Thursday, February 28, 2013

Applauding a loss at the Oscars

Congratulations to the Oscar winners. But, why is it that many Israelis are glad that two Israeli-made films that were nominated in the category of best documentary did not win an Oscar.  It's simple, really, it's because any documentary nominated at the Oscars, or essentially at any other film festival anywhere on earth, must be anti-Israel.  In other words, it must have a theme that attacks Israel and is intended to undermine the basis of the Israeli State, otherwise it could not be nominated. 
Take the two Israeli-made films that were nominated, "Five broken cameras" and "The Gatekeepers."  Both were made by left-wing Israelis, the first in collaboration with a Palestinian cameraman, Emad Burnat.  In "five cameras" the director obviously selects scenes in which Israeli soldiers behave badly, fight with and/or beat up poor innocent Palestinians.  He also uses the cute little son of the cameraman as a main character.  Never mind that this action was shot at the village of Bil'in where they have been demonstrating and rioting for several years against the Israeli security fence.  In that time how many Palestinians and their left-wing Jewish supporters have been killed by IDF soldiers, who have orders not to shoot?  In that time how many IDF soldiers have been injured by rocks and Molotov cocktails thrown at them or have been beaten up?  In that time there have been many pitched battles between IDF soldiers and determined violent demonstrators?  But, the only scenes shown in the movie are those depicting the IDF soldiers as aggressors. This is anti-Israel propaganda.  Why do the demonstrators go there, to try to destroy the fence. But what is not shown is that they went to the Israeli Supreme court and won their case to have the fence moved and it was moved, but that didn't stop their attacks, because they are against the fence in principle and they are against the existence of the Jewish State in principle.  In the film the little boy asks his father "why can't I go and stab an Israeli soldier?"  That's what they bring their children up to do.  So we are glad that this film demonizing Israel and Israeli soldiers lost.
"The Gatekeepers" is a lot more complex because it features interviews with six former heads of the Shin Bet, the Israeli internal intelligence service, that was obviously a coup to achieve. But, the director, Dror Moreh, has a left-wing bias and cut the film to emphasize the regret and rejection of violence that all of the former intelligence heads have expressed after leaving  office.  This is an interesting trend, remember Ariel Sharon, who after being "the father of the settlements" brought tragedy to Israel with his unilateral withdrawal campaign from Gaza; remember Yitzhak Rabin, who after being the strong man of the IDF and the life-long enemy of Shimon Peres, supported his Oslo Accords that led to death and destruction for Israel.  What are the psychological factors that cause such men in high places who have to make tough decisions, that after they resign or later in their career they do an about-face, and become soft.  In the case of Sharon it was said that he didn't want to go down in history as "the butcher of Sabra and Shatila," and for Rabin, who told the IDF soldiers to "break the bones" of the Palestinians, he wanted to prove that he wasn't such a bad guy after all.  Similarly, these former heads of the Shin Bet want to prove that they really weren't so bad, and so they suddenly become soft and adopt a peaceful approach.  Still, the aim of the film is the same, to show how bad Israel has been in its treatment of the poor Palestinians.  I have a modest suggestion, if they don't like how the Israeli Government treats them, let them go to an Arab country, how about Syria.


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