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Thankfully, the world has a magnificent image to help a new generation of young people sort through the confusion and conflict surrounding Steven Spielberg's movie Munich. In The Chronicles of Narnia, (Anschutz Film Group, Walt Disney Company, Walden Media) a splendid and virtuous lion named Aslan inspires his down-trodden people to rise up and destroy the evil forces that have devastated all that is loving and beautiful about Narnia and curses them to eternal winter.
It is a story of a civilization in conflict, a gentle people that yearn for peace, subjugated by the violent forces of evil that render their lives barren of hope. This is a story about a lion that roars for peace. The good people of Narnia accept the call, and to achieve a lasting and meaningful peace, wage a reluctant war to safeguard their humanity and restore Narnia to its path of righteousness, where valor, courage, wisdom, and generosity prevail.
Now, picture a cookie jar. Let's call it Munich. The lid is off. There's a whole bunch of crumbs. There's a whole bunch of hands. There's a whole bunch of kids. The cookie monster escapes. The kids have to fend for themselves. They make-up excuses, filled with little deceits and lies... called stories.
For those who may be just tuning in, Steven Spielberg stands accused of creating a virtual anti-Zionist "Mein Kampf" for our time, named Munich, coincidentally, no doubt, the very city where Hitler launched his first putsch, and where appeasing British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain ratified Hitler's seizure of parts of hapless Czechoslovakia, teaching Hitler that force and threats of force would go unopposed. The invasion of Poland, World War II, and the Holocaust followed on the lessons Munich taught Hitler.
Spielberg's movie has failed in the world of public opinion, and hundreds of emails have come my way since Munich stands for "Appeasement" hit cyberspace. One Holocaust survivor descendant wrote, "This is 10 times worse than I could ever imagine." A top historical expert remarked that it is "beneath contempt." Hindus and Catholics found me. The Hindu family fled to America to escape threats of Muslim kidnapping. The Catholic had been held hostage. The Hindu woman had been held hostage, and was afraid to talk, because she knows too many people who have been killed. These are the victims of Jihad.
This is not a shout from the pulpit, this is a cry from the crowd.
Those who saw ABC's Nightline's segment on Munich know what I mean by saying that host Cynthia McFadden was left holding the cookie jar. She was charming and gracious, reiterating the "cycle of violence" sound byte, with film clips and location clips, all no doubt negotiated by ABC's rights and permissions department. Her scripted segment ended with what she called "the Iraq analogy" memorialized by Munich's final clip, with Avner (Eric Bana) renouncing his ties to Israel against the backdrop of the Twin Towers.
"The Iraq Analogy" -- wow, the cookie jar morphs
Spielberg pawned "the Iraq analogy" off to unwitting terrestrials at ABC, after running for cover to film critic Roger Ebert a few days earlier. In extraterrestrial style, he scoffed at the "moral equivalence" assessment -- a "stupid charge" to him -- even though he does not seem to grasp its meaning. Worse, he appears unable to understand that he grossly misrepresented the true meaning of "Israel" to younger generations. Perhaps he is so enchanted with his "Iraq Analogy" he was hoodwinked into anti-Zionism by screenwriter Tony Kushner, whose sentiment that Israel is an "historical, moral, political calamity" dominated the movie.
Then, there is the "no regrets" press statement from Mohammed Daoud, the surviving PLO master planner of the 1972 Munich Massacre. Yes, you heard that right. Courtesy of Reuters, Mr. Daoud is livid that he was not a consultant to the film, miffed that he is not immortalized as the master planner. True to Islamic Jihad, he militantly asserted that Spielberg's "prayer for peace" will not deliver its intended reconciliation.
That cookie jar named Munich is so stuffed with hands. Wouldn't you love to meet that "cookie monster" escape artist who is no where to be found?
We're not the Masses, We're the People!
In America, we believe in e plurbis unum, "from many into one." We accept that there may be differing opinions, but we love America as one. When someone -- under the guise of fiction -- preaches falsehoods to younger generations, we protest. When someone disposes of the moral compass of western civilization and employs a media strategy to horn-swaggle the masses; we enlist every means possible to set the record straight.
Steven Spielberg tried to do a story about the Israeli response to the 1972 Munich Massacre, without depicting Jihad. Jihad originates in the 7th century as a political tactic that presents itself as a theological imperative to destroy all non-Muslim civilizations. Jihad is the enemy of all peace-loving people -- including peace-loving Palestinians -- especially the people of Israel, and the people of America. The 1972 Munich Massacre originates in Jihad, deriving from the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem's Arab Nazis who were aligned with Adolf Hitler in World War II. In fact, some of those hands in that Munich cookie jar made the Oslo Accords deal with PLO founder Yasser Arafat back in the mid-1990s, but that didn't work out very well because of Jihad. This is why historically minded people insist that Mr. Spielberg be held accountable for his errors and omissions.
Israel is More than a State
Israel, founded in 1948, is more than a state. Israel is the ancient civilization that gave us the creator-based concept of the individual and the moral compass of civilization. Jews have been persecuted since the beginning of time as the "people of the book" who codified the customs, mores, and laws of civilization. Jews know that evil exists. Golda Meir, who guided Israel through this nightmare, was a woman of tremendous moral courage. She fought evil, the evil of Jihad, the same evil that America faces today.
Jihad Exploits the Palestinians
The Palestinians are poor people who are used by (and collaborators with) radical Islamists and Muslim regimes that use Jihad to destroy Israel. Yasser Arafat, the PLO leader responsible for the Munich Massacre, stole their foreign aid throughout the 1990s, socking away a reputed 6 billion dollars. The Palestinians, since 1948, claim they want a homeland, but were ignored by the wealthy Arab nations and Muslim regimes until 1967, when it became Israel's fault. The 2-state solution was proposed in 1988, but they're still homeless in 2006, even with all that land and all that oil money. So, what is the Palestinian goal? Is it to establish a Palestinian State? Is it to build lives for themselves? Or is it to destroy Israel?
"Munich" depicts "The Myth of Moral Equivalence"
Steven Spielberg's film demonstrates that he does not understand or acknowledge that there is a profound difference between a culture that believes in the sanctity of life, as opposed to a culture that believes that murder is a holy act. His drama, albeit fictional, implies the equivalence of these two oppositional moral imperatives. Educated people reject this falsehood which he spins in the media as the "cycle of violence." The "culture of death" that is Jihad is not equal to "the culture of life" that is L'Chaim.
"Munich" Betrays the Moral Values of Western Civilization
It is one thing to attempt to address the humanity of the Palestinian cause. It is quite another to betray the Jewish tradition as "vengeful" and perpetrating the "cycle of violence" -- especially when the "chosen people" have contributed so much to civilization, and in return, endured vicious and malicious persecution throughout the ages. This is far worse than revisionist history. This is misrepresenting Jewish moral values and the moral compass of western civilization. Moreover, instead of addressing this with grace and humility, Steven Spielberg resorted to his "stupid charge" theory through a film critic. Then, when that failed, he shifted to the "cycle of violence" theory, promoting "the Iraq analogy" through unwitting ABC terrestrials.
The Lion that Roars vs. The "Paper Tiger" that Appeases
Now, let's return to Narnia's image of "The Lion that Roars for Peace." This is an elegant creature of valor, courage, wisdom, and generosity. This is an extraordinarily gifted being of enlightenment, the idealized humanity that understands the nature of evil that enslaves humanity to the vagaries of eternal winter. This is the reluctant hero who, by his own sacrifice, inspires mankind to the heroic path of confronting and defeating the forces of evil to restore the forces of good. In the present day analogy, the eternal winter would be the "culture of death" that threatens to destroy civilization, Jihad.
Now, let's reference a contrasting image, the "Paper Tiger" image created in 1993 to describe America, by none other than Osama bin Laden. In the early 1990s, the Somali government was overthrown by Muslim extremists. America and the United Nations assisted peace-loving Somalis in restoring law and order, but American forces were attacked by al Qaeda. Instead of getting back-up military assistance from the 1993 political establishment, America's Special Ops were forced to surrender to al Qaeda in what is now known as "Black Hawk Down." Osama bin Laden celebrated his victory in the worldwide media, defeating America, "the Paper Tiger."
This is what we mean by "appeasement." In fact, this purring "Paper Tiger" continued to feed the evil beasts of Jihad throughout the 1990s, incident after incident, leading to 9/11. History buffs can never forget that the surrender of "Black Hawk Down" occurred eight months after the first bombing of the World Trade Center on February 26, 1993.
Jihad Denies Israel's Right to Exist
So now, here is the real story. Steven Spielberg produced a 90 million dollar op/ed. Yet, in all of those 90 millions, he makes no mention of Jihad, not even in press releases. By refusing to define the enemy, Steven Spielberg has colluded with the enemy. By ignoring the nexus between modern Islamists and Nazism, he created some weird personal vendetta-like "Iraq analogy" that exists only in his mind -- or the cookie monster's -- not in the timeline of history. One wonders whether he is discovering this in real time -- like reality TV -- that his political consultants and screenwriters have used him for their purposes.
There is pathos in this notion, worthy of sympathy. However, the problem is that he has created an amoral parable, one that, intentionally or unintentionally, renounces Israel's right to exist and deliberately crushes the moral compass of Western Civilization.
Steven, we get it. We got it the first time. Now, you need to get it.
You were gifted with the opportunity to portray a story that features "The Lion that Roars for Peace" and make a unifying statement about the sanctity of life. The right to exist -- like the right for Israel to exist -- is inextricably linked to the creator-based concept of the individual and the moral compass of civilization, handed down from your ancestors, to ours, to all mankind. This is the fundamental question for our time, the litmus test for the 21st Century. If Israel has no right to exist, then who does?
This is the most hopeful question for all humanity. It was yours to ask. This is the most compelling idea in the history of civilization, one that originates in "the chosen people" and flourishes as a beacon of freedom in America.
But you chose "Paper Tiger" revisionism, the timeline of history according to Adolf Hitler, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Yasser Arafat, in the grand tradition of Don Corleone. You chose to create "cookie monster" history through a false prism of narcissism, one that makes no sense to those who know history, creating an abyss where there is no moral center, no depth of understanding, no appreciation for the sorrows and pain of "the chosen" who sacrificed their lives and their loved ones throughout the ages to deliver the "Ark of the Covenant" to modern civilization.
Congratulations. Two thumbs way up, Steven. You rebuilt the "golden calf" that leads to eternal winter.
1. Kate Wright, "'Munich' stands for 'appeasement'," The
American Spectator, December 19, 2005,
2. Roger Ebert, "Munich," December 23, 2005,
3. Roger Ebert, "Spielberg calls back," December 25, 2005,
4. Ian MacKinnon, "I do not regret athletes' deaths, says Munich
massacre plotter," TimesOnLine, December 28, 2005,
Kate Wright has taught sceenwriting at UCLA since 1995. She has been honored with many awards, and written historical epic screenplays: "Billy", "The Conspirator Saint", and "Handsome Harry". She is author "Screenwriting is Storytelling," (Perigee Books, 2004). Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org This essay appeared January 2nd, 2006 in The American Spectator, (http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5119).
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