… Palestinians murder, Israelis murder.
Palestinians show evidence of a conscience, Israelis show evidence of a conscience.
Palestinians suppress their scruples, Israelis suppress their scruples. Palestinians
make little speeches about home and blood and soil, Israelis make little speeches
about home and blood and soil. Palestinians kill innocents, Israelis kill innocents.
All these analogies begin to look ominously like the sin of equivalence… TNR
“Munich” is a minefield movie.
It proves why politicos, pundits and bloggers make really awful
It's also the most important movie to see as the 2005 season closes.
I will see it more than once. That's the test of a great film. Something you
have to see again. Not like “Million Dollar Baby,” which was too horrifying
to endure twice. But a movie with so much meaning that it has to be mined on
multiple viewings to separate the political, the polemic, from the merely practical;
the human, from the animal… oops, now I've done it. Can't wait to get the
comments accusing me of equating Jews with an animal… or will that be Arabs
and animals? It all depends from which side of the political fence you view
the carnage, emotional, physical and political, which is the crux of the argument
Tony Kushner is taking a beating for “Munich.” All because
he wished “modern Israel hadn't been born.” Oh, and then there's that
other thing: he's a liberal, a progressive, not to mention the author of “Angels
in America.” His new film has been reviewed under “Angels in Munich,”
blog is awash in wingnuttery
wonkery on the movie. Thank goodness the viewing public doesn't take their
tips from conservative Republicans on a rampage. But when the likes of Powerline
sights blogs writing articles about “Munich” entitled Why
Does the Left Hate Israel?, what can you expect? Going further in explanation,
#1 in the article explaining why the Left Hates Israel, you find the following
reason: “It is an easy way to express one’s hatred for America.”
Of course, what would wingnuttery wonkery be without the “hate America”
argument hurled at progressives? Quick, alert Michelle Malkin so she can post
Then there is the New Republic's “sin of equivalence”
babble, representing the Joe Lieberman vision, I guess, whom they backed in
I won't even begin to tackle the “Jews
who hate Israel” logic being dispensed by “The American Thinker,”
which Powerline is using as exhibit A, but which is actually an oxymoron, as
evidenced by the content of their posts.
But when The Sun's Mitch Webber starts interpreting Golda Meir,
all bets are off.
The most misleading line in Stephen Spielberg's
Munich comes near the beginning. Israel's prime minister, Golda Meir, tells
her cabinet, “Every civilization finds it necessary to negotiate compromises
with its own values.” The implication is that Meir was reluctant to hunt
down the terrorists responsible for the Munich massacre, and that doing so
was contrary to Israeli, and civilized, values. PowerLine
I'm sorry, but this interpretation is a putrid steaming pile of,
well, you know what. Webber would have thought Margaret Thatcher a pussycat. There
is absolutely nothing in the characterization of Ms. Meir in “Munich”
that reads “reluctance.” Weary, maybe, but the woman was resolute,
not to mention brutal. And when exactly did Israel become “civilization”
itself? If this is the case, then we're all on the fault line of the
Gaza strip. … Hmmm…
For more rubbish, just check in to Debbie
Schlussel's diatribe, which strains credulity, unless you walk in knowing
she's pushing ideology and has no interest in any truth or reality.
… Spielberg’s Palestinian terrorists
have cute, young, innocent, piano-playing daughters who will be fatherless.
But he never shows the cute, young daughters of the Israeli athletes who were
made fatherless â€“ and whose fathers, unlike the Palestinian terrorists,
were innocent victims with no choice in the matter.
Spielberg’s Mossad agents say bigoted things
like, “The only blood that matters to me is Jewish blood,” and
go around killing innocent people at whim. The real-life Mossad agents who
hunted the Munich terrorists went to great pains to avoid killing innocents…
Spielberg’s Mossad agents cry and brood a lot,
unsure of themselves and why they are pursuing terrorists. …
After it is confirmed the Israeli athletes
were murdered, Spielberg uses news footage showing pictures and names of the
Israeli dead. Interspersed with that, he shows Golda Meir and Israeli generals
looking though photos and announcing the names of the Palestinian terrorists.
They’re equal in this movie â€“ Get it?
|A gunman stands on the balcony of the building where a group called Black September held Israeli athletes hostage at the Olympic Village on Sept. 5, 1972.
(photo: Kurt Strumpf, AP)
In the wingnuttery world of filmmaking and editing, you would
have a Jew and a Palestinian sifting through the dailies on different editing
machines, counting the clips that would make it in the first of the film's rough
cuts, with the final decision left to Spielberg, who is now considered “Abu
Spielberg â€“ Minister of Disinformation.” I mean, really, Debbie.
Mossad agents aren't human? They can't cry and have feelings?
Make mistakes and take in a woman that costs him his life? Any by the way, “Munich”
also goes the full length in saying that the Mossad agents “went to great
pains to avoid killing innocents” too. I guess Ms. Schlussel doesn't remember
the scene where the Mossad agents in “Munich” ran full out to stop
the detonation of a bomb when that same “cute, young, innocent, piano-playing
daughter” was spotted inside the apartment about to be blown. But, hey, it doesn't fit Ms Debbie's prescreened world view, so the reality is cut out and replaced with well worn ideology that fits her picture. Perfect.
Shame on anyone, especially a Jew like Speilberg or Kushner, who
takes a contrary point of view and challenges both sides.
Or is there only one side in this argument?
Or maybe we're all now to be inducted into George
W. Bush's planet preemption project to save the homeland, which is now only Israel?
Besides, if we're to save Israel, God help them. With the Twin
Towers as an ending tableau, do we not get the message that our “helping”
Israel is actually destroying that land which we all long to see in security
and at peace?
If you don't believe our actions to save Israel have repercussion
that may actually backfire, then you obviously also haven't read about Iran's
cozy coupling with the Shiites, post 2005 Iraqi elections, which is not what
Americans bought, died and paid for in Mesopotamia. Having now made Iraq a partner
of sorts with Iran, the question must be asked: What good have we done our Israeli
To take the discussion one step further, which is Spielberg's
aim in moving the story to New York. What good have we wrought for America?
“Sin of equivalence”? Someone didn't bother watching
the film with an open mind ready to be challenged with a fictional story that
comes at both sides equally. God forbid. Allah be damned.
Both sides of the political aisle missed “Munich,” because
both sides were too busy pushing their own points of view through the extremist lens
of their own lunacy.
Reducing complex issues to petty partisan polarization might make
for nice postings, but it does nothing for the discussion, not to mention actually finding solutions. But also missed is the message that hatred rarely offers a satisfying endgame for anyone, because it feeds itself and only dies out after a long burning over a multitude of time. But sometimes not even then, because hatred can be taught and passed down to new generations. We are not learning the legacy of that lesson.
That purely partisan people rarely
understand or can separate art and cinematic complexities that clash with their
ideology is obvious. But trying to reduce “Munich” to progressive
creativeness, or people who have a self-hatred or a loathing for Israel, all
because the artists in question make the audience uncomfortable with their presupposed
political positioning, is tantamount to kindergarten antics by schoolyard bullies
discontent with his or her own mental ineptitude to tackle the questions at hand. And that goes for your side
As I sat watching the credits roll, listening to the magnificent
scoring, I caught the comments coming from the long line of movie goers walking
by slowly, single file, as they paraded out the exit. An elderly Jewish couple
walked by, the man whispering softly in his wife's ear. The last sound bite
of their conversation said it all for me.
“We keep doing the same thing over and over again, but we're
not getting anywhere,” said the Jew.
As a gentile, for so many reasons, all I could do was nod.