Engaged Cinema for Peace? Israeli Cinema in the Service of Political Ideologies
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Brent Toplin, Reel History: In Defense of Hollywood (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2002).
Toplin, Reel History, 23–30.
Brent Toplin, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11: How One Film Divided a Nation (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2006).
Nakbah, or catastrophe, is how Palestinians refer to their expulsion/flight during 1948 to 1949.
This narrative “forgets” the 1921 riots against the Jews of Jaffa.
This is a literal translation of a Hebrew idiom, meaning “here lies the truth,” perhaps somewhat a hybrid of the English “the heart of the matter” and “where the bodies are buried.”
E. Asheri, “My Intimate Enemy,” Haaretz, July 9, 2007.
Edna Fainaru and Dan Fainaru,“What Interests Me in the World is What Engages Me in Cinema’—An interview with Avi Mugrabi,” Cinematheque, 134 (May–June 2005): 7.
This rummaging through Jewish myths in an attempt to shatter them or, worse, to use them as proof of Jewish nastiness, strongly resembles the ideas in the writings of the antisemitic Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy, “The Established Myths of Israel”(R. Garaudy, Les myths fondateurs d’Israel [self-published, 1966]). This kind of Holocaust denial and antisemitism, among many other left-wing and right-wing antisemitic tropes, are analyzed by Elhanan Yakira, Post-Zionism, Post-Holocaust: Three Essays on Denial, Forgetting, and the Delegitimation of Israel (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 41–53.
Fainaru and Fainaru, “Interview with Avi Mugrabi,” 7.
A broad discussion on Zionist Colonialism may be found in the introduction to Yoav Gelber, Independence vs. Nakba: Israel, the Palestinians and Arab States, 1948 (Or Yehuda, Israel: Kinneret Zmora Bitan, 2004), 11–30.
Fainaru and Fainaru, “Interview with Avi Mugrabi,” 7.
His film defines“bad faith” as a phenomenon of self-deception in which people deny their origins, who they really are and what they really want. The first act of “bad faith” consists of “evading what you are not able to evade, by evading what you are.”
See Dan Michman, ed., Post-Zionism and the Holocaust: The Public Controversy in Israel Concerning “Post-Zionism” in 1993–1996 and the Place of the Holocaust Issue in It (Ramat Gan, Bar Ilan University–The Arnold and Leona Finkler Holocaust Research Institute, 1997), 52–97.
A clear argument for the international legitimization of the Jewish People’s right to establish a state under the auspices of UNO can be found in Amnon Rubinstein, Alexander Yacobson, Israel and The Family of Nations: A Jewish National State and Human Rights (Jerusalem: Schocken, 2003).
Alan Finkielkraut, L’avenir d’une Negation: Reflexion sur la Question de Genocide [The Future of Denial, Examination of the Genocide Question] (Jerusalem: Rubin Mass Publishers, 2006), 34–47.
Army service is compulsory in Israel and a considerable number of citizens (apart from Arabs and Orthodox Jews) enlist for a period of 2 to 3 years without salary. Therefore, the Israeli army is regarded as a people’s army and“dirty” talk about it is taken as directed at the majority of the population.
Mugrabi uses a professional actor to portray a seemingly real character with whom he conducts a telephone conversation. Their dialogue is supposed to be the connecting thread between the various sequences, despite the fact that, in most parts, the connection between the dialogue and what is being shown is purely coincidental. Mugrabi admits that a considerable part of his work is not documentary, but blends fiction and fact. See Fainaru and Fainaru, “Interview with Avi Mugrabi,” 7.
Yakira, Post-Zionism, 53–63. See also Y. Eilam,“Judaism and Anti-Semitism,” in Shoresh Hadevarim: A Renewed Study of People and Society, to Yair Tzaban on his 80th birthday, ed. R. Rosenthal (Jerusalem: Keter, 2005), 71–100. In this chapter, Eilam reinforces these stands and argues for the connection between the revival of antisemitism and Jewish cults and between antisemitism that has revived because of the arrogant and superior attitude of the Jewish religion.
“There’s something too facile about the way the film chooses to mock the bible teachers and tourist guides who bring the message of Massada and Samson from generation to generation (as an unavoidable addition in connection with the Shoah).”(U. Klein, “Mugrabi’s OK, we’re OK.” Gallery supplement, Haaretz [November 28, 2005], 6).
J. Derrida and E. Roudinesco, De Quoi Demain (France, Librairie Artheme Fayard et Editions Galilee, 2001), 144. Derrida: “Given the explicit and violent anti-Semitic declarations, we assume that the speaker meant them deliberately [...]; he knows what he is referring to, he says it freely, he foresees the likely results and also desires them, therefore he is responsible, we have the right to punish him. But others will claim that he did not mean it exactly, not explicitly and that, to tell the truth, in the rhetorical or literary field where his status is still vague, he meant to express something else, and so on, and in general, every show of antisemitism, racism or cruelty remains symptomatic. But what is a symptom? Can a symptom be judged? Brought before the law? How can a symptom be related to a subject? How, as a predicate, can it be related to the subject of a sentence?” Roudinesco: “According to judiciary laws, a subject suffering from this kind of symptom cannot be found guilty. In such a case the only weapon is criticism and alertness.”
Fainaru and Fainaru, “Interview with Avi Mugrabi,” 7. Mugrabi states that the soldiers’ innocent claim that they are carrying out orders not to open the roadblock to the waiting crowd begs the reply:‘So what, don’t our soldiers have to think? Was it only the German soldiers who should have refused to obey orders?’
G. Pinto, “Re: Falsification of sections of films from the Eichmann trial” [in Hebrew], Gallery supplement, Haaretz, January 31, 2005, D1.The article stated: “The highly praised film ‘The Specialist’ leans on a concoction of origi- nal recordings from the Eichmann trial—as claimed in a document sent to the Attorney General by Hillel Tryster, Director of the Spielberg Jewish Film Archives at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Highlighted in a box was the response: ‘Director Eyal Sivan replies: “We’re making movies, not archival research.”’”
Yvonne Kozlovsky Golan, “The Shaping of the Holocaust Visual Conscience by the Nuremberg Trials. Birth of the Holocaust in Hollywood-Style Motion Pictures: The Impact of the Movie ‘Nazi Concentration Camps,’” Search and Research, Lectures and Papers, Jerusalem, International Institute for Holocaust Research, Yad Vashem, 2006: 6–50.
The conceptual confusion is emphasized when the Israeli Left attacks, for example, Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories for the way it contravenes human rights—meaning personal harm by the Occupier (the Jewish nation) against any individual under its authority. On the other hand, climbing onto the concept of the individual neutral- izes the fight for nationhood which is the main aim of the Palestinian struggle....
Primo Levi, I sommersi e i salvati [The Drowned and the Saved, Hebrew translation] (Tel Aviv: Am Oved/Sifriat Ofakim, 1986), 142.
Gur (Grozovsky), Yehuda, Milon Ivri [Hebrew Dictionary]. Printed by“Guttenberg Printers”of Zwi Kesef (Tel Aviv: Dvir Publishers, Palestine-Eretz Yisrael, 1947).
Quotation from the movie blurb: N. Kaplan, I. Soskolni and E. Cohen, Blue and White Collar, A Crossing Comedy, film blurb, Israel, 2004.
B. Levy-Vered, Seventeen Conversations with Asa Kasher (Or Yehuda, Israel: Kinneret Zmora Bitan, 2005), 42–56.
Actually, even Muslims who are not of Arabic origin are not considered Arabs. Being an Arab means social status and belonging to high tribal rank. Only the peoples of the Muslim Arabian Peninsula and their Middle Eastern offspring may belong to this elite. See A. Habib, A. Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples (Tel Aviv: Faber and Faber, 2002); and B. Lewis, The Middle East: Two Thousand Years of History from the Rise of Christianity to Our Times (Tel Aviv: Schocken Books, 1997).
“Ten years after the founding of the democratic Eastern Rainbow, the veterans of the movement are soul searching to find out why the movement never succeeded in becoming a mass movement: maybe they were too Eastern and too post-Zionist? Maybe they were not traditional enough? Maybe they exaggerated their polemic at the expense of actual activity?” (Y. Sheleg,“Eastern and Agonized,” Haaretz, December 12, 2006.)
A. Elon, The Pity of It All, a History of Jews in Germany 1743–1933 (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2002), 151– 85; and Yakira, Post-Zionism, 53–63.
A. B. Yehoshua,“The Absurd as a Moral Guide, an Essay on Albert Camus’‘The Stranger.’The Terrible Power of a Little Guilt: On the Moral Link of a Literary Text”[in Hebrew], Gag Literary Periodical no. 1 (Summer 1998): 13–20.
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