I received this message from a friend about an article in the LA Times, “Killers rendered in shades of gray,” that is aptly characterized as an “erudite and subtle propaganda piece.”
Below is a discussion of a new movie that tells the story of a pair of suicide bombers. The author of the article refers to them at one point as “the two heroes.”
Increasingly, you will be expected to “understand” the “why” of suicide bombing. Read this erudite and subtle propaganda piece that “squarely places the blame” on the “occupation.” But do you have the tools to recognize what is missing from this analysis? To wonder why no mention is made of the brainwashing of Muslims into the ideology of jihad?
There is a total absence of any reference to the perpetual hate messages in the “Palestinian” media; the ingrained Jew-hatred in Muslim society; the role of Muslim clergy who encourage, justify and endorse suicide bombing; and, above all, to the role of Islam in supplying the ideology for such bombings and the promise of their just reward: Paradise.
Do you wonder why the article does not mention how the “occupation” came into being? Why the writer did not tell you that it resulted from relentless warfare and terrorism by Arab states determined to destroy Israel? That when the same land was under Jordanian and Egyptian occupation prior to 1967, its inhabitants were treated to unremitting cruelty, neglect and rejection by their own Arab brethren? And, lastly, do you wonder why the author did not inform you that failed but unremitting aggression against Israel spawned the realization that terrorism would achieve what conventional warfare could not?
Suicide bombing is the Muslim weapon of choice, not because of despair, humiliation or “occupation,” but because the Muslim world believes that suicide bombing works.
But now we are asked by our own media to, essentially, “give suicide bombing a chance.” See the positive in it. Blame Israel for it. Remove all responsibility from the shoulders of those who recruit for it, finance it, promote it, practice it, celebrate it, reward it, perpetuate it and glorify it. In short, Israel’s enemies are absolved.
Clearly, the writer with the obligatory Jewish name is counting on your naivete and ignorance.
On the other hand, perhaps the writer is promoting a powerful idea whose time has come.
Now that she has succeeded in “understanding” aggrieved suicide bombers who kill Jews because of “occupation,” next month she just might end up having to “understand” aggrieved suicide bombers who kill people — other than Jews — for unrequited love; for personal vengeance; for greed; for pro-choice; for pro-life; for the right to die; for the right to live; for the environment, for the right to have an SUV, for the war against SUVs, for animal rights, for vegetarianism, for anti-vegeterianism, for, for, against, against…etc. etc. etc.
Why is this ideology being foisted upon us?
Can we envision where it will lead?
Has the LA Times no obligation to publish responsibly?
Write a letter to the times if you are so inclined. I can’t say I believe it will help.
But I do recommend that everyone go and see another movie, one that might get no attention from the LA Times at all: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. You will get to watch a lot of the same material suicide bombers are raised on. And do recommend the movie to Rachel Abramowitz.
And here is an excerpt of the Times piece:
In untangling the roots of Middle Eastern terrorism, two ambitious fall releases find that the heroes and the villains aren’t always easy to discern.
WHEN the towers came down on Sept. 11, Stephen Gaghan, the Oscar-winning writer of “Traffic,” realized in a flash that “Hollywood has done a terrible job creating villains.” It all used to be so simple, so black and white. There were the good guys and the bad guys “” not people willing to blow themselves up in orderr to blow up their enemies.
This fall Gaghan and the Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad will release films that represent ambitious attempts to unearth the root causes of terrorism and suicide bombers. Both happen to come from the Warner Bros. conglomerate “” Gaghan’s $50-million “Syriana,” from big Warner’s, and Abu-Assad’s $2-million “Paradise Now,” from Warner’s new specialty division, Warner Independent. Both are thrillers in a sense “” but without the genre’s usual catharsis. In a throwback to the politically engaged films of the ’70s, the point isn’t to reassure moviegoers but to provoke them….
Abu-Assad’s film is much like a Palestinian “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead”: It focuses on two people on the periphery of history and watches them breathe. If the culminating event is horrific, the day-to-day buildup is almost surreal in its very mundaneness. When the two heroes make their martyrs’ video “” in the same spot in Nablus where real suicide bomber farewell videos are shot “” the camera fails to work, so they have to redo it. Their guerrilla group handlers watch and noisily eat their lunch “” packed by the unsuspecting mother of one of the would-be bombers.
Indeed, the guerrillas appear less ideologues than thugs preying on young men’s despair. When one of the friends suggests they’ll get to paradise afterward, the other smacks him on the head as if to knock that naivetÃ© right out. One of the protagonists is motivated by family shame “” he is the son of an Israeli collaborator killed by Palestinians. Yet their anguish seems palpable “” born of some mixture of poverty, hopelessness, fatherlessness and disenfranchisement. Abu-Assad shows their journey from the poor streets of Nablus to the beautiful and prosperous high-rises of Tel Aviv, a shocking journey, no doubt, but for American viewers it is unfortunately no more shocking than a trip from South-Central to Santa Monica.
Abu-Assad is a pacifist who doesn’t believe in the values of suicide bombing, but he does place the blame for Palestinian suffering squarely on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and formerly Gaza. Still, he didn’t intend to make a polemic. “If this is the case, I could make an article about it. I didn’t need to make a film.”