Francisco, Berkeley; sure. I’d believe that there. But not here in my home, sweet, South Bay!

The Merc described it (and the Chron re-posted their story) as such:

A South Bay man has won a civil lawsuit filed against Los Gatos Camera after the shop’s owner refused to make prints of family photos, alleging they were of Zionist terrorists.

On Feb. 8, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Marc Poche ordered Los Gatos Camera to pay $4,000 in statutory damages and about $50,000 in attorney fees to Mitchell Cutler of Saratoga, who filed the suit in 2005 as “an obligation” to his ancestors. Poche also ordered the store not to deny services based on someone’s religion or ancestry.

A choice line on this incident comes from the J, which quotes Mitch Cutler as saying: “To claim I said these people were terrorists is the ultimate in reverse mean-spiritedness, because some of them never even made it out of Russia.”

I was shocked to read such blatantly-biased coverage in the Los Gatos Observer:

Muston, a clear-eyed student of history beyond the comforting inaccuracies that societies tend to tell themselves, has formed independent opinions about why the world is what it is. His understanding of the violent history of pre-Israeli Palestine made him decide not to take Mr. Cutler’s money.

This was a hard-news piece, not an editorial. This line from the reporter’s article just screams out subjective personal opinion! And what the hell does “pre-Israeli Palestine” mean? If he means pre-Jewish, he has to go back a few thousand years. Or is he referring to the violent Arab mobs that slaughtered Jews before the 1947 UN Partition Plan? But I transgress digress…

The Metro reveals some tell-tale signs that Mr. Cutler’s story is not to be believed:

Muston, once an aspiring history teacher and still an amateur historian, was, in his words, “just like [the television detective] Columbo … really, really suspicious about the what the hell was going on.” Just as Cutler had no doubts about choosing American citizenship after 9/11, Muston also had no doubts about his conclusions. “I don’t have any doubts at all,” he says. “I have no doubts about the official story; I know the official story is an unending string of idiotic, insanely stupid lies.”

I can tell you from sad experience that those who are left-wing 9/11 conspiracy nut-jobs are also the type to to have an axe to grind with Jews Zionists. But of course, the quiet Jew who doesn’t speak out and minds the left party line isn’t their target, its the “Zionists” (progressive code-talk for Jew).

Oh, now I get it; Mr. Muston must have misheard Mr. Cutler. It was all a misunderstanding! He said that he wanted to “blow-up” the pictures. 😉 Terrorist! Guilty-as-charged!

I’m apparently not the only one outraged. Local blog Mission City Lantern went so far as to state “Boycott Los Gatos Camera“! Another local blog, affiliated with the Metro, also covered the story.

Cutler worked with the San Francisco office of the ADL to assist him in this matter. Jonathan Bernstein, regional director of the ADL (and a very nice man), was quoted upon hearing the verdict:

“Mitchell Cutler’s allegations show how bias — when left unchecked
— can transform into bigotry. We applaud Mr. Cutler for taking a stand and
successfully fighting this form of hatred right in his own town.”

[As an aside: whomever did the ADL site obviously doesn’t know Northern California from a bump on their nose. I mean, what the hell does this mean, “Central Pacific Region (San Francisco). Servicing: Northern California (including San Jose, but excluding Bakersfield)”? Man, their sense of NorCal geography is almost as bad as ck’s. 🙂 This is like saying “Serving Europe: Paris but not Instanbul”. San Jose is the largest city in NorCal; larger than San Francisco, in fact. And Bakersfield is waaaaay out in the central valley. They’re geographically closer to LA, and in no way culturally or socially connected to the Oy Bay Area whatsoever. And don’t get me started on their use of the word “servicing“; it’s “serving”. But I transgress digress… ]

And Mr. Muston is closing the doors to his business, citing digital cameras and evil blood-sucking Jewish lawyers (okay, I just made that last part up) as his motivations, and saying it has nothing to do with Mr. Cutler. He and his wife hope to retire to the countryside. You know, where all the real Americans are.

Hopefully this closes the door on this ugly incident. A silver lining is that Mitchell Cutler, apparently a former activist with Honest Reporting, is donating his $4,000 award (when you subtract the lawyers fees) to that esteemed organization devoted to fighting media bias against Israel. Perhaps HR can go talk to the Metro & the Los Gatos Observer?


6 Responses to “South Bay Photo Store Owner: “Your Jewish ancestors were ‘Zionist Terrorists'””

  1. jlifer fo' sho' said

    What a crock! Now people are feeling smug and justified in their stupidity?!? Thank G-d I’m in Israel, where the camera shop owners would gladly print my ancestors photos, even if they were Zionist terrorists!!! (Which they weren’t, but one hof my relatives served as a medic in the 6-day War.)

  2. Good for them! I’m glad the Cutler family didn’t take it lying down and did something about this bigotry.

  3. mitchell cutler said

    Thanks for the kind words. Mitchell Cutler.

  4. Oyster said


    Thank you for doing the right thing and standing up for the Jewish people. You make us proud.

  5. Paul said

    WOW! Now I’ve heard everything! I OWN a photo lab in Oregon and would consider it an honor to print the photos of any Jewish survivor of the atrocities of the ’30s and ’40s- it was more than Germany!
    The ‘political correctness’ of the Bay area is sickening! They need to take some REAL history lessons of the 1900s- has any other race suffered as much! Thankfully all of my known relatives left Germany in 1805- to escape Napoleon’s army- and guess what else we got to avoid! My father then went to fight in areas that 140 years earlier our family came from!
    I’m SO thankful that you stood up to this, Mitchell!

  6. Oyster said

    Hi Paul,

    This goes beyond mere ‘political correctness’. This is what my friend calls “you’ve gone so far left that you’ve appeared on the right”. Alas, both extreme leftists and extreme rightists have it out for the Jews.

    I’m interested if your father wrote up his experiences from the war.

    If memory serves, the only Jews running away from Napoleon were the Hasidim. Could you tell me more?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: