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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Humanizing terrorism

The Jerusalem Post weighs in today with this editorial about Paradise Now, the 'Palestinian' movie that glorifies terrorists and won a Golden Globe Award from the LLL's in Pallywood two nights ago.

We don't believe that those who decided to honor Paradise Now necessarily wished to glorify suicide bombers or justify those who target Israeli civilians. [Why do I fear that this is wishful thinking on the Post's part? CiJ] Yet we find it unlikely a film delving into the inner struggles of the terrorists who brought down the World Trade Center or who murdered in London, Madrid, Baghdad or Bali will be produced, let alone showered with the same accolades.

The reception accorded Paradise Now reinforces the impression that, in the current global struggle against Islamist terrorism, our blood is somehow not as red as everyone else's.

In the film, the bombers' handlers are portrayed as cynical and manipulative. But even if there is no explicit vindication of attacks against Israelis, what else is one to make of a film that treats suicide bombers as sympathetic victims, with no attention paid to their actual victims?

... Paradise Now deals with a very real present. The theaters in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that showed the film, like almost every public place, routinely employ guards to prevent attacks of precisely the sort that the film portrayed - from the bombers' perspective - on the screen. Hence the concern is not over historical accuracy and perspective, but propagandizing for terrorism in the present and future.

Two years ago, Israeli Ambassador Zvi Mazel purposely damaged an art installation in Sweden that depicted a Palestinian suicide bomber as Snow White floating on a sea of blood - an undiplomatic act that was met with near universal cheers in Israel.

Paradise Now humanizes mass murderers even more forthrightly, and to a much wider audience. Those who would heap awards on such a film should, even if they are unconcerned by the sensibilities of Israelis, consider whether they would make the same choice if they - their nation or their families - were the victims.


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