There is no excuse for terrorism, no rationalization
for the murder of innocent civilians.
By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem----December 28......Steven Spielberg has made a very big mistake. And rather than admitting it: "you know it was an error, I overreached, I am going to pull it - my movie on the Munich Massacre," Spielberg hires a spin doctor from Israel. But Steven, no amount of PR spin will pull you out of this mess. You cannot ask Israel to hesitate for one tenth of one second on our war against terrorism.
Many in Israel will now argue that if Spielberg was truly sincere in his attempt to create a "prayer for peace" that he should have created a documentary. Both security and media analysts in Israel smell commercial exploitation of Israel terror victims. How much popcorn will be sold? Will that money go to Israel terror victims or into Steven Spielberg's bank account?
Steven Spielberg has hired one of Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's top public relations agents to counter massive negative feedback about his new film about Israel's retaliation for the Palestinian terror attack on its team at the 1972 Munich Olympics. Eyal Arad, who helped mastermind the recent Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, said on Sunday he was promoting the film "Munich" in the Jewish state, where it has already stirred fierce debate. "This market is an important market," Arad told Reuters. "We are talking about a film that has generated a lot of interest here, and naturally that sort of interest can entail some negative reactions as well as positive reactions," he said.
Negative reactions? Spielberg is asking Israel to hesitate on its war against terrorism. To think about what we are doing as we defend ourselves. Spielberg is a friend of Israel. We appreciate his creative genius. But for Spielberg to suggest to the Israel defense establishment as to how to operate would be like the Mossad, Shaback, the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel police to advice Spielberg on lighting, sound and editing.
Steven, you never served one day in the IDF or in the Israel security services. You have a complete void when it comes to understanding Arab mentality and culture. Come for a ride with me on an IDF jeep patrolling the Lebanese border. We come under fire. We hit the dirt and immediately fire back in the direction of the enemy. We then get up on our feet and move towards the enemy while firing at them. Will you ask us as we fire back: "you know there may be a good reason why the Iranian backed Hizbullah wants to wipe Israel off the map."
You created such masterpieces such as Saving Private Ryan but yet totally lack the real knowledge of warfare.
This is not E.T. saying "ouch." When we in Israel say "ouch" it means that innocent men, women, children and babies are being blown up on a bus, in a restaurant or in a shopping mall by people who call for Islamic Jihad. These Palestinians do not know of democracy. Attacking New York's World Trade Center and beheading Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is what they know best. Not all Palestinians or Islamic Arabs but it is in their culture to "support" their brothers even if they are wrong. Islamic terrorists are not born in Beverly Hills or Great Neck.
Avi Dichter, a retired head of Israel Shin Bet domestic intelligence service who attended a preview in Washington, likened "Munich" to a children's adventure story. "There is no comparison between what you see in the movie and how it works in reality," he said. There is a total lack of historical accuracy.
So when director Steven Spielberg, in his new film on the post-Munich reprisals, showed a Mossad case officer ordering agents to hoard receipts to recover expenses while in deep cover abroad, eyebrows were raised among veterans of the intelligence service. “It’s an absurd version of the modus operandi,” former field agent Gad Shimron said when asked about “Munich.” “Agents are expected to account for their expenses, but not if it means incurring the risk of discovery. They can just as easily declare their expenses from memory when they return home, and it’s accepted on trust.” That is just one of a list of complaints made about “Munich” by those with direct knowledge of the Israel reprisal campaign.
The Spielberg's PR team worked on Ilana Romano and then she kindly noted that, unlike the book, the movie overlooks the Mossad mistake - the 1973 killing of a Moroccan waiter mistaken for a senior Palestinian fugitive in the Norwegian town of Lillehammer. "Had Spielberg wanted to harm Israel's image, he would have included the Lillehammer affair," Romano, whose weightlifter husband was the first Olympian killed, told Israeli television. "Don't let's over-analyze Spielberg's film."
No, let's over-analyze "Munich" for what it is. It's dangerous. It places doubt in the minds of all counter-terror operations from Washington, Russia, Spain, England, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey if they are doing the right thing?
Steven Spielberg calls his new movie, "Munich," a “prayer for peace.” The movie tells the story of the 11 Israel athletes murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich by Palestinian terrorists and Israel’s response to the murders. In an interview with Time Magazine ahead of the movie’s premiere, Spielberg doesn't hide his affinity for Israel, and says, “there has never been adequate tribute paid to the Israel athletes that were murdered in 1972.
Spielberg began filming Munich in June, with an estimated budget of USD 70 million. He says, “I don't think any movie, or any book, or any work of art can solve the stalemate in the Middle East today, but it is certainly worth a try.” Spielberg adds: "I'm always in favor of Israel responding strongly when it's threatened," he says. “At the same time, a response to a response doesn't really solve anything. It just creates a perpetual-motion machine. There's been a quagmire of blood for blood for many decades in that region. Where does it end? How can it end?"
Steven war ends when one side hurts so much that they are forced to surrender. That's called the "Powell Doctrine" the use of overwhelming force is how one wins. "Munich" only adds a rationale to those in Syria, Iran, Gaza, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia who wish to destroy Israel. Steven you are naively taking on the role of "Tokyo Rose" and you don't even realize it.
You ask how can it end? Through objective and healthy education provided by the Palestinian Authority, programs such as Seed of Peace and the end of anti-Semitic incitement throughout the Arab media.
It will end when good people like yourself turn your cameras towards making advertisements and documentaries for the Arab masses which call for peace. "Munich" does not call for peace - it demands that we who believe in democracy doubt our actions when we defend ourselves.
Israel consul-general in Los Angeles has criticized Steven Spielberg's film about the 1972 Olympic massacre in Munich as a "superficial", "pretentious" and "problematic" work that draws an incorrect moral equation between Mossad agents and Palestinian terrorists. Speaking to Israel radio, Ehud Danoch, said: "As a Hollywood movie, I assume that it will be defined as a well-made film, but from the standpoint of the messages it sends, the messages are problematic."
Danoch accused Oscar-winning Spielberg of equating Mossad agents to the terrorists saying: "This is an incorrect moral equation. We in Israel know this. There is also a certain pretentiousness in attempting to treat a painful decades-long conflict by means of quite superficial statements in a movie." But far from fostering reconciliation, early screenings have triggered considerable criticism from Israel hardliners. "Jews pioneered Hollywood," wrote Jack Engelhard, the author of the best-selling novel and film, Indecent Proposal. "If, as our enemies say, we own Hollywood, well, here's the plot twist - we have lost Hollywood, and we have lost Spielberg. Spielberg is no friend of Israel. Spielberg is no friend of truth. His Munich may just as well have been scripted by George Galloway."
Most Islamic Arabs would never know what your movie Munich was all about. To most Arabs, Spielberg’s film is just another part of the vast "Jewish media conspiracy." They believe that the "Jewish media conspiracy" theory best explains why so many in the Western World sympathize with Israel over the Palestinians.
Example given - the Palestinian mastermind of the Munich Massacre said on Tuesday that he had no regrets and that Steven Spielberg's new film "Munich" about the incident would not deliver reconciliation. Mohammed Daoud planned the Munich attack on behalf of PLO splinter group Black September, but did not take part and does not feature in the film. He voiced outrage at not being consulted for the movie and accused Spielberg of pandering to the Jewish state.
"If he really wanted to make it a prayer for peace he should have listened to both sides of the story and reflected reality, rather than serving the Zionist side alone," Daoud told Reuters by telephone from the Syrian capital, Damascus. Daoud said he had not seen the film, which will only reach most screens outside the United States next month. "When I chose a long time ago to be a revolutionary fighter I prepared to be a martyr. I am not afraid, because people's souls are in God's hands, not Israel's," he said.
Israel, nor any modern Western democracy, has no partner in peace with those who believe that we are all infidels as they blindly embrace Islamic Jihad (holy war).
Steven you are a Jew, an American and a friend of Israel. As such Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, PFLP, Hizbullah and al Qaeda would not shed one tear in beheading you. Pull Munich. Create a documentary for the Islamic Arab market. But you will face one very large obstacle - they do not believe in democratic principles such as freedom of speech. Your "prayer for peace" documentaries would be burned in the same fashion that Hitler and his Nazis smiled as they watched thousands of books turn into tall pillars of fire.
As for your public relations company in Israel, I trust that not one employee of Eyal Arad wears an Israel Defense Forces uniform in the IDF reserves. That they advise you to take your profits from "Munich" and give it to the thousands of terror victims still suffering in Israel hospitals - those who have lost an arm, a leg or their eyesight. Start with the babies and children.