I had a little conversation with a group of my friends about Stephen Spielberg's recent movie "Munich" and I expressed my disdain about Mr. Spielberg trying to create a film that tries to make the terrorists of Black September into everyday people. From what I've read and have seen about the movie, the genius of "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan" has decided to make a film that shows the terrorists as folks who have been denied a home (I guess Gaza and the West Bank are figments of our imagination) or have the same hangups as you and me and that we should have sympathy for their plight. Well I can understand the argument if the folks being hunted down by the Israeli government were folks that they disagreed politically about but the pure and simple truth is that these folks were terrorists that had the blood of the Israeli athletes who they murder in Munich, Germany in 1972 on their hands. Now folks can drag out the whole "cycle-of-violence" canard if they want to but their not going to go far with their argument when you can clearly point out that a more proactive approach on the behalf of Israel, like the direct targeting of various terrorists leaders by the IDF and the building of a security fence/wall between Israel and the Palestinian Territories has put a severe dent in the suicide bombers business. Max Boot made the similar point in Wednesday's LA Times when he noted:
"Munich" is a more compelling film but just as specious morally. It tells the story of a Mossad hit team sent to avenge the murders of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics by eliminating 11 Palestinian terrorists. The Israelis become tortured by their assignment. As one team member says: "All this blood comes back to us." The movie reinforces this cycle-of-violence theme with constant references to all the terrorist attacks carried out by the PLO after the Olympics. The implication is that if the Israelis weren't killing PLO operatives, they would stop killing Jews.So if you want my opinion about the movie, I say go watch it but remember that the movie is just another example of Hollywood trying to promote their silly agenda of moral equvelancy. I can assure you that the brave olympiads who died in 1972, the Mossad agents who hunted down the terrorists and Prime Minister Golda Mier are far from being equal to the terrorists who killed 11 athletes because they were born Israeli.
Director Steven Spielberg has made clear that's his view, telling Time magazine: "A response to a response doesn't really solve anything. It just creates a perpetual-motion machine... . The only thing that's going to solve this is rational minds, a lot of sitting down and talking until you're blue in the gills."
Where has Spielberg been for the last 15 years? Israel tried his "blue in the gills" approach in the 1990s, but the Oslo process only led to greater bloodshed. Israel defeated the second intifada not by chatting with terrorists but by fighting them. "Munich" depicts assassinations as pointless. In reality, Israel's policy of targeted killings has dramatically reduced the threat from Hamas and other extremist groups.
The lesson of World War II still stands: Civilized countries must use violence to defeat barbarians. Why is that so hard for Hollywood to understand?