Sunday, December 04, 2005

  • Sunday, December 04, 2005
  • Elder of Ziyon
As the world heaps praise on the film "Paradise Now" as an even-handed and honest look at Palestinian terrorists as being just ordinary human beings who are pushed into blowing up Jews because they are forced to by Israel, it is interesting to read the articles where the reviewers are bending over backwards to say that the director, Abu Assad, is not making any judgments on the subject.

But as this article in the Toronto Globe and Mail shows, the director is hardly unbiased (and, frankly, his grasp of the politics is puerile.) A reporter destroyed everything the director claimed about the conflict, leaving only the idea that he just hates Israel's very existence:

I had intended to question director Hany Abu-Assad about his film Paradise Now, the story of two Palestinians, auto mechanics from the West Bank, who decide to become suicide bombers. It didn't work out that way.

When we met during the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, I began by telling Abu-Assad -- a tall, elegant, 43-year-old Palestinian who spends much of his time these days in Amsterdam -- that I considered the film provocative.

"Why provocative?" he asked.

Because it attempts to explain, and thus implicitly justify, the taking of innocent lives, I replied. And because suicide bombing is no longer a tactic that occurs only in Israel or even Iraq. In the current geopolitical climate, it could happen anywhere.

Abu-Assad disagreed. "Palestine is a different conflict," he insisted. "The Palestinians are being physically oppressed. We face 60 years of occupation. Maybe they use the same methods elsewhere, but to understand anything, you must understand the conflict, not just look to the action."

According to Abu-Assad, the despair that turns ordinary car mechanics and teenage girls into suicide bombers is the result of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank (and until recently, the Gaza Strip).

But there was Palestinian militancy, even terrorism, long before the Six-Day War in 1967. Moreover, I countered, suicide bombing is not something generally organized by moderate Palestinians committed to finding a peaceful modus vivendi with Israel. It's the work of Hamas, which regards not just the West Bank, but all of Israel as occupied territory. In the film, the two bombers are trained and monitored by just such a shadowy, unnamed group. So where do you stand, I asked him.

Abu-Assad deflected the question. "It's not about where is Palestine and where is Israel. It's about denying the rights of Palestinians in their land. It's about the principle that both have to have equal rights, as individuals and as a nation. Hamas is no different than most of Israel. Most of Israel thinks it's all Jewish land. Hamas wants an Islamic state and Israel wants a Jewish state. So the same, yes?"

Well, no, actually. First of all, the vast majority of Israelis have renounced any claim to so-called Greater Israel. Indeed, the man who was once the chief proponent of that idea, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, has become the grand architect of disengagement, handing back the Gaza Strip and a handful of West Bank settlements this summer.

"They have just made Gaza a bigger jail," Abu-Assad maintained.

But the logic of that argument leads to the Hamas position. Whatever land Israel returns, it will always be simply "a bigger jail" until the Zionist cause is finally abandoned.

Look, he said, "the issue is equal rights. Unless they are equals, you will have conflict. There is no other solution." But true peace, Abu-Assad added, can only be achieved if Israel severs its ties with the United States. "How can you survive in a place where you are protecting the interests of someone else?" he asked.

But why would Israel do that, "surrounded by 22 Arab nations, many of which are committed to its dissolution?"

Very simply, Abu-Assad said, "To survive. To be part of the Middle East." Besides, he added, "Washington's interests will diminish when the oil is gone, and what will Israel do then?"
Moronic nonsense, in black and white. He doesn't even try to maintain a consistent position, except that he hates the Jewish state - everything else is a smokescreen to make him sound more reasonable that gets shredded at the slightest questioning.

Which, come to think of it, is pretty much the Arab and leftist position regarding Israel to begin with.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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