Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
Pierre Rehov, a nom de guerre, is indeed a resistance fighter; he resists the Islamist propaganda wars against Israel, the Jews, and the West by making films that document the truth.
He is the documentarian of the Al-Aqsa intifada; the filmmaker who showed us what Jenin was really about (“The Road to Jenin”) and who the suicide bombers really are (“Suicide Killers”). Early on, in “The Silent Exodus,” Rehov documented the story of Arab and North African Jews who were forced to flee their homelands. And in “The Trojan Horse/Holy Land: Christians in Peril,” he detailed the persecution of Christians in the Islamist Middle East.
Rehov, a North African (Algerian) Jew who fled his homeland for France in 1961, is not just an armchair observer. His weapon is his camera, which he takes with him into dangerous war zones. I have known him for five years now and am proud to have championed his documentaries by posting them on my website in 2004. At the time, more than 30,000 people viewed two of his films in five weeks. Now, thankfully, his many films are available for sale at his own website (www.pierrerehov.com).
Last month I unexpectedly ran into Rehov at a luncheon in Manhattan. I asked him how long he would be visiting the U.S. His answer startled me. He said he was here to stay, that he could no longer live in Paris, that the very air there had become poisoned with anti-Israel sentiment, and that his pro-Israel activism had led to unending legal and financial problems for himself and for other pro-Israel activists.
While living in France, Rehov was a novelist and a magazine publisher. His business ventures took him everywhere, including Morocco. In the mid-1990s, he was sharing a very friendly, at-home dinner with a Moroccan Muslim business client and his wife when the man, albeit under the influence, suddenly began weeping uncontrollably and told him, “You’re a really nice guy but you’re a Jew, and I know that one day I will have to kill you.”
We are talking about a secular Muslim, a sophisticated individual – politics was not being discussed, nor was Israel or Judaism. Yet out of such alcoholic depths warriors sometimes spring.
That was a turning point for Rehov. He vowed not to remain a bystander or appeaser.
When the intifada of 2000 broke out, he was ready. He was the first person who challenged the Al-Dura blood libel. The horrific, faked murder of a Palestinian child was first aired on and promoted globally by France’s Channel Two. Rehov sued Channel Two; he even persuaded the French B’nai Brith to back his lawsuit. He spent eight months researching the matter, only to see his case dismissed in six weeks.
Philippe Karsenty, another hero, was sued by Channel Two for defamation because he, too, continued to insist that the Al Dura killing was a hoax. Had Karsenty lost, he could have been jailed. After seven hard years, Karsenty was finally vindicated in a French court – a victory Channel Two is still appealing.
Israel was demonized all over the world in the wake of the alleged Al Dura murder. Rehov tried to rally French Jewish organizations to hold the French government legally responsible for having defamed the Jewish state. (Channel Two is a government-owned station). He went to Israel (he holds an Israeli passport) to look into the case. A German filmmaker, Esther Schapira, made a documentary in which she raised all the issues. Rehov persuaded a Jewish organization to buy the rights so that the film could be widely distributed.
The Israeli government and most Jewish organizations preferred not to make a fuss. Perhaps they hoped the world would just forget the Al Dura blood libel. That did not stop Rehov. French passport in hand, he assembled a crew and took his digital camera to extremely dangerous places in the West Bank and Gaza.
In one film after the other, he exposed the Palestinian propaganda-and-hate machine, documenting, among other issues, the truth about the Palestinian refugees, the abuse of Jews in Arab lands and the persecution of Christians in the disputed territories and the Muslim world, and the real stories of the Palestinian takeover of the Church of the Nativity and the non-massacre in Jenin.
About the Author: Dr. Phyllis Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology, a Middle East Forum fellow, and the author of fifteen books including “Women and Madness” (1972), “The New Anti-Semitism” (2003), and her latest, “An American Bride in Kabul” (2013). Her articles are archived at www.phyllis-chesler.com.
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The Obama Administration plan is very simple, assuming that everything goes smoothly–which of course it will not.
You don’t see my kind of loss in America as much as you do here, in Israel.
Gideon Levy ignores the fact that Germany, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S. were by far the biggest traders with the apartheid regime, choosing instead to focus on Israel.
The more severe scenario of a nuclear Iran is that the Iranians will not even need to go to war.
For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.
I first met Mandela in Geneva in 1990 as part of a delegation of American Jewish leaders.
How much wealth exists in the American Orthodox community?
They didn’t have to ask twice – I was there.
Despite the interim agreement between Iran and several world powers, which provides for a softening of sanctions in return for a curtailment of elements of the Iranian nuclear development program, many members of Congress have resisted calls from the White House to defer legislation that would impose increased sanctions on Iran should a satisfactory final agreement not be reached or the Iranians fail to adhere to the temporary deal.
The Jewish Press raised some eyebrows with its endorsement of Bill de Blasio in the New York City mayoral election. After all, the editorial positions we’ve taken over the years are not particularly compatible with Mr. de Blasio’s liberal track record.
Filling two vacuums at once – one of Orthodox women taking a more public role and a second of Modern Orthodox Jews demonstrating the merits of religious Jewish practice – Allison Josephs has transformed her sweet and engaging webisodes and blog into a larger force. Jew in the City is now a franchise.
Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers (Harper) explores the lives of seven Israeli paratroopers in the Six-Day War who, his subtitle suggests, “Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.” It offers a fascinating variation on the theme of Israel at a fateful crossroads, in search of itself, following the wondrously unifying moment at the Western Wall in June 1967 when Jewish national sovereignty in Jerusalem was restored for the first time in nineteen centuries.
Hundreds of boats tried to run the British blockade on the dangerous, open seas.
“I am surprised those Zionists are not outside protesting,” says one woman.
“Miral” is a film that has garnered an inordinate amount of media attention. In interviews, the director, Julian Schnabel, defends his right to tell the Palestinian “narrative” for what he claims is the first time. He seems not to know that many others before him have specialized in this particular line of work.
Our beloved, miraculous Jewish state is under siege.
It was assumed that the ceaseless persecution of the Jews in exile would cease once we again had our own sovereign homeland, our own army, navy, and air force.
In 1947-1948 I lived in Boro Park where, against parental and rabbinic advice, I joined a Zionist group. By 1950 I was packing machine-gun parts for Israel in a home not far from the Young Israel. But what I did as a child does not compare to what my friend and colleague David Gutmann did for love of Zion at that very time on the dangerous open seas.
Reality has become somewhat Scandinavian. It grows dark early and it is bitterly cold here in New York City and over a good portion of our fair land. Our Prince of Peace (The Norwegian Nobel, not the noble variety) is not yet asking whether “to be or not to be.” Perhaps he is not entirely convinced that “that is the question.”
One of four Courage in Journalism awards to be presented later this month by Christiane Amanpour and Irshad Manjie, among others, will go to the Israeli journalist Amira Hass, whose unremitting critique of Israel serves as a veritable blood libel against the Jewish people.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/pierre-rehov-lion-in-exile/2009/04/22/
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