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Though implicit throughout — from the juxtaposition of the photos of the Israeli victims of Munich with those of the gang’s prospective targets to the conversation with Ali — these arguments first emerge explicitly from the mouth of Robert, the bomb-maker. “All this blood will come back to us,” he tells Avner with an agonized look. Being Jewish to him means being righteous, and just lately he’s not been feeling too righteous. Neither, apparently, has Avner, for he soon severs relations not only with his Israeli contact, “Ephraim” (Geoffrey Rush), but with Israel itself and joins his wife and child in Brooklyn. When Ephraim tries to entice him to return to Israel, Avner turns on him: “How do you know they were involved in Munich?” he asks of his own victims. “We should have brought them back to Israel for trial, like Eichmann.”
It’s just a little late in the day to be proposing that, you might think. But thus is suggested the answer to the all-important question of who is the better person, Arab or Jew, Palestinian or Israeli. The answer is that it’s the Jews. Or at least this Jew. And why? Because although both Jew and Arab kill without mercy, this Jew feels really bad about it afterwards. Spielberg makes the point directly when, after the murder of their first victim, the gang have a discussion about whether or not it is right to celebrate. Celebration is OK, says Avner judiciously, but not rejoicing. Then they watch on television the jubilation of the Arabs over the return of some other terrorists after their latest atrocity, and Steve can’t help noticing: “No qualms about rejoicing on their side. Look at them” he says. “They’re movie stars.”
Too true. And, he might have added, in that observation lies the reason why a consummate film-maker like Steven Spielberg made the film he did. For the movies demand the kind of moral equivalence he so obligingly provides. All that matters to the camera is emotion, and in emotional terms there is no right or wrong, terrorist or victim. All are victims together, and Avner’s symptoms of post-traumatic stress naturally weigh equally in the scales with the sufferings of his victims — which in turn weigh equally with the sufferings of the Israeli athletes they murdered. There’s no right and wrong to the camera, just undifferentiated human emotion. It’s not the movies’ fault. That’s just what they do. But it is a reason why a movie about the most serious and important moral and political matters should only be made by someone who is much more than a movie-maker.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online