An Open Letter to Harvey Weinstein (FrontPageMagazine.com) By Daniel Greenfield 03/22/11)
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This article is reprinted from SultanKnish.blogspot.com.
On the same day that a family of five were being murdered in their
home in Israel, Harvey Weinstein ran a self-congratulatory
promotional piece for his company’s terrorist propaganda flick,
Miral. The photos stand out. The fat smirking face of Harvey
Weinstein contrasted with the sleeping baby, the smiling little boys
and the earnest couple who were their parents. They are all dead, and
a Harvey Weinstein lives on to smirk another day. So it is with
perpetrators and victims. The innocent children and the fat ugly men
who profit from trafficking in the narrative of their killers.
Harvey Weinstein denounces Peter King and urges him to go watch
Miral. But perhaps it is Harvey Weinstein who should drive to a small
town lost in the Samarian Mountains and retrace the steps of the
murderers in the name of the nationalistic mythology that movies like
Miral glamorize. To fit himself through the living room window where
the two terrorists entered, moving quietly in the dark, not seeing
the six year old boy sleeping peacefully on the couch. That six year
old boy who survived because like so many other little boys during
the Holocaust, the men who were coming to murder him went right past
him without seeing him. The six year old boy who was being orphaned
around the same time that Harvey Weinstein and his PR people were
conferring on a final draft for their Miral puff piece.
Come along Harvey, into the bedroom where a father and his three
month old daughter, Hadas, were fast asleep. It can be hard to get a
3 month old baby to fall asleep. Her father must had quite a time of
it that night. Babies may not have language, but they do have fears.
They are afraid of the strange new world they were born into. And
they need parents to comfort them and assure them that everything
will be alright. That they are loved and protected. When Rabbi Fogel
finally got his little baby daughter to sleep, she must have felt
safe with her father there. The man who would have taught her about
life. Who would have done his best to protect her. And the man whose
throat was slashed in his sleep along with his child’s.
Tell me Harvey, do you know what goes through a three month old
baby’s mind when her throat is being slashed? You can’t make a movie
about it and you wouldn’t it if you could. Movies are complex
stories. The characters change and grow. They become someone else. A
three month old baby having her throat cut will never become anyone
else. She is fixed in that moment of horror and pain. Dying without
knowing why. Only that her parents couldn’t protect her. If you were
going to make a movie about this scene, it would be about the
killers. You would show their past and explain their actions. Surely
an Israeli soldier stepped on their toe once or blew up their house.
Stretch it out over two hours and you can justify anything. Even the
knife being drawn across Hadas’ throat. That is the magic of cinema.
But to three month old Hadas, there is no context. The movie of her
life ended the night you were hard at work promoting yours.
The mother had been in the bathroom while the bloody work took place.
A small moment of peace while her children slept. She didn’t let them
cut her throat, the way they had that of her husband and her baby
daughter. Instead she fought them. They had to stab her to death. If
you ever make a movie about these particular terrorists, be sure to
emphasize how hard it is to stab a mother to death. She will fight
for her children. And the terrorists will have to work to kill her.
You should swoop the camera down sympathetically on their sweating
faces as they do the hard work of murdering her.
From there they went on to murder 11 year old Yoav who was reading in
bed. Next was 3 year old Elad. Why stab a 3 year old boy twice in the
heart? That is the question, Harvey. I understand once. Once is
certainly enough to kill any 3 year old. But twice? Maybe it was that
each killer wanted a turn and a share of the glory of murdering a
toddler. They had already murdered three children and their parents,
but the laws of Islam can be arcane sometimes. Is it possible then
that the Shaheed (the martyr) will not enter paradise unless he
murders a 3 year old too. Maybe there are more virgins waiting in
paradise for each child killed. Murder a child and trade his body in
for more virgins. Or maybe it is that the brave Jihadists who climb
through living room windows and cut the throats of children in their
sleep wanted to feel the violence of that blow. The thrill of the
knife slamming home into a child’s heart. Or maybe it is that Elad’s
heart was strong enough that even two adult Muslim terrorists had to
stab twice to kill him.
I would like to think so.
Your article promoting Miral urges that ‘understanding the “other”
requires us to step out of our comfort zones’. Step now out of your
comfort zone. And understand the other. I don’t mean the murderers
themselves. I think you understand them a little too well. If you
didn’t understand them at all, Miral would be lying on a back shelf
somewhere. I urge you to understand your own ‘Other’, not those who
kill in the name of Islamic terrorism, but those who die of it. Who
die and yet refuse to give in. Who cling to their tiny patch of land,
more than you would ever cling to your Connecticut estate. See
the ‘Other’ in murdered family beneath your regard.
Family members have released photos of their children lying in their
blood, but I don’t think you will want to see them. They are too far
outside your comfort zone. There is plenty of blood and gore in your
movies, but this is different. These are the bodies of inconvenient
children. Their deaths don’t fit into your ideological framework. You
know quite well that Muslims are good people, and Jews who live on
land claimed by the Muslims, are bad people. If they are murdered it
is inconvenient because it retards the peace process. The process by
which terrorists climb through living room windows and slash the
throats of children. Until whole families are at peace.
The Fogel family is at peace now, for the most part. They have found
the only form of peace that the terrorist gangs have ever delivered,
in return for land, money, weapons and international legitimacy. Not
the entire family of course. Three children survived. Three settlers.
Three obstacles to peace.
The oldest daughter returns home to find the door locked. She goes to
her neighbor’s house for help. Her neighbor, Rabbi Cohen returns with
her carrying a gun. Have you known many Rabbis who carry guns,
Harvey? You probably haven’t. But in the Samarian mountains, Rabbis
and farmers and everyone else carries guns. Because sometimes men
with knives come through your living room windows. If you’re lucky,
then you will see them coming and you will shoot them. However if you
aren’t lucky, then your neighbor will have to open the door for your
twelve year old daughter. And then she will scream, as twelve year
old girls do when they see entire family butchered. You have probably
auditioned plenty of girls and listened to them give their best Fay
Wray scream. But this is a different thing, Harvey. It is real. You
will not hear this at an audition anywhere. It is the sound a twelve
year old girl makes when the PLO fighters that movies like Miral
glamorize have murdered her entire family.
Wait here while she goes to get her neighbor. She doesn’t know that
anything is wrong yet, but she is about to find out. And meanwhile
you can stay and observe. Listen to her pounding heart, to her
thoughts as she reassures herself that everything is alright. That
her parents had a sudden invitation to an engagement and left in a
hurry without leaving a message. The sort of things we tell ourselves
when we know something terrible has happened. It is a pleasant night.
While we stand here, the terrorists are slipping away to a nearby
Arab village. From there it will become very difficult to track them.
While that twelve year old girl stands waiting for Rabbi Cohen to get
his gun, they are whooping on a dark road somewhere. Their mission
was a success. A mission for which they have been training all their
lives. Not this specific night of butchery, but the idea of it.
When the Peace Process allowed Arafat to take over the educational
system of Gaza and the West Bank, the schools there have focused on
one subject. Martyrdom. In this country, that is a fancy word for
killing Jews. The Nazis called it, ‘Die Endlosung”. But the Muslims
call it “Martyrdom” because they are not as good at it. When you
fight war after war, and lose hundreds of tanks trying to drive the
Jews into the sea, then you must resort to climbing through living
room windows and hoping that no one hears you slashing a baby’s
throat in the dark. And if they do, they might come and kill you. And
then you will be a martyr, climbing to paradise on a ladder of
I don’t mean you, Harvey, of course. You are not the man who climbs
through windows and slashes throats. You are the man who is marketing
a movie about terrorists. Not the bad kind of terrorists who murder
children in their sleep. It would be hard to empathize with that. No,
your terrorists are the good kind of terrorists. Hurt and
misunderstood. Forced into it by their circumstances. The balance of
suffering always on their side. Even when they kill, they are still
the victims. While you were hard at work pitching Miral, the real
terrorists were hard at working murdering a family. That is the
difference between entertainment and reality. It is the difference
between what you do and what they do. It is not so different. You
trade in lies. They trade in murder.
What shall we do while we stand here waiting for that girl to get her
neighbor and his gun. You are a Hollywood magnate, so why don’t we
watch some television. Not any of your stuff, but try some of the
local programming. Maybe something will catch your eye that you can
develop. How about this show from Palestinian Authority
television, “The Prophet says: ‘You shall fight the Jews and kill
them, until the tree and the stone will speak and say… ‘Oh Muslim, Oh
servant of Allah – there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” It
is exciting stuff, isn’t it. The killers certainly thought so, and
while no rocks or trees spoke to them, the television programming
paid for by American money did.
These are not the words of some mad lunatic, or a tiny extremist
minority, but of the Sahih Bukhari, the second holiest book of Islam.
You denounced Congressman King for making inflammatory statements
about Islam, but what of the inflammatory statements of the Sahih
Bukhari? Denouncing a Republican congressman is easy, but Islamic
holy books aren’t safe to tweak. Just ask Salman Rushdie or Molly
Norris, if you can find either of them. Or ask Theo Van Gogh, if you
can use a Ouija board. But you’re getting bored. I know. These are
technical things. And all the Muslims you know are very good people.
So what if their belief calls for the genocide of the Jewish people.
You still have fun hanging out with them at parties. And the only
people who think there is anything wrong with Islam are crazy right-
wingers who are just like McCarthy, and a child whose throat is being
cut by a Muslim with a knife who thinks that dead Jewish children are
his ticket to heaven.
In poor starving Gaza, candies and sweets are being handed out to
celebrate the courageous murder of a baby. A baby who will never grow
up even enough to taste a candy. Cries of “Allah Akhbar” fill the
air. But who is this Muslim deity greater than, a 3 month old baby
whom his followers had to murder in the dark. What a mighty deity
this Allah’s worshipers must think he is, that he cannot even murder
babies himself, but must rely on his cowardly followers to sneak into
their homes and cut their throats. Jackals serving a jackal headed
god. The old Anubis with his black grin. The joke as always on his
followers, trying to bargain for their afterlife, with death clutched
in their hands.
Out here in the night, the iron smell of blood in the air, in front
of a house smaller than your office bathroom– this isn’t your kind of
place. I know. But it is real. That 12 year old girl screaming, she’s
real too. The two and a half year old screaming for his father, his
clothes drenched in blood. He is very real too. There is no makeup
here. No sets. No one will yell cut. The movie will never end. It has
never ended for thousands of years. While you settled into a lavish
life at your Westport estate, they go on living and dying here. No
matter what the diplomats decide, or the UN proclaims or the EU
demands or the US pressures, no matter how many movies you release,
they will go on dying. That is the ugly and unbearable truth here.
While they die, you have scored a coup. Your propaganda flick, Miral,
will be the first movie screened in the UN General Assembly’s main
hall. No word on whether it will be part of a double feature with Der
Ewige Jude. And if the scene feels a little too much like the
conclusion of your own studio’s Inglourious Basterds, with all the
elite lining up to attend the showing of an anti-semitic propaganda
flick, then that’s just irony. An irony you are unaware of, because
surely you have nothing in common with the toadish little men who
catered to the bigoted appetites of the Third Reich. Nor does a UN
which in the midst of civil war in Libya and a nuclear meltdown in
Japan finds it more important to stage a showing of a movie whose
only real purpose for existing is to further demonize Israel, have
anything in common with the leadership of the Third Reich, which
diverted trains carrying war materials to drive more Jews to the
death camps, even as Berlin burned.
“Unless the Palestinian narrative is finally understood and
acknowledged by Israelis and their American supporters, there will
never be peace in the Holy Land,” you say. As if peace were in your
hands to give. But we understand the Palestinian narrative all too
well. The real one and the fake one. We know the olive groves, the
bulldozers and the keys. And we also know the terrorist gangs trained
by Islamic fanatics and Socialist dictators to seize the land and
murder its inhabitants. The gangs whom Moscow gave a nationalist
gloss calling them the Palestinian people, the smirking thugs on whom
President Clinton and European leaders bestowed legitimacy and
billions of dollars. The gangs who have remained terrorists, thieves
and rapists, fanatical killers when stoked with enough hashish, no
matter how much people like you are willing to embrace and retell
their narrative. Their lies.
If you want to know the real narrative, then put Miral on a shelf and
ask where the Christians of the region have gone. Where have the
Zoroastrians gone? Why are there so few left? The answer would make
for a much better movie, but it is not a movie that you will ever
make. It is not a movie that any theater would ever show. It is a
story of bigotry and genocide. It is an old story and a new one. You
can find its oldest chapters in the Koran, along with the graves of
the Jews of what is today Saudi Arabia. Its latest chapters are being
written in Europe, where Jews once again flee European cities, not
from men in uniforms, but in long robes. And unless that narrative is
understood, there will be no peace in the Holy Land, or anywhere else.
I know that none of this will move you. Controversy is your bread and
butter. The more you hear cries of pain, the more you count the cash.
Miral will make you money. Just as Der Ewige Jude made money. And you
will protest that there is no comparison between the two. Miral is
only giving the Palestinian narrative, just as Der Ewige Jude gave
the Aryan narrative. It is more subtle, I’m sure. The audiences you
count on are liberal and sophisticated. They won’t be taken in by
gutter propaganda. A hint of controversy ads savor to their
intellectual appetites. They are eager to confront the other in
themselves. That part of them which would kill and maim with enough
justification. The shadow side of their hearts which their minds use
to explain the actions of men who burst through living room windows
to slash children’s throats.
You will dismiss this as, what you describe in your article,
being, “smeared by those who insist on reducing this conflict to us
vs. them.” So stand outside while Rabbi Cohen walks with his gun, a
twelve year old by his side, her heart beating almost as hard as her
little brother’s did when the knife came down on it, and wait while
she goes inside. And then answer her this, if you truly believe in
not reducing the conflict to ‘Us vs Them’ then why are you telling
the story of Miral and not her story?
You have chosen a side. Our ‘Them’ is your ‘Us’. Soon that girl will
leave the house again, along with her younger brothers. Three
children who somehow survived. Look her over carefully. She is
your ‘Other’. The story you do not want to hear. The face you do not
want to see. She survived tonight. So did two of her brothers. Next
time they might not. No movie is needed to tell her story. Her life
is her story. Her survival a testament.
The Prime Minister of Israel and the Knesset Speaker have vowed
revenge for this attack. Their revenge is of a wholly different brand
that that of the Palestinian Authority terrorists. “We will live, we
will continue to build and to plant”. So too the surviving Fogel
children will go on living. They will be ‘settlers’, obstacles to the
terrorist peace that slits children’s throats at night. And we know
which the world hates more, the builders or the throat slitters. Even
know as children are being lowered into the earth, the world fumes at
this particular Hebraic vengeance. Its constructive perversity. To
build in the face of destruction. To defy death, not with murder but
This has always been our revenge. To survive. Not yours, Harvey. You
are the second son at the Passover Seder. The one left behind in
Egypt. The one we forget about as the generations march on. Whose
name turns to dust and blows away on the wind. That is our revenge on
you, but it is you who carry it out. Who go in search of the ‘other’
and find nothing there but the hole inside yourself.
Watch now as the sun rises over the Samarian mountains, see as the
men walk with their guns, as their ancestors did with sword and spear
right in this place. This town where the son of Aaron, brother of
Moses, was buried. They have come out of Egypt again. As the living,
so the dead. There is death, but amid it is joy. For they died not in
Auschwitz, Madrid or Medina, or a thousand other foreign lands, but
on the soil of their forefathers. This is a mystery you cannot touch,
for you are not a part of it.
Roll the projector in the UN General Assembly. Beam at the
compliments for your willingness to distribute a movie whose inherent
bias justifies the murder of Jews. And yet in that small town so
hated by the world, men and women will rise with the sun, carrying
their guns and their determination. Before them lies the future,
behind you the past. They live in the answer to the mystery. Those
children are dead, yet they live. They died in pain and horror, yet
they live. They are buried now, yet they live.
And in the town of Ithamar, named after one of his ancestors from
thousands of years ago, Rabbi Cohen will walk back to his own home,
and hug his own children. And he will stand watch over them. While
the UN cheers your movie, he will go on carrying his gun and looking
after his own land, though the world hates him for it. He is a free
man born of a free nation. And when he sits down at his Passover
table to thank his G-d for his freedom and his land, he will be free
as few are. As you with all your wealth can never imagine. And though
he will one day die, like Ithamar and those children, he will live
forever. Go now, Harvey. This is no place for you to be. It is his
home. It is his land. Not Miral’s and not yours. Go. (Copyright©2011
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