Spielberg's silent victims

Postmodern ideology places victims at the very top of the pecking order of morality. Unless, of course, the victims come from a class of persons deemed by the supreme authorities of political correctness (The New York Times, Hollywood, and academia) to be pariahs.

Steve Spielberg's controversial new movie Munich demonstrates this principle.

Maureen Dowd infamously characterized Cindy Sheehan as embodying 'absolute moral authority' in opposing the Iraq War because her son Casey, who volunteered to serve, was killed in Iraq. The much larger number of bereaved American parents who lost children in Iraq, but who supported the war, garnered almost no attention or imputed authority from Ms. Dowd and her press colleagues. Some victims are more equal than other victims, you see.

Mr. Spielberg granted no moral standing whatsoever to the bereaved relatives of the slain Israeli Olympians. Even worse, his representatives insulted them. The story of his treatment of the surviving relatives, victims directly comparable to Ms. Sheehan (except of course that Casey Sheehan volunteered for war while the Israeli athletes volunteered for Olympic competition), is rather shocking.

Munich has been subject to a barrage of criticism across the political spectrum (from the New Republic to the Wall Street Journal). The litany of complaints includes:

— Spielberg's use of a notoriously anti—Israel playwright to write a script that equates Israel's preventive measures to stop terror with terror itself.

— The movie used imagery to suggest that somehow Israel was responsible for 9/11. The film does this by adding an unnecessary scene at the end of the movie. The camera pans from the face of one of the Israelis who was part of the team that found the terrorists and dealt justice to them to the image of the World Trade Center — thereby somehow  trying to link, fallaciously, the Israelis' actions to the attack on the WTC (which took place over a quarter—century later).

— The movie's implication that Israelis concerned themselves with the financial costs of the program to kill terrorists as much as the morality of the program, betraying a stereotypical obsession with money.

— Spielberg used a book that has been thoroughly discredited as a source for the movie.

— Spielberg took great liberty with facts, as Araon Klein's new book on the Munich massacre and its aftermath demonstrates.

The author of the definitive history, Aaron Klein, states:

If I were making a movie, I would make a different one. I know the facts, and the facts on the ground tell a different story.

One point, among many, made in Klein's book is how the widows and surviving family of the Israeli victims were abused by European governments, which not only refused to help Israel stop terror but actually cooperated with terror groups to appease them.

Now, a recent interview with widows of a couple of the victims in the January 9th issue of Jerusalem Report magazine (unfortunately not available online, though an archived version might be available here in the future) show that not only did European governments abuse the survivors, so did Spielberg's production company DreamWorks.

When Ankie Rekhess—Spitzer and Ilana Romano learned of Spielberg's project, they contacted DreamWorks. The company had

sparked the ire of the bereaved families for having excluded them from the project, and for stonewalling Rekhess—Spitzer's attempts last year to elicit details.

At first, the woman who handled the inquiry from Rekhess—Spitzer at DreamWorks

denied the existence of the film and told the widow that Spielberg would not take her call.

Asked if she could send a fax, the DreamWorks rep told her that she could

send as many faxes as you want, they will all end up in the garbage. Then {she} was hung up on. [emphasis added]

Eventually the company did make amends and sent the scriptwriter to Israel to meet with survivors. (Of course, the producers almost certainly also wanted to forestall criticism as the movie started to go into production, and also wanted photos of the victims to help in casting). Rekhess—Spitzer has since seen the movie. Her comment: the book on which it was based, Vengeance: 'always read like fiction to me.'

She believes that the film uses the Munich massacre and the follow—up campaign to stop the terrorists to illustrate the folly of violent retaliation, and that for her the 'comparison is thin.' She continued in the interview,

It is basically a post—9/11 anti—war film. I told this to Kathleen Kennedy (the producer). She did not deny it. Only Munich is not Iraq. Our athletes went to compete in the Olympic Games and were murdered in cold blood, and nobody was willing to lift a finger to locate or punish the killers. Something had to be done.

Needless to say, this view is given no attention in the film. I think that Ms. Rekhess—Spitzer's pain and honesty deserves, if not 'absolute moral authority' some respect—which Mr. Spielberg and company has not shown in their film.

Ed Lasky is News Editor of The American Thinker

Postmodern ideology places victims at the very top of the pecking order of morality. Unless, of course, the victims come from a class of persons deemed by the supreme authorities of political correctness (The New York Times, Hollywood, and academia) to be pariahs.

Steve Spielberg's controversial new movie Munich demonstrates this principle.

Maureen Dowd infamously characterized Cindy Sheehan as embodying 'absolute moral authority' in opposing the Iraq War because her son Casey, who volunteered to serve, was killed in Iraq. The much larger number of bereaved American parents who lost children in Iraq, but who supported the war, garnered almost no attention or imputed authority from Ms. Dowd and her press colleagues. Some victims are more equal than other victims, you see.

Mr. Spielberg granted no moral standing whatsoever to the bereaved relatives of the slain Israeli Olympians. Even worse, his representatives insulted them. The story of his treatment of the surviving relatives, victims directly comparable to Ms. Sheehan (except of course that Casey Sheehan volunteered for war while the Israeli athletes volunteered for Olympic competition), is rather shocking.

Munich has been subject to a barrage of criticism across the political spectrum (from the New Republic to the Wall Street Journal). The litany of complaints includes:

— Spielberg's use of a notoriously anti—Israel playwright to write a script that equates Israel's preventive measures to stop terror with terror itself.

— The movie used imagery to suggest that somehow Israel was responsible for 9/11. The film does this by adding an unnecessary scene at the end of the movie. The camera pans from the face of one of the Israelis who was part of the team that found the terrorists and dealt justice to them to the image of the World Trade Center — thereby somehow  trying to link, fallaciously, the Israelis' actions to the attack on the WTC (which took place over a quarter—century later).

— The movie's implication that Israelis concerned themselves with the financial costs of the program to kill terrorists as much as the morality of the program, betraying a stereotypical obsession with money.

— Spielberg used a book that has been thoroughly discredited as a source for the movie.

— Spielberg took great liberty with facts, as Araon Klein's new book on the Munich massacre and its aftermath demonstrates.

The author of the definitive history, Aaron Klein, states:

If I were making a movie, I would make a different one. I know the facts, and the facts on the ground tell a different story.

One point, among many, made in Klein's book is how the widows and surviving family of the Israeli victims were abused by European governments, which not only refused to help Israel stop terror but actually cooperated with terror groups to appease them.

Now, a recent interview with widows of a couple of the victims in the January 9th issue of Jerusalem Report magazine (unfortunately not available online, though an archived version might be available here in the future) show that not only did European governments abuse the survivors, so did Spielberg's production company DreamWorks.

When Ankie Rekhess—Spitzer and Ilana Romano learned of Spielberg's project, they contacted DreamWorks. The company had

sparked the ire of the bereaved families for having excluded them from the project, and for stonewalling Rekhess—Spitzer's attempts last year to elicit details.

At first, the woman who handled the inquiry from Rekhess—Spitzer at DreamWorks

denied the existence of the film and told the widow that Spielberg would not take her call.

Asked if she could send a fax, the DreamWorks rep told her that she could

send as many faxes as you want, they will all end up in the garbage. Then {she} was hung up on. [emphasis added]

Eventually the company did make amends and sent the scriptwriter to Israel to meet with survivors. (Of course, the producers almost certainly also wanted to forestall criticism as the movie started to go into production, and also wanted photos of the victims to help in casting). Rekhess—Spitzer has since seen the movie. Her comment: the book on which it was based, Vengeance: 'always read like fiction to me.'

She believes that the film uses the Munich massacre and the follow—up campaign to stop the terrorists to illustrate the folly of violent retaliation, and that for her the 'comparison is thin.' She continued in the interview,

It is basically a post—9/11 anti—war film. I told this to Kathleen Kennedy (the producer). She did not deny it. Only Munich is not Iraq. Our athletes went to compete in the Olympic Games and were murdered in cold blood, and nobody was willing to lift a finger to locate or punish the killers. Something had to be done.

Needless to say, this view is given no attention in the film. I think that Ms. Rekhess—Spitzer's pain and honesty deserves, if not 'absolute moral authority' some respect—which Mr. Spielberg and company has not shown in their film.

Ed Lasky is News Editor of The American Thinker